There’s a lot to love about Sea Raes – the fancy, floating sister accommodation to Raes on Wategos, an exclusive resort overlooking what is possibly the prettiest beach in Byron Bay.
Firstly, its name is very cute. And secondly, the 101-foot nautical retreat has the same easy-living Euro holiday vibes as the Wategos Beach villa thanks to Tamsin Johnson. In 2017, the Melbourne-born, Sydney-based interior designer was tasked with reimagining the interiors of the Byron hotel, and transformed it into one of the country’s great boutique holiday destinations. Then, she brought that same sophisticated beach aesthetic to the sea.
The Spanish super yacht came from Mallorca and, after travelling to Australia in early 2021, underwent a refurb. After a debut Sydney summer in November that year, it’s now made its second voyage down the east coast – arriving in Sydney Harbour just in time for the festive season.
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There are four two-person cabins that can accommodate up to eight guests for overnight stays. Each cabin has its own ensuite – the master room also has a bath – plus LED screens and bluetooth sound systems. There’s a bar and barbeque area on the deck and, if you’re feeling active, there are two stand-up paddleboards, a range of skis, wakeboards, inflatable devices and snorkelling gear.
While a floating escape for eight is a dreamy situation, 30 of you can play if you charter it for just the day. An upper deck provides the ultimate vantage point for sun-soaked long lunches or, perhaps, aperitivo at golden hour. An event here, be it a long leisurely lunch as you glide through Pittwater or a canapé-powered event in the harbour, is summer hosting at its absolute finest.
The food offering is captained by Raes executive chef Jason Saxby. Before he ran the kitchen in Byron, Saxby worked at a number of high profile Sydney restaurants, like Pilu, Quay and The Bridge Room. If you’re aboard for brekkie, tuck into classic avo toast or eggs-your-way, or maybe a Byron-style health kick via a stack of buckwheat pancakes.
Later on, expect bites that are true to their sense of place: anchovy crostini with puttanesca salsa, oysters dotted with fingerlime jewels, salt-baked snapper with a lemon-myrtle crust, and fruity sgroppino. Saxby’s team will be on call 24 hours, making Mediterranean-inspired meals and pouring drinks.
Where you sail depends on your preferences and the weather. You can explore the hidden beaches of the harbour or charter a trip to Pittwater.
While there are lots of things to love, exclusive use of Sea Raes for a night does have a hefty price tag: it starts at $18,000, plus GST. But it's all-inclusive, so the standout dining and accompanying booze is all sorted. Daytime charters are $2000 per hour for a minimum of four hours. Whether you’re the big spender or a lucky invitee, it’ll be a day spent chartering luxurious waters in a city renowned for its summertime living.
Additional reporting by Sarah Norris.