The story of the estate. São Lourenço do Barrocal has been in the same family for more than 200 years, and it was José António Uva (who is eight generation of the same family) who had a vision to turn the family property into a farm retreat he could share with others. The passion and dedication behind José António’s dream, and what he has created, is incredibly inspiring.
The interiors. Perfectly simple and calming. The interior design was led by José António’s wife Ana’s design studio, AnahoryAlmeida (also responsible for the interiors of many of Lisbon’s finest restaurants) and it is a dream.
Hortelão, their outdoor restaurant. The most beautiful place to dine between Spring through Autumn, this slow-food, farm to fork restaurant is located next to the pool, right by the organic kitchen garden, and is the perfect place to enjoy a dinner under the stars.
BYRON BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES • HOTEL • 12 HOTEL-STYLE ROOMS + 6 FAMILY-FRIENDLY BUNGALOWS
The Sunseeker is a boutique accommodation experience in the heart of Byron Bay. With a barefoot holiday meets retro LA aesthetic - its art, colour, texture, and sunny good vibes at its core. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, and its location – just out of the hustle of town – is perfect; still close enough to the action but a little tropical oasis away from it all.
Together with a talented and inspiring team of local creatives, owners Dave and Jess Frid were able to bring their dream to life. They wanted to create an authentic holiday experience that reflected some of the best holidays they have had themselves while celebrating creative makers, artists and craftspeople in and around Byron Bay. They engaged Tory Bauer as a creative consultant (and connector, motivator, way-finder), Julia Ashwood of The Vista as interiors consultant, Lila Theodoros of Muse Muse for all things fun, playful and confident design, and Locky and his team at Land Company for the landscaping. They also sing the praises of Bec the GM who makes the Sunseeker such an extra special place.
Made up of 12 hotel-style rooms and six family-friendly bungalows, the accommodation here is cosy and charming. The Standard rooms are perfect for a pair or soloist, featuring a queen bed and an assortment of bespoke furniture pieces. The Sunseeker rooms are a bit bigger and have a closable bedroom and an enormous ochre corduroy built-in day bed which can be turned into a bed for a young child if needed. The Family Room is a clever room for a small family or a couple of friends, with two closable bedrooms and an assortment of bespoke furniture pieces. The master bedroom has a queen bed, and the second bedroom has a queen bed with a single bunk up top. All of these rooms are available on both the top and bottom floors –so you can take your pick. Leif Bath Products, Mayde Tea, Coffee Supreme, and Jilly Wine are just some of the local products found in the rooms.
The California-style beach bungalows, lined up like a little village, are small, clever and creative. Simple and charming, they come with two small bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, their own deck, Webber BBQ, private garden and outdoor, covered bath.
Why I love it
The design - by a big bunch of very talented creatives from around the Byron Shire — artists, craftspeople, makers, designers and fantasists. An incredible clash of color, texture and form
The focus on local — everything at The Sunseeker, from the furniture to the food, is sourced locally.
The complimentary, help-yourself, chilled, ambient or sparkling water available at the Tiki bar water station. There’s also an old-school ice machine in the walkway.
The rancho relaxo kidney-shaped pool.
The colour and texture of The Dusty Road’s furniture throughout.
The cute shop with its sun-seeking holiday souvenirs.
The e-bikes, which are coming soon.
The Sunseeker revitalized the hotel in the most sustainable and eco-conscious way they could — with a firm but simple respect for nature at the heart of everything they do. Some examples include the custom terrazzo bench tops made from recycled concrete found in landfills; the jagged paved entrance made with salvaged tiles from old rooms; 82 solar panels and 27kWh system powering the hotel; the 3 x 15,000-liter water tanks which service the pool and garden, and the 3,000-liter water tank for each bungalow; recycled timber is used throughout; hemp is used to insulate the bungalows and so much more
About the owners
Following a conscious decision to move their little family away from the city a few years ago, Jess and Dave Frid found themselves with the time and space to consider their next chapter. The Sunseeker is a reflection of Jess and Dave's shared creative vision and direction, and a true coming together of some of Byron Bay’s most vibrant, inspiring and imaginative creatives.
Jess and Dave wanted to imbue The Sunseeker with their own nostalgic memories of the favourite family holidays over the years, with the aim that it exudes minimal fanfare but with all the modern comforts.
What to do nearby
Coffee at the Roadhouse
Shop at Toko Toko
Long lunch at Belongil Beach Italian Food
What to bring