For the ultimate luxury beachside accommodation at Wategos Beach, look no further than the world-famous boutique hotel Rae’s On Wategos!
Located in the legendary bohemian surf town of Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia – Raes on Wategos epitomises luxurious Australian beachside chic.
The boutique hotel consists of a villa, two penthouses and four suites, all of which are individually designed and focus around the theme of relaxed yet sophisticated coastal living.
It’s the ideal place to base yourself in Byron Bay if you want to be close to the beach and the action, but still have plenty of privacy in peaceful surroundings.
If you’re looking for the perfect boutique beach accommodation that combines effortless style with luxury escapism, then Rae’s On Wategos is the place for you.
Where Is Raes On Wategos Located In Byron Bay?
Rae’s is located mere steps from the iconic surf beach Wategos Beach – one of Byron Bay’s best beaches, and one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia!
The grass lawn leads right down to the sand and crystal-clear waters, where pods of dolphins regularly make an appearance.
Rae’s is as beachfront as they come, with direct access to Watego’s famous break – so go on and feel free walking to the beach barefoot just like the locals do.
With its long right-hander and gentle breaks, Watego’s Beach is perfect for beginner surfers as well as long-boarders.
Rae’s is a short 5-10 minute drive to the centre of Byron Bay (or a 50 minute stroll along the beach tracks), plus Cape Byron lighthouse and Little Wategos Beach are just moments away.
It’ll take around 20 minutes to walk to the lighthouse, and around 15 minutes to walk to The Pass – both of which are perfect sunset photography spots in Byron (plus The Pass is another great surf spot in Byron).
Byron Bay epitomises Australia’s bohemian beachside culture and is a popular stop on any East Coast Australia itinerary.
A favourite destination for Aussies as well as international tourists, Byron Bay attracts people from all walks of life – from celebrities to surfers, backpackers to rich folk, spiritual people to foodies to those who just want to get on the sauce – this place seems to appeal to everyone.
When Was Raes On Wategos Built?
Raes was built as a home in the 1960’s, on the site where the Watego family lived. The property was built for Byron Bay local Ruth Harris – with the vision for it to be a unique, grand and eccentric home for her.
Ruth was pretty eccentric and loved Ruth’s Mediterranean Gothic designs – which explains why Rae’s looks like a mix between a Greek Villa and a Spanish Mission-style building from the outside.
Penthouse 1 was Ruth’s bedroom, and legend has it that her garden was designed by family friend Salvadore Dali!
The hotelier and restauranteur Vincent Rae bought Ruth’s house in 1984 and turned it into Rae’s. 30 odd years later, Anthony Catalano bought Rae’s and renovated it to what it is now.
What Is Raes On Wategos Beach Accommodation Like?
Just by looking at Rae’s from the outside you know it is special. With its grand appearance and white curvaceous facade it certainly stands out compared to the modern beach houses on Marine Parade.
And Rae’s is just as impressive inside as it is outside, with Conde Nast Traveler even ranking Rae’s as one of the world’s top 25 hotels several years back.
Rae’s has only 7 rooms which certainly adds to its privacy and exclusivity. A split-level villa, two penthouses (complete with open fireplaces) and four suites comprise Rae’s seven individually designed rooms.
Rae’s also has a large and secluded swimming pool for guests to relax in, and a day-spa designed by world-renowned Marionne de Candia, who manages both Rae’s and the spa.
Marionne was ranked as a top 5 world-class facialist by Net-A-Porter magazine, so a relaxing facial here wouldn’t be a bad idea!
Of course, Rae’s always gets booked out well in advance, so definitely book ahead. Many a celebrity enjoy coming back to stay at Rae’s when they visit Australia, including Elle McPherson, Russell Crowe, Buz Lurhrmann (who once even wrote a movie script here!) and Lenny Kravitz.
Don’t let this list put you off though and think that a stay here in out of the question if you’re not part of the rich and famous gang.
Rae’s does offer reasonable rates during low season, so definitely contact the hotel for any special offers and room rates.
What Are The Rooms Like At Raes On Wategos?
Each of the rooms are unique, but with similar aesthetics of Italian marble floors, Javanese teak doors and Moroccan-inspired alcoves.
The interiors are light, matched with natural materials such as timber and rattan and bespoke items from Italy, which gives it a relaxed yet modern-luxury seaside feel.
The rooms at Rae’s all have private terraces, providing lighthouse and ocean views. Artwork by Byron Bay locals adorn the walls, and the grand sunken stone bathtubs are very appealing.
Rae’s feels more like you’re staying in a grand beach home as opposed to a hotel. It’s comfortable and inviting and has everything you would expect at home, along with all the luxuries and services you would expect from a hotel.
It’s minimalistic and unpretentious, yet utterly classy and luxurious.
Raes On Wategos Beach Accommodation
We stayed in the Penthouse 2 – the largest one, which is the ultimate beachside penthouse retreat in Byron Bay!
With an open-plan suite including a dining room, living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathooms (one featuring a huge marble bathtub!), it was so spacious and luxurious and comfortably accommodated 4 people.
The beds were king-size and the master bedroom had an en-suite.
The views of Wategos Beach from the two spacious patios were stunning, with sun loungers and a table to enjoy the complimentary breakfast alfresco. Plus the daybed balcony and private pool access was very convenient.
What Facilities Are There At Raes At Wategos?
The staff are very professional and personable and make you feel at home. As Rae’s only hosts a few guests at a time, they’ll always remember your face and any special requests you have and go out of their way to help you.
They are also great at recommending the best things to do in the area, if you need help knowing the best beaches, walks, restaurants or shops to visit!
In addition, a member of staff comes and does the best turndown service I’ve ever experienced.
They’ll tidy up, pop your slippers by the bed, place small spray bottles of Rae’s sleep mist on your pillows and put a candle-heated teapot out for you with some delicious herbal tea inside so you can wind down before bed.
The pool at Rae’s is surrounded by cabanas and daybeds and cabanas so you can still have privacy. Plus you can also order food here from the Dining Room menu.
The day spa is very relaxing, and Australia’s only spa that uses Santa Maria Novella products, which are based on Italian pharmacies centuries-old healing rituals.
Treatments range from two hour head-to-toe massages to Vichy Showers and facials.
Laundry services are available if necessary, as well as parking, room service from the bar or restaurant, as well as complimentary wifi.
The rooms at Raes on Wategos are not suitable for wheelchair users.
Raes On Wategos Prices
Room rates vary according to availability and season, but you will struggle to get a suite for under $600 per night in the low season. In peak season you can expect to pay a few hundred extra dollars per room for the night.
Children under 5 years old stay free – extra beds are charged at $100 per night.
Raes On Wategos Food & Drink
Whilst Byron Bay has many fabulous bars and restaurants, make sure to have lunch, dinner or drinks and nibbles at least once at Rae’s on-site restaurant or bar.
Eat delicious meals at Rae’s Dining Room, or enjoy a light bite and drink at the outdoor Cellar Bar.
The 50 seat Rae’s Dining Room serves Australian food with a Mediterranean and seafood influence, and they have vegetarian and vegan menus available.
The outdoor restaurant sits in a fabulous location overlooking the beach and is open for lunch and dinner.
Rae’s bar and restaurant have a greally great vibe and ensures that Rae’s doesn’t stay inaccessible to people who aren’t staying at Rae’s but would still like to experience what it has to offer.
Everyday passers-by are encouraged to drop in at the beach bar and enjoy a nice cool drink and snack by the beach.
It’s great that the food and drinks here are very reasonably priced, so even if you can’t afford to stay at Rae’s you can still get to enjoy its unique vibe.
The menu is often changing at Rae’s Dining Room so there’s always something new to try, plus a children’s menu is also available for the little ones.
The choice of breakfast options are served a la carte – you can choose to go down to the restaurant or have your breakfast brought up to your balcony.
With all the options available, there’s no need for guests to ever leave Wategos!
How To Get To Byron Bay
Ballina is the nearest airport to Byron Bay. If you will be staying at Raes they will organise complimentary private transfers for you.
If you’ll be staying elsewhere you can catch the Byron Easy Bus from Ballina Airport to Byron Bay for $50 – it will drop you off at your accommodation and then pick you up again when you’re ready to depart.
Alternatively if you’ll be driving to Byron Bay, it’s approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Brisbane.
Driving from Sydney will take 8 hours, so many people choose to visit on an East Coast or NSW road trip, stopping off at many other surfing towns along the way such as Burleigh Heads, Yamba, Crescent Head, Port Macquarie and Seal Rocks.
Things To Do In Byron Bay
Whilst you’re here in Byron, make sure to peel yourself away from Wategos and get some activities booked!
Whether you want to go horse riding on the beach, visit some of the boutique clothing stores and cafes, go snorkelling at nearby Julian Rocks, kayaking with dolphins or even plan a day trip to wacky Nimbin or Crystal Castle – there is so much to do in the area.
Rae’s has bodyboards and longboards that guests can use. Plus Rusty Miller – a local surfing legend offers private lessons and coaching.
Who Is Raes At Wategos Accommodation Best Suited For?
Whilst on the surface Rae’s at Wategos may appear to be just suited for romantic couples, in reality the boutique hotel caters to a wide range of clientele.
From families looking to enjoy afternoons on the beach, to surfers looking to enjoy the world-class waves on the doorstep, to groups of friends and couples young and old looking to enjoy the unique surroundings.
Whatever you’re heading to Byron for, Rae’s is sure to step up to the mark.
Is Raes On Wategos Accommodation Worth The Price Tag?
Rae’s is most certainly worth splashing out if your budget allows. This place is really one of a kind and an iconic place you shouldn’t miss!
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!