Design Travel explores the interplay between design and travel. It might be a new hotel for business travellers, an airline collaborating with a world-renowned architect or a product designed specifically to enhance the travel experience. Our brief is to make you want to be there and inspire you to seek out incredible design examples when you travel, or in your own city. 

Stephanie Williams, is an interior designer,  writer and travel communicator. Stephanie was the first editor of Qantas epiQure and her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, television and online.  She also has a love of fashion design, borne while working for Comme des Garcons

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RAW LUXE: Byron Bay Hotels Part Two, The Bower

RAW LUXE: Byron Bay Hotels Part Two, The Bower

Get set for a gorgeous stream of images coming your way today as Emily McAuliffe checks out the second hotel in our three part Byron Bay series.

The Bower redefines the concept of an Aussie motel by pushing no-frills into sleek sophistication. Fourteen ground-level suites stretch along the property, in addition to a cottage, house and barn. When the four owners gutted and restored the old motel on the site, they drew inspiration from the architecture of New York. Taliah Lowry, who handled the concept and design, spent much of her childhood in the states and was drawn to the look and feel of the Big Apple’s Bowery neighbourhood. “I adore the squat-shaped buildings with their distinct lines and add-on structures, such as the imposing awnings, which provide such a grand presence from street view and a moody privacy shield from within,” she says.  


In the suites, heavy black furniture and accessories are paired with crisp white walls and linen to neatly balance darkness and light. An acute attention to detail creates a strong yet effortless sense of style with cool, mismatched artwork, stacks of books and odd pots and vases sprouting soft greenery.“We wanted to combine the barefoot ambiance of Byron Bay with the discreet elegance of New York’s boutique accommodation,” say Lowry. “It’s luxury meets laidback.”


One of the best examples of clever design is in the barn at the back of the property. A high-pitched roof supported by reclaimed timber beams gives country-inspired panache, while a freestanding tub sits beneath a glass ceiling to let the outdoors in. There is also a hint of industrialism with distressed grey walls and rustic exposed-pipe taps. “Like our guests, I love the pure luxury of laying in the egg bath looking at the stars through the palm trees,” say Lowry, who notes the Bower Barn as one of her favourite parts of the hotel.


After a bumper opening at the end of 2017, The Bower looks on track to draw crowds of design-loving travellers this year. Book your getaway at

BEACH BLISS: Byron Bay Hotels Part One, Elements of Byron

BEACH BLISS: Byron Bay Hotels Part One, Elements of Byron