More than a decade ago, Tom and Emma Lane were sitting on 120 acres in the hinterland of Byron Bay, Australia. Tom had spent his childhood summers on his family’s farm in Braidwood and wanted to provide his and Emma’s four children with the same opportunities he enjoyed as a boy – space and a connection to nature.
So, armed with a healthy dose of holiday romanticism and a slew of mental sketches, the pair set out to design what they felt to be the ultimate blend of an Australian farmhouse and Spanish Finca characteristics. “We wanted to make sure we honored Australian design while honoring both cultures,” Tom explained.
After ten years of searching for the ideal location, they stumbled onto 120 acres in the Byron Bay hinterland by chance in December 2017. With an old homestead and a few outbuildings, the area was a little wild and rugged. We knew we’d found the foundations of our future sanctuary when Tom and Emma exchanged glances.
And thus, The Range was born!
Set on a private 120-acre estate in the hills behind Byon Bay, Australia, The Range is the ultimate blend of ‘Australian farmhouse meets European Summerhouse’. Its location is only moments away from the pristine beaches and the bustling café culture.
The Range is akin to having your own private resort all to yourself. This countryside haven is predominantly off the grid, collecting its own drinking water, generating its own electricity, and recycling most of its own waste. The building is also built using sustainable or recycled materials. Every rock in the building has been hand collected from the property. The Range is not just a destination, it is an experience, a way of life surrounded by nature.
The Range Experience
The Range is a six-en-suited property separated across three dwellings, with a large wet edge magnesium pool taking in the views of the rolling hills, the distance Byron Bay lighthouse and ocean. You can arrive by helicopter at the hotel’s very own private helipad or be collected from the local airport in their resident Rolls Royce.
When you arrive through the security gates you will feel instantly relaxed as you travel down the long driveway taking in the views of rolling green hills towards the main homestead. You will be greeted with a cool cocktail whilst your bags are taken to your room. You can do as little or as much as you wish. The hotel can facilitate massages, surfing lessons, farm tours, book the best restaurants, or just sit by the pool and let your private chef and team cater to your every whim.
Serenity has a home in Byron Bay
The Range features textured, soft internal and external walls inspired by the summers in Spain. These create a fantastic backdrop for photoshoots and location hire. There are other walls clad in timber that tell more of a ranch story – some say the essence of The Range is reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s artist retreat in New Mexico.
To add to the aesthetic, the ever-present stunning backdrop of nature and the rolling hills changes through every window as the day unfolds.
The aesthetical elements of The Range draw heavy inspiration from Tom and Emma Lane’s mutual admiration for Spanish architecture and the intricacies of Barcelonian design. Even the Canary Island Palm trees, which are native to the Canary Islands of Spain, have been planted at The Range as the couple’s humble ode to history. These magnificent trees remind Emma Lane of the distant lands and, most importantly, the feeling of escapism.
The Making of The Range
The Range was created by a team of dedicated creatives. The architecture was enhanced by the owners’ friend and architect Dominic Finlay Jones from DFJ architects. Dominic traveled with the owner duo to Spain in 2017, where the three of them extensively looked at Spanish architecture and Finca Houses. This visit, combined with his and our respect for Australian architecture, influenced and inspired Dom’s final design.
The construction of the buildings was led by Jakob Murphy from ‘Forty Four Constructions’ and his talented team. As a builder, Jake came armed with many creative solutions, patience, and an eye for detail, which resulted in a high standard of finish and a unique end result. The shaping of the landscape extending to all 120 acres was a collaboration between Dan from ‘Plummer and Smith’ and Shayne from ‘Booyong Rainforest Creation’. Together they have begun the process of regenerating the property.
The Pandemic Tribulations
During the lockdown, the hotel was closed. So, the team of The Range took the opportunity to work on updating their website and improving the customer experience as well as expanding the portfolio of properties with a new project called The Stone Barns.
The Future Awaits
With their sights set on continuing to provide the best of hotel experiences with their future endeavors, Tom and Emma Lane have purchased a few new properties that they plan to put under the umbrella of ‘The Lane Estates’. These properties will all have similar trademark offerings as The Range and focus on unique builds.
The Triumphant Duo
The Range is owned by serial entrepreneurs Tom and Emma Lane behind the world-famous ‘The Farm at Byron Bay’. Emma grew up in the English countryside whilst Tom grew up in Sydney on his family farm in southern NSW. Emma had a very successful international career in the branding, advertising, and marketing industry, whilst Tom had a career running a large fashion retail business. They have four kids, and many aspects of their life and business decisions revolve around their children, creating memorial experiences for them. They have a passion for sustainability and the natural world.
Tom and Emma Lane have this to say to the budding entrepreneurs who wish to establish their stronghold in the hospitality industry – “Our advice would be to focus on the experience and not the product, think about what you can offer that’s unique and then stay focused on that.”