As your hosts (Piari and Michael) we would like to share the Koonyum Range Retreat story with you. Please remember we are here for you during your stay, so please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any requests, it wil be our pleasure to assist you.
We are so proud of our magical paradise - we knew it would be our home from the moment we set eyes on it 12 years ago. Miki had been travelling abroad for years and upon returning to Australia we set about finding a place to settle down and build our future together.
After spending many years in the glorious and humble land of India together, and living with the locals between the coastline and the Himalayan Mountains, we knew as soon as we found Koonyum that it was perfect for us.
From the peace that you feel when you are driving up the winding road lined with century old trees, to the exhilaration you experience when standing on the precipice and taking in the view, this land filled our heads and hearts with visions of what you now see today.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but then again, anything worthwhile isn’t. And what a journey it has been. Having been penniless travellers, our visions were grand, but we knew it would take time to achieve our goals.
Our first steps were to haul a caravan to the top of Koonyum for us to live in and we started building our first home (which is now the Koonyum Villa) almost immediately.
Miki and I worked and saved and worked and saved, and every dollar that we made went into our creation.
Miki wanted to pour as much of himself into the property as possible, and worked very closely with the builder determined to learn as much as he could along the way. Once completed, we again continued our work to be able to start on the next villa - now called the Edge Villa. Miki learned along the way and became the builder for the remainder of the construction.
Everything about the Edge was inspired by the land and the stars and we designed the villa to maximise the landscape. Each room was thoughtfully planned and revised and rethought to make sure we got it just right. We would lie and gaze upon the stars at night and thought it would be a lovely touch to have a bedroom that allowed you to do just that. I pieced together the mosaic spa over nine months ensuring every tile was laid perfectly - a skill that was shared by a dear friend. We knew we wanted the warmth of timber and spectacular views.
Once the Edge was completed we started to promote it and with the bookings we had for that, we could now start building the Lotus Villa. It was around this time that I also started to work in a restaurant that I would later buy and run - and yes, my love of good food was born! An addiction that I now proudly shared with our gourmet-appreciating guests to have them enjoy the local produce and cuisine - there is a lot of talent right here in Byron Bay - enjoy it!
After the Lotus villa was completed and our two sons had arrived into the world, we went about building our dream home.... again, we were very hands-on and involved in every aspect with the architect, and believe we have created something truly special. Some furniture & fittings were sourced from our various trips back to India and each time we travel we come home with more inspiration.
The Main House now encapsulates everything we love in life, from the warmth of the fire, and the openness of the heart of the house flowing through to the large balcony and the seamlessness of the horizon-edged pool, to the charm of the gazebo and the luxury of the kitchen and bathrooms; every square inch means something to us.
We hope you have enjoyed our journey and you do enjoy your stay at Koonyum Range Retreat.