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“Great getaway for families, fantastic location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Somerset Apartments

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Somerset Apartments
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Neds Beach Road, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great getaway for families, fantastic location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

We travelled in January 2013 with 4 adults and 3 kids (2 couples, one family worth of kids). We wanted somewhere close to Ned's Beach as we knew the kids would love that, and to the post office which is near a restaurant and corner store/takeaway joint. Somerset is the perfect location on the island - it's a 5 minute stroll each way to both these.

We had two apartments, a three bedroom and single. They were both in the same building. The units were comfy, in ours had a double (queen?) and single bed which we used for storage, with a lounge room / kitchenette. Somerset provided a cot (and stroller) for our 20mth old, and she slept in a room by herself with 2 bunk beds, with our 6 and 8 year olds in a large room with two single beds, and grandparents in a double. The living room upstairs was larger, and it had a big bathroom and second toilet. Both apartments have a balcony which was very nice in the afternoons. Our baby still has afternoon naps, so the adults took turns staying in the units in the afternoons or going adventuring. Upstairs got pretty warm during the hottest part of the day (which is still pretty mild even compared to Sydney weather, high 20s-30°C) - am guessing they don't have insulation - so the balcony was welcome. The owners provide a shuttle bus to restaurants every evening.

All in all, I totally recommend Somerset as a great place to stay on Lord Howe.

(for longer review of our Lord Howe Island trip at http://fromabook.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/a-perfect-break-in-lord-howe-island.html)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

This accommodation is in an excellent location close to restaurants and shops. At least you don't have to climb the hill to get there. All accommodation on the island is relatively expensive and Somerset is at the value end of the price range. Lord Howe is a truly unique location and holiday experience. The staff at Somerset are excellent and really enhanced our holiday. We had flight delays and they handled everything in their wonderful laid back style. Somerset has no restaurant but there are plenty of very good restaurants on the island. Somerset provides excellent and timely transportation to restaurants. We had a great holiday on Lord Howe Island. The hospitality and friendliness of the locals including the Somerset staff was truly memorable. I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The accomodation was very basic but clean although once you arrive the rooms are not cleaned unless specifically requested. There is no air conditioning or ceiling fan which is an issue as it is very hot and humid on the island during summer.

Lord Howe is generally expensive and this is one of the better value options on the island however you don't get alot for your money.

The staff were very knowledable about everything that is happening on the island and the atmosphere is very friendly.

Lord Howe Island is all about being outdoors - walking and snorkelling - and so the accomodation, although basic, is not a bad opton.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

As seems to be the case with all guest houses, staff from Somerset Apartments greet you at the airport. As continued to be the case right across the island, the service and standards were great. These apartments are ideal for those wanting a bit of extra room, and space and facilities to prepare a simple meal. I was extremely comfortable throughout my stay, and have no hesitation recommending them.
Somerset Apartments are not the most exclusive, nor the most expensive, but well deserving of an excellent rating in their class.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shepparton, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Somerset apartments are clean and have everything you need for your stay on this idyllic island.
If you see much of the apartment then you really are not partaking of the numerous activities on the island.
There is no attached restaurant but it is only a short level walk to Anchorage which is a great option.
The bedding is very basic but still quite comfortable.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biloela, Australia
Top Contributor
191 reviews 191 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
230 helpful votes 230 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Booked over the internet through Oxley Travel - Port Macquarie NSW. Normally I would do my own bookings, but because only a maximum of 400 people can stay at Lord Howe Island at any one time, it was easier for the agent to tee up the flights and accommodation for us. It worked out at about the same price I could organise it myself.

Luggage limit is 14kg - so it pays to see what is included at your accommodation for your use. For instance - Somerset supplied backpacks, water bottles, umbrellas and beach towells so we did not have to bring these things. Also bring a small torch if one is not supplied. No street lighting.

On arrival to the island we were very warmly welcomed by Nobbs - our bus driver- and he gave us an informative ride to our accommodation. As we had come through the airport gate we were directed to our driver and all of the other accommodation places' transportation were also there to meet their guests so there is no need to stress about this aspect.

We stayed in a one bedroom standard unit (Hibiscus 8). On arrival there had been fresh flowers placed on the balcony and in the unit which was a lovely touch.

There is a fridge, microwave, toaster, jug, crockery, cutlery. No hotplates - but there are BBQs just outside - if you don't wish to spend extra money on the deluxe/superior units - just to get a hotplate.

Separate bedroom and living area with a day bed. TV (4 channels) .Bathroom with shower, toilet and hand basin. There is no room around the hand basin to place your toiletries. You either have to place them on top of the medicine cabinet or out of the bathroom.

Please note - there is no heating, ceiling fans or air con. There is a small portable cooling fan. By keeping the windows open we found that there was sufficient ventilation though - but the maximum temp was only about 22 degress celcius during our visit. Not sure what it would be like on hotter days.

Outside the unit, there is a verandah with table and chairs. Each verandah is separated by a lattice partition. So if you don't mind the fact that you may not have a lot of privacy or you will hear the conversation of others, or perhaps be subjected to cigarette smoke, this is something to take into consideration. We did not have any issues during our visit, as we spent most of our time away from the unit.

But in saying this, the verandah overlooked a lovely garden and was a good place to view the bird life. There are also bike racks in the garden to place your bike if you hire one.

The island management are very serious about the waste management aspect. Guests need to separate out their rubbish and place in the proper bins.

There is only one washing machine and limited line space and pegs etc for drying. We found that some guests had used so many pegs on their clothing that there were insufficient available for us to hang our clothes. The other thing was the people were leaving there washing in the machine and not checking to see if it was finished thus making it a problem for others to use the machine without removing someone elses clothing. Really only minor issues in the scheme of things - but a pain if you are trying to get some washing doneand dried in a short time frame.

The property is only a short walk to the post office, Thompsons General Store where you can buy some groceries or takeaway food, the Anchorage restaurant and a couple of other small shops. You can also walk to the Lagoon in one direction or to Neds Beach in the other direction.

Transport is also provided to the island restaurants every night at 6.30 pm. You just need to write your name down and get on the transport. The restaurants will then arrange for your transfer back to Somerset after your meal.

Don't miss the pie night at the bowls club or maybe a meal at Pandanus or the restaurant at Milky Way. We enjoyed these places and thought they were good value.

Please note - there are no locks on accommodation doors at this establishment and I understand this is common amongst other places. Entry was through a glass sliding door. You can lock yourself in, but there are no keys to lock the unit once you leave. I did not feel like we our possessions were under threat while we were there and we were out most of the time hiking the trails.

Took a couple of quick dips in the beautiful lagoon water - but it was a tad chilly at the time. Also went and fed the fish at Ned's beach - very enjoyable - you can take some bread for them or buy fish food for a dollar coin at the beach. Walked up the road at night to hear and see the nesting shearwaters - they make such an unusual sound - very interesting. Take your torch.

Did a few of the hiking trails - I would say the best views are on the trek to Malabar. If you cannot cope with going down lots of stairs, beware of the route from Kims Lookout to North Bay or back to Old Settlement Beach. (It becomes clearer when you look at the island map.)

When you are walking along the Lagoon Rd - to go to places like the museum or bowls club - be aware that there is a track that goes along the shore and this will get you off the road and out of the way of cars and bicycles and you will also get a nice view of the lagoon.

If you are contemplating a turtle viewing trip - you can also consider the free alternative of going to Old Settlement Beach and seeing the turtles swmiming up to the beach most afternoons.

We also did a very informative island bus tour ($40) with Peter (Chase & Thyme). He also has a slide show ($5) one night a week and tells you all about the island's birds and also the old flying boats, etc. Very interesting and we thought all good value.

As you would expect, groceries, etc are not cheap on the island so this should be taken into account when you are deciding to cook for yourself or go to a restaurant for dinner.

No mobile phone reception and the internet at the museum was both expensive and very slow.

We did enjoy our stay on the island and would go back to Somerset again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

We stayed 6 nights at Somerset apartments in September. Previously on other visits to Lord Howe Island we had stayed in catered acommodation.
We found that the location was great with very close cycling distance to the lagoon and Ned's Beach. The standard of accommodation in our one bedroom superior apartment was mixed.
The bathroom had had a good revamp for a small area with a great shower.
The bedroom was of a good size and the bed was comfortable, but the bed linen could have been more modern ( eg a doona).
The kitchen/lounge area was quite spartan with 2 cane chairs and an old small box TV adjacent to a small circular dining table. While this was adequate for spending minimal time in the apartment if the weather was rainy then time here could have been a bit of a drag.
The staff were very obliging with transport to evening meals and any requests but a case of wine pre ordered and delivered went unnoticed in one of their sheds until a few days after arrival which reduced our ability to enjoy all of its contents.
The cleanliness of the apartmnent was very good as was the condition and tidiness of the garden and surrounds.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Somerset Apartments

Address: Neds Beach Road, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
Location: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Amenities:
Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Somerset is perfectly situated between Neds Beach and the Lagoon, on a level area of the Island, allowing easy walking and biking to nearby shops, restaurants and the Visitor Centre. The units are nestled in subtropical palm groves alive with splashes of colour from Hawaiian hibiscus and fragrant frangipani flowers. Somerset is the ideal location for visitors wanting to explore and discover the natural attractions that have made Lord Howe Island famous. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Somerset Apartments Hotel Lord Howe Island

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