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“A wonderfully welcoming haven near the turtles” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arajilla Retreat

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Arajilla Retreat
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Lagoon Road | Old Settlement Beach, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia   |  
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“A wonderfully welcoming haven near the turtles”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Had been wanting to visit Lord Howe for a long time and had often considered staying at Capella. Capella was not available for the full week we were looking for and Arajilla did not disappoint. In fact, I feel it was the preferable option overall.

The location was central and beautiful and the food and service was outstanding. About 100 metres to the gorgeous Old Settlement Beach and turtles literally swimming around us! Also the best position from which to undertake large variety of scenic walks, and within easy walking distance of the little town centre, Ned's Beach, a variety of tour operators etc.

Nothing was too much trouble and they catered wonderfully for my gluten-free and other specific dietary requests. The menus at dinner were especially creative and we enjoyed the complimentary wines and canapes before dinner. The packed lunches were also of an excellent quality and there was an overall healthy, wholefood approach with plenty of yumminess! My one comment would be some of the music played at breakfast and lunch in the restaurant - some classical and other peaceful options would add even more to the relaxed ambience.

The accommodation was very comfortable...nice linen, good bed, upstairs room with TV and videos (with a rather awkward couch with impractical pillows), well cleaned each day. Probably would suggest thicker curtains at front to provide privacy and block out light if required.

The bikes and snorkelling gear and recommendations were great.

The spa was a little disappointing in comparison to everything else on offer. The treatments were very expensive and we were wanting deep tissue massages rather than Ayurvedic style massage. That being said, there was good knowledge about Ayurdeda from Scott and the spa will no doubt offer a broader range of treatments over time.

Bill, Jan, Kate, Harry, Rebecca and all the team were incredibly customer-service oriented and always accommodating, warm and smiling. It is a family business built up over 25 years and there is a real family atmosphere as a result - laid-back, friendly ....and importantly, very high quality and attention to detail.

Arajilla is excellent. Highly recommended. We will definitely be back. Congratulations!

Room Tip: If you want separate space for TV and reading then choose a newly refurbished Banyan Tree room
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thank you Tania for writing such a wonderful review about Arajilla.
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that we made your stay a memorable one.

We are centrally located which does make it easy to get out and explore the island without too much difficulty.

Our team will be happy to hear about the lovely comments you made about them. They all strive to do their best and make you feel at home during your stay.

We understand at Arajilla that you have a weight limit of 14kg for luggage so we do our utmost to provide everything from beach umbrella's to bikes and snorkeling gear so you have all the tools to explore this amazing idyllic place.

The day spa is Ayurvedic based which has a strong emphasis on treatments being holistic, many of these treatments are not found in main stream day spas. We do get a lot of great feed back on how these treatments have helped peoples overall well being.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Arajilla in the near future.
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

I really wanted to like this place even before I arrived. I fell off my bike and badly hurt my arm the weekend before we were due to stay. Although it was a long weekend and I only wanted to know what the cost would be, they insisted on changing our booking without any cost at all. I was dubious about the all inclusive deal re meals but it really works well on Lord Howe. Especially the lunch packs. They do really good quality food without trying too hard or over feeding you and the service was great. Australia always struggles to compete on service but these guys really did good service without losing the Australian touch. The location was beautiful and the extras like bikes and snorkelling gear and recommendations really helped. 2 minutes to the beach and turtles! Would love to do it all again for longer. The only downside was the spa. Third rate massage and expensive. You couldn't book together and I thought they were going to deep fry me they used so much hot oil. No options other than Ayuvedic and I'm pretty sure that is not supposed to mean fish and chips - which I was pretty close to by the end of it!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
It is wonderful to hear what a fantastic holiday you had.

We were more than happy to move your booking due to your bike accident.

Due to our location being so isolated it is better to have all your meals provided for, you can take your lunch with you in the morning, go all day then return in the afternoon knowing your evening meal is already prepared. Our chef prides himself on creating delicious and exciting food with menu changing daily.

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your massage the spa is Ayurvedic based and treatments are holistic in nature. The majority of clients do enjoy their massages and leave feeling rejuvenated.

Old Settlement beach is two minutes away and is very special with turtles grazing on sea grasses close to shore.

We look forward to having you stay with us again one day soon
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

We recently spent 5 nights at Arajilla Retreat and enjoyed every minute. The rooms are well equipped and very attractive. All the staff are friendly and genuinely make you feel that nothing is too much trouble. The food is fantastic, beautifully presented and delicious. The lack of keys takes some getting used to, you have to completely re think your security issues and accept it is safe! Take your bike and a BBQ pack lunch provided by the chefs and cook your own steak and fish by the beach, unforgettable.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
We appreciate you taking the time to write a review. We’re delighted you found your stay with us so enjoyable – this is what we strive for! Thank you for your comments regarding our friendly staff and delicious food, we will be sure to pass this on to our team. Our lunch option to take a bbq pack provided by our fabulous chefs to enjoy by the beach is a great way to spend the day, we agree with you - unforgettable!
We hope you will return again soon.
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

We've just returned from an amazing week on Lord Howe and staying at Arajilla was probably the best accommodation decision we've ever made. Bill and the team couldn't be faulted in their attention to detail and their dedicated sense of service. Special mentions to Michelle, Harry, Rebecca and Kate, plus, of course, the Chef (Chefs?) who never disappointed us each day with a creative and delicious selection of healthy and tasty dishes. Arajilla is in a terrific location near a beach and so close, by foot or bike, to all amenities and sights. We stayed in a Kentia room and it was very well furnished and cleaned each day to an exceptionally high standard. Loved the mini-bar and all the yummies in it. A quiet and relaxing place to stay.
If you are weighing up between Capella and Arajilla - keep in mind that Capella is quite a distance from everything you might want to see and do - such as tour starting points.
We highly recommend Arajilla- we'll be BACK!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thank you Jennifer, for your wonderful review! We are absolutely thrilled you had such an amazing week at Arajilla! Our team are fabulous - they work hard, and their service and dedication to ensuring guests have a memorable stay is flawless. It makes us very proud to read your review. Our creative, delicious and healthy dishes never disappoint – we completely agree with you, our Chef and kitchen staff are simply brilliant! On behalf of our team at Arajilla, thank you.
I was pleased to note you mention our location as we believe it to be the best on the Island.. right by Old Settlement Beach where turtles swim, a short walk to Ned’s Beach, the local village and all amenities including local tour operators – however beautifully tucked away, nestled amongst the Banyan trees and Kentia palms of Lord Howe Island. Perfect!
We look forward to you returning Jennifer.
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead
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Ballarat, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

We stayed at Arajilla for our honeymoon recently, we had the most lovely relaxing time and were very well looked after by the staff from the groundsman to the lovely housekeeping staff, special mentions to Harry, Rebecca and Kate who were all so lovely, down to earth and happy to help!

The accommodation is very comfortable, the only downfall being lack of privacy in the Banyan Suites as the bedroom is downstairs and there is only a very sheer curtain on the front door which leads to the deck and then the path where guests walk past. Other than that we loved everything, especially the food, every meal was amazing from breakfast to lunch and dinner, we looked forward to dinner especially to see what wonderful meals the chefs had come up with! We really loved the BBQ packs, everything you needed in a backpack to cook your own lunch at one of the many beautiful locations around the island!

We left feeling very relaxed and refreshed and will definitely return one day!

Thank you.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us at Arajilla. We are delighted to hear that you had a relaxing honeymoon that was complimented by the service and food provided by our staff. We have passed your words onto the team at Arajilla.
We are sorry that you did not mention that you had a problem with the curtain so that we could have given you a choice of another suite. We have new curtains on order but the delivery has been held up by the long summer break taken by businesses.
We wish you both happiness and success in your new journey of married life.
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead
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Canberra, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We visited Lord Howe first in 2004, saw Arajilla and its very attractive looking accommodation and situation close to an ideal swimming beach. We had a meal at the restaurant and thought the cooking superb, We dreamt of it as the ideal place to bring the whole family - children and grandchildren. Ten years later we fulfilled this dream and were not the least disappointed. The accommodation for the three families was perfect. The staff was very attentive to all our needs, especially those of my rather frail husband and the inspired meals, four star quality, left nothing to be desired.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, January 19, 2014
We were absolutely thrilled to read your review Bridget, thank you so much! It is not always easy within the hectic pace of life to get the family together ~ relax, unwind and enjoy life as one. To hear you fulfilled this dream at Arajilla makes us very proud. Arajilla is a very special place to be, we are delighted your family had such a fabulous stay.
Your favourable mention of our location, our restaurant, our attentive staff.. thank you, this is what we strive for – as you note within your review ‘nothing left to be desired’.
Please come again, we look forward to seeing you!
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

My wife and I visited Lord Howe Island again for the second time at the end of November last year and we stayed at Arajilla again which was perfect again!! We stayed at the Kentia suite before this time we chose the Banyan suite which had been meticulously renovated and it really took our breath away when we first stepped into the suite. You can tell all the furnitures, decor and bathroom have been carefully handcrafted with care.We had some issues with the car hire which was quickly resolved by the friendly and patient staff (Thank you to Janne who managed to juggle her hectic schedule to pick us up at the Ned's beach and a big star goes to Rebecca who always welcomed guests with such lovely smiles!).
The food at the Arajilla restaurant was also sumptuous and absolutely divine!
We also did the massages at the Spa which was relaxing and wonderful!
Cannot wait be back again to this piece of paradise!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat, responded to this review, January 19, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us Peter. We love to have guests return, and we’re delighted you enjoyed Arajilla Lodge just as much the second time around! We are so happy with your feedback regarding our newly refurbished Banyan Suite’s, to know we took your breath away – makes us smile with pride, and we agree with you, they are fabulous!
Our Ayurvedic Spa is unique to Lord Howe Island, truly uplifting and luxurious and the perfect way to relax and unwind, wonderful to know you were able to enjoy a massage.
Thank you for noting our beautiful food and fabulous staff – we will ensure your comments are passed on to our team.
We look forward to having you stay at Arajilla for your third visit to the Island!
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead
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Additional Information about Arajilla Retreat

Address: Lagoon Road | Old Settlement Beach, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arajilla Retreat 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned for its warm, friendly service and laid back ambience, Arajilla Retreat encapsulates the very essence of Lord Howe Island, offering guests a haven of tranquility and relaxation. Located on Old Settlement Beach, Arajilla Retreat is nestled under a canopy of Kentia Palms and Banyan Trees ~ meandering pathways lead through beautiful gardens to the beach, to the luxurious Ayurvedic Day Spa, to Arajilla's spacious suites and renowned Restaurant. Explore the extraordinary scenery and wildlife of World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island.. Be as active or as passive as you like ~ bushwalk, mountain climb, swim, surf, dive, fish, cycle around the island, play golf, lie on a deserted beach, enjoy a massage, savour fine food and wine ~ it's completely up to you! And it is all less than a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arajilla Retreat Hotel Lord Howe Island
Arajilla Retreat Lord Howe Island

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