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“Probably the best place I have ever stayed” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Capella Lodge

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Capella Lodge
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4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Lagoon Road, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Royston, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Probably the best place I have ever stayed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2011

We had never heard of Lord Howe Island and it was recommended by our Travel Agent, all I can say is what a find! The island is a hidden gem with the nicest locals and overall attitude and ambience I have ever experienced.

This was topped off by Capella Lodge.

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we have never been made to feel so special. The attention to detail of everyone who works there was incredible, but what made it even more special was that it felt like you were old friends, even though it was our first visit. As an example, my wife is vegetarian and each night she had her own special menu. The options were so perfect she had to keep asking to carry meals over for the next days menu so that she could experience them. The fact that the staff knew this before we arrived even though we hadnt told them was amazing - I am not sure how they new! Whatever we needed or asked for was easily accomodated, and it never felt like any trouble for the staff. People remembered what you were up to for the day so when you got back it was like being met by friends again. It would be unfair to single out any of the girls, or Mark, as all were excellent; attentive, and couldnt do enough for us.

As the lodge only has nine rooms we did have reservations that it may be too intimate, and the staff would be fussing over you. Please be assured that this isnt the case. Everyone measures their input so that they are there to talk to you, but its up to you how much you interact with them.

The island itself is beautiful and the ethos of not having to lock everything up due to no crime on the island was amazing, refreshing and in modern day society reminded us how things really should be. The values of the locals and their approach to their island is a lesson to everyone that they appreciate what they have and dont want to lose any of it.

I cant recommend the lodge enough.

A few quick tips:-

1. The flight luggage allowance of 14kg each is fully enforced. We had a rush at Sydney airport repacking our essentials into one case. Our other case would have been put on standby to arrive at a later date, but luckily the flight wasn't full and it all arrived together.

2. Get on a bike and take the time to explore the island, we didnt do it early enough and only found a perfect empty beach on the last day.

3. Be aware that flights on and off the island can be cancelled due to the weather, and you could be spending another night on the island. This didn't happen to us, but it happened once while we were there, and made us realise that if we had a connecting flight back to back with this flight, we would have missed it. If you have importantant connecting flights, it may be worth giving yourself a bit of leeway just in case.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Mollymook
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

Spending 8 nights in luxury at Capella was a wonderful way to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary . However, having the best views on the Island, the best food and wine selection on offer only can be a great package if the staff are professional, attentive and fun to be with. Robyn and Anna are amazing at providing their guest a special attention to detail and Bree was a breath of fresh air providing us with daily comic relief.
Go girls you are the best.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2011

After spending nearly a month in Australia one of our last stops was Lord Howe Island. We chose this island because it is off the beaten path, elite and we heard the diving was great! Capella Lodge is the highest rated hotel and being that this was our honeymoon we decided to go with this hotel and the Lidgebird Pavilion which is the largest suite.

After the 2 hours flight from Sydney we were greeted by Robin who drove us to the lodge. The bags were soon to follow and magically appeared in our room. We met a few of the staff members, had drinks and made our way to the beautiful room. The suite was 2 floors, had an outside shower and bath and it's own plunge pool. The deck was large and comfortable. The living area was open to the outside and if you really want to you could close it off (but who would want to). Upstairs was the bedroom with a half bath and a beautiful balcony. The bed was comfortable and it was great to wake up and see the island and all it's glory!

The service here was second to none. Everyone knows your name, your likes and dislikes and by the end of your stay you feel like you are not only leaving paradise but your friends. The all inclusive puts any other all inclusive spot to shame. Breakfasts were ever changing and delicious and Annie knew how to make amazing coffees. Dinner consisted of 3 courses with options ranging from wonderfully fresh caught local fish to amazing fillets of beef. Desserts and cheese plate were always a hit!! In the evening there was a cocktail hour where Bridget would make outstanding concoctions!!

Activities on the island can range from small hikes, full day hikes, biking, swimming, surfing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. We really enjoyed Ned's beach and the plethora of sea life there. The diving was amazing and we would recommend getting at least 2 dives in (we did 4). There is countless things to do and the staff will make sure you have all the information you need and have a great time!!

Also, the spa at the hotel, although tiny, is amazing!!! Sarah is great and she gets booked pretty quickly!! Make sure you book in advance if you can. She is AWESOME!!

We cannot say enough good about this place!! The room, the amenities, the island and most importantly the staff really makes Capella a wonderful place!!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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Kusnacht, Switzerland
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2011

We were guests at Capella Lodge for four days in February of 2011. I had heard about this small hotel from a good friend of mine who celebrated her honeymoon here ten years ago. Apparently a lot has changed, most of it for the better if that is possible. When I told my friend about how nice it was, she was pretty surprised because she thought it was wonderful way back when. What really knocked her over though, were the prices. This would be my only real complaint. I honestly think this hotel is really very expensive for what it is - but, having said that, the other side of the coin is that because it costs so much, only the nicest, coolest people actually make it over there and that was what made our stay so nice.
I won't go on and on about Mark and Libby because what everyone else wrote is true: they are lovely, lovely people and they put so much tender loving care into Capella that it is hard to write any negative thing about their baby (even though they are not technically the owners).
Positives:
Location!!! Lord Howe Island is so beautiful it is just worth it to see once in your life. If you are lucky enough to be able to get here - do it!
Food and drink: I really enjoyed the meals we had, although I am not a foodie (warning: they were nice and tasty but not special/special), and I especially liked the wines and the quality and variety of what was on offer. Also, I thought it was really nice that every night there was a different cocktail to sample.
General Ambience: I loved it - I really liked the chillout vibe and look of the place and thought it was cool that there were amazing views to be seen everywhere.
Walking and Exploring: There is so much to do as far as just making walks or taking hikes and seeing interesting things - you could stay here for weeks probably and not finish it all. Also, since the island is at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, the underwater scene is very interesting. We went snorkeling and saw lots of fish - I chickened out when a fellow snorkeler saw a turtle, didn't realize it was a turtle, freaked out and got out of the water. Then a sudden rainstorm came and soaked us all so we just went back to shore and to the hotel for hot chocolate.

Slightly Negative:
Spiders: These are everywhere! Everywhere! If you have a thing about spiders, don't come to LHI. They are really everywhere and I can't say that enough. I am really afraid of them and so it was hard for me to stay here for that reason. On the upside, these spiders are NOT poisonous, just ugly, and the ones that hang over the trees (ick!) will not come down from their webs - I promise. I know because I watched them obsessively every day. I swear they didn't move. The problem was the OTHER spiders - the ones that lived on the ground. They did like to move around, and especially at night! In four days we had two of them in our room so that was very disappointing. This leads me to my biggest negative criticism of Capella Lodge: There are far too many ways for creatures to get into the rooms. The doors to the rooms, while quaint, are simply wooden doors with louvres that don't have screens to protect you from anything that might wander in. Fine if it were the Caribbean but... er, this is Australia. Most foreign visitors do not know what is dangerous and what isn't, and it isn't funny or nice if you get out of the shower at 9 in the evening and find yourself face to face with a creature (the main door is right next to the bathroom)! Forget asking for help trying to kill/catch anything also, as I was basically laughed at and told to find a glass and a piece of paper (forced my husband to do it).
So the rooms are very very lovely to look at on the website, but as far as being useful they aren't very. The sitting room was especially disappointing to me because the two sofas were actually futons pushed against the wall. Despite this, we were not allowed to have our entire family stay just in this room. Hmmmm.... Just to re-iterate, we paid AUD 2'000 per night for one room, times two, because we had two adults and two teens and one eleven year old who was also too freaked out to sleep downstairs with whatever was going to crawl in with him. To me, this was a waste of a room because we really only used the one room which was plenty large enough for all of us. So, two empty futons (in two rooms because the other room had them also).
Also, we had a bit of bad luck because there was some kind of heavy weather which meant lots of wind which meant that the special ceiling-to-floor blinds would bang violently against the window frame if you left the sliding windows open for a bit of air. Or leave them shut and get very hot at night which we ended up doing (not so bad).
Bicycle/Golf Cart thing: There are only two golf carts to use at Capella - one comes automatically with the most expensive room and the other one is for rent first come first serve. Otherwise, guests can either use bikes or walk. We walked until the last day, when my family biked (I do not bike). I thought this was a big negative, but after going over it, I decided it really isn't. I think it is a good thing that there aren't nine groups of guests whizzing around on golf carts, disturbing the peace and natural beauty of the island. Maybe one more cart would be nice, but on the whole, the bikes are nice, and I really, really enjoyed the walks. It was very special and cool, and there was a lot to see on the way to wherever a person wanted to go.
Service: I really like (like every other reviewer has) Mark and Libby, but they can't be everywhere, let's face it. I thought the two ladies doing the housekeeping were wonderful. They were always smiling and seemed relaxed even when they had a LOT to do (these rooms have two floors so they must be a killer to keep clean). I think everyone else working there were fine but there is always room for improvement.
As we were leaving, I believe Libby told my husband that Capella was gearing up for some refurbishment, so that hopefully means improvements to the doors and maybe also to the futon question (free-standing sofas???).
We will most likely go back because everyone in my family fell in love with Lord Howe Island - and I am sure when we do it will be even more fantastic than it was this trip.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah1971_9, Public Relations Manager at Capella Lodge, responded to this review, March 23, 2011
Thanks so much for posting this review of your recent stay at Capella Lodge. We're glad you liked so many aspects of the Lodge - the service, the food, the fabulous managers Mark and Libby, the ambience and Lord Howe Island itsself! We're so fortunate that many of our guests do share these views. I'm sorry you had an unwanted close encounter with spiders; Lord Howe is home to ancient subtropical rain and palm forests and so the odd spider goes with the territory, however the island isn't overrun with them! These are typical of many similarly extraordinary destinations around the world. Golden Orbs are the ones casting webs in the trees; a Hunstman would have been the fellow in your suite. You're right, he is not handsome, but quite harmless. I think Mark was simply trying to put you at ease with the light-hearted suggestion of the glass and paper. This is the best way to get huntmen who have lost their way inside back out again, unharmed. However we wouldn't laugh at this request, nor expect a guest to do it - it can absolutley be a spine-tingling task! The second suite hired for your family of five was a necessity; for the luxury product on offer and for the comfort of each guest we have a maximum of four guests in the Makambo Loft and three in the Lagoon Lofts. I hope you will return sooner rather than later, and bring the family back for more fun and discovery on Lord Howe!
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florida
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

Amazing zen surrounds you here at Capella Lodge! Don't rent a bike use theirs!
Do the daily beach picnic! The rooms and views are fantastic! The food is excellant! the staff is friendly and makes you feel at home. I did not want to leave!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

Capella Lodge is a gem of a place situated in a superb position on Lord Howe Island. The staff and managers, Libby and Mark, go out of their way to make their guests feel at home and nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are lovely although air conditioning is not allowed on the island so we had a fan which doesn't achieve the same effect as a/c! The food is outstanding and the service excellent. Capella does not allow outsiders in for dinner which is good as it means the quality is maintained and the kitchen copes well. It took us a while to get into the swing of life on the island as this is a place where you are expected to explore each day. Although Mark and Libby were happy to provide us with chairs and umbrellas to use on the beach, there is nowhere really at the hotel to flop out and relax with a book in the sun. As Euorppeans, we were at first surprised by this but soon learnt that
this is not the Australian way of doing things! All in all, this was the best hotel we stayed at during our 6 week tour of Australia and I would highly recommend it

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2011

Lord Howe is a beautiful,tranquil and fascinating island.To find a lodge here of Capella's quality made us feel doubly fortunate.The views are magnificent over the sea and the mountains and,given how remote the island is,the food was utterly delicious,fresh,varied and imaginative.But what makes it special is the quality of the staff not just the friendly managers Mark and Libby but the entire team.They could not do enough for their guests and did everything possible to ensure that we had a wonderful stay on an island they love so much.
Wonderful walks and bike rides all topped off at day's end with lovely recommended wines and that superb food.We are well travelled but this was a very special place on a very special island.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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.
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Additional Information about Capella Lodge

Address: Lagoon Road, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
Location: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Capella Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Celebrated as the pinnacle of luxury on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, Capella Lodge rests atop romantic Lovers Bay. An inspired architectural design welcomes spectacular views of the ocean, reef and mountains into the Lodge.A short flight from Australia’s east coast transports visitors to a real ‘treasure island’. Capella’s nine contemporary island-style suites are designed to complement Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment. Luxurious surrounds, exceptional island-inspired dining and unforgettable ‘first-name’ service combine to create an outstanding Lord Howe Island lodging experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Capella Resort All Inclusive
Capella Hotel Lord Howe Island

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