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“Basic accommodation in a great location”

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Somerset Apartments
Certificate of Excellence
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
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4  Thank MrShhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 2, 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
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23  Thank Qldgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank Auswalkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

Somerset Apartments are very centrally located to shops, restaurants plus lagoon. As you walk or bicycle everywhere on the island this is very central to Ned's beach on the east and the lagoon on the western side, which is good depending on the direction of the wind. Apartments were sparse but had everything we needed and if not, you had only to ask and the management did everything to help. Extremely clean and comfortable with internet available at the office, also bus transfer to dinner each evening.

Room Tip: If you require cooking facilities(hot plates) you will need to have a deluxe room, otherwise all roo...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank SunshineCoastAnnette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

I stayed here recently while on Lord Howe Island for a conference. Immaculately clean although rather modest room. The hotel is within an easy stroll of most attractions on the island and is very quiet and comfortable. Only negative for me was no phone or internet connection in the room.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

great staff, close to everything, local food is great

Room Tip: this hotel is close to all the attractions, remember to take a torch as Lord Howe Islands has no str...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank ann_waugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

This is one of five properties I stayed at over ten days on a travel writer's trip to this magnificent paradise and it was the more humble one but is homey, perfectly located close to town and economical. There wasn't a single chip of pain nor tile out of place, immaculately clean and tidy. The bed was firm, but not uncomfortable, good for the back after diving and hiking.

Couldn't ask for better more non-intrusive service, the apartment had adequate meal cooking facilities and the best wholemeal brown bread I've had in years as an exquisite surprise. A great family retreat and for those on a budget who plan to spend most of their time active on the trails and in the water rather than watching TV.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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14  Thank trippsterSydney
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 6 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range: $174 - $363 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Somerset Apartments 3*
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 
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Also Known As:
Somerset Apartments Hotel Lord Howe Island

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