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“A hidden gem”

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Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 3, 2014

Lord Howe Island is a well kept secret - and is exquisite. Unspoilt long white beaches, turtles and rare birds, and no mobile phones. Arajilla is an beautiful hotel with just 12 rooms nestled amongst the kentia palms and banyan trees, a hundred metres from a long white beach with clear azure water. Food wonderful, rooms simple and elegant, and staff incredibly discreet and helpful. It's expensive - but worth every penny for an exclusive and totally relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank RosemaryLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2014

Thank you Rosemary for taking the time to write this review.
It was so lovely to read how much you enjoyed your stay, speaking of our long white sandy beaches that rarely have a soul on them.
Lord Howe Island has a limit to how many people are allowed to visit at any one time, hence making this place a very special, peaceful and undisturbed location. Having no mobile phones really allows you to let go of the busy city life and relax into Island life.
Our staff pride themselves in taking the highest level of care to make sure your holiday is one that is unforgettable.
We would love to welcome you back to Arajilla again in the near future.

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Reviews (235)
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Reviewed March 1, 2014

Arajilla was like a home away from home. The owners were not there, and the staff went out of their way to make our stay, perfect for us. Rebecca & Chelsea were delightful, always happy and informative and very proud of their island. We often would order a BBQ lunch and they would drop off the food, and or us at a chosen destination , some where special on this glorious Island. If we changed our minds they would come and rescue us once we found a phone, or a friendly local. At first we were a bit unsettled about the absence of mobile phones and internet, only on the sitting area at the lodge, as we use both constantly , however after a couple of days we thought it was the best thing. Arajilla is the best location , we stayed in the two bedroom suite, so there was a quite large sitting area , so we could play cards after dinner, or chat with music. The bedrooms looked into each other , by simply swinging the doors from the opposite side it would give you more privacy. We over looked huge banyan trees, in a rainforest setting. The Spa was a disappointment. The bike hire and snorkel equipment was included. The food was outstanding , we have eaten best Michelan star restaurants around the world. We changed the menus a few times to our liking & the chef was only too happy to please, this was appreciated and showed he cared about his food . We always arrived in our walking/ swimming clothes for drinks, then went for showers, otherwise it was too early, as there is so much to do on the Island . People of all ages were staying, it suits all ages. We left feeling relaxed and happy.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank MeganE76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Stunning location! Island is amazing! Very comfortable and spacious room that had been recently refurbished. The extra floor enabled my husband, daughter and I to share accommodation without getting in the way of each other. Being able to borrow snorkeling equipment and bikes was a bonus and enabled us to enjoy all the beaches and picnic areas. Evening meals were very good, breakfasts did not match, buffet table a bit lacking in imagination! Often ran out of basics like yoghurt. We had two gripes, one was the approach to pre dinner drinks and canopies; I really think it would be better to charge that little bit extra and offer an all inclusive package then nobody feels they have to be there at 5.30pm to be included - it's too early as there is absolutely nothing else to do after dinner which is not a problem because after the activities during the day you are tired, but not every body is ready for bed at 9pm! Being able to relax and chat with other guests with pre and after dinner drinks would be advantageous after all it's not a cheap resort! Don't think people taking advantage of this or causing a nuisance would be a problem for this type of resort as the price would hopefully keep the types out who want to take advantage. The other issue we had was with the member of staff who delivered us to the airport, who had up to the point of departure been helpful and pleasant, but she didn't take the trouble to say goodbye at the airport never mind thank you for visiting! All in all a lovely resort in a beautiful location but would have liked a bit more down time in the evenings.

Room Tip: Banyan rooms great for more than two traveling together.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Wendy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write this review.
Due to our location and small size attention is placed on your wellbeing and the quality rather than quantity which results in a lot of waste.
We use organic products where possible, there are organic dried fruit and nuts, organic milk and free range eggs along with fresh and poached fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice, raw and toasted muesli that is made on site. Fresh house made muffins every day.
We keep the quantity of yoghurt small so that it can be replaced as necessary hence it will always be fresh. I am sorry that you had to wait for the staff to perform this task.
There is also a hot breakfast that is cooked to order. We try to keep this more on the healthy side with quinoa, semolina or oat porridge, buckwheat pancakes with freshly made berry coulis but there is also plenty of bacon, eggs, fresh made hash browns and sides etc.

Guests are always welcome to sit in the lounge after dinner to enjoy another drink or have coffee or tea. 99% of our guests do go to bed early due to their day being very active with hiking, snorkeling, diving, cycling to name a few.
We are sorry for the lack of farewell that is not our normal procedure and we have spoken to the staff.
We hope to see you at Arajilla in the near future.

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Reviewed February 20, 2014

4 nights in this splendid resort. The ambience and Staff attentiveness were first class. We stayed the remaining 3 nights at Capella and it is unavoidable that comparisons be made. The Staff warmth and friendliness were considerably superior at Arajilla, making the experience much more enjoyable, even though both had dining and other facilities that were of comparably high standard.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Malcolm A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Manager at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2014

Thank you Malcolm for taking the time to write this review.
Arajilla is nestled in a Kentia and Banyan tree forest creating a unique ambience.
I have informed our staff of your complimentary comments, they do take a lot of pride in what they do and how they take care of our guests. Our chef is extremely talented at creating new and exciting food that is on par with some of the best restaurants around the world.
What really matters to us though is that you enjoyed your stay and would love to see you back here sometime soon.

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Reviewed February 18, 2014

Arajilla is in an optimum position on Lord Howe Island. In a rainforest setting it is a short stroll to Old Settlement Beach and an easy walk to most activities. We stayed in the recently renovated Banyan suites which were quiet, comfortable and well maintained, although blinds on the downstairs bedroom would provide more privacy. Meals were from good to excellent quality and the gluten free option was varied and tasty. Everything was provided: snorkels, beach towels and chairs and even a beach umbrella, really important when you consider that there is 14 kilogram weight limit on check-in luggage on all flights to the island. The staff are extremely helpful, providing booking for excursions around the island, but our experience suggests you should confirm these bookings personally with the tour operator. Would we stay again? A resounding YES.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2014

Thank you Liz for taking the time to write this lovely review.

It is fantastic to hear that you enjoyed our newly renovated Banyan suites and made use of all the wonderful extras that Arajilla supplies.
We are located at the best part of the island with easy access to many bushwalks, boat tours and beaches.

I know that our chef Denise takes exceptional care in making sure he provides tasty gluten free alternatives when requested and I have let him know that you appreciated it.

We are very delighted to hear that you will be returning to visit us again soon.

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Reviewed January 27, 2014

We recently spent 3 nights at Arajilla Lodge and were able to relax into the LHI syle almost immediately. From the moment we were met at the airport, we felt we were special guests, however this is just the Arajilla way. We found the staff to be attentive, and intertested in our requirements on a daily basis and would go out of their way to make sure we had a most enjoyable stay.The service provided was amongst the best we have experienced in our wide range of travel experiences!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank BLJan14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2014

Thank you for your wonderful review, we’re delighted to hear you had such a relaxing stay! It is so important to us and our staff that our guests feel special and have a memorable holiday – to hear you refer to this as ‘The Arajilla Way’ makes us very proud. Thank you, and please be sure to visit again soon.
Kind regards,
Janne & Bill Shead

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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
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tania d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill S, Owner at Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island, responded to this reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island

Address: Lagoon Road | Old Settlement Beach, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
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 #3 of 6 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range: $1,073 - $1,592 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned for its warm and friendly service and laid back ambience, Arajilla Retreat encapsulates the very essence of Lord Howe Island, offering guests a haven of tranquillity and peace. Arajilla is perfectly positioned on the northern sheltered end of the Island’s lagoon just behind Old Settlement Beach, where meandering pathways lead through native gardens to the beach, to its serene Ayurvedic Spa luxurious suites and renowned restaurant. Explore the extraordinary scenery and wildlife of World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island. Walk bush trails, climb mountains, swim, surf, snorkel, fish, cycle around the Island, play golf beneath the mountains, take it easy on a deserted beach, enjoy a massage or treatment, savour fine food and wine. And it’s 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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