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“Comfortable, friendly and good value option on LHI”

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Pandanus Apartments
Reviewed 4 February 2013

After deciding to visit Lord Howe we spent a loooooong time deliberating on where to stay.

We certainly couldn't justify staying at the two $1200+ per night options, but couldn't decide on which of the 'cheaper' apartments looked better (not that anything's remotely cheap). Certainly there is a lack of information or ability to book online. A lot of the apartments looks a little too chintzy for my liking - there's something about floral and wicker that makes me shiver!

We enlisted a travel agent, which is a rarity for us these days, and eventually decided on the Pandanus - it wasn't in the lowest price bracket but it looked comfortable, modern and relaxing. Just what we needed. And it was.

We were met at the airport by Liz, with her broad Australian accent and initially slightly gruff attitude. She drove us around the island on a little tour, which was great to get bearings, and by the time we reached the apartment she'd proven herself delightful, fun and so helpful. Couldn't do enough to make us feel welcome. And so she remained for the rest of our stay.

The apartment itself is clean and lovely, nicely furnished, clearly refurbished not so long ago, very white and relaxing. Massive bed, good shower, TV, Foxtel & DVD (not that these really were needed or used), well-equipped kitchen and picnic packs. Nice big patio with comfy wooden reclining chairs to spend the week reading with a glass of wine, looking at the Kentia palms. Perfect for what we wanted.

It's about a 15 minute walk from the 'town centre', or a 5 minute bike ride - a bike is a must when you are on the island. Beware that Pandanus is at the top of a hill, and to get to/from it you need to go up steep hills on either side. Having said that, Liz is happy to drive you somewhere, and most restaurants are happy to drive you back in the evenings. Great service!

The Pandanus restaurant is lovely - they do an asian menu on the weekend and a more standard modern menu during the week. Nice food, friendly service, nice atmosphere.

It's hard to compare with any of the other accommodation options on the island, as we didn't see them. But we thought Pandanus was a really good option for a stay on LHI - especially for the relative price! Recommended!

Room Tip: We were in room 4 which was nice, room 3 is also one bedroom and looks to be the same size, but has...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 29 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2012

We were very happy with our stay here. Picked up at the airport and given helpful info on what was what around the island. Our room was clean, spacious, tasteful and a pleasure to come home to after a day of swimming, canoeing and cycling. Gardens are beautiful, and we spent a lot of time on our deck playing backgammon surrounded by palms and tropical plants. Made great coffee in the restaurant, highly recommend.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012

I honestly couldn't have asked for more! We were greeted at the airport and our bags were collected (without having to ask), we were given an island tour enroute to the apartments, and we were made to feel incredibly welcome. The accomodation was simply gorgeous! It's incredibly spacious and tasteful. The apartments have everything one could possibly want on an Island getaway, right down to big deck, barbeque, and kitchen! I don't think I've slept so well-ever, or at least since the time before my four year old was born. The beds are enormous, the apartments sunfilled and fresh, and the gardens surrounding the apartments are incredible! It was terrific being able to access wifi from the restaurant balcony, particularly as there is no mobile reception on the island itself. The apartments are well located away from the main street and with access to a wide range of the island's stunning beaches, but don't forget to arrange a bike, or better still hire a car if you have kids as there are hills and the islands bigger than you think. I definitely would stay here again..and again....and highly recommend it. Pack light!

Room Tip: The two bedroom apartment has a particularly big deck.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lisha12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

We were very happy with our accommodation on Lord Howe Island. We stayed in a one bedroom apartment. The apartments are surrounded by green palms and a nice garden so it is a pleasant environment. It's not a 5 star set-up but we found it comfortable and was perfect for our needs.

The apartment had a spacious feel to it and was nicely decorated. We wanted to be able to cook our own food so this is why we primarily chose Pandanus Apartments. We had a BBQ most nights. Each apartment has its own BBQ on the deck. If you can, bring in as much food as you can from the mainland (we froze meat etc and brought it with us). The local stores are very pricey. Alcohol is also expensive so bring it in if your luggage allowance allows. Otherwise you'll be paying $30 for a very average bottle of wine.

The kitchen was well stocked. It didn't have a stove top but an electric fry pan was supplied so that was fine for our needs. There were good supplies of cutlery, crockery, wine glasses etc so cooking and dining were easy. There was a large fridge and microwave.

There were DVDs, books. magazines and pay TV in the lounge room. We had bad weather while we were on the island so the apartment was well stocked to entertain us indoors. The sofas were comfy and the bed was huge. The bathroom was basic (no bath) but again, fine for what we needed.

The accommodation does not have a view of the beach but neither do most places on Lord Howe. You have to cycle or walk to get to the beach. Other people have complained about the hill but this didn't really bother us. We just got off our bikes and pushed them up the short distance - or ride the long way round if you want to stay on your bike.

Even though we had average weather, we still had a nice relaxing time on the island. We were there for a week and I think that is more than enough time to see everything. We also went to the Pandanus restaurant and had a very nice meal there. Overall, a great stay. The locals were very friendly and we enjoyed seeing the island.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Travelbuddy010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2010

Accommodation
Stayed in a two bedroom apartment, adequate, old building that has been "renovated". No cook top, BBQ outside on verandah. Beds are perfect. Found spiders inside the bedrooms and the beds, don't think this place has been sprayed to avoid bugs coming inside. Bathroom adequate, again it has been "renovated". Big enough, clean enough. There are some dvd's, beach towels, picnic backpack, some cable television. No air conditioning, no ceiling fans, just one portable fan, which can be a problem as it can get quite hot. There is no mobile reception in the island. There is a public phone next to pandanus restaurant. There also is free wireless in the restaurant. There is no pool in the place, so if you need to cool down you have to go to the beach, which at times, due to the hill it seemed like a chore.
The manager picked us up from the airport and offered rides to places if needed, however it felt more like protocol rather than she really wanted to help so we stack to the bikes.
Because of the weather we were in our cabin a lot and other people NOT the manager suggested things to do, I thought this was a shame. We missed carols near church as we didn't know they were on. We only found out about the museum as an option on a rainy day, thanks to the Pandanus restaurant manager; We found out about Santa on Ned's beach from the hair dresser next door to our accommodation. When we got there we realised people from other resorts got a lift in the mini buses, however we didn't, and had to ride our bikes in the rain while pandanus mini bus sat on the driveway.
It was no secret we had small children, it was no secret it rained a LOT of the time we were there, however we felt we were left to our own devices. A little bit of help and friendliness would have been appreciated. The couple of times we got rides it seemed like a favour more than customer service.

Location
The place is at the top of a hill (somehow no one told us this!), everyone told us we should hire bikes but with two small children we ended up walking the bikes up the hill. If you have small kids or are travelling with an elderly person I would hire a car (there are about 5 for hire in the island so get in quickly).
The island is truly a gorgeous place, but be warned if it's raining (which it was for 4 out of 7 days we were there!) there is nothing else to do. No cinemas, no shopping centre. The only place to go to is the Museum which is very interesting but not very amusing for small kids.
The weather in the island can be unpredictable (something no one told us before we got there either!) However it is a beautiful place.
Everyone talks about feeding the fish, and yes it's a fun thing to do and it's pretty cool, the kids loved it. Weather providing, there are plenty of beaches to choose from.

The Island
This is a strange place where only a few people own most of the businesses, one guy owns the bike hire and car hire, another owns the cafe and a "hotel", and so on. Someone must be making a lot of money, however most services seem to be ran down and average, food is extremely expensive, because there is not a lot of competition (only 3 stores, payed 9 dollars for a jar of vegemite!!). Service is awful, people seem to have an attitude and a sense of "you should be thankful we allowed you in here". It seems to me that in the islander's quest to pocket in money they're running the island down to the ground. We were told by several people that there is a drinking problem in the Island, not surprised. We were also told that people who try to open businesses or come up with new ideas are quickly silenced by the "board of islanders" (more like mafia to me), Islanders don't want new people or businesses coming along because then there is more people to share the cake with. To be able to own a property you need to marry an islander and even people that live and work in the island, aren't considered to be islanders and are discriminated upon by the "original" residents. For a heritage listed place all these retrograde politics seem like a lot of rubbish and very BAD press. It's a real shame that this is the way this place is being managed.....if it continues it will eventually die, I would imagine it's already happening, you just need to look at the state of the facilities. The place looks neglected. What a shame.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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13  Thank misumbini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2010

Lord Howe Island was unknown to us so we booked Pandanus based on tripadvisor recommendations and we were not disappointed. Liz picked us up from the airport and dropped us back there at the end of the stay. She droved us around the island to get our bearings, took us to the local shop to stock up our groceries, took us to dinner whenever we wanted to go....in other words was endlessly gracious and helpful to not only us, but every other guest staying at Pandanus. The units themselves were large, airy, bright and very well equipped. DVD and CD players were supplied, laundry available (extra cost) but a laundry tub with free detergent was in each unit for hand washing. The kingsize bed was comfy and the bathroom adequate. It was cold at night when we were there so a small heater would have been a nice addition. The lovely large decks on each unit are marvellous for a drink, cuppa or to read a book. Individual barbeques also there. However, no hotplate for cooking inside the unit, just microwave and electric frypan. All told an extremely comfortable place to call home. Took a while to get used to not being able to lock the unit when you go out however. This is an island tradition evidently but for jaded mainlanders, slightly disconcerting! Without a doubt I would choose to stay there again, not only for the accommodation and truly gorgeous setting, but also for Pandanus Restaurant which is classy and elegant in its own right. The one warning I would sound though is that this island is steep and Pandanus is almost at the peak of a hill. Almost all guests are riding bikes or walking as there is no publc transport and only 7 hire cars. Therefore the walk up from the lagoon is quite a journey. If you are elderly or disabled in any way, this might not be the accommodation for you. Yes, it is near Ned's beach but even that is not a flat walk. We adored Lord Howe and loved Pandanus but it is worth bearing in mind.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank CurlyandMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2010

As a family group with four young teenagers between us these units could not have been more perfect. We rented two of the two bedroom units which allowed us to be together but not on top of each other. Everything was clean, well presented and very comfortable. Basic necessities were all included. Each unit had a fantastic back deck with large dining table and new BBQ which allowed us to eat together if we did not want to go out to the excellent island restaurants (try Pandanus and Humpty Micks!). Liz was friendly and helpful and gave us a great introduction to the Island on our first day. To sum it up - this place is highly recommended and we would definitely love to return one day.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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5  Thank Aussie-in-Mexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pandanus Apartments

Address: Lord Howe Island, Australia
Region: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Lord Howe Island
Number of rooms: 4

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