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“Paradise on Lord Howe”

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Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Paradise on Lord Howe”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

My daughter and I ended up spending 4 nights on Lord Howe Island, as Cyclone Ita had damaged Lizard Island. The gods were looking upon us as we have now discovered this little piece of heaven. Arajilla Lodge provide an outstanding experience in that they think of everything - a beach umbrella, a backpack big enough to fit the provided fins and mask, a packed lunch if you are out on a walk, good bicycles, big swimming towels etc etc... The location of the hotel is fabulous in that it is in a secluded palm and banyan forest and yet so close to the little town and dive shops. The dining is an Uber dining experience, the chefs provide variety every day and they manage to achieve a taste sensation and the serve the exact size portions, so you don't feel that you need more or less! All staff members were helpful, cheerful and welcoming. Lord Howe has something for everyone- cycling, good walks, secluded beaches, good coral for diving and snorkelling .All in all a fabulous experience

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank simsal
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 review, 28 May 2014
We really appreciate the time you have taken to write this review.

It was great to hear that you enjoyed your stay, after your previous holiday plans on Lizard Island had been disrupted by mother nature.

Because of our remote access and small baggage allowance, Arajilla will provide you with all the little extras to make your holiday great.

Location is everything, we believe that we have the best on the island! Across the road from Old Settlement Beach - where the turtles call home, to bushwalks, dive sheds and our small bustling township.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed the food. Our chefs are second to none with our food being compared with some of the best around the world. I have passed on your kind words to our dedicated staff.

We look forward to your return one day to our beautiful Island.

Kind regards
Bill and Janne Shead
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

We had 6 nights at the Arajilla Lodge during the recent school holidays with our two young daughters aged 9 and 13.

What a fabulous combination of an idyllic setting, incredible food, wine and unbeatable service.

From the time Rebecca met at us at the airport we were made to feel incredibly welcome and the staff, Rebecca, Kate, Harry, Chelsea and the kitchen staff could not have looked after us better. The management of Arajilla need to be congratulated on their staff selection as all were friendly, helpful and fun to be around.

The rooms were modern and well appointed, the setting idyllic which mirrored the whole island and the food, well it could only be described as superb.

Without mobile phone coverage and average wifi you are forced (if needs be) to simply enjoy life in paradise.


Every morning we vowed that we would not eat as much as the day before only to break that rule each and every day due to the quality of the food served. From absolutely fresh grilled seafood, to exquisite king fish sashimi to duck breast and wonderful desserts.

The option for lunch included BBQ packs delivered to whichever beach or lagoon location you requested included - rib eye steaks and or king fish, onions, jacket potatoes, freshly baked bread, assortment of sauces and drinks. All you had to do was light one of the numerous BBQ's with timber provided along the magnificent coast and sit back and enjoy. When finished Arajilla staff collected the packs.

Each morning the staff would asked us what the girls would like for dinner that night. The chef would cook whatever they would like. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff.

It felt as though we were staying at a friends house who was hell bent on spoiling us - and they did a great job of it.

During the day we had the choice of swimming and snorkelling in absolutely pristine clear water at the beach or in the lagoon, go on one of many bush walks, ride our bikes around the island, take a boat tour, go deep sea fishing, hire a kayak to explore the lagoon, surf at Blinky's beach or just simply relax.

At Ned's beach we fed, swam and snorkelled with hundreds of different fish and up to three reef sharks at a time. The experience of swimming with the harmless reef sharks is one we as a family will never forget. The reef at Ned's is only a few metres from the shore and easy and safe snorkelling for all ages.

On an honesty basis you can hire all the snorkelling gear required.

We took a north bay tour with Pete from Island Tours which took in the Old Gulch, North Bay, snorkelling and green turtle spotting. Pete's commentary on the abundant bird life was extremely interesting and the tour was very educational and enjoyable.

Apart from swimming and snorkelling which we did each day in 23 degrees water we rode bikes provided by Arajilla all over the island. There any many excellent walks from basic to difficult. We took the girls on the Malabar, Kim's look out and Transmission walks. Whilst challenging the girls handled each quite comfortably.

Next time we shall climb the more challenging Goat Mountain and Mount Gower walks.

By the end of our stay we realised that there are only two types of visitors to Lord Howe Island. Those that have returned numerous times and those like us who it was the first of many visits. We will undoubtedly be back and hopefully many times.

If your thinking of visiting Lord Howe Island we can highly recommend staying at Arajilla Lodge.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank nomadcoogee
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 review, 28 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write such a fantastic review!

What a lovely time you had with us. I spoke to the staff and they said is was a pleasure to look after you and your beautiful family.

Holidays are for letting your hair down and enjoying all that is on offer, glad to hear you enjoyed our delicious food. Our dedicated chefs love to provide food that our guests enjoy time after time.
Barbeque packs are a great way to explore the island and enjoying lunch at one of our many picnic locations.

Their are a variety of bushwalks on the island ranging from easy to really hard. Its great to hear that you will be returning to take on the Mount Gower Walk (which takes a day with a guide) and Goat House.

The snorkeling and diving on and around the reefs at Lord Howe Island is some of the best of its kind. With the abundance of sea life the sharks are well fed and not interested in humans. We do also include snorkeling gear in our tariff.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back on the island soon.

Kind regards
Bill and Janne Shead
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

We had 8 incredible nights staying in one of the Banyan Suites at Arajilla Lodge. The apartment was spotless, light and airy, and serviced daily. The beds were comfortable, with a turn-down service at night, which was a lovely touch, and the bar fridge was extremely well stocked.

Arajilla sits in a picturesque setting of Kentia palms and huge Banyan trees a minute's walk from Settlement Beach. To wake in the morning after a blissfully quiet night's sleep and stroll down to the beach is magic. The resort is also in one of the best locations on the island, central to everything with no enormous hills to traverse, and an easy walk to the small township.

The food at Arajilla was to die for - hats off to the chefs. Each day delectable, mouth-watering food was placed before us. And the lovely young staff who looked after our every need so professionally, were incredibly warm and friendly. If you wanted a BBQ on the beach, they organised and provided everything. If exploring the island meant missing lunch, a packed lunch was prepared, another little added touch which was most helpful. You just couldn't fault the wonderful staff, everything was done with precision, thoughtfulness and care. To Kate, Harry, Rebecca and Rochelle, thank you - you're all worth your weight in gold!

Bikes, backpacks, snorkelling gear, beach gear i.e. towels, umbrellas, chairs and cushions were all included in the accommodation rate. Bike riding is a big part of the fun on Lord Howe and a great way to get around, but the many hills can make riding difficult. If you're young and fit, this won't be a problem, and the bikes do have gears, but if your bike riding skills are a little rusty, and if exploring the island on foot isn't an option, it may be wise to book a car when you book your holiday. Hire cars are few, and are usually booked out well in advance.

Everything about Lord Howe Island is beautiful, from the picture perfect beaches to the spectacular mountains and choosing to stay at Arajilla was the icing on the cake. It's a fantastic place, in a great location with wonderful staff and delectable food. Ten out of Ten!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lizzie057
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 review, 2 April 2014
Thank you Lizzie for taking the time to write this lovely review.

What a beautiful holiday you had! It makes us so happy to read how much you enjoyed your stay. Waking feeling revived and refreshed, ready to take on the days activities. This is what we are all about being able to take real time out from our busy lives.

Arajilla is in a fantastic location close to the beach, bushwalks, boat tours and our small bustling town.

All our staff here at Arajilla were absolutely delighted to hear how they contributed to making your stay "Ten out of Ten". They are a dedicated team and love what they do.

We agree with you that our chefs are amazing! Clever at creating fresh and tasty dishes, in this very isolated place.

Great to receive such positive feedback, thank you.

Kind regards
Janne & Bill Shead
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

Lord Howe has got the lot for pure relaxation: warm without being too hot, flora, fauna, spectacular views and warm crystal clear water. Arajilla cannot be rated too highly: lovely rooms, excellent food, marvellous staff for whom nothing was too much trouble and ideally located within strolling distance of most things of interest.

Room Tip: The Banyan suites are more expensive but the best location.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Anthony S
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 review, 18 March 2014
Thank you Anthony for taking the time to write this fantastic review, we are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay.
We pride ourselves on our focus for relaxation and the chance to get real time out.
Being centrally located and right across from Old Settlement Beach where turtles call home gives you easy access to all the Island has to offer.
I have passed on your kind words to the staff.
We hope to see you one day soon back at Arajilla Lodge
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Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 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, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
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 review, 18 March 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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Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 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, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MeganE76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
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 review, 17 March 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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Additional Information about Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island

Property: Arajilla Retreat - Lord Howe Island
Address: Lagoon Road | Old Settlement Beach, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
Region: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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