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“When can I go back?”
Review of Capella Lodge

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Capella Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 March 2014

I have just reluctantly returned to reality after a four night stay at Capella Lodge, and was stunned when I read Greenflurry’s review. My experience was vastly different, with both the lodge and the island exceeding my rather high expectations. The lodge managers (a couple – Libby and Mark) were fabulous hosts – from the warm greeting on arrival at the airport, to helping out with planning activities, to ensuring they spent time with all guests during their stay. And Robyn and the staff in the restaurant were also great – attentive and friendly. Service is as good as in other lodges I have stayed in around Australia and I loved the vibe of the lodge – sophisticated, relaxed and intimate.
Surprised to read that Greenflurry found the room furnishings tired – mine (Capella Suite) was immaculate and the bed was a dream. Lovely bathroom amenities too. And the views, especially from the restaurant and deck – breathtaking!
I have been wanting to visit Lord Howe Island for years and it also surpassed expectation – such a gorgeous unspoilt place, and the reef and fish life were amazing. Recommend getting a BBQ pack from the lodge and heading to Ned’s Beach – BBQ’s are set up there and stocked with firewood and at other spots on the island too. Great walks too, and Capella have complimentary bikes for guests to use or are happy to drop people off and pick them up in "town"
I’ll be back, hopefully for longer next time, both Capella and Lord Howe now have a place in my heart!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank VoyageMaiden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 March 2014

I write this review having spent 7 nights at Capella Lodge in the Lidgbird Pavilion at approximately $2500.00 per night. It is the first review I have ever submitted but felt our experience should be relayed.

Firstly, let me say that we loved Lord Howe Island – not because of Capella Lodge but because it is a unique and wonderful part of the world.

Having stayed at a number of Luxury Lodges within Australia and overseas our experience of Capella was that it is overpriced, underwhelming and tired from both a facilities and management perspective.

The Room: Tired, towels faded and fraying, bed sheets wrinkled, throw cushions stained and worn, PC didn’t work, towels put on floor for replacement were just rehung (tested), the pump bottles of toiletries were broken (left out but just put back in shower) etc…We had to ask multiple times for things e.g. more coat hangers, drinks at cocktail hour, our activity itinerary (ended up doing everything direct as this proved too difficult for staff). The bookings for massages were mucked up, changes weren’t noted etc. When you are trying to juggle tours etc then something as simple as a pen and paper should be used!!

On arrival the manager asked if the minibar wasn’t to our liking then just ask for it to be changed. We asked for the champagne, juices, soft drinks and chocolate to be changed to bottled water, sparkling water and scotch and savoury snacks. Well this turned out to be a major problem which just caused us to feel embarrassed and frustrated and angry that we were paying for such disgusting hospitality. It was eventually resolved but we felt uncomfortable from that point on as we are low conflict people. The management was sloppy and just a little too comfortable and casual. One cocktail evening the manager was holding court seated with wine in hand whilst guests stood without a seat looking uncomfortable. Outrageous service and hospitality that occurred on a number of occasions.
The food and wine was moderate at best. The breakfasts were average.
The activities equipment was in disrepair – the cheap kayak so old, battered with bits of ropes where handles were broken, no SUP’s, the snorkel equipment had perished with leaking seals and mouth pieces etc. We ended up renting from the town hire place. The backpacks were old and dirty. When we asked for water for our walk we were given reusable old drink bottles that looked to have come out of the local school’s lost property. This was rectified too in the end as we just took the water which eventually was put in our minibar.
Just because the island is laid back and the vibe chilled, the management should still be on the ball, efficient and maintaining a level of first class hospitality in line with the price.

At places like Saffire, Freycinet, we were given all our own Saffire drink and water bottles, caps, back packs to keep etc. When going on walks they couldn’t do enough to prepare your trek snacks, weather jacket etc.

I would recommend the best way to enjoy LHI is to stay closer to the town centre and involve yourself in the wonderful community atmosphere occurring there whilst being much closer to all amenities, a swimming beach and the majority of walks.

Room Tip: I would recommend the best way to enjoy LHI is to stay closer to the town centre and involve yoursel...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Greenflurry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BaillieLodgesAust, Guest Relations Manager at Capella Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2014

Dear Greenflurry, Thanks for posting your review on Capella Lodge on Trip Advisor, naturally we’re sorry to read such a disappointing review. As you’ll recall we did speak with you on several occasions to try to rectify the situation both during and after your stay. We accept that constructive feedback is integral to maintaining high standards, and we’re pleased you enjoyed the stunning paradise of Lord Howe. Regarding your Capella experience, as you’ll note from the significant number of excellent reviews on this forum, the standards of décor, service and cleanliness at the lodge are consistently very highly rated, and historically our premium suite receives only the highest praise.

The management style at Capella is warm and welcoming and our lodge managers take great pride in making guests feel comfortable and at home. This relaxed approach perfectly suits the ambience of both lodge and island but having said that, our guests always come first and always will. We are not aware of any requests that were forgotten nor any unacceptable delays in drink service detected.

Regarding the in-suite mini bar, spirits have never been an inclusion in the selection and we understand this was politely advised, however, our team then went to every effort to stock the fridge to your preference.

Regarding equipment, we take great care to ensure all equipment provided for guest use is maintained in excellent condition. Capella has two sea kayaks at Lovers Bay and they are both tidy and sea-worthy. The snorkelling equipment is brand new, replaced in the last 2 months.

The computer is perfectly functional; being so remote Lord Howe’s internet connection can be moody, so likely there was just a delay you were not used to. The bags were checked and both found to be in good condition, and likewise the toiletries and pump function.

With respect to water bottles, the Lord Howe community in general doesn’t support plastic water bottles, due to their impact on sea birds and the fact that all recyclable waste must be shipped off the island for processing. We supply in-room water carafes and nalgene bottles for water on the go; they are an intentionally reusable item, a further nod to our sustainable practices.

Capella is a co-founding member of Luxury Lodges of Australia along with Saffire and the experiences are highly complementary. Naturally tariff inclusions vary between any two properties and are tailored largely according to destination and environment. For example at Capella, experiences are not included in favour of supporting the local operators and island businesses. We strive for excellence at all times and have considered your comments and made adjustments where needed. However, we consider this feedback to be an exception to the traditionally excellent guest experience reported on Trip Advisor and similar review forums.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

If I could pick a perfect short break then this was it. Great food, good wine and wonderful service. Add to that the beauty of Lord Howe Island and you have the best of everything. All the positive previous reviews say it all really.

The only thing I would point out and this was far more my husband's issue than mine, was the complete lack of connectivity on the island. There really is NO mobile coverage, we were there for 3 nights and my husband couldn't get onto the internet at all. This is what attracted me personally to the island in the first place and I may not have stressed this enough to my husband. Perhaps this should be written in bold and' in lights' on the reservation confirmation to manage people's expectations. In this day and age I don't think you could repeat this point enough.

However, it was entertaining watching new guests arrive and observing the sheer panic as they realised there really was no connectivity!

Thank you again to Libby, Robyn and all the wonderful staff at Capella for making this trip a fantastic one.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

From the moment we step off the plan, the island offered a breathtaking view. From then on, everything was just perfect. We were picked up at the airport by Robyn and she drove us to Capella Lodge and took the time to explain everything to us. We stayed at the Makambo loft, and the views from our room are just spectacular. Everything went on as planned, we biked, hiked and also take the golf cart to tour the island. The staffs are friendly and helpful. The foods are excellent. One thing to make a note of is the nature of our loft. Living room and bathroom downstair and bedroom upstair connected by a circular stairs. This might be inconvenient for some people.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hktransplant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

The moment we stepped off the plane, we knew that this was going to be a special holiday. The first person to greet us was Libby who took us under her wing with her typical Lord Howe Island welcome. Capella Lodge is a beautiful resort located in the south of the island away from the hustle and bustle of the settlement. Capella Lodge is ideal for that quiet romantic getaway and we chose to book the Capella Suite, the lowest level but it was more than adequate for the two of us. We had plenty of space, a large bathroom and a small balcony deck. The view over the two mountain peaks when you wake in the morning is breathtaking. We wanted to see and do as much as we could in our 8 days so, other than sleeping, we spent very little time in the room. We so enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, meeting all the other guests for a cocktail before dinner, plenty of chatting and getting to know each other. The food was spectacular especially the Tuesday night degustation. We were so lucky to have arrived on a Tuesday and left on a Wednesday to be able to have experienced two of these degustation nights. The kitchen team is pretty adventurous and manages to excite the guests with some pretty amazing tastes and presentations. One that springs to mind is thin shards of “burnt carrot” with venison which sounded a bit “out there” but we gave it a go. On its own the burnt carrot tasted unusual but put together with the rare venison and the red wine jus, it was unbelievably good. Well done Chef!
On our first day, we organised bicycles and helmets, both provided by the resort and were allocated solely for our use for the 8 days. The bikes are pretty much a necessity since most places to visit, including the main settlement, are about 4km from the resort – not to worry if you cannot (or don’t want to) ride a bike; Libby and Mark will arrange transport wherever you want to go. We cycled and walked everywhere. We did Ned’s Beach and fed the fish, we hiked up to Goats House Cave, to Rocky’s Run, to Boat Harbour and to Malabar Hill. We did lunch at the Anchorage and the Museum and we did the glass bottom boat and snorkeled in the Lagoon. Here are by far the best corals we’ve seen on all our travels. There is so much to do and to see and I swear we came away fitter than when we arrived.
We send a huge thanks to Libby and Mark and all the Capella crew for making these 8 days so special. My wife was blown away by her birthday celebrations. Even the whole restaurant sang for her birthday.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank dnghols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

My wife and I eloped at Lord Howe Island and stayed at Capella late in December 2012. Capella was absolutely Divine! We often talk about how much we loved it and we enjoy looking back over our photos. The views were sublime, the food was insanely good, the wine, the beaches, the location, the staff. It was all perfect. And on top of all that the staff went out of their way to make our wedding day special, which made a huge difference.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lucas12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

This was our first trip to Lord Howe Island. It was just beautiful. We used bikes to get around as most people do but they have every type of transport you may need. We stayed at Capella Lodge which was the start of our amazing holiday. The views from the lodge are just breath taking whilst you are sipping on the special cocktail of the day before you sit down to a magnificent dinner with beautiful wines. Our hosts Libby, Mark & Robyn's sole purpose was to make sure we and every other guest had a wonder experience which was backed up by every other staff member. Thank you team Capella for making our 30th wedding anniversary such a special memory. We will be back. Ingrid & Ian

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Ian B
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
Region: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range: £772 - £1,602 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Capella Resort All Inclusive
Capella Hotel Lord Howe Island

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