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“What is not to love about LHI?” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Leanda-Lei Apartments

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Leanda-Lei Apartments
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“What is not to love about LHI?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

Having put everything in the hands of the travel agent we booked with (Oxley) something I rarely do we were delighted with every aspect of our week on LHI. The organised tour was a little like a bus tour but without the bus. You ate all meals and did the tourist things with your group (our team) and all of this was co-ordinated by Judy and Anthony at Leanda-Lei apartments. Yes the weather was a bit fickle but Anthony had a work around for the tours to match the weather. The restaurants were all excellent and catered for those who didn't want to eat fish every night. The tours were fun and educational. I love LHI and would happily go back for a holiday or a lifetime. Next time I would love to visit Mt Gower but will have to do a bit of work on myself beforehand. The walk to the Malabar and Kim's Lookout was not too hard and certainly worth the effort. The Old Gulch behind North Bay was wonderful. Loved riding around on the hire bikes. And the water was not that cold so do go for a snorkel if given the opportunity.

Room Tip: I think any of the rooms would be fine, ours was a studio apartment. Just keep the windows closed a...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Susan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
sydney
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013 via mobile

Enjoyed the stay at leanda lei looked after by judy and Andrew
Rooms were spacious everything worked very convenient location
A nice middle of the range option on very expensive lord Howe
Restaurant pickup great shop to buy supplies directly across the road

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank nudge63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level Contributor
254 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

We stayed here mid February and found it to be comfortable, well located and run by friendly and helpful people. We booked late and were lucky to score the last available room (anywhere) - a two bedroom unit, which was quite expensive for three of us (esp as it could sleep 5 in actual beds), but this meant it was also very comfortable as it provided extra space for our teenaged son plus he had has own bathroom. There was a kitchenette with full sized fridge. We self catered our breakfasts and some lunches plus cooked dinner on three nights (we caught some magnificent fish). Re bathrooms, there is only soap provided so unless you bring your own shampoos etc you will need to buy some - limited selection at shop. If you wish to have towels, linen changed you are invited to place soiled items in basket outside your door before 10am (I think) and in the afternoon you will find clean supplies in the basket. The beds were quite comfortable. There was a good flat screen telly on the wall which incorporated a DVD player. This was handy for watching a movie most evenings (not much on the TV). Also handy if it is pouring rain (we only experienced a couple of showers). There are fly screens which is good as there are lots of bugs - killed a few cockroaches (the fly in type) and dealt with a number of spiders. Out one side of our unit was a private, paved area that served about 4 units. There was a BBQ and outdoor settings which wer quite popular. Out through our sliding glass door was a nice patio on which to relax - good spot for breakfast and also handy for drying swimmers and snorkelling gear. A few steps down and there was a bike rack just for us. We could have hired bikes here but it looked like there were not many available (later saw lots more tucked away in another location). Also our hosts were off picking up more travellers from the airport so we hired from Wilsons. Bikes were of questionable quality but they have to put up with being parked in the rain plus are ravaged by salt. They did the trick and we were able to get to most places easily. We took a few more steps out to the lawn and we could see Mt Gower. There is a good shop across the road from which you may purchase groceries, souvenirs and so forth - great to just carry across the road. Also just across the road is a phone box. I was able to use this to phone home (Brisbane). I have an Optus Calling Card which ostensibly adds the call cost to our home ph bill. To ph a couple of local restaurants I had to use coins. I found out later that in the "main" street, next to the bank, where there are notice boards advertising local activities, there is a free phone ie can make local calls for free. It is advisable to book your restaurant early. We missed out on Pinetrees seafood buffet (recommended) as it was booked out well in advance. I believe it is best to book this before arriving on the island. Also must recommend the Asian nights (weekends only) at Pandanus. Early reservations also enable you to mark a notice board by the office at Leanda Lei with your intension and they will drive you to your restaurant. You will also be able to have a return lift probably provided by the restaurant. We walked back from several restaurants - it's very dark, so bring a torch. As there is only a limited population on the island you will find many folk working in more than one establishment and therefore offices at restaurants, hire facilities, tours etc will not always be manned. You will be invited to leave a message with contact details and you will be contacted later. The proprieters at Leanda Lei left several messages for us concerning some of our enquiries and bookings and everthing worked out well. It is a very trusting society and you will find that you just leave your bike anywhere and it will be there on your return, even if you leave it all day. This isn't luxury but it's central location and friendly proprieters more than make up for this. Also loved having no mobile ph coverage and very little internet. (NB we had free wi-fi for the first couple of nights but it then dropped out. Frustrates locals also as it affects them similarly. If you must use internet, it is available for a price just down at the excellent museum).

Room Tip: Just relax and don't expect someone to always be in the office. Everything will work out eventua...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LAR60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2013

Lord Howe Island was my first solo travel experience, and what a positive one! I chose a package deal which included a walking tour and two days bicycle hire. Although at 55 I'm no longer fit enough to climb Mt Gower, there are plenty of graded walks to choose from that offer breathtaking views and unique birds and plants. I was delighted to find a tiny blue orchid on my walk to Kim's Lookout. Go to the museum for the free "Lord Howe Island Geology" map that show the contours and the "Exploring Lord Howe Island" brochure that gives information about walks and distances. It would be good to include times because it took me a while to realise that a 2.1 km Class 4 walk to Goat House was going to take a LOT longer than a 1.4 km Class 2 walk on the Little Island Track. My experience was double the time per increase in Class. Goat House walk is recommended as a test run for those unsure of their fitness to climb Mt Gower. Being solo, I would write on the whiteboard outside the office which walk/s I was taking each day just in case.

Bicycles and helmets were in excellent condition and a great way to get around the settlement. Backpacks are provided free of charge. Having been badly injured by a car riding my bicycle in the city, I hadn't been back on a bike until LHI. There are few vehicles on the island, mostly belonging to business owners for ferrying goods/passengers. All drivers are very bike aware and all give a wave and give way, so I felt very secure and was delighted to enjoy the fitness and freedom of cycling again.

For those attached to electronic devices: mobile phones don't work on the island and as others have reported, the internet is sketchy at best. I sent a couple of emails the first day, made a couple of calls using the public phone and all was well. It was actually great not to be distracted for a change.

The room was comfy, scrupulously clean, with a comfy KS bed. As it was a bit cooler in the evenings, I was glad I had brought a hot water bottle just to warm up the bed. There were plenty of blankets, and I was warm and cosy. The kitchen has everything necessary to make meals except for an oven. There are outdoor barbeques and furniture in the courtyard. As another reviewer advised, I took a few things to make my own breakfast and sometimes lunch. The atmosphere is very inclusive and friendly, on three out of four times I went out to dinner I was invited to join other travellers.

Food wise, Joy's store over the road is fine, but the best find is the Co-Op next to the Post Office. It is open from noon until 5pm daily and for travellers it's a godsend. You can buy an array of non-perishable food like pasta, trail mix and breakfast cereals according to weight, even single free range eggs for 60 cents each! It stocks home made treats, preserves, dips and excellent dairy products too. I loved the way many stores and services open at odd times - you have to be quite strategic to ensure you get what you want.

Pandanas restaurant was the best quality and value, as mentioned in other reviews, all restaurants will drive you home on the half hour by request (I never had to wait), but many are in comfortable walking distance of Leanda-Lei and it is lovely to walk. The Anchorage was very expensive for meals but they do great fresh baked goods and I stopped by for lunch several times for their salad rolls, coffee and muffins which are enormous and lasted two days! The view is great if you get a table at the sea end.

The boat trip around the island (booked through Leanda-Lei) was worthwhile to get a sense of the geography and Aaron pointed out many of the bird species and the geological and human history. A very competent skipper navigated us through some narrow passages in quite choppy seas and none were seasick. The highlight of the trip was the huge pod of joyous dolphins that gave us a sunset display of frolicking around the boat on the home stretch.

The glass bottomed boat tour was the absolute highlight of the trip. A full steam suit was hired for a low fee, mask, snorkel and fins were free and we went out on the lagoon. Those who stayed on the boat with Ron were told about the various marine species and those of us lucky enough to get in the water for 30 minutes were rewarded with an immensely rich experience of crystal clear water, stunningly vibrant coral and a multitude of different fish. We were lucky to glimpse a sea turtle, as it was the end of the season for them.

On day four I indulged in a massage from Shelley who is based at Leanda-Lei. She is well qualified and has a very good technique, it was lovely to be able to stroll back to my apartment afterwards.

Peter, Judy and Amy are both friendly and professional hosts and any requests were dealt with promptly and efficiently.

In summary, it ranks highly in my travel experiences - on a par with Africa. My only regret was that I didn't go sooner. I will definitely go back.

See Neve97's review for detail about inclusions and accommodation.

Room Tip: Some travellers have advised about avoiding rooms on the driveway. Sometime guest do choose to go...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank cookiepie295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
734 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 416 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2013

Lord Howe Island has highly unpredictable weather and air travel connections. We returned home yesterday, three days later than scheduled because of cancelled flights - due to "technical problems" - and gale-force winds and driving rain. Each time our very helpful hosts - Judy and Peter, and daughter Amy - swung in to action. Nothing was too much trouble, including keeping us posted about our day-by-day flight situation. They ensured that we had accommodation still with them, took us to - and back from! - the airport, made restaurant reservations (and drove us to the restaurant designated for that night's dinner) and all in a spirit of understanding and help. We greatly recommend "Leanda Lei" for its prime position, its updated decor, its serenity and above all for its wonderful sixth-generation Islander hosts. It's our fifth time there. Travel tip: ask for Apartment 18 or 19 for great views of Mts Gower and Lidgbird.

Room Tip: Rooms 18 and 19 face the twin mountain peaks; the studio rooms are on the driveway, while rooms 1-3...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mccorquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2013

We stayed for 7 nights on a package deal over Easter (2013). We had a 1 bedroom apartment with kitchen facilities, although we dined out every night at different excellent restaurants on the package deal. There is a general store just opposite if you need any incidentals. If you are using a bike during your stay, it is a good idea to take a coloured tie of some sort so that you can tie your helmet to your bike - sometimes other people may mistake your bike for theirs (inconvenient because then you have to do seat adjustments,etc, again on another bike in the rack).
It was a great holiday and Lord Howe is a magical place - may it not change.....!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 448LizG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

We stayed for one week in Feb 2013. From the pickup at the airport to the drop off for return home we could not have had a better holiday. Although the weather was not very good for the first 2 days and some luggage did not arrive for a few days, the owners could not be more helpful. Nothing was a problem and always had smiling faces. Lovely clean rooms, quite gardens and only a short walk to restaurants. If you are not able to walk they have a bus service to Restaurants. Bike hire is great, with good standard bikes and helmets. Messages were delivered to your door as soon as they were received. Would definately return to Lord Howe and would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Satisfied1702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Leanda-Lei Apartments

Property: Leanda-Lei Apartments
Address: Middle Beach Road, Lord Howe Island 2898, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Lord Howe Island
Amenities:
Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Lord Howe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Leanda-Lei Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Modern Studio, One and Two Bedroom Apartments ideally located on Middle Beach Road, 300m to Lagoon Beach. ... more   less 

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