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Hotel Highlights

  • Tropical island paradise
  • Birdspotting and lagoon-hopping
  • The views from the dreamily designed lodge

Overview

Camouflaged amid the tropical fauna of Lord Howe Island, the Capella Lodge hotel has views of a natural paradise that are positively Dr No-worthy. You don't have to want to take over the world, though, to enjoy the romantic views of jagged peaks, turquoise lagoons and vibrant coral reefs from the hotel’s glass and bleached wood interiors.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Capella Lodge with us:

A gourmet picnic or barbecue lunch for two

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Capella Lodge

'Kentia dreaming': 4 nights for the price of 3 'Lord Howe luxe': 7 nights for the price of 6

Facilities

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Capella Lodge hotel - Lord Howe Island - Australia

Need To Know

Rooms

Nine suites.

Check–out

10.30am. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $1086.09 (AU$1,273), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, soft drinks, sunset apéritifs and canapés, three-course dinner with matching wines, and airport transfers.

Also

Pamper yourself at the intimate Capella Spa, which uses Aboriginal LI’TYA products in its dreamy treatments. Lagoon kayaks and snorkelling gear are available for exploring the island’s marine ecosystem. Picnic tables and wood-fired barbecues dot scenic spots nearby, too, if you’d rather stay dry.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, DVD, CD and book library, board games, Jacuzzi, day spa, gardens. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, Bose music system (with MP3 input), signature Capella Spa toiletries, minibar.

Our favourite rooms

We’re partial to Room 2, a Lagoon Loft with stunning views – enjoy them from the comfy bed on the mezzanine. If you want to push the boat out, the recently revamped flagship Lidgbird Pavilion now has a second level with wraparound verandas, a plunge pool and outdoor stone bath under the frangipani trees, and offers private dining as well as its own free bar. Bathrooms feature sexy dark basalt stone, baths and rain showers.

Poolside

There's an outdoor unheated pool with an infinity edge for making the most of island views.

Packing tips

Underwater camera, bird-spotting manual, hiking boots and a sketch book if you're an arty type.

Also

The hotel provides free bikes for getting around, or hire a buggy for the day (a buggy is included in Lidgbird Pavilion rates; pre-book the other one).

Children

Kids aged six and over are welcome at the lodge (age 12 and over at the Lidgbird Pavilion).

Read more

Eco‐friendly

Capella harnesses solar power for hot water, natural ventilation for air-conditioning, and eco-smart fires in winter. It's also committed to a local revegetation project, planting endemic palms and trees in land around the lodge affected by erosion.

Food & Drink

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Capella Lodge hotel - Lord Howe Island - Australia

Hotel Restaurant

The open-plan Capella Restaurant has a laid-back yet luxurious coastal look, with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows for stellar skylines. Fans of modern Pacific cuisine will enjoy chef Phil Woolaston’s daily-changing offerings, including locally caught fish, house-made pasta, boutique farmed meats and island-grown tropical fruit and veg. Lunch costs extra, and the lodge can also supply picnic and barbecue packs, for AU$18 and AU$30 a person respectively.

Hotel Bar

The Capella Bar boasts a good selection of boutique wines and great espressos. Complimentary sunset cocktails and canapés are served daily on Gower’s Terrace, where you can soak up breathtaking views from chic loungers; or relax on ample banquettes in the Kentia Lounge, with blissed-out beats as a backing track.

Last orders

The bar is open from noon till 7pm; dinner is served 6.30pm–9.30pm.

Room service

Not available as Capella offers a traditional lodge experience where guests come together to dine, but between the restaurant and bar you should be well catered for.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Sophisticated neutrals – why compete with the view?

Top table

New arrivals are always placed at tables 1, 2 or 3 by the window on their first day, and guests are then rotated so that everyone gets a ringside seat. The fab landscape is still visible from most tables though.

Local Guide

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Capella Lodge hotel - Lord Howe Island - Australia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Lord Howe Island, with its sheltered lagoon, 11 beautiful beaches and dramatic offshore sea stack, is a dream spot for all things aquatic: swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking or glass-bottom boat trips to ogle the stunning coral and fish below the waves. To experience the amazing marine wildlife, hand-feed king fish at Neds Beach or go bird-spotting (the island is one of Australia's top sites for spying sea birds and other rare feathered friends). Walking, from mellow strolls to more challenging hikes, is also ridiculously scenic here given the tropical setting and perfectly formed mountains, or snaffle one of Capella's free guest bikes and tour on two wheels. There are also tennis courts nearby (ask the hotel for directions).

Local restaurants

Breakfast and dinner are all-inclusive at Capella, but for a snack or lunch call in at Humpy Micks Café (+61 (0)2 6563 2289), which is open from breakfast through to dinner. Pinetrees (+61 (0)2 6563 2177), on Lagoon Road, is ringed by a veranda and offers a canvas-covered dining area – perfect for eating under the stars. The fish-fry buffet dinner is a weekly highlight.

Local cafés

For a snack or lunch out call in at Palmsugar (+61 (0)2 6563 2120) on Skyline Drive for coffee and delicious, fresh-baked cakes, served on a leafy deck. It’s open from 2pm, but closed Sundays. 

+ Enlarge
Subtropical island idyll

Capella Lodge

Lagoon Road, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales 2898, Australia

Although it's 700 kilometres north east of Sydney, Lord Howe Island is still part of New South Wales. The hotel is situated on the southern end of the island at the foot of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird.

Planes

Unless you’re a seafaring Smith with your own yacht, the only way to get to the island is by air. QantasLink (www.qantas.com) operates a 32-seat Dash 8 service from Sydney most days, and from Brisbane on weekends. A seasonal weekly service is also available from Port Macquarie from February to June and September to December. Flight time is two hours (it’s the closest island getaway to Sydney) and the 14kg luggage allowance is strictly enforced. Lord Howe Airport is three kilometres from Capella Lodge: airport transfers are included in hotel rates.

Automobiles

Walking or cycling is the best way to get round the island as there aren't many cars here, but you can rent a car from Wilson’s Hire Service if you really prefer four wheels to two (contact michele.wilson@bigpond.com).

Reviews

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Capella Lodge hotel - Lord Howe Island - Australia

Anonymous review

by Carrie Kwan , On-the-pulse blogger

This review of Capella Lodge in Lord Howe Island is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand. On approach to Lord Howe, a two-hour flight from Sydney, our Dash 8 pilot shows his true colours: reliable yet somewhat sneaky. He does an impromptu lap of the island, perhaps knowing that I need a suitable distraction before landing on its tiny airstrip. …
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Capella Lodge

Anonymous review by Carrie Kwan, On-the-pulse blogger

This review of Capella Lodge in Lord Howe Island is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.

On approach to Lord Howe, a two-hour flight from Sydney, our Dash 8 pilot shows his true colours: reliable yet somewhat sneaky. He does an impromptu lap of the island, perhaps knowing that I need a suitable distraction before landing on its tiny airstrip.

One sandal on the tarmac, and our friendly hosts Mark and Libby greet us. Leaving our luggage to be claimed, we’re led to a waiting vehicle to head south to Capella Lodge.

To our left is a belt of undulating green, the island’s golf course; on the other side two towering pine trees overlook Lovers Bay. I am mesmerised by the world’s most southerly coral reef lagoon, with its turquoise and shades of blue upon blue. Suggesting that it beckons for a dip, Mr Smith agrees on ‘the sort prefixed by the word skinny’.

Not 25 minutes after landing we’re enjoying a freshly squeezed watermelon, orange and pineapple juice on Capella’s main terrace. It affords an uninterrupted view of twin peaks Mount Lidgbird and the taller Mount Gower along with spectacular ocean vistas. Chic day-beds and deckchairs near a plunge pool make this the place to begin our long overdue escape. While we wait for our room to be readied we’re invited to breakfast in this serene setting. A maximum of only 20 guests stay at the lodge at any one time, and we meet two other couples – one duo here for their honeymoon, the other returning for the twelfth time.

While I’m relieved there is wireless access for the odd business check, there’s no mobile reception. Capella Lodge politely insists that our metropolitan instincts take a break. The team here is super-friendly and gives first-name, impeccably timed service. They possess a delightful ability to anticipate our ‘wouldn’t it be niceto’s’, before we have even been able to articulate them.

Upon entering our room, a Lagoon Loft, the first thing to catch my eye is a tray of mini lemon meringue tarts. There’s a generous pile of plush pillows in duck blue, cream and cool stripes, wooden furniture, and boat portholes mounted on the white, panelled walls. Fresh South Pacific air seeps through the timber louvre door and windows. Upstairs there’s the all-important king-size bed facing huge glass doors that open to an outdoor deck with day-bed and mountain views. A red lighthouse lamp created by Mambo artist Bruce Goold keeps a watchful post in the corner. It’s just one of the many pieces of artwork and fabric commissioned for the chill-out zones of Capella.

We’re the first guests to enjoy the newly refurbished basalt stone bathroom, replete with bespoke Capella Lodge products (by Small Indulgences), including a heady lavender and mint hand wash. Our fridge is full of San Pellegrino, fruit juices and soft drinks, all complimentary. I’m most pleased with the selection of T bar teas, while Mr Smith is happy to introduce his iPod to the Bose sound system.

Keen to explore the World Heritage-listed island, we’re offered the use of a new electric buggy. Everyone waves as we pass by. There are many titles LHI can claim but we can’t fathom unfriendly ever being one of them. As we head out, a woodhen (a species saved from near extinction, which is only found here) plays ‘chicken’ with our vehicle, sprinting across the road. With a blanket 25 kilometre per hour speed limit on the island, he’s convinced we’re not going to run him over.

On Libby’s recommendation we walk along Malabar Hill before heading down to Neds Beach for a spot of beachcombing and scrambling across the rocks. We’re still talking about hand-feeding a school of giant kingfish here. They swim without fear around our knees, greedily snapping bits of bread we’ve brought from the lodge. Steve Irwin would have been proud.

At dinner Mr Smith opts for grilled Yamba cuttlefish, green lentils, capers, saffron and garlic aïoli, while I treat myself to a local yellowtail kingfish ceviche with tomato and lemon myrtle oil to start. Suppressing a slight pang of guilt, we hope we haven’t just taken a bite of one of our recent Nemo friends’ relatives. The main course arrives and our bellies are subjected to another round of decadent dining. Feeling a little tipsy, Mr Smith suggests we repair to the adjacent Kentia Lounge. A room dedicated to board games and reading, it’s also home to a teak wall and open fireplace. Tonight it’s our private space to polish off our shared desserts: hazelnut torte with espresso cream and a farmhouse cheese plate.

The next day we set off on Capella bikes with a packed gourmet lunch. It’s been some time since I’ve felt salty sea air on my face and let it knot my hair without a care. Despite overcast weather we tackle the challenging hike up to Goat House Cave. Capella Spa’s post-climb feet therapy is a suitable reward for the effort. Using LI’TYA products, it starts with a soak and finishes with a foot mask of Tasmanian kelp and native pepperberry applied as warm basalt stones are placed between your toes. Mr Smith and I also acquaint ourselves with the hot tub, used equally for relaxing weary muscles and inveigling intimacy.

Returning to our room we quietly implore the weatherman to allow us a snorkel in the morning. He must have been in the mood to meet our wishes – freakish winds prevent any planes from coming in to or taking off from Lord Howe. Stranded, we surrender to paradise for an extra day.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Capella Lodge from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

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