While we didn’t get the chance to stay here, Capella was kind enough to extend the offer to us to join them for lunch and a site inspection of their property. We greatly thank Libby, their manager, and James Baillie, the owner, for extending this experience to us.
There are places you find on the Web that the view looks too good to be true, but at Capella, upon arrival at their lodge, the view is the same as what is depicted online, if not far better. We entered the lodge through their arbor and then into the living area, which opened into a sitting area near a fireplace, a large dining area and the bar. In front of us was a magnificent view of both Mt. Lidgbird and Mt. Gower rising out of the ocean to a surreal height of almost 3,000 feet.
Despite the luxuriousness of this place, Blake and I never felt like we were out of our comfort realm. All the furniture had the feel of a really nice beach house. Capella made us feel relaxed, especially as their friendly staff catered to us. In fact, the lodge totes itself as being Lord Howe’s luxury beach house.
Each day at Capella the menu changes for all meals. However they offer a classics menu that doesn’t change in case you’re in the mood for something a bit more the norm. Included in the tariff here are a gourmet breakfast, sunset drinks and canapés, a three-course dinner with selected wines and all non-alcoholic beverages. Lunch is not included but is available at the restaurant or as a picnic or a BBQ to enjoy somewhere on the island.
For lunch, I enjoyed the beef tenderloin burger with Brie, sundried tomato, caramelized onion and a side of hand cut chips. The burger was huge, and the meat I found to be a little tough as I ended up cutting it all up with a knife and fork since it was so big. But the chips were quite good. Blake enjoyed the local fish special of kingfish, which came with polenta. It was also very tasty, mainly because the fish is so fresh on the island. They also brought out a small serving of their gnocchi with provincial vegetables, toasted almonds and curd to try. Neither one of us had had gnocchi quite that good before; the cheesiness of them was delicious. They also served us wine with lunch and tea afterwards.
When we finished lunch, we started our tour of the lodge. Capella consists of nine different rooms. We were shown two different rooms, as guests occupied the others. The first room we saw was the Capella Suite. The views were just as stunning as they were in the dining area. A one-level room, the suite has a nice bathroom with an oversized shower. Outside is an expansive private deck with a cozy day bed and sun lounge. The other room was the Lagoon Loft, a two-level room with a living area downstairs and a sleeping area upstairs. Again, amazing views, private decks on both levels and a bathroom with a rainshower.
We continued on our tour to the spa. The spa was a very nice, but small, space with one treatment room and a small locker room with a bathroom. The spa will be expanded upon in the coming year to include a bigger treatment area. The bathroom with the shower is nice for guests who need to check out early, but still would like to explore the island more before being transported to the airport to catch their flight. Go snorkeling in the morning, come back for a shower and on to the airport! They also have a small hot tub outside, near the spa, that reminded me a bit of a deep wine barrel. The stars at night from there are supposed to be amazing.
Back to the dining area and up a small flight of stairs is another lounge area with a fireplace and more amazing views of the lagoon and the deck below with a small plunge pool off the dining room. Enjoy sunset cocktails there later in the day, snuggle up with a good book or just relax and watch the waves.
Libby was kind enough to take us back to where we were staying, but extended another visit for the next day to come back to join her for cocktails. We couldn’t resist the offer! The very next day, Libby picked us up at our resort and took us back to Capella. Each day they have a specialty cocktail to enjoy during sunset. Ours was muddled grapes and was quite delicious. The canapés consisted of lamb belly with coriander flowers on a small square of toast, and kingfish belly with mandarin served on a spoon. Both were absolutely delightful.
We watched the sunset, which Libby said sometimes is a bit Monty Python-ish with the clouds, enjoyed our cocktails and found it a bit hard to leave.
Also included in a stay at Capella is island airport transfers, daily housekeeping and evening turndown service, beach towels, bath robes, pillow selection, premium brand toiletries, backpacks, snorkeling gear, lagoon canoes, movies, books and games, internet kiosk, and adult mountain bikes. Capella will help set up tours for you with local tour companies and transport you around the island as they are a bit far south. If you are lucky enough to say in the Makambo Loft you can enjoy a private deck plunge spa. Even luckier to stay in the Lidgbird Pavilion, your stay will include a complimentary electric golf buggy, an in-suite bar and a private plunge pool.
We definitely plan on returning to Lord Howe some day and will highly consider basking in the peaceful luxury of Capella.
Lord Howe Island, NSW 2898
Phone (North America): 931-924-5253