Lord Howe Island, Australia

Capella Lodge

Price per night from$885.63

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD1,363.64), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Sophisticated beach house


Subtropical island idyll

Blending in with the landscape in bleached wood and glass, Capella Lodge on tropical Lord Howe Island offers Dr No-ish views over jagged mountains, turquoise lagoons, breath-taking coral reefs and an ever-changing seascape flat out to the horizon. Perfect for exploring this natural paradise, packed with rare birds, flora and fauna.

Smith Extra

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A gourmet picnic or barbecue lunch for two


Photos Capella Lodge facilities

Need to know


Nine suites.


10.30am. Check-in, 2pm.


Double rooms from £781.96 (AU$1,500), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, sunset apéritifs and canapés, three-course dinner, wines and spirits at the open bar (from 6pm), soft drinks and airport transfers.


Pamper yourself at the intimate Capella Spa, which uses Aussie 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, 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 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.


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.


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).


Kids aged 10 and over are welcome at the lodge (age 12 and over at the Lidgbird Pavilion).

Sustainability efforts

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 and Drink

Photos Capella Lodge food and drink

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.

Dress Code

Sophisticated neutrals – why compete with the view?

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 Cooper Dickson's daily-changing offerings, including locally caught fish, house-made pasta, boutique farmed meats and herbs, fruit and veggies (rocket flowers, nasturtiums, watercress, oxalis) plucked from islanders' gardens. Lunch costs extra, and the lodge can also supply picnic and barbecue packs, for an additional cost.

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. From 6pm each evening, guests can sip selected wines and spirits free.

Last orders

The bar is open from noon till midnight; 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.


Photos Capella Lodge location
Capella Lodge
Lagoon Road,
Lord Howe Island

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.


Unless you’re a seafaring Smith with your own yacht, the only way to get to the island is by air. Fly direct to Sydney, Brisbane (on weekends) or Port Macquarie (from February to June and September to December), then catch a two-hour connection to Lord Howe Airport. Call our Smith24 team to book your flights and arrange transfers to the hotel (included in booking).


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; our Smith24 team are on hand round the clock to organise can rental.

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 drop anchor at Anchorage. Chef David Chlumsky flies in fresh produce from the mainland daily and the menu always includes the daily catch; there's also an on-site bakery offering daily-baked artisan breads, pies, cakes and pastries. Pinetrees 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. 


Photos Capella Lodge reviews
Carrie Kwan

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.
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Price per night from $885.63