Inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, Capella welcomes views over the Pacific Ocean and the world’s southernmost coral reef. Capella rests above Lord Howe Island’s tiny, secret beach at Lovers Bay and at the foot of its towering twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. Guests are captivated by mesmerising views of the mountains and turquoise sea stretching to the horizon from the lodge’s indoor and outdoor lounging areas, its restaurant and suites.
A stay with Baillie Lodges is to experience the luxury of travel. Each Baillie property is located in an extraordinary natural location, and offer guests a personal connection to its culture and history, its art and natural heritage and to local food and wine sourced from regional producers. Together, the lodges are timeless in design, with myriad thoughtful details combining to create a genuinely warm welcome and a generosity of spirit. Capella Lodge was the first property in the Baillie Lodges collection and remains a favourite place for the Baillie family and many guests who return perennially.
Capella Lodge is celebrated as the most glamorous hideaway on Lord Howe Island. Its light filled restaurant, bar and lounge feature floor to ceiling windows and offer mesmerising views of the mountains and ocean. The Kentia Lounge is a quiet space for reading, while outside Gowers Terrace invites a swim or a laze in the afternoon sun.
Capella is tucked away on the more remote and exclusive southern end of the island. Peaceful and private, Capella presents a sanctuary from where guests can enjoy a picnic on the beach at Lovers Bay, wander to Little Island around the base of Mount Gower or rock hop along the reef at low tide to discover its reclusive marine residents.
Beach house style
Gently melding modern design into glorious natural surroundings, Capella’s underplayed raw teak and linen aesthetic let’s the true star shine: come-hither views of the mountains and sea. Wood, glass and white unite in spaces decked out with a trove of Australian designed furnishings, lighting, textiles and artworks to create a barefoot luxury vibe.
Set above the lodge in an airy loft framed by swaying palms, the Capella Spa welcomes in the cool island breezes and the scent of frangipani. A signature menu of rejuvenating and relaxing treatments uses Li’Tya spa care and embraces the marine environment, even using stones collected from the island’s windward beaches.
Capella Lodge launched the Baillie Lodges collection when it opened in 2003. Capella was subsequently joined by sister properties Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree and Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island to offer a premium and personal experience of Australia’s most extraordinary destinations.
Life and business partners James and Hayley Baillie founded Baillie Lodges in 2003, and together bring a complementary set of tourism industry experience and skills and a joint love for travel, for good food and wine and good design. Lord Howe Island had been a favourite childhood holiday destination for both James and Hayley and was a natural first port to come together as Baillie Lodges.
A feeling of relaxed sophistication flows throughout Capella Lodge. The vibe is of one’s own island holiday house where the furnishings are stylishly comfortable, the food and wine are local, the books are good, and the faces are welcomingly familiar. Island-themed artworks, recycled wooden floors and beach house style fittings create an easy ambience.
Luxury of Oz
Luxury Lodges of Australia is a collection of 19 independent luxury lodges and camps offering unforgettable experiences in Australia’s most extraordinary locations. Capella Lodge is a founding member of the collection alongside Baillie Lodges sister properties Longitude 131°, Silky Oaks Lodge and Southern Ocean Lodge.
Rising from the Tasman Sea just 700km northeast of Sydney, this tiny, breathtakingly beautiful island is just 11km long and 2.8km at widest. Lord Howe Island and its surrounding islets are the eroded remnants of a large shield volcano that erupted from the ocean floor some 7 million years ago. More than 70% of the island is a permanent protected park reserve, and the surrounding ocean is also protected as a Marine Park.
Only 400 visitors are allowed on Lord Howe at any one time, with a resident population of 382 people recorded in the 2016 census. Just about everything is within walking or cycling distance, so it’s uncommon to see cars. Lord Howe is only 11km long and between 0.3 and 2km wide, so it’s possible to cycle end to end in as little as 25 minutes. With a 25kmh speed limit, everyone always waves ‘hello’ as they pass!
Our commitment to the environment
The Baillie Lodges environmental commitment is best expressed by each lodge’s interaction with its local natural and cultural surroundings. View our sustainability policy.
Limiting the number of people living and visiting a small island such as Lord Howe is critical to ensuring its pristine environment remains sustainable and appealing for its population of resident and migratory seabirds, its marine life and endemic plant species.
Lord Howe Island has committed
to a ground-breaking solar energy project which will see 80% of its energy produced from solar panels and replacing diesel fuel energy which currently supplies the island.
As a remote island, any waste that’s not recycled must be removed on the supply barge which visits fortnightly. The Lord Howe Island Board runs the island’s Waste Management Facility with an award-winning recycling program.
Conservation on Lord Howe is considered a personal priority, with residents and guests alike committing to reducing, reusing and recycling. Residents have a high degree of knowledge about the environment they live in and work hard to protect it.
James and Hayley share a love for good design and together they curated Capella's interiors to create a sense of relaxed luxury and a place to feel at home.
Pierre & Charlotte Julien
Working from their studio in Tasmania, Pierre and Charlotte Julien have worked with James and Hayley Baillie for more than a decade and have supplied custom furnishings for Capella Lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge and most recently for Longitude 131°. The pair are renowned for their refined chairs and lamps and their sleek, organic
style and sustainable techniques fit perfectly with the natural beach house design aesthetic at Capella. Pierre and Charlotte returned to their furniture foundations to create their most recent commission for Capella – a beautiful oval dining table made from endemic timbers which extends to perfectly seat four for convivial occasions.
Sydney-based ceramist Malcolm Greenwood creates individually styled ceramics in a characteristically organic style, with collections spanning tableware to bathroom ware, vases and sculptures. Malcolm’s style is simple and functional, with each piece’s form and signature glazing creating a distinctive design.
His tableware offers an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to the daily changing menus and fresh local produce at Capella. Malcolm takes inspiration from art styles from around the world, including from Japanese potter Makoto Yabe, who taught him throwing, ‘neriage’, glaze formulation and firing.
James Baillie has long been inspired by local sustainable heating company EcoSmart Fires which influenced the final design of the Capella’s lounge and guest suites and appear in various iterations across the sister lodges. James was impressed by the product for several reasons including their aesthetics, ease of operation, clean
burn, lack of smell, the environmental benefits, and the fact that they don’t have a flue. The fires’ flexible design that enabled their integration into a range of contemporary designs was the deciding factor. Capella uses green energy ethanol to fuel the EcoSmart fires which provide heat both in guest lounging areas and in guest suite fireplaces.
Famous around the world for the vivid graphics that made the Mambo surf brand so distinctive, Bruce Goold creates fabrics, linocuts and screen prints that are seen around Capella Lodge. Bruce has a special affinity with Lord Howe Island, having created the kentia palm fabric which has been
used in soft furnishings throughout the lodge, as well as several lino cuts including the SS Makambo produced in 1994 which depicts the rats swimming from the sinking ship off the coast of Lord Howe. One of the original cuts hangs in the Makambo Loft.
Guests at Capella will enjoy the soft warmth of the premium towels and luxury blankets supplied by Sydney company Bemboka. The hallmarks of luxury lodging, Bemboka’s bath sheet-sized plush ribbed towels are perfect to wrap up in after a
shower or a swim while a soft cashmere blanket or custom-made cotton throw in contrasting marine tones is ideal to cuddle into after a day’s exploring outdoors, with a good book or – better still – a mate!
Anibou, based in Sydney’s Redfern gathers some of the best local and international design furniture and furnishings and has been the source of some of Baillie Lodges favourite design finds over the past few years. Classic items which are seen across all the lodges – but were featured first at Capella – include the ceramic cubes by Gervasoni
which serve as side tables on Gowers Terrace, battered brass bar lights by Paola Navone and the campfire table by Tomek Archer which is found in the Lidgbird Pavilion. A new addition is the Euvira Lounge Chair by Brazilian designer Jader Almeida which brings a little club culture to Capella and is the perfect place to sink to enjoy a drink…
Artist and designer Julie Paterson created textiles company ClothFabric in 1995 with a vision to create contemporary, natural furnishing fabric by hand, using local and sustainably produced base cloths. All Julie Paterson textiles are made in Australia, mostly in short-batch productions using
flatbed screen printing. Julie’s art is inspired by the strength and diversity of the Australian landscape. At Capella, her distinctive graphics and illustrations of the rare Lord Howe woodhen and kentia palms are seen in soft furnishings and plywood prints throughout the guest suites.
Quality lounging is important at Capella and James and Hayley have engaged with Sydney-based designers Jardan for supply of their sink-in-deep lounges. Relaxed and exceptionally comfortable, the Australian designed and crafted sofas, occasional chairs and love seats from Jardan invite you in with open arms.
Toned in natural hues to reflect the outdoors, the lounge is a place to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Lord Howe Island isn’t a ‘flop and drop’ destination so when guests relax after a day’s exploring, Capella’s lounge, cushioned among jaw dropping views and within reach of the bar is the best place to be.
Guests arriving at Capella for the first or fourth time can expect a genuinely warm welcome and a sense of coming home. A spirit of generosity flows throughout, where the bar is always well-stocked, snacks are on offer to take on walks and snorkel and fins are supplied for a day on the reef. These myriad thoughtful details seem so natural and effortless and make the world of difference to each guest’s time on Lord Howe.
Libby Grant and Mark McKillop have welcomed guests to Lord Howe with their genuine, relaxed warmth ever since the lodge opened in 2003. Guests might join Libby on her island ‘tiki tour’ or get Mark’s tips on the best place to snorkel that day and share stories over a sunset drink. Many guests return year after year and catch up with Mark and Libby as they would old friends at a holiday house.
Dennis Tierney first worked at Capella Lodge in 2007 as an apprentice chef. Following stints in Sydney’s big city restaurants, in Europe and back on Lord Howe, in 2022 Dennis returned to Capella as Executive Chef. The bounty of regional produce and the island’s harvest allows him to source the freshest ingredients to create innovative daily menus. In his free time, Dennis has published a cookbook, The Stranded Chef.
The Lodge is brilliant. Perfectly positioned to take in the fabulous changing views of Mounts Lidgbird & Gower, and the magnificent deep blue ocean.Mike and Judy Weight Guests
The Lidgbird Pavilion feels like a sailing ship crow’s-nest merged with a cruise liner penthouse and would qualify for all known listings of world’s best hotel panoramas.Susan Kurosawa The Australian
Living on Lord Howe Island is like living inside a David Attenborough documentary.Ian Hutton Renowned Ecologist
Long attracting aspiring Crusoes to its talc-y sand beaches, Lord Howe Island is also home to what Australians (and some clued-in others) know to be one of the country’s finest lodges: Capella.Maria Shollenbarger Financial Times
If I could be marooned anywhere in the world, this would be the place I would choose.Richard G TripAdvisor
press & awards
Need more inspiration?
For more information about Capella Lodge
and the other properties in the Baillie Lodges
portfolio please download our brochure.