Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island gets a facelift


Pinetrees Lodge may have been a permanent fixture on Lord Howe Island since 1848 but the place just never gets old. Over the past five years Pinetrees has renovated in winter and, when they open for guests in September 2019, will have updated almost every guest room and suite on the property.

Lord Howe's sixth generation family-owned accommodation is the island's oldest and largest lodge. This beachfront property is centrally located on the island off Lagoon Road between the south-western edge of "town" and the airport. Its wooden boathouse sits in the dunes of the southern end of Lagoon Beach.

Current owners Dani Rourke and Luke Hanson have resisted the urge to follow five-star accommodation trends of minibars, pillow menus and high tech in-room services. Instead, the focus at Pinetrees is on maintaining a timeless and elegant style suited to the breezy subtropics.

Their three-bedroom cottage has been gutted, rebuilt and relaunched as the Chefs Cottage – historically, it's where the chefs used to live. That building now has new interiors, four new decks, an extra bathroom and a full-wall library in the living room.

The property's largest four-bedroom cottage, Banyan, is being given new bathrooms and flooring and a large private back deck. By the end of winter this year the Garden Cottages will also have new bathrooms, new floors and private back decks.

There have been various creative developments to the landscaping. The most recent of those is a new chill-out space, set within the gardens, with floating circular platforms.

But some things simply don't change. Pinetrees still have a very strong food focus, there are no locks on the doors, there is no Wi-Fi and you're under absolutely no pressure to dress up for dinner.

Rooms from $436 per person per night including island airport transfers and all meals. Stays of six nights or longer also receive four free island experiences including a coral viewing cruise, cooking demonstration, north bay picnic and behind the scenes ecotourism tour.