Views with a room: Norfolk Island Accommodation Review
On my recent visit to Norfolk, I was lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the accommodation options. The major highlight of nearly every place was the view from the rooms; verdant hills, pines and glistening blue water.
The main trend on the island is toward self-catering options so the rooms come complete with full kitchen and laundry. Most are 3.5 – 4 star and have pools, BBQ areas and continental breakfast included in the room hire. Air-conditioning is forbidden because it uses too much electricity but this isn’t a problem as the average temperature range is 7 – 28 degrees all year ‘round.
If I was going to book a room here, the two things I would want included would be car hire and breakfast. I would also make sure I was looking at current images of the room because a lot of places have been renovated or refurbished in the past 12 months.
I spent the first two nights in a self-catered cottage at Governor’s, a property that boasts a heritage homestead as its restaurant. Dubbed Bailey’s after the family that used to live in it, the restaurant has a charming old-world feel and features a covered outdoor area where breakfast is served.
My cottage was spacious, clean and well appointed. The soft furnishings had a touch of ‘nanna’ about them but Alistair, the debonair Scottish GM, assured me that this would change as soon as the island’s only upholsterer got around to the job.
The standout feature of this place, apart from the well-tended gardens, was the staff. I arrived on flight that was delayed until 1am so I was less than fresh when I lobbed up at reception. I was greeted by a big, warm smile and a ‘no worries’ attitude. After I checked in, the receptionist guided me to my room my torchlight (there are no street lights on the island so it’s very dark).
Recently renamed and under new management, Paradise Resort is the place to be if you are partial to mainland-style perks and service. Sandy, the resort’s new owner, is an astute entrepreneur with big plans. Supported by her crack team of marketing experts, Chefs, gardeners and painters, Sandy is rapidly converting the dated colour scheme, tired restaurant and worn interiors into something fresh, exciting and ultimately, very successful.
I stayed in an Executive Suite with a glass sliding door leading out to the pool area, a very comfy bed with a neutral bedspread (no florals – what a relief!) and clean, white walls.
Paradise Resort is a hotel-style property with a French Chef, an organic herb and veggie garden onsite, its own orchard and an in-house florist, artist and cake decorator (who also happens to be Sandy’s mum).
It’s also the hotel that hosts the raucous ‘Night as a Convict’ evening so if you’re partial to a bit of old school rowdiness, the hidden benefit of staying at Paradise Resort is that you can stumble back to your room afterwards.