From a luxury eco lodge to a room at an inn known for its sunsets, here are 10 of the best places to stay on Christmas Island.
There is a lot to see and do on Christmas Island. But when you do find time to catch your breath and recover from your day’s adventures, you will need to find somewhere to enjoy some quiet time and creature comforts. Whether you want to live it up at Swell Lodge, one of the most unique places to stay in WA, or you want to hole up in a more humble Airbnb abode, or a boutique Balinese-style retreat will most likely depend on your budget. Much of the accommodation on Christmas Island centres around Settlement, Poon Saan and Kampong and each offers something different. Here are some of the best places to stay on Christmas Island.
The first thing that hits you as you walk into one of the two glass-fronted eco chalets that make up Swell Lodge is the immensity of the sea and sky.
Tucked away deep in Christmas Island National Park, Swell Lodge is perched on the edge of one of the island’s jagged sea cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. And when there is a swell running, it’s right in position, with the ocean stirring up a thundering crescendo in surround sound.
Eco-conscious travellers will love the fact the lodge is solar powered and runs a carbon-neutral program that includes offsetting emissions from its crab-safe lodge vehicle. A stay at Swell Lodge is all about secluded luxury, and includes your own private chef.
Best for: Solo travellers or couples.
Christmas Island Bali Style retreat
Although Christmas Island is an Australian territory, it’s nearest neighbour is Indonesia, which means a breezy Balinese-style retreat feels right at home here.
The Christmas Island Bali Style Retreat enjoys elevated ocean views from its position on Phosphate Hill near the small township of Poon Saan. Sit on the expansive deck to soak up some sun and enjoy a drink while drinking in the soothing palette of blue sky and turquoise seas.
The retreat, which accommodates up to six people, is within five to 10 minutes of the town in Settlement and Flying Fish Cove and many of Christmas Island’s best restaurants and bars.
Best for: Families or groups.
The Cocos Padang Lodge
This newly refurbished heritage accommodation is a welcome addition on Christmas Island. The original building, which was typical of post Second World War accommodation provided to its Cocos Malay workers by the Christmas Island Phosphate Mine until the 1960s.
All up, there are four self-contained apartments within walking distance to the local supermarket and the iconic Golden Bosun Tavern, one of the best places to eat on Christmas Island. Guests of the Cocos Padang Lodge are able to use the BBQ facilities at The Sunset.
Best for: Families or couples.
Captain’s Last Resort
One of the biggest highlights of staying at the Captain’s Last Resort on Christmas Island is the frigatebirds-eye’s view over the water. Keep your binoculars handy, as there is a lot of activity, from spinner dolphins lining up in pods to perform synchronised routines to a diverse array of birdlife pootling past the window.
After spending the day enjoying some of the best wilderness walks on Christmas Island, wander down to the main tourism precinct to meet some of the eccentric and warm-hearted locals.
The one-bedroom cottage is best-suited to singles and couples who enjoy exploring off the beaten track.
Best for: Solo travellers and couples.
The reefs off Christmas Island are considered to be one of nature’s great masterpieces amid the scuba diving community, and this villa, built in the 1930s, is designed to accommodate groups who want to share an underwater adventure.
The Diver’s Villa is one of the last pre-war bungalows built by the Christmas Island Phosphate Company that is still standing and the refurbished space, known on the island as Married Quarters 8 has been decorated in a contemporary colonial style.
We love that you can source seasonal ingredients from the garden such as papaya, coconuts, lemongrass, mint, lime and bananas. All up, there are four bedrooms and there is another one-bedroom waterfront villa, Sea Spray, which can also be rented out.
Best for: A group getaway.
When WA residents pressed pause on their international travel plans, they started rediscovering the wonders of WA, with Christmas Island perfectly positioned to cater to adventurous travellers. Enter CI Apartments, which offers contemporary-style accommodation and a range of one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartments.
Comfy digs with a view are one thing, but there’s no substitute for location: after a busy day exploring Christmas Island, you will be grateful for the mini supermarket and Chinese restaurant across the road.
Best for: There are apartments to suit solo travellers, couples and families.
This candy-coloured bungalow presents like a cute conjuring of how low-key life on Christmas Island can be, with its central location providing myriad opportunities to live like a local.
The fully-furnished, self-contained Hibiscus House would suit a family with teens or couples who want to be close to the action of the Settlement Town Centre.
Named for the profusion of hibiscus bushes in the front garden, Hibiscus House is surrounded by leafy palms and flamboyant poincianas. Take it over to enjoy a slow-mo stay on Christmas Island.
Best for: Families with older children.
If watching the sun sink over the ocean is your idea of luxury, then The Sunset will do nicely. Located along the waterfront in the beating heart of the Settlement township, Sunset offers unobstructed views of the ocean and its name is fitting when you’re afforded a front-row view of the sun dipping over the Indian Ocean from your balcony.
The Sunset also has a pool, which isn’t exactly necessary with the big blue on your doorstep, but is greatly appreciated when you want a quick cool-off after exploring the wilderness.
Best for: Couples and solo travellers.
Christmas Island is located near to the equator, which ensures year-round balmy tropical weather and an average temperature of 28 degrees. The Sanctuary is therefore the ideal refuge from the heat thanks to the private lap pool with leafy outlook.
Couples who don’t have children or want to escape for a weekend without them will appreciate the no-children policy when they’re trying to relax on their sun-loungers by the 13-metre pool.
With Bali and France influencing the design, the property includes timbers repurposed from the island. The Sanctuary is brimming with vivid colour, just like the Indian Ocean island itself.
Best for: Couples.
The Retreat, Roundabout Retreat & Breeze Inn
This three-bedroom, centrally located unit is spacious and comfortable with a verandah overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Bid a hasty retreat to The Retreat when the sun is poised high in the sky to watch birds cruising by on the flight path. The Retreat is air-conditioned and has complimentary wi-fi and includes two queen beds and one room with twin singles.
While the best places to eat around Christmas Island are scattered nearby, there is a self-contained kitchen so you can whip up a feast and dine in.
Best for: Families or couples.