Wonderful location, clean and tidy, great swimming pool and outside bar. Staff extremely friendly and kind. Breakfast is free and superb! Nightly activities by the pool. Hotel has its own beautician/masseuse who is wonderful. Great value for money.
Casino next door. Tourism office inside hotel to organise all your trips and adventures. I went on the best day dive trip ever!
If you are on a tight budget, but want a holiday suitable for a mature couple who need their comforts, or a family - consider this quiet, friendly patch of self-contained villas.
You need to have your own kitchen to keep the costs down on eating out - Vanuatu is a terrific place, but food is expensive from restaurant eating to supermarket.
Vanuatu's capital Port Villa is a five minute bus ride, which you hail down outside the door. The staff will tell you how to get around efficiently. There are public phones to arrange taxi's or day trips etc.
This was our first adventure as empty-nester couple in 2006, so it was terrific to find that our accommodation was at the mouth of the Erakor Lagoon, opposite the Erakor Island Resort.
They are very generous providing non-residents free use of their five minute ferry ride over to their sandy beach, where you can get a cold drink from the bar, or go over for a meal.
The best was being able to use their kayak/canoes (which I had never done before).
Wongras is indeed the easiest option in Gaua: it is on the Internet, with several liks from Vanuatu Tourism site, positiveearth website, and many others. It has a phone working, so it is easy to contact them. It is close to the airstrip, making it easier to get your flight in case it's earlier, or to take a rest while waiting because of a delay (second option is the most common one).
Wongras provides no electricity (you will be given kerosene lamps), very poor toilet service (especially the shower: a few drops per minute and that's it), and the hatch is very dark, even during the day and quite old (the plastic cover on the roof will keep you awake because of the wind at night). Never mind the concrete rooms: they are an oven during the day, hot as hell!!
Food, provided by Mrs Angela, wife of Charles Bice, the owner, is great!
They will also organize your excursions with John Atchkins, the guide (1000 Vt per person to rech Lake Lete, plus 1500 access fee).
This is the situation. Price: 2500 Vt per person per night full board.
The fact is, that THERE are generators on the island. Only, you will not have power at Wongras.
As an alternative:
We met Colette, owner of 'Seaside view bungalows'. Apparently, they provide electricity with their generator; they have a fridge with fresh drinks; the bungalows are recently built. They are down the coast and they are going to pick you up at the airstrip and drive you down to the bungalow with a boat (15 minutes). The bungalows - says Colette - are close to Siri Waterfall, so it's easier and shorter to reach it from there, compared to Wongras.
These are the pros WHICH I DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHECK.
The fact is that, so far, Colette is not on the internet, and it is not easy to contact them.
I guess one might try to phone to airport public phone (+678-38514) and ask to whoever is answering to contact them for an airport pickup.
There are two accomodation sites at the moment in Torres: one is Josedith Bailey Memorial bungalow (the one we stayed at), the other being 'Kamilisa memorial Guesthouse'.
Kamilisa is on Linua Island, 3 minutes walk from the airstrip: it has concrete floor bungalows, and they do serve food, which they receive from the weekly flight freight. It is then far more expensive than Josedith: 2900 VT per person per night. If you've been anywhere in the tropics, you know that concrete is not that clean and wonderful thing, anyway (it isn't anywhere, but it gets quickly dark and rotten at these latitudes, because of the humidity).
We optioned Josedith: Joseph, the owner, will catch you at the airstrip, lead you through the path in the bush (it is a jungle, for our standards) and paddle you and your stuff on the other side of the reef lagoon, where a beautiful white beach is waiting for you.
Your accomodation for a week will be a palm-leaves shack on the beach: the sand is your floor. You will be allowed to use the kitchen (a campfire and some pots) and the water (not drinkable: drinkable rainwater comes from the water tank in the village).
Joseph will be happy of NOT serving you food since the cargo boat comes there once a year (maybe once every two years) and they survive on the fish they catch and their garden vegetables (which he will give you anyway, under request). You are expected to bring your food: you can buy anything in Santo, on your way there.
this is why you will be paying only 1500 Vt per person per night.
The place is astounding, and you will be on your own for great part of the day; you will be busy in cooking, eating coconuts and pawpaw (papaya) that Joseph will occasionally bring to you. You will probably be gifted at leas once with a coconut crab and some fish if they get any.
On Sunday you will be expected to attend the service (Anglican, in Bislama, with sensational choirs).
The rest of the time you will be absolutely lazy: swimming, laying on the white beach (all for you), and maybe reading.
Bring books, crosswords or sudoku, playing cards.
Also bring candles, torches and spare batteries, teabags, sugar, coffee, medicines and pills...anything.
No need to say, there is NO electricity, never, because they have no fuel for generators.
6 pm: it gets dark. You have to organise your dinner.
Joseph and his family will be grateful for any help: spare batteries for their diving torches (and maybe you will have MORE fish the day after), phonecards (there is a public phone in the village, almost always working), sugar, rice, clothes, etc. Remember that there is shortage of almost everything in Torres.
Tara Beach resort is a new resort opened in Vanuatu in the last month - it is situated about 25mins from Port Vila and about 15mins from the Airport. Situated on 14 acres of beach front land in beautiful Mele Bay. The owners Lei and Sala Vatoko certainly make you welcome but before you meet them I'm sure you will be greeted by Carl who will put you instantly at ease and tell you everything you need to know about beautiful Tara. This property is absolute beach front you can view the ocean from your bed and its a few metres walk to the ocean. Tara has great snorkeling either off the beach or off the end of the jetty. The bungalows are spacious with two bedrooms, a modern bathroom and small kitchenette for making tea and coffee. You can purchase a lovely meal from thier beach Nakamal or when booking choose and all inclusive package with meals included. Sala will be glad to talk about his paradise and if you are really lucky you may get to hear him sing. I would recomend this resort to anyone who is looking to unwind relax and have some serious beach time.
Ni-Vanuatu owned and operated this unique resort is close to Mele Village, Vanuatu's largest village. It is also close to the beautiful Mele Cascade Waterfalls and secret gardens. Tours with Sala give you a locals perspective on village life and he is only to happy to share his local knowledge with you. The resort is a family affair with wife Lei and sons Eric and Thomas you will enjoy your time as part of thier extended Vanuatu family. You are welcome for day visits as well.
Very recommended for the more adventurous travelers- those who like to get to know the locals and have an authentic cultural experience. The staff are simply lovely- extremely attentive and friendly. For example, on arrival we were presented with flower necklaces and coconut drinks, and dinner was accompanied by the local boys' string band!! The bungalows are in beautiful spot where there is a fantastic view of the volcano- at night the lava is lit up! And i defiantly recommend you give the volcano a visit- it was fantastic.
accommodation is basic but very clean and new, consisting of locally made bungalows with no flush toilets and the shower is from a bucket, but i think it makes the experience more genuine. There is also a restaurant, and the locals can catch lobster for your dinner!!
the website is: http://www.vanuatutourism.com/vanuatu/export/sites/VTO/en/operators/paradiseview.html
however, the phone number on the website was recently disconnected, it should be back soon, but call the village Lounasunan on (678) 68075
ask for Jeremiah, the manager, in regards to the bungalows, and the villages will know what you mean.
just be sure to arrange your stay at least a few days prior to arriving so airport pick up can be arranged.
This bungalow is owned and run entirely by local people, rather than ex-pats so the money directly benefits the villages.
Also, most of the Islands attractions are located on the eastern side of Tanna, where 'Paradise View' is, and petrol is extremely expensive, so it is in a good spot.
The bungalows are located right next to owner's village- people are so friendly and happy to show you their traditional way of life.
many tours can be arranged including a walk to the nearby hot springs! they are very reasonably priced and cheaper than many other places that charge extra for the guide.
also there is a special offer: stay 3 nights, 4th night free!!
I stayed at Lagoon Beach for over 12mths due to work commitments in Vanuatu the accomodation is a 16 appartment 1st class resort - upstairs (one king bed and either two single king or a king bed in second bedroom (+sofa bed in living room downstairs)- laundry and bathroom - downstairs fully contained kitchen and living area with sat TV and DVD - each appartment has house keeping either daily short term or weekly long term - covered private outdoor patio with table and chairs. Located on Erakor Lagoon with a white sand beach enables you to swim or paddle a canoe (provided at no charge) amongst the many fish species and multitude of starfish that inhabit the lagoon. Laze by the resort salt water pool and get refreshments from the pool bar cafe/restraunt. This is a perfect logation for a quiet romantic getaway or vacation with children (during peak season a 'kids club' runs with activities and outings). Not recomended for people with ambulation difficulties due to stairs
Beautiful lagoon views - staff only too happy to help with anything you require - childrens play ground and vast grassed areas for running or games and beautiful tropical gardens - easy access to transport or tours booked through tour desk - 5mins from central town - Ni-Vanuatu manager and staff - airport transfers - walk to other resorts or casino within 5mins - Melanesian Feast nights with the Banks Island Snake dancers and local Erakor string band to dance the night away or you are welcome to try your hand at playing thier musical instruments - market trips to the busy market place where you can sample and buy beautiful tropical fruits - the fully self contained kitchen is ideal for families that are budget watching or have special dietry needs or just wish to cook thier own meals
Iririki is every bit as lovely as you might imagine it to be. We stayed at the child-free section (Iririki Resort proper) in a Harbourview Fare.
The Harbourview Fare was a good choice for us, but if you're the type to sit on the balcony for a few hours, a waterfront fare would be better. Even at low tide, there was still water beneath the balcony, and I didn't see any mudflats!
The Fare was gorgeous and looked exactly like the photo on the website. The bed was quite comfortable and quite high off the ground, so there was actually a little wooden step-ladder provided to help you climb in (great for shorties like me!)
The toiletries were Gilbert & Soames, quite nice. Soap, shampoo and conditioner were provided, as well as shower cap and some cotton buds. The champagne upon arrival was Grandin, which was OK. We got Hardy's with our private balcony dinner (see separate tip).
Service in general was probably a bit slow, though. Most things had to be done via the tour desk, reception was concerned only with arrivals and departures. We had a bit of a problem with our water. One morning we had low pressure, but that fixed itself within an hour. One morning we had no water at all, but it was fixed by the time we got back from breakfast. The sliding screen door to the balcony was a bit sticky (but really, who cares, just deal).
There was no ugly! OK, if you don't like children, then avoid the pool at the other end of the resort. Also, they allow non-guests into the Bali Hai pool. The non-guests tended to be young backpacker types who hung out in groups and just drank all day and sunbaked until they turned into lobsters, which conflicted with the romantic couples who were actually staying at the resort for peace and quiet. They scared away at least one guest from the pool area. It's not that they were particularly rowdy, but they definitely stood out and they were somewhat annoying.
The grounds were lovely and lush, and we spent most of our time at the Bali Hai. Bali Hai would have to be the highlight. Child-free infinity pool with poolside service and what is probably the best view in Port Vila. The pool and cafe faces north and overlooks the harbour onto Port Vila. It's such a pretty view, beautiful blue water, harbour buildings dotted along the waterfront, and the sunset just to the left. Happy hour was practically euphoria-inducing.
Other facilities were also great. We took advantage of the free kayaks, and strolled around the island, and went to the top to look at the view from the manager's residence. Staff were always friendly and as helpful as they could be. The tour desk was great, although it had moved to Mitchener's restaurant and they hadn't updated the signage so I got lost looking for it.
The ferry service to the mainland operates 24 hours. It takes about 2 minutes for the actual boat trip, but probably about 10 minutes all up if you factor in waiting times. There are resort representatives at both the jetty on Iririki and the wharf on the mainland. They help out with making sure you get on the right tour bus and they call the ferry for you at night. They would probably even provide you with directions if asked. Taxis are often parked at the mainland wharf too.
Had the chance to stay here through my work at cost it is a realy great resort all the things you expect from a luxury resort.
Luxury helpfullness and staff willing to go the extra mile.
They took me out to the nakamal to go drinking with them after hours.
Organised my PADI openwater dive course at a discount.
Sorted me a doctor when I became ill. (dont eat more than two fresh coconuts at a sitting untill you have the correct digestive enzymes)
taught me to climb coconut trees and open coconuts with a machete.
guided me to all the great things to see on the island.
Stayed on a small island that is about 200 metres from the mainland, there is a ferry back and forth a few times an hour. You stay in small huts on the island, very cool.
Breaka's is a beautiful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Port Vila Town Centre. From the moment you walk into the lobby, you know you're in a special place. Your first glimpse of the resort is of the infinity pool overlooking the crisp blue waters of the South Pacific. You get a choice of a garden or beachfront fare, which is decorated in the traditional island style. There are no windows (only fly-screens with shutters), so you wake up to the beautiful sound of the waves crashing on the sand each morning. Breakfast is included in your resort fee, and it is excellent!
Bask in the infinity pool, snorkel the reef right outside your door, read a book on the beach, or lounge the day away in your fare. You really get a sense that nothing else matters at Breaka's. Trust me...you won't want to leave!
Breaka's is blissfully child-free!
Although we didn't stay on Erakor, we spent an increasing amount of time there as it was so peaceful. The quiet, low key and relaxed resort was probably more what we were looking for (if only we'd known!). Small, tranquil - and really gives you that isolated tropical island paradise feel.
Erakor is a small island, around 800m long and about 100m at its widest. Accomodation is in the form of bungalows, most with direct water views.
We ate at Erakor twice and the food was good, but still reasonably pricey by Australian standards (around $90 AUS per couple for a family restaurant quality 3 course meal). The service was the similar to Le Lagon, with the staff being a bit absent minded, but they were friendly, interested in a chat and took as much care as they could.
Bungalow style accomodation. Bar, games room and separate waterfront restaurant. Small range of kayaks/surfskis for guest use.
We stayed at Le Lagon for our week in Vanuatu, in a "Lagoon View" room. The grounds and rooms are top notch. Having said that, we were a little let down by a few aspects of the service - and I was surprised by the high prices.
A local Vanuatu beer is around 500 Vatu, which is about $7 AUS. Imported beers are more. We dined in the restaurant and paid around $130 AUS each time. The restaurant food was decent, but still quite pricey by Australian standards. We chose the seafood buffet in the main dining hall one night, which was extremely disappointing. The thawed seafood in Australian supermarkets is generally better than what was offered. They don't seem to have much of a local seafood industry. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can say is to consider the all inclusive package. We didn't take the all inclusive option and spent around $900 AUS on food and drink for the week, and we weren't being extravagant.
Perhaps it's the laid back island attitude but we found the majority of staff to be quite unattentive. We had a couple of small clothing items go missing from outside our room and it was near impossible to get anyone to do anything about it. In the end we gave up and bought replacements. The food and drink service was generally poor.
The most irritating aspect of our stay was the incessant music. The music at the pool bar started at around 9:30am and didn't stop until late at night. It was a mix of local "string bands", reggae, rap and top 40 hits. I'm probably starting to sound like a whinger but I'm just offering my honest opinion - the music was too loud; carrying through to most central areas of the resort. It's not what you want when you've planned to sit by the pool with a book for a significant portion of the trip. Even worse was when they started playing different music at the other end of the pool - which happened most afternoons. Noise pollution!
Beautiful tropical gardens, lagoon frontage (for the included sailing, snorkeling, kayaking etc), easy access to adjacent Erakor Island. Large pool with bar facilities. Golf course on the resort grounds. Two restaurants.
Erakor Resort is highly recommended! Great for total relaxation!
Stylish yet casual situated on a 16 acres island!
We stayed at the Erakor resort.It provides a small paradise where you can relax and indulge on all that the resort has to offer.
Erakor resort, is a small island only 2-3 min ride on a small ferry from Port Villa.
The ferry operates 24 hours a day, courtesy of the resort
The accommodation in the resort consists of bungalows that can accommodate couples and families.
Each bungalow is nested amongst coconut trees
All of them are only a couple of footsteps from the water. The beautiful Polynesian decor in the rooms marries with modern facilities. You just have to open the bedroom doors and there is the beautiful warm water of the Pacific at your feet.
A stroll around the island takes 20 minutes. The walk takes you amongst native trees and plants and exotic flowers, through to the open chapel where a lot of couples chose to get married.
Then you come face to face with the tempting Erakor Resort Spa facilities. The choices of massages and skin treatments are endless and the only problem one is faced with …is which treatment to have first!
The path will take you to the resorts restaurant.
Roxy's Restaurant on the island provides a decadent menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner……..not to mention the mouth watering seafood!!
Dining on the Restaurants verandah over the water, with views of port villa is an experience in it self.
The island has a small beach, with umbrellas and sun beds. Guests have access to free non motorized sports. There is a Volley ball court near by and a few hummocks swaying over the water.
But reading a book in the Pacific sun , with a the occasional dip in the warm water is the best sport of all.
The two friendly island dogs- Duke and Roxy-will often keep you company on the beach. Roxy spends much of her day chasing fish in the shallow waters where Duke greats the guests at the jetty.
Neptune the cat may visit you in your Bungalow, and take a nap on your verandah.
The staff on the island are friendly, courteous and very professional.
The Polynesian- style reception offers a billiard table, internet access, TV, and a public phone.
But I am sure once on the island the last thing on your mind will be the TV and internet!!
The sea, the atmosphere and the people will capture you!!!...I promise.
For visitors with kids:
It has a volley ball court and has a billiard table , a TV at the reception area only, and you can borrow board games. Baby-sitting is 2500 Vat / 3 hours I think. BUT …NO KIDS club!...and no pool…..so the Le Meridien may be more entertaining for the kids…..but you can catch the free ferry to Erakor( only 2-5 min ride) and spend a bit of time on the island beach. You can do the same with Iririki resort but they do not allow kids under 12 there. A couple stayed at Erakor and then a few days in Iririki and they said Erakor was much better.
A friend of mine had gone a few months ago to the Le Meridien and he liked it….but I didn’t get any tips on the kids facilities as he has no kids!
Overall I felt the Erakor Resort was best suited to Adults.
Le Meridien is probably the most popular resort in Vanuatu. Its very popular for familys with children as there is alot of activities to keep everyone occupied. It has a casino and golf course that sits on a lagoon. Its a 5 minute taxi ride from the centre of town.
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