Iririiki Island resort is right in the middle of Port Villa. It is my favourite resort in Vanuatu, it has a free ferry that runs 24hrs from the island to Port Villa. The main pool is only new and is very peaceful and excellent staff.
Travelers motel is in Port Villa with a 10 minute walk to the centre. Its great cheap motel with very friendly staff and also has a security guard at night. The staff are really good and you can enjoy fresh coconut juice and fresh fruit in your fridge every day.
If you are looking for budget accommodation in Port Vila, not too far away from amenities, I'd recommend 'Room with a view'.
Clean, spacious rooms, with breakfast included. Friendly family run, and small kitchen so you can keep and cook your own food if you wish (which great if you are on a budget in Vanuatu!)
If you are a couple and want to spent time in a tropical resort with extremely friendly and helpful staff then Irrikki Resort is the one for you.
This place is a small island inside the Vanuatu harbour.
Rooms are individual bungalows for two only.
24/7 free boat transfer to the mainland where the local market is a great place to spend time.
Loved everything about Vanuatu and the trips and sights are fantastic.
Highlight of the stay was every afternoon after a day of exploring or shopping you come back to the resort and sit around the pool, have a drink and a bowl of nibbles and talk with your new found friend. Also watch the locals return to their islands via the crystal clear water as the sun sets.
If you want to stay with other Europeans and Australians in total, sanitised comfort with imported beers and satellite TV, then by all means head for one of the upmarket resorts in Port Vila. But if you want a more authentic Vanuatu experience - and more importantly see your tourist dollars go in to local pockets instead of the coffers of rich multi-nationals - then book into one of the capital's many independent guesthouses.
I stayed at Luron Guesthouse, which is essentially just a normal island house in which the owner rents bedrooms. The owner is Fr Luke Dini, a well-known local figure due to being a former boxer, politician and preacher. He is spending his retirement with his modest guesthouse concern.; he also has facilities in Lugainville and the Banks and Torres islands.
His business (such as it is, he obviously doesn't make much money) was relatively new when I went there in September 2003. I paid VT2000 per night for a private room (shared bathroom) and I saw my money being put to direct use as Father Luke used it to buy improvements for the property, namely materials to build garden furniture.
There was no air con, no fan and very low wattage electricity. It's very hot, dogs bark and fight outside and a cockerel starts going off at about 2am. Sounds terrible, right? Well admittedly I had trouble getting to sleep a few times, but as it was my virgin South Pacific experience, I actually found it very exciting and authentic. It was essentially how islanders lived there and I was just sharing their experience. The fact I was paying for it didn't change the fact it was just a normal house.
As I said above, the attraction for me was that this was just a normal, local house, despite being a financial concern, and I enjoyed the experience of staying there. I got a lot more out of it than I would have done if I had stayed in a better class hotel.
There is a garden which includes a banana tree, from which you can help yourself. The price of the room includes a fresh breakfast of bread, eggs, fruit etc prepared by Father Luke or his children which you eat outside in the dazzling morning sunshine.
The rooms are basic but comfortable (if you can stand the heat). You can have a private room or stay in the main room which has four or five beds (I can't remember exactly). Father Luke sleeps in there too. There is a shared bathroom with a flushing Western-style toilet and a cold shower. Trust me, this is actually a good thing! Tap water is safe to drink.
Father Luke himself took it as a personal responsibility to not only be my host but my friend too. We had many long and interesting conversations about all manner of things. He is a charming old gent who bent over backwards to make me comfortable, so much so that at times I felt quite humbled. On my day of arrival, I arrived at his guesthouse at 1am due to being on a late flight. As my stay with him was pre-arranged, he had stayed up for me, then talked with me until about 2am before going to bed, then getting up as normal the next day at 4am! I was also surprised when he said it was a "true honour" that a "rich Western man" such as myself had chosen to stay with him!
Above and beyond all the above, Luron Guesthouse also happens to be the cheapest accommodation in Port Vila.
We stayed at Iririki for seven nights, and it was amazing. The views, the island, the resort, I could not fault it in any way...and I've seen a lot of, dodgy and average places around Europe and Australia!
It is a stunning, kids free (!! excellent for couples!) resort- no children under 12 can stay there. Located on Iririki Island just off Port Vila. There's a free ferry accross and it takes three minutes.
We were in a harbourview bungalow, which are right next to the gardenview ones, and it was immaculate. The bungalows have everything you need, comfy bed, huge bathroom, air con, ceiling fans, TV, phone, desk, table and chairs and a lovely balcony. The staff are amazing and soo friendly. There's 130 staff! You will never be ignored. They're extremely helpful from the moment you check in (welcomed by a fruit cocktail) to the moment you check out and they load your bags on the complimentary ferry accross to Port Vila.
We spoke to other couples who were staying in the resort and they all loved it. Also found lots of other tourists who were not staying there hanging around!
The food is great at Michener's and the cocktails are the best in Port Vila that I"ve heard of.
A must for anyone going to Vanuatu! It really is as pretty as the pictures.
The resort is immaculate- with wooden floors on the receptions opening up to Michener's restaurant right on the water with incredible views accross Vila, and being surrounded by blue green water! it really is fascinating. Most packages come with breakfast which is highly recommend it. We had a very delicious buffet breakfast every morning. And it was lovely and also a great way to mingle with other guests and staff- or stay on your own table and admire the view if you wish.
The pool area and Cafe/ Bar are great. Again, great views all around. There's entertainment there every nite so you will never be bored, and the cocktails in coconut shells are a must for only $12AU.
Flying to Vanuatu is easy and accommodation can be reasonable. Package deals are good, but over priced. If you are adventurous, I would just fly into Port Villa and then go in search of accommodation. It's easy and the mini-bus taxis are so inexpensive.
Fantastic cultural shows
the tourist rush hasn't hit just yet
The staff are polite and cheery, they strive to be professional and are happy to do all they can for you
Facilities for those on a budget or private rooms with television and A/C.
The owners and staff are friendly and helpful.
The hotel is about 6-7 minutes walk from town, if you choose to go out anywhere else!
It has a large pool, great bar and share kitchen facilities.
We stayed at the Lagon Parkroyal, which has since been renamed. This hotel was beautiful, and the staff were most helpful. This resort is set on Erakor lagoon, which is gorgeous. You can use the catamarans, and kyaks free of charge, but the motorised water sports equipment has to be hired with payment.
Because this resort is in a beautiful position there are many weddings set in the beach alongside the lagoon. Anyone can gather to watch the ceremony, and since I'm a sucker for weddings I did just that.
Its a bit of a hike from the downtown area, and unless your a keen walker I wouldnt recommend it. They have shuttle services that you can use instead. This place really is gorgeous, and the rooms were lovely.
The buffet breakfast spread they offered had everything you could ever want with your jus d'orange!
There are 2 main dining areas on the resort: The Lagoon Terrace Restaurants served the buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Tam Tam Cafe serves an excellent a la carte dinner if you tire of the "buffet" atmosphere at the Lagoon Terrace.
75 acres of tropical gardens on the shores of a crystal lagoon.......and a golf course too? Not quite what I pictured to find on the island of Vanuatu.
This resort was highly recommended by our friend from New Caledonia (a golf addict, of course) and offered all the amenities a golf resort has: catamarans, kayaks, ping pong, croquet, pool bar.......etc.....etc......
We took advantage of all the wonderful sports activities the resort had to offer.......and even their Thai massage on the beach!
I've stayed at all-inclusive resorts before and I'll have to say that the service at this particular one was a bit disappointing.
You pay an extra $75 per person per day for the all-inclusive package and later come to find out that a lot of the amenties are not included.
While dining with a "Frenchman," it is compulsory to have wine at every meal! ;-) Our glasses of wine we ordered with our lunch didn't arrive until dinner!!! They were fully staffed, it seems, but the service was quite slow.
Other than that, we were satisfied with the facilities, but I would not recommend paying for the all-inclusive.
Our last six nights in Vanuatu were spent at Mangoes Resort. The bungalows are fantastic and a bit more upmarket than the other places we stayed.
They have two swimming pools but not much else in the way of entertainment. The restaurant is fantastic though!
The rooms really are the best part of the resort, very well kept and even have a TV and telephone! The pools are fantastic too!
We stayed two nights at White Grass Ocean Resort on Tanna Island. It was a very nice place with a fantastic host, Bev. We had a cute little bungalow which doesn't have a lock on the door...we didn't need one though. It is very isolated so you will need to eat at their restaurant basically every meal...
The power is from generators so it only lasts from 6 am to 10 pm...but it doesn't matter since you will have so much to do during the day that you'll be happy to sleep early. :)
We stayed our first three nights at Pango Paradise Cove Resort with 14 friends. We had a two bedroom bungalow that we shared with others. They have a great restaurant, volleyball court, snorkelling, bocce, two cute dogs and more...
The view from the meals area was great...we were sitting overlooking the ocean as we ate... :)
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