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Ipak Bay, Tanna Island Vanuatu
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Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Other miscellaneous taxes and hotel fees which are not fixed or due at time of booking may be payable at the property at time of stay. Please see our partners for more details.
Traveller (285)
Dining (123)
Room & Suite (111)
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
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Updated 22/06/22 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Rockwater Resort
Updated 22/06/22 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 9 hotels in Tanna Island
HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES BOUNCE BACK FROM COVID: BOOK ROOMS & TOURS DIRECT. Rockwater is a relaxed, unpretentious eco-resort surrounded by pristine marine life, crafted out of the white coral cliffs of the beautiful, North Tanna coastline. Every guests is treated as a family friend, cherished by staff and management; at the same time individual health, comfort and privacy is at the core of all facilities and services. No gimmick, no selling, we honestly love to make people happy...makes our life very enjoyable! Don't forget to check out our Facebook page for more. Hope to see you soon. John and Silvana Nicholls.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Free airport transportation
24-hour security
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Adult pool
Outdoor pool
Saltwater pool
Plunge pool
Shallow end in pool
Bar / lounge
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Game room
Walking tours
Board games / puzzles
Airport transportation
Shuttle bus service
Car hire
Taxi service
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
First aid kit
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Washing machine
Ironing service
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Room features
Blackout curtains
Private balcony
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Coffee / tea maker
Walk-in shower
Tile / marble floor
Electric kettle
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, French, Italian
123Reviews5Q+A18Room tips
Traveller rating
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Most Recent
Jonathan wrote a review Jun 2020
Sydney, Australia27 contributions8 helpful votes
- I want to update my review from my last year travel - I visited Rockwater resort in May 2019 and I retain only great memories. In these times of chaos due to the virus, I want to add support to one of the best places I had the chance to visit during my past travels. John and Sylvana, owners of this resort, are the soul of our enjoyment. We stayed there for two night with friends and beside the stunning location, we were pleased to see how this lovely couple has been able to look after us. Not only they gave us advices and organised our tours for us, but they shared their life experiences and what it is to live in the country. They set up a trip to the Yakel village, meeting its inhabitants and discovering their way of life which has been for us a complete travel in time but also the occasion to see what is essential. On that same island, and thanks to our host, we’ve been able to visit a volcano, still in activity and fly our drone over to take beautiful landscape pictures. This trip to Tanna has been one of the most incredible in my life and lots of that has been through the help of the Rockwater resort owners. Special mention for the delicious and very well presented food, the always helpful, smiling employees but also for the beautiful reef right next to the site. I recommend it very much, no chance you will regret it and I look forward to come back again. Nice meeting you John, Sylvana and your team! John, I hope you are still doing well, I updated better photos this time. I will ask Joss for your email and send you the rest :-)
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Date of stay: July 2019
Sleep Quality
1 Helpful vote
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 12 Jun 2020
What a surprise to find this review at this time of the year; written with such passion, you truly humble us Handeyed. I say this as we are in our 3rd month of self-isolation due to COVID19 and was reading the past guests reviews to see if I had missed something from the past where we could improve before reopen hopefully late in 2020. It is odd to create a world for people to enjoy but have no one here. As we were the first resort in Vanuatu to self-isolate, it has been a tough year so looking forward to the human noise. However, we have been really busy landscaping and doing what some call "re-inventing ourselves", except in our case it was always part of our long term plan. There will be surprises for our guests as we prepare for the post COVID19 new world. Naturally there will be images of the upgrades, but when all is ready. The resort Facebook page is kept updated; sometimes a little quirky; forgive me as it is dependent on the mood I'm in! NOTE: If others are reading this, please remember; if you want accommodation providers to still be there when you travel around the globe post COVID19, then book direct with them so they do not have to pay very high commissions to the billion dollar online travel agencies. Plus hoteliers want to get to know you, you ARE their guests and you will be much more appreciated by them, unlike the online agencies, where you are just an commission-income they will never meet. Great exclusive rates for direct-bookings and new Specials coming up on our website very soon. Silv and I are doing fine, and really, really! Looking forward to seeing some friendly faces from the past again! All the very best to all and each one of you out there, keep safe and we will see you in COVID19 - FREE Tanna sooner than you may think. John and Silvana.
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JannekevdG wrote a review Mar 2020
Amsterdam, The Netherlands15 contributions19 helpful votes
I had such a great time at this beautiful resort. John and Silvana and their lovely staff really make you feel at home. You can see this place is built with love for nature. The best snorkeling! There is so much to see underwater right in front of the resort! Great compagny, food, a very spacious room and especially the peacefulness I found there made the stay one that I will never forget!
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Date of stay: February 2020
4 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 27 Mar 2020
Thank you for your generous review JannekevdG. As you discovered, the resort is designed to over time fuse into its natural surrounding; to become one with the rock mountain and forest, engaging our senses to the fullest. A guest ask me once, why the pebbles logo? …pebbles communicate the Zen principles: mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, positive-thinking, and rewarding yourself. Our aim is to create a authentic environment for all to experience these things, and as the world is presently a lot of Zen is needed! Plus we think pebbles are cute and they are found here. See you one day sooner rather than later. John
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Dale S wrote a review Mar 2020
2 contributions
Rockwater offers something uniquely refreshing to resort holidays. In addition to direct access to the clear coral oceans and stunning sunsets is the magnificent architecture, Gaudi himself would be impressed. The owners, John and Silvana, have developed this resort with a strong sense of environmental integrity, visual aesthetics, lovely fresh local food, wonderful staff and excellent personalised service. Yes, the road to Rockwater was a bit bumpy and ‘the owner talks a lot’ but he actually has some very interesting things to say. We will definitely be back to see how this resort evolves.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 19 Mar 2020
We designed this resort from the heart ... it would be without compromise. We are glad you can see and feel difference. Thank you for expressing it. No secret Gaudi is my favourite architect, and like him I like to use stone, ceramics, tiles, glass and bricks. Fell in love with his organic building style when in Barcelona...but that is another story for another day, there is still so much to talk about! Be well, be safe and happy! John.
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carlaawad wrote a review Mar 2020
Brussels, Belgium78 contributions16 helpful votes
The Rockwater resort was a great place to stay !!! It s an ecological resort build on the rock very beautiful and green . The swimming pool is so quite and calm . The rooms are big and comfortable very nice build inside the rock !!! Very trendy !!! The owners Sylvana and John are so caring and they welcome you personally and try to do the maximum to make your stay pleasant and happy!!! The food was very delicious too . You can do snorkeling in front of the hotel i enjoy it very much with John who came specially with me !!! Thank you Sylvana and John for everything !!! We had a fantastic time in Tanna because of you!!!’
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
2 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 18 Mar 2020
Everyone looks for,and hopefully eventually finds what they want in life. Ours goal is to be happy; create a world we want to live in; invite everyone that thinks likewise to enjoy it. Thank you for being great guests and humbling us with your review. John and Silvana.
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Hollie W wrote a review Mar 2020
Horsham, Australia163 contributions49 helpful votes
After completing a Tanna Island volcano tour we were taken by bus along a very bumpy dirt road at night, wondering where on earth we would end up...the bus stopped and we stepped out to see our accommodation for the night, I thought I was dreaming! We were given the keys to our room and as we opened the door my mouth dropped, stunned by what I was seeing. Real coral formed part of the walls, the pebble flooring, every room was amazing, we couldn’t believe it was part of the tour for the price! Absolutely incredible! Dinner and dessert once we settled in was delicious and the hosts were were wonderful! Waking up the next morning to see where we were was a highlight and we made the most of the short time we had to explore. I wish I had so much longer there. Would definitely go back, it’s on the honeymoon destination list..... if I ever get married 😂
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Date of stay: August 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
5 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 18 Mar 2020
Honeymoon it is then! We would love to look after it…well, we will provide the canvas, you paint it. Hoping with a new government soon to be sworn in that Tanna Island may receive some funding for roads as I can assure you we are not happy about it either. I guess it also reminds people where they are, no bitumen pedicured roads, but at the end is happiness! Thanks for your really sweet words holliew155.
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PeaceAndLight wrote a review Feb 2020
Australia2991 contributions100 helpful votes
From the minute your plane touches down your experience starts! Rockwater staff greet you with a smile, take your bags and you pass interesting rugged landscapes on an unsealed road (government hasn't funded any sealing or improvement) until you reach the resort. The hospitality continues as you are taken for a brief tour, bags taken to your suite and drinks offered. Fantastic landscaping, gorgeous cool rooms with quality linen on comfy KS bed, individual design, Vanuatu made Volcanic Earth toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, ceiling and floor fans and outdoor seating/lounging area in your own little private courtyard festooned with bougainvillea for privacy. We enjoyed sunset views each evening and a pleasant cooling breeze from the outdoor bed. The bar and restaurant area was welcoming, staff learn your name very quickly and are attentive but not intrusive. The food was great and we really enjoyed the fried coconut strips with sea salt given as a complimentary bar snack. The food was fresh and good quality and the menu varied and catered for non meat eaters. We were lucky enough to go on an early morning snorkel safari and the fun entrance to the open water, down stairs then swimming though a narrow channel in the coral until it opens up to coral gardens with lots of new coral growing due to the area being a marine sanctuary and seems to be a fish nursery for many colourful species. My husband saw a mated pair of giant squid chasing each other around! We also loved the pool and got an awesome back massage from the waterfall. It even has moulded seating at each end to relax on. Theres also a small spa like high pool that flows over into the main pool. We've been to the volcano several times before so didn't go this time and just relaxed at Rockwater each evening. The wifi was pretty good in the lounge area and the champagne was cold! What more could you ask for on a remote island?! A unique hotel with fantastic design, staff and owners! We will be back soon!
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Date of stay: January 2020
Room Tip: The Rocksuites are lovely. You can only hear the waves at night and they are cool and...
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3 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 14 Feb 2020
Receiving this endorsement from such an experienced TripAdvisor reviewer and the advice given when here has further motivated our team, so much so they named you: "Bigfella Tourism Whitewoman" Thank you for staying and sharing your stories at Rockwater, we will remember, and miss you both with great fondness. Hopefully you will get back to us for that massage, bubbly in hand!
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Geoff wrote a review Jan 2020
Greater Sydney, Australia9 contributions3 helpful votes
We had the most memorable and amazing experience staying at Rockwater Resort. We were stunned by the amazing views and the beauty of the resort itself which incorporated nature and sustainability with relaxation and luxury. Our spacious room provided ultimate relaxation which was always kept clean by the lovely staff. It was a lovely surprise that all it took was staying in a cave-like room to cure my sleeping issues. The pool was our special relaxation spot where we could enjoy the amazing views of the garden and ocean or gaze at the stars at night. The diversity of the marine life right at the front of the resort made snorkelling at Rockwater Resort truly an unforgettable experience. This place is our little piece of paradise but what made our trip really special was the warm hospitality and friendly atmosphere of John and Silvana and all their staff. From the moment we stepped foot in their resort, we felt welcomed and part of their family. The staff were always so friendly and accommodating. Silvana and John were great hosts who organised our Mt. Yasur volcano and Blue Cave tours which were both breathtaking experiences. John generously went out of his way to take us snorkelling, showing us the places where you may spot a school of clownfish or a lobster. We will truly treasure the underwater photos he was kind enough to take for us. We can’t wait to come back to this beautiful place and see John’s vision of his eco-resort fully developed.
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Date of stay: December 2019
3 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 15 Jan 2020
Good to hear from you PGAnge, So glad you took the opportunity to use the swimming pool at night, it was created for enjoying anytime, and as the vegetation evolves it will become just that more private and romantic. The pool water temperature is now staying at 28 Celsius during the day and around 26 at night, so we are delighted (Summer: Nov to April). In winter it drops to 26 in the day and 24 at night (Winter: May to August). With two large filtering pumps for water purification, two salt chlorinators and a third for water cascade/oxygeneration, we now have a very healthy pool (that was for the pool buffs who keep asking). You are right, the marine life in front of the resort is now at “breeding stock” level, so much so the fish are now venturing into dead neighbouring reefs looking for more food and assisting the new coral growth by cleaning it. The over fishing by locals of coral fish in addition to cyclone damage left their reefs in dire condition. If they stop fishing for the next 5 years then the fish and lobsters from our reef will assist rebuild their marine ecosystem. Taking a group of locals snorkeling next week to show them…education is the key. Enjoy the underwater pics as much as I did taking them...she is an angel to photograph! Silv and I would love to see you again. PS: for those yet to come for the first time to Rockwater; we do not serve Lobsters from Tanna as the stock has been devastated. Female full of eggs, baby lobster the size of your wrist have been purchased by unscrupulous resorts and restaurants in Tanna and Port Vila (served in salads and curries to disguise their crime). We also will never purchase any reef cleaning fish such as Parrot fish as they are indispensable to reef survival. If you want to help the coral reefs of the world survive, please educate yourself (easy to Google) and do not create the demand. Naturally NEVER buy shells, just NEVER….thank you from those yet to be born.
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Kerry C wrote a review Jan 2020
Brisbane, Australia57 contributions54 helpful votes
Rockwater Resort is a unique boutique property that offers exceptional hospitality from the hosts John & Sylvana. The rooms are large, well equipped and spotless. The location is perfect for a relaxing break with easy access to the sea and a pool and gardens that provide ample nooks for privacy and relation. The food is fresh and prices for food & beverage very reasonable given the location. The highlight for us was the hosts and the local staff. They were profesional yet warm and welcoming and made our stay very special. Thank you for making our longish stay so enjoyable & I wish you all the success you deserve in the expansion of your unique property. John & Kerry
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Date of stay: December 2019
4 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 10 Jan 2020
As we grow into our lives, most of us hopefully acquire a few skills along the way but mostly understand the things that make us happy and pursue those. Silvana and I discovered that health, love and being surrounded by happy people in a beautiful physical surround was a good place for tired humans to respite. Creating a place with the heart and conviction to pursuit those goals has been our endeavour from the day we conceived the Rockwater "Project” in May 2015 and opened our doors in April 2018. Making other humans happy requires so many variables to be in place and working at the same time, so you can imagine our joy when reading the sentiments expressed on departure, email, and on the web about our project. We thank you so much for the feedback and look forward to your return. John and Silvana
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leish j wrote a review Jan 2020
Charleville, Australia25 contributions38 helpful votes
We stayed 4 nights at the Rockwater and loved the resort. Stayed in the rock rooms which we designed beautifully and truly captured the beauty of the surrounds. For us the highlight was definetely the snorkelling out the front of the resort. The sights there were breathtaking. The food was also extremely fresh and I loved the idea of the menu changing everyday. Breakfast was my favourite, the homemade breads and Jams were delicious. We went to Tanna from Port Vila with the hope of having a relaxing unwind before the holidays were over and the resort truly captured that. Aleisha and Shane
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 2 Feb 2020
You were a delight to look after, Aleisha and Shane. Thank so much for your review on Rockwater. As you noticed, our coral reef is very important to us; it is our way of giving back. The flamboyant, sand-pooping, Parrotfish that we saw in our snorkelling is the most important fish in our coral reefs, they eat algae and dead coral, spending up to 90% of their day nibbling/cleaning the reef, so with the 4th generation of Parrotfish under our protection we could not be happier! To answer a common question; the resort does not purchase any coral-habitant fish, we only select deep sea fish (usually Red Snapper found at 50 to 100 meters depths) caught by local fishermen with a hand line Some guests will see the fresh fish when the boats are in. Rockwater has been built with a long term approach, its sense of place improve as it ages; it will only become more homely every year. I am excited to see how it has pleased so many so far in its infancy. We are presently working on our leisure/beach island, restaurant waterfall, new rooms and other characteristics further maturing the Rockwater well-being concept. 2020 is a very exciting year for us here. Look forward to seeing again your beaming smiles in the bougainvillea corridors of Rockwater! All the very best from the team, Silvana and yours truly.
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Sue S wrote a review Dec 2019
10 contributions1 helpful vote
What an amazing experience! From the time we arrived to the last hug and wave goodbye we felt like part of the Rockwater family (5 nights). You John and Silvana have lovingly created and are still creating a beautiful resort mindful of the ecology and rejuvenation of the amazing reef in their care. Using and reusing materials consciously, nurturing and training locals to reach their highest potential from the ground up. The menu was limited, beautifully presented, all locally grown, delicious and the serving sizes were more than adequate. Our tours were organised by John covering everything we wanted to do and see, giving us great advice. Nothing was too much trouble, even down to organising a picnic hamper with sandwiches, beautiful fruit, cake and drinks for long days out. Our suits were amazing, built to preserve the coral within the rooms and hewn out of the rock which naturally provided a cool environment with fans to circulate the air, no air-conditioning necessary. We enjoyed many informative conversations over meals with John and Silvana and we absolutely fell in love with their staff. If you want to just go and relax, swim/snorkel the beautiful reef, guided by John if you wish, enjoy the wonderful swimming pools, sunrise and sunsets this is the perfect choice but if you want a more physical holiday this is absolute doable from a tour to the volcano to vertical climbs down to a pristine waterfall and much more. Sue, Andy, Robyn and Felicity (Affectionately we hope referred to as the Hervey Bay riff raff!)
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2 Helpful votes
Response from vanuatulocal, Owner at Rockwater Resort
Responded 3 Jan 2020
The old saying "The aim of English is the most said in the least amount of words" rings true here. I could not of written a more affectionate and powerful statement than the one above. All we can say is Thank You. Thank you for choosing our little place, thank you for the laughs and just being you. You gave us so much joy. We hope you all are spared the horrific Australian fires, and come back to us in years to come so that we can further enjoy life. Be safe and well, our loveable Riff Raffs. John and Silvana
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$255 - $262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
VanuatuTanna Island
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rockwater Resort
Which popular attractions are close to Rockwater Resort?
Nearby attractions include Blue Cave (3.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Rockwater Resort?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
Which room amenities are available at Rockwater Resort?
Top room amenities include a refrigerator, blackout curtains, and a walk-in shower.
What food & drink options are available at Rockwater Resort?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Rockwater Resort?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Rockwater Resort?
Conveniently located restaurants include White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa, Rockwater Resort, and Tanna Evergreen Resort Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Rockwater Resort?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Rockwater Resort have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Rockwater Resort offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Rockwater Resort have airport transportation?
Yes, Rockwater Resort offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Rockwater Resort?
Yes, laundry service and a washing machine are offered to guests.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Rockwater Resort?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, French, and Italian.