We were greeted at the airport with a lovely shell necklace. We arrived at the resort - it is about 20 minutes drive from the airport - and received a lovely mocktail and frangrant cold towel. We especially appreciated the car seats that had been installed in the shuttle for our twin babies. We travelled with our 5 year old daughter and 9 month old twin baby girls. Our 5 year old was in the pool even before we had everything unpacked and that was where she was to be found for the next 4 days. The pool is lovely, cool and clean, as is everything else at Aquana. The bungalows have air conditioning (a life saver when you are still getting used to the Vanuatu heat) and the most awe inspiring views out to the lagoon.
A HUGE thank you to Hugo who went back to the airport on a Sunday to pick up our portacots which we forgot to pick up from the fragile luggage. And he did it without batting an eyelid!
The staff are amazing, amazing, amazing. Our babies were cuddled, carried around and entertained the whole time we were there, giving us the opportunity to kick back and relax. Since there is no facilities in the bungalows to prepare meals, we had all our meals at the restaurant. I can recommend the fish curry and the poulet fish for dinner and the swiss hash browns for breakfast, yum!
Be prepared that food in Vanuatu is generally very expensive. Marcel does a great job with putting on a feast at every meal. The owners have some very exciting and ambitious plans for Aquana and I have no doubt that it will be a great success. The bungalows are very well appointed, with leather furniture in the lounge and very comfortable beds in the two bedrooms. The bathroom is small but has a good shower, toilet and basin.
The lagoon is right in front of you and the sunsets are beautiful. Snorkelling is on the back side of the island in front of you. You can kayak out or get Aquana to organise for someone to take you out. Make sure you take the time to get a village walk organised. It is very authentic and understated, really just wondering through the next door village with one of the locals. There is also a little "jungle walk" to a spring at the end of the lagoon - beautiful! One morning the lovely Yasna and Catherine took our children and we were rowed by tranditional dugout outrigger to a nearby deserted island with a chilly bin full of cool drinks. We spent the morning snorkeling around the abundant coral and just basked in the absolute silence and beautiful surroundings.
While we did not make use of it, there is a free shuttle to Port Vila every day that leaves in the morning and returns late afternoon. We just hung around the resort since there was plenty to do, including grabbing a kayak and exploring the lagoon.
We were treated to a little surprise on our third night. A man wearing traditional dress called us out of our bungalows by blowing on his big conch shell. The children were taken to the sand spit where a bonfire had been lit for marshmellow roasting. The adults were invited to take part in a kava ceremony, where the history and traditions around kava was explained by one of the locals.
We had a lovely time at Aquana and have no hesitation to recommend it to other travellers. We felt fully refreshed and relaxed after our 4 days there and wish we could have stayed longer.
Things to note: the website is a bit all over the place and it is hard finding the information you want such as the exact location, how far it is from town, transport options to town and around. My suggestion is to make contact with Aquana via their "contact" page, they are very helpful and answered all my questions very promptly. There is no food preparation facilities in the bungalows so all your meals will be taken at the restaurant. This can be expensive especially when travelling with kids since they don't always want a full contental breakfast, but there is no option for just a piece of toast or such like. Aquana would be the absolute ultimate destination for us if there was a sink, toaster, hot plate & microwave in the untis. The restaurant meals are lovely though.
Love you and miss you already!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened in 2012, Aquana Beach Resort has become Vanuatu's leading three and a half star family friendly boutique Resort and this has largely been due to the unique childcare approach it has developed and the quality of the food from it's very popular casual dining restaurant. Located 25 minutes from the International Airport and only 15 minutes from the town centre, Aquana is situated in a large lagoon surrounded by groups of deserted islands and pristine reefs. Aquana has a 150 meter long man-made beach great for children to be able to play free from danger and for adults to relax on and soak up the sun. Aquana consists of 16 bungalows all located within 30 meters of the lagoon front and a hot a la carte and a continental breakfast are both included in the room rate and the resorts idyllic surroundings provides the perfect location for weddings and functions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aquana Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila