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“Fantastic family holiday in paradise!!!”

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Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu
Ranked #14 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2012

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort from 2nd - 9th July, 2012. This resort totally exceeded our expectations! It is clean, modern and very comfortable indeed!
We were met at the airport with the wonderful sounds of the band and the smiling faces of our transfer company staff. We were given shell necklaces and goodie bags for the kids (which included adorable little woven crowns) and bottles of cold water. Our huge pile of luggage (we were travelling in a group of 6 adults and 3 children under the age of 3!!!) was loaded into the bus trailer with ease by the very friendly driver as we jumped into the bus. On the bus ride in we were given a short run down on Port Vila (such as where to change money etc) and were also given paperwork to complete in order to make check-in a smoother process, which seemed to work well.
We arrived at the hotel about 15 minutes later and again were greeted with many smiling faces and a man in traditional dress blowing a shell. Check-in was a fairly quick and simple process, but the staff seemed a bit overwhelmed with all our luggage and in the end we ended up carrying most of our luggage up to our rooms ourselves (hard to do when you're carrying 3 small children!) There is no lifts in the hotel, so I understand that trolleys can't be used to help transport luggage, but perhaps something else could be thought of?
Because it was school holidays and the resort was fully booked, we did not receive our "free room upgrade" which was supposed to be included in our holiday package. So we ended up with a resort view room. This did not worry us too much as the rooms are fantastic and the outlook onto the lawns lovely, however the balcony is tiny and has no seats. I understand the lagoonview rooms on the other side of the hall have bigger balconies with chairs and great views over the lagoon, so we will make sure we opt for this next time! As already mentioned, there are no lifts in the resort so if you have small children or not so fit consider booking a room on level of reception. Our room was up the end of our wing so mostly quiet except for the rather annoying banging of the room doors.
Our room was spacious and tastefully decorated. We had a king bed which was so very comfy, so much so that we wanted to take it home with us! :) There was also a choice of soft and firm pillows and the linen was of good quality. We were provided with a portacot for our 21 month old son. This was the cleanest hotel portacot we had ever seen and had the comfiest mattress. There is a lot of storage space and a large built in cupboard with an in-room safe which was easy to use. Iron, ironing board, large TV, good air con, small fridge, kettle, tea/coffee supplies are just some of the in-room inclusions. The bathroom was also fitted out well, water pressure and temperature excellent and toiletries supplied of good standard. The rooms were spotlessly cleaned each day, we cannot fault the room servicing!
The reosrt grounds are immaculate. There are 2 pools to choose from, the terrace pool more so aims at adults, whilst the lagoon pool aims at catering for families with an excellent kids pool. Our only complaint about the pool was that the water temperature was a little too cool for our liking and our son refused to get in after the first day. In saying that, the water temperature of the lagoon was much warmer, but just wasn't safe to take small child in there. Although he did enjoy paddling on the edge of the lagoon and exploring the water for beautiful starfish. We enjoyed taking the catamarans and kayaks out onto the lagoon.
There are several options for eating. The buffet breakfast was included in our package and was one of the best we have seen! So much variety!!!! The hot food was excellent and they even have an omelette station and a juicer for making your own juice concoctions from the lovely array of fresh fruits. We nearly had to roll out pf breakfast each morning! :) We mostly catered for ourselves at lunch. There is a french bakery half way into town, we bought breadsticks from here and bought some staples from a supermarket and made our own sandwiches. At dinner time, you can choose to eat at the lobby bar, pool bar or verandah restaurant (which has a different themed buffet every night or you can choose from a large A-La-Carte menu). The lobby and pool bars serve up typical bistro style food such as club/steak sandwiches, pizzas, noodles, fish and chips etc. The price of this food averaged around AUD$15-$20 and was of pretty good quality. We ate at the verandah restaurant twice, 1 buffet and 1 night off the menu. Both were excellent quality! The buffet was about AUD$38 p/p which we thought was reasonable and included soup, bread rolls, salds, hot dishes, desserts and a sundae bar. The menu prices averaged around AUD$25-$35 main meals. Drinks at the resort were quite expensive, but there are 2 happy hours, pool bar from 4-6pm and lobby bar from 8-9pm. Cocktails were a bot hit and miss depending on who made them. Maybe need more training of all bar staff to ensure consistancy. Children eat free when adults order. Kids menu offers a good variety and food of good quality(we did receive raw fish one night however, but this was very quickly rectified!!)
There was a jumping castle set up during our stay, which our kids played on for hours!!! This just shows the lengths the resort goes to to cater for children. The kids club and staff were amazing and our son thoroughly enjoyed the play ground. The kids club caters for children 3-12 years but you can arrange baby-sitting easily and was very cheap at about $12/hr!! The kids all looked so happy when we were there! :)
I understand they are in the process of upgrading the spa facilities. It is currently set next to the kids club, which is noisy at times. My sister and I both had massages. My sister's experience was better than mine. My therapist was friendly, but needs more training on massage technique. She also had a cold and constantly sniffed or blew her nose throughout, which was not the most relaxing experience.
And now to our favourite thing about the resort - the staff!!!! They are warm, genuine, happy people who appear to really care about you and nothing is too much trouble! The Aussie managers are very present and lovely to talk to. Our son was absolutely doted on by each and every staff member.
Our only other critique of the hotel is to watch your room charges. On several occasions we were charged full price drinks at happy hour (when they are meant to be 50% off) and on check-out there were several discrepencies on our bills. We suggest you look over every bill carefully before signing, keep a daily tally and ask for a daily bill check in order to make it easier to find discrepencies. It took a long time on our last day to go through the bill with reception staff, also it is not an itemised bill, and when we asked for receipts for some of the charges to check we had signed for these purchases, the staff couldn't even produce half the receipts!!!
Vanuatu is a wonderful place and the Holiday Inn is an amazing place to stay, we cannot wait to return soon!!! Tankyu tumas!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kristin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 16 July 2012

Good Afternoon Kristin S

What a 'Fantastic' review!

Looks like we have a few items to work on in terms of arrival and departure experience. Please accept my apologies for both the arrival experience and the confusion around your account certainly not the level of service we are striving to achieve.

We are very fortunate to have a resort in such a unique country full of people that are genuinely warm and friendly which is a key element in making a stay memorable.

Hope to welcome you back to Vanuatu in the near future.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager

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567 - 571 of 703 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2012

We travelled here with 3 young children, ages between 3 and 7. The resort was very family friendly. The kids pool was fantastic and perfect for little kids. The watersport activities were all free and readily available. Though the kids just loved playing on the beach, where there were hermit crabs and starfish. Make sure you see the fire show on the beach! Kids ate free with the buffets and the buffet was very good value. Eg. Dinner was $70 each night and this fed our whole family. The food was consistently great. Other menu prices were typical resort prices for Australia. Eg. $10 for toasted ham and cheese bagueete, $14-$16 for pizza. Note that room service charge $5for the service which was not communicated. The staff service was good in all areas of the hotel. Note that everything runs at a slower pace which adds to making the environment very relaxing. The rooms were comfortable. We had a garden view room looking towards the golf course which was good. The over water bungalows are quite a distance from the main resort so I am glad we weren't staying there with children. Sometimes noticed noise of slamming doors at night and also note that there at no lifts, so if you have a pram you will need to carry it up and down stairs. In regards to tours we found it cheaper to pay for a taxi to take us where we wanted to go. Eg. Hideaway island and blue lagoon and turtle bay. Note that the food at Turtle Bay was not nice and ridiculous price. Hideaway island is great for kids to snorkel! You need reef shoes, can easily purchase in Vanuatu (same price as home) We did one tour to the cultural village and it was fantastic. It was 2.5 hours and perfect to keep the kids attention. The Vanuatu market was great for buying fruit and had lunch for $4 a meal and was delicious. Other items easily purchased at shops. Shops and markets only 5 minutes from resort and $5 taxi fare each way. It was a very relaxing holiday and found myself operating at Vanuatu pace within just a few days of being there.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
5  Thank Niaski S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 12 July 2012

Dear Niaski S

Thank you for the very 'Friendly' review.

A standard at all our Holiday Inn Resort's globally is that children Eat, Stay and Play for free. Some very good tips in the review and reinforces how easy it is to get out and about on the island.

Hope to welcome you back for another relaxing break soon.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager

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Reviewed 10 July 2012

We arrived at the Holiday Inn to the sound of a shell blowing and a man in traditional dress - a welcoming arrival! Our check-in was prompt and our bags were carried to our room. Service!!! The room was beautiful - clean, comfortable and everything we could have wished for! We had a Lagoon view room which was indeed that! It was an absolutely stunning view that I enjoyed waking up to every morning. The resort is beautiful, to say the least. Clean, new and there are two pools, a gym, beautiful dining area, bar, pool bar, kids club and more! The staff are so friendly, professional and honestly, I have never felt so special! I really would like to thank Jessica, Pheppy, Veleshia and Meriam for their extra special attention to our needs. The kids club is fantastic in every way and my daughter totally enjoyed every minute she spent there with these special ladies. The food - well all I can say is that it was divine! We had buffet themed nights to choose from AND an al la carte menu which was amazing. My favourite was the Tassiriki Chicken - I had this 3 times!!! My daughter loved the beautiful selection of food and was totally amazed at every meal. I congratulate you on the fine selection of fresh, local fruits and foods. My favourite evening was the South Pacific Buffet night. Every day when we returned from sightseeing, the Fairies had been without fail to tidy and clean our room. Brilliant service and attention to detail. It was great to see how much interaction there was between the Managers and the Chef with the staff - it shows that the staff and management work together in harmony and this shows in every aspect of the service and quality of food and drinks we received. The grounds were immaculate and lush. The pool was amazing, especially at night when the lights came on! The entertainment was excellent and we loved the Fire Twirling night expecially! I will be recommending Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu to everyone! Thank you for everything - we really miss Vanuatu and the Holiday Inn. I would rate this experience an 11 out of 10! Please tell Jessica, Veleshia and Meriam that Samara sends her love and we will be posting photos. Thank you for all.

Room Tip: I totally recommend the Lagoon View Room - the view is divine! 7 days is NOT enough - go for atleas...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank justcloths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 16 July 2012

Good Afternoon justcloths

Thank you for the 'Perfect' review!

I will make sure that the team especially Jessica, Veleshia, and Samara get to see the review and photos. I know they will all be very proud of the experience they created for you.

Hope to welcome you back for some more 'Tassiriki Chicken' soon.

Tamkiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager

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Reviewed 10 July 2012

We booked this hotel having no idea what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised. The place is lovely and the grounds are clean and beautiful. We stayed in a regular hotel room for the first few nights, which was spacious and modern, then an over water bungalow for the last night, which was fantastic. The hotel offers up a lot of activities; we joined the kava tasting (fun) and the fire dancing show (cheesy with truly aweful music, but kids will love it). The staff here were wonderful, and aside from one really rude tourist at the fire dance show, our stay was great.

Room Tip: If you stay in an overwater bungalow, ask for one of the ones that is all the way over the water.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank soapandco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 July 2012

Good Morning soapandco

Its always pleasing to get a review that lets us know we have exceeded expectations.

The Fire Dancing performed by Wun Small Bag each week has become very popular especially as it set to Adele, Temper Trap and LFMAO. The team keep telling me that the music is current but I would agree not to everyone's taste!

Look forward to welcoming you back to Vanuatu in the future.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager

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Reviewed 9 July 2012

The holiday Inn provided my family with the ideal holiday that we had always dreamed of. there was so much to do and the food was always cooked and prepared fantastically. We had a ball during happy hour sipping on our cocktails and listening to the live music. Everything went without a hitch. I would have to say my favourite thing about the hotel were the staff...they were so friendly and always willing to talk and joke around with you. They really cared about the visitors to their resort. The fire dancing was awesome. 5 stars for the buffet breakfast too...I always looked forward to it every morning. We want to go back already.

Room Tip: Overlooking the lagoon is so pretty
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lauren P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 10 July 2012

Good Afternoon LaurenP

Well we look forward to seeing you come back soon and thank you for such a 'perfect' review.

Part of the branding of Holiday Inn Resort's is 'Stay You' which the team bring to life everyday. The fact that like to talk and have a laugh with encompasses what Vanuatu is known for.

I look forward to seeing you back in Vanuatu in the near future.

tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Address: Tassiriki Park, PO Box 215, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu (Formerly Palms Resort and Casino Vanuatu)
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#8 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#8 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#12 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: ₹ 11,908 - ₹ 18,935 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu 4*
Number of rooms: 148
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the serene waters of the Erakor Lagoon, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is set in vibrant natural surroundings. Meaning “the land that always existed”, Vanuatu is a holiday destination made up of 83 tropical islands located northeast of New Caledonia. Immersed in cultural richness and native splendour, the islands hold crystal blue beaches, coral reefs, hot springs, exotic rainforests, and stunning waterfalls that are some of the most beautiful in the world. The Vanuatu hotel’s Erakor Ballroom and Valea meeting space provides exceptional indoor and outdoor meeting facilities, and the accommodation resort also features a unique Namele Day Spa, two luxurious outdoor holiday swimming pools, and the newly refurbished Palms Casino. The views from the rooms include lush gardens, blue lagoons, and a golf course. The hotel boasts 5 dining areas. Breakfast, buffet and à la carte dinners are served daily. There is an extensive wine list from New Zealand, Australia and France. Get to experience the perfect Vanuatu holiday with island lifestyle at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Hotel Port Vila
Port Vila Le Meridien
Le Meridien Vanuatu
Le Meridian Vanuatu
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Port Vila

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