We stayed in Ratua for two weeks last year and we have just returned from another two weeks this month. What a place! Happy to say we weren't disappointed as we know sometimes the first time is always the best.
Ive worked in travel for over 20yrs, and also lived and worked in the South Pacific and in Asia. Ratua is very hard to compare to anywhere else I have been before and I like to think of it as our little undiscovered peace of paradise. Extremely unique and very understated. We love it.
Ratua has had a few management changes since our last visit. Bong the new manager and his wife Eileen are excellent, extremely enthusiastic and immensely proud to be working for such an incredible place. We hope they stay for some time. The fact alone that this island is not for profit and 100% goes to supporting the Ni-Vanuatu people is extraordinary and a great point of difference for anywhere else.
The staff are all amazing. There are too many to name who all contributed to us having a fabulous time. Thankyou Ratua!
We started off in Fish village, in the master suite, as we were travelling with a toddler and 2x teenagers for the first week. Its massive and very beautiful. The location of Fish village is better for swimming and access to the yacht club etc but we do have to say we preferred Dragon which is where we were previously and where we were for our second week. Located on a stunning beach (although tidal), and a lot more private. Its a bit of a walk to the yacht club but its a lovely walk, (which you need after all the gorgeous food Evan cooks up) but if youre not up to it then Claude or one of the boys can drive you in the electric buggy back to your room (or you can jump on a bike) The rooms are very different to each other and very different to anything you've normally seen in a resort, you have to see them to fully appreciate it. I raved on about all this so much last time that I wont repeat myself.
Just going back to Fish Village though. If you had a larger family group or a small company conference or private party then taking over the whole of Fish village for your own use would be amazing. It has the most beautiful private lounge right over the water where you could party to your hearts content. The rooms are closer together here so although less private for single bookings, perfect if you were booking all 3 (a master villa and 2x2 bedroom villas)
Ratua is definitely not for everyone though, if you are used to massive resort complexes, air con, motorised watersports, pools and shopping then don't come cos youre in the wrong place. There is heaps to do here if you want to do it . The blue holes are simply gorgeous, the marine life is incredible, fishing excellent, the horses are awesome (especially swimming with them) biking, caving, snorkelling, canoeing, turtle spotting (and there are heaps) etc etc etc and then theres the spa. (excellent) Its also well worth visitng the foundation school to see what you're helping support by visiting Ratua. Our teenagers were astounded and really enjoyed the visit as well as their full day Millennium cave tour. The water dancing on a Tuesday night is a must see and the island string band are lots of fun too. It is quiet though so don't expect action packed evenings. We met some fantastic friends from all over the world from our two visits here, its a real place to unwind, completely relax or to make new friends or do whatever the mood takes you.
The people are beautiful, very non invasive, genuine and kind. They are some of the happiest people we have met in the world. Our little girl would have been adopted by the village if they could have taken her, it was fantastic. Some of the staff were in tears when she left.
The food is great. Same chef and he even cooked us up some of our old favourites. Plus who can beat fresh lobster and calamari on the BBQ for lunch. The house wines are also excellent
We did have a couple of housekeeping issues at the start of our holiday but management were excellent at sorting these out and the issues we had were quite unavoidable due to really heavy rain (very unseasonable and pleased to say only lasted 3 days out of the 14 we were there, the rest of the time was sunny and clear) It would also be good to see the projector fixed in the cinema as the cinema is very cool and would have been great for the kids on our wet days.
Another thing to note is that there is wifi at the yacht club and our boys were very happy to also be able to access this in Fish village.... we were pleased to move to Dragon where there was no wifi access ;)
Thankyou Bong and all your team for another memorable trip to Ratua and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
There is not a doubt that we will be back . We love this place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ratua Island is a wild, magical place with authentic people who offer a simple and warm reception in a naturally beautiful environment. There are 13 individual 200-year-old Indonesian villas that have been specially reconstructed on sites offering stunning views with a private deck or beach. Located in the Vanuatu Archipelago, off the South East tip of Espiritu Santo, Ratua is only a 30-minute motorboat journey from the mainland on our own private motor launch. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ratua Private Island Hotel Luganville
- Ratua Private Island Vanuatu/Luganville