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“Great resort”

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Oyster Island Resort
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We were a group of 8 including our 3 kids 12,12 and 14 and could not have been happier with our choice of Oyster Island We stayed for 5 nights and stayed in 3 of the deluxe bungalows.
Everything from the meals, the staff, the managers (Olly and David) the location, the tours were fantastic. OIR is in a great position for day tripping. We did the Millenium cave tour, Million dollar point, Mateluvu blue hole, Jackies Blue hole, Champagne Bay, Lonnoc beach and Port Olry and loved them all. Santo is an Island we could spend a lot more time on exploring around.
OIR has some nice snorkelling on the other side of the island to the resort and the walk around the island is really good as well. Grab a map from reception which directs you to the sites, including a WW2 canyon sticking out of the sand.
The grounds are really well maintained and a credit to the ground staff.
We didn't have any dramas with rats, any food we had we kept in containers to deter them from wanting to visit us during the night. There were rat traps set up around the bungalows to try to catch them.
When we come back to Santo we will definitely be staying here.

Room Tip: Deluxe bungalows are fantastic with the open air shower.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank steely67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OysterIsland, General Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2014

Hi guys, thank you for your review, its great to hear that you enjoyed the resort and the wider Santo Island and her many beautiful spots. Looking forward to hosting you back for another holiday sometime, meanwhile. happy travels.

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148 - 154 of 369 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2013

We stayed 2 nights at Oyster Island in October is a deluxe bungalow.
The accommodation was excellent - on the water and the room was very large and well laid out - loved our shower!
We walked the island, snorkeled on several of the beaches and enjoyed meeting the staff. The dining area promotes contact with other guests which is always nice.
This resort is good for couples or families - you can tour Santos from here or just relax and enjoy.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank WanderingCdns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OysterIsland, General Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2014

Thank you for your review we are genuinely pleased when our guests have a great break with us, hope to see you back again and safe travels.

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Reviewed 29 December 2013

We booked for four nights but left after just two for the following reasons:

1. RATS. We had rats in our room at night and did not sleep at all as a result. We spoke to the couple in our neighbouring bungalow who also checked out after just one night for the same reason. When I mentioned this to the manager I was told that they were 'tame' and that this was normal (!). Seriously guys this is not normal. Please address your rat infestation. This is not 'part of Island life'. We stayed in two other island resorts during our time in Vanuatu. We did not see any rats in our room except for at Oyster Island.

2. Mouldy and threadbare pillows. Not what we expected from a $200 a night resort. I have had better quality bedding in hostels.

3. No phone signal and very patchy internet. This may be attractive to some but prevented us from speaking to family at home on Christmas Day which was very disappointing.

4. Poor quality worn out snorkelling gear. Time to replace the 5 year old masks and flippers. These have seen a lot of use so better to bring your own than rely on the resort gear. Maybe if they ask guests to return the gear during their stay then the newer kit could be rotated among other guests?

It is a shame that the current management simply brush off the rat problem. The staff were friendly and the resort itself is in a great location with lots of nearby attractions. The owners could really make so much more of this place for very little investment.

As it currently stands we would not return to Oyster Island or recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: Ask for one without rats!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OysterIsland, General Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Thank you for your review, we too are hugely disappointed when a guest experience does not meet our expectations or yours. I apologise for the lack of attention you received in dealing with your complaint, you have highlighted a area we will need to focus our training on.

Rats are definitely not tame or normal in the rooms and we have been working very hard to remove them over the past week with trapping and deterrent programmes.

Your other points are welcomed and we will be placing our focus in these area's over the coming days. We are disappointed Oyster did not live up to your expectations however, we appreciate the time taken to help us to improve our service and future guest experience.

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Reviewed 27 December 2013 via mobile

We spent 2 nights here over Christmas, and it was a fantastic stay. Christmas Day dinner was on a communal table which meant we got to know the other guests and made for a really friendly stay.

All the bungalows are right on the waterfront so at night we could hear the water lapping up underneath our deck. Our bungalow was comfortable with en suite alfresco shower, and fridge. No tv, but a hammock on the deck to while away the time.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. Best of all was the feeling of being on a remote island (no phone signal or Internet) but only 5 minutes from the main island of Santo.
A great place to spend a few days getting away from it all.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank KayakingAli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OysterIsland, General Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Thank you for your review, we look forward to hosting you back on Oyster one day and wish you a happy and safe New Year.

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Reviewed 23 December 2013

My family loves to travel and we have holidayed all over Australia and abroad, but this has to be one of our absolute best holidays to-date. My husband and I took our two boys (11 & 9) for two weeks this December to Oyster Island Resort and fell in love with Vanuatu, Santo, and the community on and around Oyster Island. The weather was brilliant - fine most days (and if it rained it never rains all day), hot (but with a breeze blowing off the water most of the time), and the water was always super warm. Santo is incredible - a pristine, untouched island paradise which caters to both those who want to get away from it all and return to a simpler lifestyle (we brought no computers, iPhones, DSs or "screens" of any kind - and there are no TVs on Oyster Island) as well as those who want some old-fashioned adventure. My boys thought they'd died and gone to Bear Grylls heaven - climbing waterfalls, floating down rapids, riding horses, snorkelling coral reefs & Million Dollar Point with its tanks & jeeps & cannons, kayaking to pristine blue holes through pouring rain, swinging from ropes tied to trees, riding in the back of trucks, playing in the village with the local kids, fishing, turtle-watching...the list goes on. And when they weren't having some astonishing adventure, they were reading or learning how to play canasta.
Oyster Island Resort proved to be a wonderful home-base for the two weeks, central to everywhere on Santo we wanted to go, and with super friendly staff who were always engaging the kids (Tour Leaders John & Daveson were spectacular with them, and Paul showed them how to get the coconuts from the trees, let them see the fresh fish coming in, and let them help with the burn-off fires) and looking after us. Marie, Chris, Aaron & Casper (the FOH staff & Duty Managers) happily helped us organise our trips, washing, special celebrations, afternoon drinking coconuts, fruit snacks for our trips, and anything else we wanted. The dining room/bar staff (Richard, John, Sabrina, Christina, Fiona & Lolina) were always smiling and ready to talk about Vanuatu culture & customs, their lives growing up, and so on ~ adding a real personal touch to their service. The food, overseen by Head Chef Jonas, was really great - huge kids meals (my boys often had leftovers for the next day's lunch) and lots of variety. The Santo beef & Chocolate Ribs lived up to their reputation, and we also really enjoyed all the fish dishes as the fish is caught fresh daily. Kids meals are all VT1,200 (around Aus$14) and mains are VT1,800-3,200 - on average VT 2,400 ($28) ~ pretty much the same as other restaurants on Santo. A bit more than we'd budgeted for, but breakfast is included, which is a bonus, and it was all great quality.
The bungalows are delightful (we stayed in #8), with the water lapping under them through the night - very relaxing. We paid VT19,000 ($218) per night for all 4 of us - great value compared to some of the other resorts (several of which don't even cater to children), esp. when you consider breakfast is included. The kids loved the hammock on the balcony and you can snorkel directly out from your room if you like (there are small steps leading down to the water's edge), and my husband and I loved the wall of glass louvers overlooking the ocean as well as the open-air bathroom where we could see the stars as we showered:) We took a plug-in mossie repellent which we left on in our room and had no problems at all with mosquitos. The beds were firm and great for our backs so we slept like the dead, only very occasionally being awoken by (distant) 4am roosters on Santo. My son was incensed to discover they don't make the cute "cockadoodledoo" sound, but are in fact more like "strangled cats" in his opinion:) There's also a small fridge so you can get some (limited) supplies from the supermarket in Luganville and keep them in your room.
The whole resort is carefully overseen by New Zealand Managers Olly & Dave, who do a great job mentoring and taking care of their staff and who are deeply investing in the local community ~ they are currently helping build a new school in the Turtle Bay area. Olly circulates daily to meet all the new guests, and is fascinating to talk to because of her depth understanding of Island cultures. Her son warmly welcomed our boys and proceeded to initiate them into island life, which they loved. Other fabulous local characters with great stories to tell include Fabrice (who runs the fishing/snorkelling/turtle & dugong watching trips) and Megan (who runs the horse ranch and takes lessons & trail rides).
The highlight of our trip, however, was being invited to Kaito's (one of the staff members) wedding in the local village - a rare privilege and an indication of just how welcoming and generous the people are when you get to know them. A day we'll treasure for a long time.

HOT TIPS: Bring reef walkers (shoes), aerogard & travel insurance:) Our underwater camera got a lot of use too. Thursday nights are great (with the string band, the buffet & the bon fire on the beach!)
RECOMMENDED TRIPS/ACTIVITIES: 1/2 Day Snorkelling; 1/2 Day Mount Hope Waterfall Trip (not for the feint-of-heart but we LOVED it); Kayaking to the Blue Hole (around 45 mins each way); Horse Riding with Megan; Snorkelling & Turtle/Dugong Watching with Fabrice; Full-Day Champagne Beach & Million Dollar Point Tour + lunch at Velit Bay Plantation with Paradise Tours. All the tours & activities range from VT2,500-4,500 per person ($28-$51) - with some kids' discounts. You can also pop across to Lope Lope Resort for the day (where Megan has her horses) and they have lots of other kid-friendly activities including catamarans, quad bikes and paint pall in the jungle!
We left a little bit of our hearts in Vanuatu...but you can be sure we'll be back.

Room Tip: I think all the Delux Bungalows (#6-11) can have bunk beds added to them for kids - just email Olly.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lynne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OysterIsland, General Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Thank you for your review, we are really glad you enjoyed your family holiday on Oyster and in Santo and really look forward to hosting you back here again in the future. Best of luck for a fantastic 2014.

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Reviewed 11 December 2013

We've stayed at four different places during our visit to Santo. Oyster Island was one of them and was okay, but not as special as you could imagine after reading all the reviews. The consensus in our group was that the best thing about Oyster island was the fact that it's an island. The resort itself is okay, but not super pretty. Nothing overly fancy either. Bungalows just okay, could probably benefit from some renovation (we really liked the lovely patio with the hammock though). Food was okay, if not slightly disappointing. WiFi didn't work during most of our stay (and even when it works, it does not cover the restaurant).

Other than that, it's a pretty and peaceful island, a 20-30 minute ride from the airport in the direction of Champagne Beach. You can rent a kayak, hop across to the main island and then paddle upstream to the Matevulu blue hole (45-60 minutes) - this trip was amazing and the biggest highlight of our trip to Vanuatu next to Tanna. The river is just amazingly beautiful, and so is the blue hole with a giant banyan tree with a rope tied to it. There is another, smaller blue hole close to the main road - Nanda - highly recommended as well.

The staff at the resort was very friendly and very very helpful.

There is a taxi driver living next to the jetty - Luis - who is super friendly, knows everyone and everything and we ended up hiring him for entire days. You want to go to a local kava bar - "no problem, just relax boys". Need fresh fruit from the local market - no problem. Want to find a casual place to sit down and eat lunch with the locals - no problem. He was another highlight of our trip.

All in all - I would rate Oyster island 3.5/5. And the Santo island itself is fantastic and by far exceeded our expectations.

Room Tip: The further from the reception the better. Bungalows 10 and 11 are good.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lifou T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We stayed in September and had 11nights in this beautiful paradise. The moment we arrived on the little ferry we found the welcome to be very warm and friendly ,the staff very helpful and informative. We loved our room , which was bungalow 11, very private, a nice short walk to the restaurant. The deck was relaxing and beautiful views, we went snorkeling right out from our room, saw lots of fish even saw a lion fish, right out in front of our room. We went for a walk around the island it was lovely ,the snorkeling spot at midway was lovely plenty of fish and some very nice corals.The dinning area was welcoming , quiet, relaxed , and we liked that you could sit at a table for just two people or more if you wished. The meals were awesome, they were very good size meals, very tasty, and very we'll priced. We had no problems with the service at dinner time , our orders were taken very quickly, our drinks delivered fast, and then our beautifully cooked dinner brought quickly and hot. The variety was great and we stayed 11 nights, my husband especially enjoyed the santo steak, cooked to perfection every time he had one (three times, he really enjoyed them). The kayak to the blue hole is well worth it ,the blue hole it's beautiful, please take notice if the staff tell you the cruise ship is in and don't go, go the next day .overall we have stayed lots of places in Fiji and Vanuatu, and rate oyster island as one of the best we have stayed at, the staff very helpful and friendly, the island beautiful, the food delicious, so very quiet and relaxing, we are already looking at booking our next holiday at oyster island.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Waynejojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Oyster Island Resort

Address: PO Box 183, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo > Luganville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Luganville
Price Range: £62 - £116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Oyster Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a private 25 hectare island just 2 minutes crossing from the mainland. Oyster Island Resort resides within a Marine Reserve, abundant in marine and wild life. Sandy beaches, tropical rainforest, coral reefs and war plane wrecks make for fantastic snorkelling. Bungalows line the waters edge, each with private decks or patio's, enjoying stunning views out over the calm lagoon waters. Family Vila allow room for parents and children to enjoy the large grounds and gardens and are set off the water for safety. Skilled Chefs serve the very best of local and western cuisine from our waterfront restaurant. Only 20 minutes from the airport and township. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oyster Island Hotel Luganville
Oyster Island Resort Vanuatu/Luganville

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