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“Great place to get really get away and experience local culture”

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Uduna Cove Beach Bungalows
Ranked #1 of 2 Nguna Island B&B and Inns
Reviewed 9 January 2012

This is a pleasant and interesting place to spend a couple of days. We stayed for three nights which may have been one too many! A place to go if this is the sort of place that you like - probably not for everyone. It is run by enterprising women from the the village that is about 5-10 mins walk away and is a great way to get to know them and their lifestyle.

The small village is interesting and welcoming. There is a village tour offered for 1,000vt PP which is interesting and worthwhile, but I thought a bit pricey for four people.

Pluses:

- Great location, right on the beach.
- Beach is picture postcard tropical paradise.
- Fantastic snorkeling - right off the calm beach. 500m of the beach is a marine sanctuary with lot of coral and fish. We were there in January and the water was warm enough to stay in for hours
- Lovely people who will make you feel like part of the family
- Not at all touristy - great to really relax and get away from it all. There were only two other tourists in the whole area when we were there.

Minuses:

- Accommodation is basic. More like camping than a resort. Rooms are small and fairly stuffy - very hot at night when we were there as there was no breeze at nighttime. There is no power in the cabins so no lights or fans. The mattress was thin for a heavy bloke, but you would have been happy with it if it was in a tent.
- Quite a few mosquitos, even with coils burning. Take repellant! Also a lot of flies when we were there.
- Nowhere comfortable to sit and relax. The experience would be greatly improved by some loungers or hammocks. Rolling out a towel on the beach is the best option, but not when it's raining or at night time.
- Food is on a meal package. The first meal is a bit of a thrill, lot of variety, but all the lunches and dinners are basically the same. A bit tired after a couple of days. The food is tasty, but stoggy and fatty for the hot weather.
- Rain water 'sprinkle' shower is really a dribble. Probably the lamest shower ever anywhere.

My minuses may or may not be important to you - decide for yourself. I was glad we went and would recommend it as a different sort off experience, but two nights would have been enough. This is basic, local experience, and whilst not expensive, it is not super cheap either. For a family of four, we were paying 16,000 vt (about A$190) a night with the meals.

Go in with your eyes open on what you expect if and you will have a good time - highly recommended.

Room Tip: Chat to the family - they are happy to spend time and tell you about the plave
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank twoshirts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 17 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 3 October 2011

Do not hesitate, travelling to Nguna and staying at Emma's place is easy, relaxing, and a great experience. We wanted to have some time away from the tourist centres and took our two children, 5 and 7. Absolutely no problems and I wholeheartedly reccommend staying here. Emma is a gem, meeting us in Vila and ensuring everything went really smoothly. Food is great, and the accommodation is perfectly ok by backpacker standards. And even if you've never backpacked, the experience outweighs any sense of discomfort. Even getting there in the truck was fun. Lovely people, great place. We will return.

Room Tip: there are mosquito nets in the double bungalow rooms
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank nigellav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2011

The previous reviewer was pretty spot on. This is a beautiful place to get away, lie on the beach and watch life pass by - only to be interrupted by the most amazing meals of local cuisine. The bungalows are simplistic but comfortable. There's a flush toilet and sprinkle shower from captured rain water nestled amongst beautiful gardens.
Kava is available at the local nakamal (5 min walk) and Tusker beer is available at Emma's small store (7 min walk). I had brought a couple bottles of wine with me so that I could relax with the evening meal. I recommend that once dinner is cooked, you ask the ladies to turn off the generator while you drink and dine by candle-light (or lantern). The peacefulness of this place makes you want to spend your entire Vanuatu vacation at this one spot.
I've attached a flyer from the Uduna beach bungalows. Prices were 3,000 Vt for a single person (includes breakfast), plus 500 Vt for lunch and dinner each. Reservations are easiest by getting a hold of Emma on the phone.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank VancouverMarko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2010

My family and I were fortunate enough to recently spend three delightful nights at Uduna Cove Bungalows. We were looking to be part of the real Vanuatu rather than a western-style resort but did not have enough time to go to one of the far-flung islands. My research prior to our trip indicated that Nguna island, and Uduna Cove Bungalows would fit the bill and we were extremely lucky that they had a vacancy for the precise days we were looking for.

Run by Leitau, her husband Kalsau, daughter Emma and the extended family, the bungalows at Uduna Cove are an excellent example of this type of accommodation. The bungalows are in an idyllic setting, 20m from the sea with shady trees, green lawn and a beautiful garden lovingly tended by Leitau every day. We stayed in the original two-room bungalow which is basic but very clean, tidy and comfortable. This has one room with a double bed and the other with one single and a set of bunks and a verandah running across the front. The rooms have lockable doors, louvre windows with flyscreens, locally made pandanus matting on the floor and walls and new mosquito nets for each bed. While we were there the second one-room bungalow was commissioned, and construction commenced on the final one. The only downside of more bungalows means you are less likely to have exclusive use of this paradise!

As hosts Leitau, Emma and family are attentive but unobtrusive. Emma arranged transport for us from Port Villa (500v ea for bus and boat ride) including pickup from our hotel 15min from Villa. On arrival we were greeted by Leitau with freshly made lemonade and shown the rooms and facilities all of which were absolutely spotless and adorned with red hibiscus flowers (which Leitau replaced every day)

Obviously a labour of love for Leitau, an enormous spread of aelen kaekae (local food) is provided to guests (the accommodation fee includes breakfast, with lunch and dinner a small additional cost) The food is simple fare but delicious (even the fussy teenager was happy) and so plentiful that the two males with hearty appetites could not eat all that was provided. With some concessions to western tastes such as toast for breakfast, and rice, the food includes fresh local fruit, salads, meat-based casserole-style dishes and local specialities involving manioc, taro, kumala (sweet potato) plantain, bananas etc cooked in a variety of ways. Fish freshly caught by Emma's husband and Vanuatu beef steak were also on the menu.

Activities on the island include snorkelling straight off the beach in front of the bungalows, hiring a dug-out canoe, fishing, turtle-tagging, climbing the volcano crater, visiting the school and wandering through the villages. The only thing I would say about activities is that you do need to ask - there is not a board or pamphlet telling you what is available - or you may overlook something you would have liked to do. Once you do ask though Leitau will quickly arrange the appropriate guide or contact for you and everyone seems more than happy to help you.

The highlight for me, in the brief period we were there, was interacting with the people of the island. Wherever you go the locals greet you with a smile and friendly 'Alo' and are happy to talk to you about what they are doing and take time out to show you, from weaving pandanus or explaining local foods and plants to discussing local customs and issues. If someone has limited English they will find someone who can answer your questions or help you. Any attempt by you to speak with the locals in Bislama is greeted with the broadest smile and compliments. Universally the people seem very happy for you to take pictures of themselves, their activities or their village, and if you show the children their picture on the camera screen you will have friends for ever!

In summary, Uduna Cove Bungalows are the perfect place for those wishing to experience the real Vanuatu. Resort it is not - but it does not claim to be. It is basic accommodation (ie no electricity, cooling; external bathroom facilities [which includes a flush toilet]; lighting by kerosene lamp) but it is very clean and tidy, the beds are comfortable, the food plentiful and delicious and the hosts absolutely wonderful. If you are comfortable with this type of accommodation then I would absolutely recommend this to anyone (but do bring a torch!)

Nambawan, as the say in Bislama.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank tarabillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2010

My wife and I came here for 3 nights to escape the madness of Port Vila. Emma and family have done a really awesome job with this place.

Pluses: The food is the main plus, they fed us 3 really great meals a day. We did have to ask them to tone down the deep frying. I can handle fries with my dinner but deep friend breakfast, lunch and tea was just too much for me. Mind you fries made out of yams and other root veg are pretty good. Mamma's lap lap is the best in Vanuatu, we still talk about it!

The beach and location are great, and the whole place is well maintained with a pretty garden.

Minuses: I'm trying be fair here - this is a budget place, do not come here if you are a 5 star traveler. The bungalow is very basic and is shared (there's a thin wall separating 2 rooms). There's no electricity except for an hour over dinner while they fire the generator. There are lots of insects - do not keep food in your room. The toilet is of the "outback dunny" variety about 10 meters from the room. It is VERY dark at night. Emma and family go back into town so you can feel quite isolated and alone. I thought the accommodation was a little expensive once meals were added, but I can see that it's expensive to get supplies etc to the island.

Putting all that in context, we loved our visit here and may return again. We missed out on the snorkeling that others reviewed, mainly because the water was cold (early September) and no one pointed us to any interesting coral so we just didn't see it.

A real highlight and must do activity is climbing the volcano - Emma will arrange a local buy to guide you. They will tell you it's "about 2 hours" but it took my wife and I about 4.5 hours return. I guess the locals are a lot fitter? My knees ached for days but it was well worth it for the awesome hike.

If you want a chance to see local village life and have an authentic village experience, I highly recommend visiting Nguna and staying with Emma.

Simon

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MagicTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

Situated on the southern end of Nguna Island is a new bungalow called Uduna Cove Beach Bungalow that was opened in march this year. I had the pleasure of spending some time there 2 weeks ago and promised the owners that I would give a review for them.

Emma along with her mother Lee and father Kalo are the owners and have done a great deal of work to get the place going. They have only one bungalow at present but a second is under construction. The bungalow has 2 rooms, 1 with a double and single and the other with 4 beds in 2 bunks.

There is a kitchen and small dining area near the bungalow and a flush toilet and shower in another building. The gardens are superb and the land has a sunny locality with lots of shaded area along the beach.

The whole family is very friendly and are great hosts, I really enjoyed my stay with them. Emma also has a small shop in the village if needing a cold Tusker, there is no electricity at the bungalow but if needed you can use the power at their home.

The only downside was that some meals were a little cold after being cooked in the village and then taken to the bungalow.

Prices are 3000vt per person including breakfast and 450vt for other meals. Meals are varied from fish, chicken and beef with vegetables and cooked banana done several ways.....yum, breakfast is eggs and toast with fresh fruit, jams and tea.

Transport is 500vt for the truck ride from the Vila markets and 500vt for the boat each way.

Emma can be contacted on tel. 22219 or 5432202

I have no affiliation with this new bungalow just doing as promised.

Cheers,

Vince

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank 5Fathom5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

Uduna Cove Beach Bungalows is a fresh new place to stay on Nguna Island, opened in March 2010. Nguna has some stores where you can buy basic supplies and drink Tusker beer with a view. The island also has a school and several villages that you can visit.

We had the absolute best time walking along the beach and through the village and meeting locals for a chat wherever we went. The Nguna Islanders are very friendly and hospitable people. We have stayed at various other bungalows and the ratings we have given are based on comparing bungalows with bungalows (not with resorts).

The bungalows have lovely gardens and lawns and beachfront access to a marine protected area for snorkeling. There are very interesting coral formations to swim through and over, right off the beach. Loads of tropical fish and even turtles if you are lucky enogh (as I was) and lookng hard enough.

Currently they have one bungalow building which is split into two entirely separate rooms. One room has a double bed and a mattress on the floor, the other room has a single bed and a double bunk. Both have mosquito nets, fly screens, a lockable door and a verandah along the front. They have concrete floors, and a thatched roof. They have 1 flush toilet and a cold water shower and hand basin. There is a kitchen and undercover dining room where you will be served fantastic alean kaekae (local food)in huge servings. Emma, Leitau and Caroline are so lovely and will make you feel right at home. There was always someone on hand to speak to if you should need anything. Emma will even meet you in Port Vila or at the airport if you are not sure how to get there.

The owners are talking about building 2 new bungalows, catering to couples, very soon.

The generator was running until about 9pm, but you will need to take a good torch.

Charges at the time were 3000vatu per person ($36) and 1000vatu for meals ($12). Breakfast was included.

TO GET THERE
The bus from Port Vila and the ferry to Nguna are still 500vatu each per person. Ferries leave after lunch and return early morning or you can charter your own boat across and choose your own times. The cost is around 2500 or 3000vatu for the boat (not per person). The bugalow owner has his own boat. Call them, they will be very happy to explain how to get there, or just ask around in Port Vila for the bus to Emua Jetty.

Telephone: 7766263 Emma Sisi, 22219 Leitau and Kalo or 5432202 Caroline

It is so worth the effort to get to Nguna Island if you want to experience something different from Port Vila without having to go too far.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kerryandjake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Uduna Cove Beach Bungalows

Address: Taloa Village, Nguna Island, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Nguna Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Nguna Island
Number of rooms: 2

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