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“Peace, Quiet and Rest...”
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Γιγάντια δέντρα του δάσους βροχής dot το ακίνητο. παλάμες μπουκαμβίλιες, ιβίσκους, frangipani, καρύδα.
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Excellent
27 reviews
Γιγάντια δέντρα του δάσους βροχής dot το ακίνητο.
παλάμες μπουκαμβίλιες, ιβίσκους, frangipani, καρύδα.
Αναπνευστήρας για το φανταστικό κοραλλιογενή ύφαλο μόλις offshore.
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 8
Mele, Efate

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 27 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Dianz
New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Peace, Quiet and Rest...”
Reviewed 27 September 2013 for a stay in September 2013
2
people found this review helpful

I think those words sum up the best things about Sanddollar. No traffic noise, very little people noise just the sound of the ocean to be heard in your fare at night. It's amazing to us city dwellers to look up at the sky at night and realise that there are so many stars, very beautiful. There were dolphins in the bay during one day of our stay, that was pretty special. My husband said that the snorkeling straight out front of the property is really good, better coral than anything he's seen in Fiji (but probably best to take your own gear as he did as there is only a limited amount). Simon and his family are all wonderful people that we enjoyed getting to know. A few things are due for an update but I'm sure that Greg and Anne will see to these soon. The market in Port Vila is wonderful, I wish I'd been able to spend more time there but logistically travelling back and forth is not the easiest option so if you think you want to get around a bit hire a car for at least part of your stay.

Essentially we hired this property for some down time to simply chill and enjoy some time to ourselves and in that respect it gets five stars from us. I was happy to read and enjoy the view, hubby was happy kayaking, snorkeling and chatting to Simon (both junior and senior). He advises to take heavier trace than what you may think you need if you want to fish... tropical fish (even the little ones) have teeth apparently!

Overall a very enjoyable stay, perhaps we'll be back one day even if the only reason was to catch up with Simon and his family again... the view, the peace, the fantastic sunsets and night sky are all bonuses to look forward to revisiting.

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Global59
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Pacific island it is - paradise it is not!”
Reviewed 16 August 2013 for a stay in May 2013
4
people found this review helpful

Lights fused at 1 am when we arrived so we had to wait for the manager to get up. Ants were all over the washbasin surround in the shower room and climbing the walls. Later next day lights/ power fused again so we were without for about 4 hrs as managers were out. When it got dark ( no torch at the property) we drove next door and the lady knew where the trip switch was. Cockroaches were all in the kitchen cupboards as it is open and when we sat to eat we were dive bombed by huge ones as the lights attracted them.Kettle was thick with lime scale, out of 8 sides of the toaster only 2 worked( not the same slice either), pans were mouldy, the BBQ was full of cockroaches, covers for the toaster, hob were black with mould, plastic bowl was dirty, and because the roof isn't sealed bits fall off it all the time even if the polished concrete surfaces are cleaned in the morning. The bedroom doors couldn't be closed and the roof is open so when the lights are put on the insects come in. We were bitten badly inside the mosquito nets and insects were in the bed as ants were going up the wall behind our bed.Ants were always over the floor and on the bedroom furniture. Only 3 hangers in the wardrobe and knobs came off the drawers so ouldn't open them which we fixed so we could use them. Utility room off our bedroom was dirty and covered in cobwebs but it not has a metal sink in it anyway. The washing machine was in the utility room of the other bedroom and was used by the managers to wash the property's bedding etc and was covered in insects.Towels provided were very poor and had lots of threads hanging from them and some were very thick and heavy. Many moths etc came into the shower room when the lights were put on which could easily be stopped by putting some netting or mesh on top of the walls. We noticed that even locals in the villages had netting around their fares to prevent this. Then the pool water became green so Simon decided to empty it. We asked how long it would be and he said a few hours. It took a day and a half. That weekend the pool was full of insects as well as the usual long pine needles from the casaurina trees.No one cleaned the pool that weekend and we tried but gave up. So again it was unusable.The plunge pool was also unusable all the time we were there. We had no hot water in the shower so some batteries had to be changed and then while the pool,was filling the water pressure went down so the boiler wouldn't fire up so no hot water again.
We just wanted a holiday in a private place. The manager and his family of between 8-10 people live in a fare on the site and because we wanted to be alone the owners wife said she thought that was unfair 'as it is their home too'! They have no transport and are 10 kms from the town so if you hire a car as the owners recommend it is expected for you to give them a lift. It was expected of us the day after we arrived and we were only hiring it for 1 day and you feel sorry for them.
The accommodation is set near the sea. The photos on the site are misleading as it is cleverly taken to look as though it is sandy but it is shingle mixed with sand with a drop onto the rocks below. You can go through a rocky channel to the sea which is very clear but there are volcanic rocks all under the sea where you snorkel. There are kayaks provided too.
We didn't enjoy our stay here as too many things went wrong.The owners were over and met us to discuss our holiday as we weren't happy. They asked us if we had a photo of the pool being filled as Simon the manager had denied emptying it! We hadn't got one! We all met again to discuss the recompense and the first thing they said was that they didn't want to discuss it and the owners wife Anne Watt and her sister walked out after saying that it was their holiday home so they didn't like what we were saying about it.Well we have also owned homes abroad and rented them out and had rental homes in the UK too and we know how important it is to maintain them if you are renting.
The manager was very unhappy with his job and his rate of pay and we told him to tell the owners. He said he had but they didn't do anything and he hadn't had a pay rise in 6 yrs. His wife who works a couple of hours there was expecting a baby any moment and other relations work/ live there as they all support each other in Vanuatu.We thought it would give Theresa some time off if we did the cleaning so made our own bed.That's when we saw that the mattress was filthy.

How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The pool when we could swim and it was mostly cleaned every day
Liked least: The place was badly maintained and the insects came when the lights went on as it is open.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mapipem
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Perfect place to watch the sun go down over the tropical ocean.”
Reviewed 4 May 2013 for a stay in April 2013

We stayed at Sanddollar for one week, as a couple plus two 23 year olds. We chose this location because it was next door to Devil's Point Dive. It's a beautiful spot right on the water, very well maintained, great for a relaxing self-catering holiday. Beautiful tropical gardens, we used the swimming pool every day, went kayaking and saw turtles and leaping dolphins up close in the bay. There's snorkelling out front, and several good dives close by. We hired a car from Europcar at the airport (you really need a 4-wheel drive as the road was pretty bad), and went into Vila a couple of times to load up on groceries from the supermarket. It takes about half an hour. There are 2 friendly cats, and the ni-Vanuatu people who live on site (Simon and family) are just as friendly! There are quite a few ants and bugs, because it's all open-style living, but we didn't find it too much of a problem. It's not like staying in a big resort, but it's a great immersion in the local landscape. We did 10 dives with Devil's Point Dive and they were fantastic, too. We loved it.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The natural and peaceful setting.
Liked least: The ants.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Reviewed 8 March 2013 for a stay in November 2010

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Rugged travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Rebirky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful holiday, cant recommend Sanddollar highly enough.”
Reviewed 3 March 2013 for a stay in February 2013
3
people found this review helpful

Sand Dollar looked just like the pictures posted on their website. We arrived at dusk, by taxi - cost from town or airport approx 5000 vatu. This can get quite expensive if you dont plan on staying at the property the entire time. Bus drivers will come out, but our experience was they didnt realise how far it was and they have under quoted for your fare. Hire a car - even if its only for part of your stay, we hired a car from World Car rentals for approx 5500 vatu per day, they upgraded us to a larger four wheel drive for free and only charged us 1000 vatu for delivery. Approx 20 mins of your journey from Port Vila will be on a dirt road - four wheel drive vehicle highly recommended for comfort etc.

Simon who is one of the caretakers of the property welcomed us and gave us a tour of the property. He can arrange a taxi for you into town, but mobile phone service isnt always great, so he may have to walk towards the provate property gate( you pass 5 mins up the road by car)

We were aware that our rooms may not be attended to every day, due to family or Kustom requirements on Simon and Therese but when the were - they were immaculate!

The Haus Wind is close to the ocean and pool - We had a little family of cats that lived in there, and loved being patted - very people friendly. This area was a great location to relax and regroup between meals and snorkelling or fishing. Gas cooking and BBQ and sandwhich press - we could make quick and healthy meals.

As a first time snorkeller, I enjoyed that even in the canal leading out to the ocean had clown fish and other beautiful little fish only knee deep. Perfect for children who arent confident to go out further. Kayaking is a breeze here - not a lot of waves and the water is so clear that for those not keen on snorkelling you can still see the beautiful colours of the coral and fish.

We used coils but more out of precaution than necessity. Didnt even see a lot of mozzies, and the mosquito nets meant a peaceful sleep without worry. I didnt see the geckos in the rof but I drifted off to sleep each night to 'chirps' knowing that they were taking care of any bugs! Surface spray also made an amazing difference especially in the bathroom and Haus wind.

The gardens are beautifully maintained. Simon's father and brother in law were working on them most of our stay. They are unintrusive you barely know they are there! There are lights that brighten your way around the property at night, but i would also recommend a torch. I stayed in the Sea View Fare which was the furthest from the Haus Wind and staying by myself, even though I felt safe on the property, just helped light the way a little eaiser - and avoid stepping on hermit crabs!

The pool over looking the ocean is perfect for relaxing on one of the pool lounges. There is not a lot of shade, so wear sunscreen. The pool is cleaned twice daily due to the pine needles from the surrounding trees. We had good visibility of our friends kayaking and fishing from the pool and great vantage point to watch the sunset. Unfortuneatly the plunge pool was out of action while we were there.

Sand Dollar is a place to stay and relax and enjoy. It is not close to town, he Beach bar is a close restuarant which has reasonably priced meals - great fish curry. It is right near the pier for the Ferry to Hideaway Island. We ate hear a few times although return taxi cost 8000 vatu. So Def hire a car, and plan to stay at Sanddollar with suppiles for days - you wont regret it. I had more fun the days we stayed at Sanddollar without venturing into town, then any of the tours or day trips we planned.

Simon and Theres and their extended family look after the property, they are amazing genuine people. Simon speaks english quite well, Therese and the kids speak pigin which isnt too difficult to pick up. They really made our holiday special and we shared a great meal with them on our last night, we BBQ'd the meat, they supplied the fish caught only 3 hours earlier.

Sanddollar afforded us the opportunity to experience Vanuatu as we would not have if we stayed in a resort or hotel. Lovely location, comfortable and beautiful accomodation and friendly, sweet caretakers. Wonderful holiday, cant recommend Sanddollar highly enough.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: We didnt have a car every day, and being so far from town meant we stayed a few days at Sanddollar without venturing out. This didnt mean we had nothing to do - we had full days of snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and floating in the pool.
Liked least: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs - You bathroom would be beautifully clean and by the end of the day, they undid all that hard work Theres had done! Still a bit of surface spray did the trick
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Goulburn
Reviewed 26 February 2013 for a stay in August 2012
2
people found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Rugged travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Auckland
Reviewed 25 February 2013 for a stay in June 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Rugged travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Adults2
Children0
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