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L'Escapade Island Resort
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Reviewed 28 December 2013

We live in Noumea and just came over for the night - enjoyed the experience although we had less than 18 hours all up. The over water bungalows are a must especially since the mutton birds are into nesting and courting at this time of year and 'cry' virtually all night long (happily though you can't hear them from the water bungalows). I personally thought seeing these birds at night was wonderful as the last time we did so was on Lord Howe Island but it made me wonder how come this resort could ever have been built in a bird breeding colony. I think some more education and protection is needed as the birds were obviously here first.

Meals are buffet style although there is a snack bar for a cheaper option. Dinner was fine with a good selection sashimi, prawns, carpaccio for starters, although the chef cooked steak for the main was a bit of a sad offering. We ordered a bottle of wine that was corked and another the same - first time ever that has happened - we then weren't sure about bottle no 3 which was a different wine. Sebastian the Assistant Director came over to explain about the wines characteristics and decanted it so after ten minutes or so it tasted fine. He also didn't charge us in the end for any of the wine - a very nice gesture. He was the most attentive and observant of any hotel manager we have ever seen.
The morning swim from your own private steps was a pleasure, as was the white tipped reef shark (harmless) who shot past me, not two metres away. There is a lot of sea grass and not much in the way of coral but even so there was a huge (maybe 500 or more) shoal of fish under the central walkway.
On the downside I have to comment about the smoking - it's rife - outside there was no respite from the chain smoking customers. The other negative was the Friday night party groups from the mainland and the noisy music which we could hear til well after midnight despite being furthest away.
I would come back tho - a mid week special would be just the ticket!

Room Tip: Go overwater and enjoy the mutton birds from a distance.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Globetrotter767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GLPhotelsNoumea, Gérant at L'Escapade Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Hello,

Thank you for your comment.

I will be more than happy to share a bottle (or two) of wine with you again.

See you soon.

Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

My girlfriend and I spent three nights at L'Escapade Resort in October 2013, and the place was pretty spectacular. We stayed in an overwater bungalow, and it was definitely worth it. Yes there are bungalows on the island, but for a few reasons they're just not the same (unless you have kids and are restricted to them).
Each evening the sunset over the water was truly spectacular. The bungalows all have a rear balcony that looks over the ocean and sunset, plus the steps into the water for easy access to the snorkelling is a bonus. Thankfully snorkel equipment is free for guests. All other activities are not, including kayak and paddle board. There's plenty to do if you're happy to pay, and the prices aren't that bad. Scuba, Kite Surfing, Jet Ski, Wake Boarding were all popular while we were there.
Snakes. Yes there are sea snakes on the island. If you're truly afraid of snakes, you'll be on edge from the moment you see one. Over the three days we were there we had 25 different sightings. Bear in mind these snakes are very very slow, have a head the size of your pinky finger, and apparently their mouths are too small and teeth too tiny to actually pierce skin. Keep an eye out, don't stand on them, and you'll be fine. Of our 25 sightings, 3 were in the water, and only on the beach and trying to get onto the land. There was one that climbed stairs onto our neighbours deck, but that was an anomaly.
Food. We had the buffet breakfast and dinner included for the three nights. Breakfast was great, plenty of fresh pastries and bread, cheese and cold meats, plus the hot stuff (bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, sausages etc) and the traditional cereal and toast. You can't go wrong. Dinner buffet alternates, and the three we had were all slightly different. There's enough there to keep you happy though, and even fussy eaters will be happy with the options. We didn't have lunch, but it looked reasonably priced for an island in the middle of the ocean, prepared by a hotel that has a monopoly on the place. It could have been worse. We just took a few pastries and breads from breakfast, plus had some snacks from the mainland, and that kept us going until dinner. Not a problem really.
There's no food in the mini bar, only two bottles of complimentary water. Don't rely on the mini bar to keep you going. The restaurant/bar is open most of the time, so you can grab drinks from there if you want, or something from the mainland.
The quality of the bungalows is pretty good. Rooms and bed and linen are all clean and tidy, albeit maybe dated by 10 years. The bathroom is great, and probably too big and a waste of space, but the water is hot and good pressure. If you're showering after dark though, you'll be casting a silhouette to anyone walking past on the walkway to the other bungalows. Just a design flaw. The fact that the sun sets at 6:00pm (Oct) means you have to get a shower in early, or just bear with it.
A quick note on the island bungalows (on land). There are sea birds that nest on the land, in burrows underground and under the paths. They make a unique noise, that sounds like a crying baby. We couldn't hear them in the overwater bungalows, but if you were on the land, they would be annoying. There are hundreds of them, everywhere, and they're not scared of people.
Other people have complained about having to walk everywhere - let me set this right: from where the boat docks to where the reception is is about 70m. From there to your room could be between 50 - 150m, with views that will distract you anyway, such as fish or wildlife or sunsets. It's all flat, it's all a path, and there's no reason to complain. Those people that did must have been looking for a really really lazy holiday, instead of just a lazy one.
The staff were great, at at some stages there looked to be more staff than necessary, but it meant you could always ask for help or drinks etc. They don't all speak fluent english, but they can help you with whatever you need or get someone who can. Just remember that you're going to a french speaking nation and you'll be fine. It's fun to use a bit of high school french, and it helps with the culture experience.
Getting there was easy. A cab or bus to Port Moselle is the best way to go, and it's the main port in the city so just saying "Port Moselle" will get you in the right direction. The boat left the mainland 5 times a day, so you can easily pick a time that works for you, and if you really want to come back into town it's very straight forward.
People from the mainland started to invade the pool as our week went on. They'd show up early (8:00am) and park on the sunlounges and spend the day there. If you really want to get a good seat, just throw a towel over a sunlounge on your way to breakfast. But really, you should pity these people when there's such a beautiful ocean on your doorstep. The snorkelling is good, and once you go out to the edge of the bay it gets deeper and the coral more impressive.
If I go back to Noumea, I'll be going back to this place for sure. It was clearly the highlight of our trip, and the perfect place for a holiday when you don't want to struggle to find culture, churches or museums - just sit back, enjoy the sun and the food, hit the water a few times and it'll be hard not to relax..

Room Tip: Overwater bungalows definitely. Avoid the snakes and birds, and enjoy the uninterrupted views.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank Will L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Spent three nights here in an overwater bungalow - WOW!

Absolutely stunning location, being able to watch fish, turtles and other marine life from the deck was amazing. The water is crystal clear (but a bit cold to swim and snorkel).

Very spacious separate living room, with couch and chairs and large flat screen TV (who wants to watch TV when you have the view outside), small refrigerator and aircon. Good sized bedroom, again with TV - and huge bathroom with separate shower and toilet.

We had no issues with housekeeping and all staff on the island were great - English is widely spoken.

Food was average, we had the breakfast buffet and evening buffet included in our deal and this was generally good enough for us, snacks are available at lunchtime from the bar which which kept us going throughout the day.

Our only comment would be that the evening buffet got rather tiresome - it started ok but got a bit repetitive over the 3 nights, maybe cut back on the selection (which was extensive) and improve the quality, this being said it was fine and you generally could find something - we certainly did not starve. Desert selection was lovely.

Drinks are expensive here CPF 700 for a local beer and the cheapest wine is around CPF 4,000 per bottle so suggest you take your own duty free or buy at the supermarket in town before you go, where it is 900 CPF for a 6 pack of local beer or CPF 1,000 for a bottle of wine.

The resort was fairly quiet whilst we were there, most of the guests seemed to be Japanese couples, however, it did get busier at the weekend, especially with day trippers. On the Saturday night we were there there was a large jazz band playing by the pool.

Would we go back? - yes absolutely if we could get the same deal again - and would recommend the overwater bungalows - it was absolute heaven.

Room Tip: Overwater Bungalows are amazing
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank szjam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

This is one of the most beautiful natural places we have visited. The overwater bungalow is well fitted out and comfortable. Good bed, large bathroom with bath and spa shower, 2 flat screen tv's and the free wifi is excellent. Sunlounges on the private deck, tea making facilities, and even a resident black and gold sea snake make for a memorable experience. this is a place to relax, read a book, watch 60 year old movies all day, walk around the island in 40 minutes, watch the fish swim underneath your bungalow, the birds fly, the boats sailing and hear the petrels calling for their mates at sundown. The food is very nice, all buffet, except for a few items cooked for you freshly on the grill by the chef. We had a half board package which was fantastic. We brought some food over for lunches, cheese, biscuits, etc. and some wine. There is a fridge in the bungalow. The staff are very friendly and helpful, in their delightful french speaking manners. Relax and enjoy.

Room Tip: over the water.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JEC306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2013

I stayed for 4 nights in October 2013. I booked an overwater bungalow that included breakfast/dinner buffet, internet and a daily return trip to Noumea.

The staff were friendly arranging transfers to/from the airport including running an extra late boat so we could check in after we landed. Check-in was smooth and there was a fruit juice waiting on our arrival.

The included buffet had great variety (rabbit, prawns, crab, chicken, beef and more) but only breakfast included drinks. Tap water was always free and according to all of the guides I read tap water is perfectly safe so I drank it without issue.

Overall the trip was great and I would recommend this hotel, the only downsides I can think of are:

* Non-motorised water activities were not included. Having these included would be great.
* We had to search to find an umbrella and beach towels. I would normally expect these to be in the room (umbrella) or at the pool (towel).
* House keeping was a little inconsistent. Some days we had macaroons awaiting our return from dinner and they never topped up the free bottled water in the room.
* No mini-bar! I strongly recommended that you take some duty free alcohol with you. Customs allows 2 bottle of wine/champagne per person (don't pay island prices!).

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank andrewjstevens2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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