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“Top quality self-contained bungalows in a quite area”

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Island Magic Resort
Ranked #18 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 July 2011

OVERVIEW

Island Magic is a property with 18 self-contained, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, free-standing bungalows located about 15 minutes west of Port Vila. The bungalows are in excellent condition with full kitchens (utensils supplied), laundry, mosquito screens and ceiling fans. The grounds are leafy and well-maintained.

The resort is waterfront, with a jetty jutting into Mele Bay, facing Hideaway Island. It's a rocky coastline (not a beach) but you can access the water from steps and a ladder on the jetty. During our stay the weather was inclement, so we were unable to snorkel in the water. The resort has a swimming pool but it was too cold to use during our Winter (June 2011) visit.

THE BUNGALOWS

The bungalows are large and in top condition. There are two bedrooms (we had one with a Queen size bed and one with two single beds), each with their own bathroom. There is ample storage space in the bedrooms and in a hall between the rooms, plus a washing machine and laundry sink.

There is a large, open-plan lounge area with dining table, couches, television, island bench counter and kitchen. Each bungalow also has a deck area with a 4-seater table, which is where we ate breakfast each day. Most walls of the bungalow are glass louvers, allowing significant cross-breeze for the warmer months. (We were there in Winter and had to use blankets but still kept many windows open.)

The kitchen has a gas cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, and cupboards stocked with all cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. The water is sourced from an acquifer and treated on-premise, so it's safe to drink. However, if you're a bit skittish you can get bottles of water from the supermarkets closer to town.

THE GROUNDS

The bungalows are spaced apart, with greenery between, but they will still block your view of the water unless you're sea-side. There's lots of grass, chairs with umbrellas, a swimming pool (more for cooling off than actual swimming) and a covered BBQ/kitchen area available for guest use.

Near the jetty is an 'ocean spa' where waves can crash over the railing, offering a relatively safe place to sit in the ocean water. Our children enjoyed getting wet from the random waves.

There's not that much to do on the grounds themselves, so you'll either need to bring your own entertainment or go elsewhere. On warm days, the pool and ocean should provide a nice diversion, but they were too cold on our trip. Our children befriended Poco, one of the Ni-Vanuatu workers on the property, who happily opened coconuts for the children (he's handy with a machete!).

There's a laptop available for guests with a slow-ish Internet connection (VT 200 / AUD$2 per use). The on-site managers, Jane and David, are available to offer tourist advice and assist with any requests. However, I'd recommend researching your tourist activities before arriving in Vanuatu or while in Port Vila because there's only a limited selection of trip brochures available.

THE LOCATION

Island Magic is located on Devil's Point Road, west of Hideaway Island. You'll need to turn off the round-island sealed road and have a semi-bumpy ride to the resort. (Benjor Beach Club is just a couple of properties past Island Magic so you're not totally isolated.) The road was repaired a little while we were there, but it was still quite an experience. Our children really enjoyed getting a ride in the open back of a ute while bumping down the road.

Being "out of town" has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the resort grounds are quite large, you're away from the hustle and bustle of Port Vila, close to the Mele Cascades and Hideaway Island (both must-see attractions). Ask Joe, one of the Ni-Vanuatu who work on-site, for a private tour of the nearby Mele Village -- it was a very memorable part of our trip. You can also wander 10 minutes up the road to Benjor Beach Club that has a fully-appointed restaurant (which looked fairly pricey and mostly deserted while were where there).

The disadvantage to the location is that it's not so easy to pop into Port Vila. Travelling into Port Vila by bus should only cost VT400 (Approx AUD $4) per adult, but you'll need to arrange for one to come to the property. Jane and David often gave us lifts to nearby locations, such as Hideaway Island. We found a good driver who had a clean bus in good repair, who we used for a trip around Efate and would happily recommend (message me for details).

Island Magic is great for families who want to cook their own meals (much cheaper than restaurants each night!), but do be aware that it's a bit out-of-town. We split our trip between Island Magic and an island resort closer to town, which gave us the best of both worlds.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Fermax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2011

Rooms are 5 star, big, clean,with everything you would ever need. You will be glad you stayed here away from Port Vila. Easy to get to & from town if you want to. Benjor next door has great food. If you want Australian standard accom & service, stay here.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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1  Thank TheGoodNoBadNoUgly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2011

This place has a great relaxed feeling. The villas are clean, very roomy and well maintained.
The pool is cleaned daily. The staff are very friendly. There is a good view across the harbour to Port Vila town. The snorkling off the jetty is incredable, best in Port Vila , with its variety of fish and coral. Well worth taking your own gear, although the resort can provide gear for a fee.
Jane and David are great hosts who provide lots af tips and friendly conversation. They will book tours and arrange a mini bus to take you to town if required.
While there is no restauarant, it is only about 10 mins walk to the next resort where there is a great restaurant.
We used the resort bikes to bike to the Tanna coffee outlet, Hideaway Island and Mele Cascade falls.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kevin36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2011

We don't usually retrace our footsteps when we travel but for Island Magic Resort we made an exception. We returned in June this year for a 13 night stay and the resort once again lived up to our expectations. IMR is just perfect for us and provides everything we look for in accomodation. There is something special about IMR, we are so glad we discovered it.

We booked a 2 bedroom oceanview bungalow for just the 2 of us. Our bungalow (16) had a fantastic view across Mele Bay towards Port Vila. The bungalow itself was spacious, clean and airy. The kitchen has full sized quality appliances and is well equipped. Each bungalow has a washing machine and clothes line which is great for long stays. The bed was huge and comfortable. We left the louvers open to take advange of the beautiful sea breeze. How refreshing to wake to the sound of the ocean. The bungalows were serviced regularly during our stay. We made good use of the bbq facilities. Our specialty, char grilled scoth fillet steak, fresh creamy avocado and crusty bread all washed down with an icy cold Tusker. The grounds are large and well maintained by Joe, Pako and Cindy. It is a pleasure to see staff taking such pride in their work. We really enjoy snorkelling straight from the jetty, the marine life is abundant and the coral looks nice and healthy.

Thanks to David and Jane, the onsite managers. They are lovely people who are an asset to the resort. They are a wealth of knowledge regarding the island and its many attractions. Jane is able to recommend and book tours and activities from reception at no extra cost. They also have supplies (bread, milk, bbq packs etc) available to purchse if you need.

The resort is located away from busy Port Vila which appeals to us. We ventured into town on many occasions, (day and night) and transport was easily arranged. On a couple of occasions the bus driver waited in town while we dined, or met us after dinner at a pre arranged time. Bus trips are a great way to see the sights and meet the locals. We also hired scooters for a day and rode around the island, this was lots of fun. Being located on Mele Bay is ideal to visit the attractions close by including Cascades, Secret Garden, black sand beach, Tanna Coffee House, The Beach Bar, Seahorse Ranch, Zorbing and War Horse Saloon.

We would recommend Island Magic Resort to groups, families or couples seeking exceptional self contained accomodation. In fact we hope to return for an intimate wedding in the near future...stay tuned.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank KarenLQldAust_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2011

We've just come home from another week at Island Magic Resort - another week in paradise to relax, chill out & recharge the batteries. We've made many return visits to Island Magic with family & friends and consider it our home away from home. In fact, my husband would love to make it his home!

I couldn't disagree more with recent reviews from HKasyouare and kab00ki - being out of the hustle & bustle of Vila is one of the things we love about Island Magic. It's only 15 mins into town for shopping, eating out, sightseeing, & manager Jane can easily organise a bus (minivan) or taxi for you or you can hire a car for your stay. Driving in Vanuatu is a little different to home and this adds to the fun of the trip - even the roundabouts! The easiest way to get around is to organise with one of the bus drivers to be at your beck & call - again Jane can help with this.

The bungalows are always clean & well set up with everything you could need - even beach towels, umbrellas, torches. Do a shopping trip into town to Au Bon Marche numbatu - this is fun. You won't believe the price of the meat - we recommend the great steak $10 p/kilo, beef & veal roasts, mince, sausages all for the bbq) & the poulet fish is great on the bbq too. The deli & bakery sections are wonderful - cheeses & croissants, pastries, baguettes. Visit the local markets for fruit & veges and ask gardener Joe to pick a pawpaw off the trees for you - so sweet.

Benjor, a couple of mins up the road, has a good restaurant and the Wild Horse Saloon & the Beach Bar a few mins back towards town have good pizzas & cold drinks! Plenty to choose from within a few mins of Island Magic. In town, we recommend a visit to Au Peche Mignon (for the best French vanilla slices in the world according to my son & I can attest to their other pastries!) or Numbawan Cafe overlooking the water for good food, coffee & cold drinks. Also recommend a visit to the Harbour View Chinese. There's lots of places to eat in town - don't be afraid to try them. There's also great restaurants at Havannah & Tamanu - make a day trip for lunch & sight seeing.

Just to let you know there's more to do then just eating & drinking, the best snorkelling is right off the jetty at Island Magic. Also the kayaking & diving are great. Visits to the Cascades waterfall, Secret Garden, Hideaway Island, sailing trips to Moso & Lelapa islands and a round island trip are all musts - again Jane can help organise this.

Get out & see more of Vanuatu than just Vila. Vila is a typical south Pacific town - it can be busy & chaotic especially when the cruise ships are in port; at other times things do go at island pace. But the people are lovely, friendly and yes, they are happy. Can't wait to go back - to chill out at Island Magic, relax or do as much as we want to, oblivious to the rest of the world.

Room Tip: Beach front bungalows first choice.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathy499638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2011

We stayed at Island Magic for a week and it was brilliant. We had my 3 step-sons aged 9,10 and 12 and it was our first major trip away. I am not good at being away from the strucuture of my home and we also have food allergies in the family so having a fully functioning, pleasant kitchen to manage our meals in made the stay so much better. The bungalows are homey, very clean and have ensuites in each bedroom which was fantastic for parental privacy. The managers were lovely and helped us with transportation to the places we wanted to go, which was cost saving and time efficient. The resort staff were friendly and cut up coconuts for the kids and took us on tours of the village and generally helped us whenever we needed it. There is a small pool and a communal bbq area to enjoy with others and the snorkelling right off the jetty is some of the best we've seen. A great place for the kids to get confident.. I couldn't fault this resort as it fulfilled all of our needs. There is no restaurant on site but the next resort down (10 min walk) has a nice one with good service and food. I struggled to sleep sometimes due to noise of the wind, waves and some storms plus the outside security lighting was a bit bright for me but after a few nights I got used to it and you can't change Moher Nature!! I highly recommedn this resort for families wanting a home for their holiday and to self manage a lot of their meals. It saved us a great deal of money and made life pleasant for all.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jules88_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2011

LOCATION: I do agree with kab00ki’s review of this resort. Its location is off the beaten track. If you choose to stay here, you are quite depended upon using a taxi. It is difficult to get transportation to the city centre in the evening. Getting back to the resort is also a hassle late at night. The manager, Jane, can arrange transportation to and from the airport using the Melanesian Tours.
HOTEL: Big and well furnished huts. I had a two-bedroom, two-bathroom hut with an open kitchen, living room and balcony facing the ocean. One of the bedrooms has clearly not been used for a while and the undersides of the pillows are moldy, sticky and humid.
CONCLUSION: Nice resort. The manager is friendly and capable, so is her husband. There is no restaurant at this resort. Hence if you do not mind do you own cooking while in Vanutu this is a place for you. There is a restaurant at the nearby resort, which is a five minute walk away. Walking there in evening with a hand-winding torch is an adventure in itself and please beware of the dogs. If you prefer to dine out, I would recommend staying closer to Port Vila, such as the Iririki Island Resort where a small, free ferry runs on a regular interval and the ride takes less than five minutes.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank HKasyouare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shorttricks, Manager at Island Magic Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2011

Unfortunately HKasyouare and kab00ki seemed to be unaware of the location of Island Magic Resort prior to booking. I do apologise to them for any misunderstandings as to facilities and location of our beautiful resort.
As stated on our web site we are 15 minutes by car or bus from Port Vila town and 10 minutes from the international airport. We take an exit off the main Island rd to travel 2 kms along a coral road that parallels the shores of Mele Bay. Stunning ocean views on your left and glorious mountain views on the right. Then you arrive at 18 fully appointed units, 90 metres of ocean front all wrapped up in beautiful landscaped gardens, pathways and green undulating lawns.
Again I apologise to HKasyouare and kab00ki for not making it easier to understand exactly what Island Magic Resort offers. We will look at our website and our other advertising mediums and endeavour to make it plainer for our potential visitors.
However the current website and wholesalers we use (within their limitations) do state our distance from town and airport and do describe us as fully self contained apartments with no restaurant on site offered. We have tried to make this as clear as possible. In addition we have described local eating places with the compendium in the apartments giving more details. We might not have all the facilities a large multinational resort has but we do have the following –
Wireless internet access, 5 Aus TV channels, jetty, petanque court, 2 BBQs, swimming pool, BYO bar, and fridge, oceanfront deck and jetty, snorkelling equip, book exchange, free dvds, free pushbikes, tour bookings, transport arrangements, airport pickups, babysitting, small shop for essential supplies 24 hr security, guest car-parking and friendly and helpful staff.
We arrange shopping trips for our guests and all the apartments have everything in them from washing machines to gladwrap and alfoil.
We are set up as a resort for our guests to enjoy our beautiful environment, to relax at their own speed, and to appreciate our stunning surroundings. 2009 and 2010 saw Island Magic Resort win best self contained accommodation in Vanuatu. Surely this speaks for itself.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Magic Resort

Address: Devils Point Road | Mele Bay, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#11 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#17 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: £80 - £176 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Island Magic Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury resort with self-contained apartment accommodation with ocean views, tropical gardens, guest bbq areas, swimming pool, and jetty to access spectacular snorkeling. Ideal for wedding and family groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Magic Hotel Port Vila
Island Magic Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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