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“If you can't stay at Eratap Resort this is second best”

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Aquana Beach Resort
Ranked #11 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 December 2013

I want you to understand reading this review we stayed at two resorts while in Vanuatu. Eratap and Aquana. Eratap won us over without exception. Having said that I will give you our feedback on Aquana.

I'm not going over anything anyone else has written only points that I always like to know before I travel or am looking for in a resort.

I must point out there are quite a few items I will mention that lacked in this resort but credit to Fabienne when ever I asked for something she was more than helpful.

Accommodation - Our beds were hard, my teenage girls were so uncomfortable they asked to sleep on the lounge. The bungalow is very clean. The hot water was not working, I asked Fabienne and she got them to refill the gas hot water bottle. The shower goes hot and cold while your using it. Not good when trying to wash your hair. Speaking of hair, they DO NOT supply any conditioner or moisturiser, shower caps, robes, cotton wool buds etc these items you would expect in a resort. There are no pens or paper and you need to ask for an iron/ironing board. The only mirror in the whole bungalow is above the sink in the bathroom. Only black tea and coffee on offer with a kettle.

Food - Delicious and great size. The coconut crab is now not on the menu due to them being endangered. Only two negatives, the milk to have with your cereal was warm several mornings. Selection of only black tea or coffee on the table. Other selections of Tea (peppermint, green) have to be requested from behind the bar. I don't understand why they not on offer on the buffett. To drink a coconut it is $3, at Eratap they are free.

Dress - very casual, as dinner some nights is set up on the sand you wear thongs/sandles or no shoes. Nice and laid back.

Staff - friendly, big smiles and very polite.

Spa - unusual location. In a villa at the back of the resort with no view. It would be perfect facing the lagoon or under a bale with the ocean breeze.

Pool and lagoon facilities - The outrigger is a must, the driver takes you out to great snorkelling locations where the water is crystal clear. There is only two sun lounges (well three but one is plastic and broken) by the lagoon on the sand. There is no shade or anywhere to relax by the lagoon in private. There are sun lounges around the pool. The paddle boards you have to pay for, at Eratap they are free.

Overview - The owners really do try their best, but I have to be honest for us this would not be our first choice. If you like luxury and enjoy a four to five star resorts this is not for you.

Room Tip: A beach bungalow is best
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Sydneytraveller36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 - 192 of 305 reviews

Reviewed 27 December 2013

We stayed at Aquana for 7 nights (not long enough) from the 4-11th December 2013, and cannot rave enough about this place to anyone who will listen. We travelled as a family, my husband (49yom), my mum (63yof), my son (12yom) and myself (36yof) and stayed in a 2 bedroom bungalow.
The bungalow itself has everything you need.. Air con, 2x2 seat couches, tv, DVD, bar fridge, block out curtains for that occasional sleep in, ceiling fans, etc and was impeccably cleaned every morning when we were at breakfast. It was so lovely to come back to a freshly made up room everyday to plan our day.
The staff... Fabienne, from my first email contact with you, everything was so easy. No surprises, amazing customer service, and always happy to go out of your way to help us, always with a gorgeous smile.

Birgit, I loved sitting and chatting with you and Sandra, was definitely a highlight of my week. I feel that we became part of your Aquana family, and certainly did not expect this on our holiday!! Can't wait for our next catch up.

Hugo, we loved hearing your stories and plans for everything Aquana.

The other front office staff, wait staff and nannies... You were all so welcoming. We did not need to use the nanny service but if I did, I would have no hesitation in leaving my child in your care. You treat those children like your own. Lots of activities, both indoor and out. The kids in your care clearly loved your attention. To the wait staff and front office staff, your service and warmth towards my family and myself as guests was second to none. You knew our orders even before we did!!! And you were always there with a smile, ready to help.

Marcel, what can I say???? We ate like royalty for a week!! My son is usually a really fussy eater, but he loved everything you and your kitchen staff put in front of him!! Apparently, even after the lesson, we don't come close to cooking your garlic prawns like you do!!!

The seafood platter was sensational, and after avoiding lobster for the last 15 years, I am now an addict!! Your sauces were mouth watering, the fact that guests can graze all day and really try out the whole menu without overdoing it was such a treat for us. On our last night, Marcel made a special meal for all of us that we couldn't even finish. Lobster and bugs freshly caught were on my plate and I have never tasted anything like it. I could rave abut the food forever, but I think you get my point!!

The Blue Lagoon and Eton Beach tour was an amazing day out, with snorkelling, a BBQ lunch provided and the fabulous rope swing at the Blue Lagoon. I have never seen such beautiful clear water.

This was our first visit to Vanuatu and Aquana, but it won't be our last. We cannot rate this resort highly enough, and cannot wait to be back there.
W came home very relaxed, somewhat sun kissed and already planning our next visit to Aquana.. Keep up the amazing work!!!

Kind Regards,
Kelly Holland-Ryan (Newcastle, Australia

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank Kelly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

My wife, three children and I had eight wonderful nights at Aquana, and we didn't want to leave. My 6 year old daughter, 7 year old son and 3 year old son all had a wonderful time, and the constantly attentive staff meant that if my wife and I wanted time to read, swim, or just relax we could at any time as the nannies are so wonderful and form such a bond with the children, the children loved them. The food is incredible, and every item on the menu was amazing. Vanuatu itself is beautiful, and the people and culture very welcoming, relaxed and happy. I've never written a review before (you can probably tell) of a resort but this one was so good I absolutely had to. The activities nearby like the cascade waterfalls, scuba diving and the snorkelling from the resort itself were all incredible too. The bungalows and accommodation are great, and there are activities regularly like fire dancing, kava tasting, traditional music performances and movie nights for the children, and during the day, my children wanted to play with "the girls" doing hair braiding, basket weaving, swimming etc all of which they really enjoyed. The best part about this is that it isn't a kids club - there is no structure, the nannies are just available from 7am to 9pm and the children can do whatever they like, not a structured programme. This was one of the most relaxing and recharging holiday I have ever had, and Marcel and Fabienne are just wonderful hosts. I can't recommend it highly enough and cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Morgan7175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

My husband, five year old son and I have just returned from an eight night stay at Aquana. It was our first time in Vanuatu, and has definitely given us a taste for this beautiful country. We found the staff to be always friendly, helpful and polite, and must give special mention to the nannies who looked after our son so well. From the first day he sought out the company of 'the girls' who taught him to play monopoly and snakes and ladders, bounced on the trampoline, played soccer and watched movies with him. The accommodation at Aquana is very good - our two bedroom bungalow was very clean and comfortable, with a lovely water view. The daily servicing of the room and refresh of linens was greatly appreciated. The food was of a constantly high standard, and my husband who has coeliac disease and requires gluten free food was well catered for. We had our wedding anniversary whilst at Aquana, and the lovely Fabienne organised a wonderful dinner for us with the most amazing seafood platter. Aquana is a little way out of Vila, which we ultimately found to be a good thing, as the city is not exactly picturesque. The shuttle bus from the resort was really convenient, and we also used local taxis and buses as required. Can be a bit hair-raising, but all part of the Vanuatu experience. Overall, a brilliant holiday in a beautiful location with great food and service. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank JulieShin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

I'm going to be brief here because everyone has already said what I want to say. The only thing I would add is that it's all true. Food, location, accommodation, hospitality are all brilliant. We had the most lovely time and I'm currently trying to talk several of my overworked needing-a-holiday friends into taking time out to visit Aquana.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ajay19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

It is rare for me to write a review (not intentionally, just never find the time when back at work) - however, our holiday was so fantastic that I have made the time to write this.

As regular Vanuatu visitors (this was our 7th trip and we were married there 4 years ago) - we have stayed at several different places, but can say that this was by far the best service we have ever received!

The bungalows are functional, spacious, air conditioned and the standard of cleaning is exceptional (better than the 5 star places we have stayed). But you are only in the bungalows to sleep - as why would you want to be inside in such a beautiful country and location??

It is the location, the level of service, the owners and staff who make Aquana the wonderful resort it is. At the time of travelling, our 20 month old son had specific dietary needs and Marcel and Fabienne went out of their way to ensure they had the food we required for him.

Describing the resort as 'family friendly' does not even come close to an accurate description! The team of nannies are AMAZING and even after reading other reviews prior to staying - they exceeded our expectations. No 'kids club' style child care facilities at Aquana - children are free to roam around the grounds, go swimming, play games, participate in indoor activities or just spend time playing and laughing with the nannies. Our son has asked every day since returning if he can get on the plane to 'watu' and play with the nannies. To be able to have a holiday with your child, but still have time to spend as a couple, eat a meal in peace, lie by the pool and drink a cocktail - all while watching your child sitting on the beach playing and laughing - I am not sure it gets much better..... Several nights a nanny walked our son around in his pram to put him to sleep while we ate our dinner and on one occasion when I went to check on him - I found him lying on the trampoline on the beach, holding hands with the nanny, looking up at the stars while she sang to him in the most beautiful voice. What an experience for a child to have.

The food - Marcel, I am not sure you know how great your food is. On our previous trips we have often found the menus were quite small and lacking in variety - but the menu and standard of food at your restaurant is exceptional. Every single meal was excellent and I wish I could get food like that in Brisbane. Your kitchen staff are wonderful and nothing was too much trouble to prepare for our son (even though none of it was on the menu). Thanks also to the staff for ensuring that when popcorn was made for the other children - our son had his own special bowl with no butter.

On our last night my husband asked the staff to prepare a cake for my birthday as a surprise, but not only did they prepare a cake - they decorated a table overlooking the beach with balloons, streamers and flowers and then after dinner the lights went out and all the staff appeared with the cake while singing happy birthday – thank you for making it a birthday to remember!

The service - NOTHING is too much trouble for the staff and before long you feel like you are visiting with friends, not guests at a resort. Thank you Fabienne for arranging everything we wanted to do with no hassles and a smile.

I could go on and on - but until you visit yourself you will not understand how wonderful this place is - so go ahead and book!

We intend on becoming regular visitors to Aquana.

Ps - even if you are staying somewhere else - make sure you visit Aquana for a meal.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank ALH09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

In October this year we had the pleasure of returning to one of our favourite resorts in Vanuatu, only this time we bought with us enough guests to fill the resort for our daughters wedding.
While Aquana Beach may not be promoted as one of "the" wedding venues in Vanuatu, I can safely say that it is one most welcoming, special places to hold a wedding.

The wedding party ( all 27 of us ) were made to feel welcome from the minute we arrived at Aquana for their "wedding week long stay". Nothing was too much trouble to arrange and Fabienne, Marcel, Birgit and Hugo made everyone feel at home ,as we had hoped they would. Its lovely to return to a place where everyone remembers you and makes you feel special.

The wedding arrangements were a breeze with Marcel having a "sixth sense" as to the type of delicious food that would be required. The Aquana Team worked with our wonderful wedding planner Virginia Shore, of Events Vanuatu, to make the day very special - nothing was too much trouble, even beautiful fresh white sand was laid at the wedding arbour on the morning of the wedding. Our special thanks went to the Aquana staff who were happy to stay much later than they normally would have to look after the guests and children.

We had a number of small children amongst the guests and they were looked after all week by the nannies and a couple of our guests wanted to "take a nanny with them" when they left. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful food, great cocktails at happy hour and the relaxed atmosphere.

If you are looking for a wedding venue in Vanuatu and would like a special day made more special by beautiful people, then Aquana may be the place for you.

Room Tip: An Beach front Vila is worth the extra few dollars
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank IndyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aquana Beach Resort

Address: Eratap Road, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: £190 - £245 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aquana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in 2012, Aquana Beach Resort has become Vanuatu's leading three and a half star family friendly boutique Resort and this has largely been due to the unique childcare approach it has developed and the quality of the food from it's very popular casual dining restaurant. Located 25 minutes from the International Airport and only 15 minutes from the town centre, Aquana is situated in a large lagoon surrounded by groups of deserted islands and pristine reefs. Aquana has a 150 meter long man-made beach great for children to be able to play free from danger and for adults to relax on and soak up the sun. Aquana consists of 16 bungalows all located within 30 meters of the lagoon front and a hot a la carte and a continental breakfast are both included in the room rate and the resorts idyllic surroundings provides the perfect location for weddings and functions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquana Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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