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“Amazing”

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Aquana Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Thank you everyone at Aquana Beach Resort. It was an amazing holiday and an excellent place to stay for any occasion. Valerie is especially outstanding who looked after us at meal times / happy hour. Marcel and Fabian are excellent hosts.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Trakster2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We stayed for a week at Aquana but wish we had booked for longer. The flights over from Perth take a while but we were warmly greeted with a cool face towel and then a tropical fruit smoothie, which my two boys (10 and 7) loved throughout their stay.
Aquana isn't an over the top resort but it is quiet, well run and has everything you need.
The rooms are spacious and very clean. We were in a two bedroom villa facing the beach and it was just lovely. Each room has two comfortable couches and a large enough TV for the boys to watch so we could sleep in. There aren't many channels, but Aquana has an extensive DVD collection which you can help yourself to.
There are plenty of Kayaks for free use and stand up paddle boards for hire. Just across from the resort are two islands the closest had brilliant snorkelling and the furthest takes you to the Tap, the local surfing point - a highlight for my husband. An Outrigger can be booked for either snorkelling or surfing trips, plus they run scheduled tours on it.
The food at Aquana was great. I consider it slightly cheaper than Perth prices, but then Perth is expensive. The mist expensive dish is around $180 for a shared seafood platter. My husband and I found that the entree size dishes were often big enough. Stand out dishes were a special lamb dish three ways which wad husband adored - more than enough for two. But for me it was the lobster laksa, the green pawpaw and poached fish salad, the baked fish in banana leaf and the seafood chowder. These dishes were outstanding and the laksa and chowder came in entree sizes that were big enough for a main. Everything is cooked with Coconut Oil and they state this very clearly. The only things that we found was affected was the chips, coconut oil as a frying oil just doesn't work, but all the other meals were great.
Wines and about $10 a glass or between $30-45 a bottle. Cocktails range from $10-$17. We noticed the cocktails tasted different when different bar tenders were on, and particularly enjoyed the Tom Collins. There are also enough non-alcoholic beverages to keep everyone happy. The Vanuatu Breeze which is a slushy of lime juice, ice and sugar syrup. Very refreshing!
If you have young children there are always three 'nannies' on staff to look out for them. There is a kids corner with beanbags, a big screen and games. And the nannies are always on the lookout for kids. My boys would wander down to the trampoline and a nanny would appear. You can also hire a nanny for $5 an hour if you want to head off snorkelling or to dinner.
Aquana is only two years old, but is run really well. The reception desk is very friendly and helpful, happy to book drivers, tours, provide advice or answer questions. They were all very gracious and kind.
The only downside to Aquana is the entry road. It is 4kms from the sealed road to Aquana (and the expensive kids free Eratap). The road is atrocious, it is compacted limestone and has a zillion potholes. If you suffer from neck problems be warned!
I would suggest that Aquana and Eratap pitch in to have it fixed as it really detracts from the relaxed atmosphere of the resort.
Also, I would advise cleaning the pool at night when no one is using it. That was a bit of a bummer.
All around good trip for our family. Vanuatu has so much to offer, you can do heaps of activities or you can relax on a banana lounge. Definitely a great location and I think Aquana will do well over the coming years if they can maintain the current quality of their services.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank pryorityone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2014 via mobile

There are plenty of resorts around Vila, but if we come back here, we'll be straight back to Aquana. With young children the set up there couldn't have suited us any more.

It's a fair trek from town, but there is a free shuttle, should you wish to head in, among a number of other trips that the resort will happily organise. Avoid days when a cruise ship is in though, when there is one, you'll be thankful for the sanctuary that the Aquana provides.

Bungalows are simple, clean and very comfortable. Nothing fancy, but you won't be spending much time inside.

Everything is well run. The staff are all excellent and couldn't be friendlier, there's a real sense that the Aquana is team. It's family run, with three generations on site and with two small children, the proprietors really get what families need. Excellent nannies, with a real will to engage with your children, giving you a well earned break.

This is especially true at mealtimes. The food here is absolutely superb. The food at Aquana is gaining a reputation within Vila... Itself a town with plenty of good places to eat.... As a rising star. Even if you're not staying here, come for dinner.

It's a small resort, but run really professionally, with enough excellent staff to make sure you and your family be well looked after. This also has the feel of a place that is striving to improve more, rather than resting on its laurels.

The only issue we had was accessing the wifi through our laptop with Windows 8... Microsoft's fault rather than the resorts, however they went out of their way to sort it... No issues with the ipad though. Wifi was wide ranging and quick... Certainly compared to Solomon Islands!

If we could tailor a resort for us, it wouldn't be too different from the Aquana. It's not the fanciest in Vila, but given the choice we'd be straight back again.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Neel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

We were fortunate to find Aquana on our 2nd visit to Port Vila. After our first visit, we decided there was no real need to stay in town as nightlife is very limited and we prefer peace and quiet. On our recent low season stay, we happen to be the only guests which was wonderful and allowed us time to get to know the owners and the staff. All of the people top to bottom are the reason we would return and visit time and time again.

The resort is about 20 minutes from town and is somewhat isolated so it is easiest to eat all meals there. No real stores, shops or anything close by. The breakfasts were wonderful and the dinner menu is extensive and fantastic along with the impeccable service. marcel is a wonderful and creative chef and we eagerly looked forward to dinner every night.

The bungalows are very nice, good sized living area, comfortable beds. Great AC and fans and a nice outdoor sitting area. There are kayaks, snorkel equipment, free dvd's and multiple other amenities to make you never want to leave the grounds. The snorkeling is just a short kayak ride away and is amazing. we saw pristine carpets of reefs,hundreds of starfish and a host of other interesting sea life including shrimp, multiple small crabs and a pipefish or two.

The staff will go out of their way to satisfy requests and make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. they have a daily shuttle into town but will try and accommadte multiple trips if necessary

If you have children (under12) - THIS IS THE PLACE ! In house nanny service, kids activities and easy safe swimming from their beach.

Vanuatu is not a developed country and this is not a 5-star resort. However, the owners, support staff and overall energy of the place make you feel like you are at a 5-star resort all for 1/2 the price. We look forward to many return visits.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank adventurejunkie69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We have just returned from 10 magical days with our 3 children (3, 6 and 9) at Aquana Beach Resort and feel so grateful to have found this place.

Everything about the resort is professional, clean, warm, child friendly and polished which is so rare these days.

The food - Marcel is one of the best chefs we have ever come across. We are very spoilt for quality restuarant food in Adelaide, but we were super impressed by the freshness, consistancy and variety on offer at this resort. We looked forward to mouth watering dishes every day and night and the vast menu meant even after 10 days we hadn't tried everything! We chose to eat every meal at the resort, why would you go elsewhere when it was all on our bungalow's door step? And the cocktails were simply magic! The fire dancers organised by the resort on the beach were also a highlight, and we were lucky enough to see them twice.

As a family owned business, we felt right at home and enjoyed daily chats with Hugo, Birgit, Marcel and Fabienne. The friendly waiting and reception staff, were always smiling, and no request was too difficult with everything running with smooth precision. Two of our children celebrated birthdays here, and they were spoilt with balloons, singing and hand made crowns, the personal touches never ceased to amaze. The nannies - I don't want to mention their names incase I miss one (they felt like part of the family by the time we left) we all felt completely comfortable with each of them and they're captivating smiles. They kept our children entertained day and night with face painting, colouring, bead making, card games, weaving, crab catching and trampolining. They even swam and played games in the pool with our children when Dad and I needed a break. In my opinion this is the most innovative service offered by a resort, where else can you enjoy a delicious family lunch or dinner, then finish your wine whist watching the sunset with the children playing happily nearby.

The blue lagoon, village tour and outrigger trip are all magical experiences, and our advice is take a 'nanny' with you, especially if you have more than 2 children. They're smiling presence and local knowledge made the experience even richer.

The bungalows were comfortable, clean, perfect in size and offered a nice retreat when the kids needed some quiet movie time.

For us, we prefer this friendly style of resort over the often impersonal, pretentious and sterile 5 star resorts which are in another price league, so we don't really see the comparison to such resorts justified. Catering to the often ignored family market is what makes this place so special. In saying that, childless families will also appreciate the resort's warmth, and the children are so entertained you will hardly know they are there!


Aquana really gave us the best of both worlds, we were able to completely relax and feel the stress of our busy lives melt away, whilst spending quality family time together, both as a couple and with our children.

We have decided to return to Aquana for our next family holiday and can honestly see ourselves coming back again and again. For us, this is the best family resort around and we will be sharing the secret with many other families craving such an experience. What the owners have achieved with the resort in such a short time is nothing short of outstanding.

Thank you for looking after us our Aquana friends, we will see you all again soon.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank emcee2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Vanuatu is listed as one of least developed countries in the world, and it is unrealistic to expect every comfort and modern convenience from home to be as it is at home when you travel to such countries. Despite the inherent challenges of running a family business in such conditions, Aquana Beach Resort, in my view, comes up trumps.

This has been the second time my husband and I have stayed at Aquana Beach Resort in the space of a year. The second time around just affirmed everything we felt about Aquana the first time we stayed. Aquana Beach Resort has really become home away from home. But it has benefits ... within hours of arriving, I felt the stress of Sydney living simply melt away, I felt a connection with the people who are doing everything possible to make my stay comfortable and relaxing. The warm smiles, the friendly banter with staff, free entertainment every other night, meeting the locals, and feeling looked after are bonuses that cannot be measured in monetary value.

From the very warm welcome to the sad goodbyes, we had such a relaxing and comfortable time at Aquana. Every need was catered for, so that we could have a non stressful vacation. The staff and owners make best effort to satisfy every request. In fact, I would say that the owners care so much about their customers that they go over and above the call of duty to accommodate such requests. All you have to do is ask politely.

For us, the bungalows are a perfect size and layout. The housecleaning staff are methodical in their cleaning, respectful of your personal effects and completely trustworthy. How many places have you stayed where you actually want to learn the names of the house cleaners and to take the time to thank them for their efforts? I know that I did at Aquana - and those kind of interactions only made my holiday a richer experience.

On this trip, we ate the majority of our meals at Aquana. I want to compliment Marcel and his kitchen staff for changing to virgin coconut oil in the preparation of their meals. At first, you are aware of that tropical coconut flavour in the cooking but after a few days you truly start to appreciate how much better everything tastes, chips stay crunchy, scrambled eggs are delicious, the food just feels lighter in your stomach. My husband and I were so enamoured with the cooking, that we have now converted to using virgin coconut oil since coming home.

Any first time visitors to Vanuatu may be surprised at the cost of meals there - which are comparable to restaurants in Sydney or Melbourne. I know I was when I first visited the islands three years ago. However, the food at Aquana is so delicious - no matter what you choose from the extensive menu, and if you need something else - the team will prepare that for you - no questions asked. You are not likely to experience such fabulous personalised service at most resorts, holiday destinations, or restaurants in Sydney. At Aquana, the bonus is that your meals are served by attentive and friendly waiting staff.

The staff at reception are thoughtful and go the extra mile to make sure that any tours or trips that you plan all go according to plan. I was most impressed about their level of care and concern. Personally, I like to take some solitary time and go for walks in the jungle. On each outing, reception checked to make sure they had given me a phone (in case of emergency), that I remembered to get a bottle of water and had packed my sunscreen! It was nice to be mothered that way.

What I love most about Aquana is that it feels so down to earth. It is super family friendly but at the same time "childless visitors" will not feel out of place. Aquana is not a pretentious, exclusive resort and people who are looking for that kind of experience should possibly book elsewhere as they may find fault with some things that may not be provided at Aquana. Then again, Aquana has never claimed to be more than what it is. It is those "old fashioned", rare but much prized values that underline the spirit of Aquana from the owners to all the staff that make it such a wonderful home away from home with benefits. Values of customer service, friendliness, and a genuine interest in their customers are the very things that make Aquana special.

My husband and I want to thank all those beautiful people at Aquana for making our third trip to Vanuatu and second time at Aquana so memorable. Congratulations to Hugo, Birgit, Marcel and Fabienne for the continued development and upkeep of your resort. I still cannot get over how much the gardens and the palms have grown and can only imagine how the surrounds will be a tropical paradise in the years to come.

I have no hestitation in recommending the Aquana Beach Resort to anyone who wants a stress free, down to earth, value for money holiday in Vanuatu.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank myra5500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We recently spent a week at the Aquana with our two sons aged 10 and 17, it was a fantastic experience . There was no squabbling and the boys spent a lot of time together (which doesn't usually happen due to the age difference.

The view each day was spectacular as was the sunsets. We did very little except spoil ourselves with lots of relaxation. The staff and family at the resort are wonderful, every one is treated like an individual not just another tourist. The nannies are great although our boys are a bit older they spent many hours playing uno and chicken foot , a local domino game.

Must do take the free kayaks and go out snorkelling, take the outrigger and go to the desert island and reef. Visit the blue lagoon and enjoy the rope swing take deep heat for the after effects on your muscles, it is a good idea to take snorkels or goggles as the fish and coral at the blue pools it very good.

The food is wonderful , the beef is organic and to die for we recommend beef, the garlic prawns
, calamari and the homemade baked beans. Have the breakfast pancakes they are a great start to the day
This is a great resort for families especially.

Room Tip: Bungalow 7 and soak in the lagoon, must take reef shoes
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maggie M
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aquana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
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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