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“Peaceful and relaxing”

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Aquana Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 September 2014

During our 5 day holiday in Vanuatu, we based ourselves at the Aquana Beach Resort. The staff are very friendly & reception is extremely helpful. Our 2 bedroom bungalow was always immaculately clean & the beach front environment makes it a perfect place to stay.The resort is a half hour drive away from town so if you are planning on venturing into town frequently, the resort provides a complimentary shuttle bus at 10am and pick up at 2pm from town.

Room Tip: We stayed in Bungalow 10. All bungalows are a short stroll away from the main outdoor dining and po...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kwis_148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 - 151 of 310 reviews

Reviewed 27 August 2014

We first visited Aquana in August 2012 - see previous review "It's All in the Extras". At he time we said that we would definitely be back so here we are.
Aquana retains its magic for us and we will be extremely hesitant to head home tomorrow.
Beautiful tranquil location, fabulous owners and staff, excellent accommodation (Bungalow 8 at far end of front row) and delicious meals. What we feel a perfect holiday is made of.
You are given the option of dining in the restaurant facilities or have your meals/drinks delivered (at no additional cost) to your door. Whatever takes your fancy!
Changes in the two years - a few extra bungalows, additional dining areas under the palm trees, a dedicated childminding area, further clearing and seawall construction, nearby island walkway access.
If you are looking for somewhere to just chill-out from a busy lifestyle, nowhere would be more perfect than Aquana.

Room Tip: Our bungalow 8 was on the waterfront and further east away from the reception, restaurant, pool, chi...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

We've just returned from 10 days at Aquana and wow, the resort certainly lived up to everything we'd read and more.
Our bungalow was clean and contained everything we needed, the swing out the front was a hot with our boys and the block out blinds made naps a breeze.
The nannies were amazing!! Valerie and her team do such a fantastic job we felt comfortable leaving our boys with them basically immediately. Our 2 year old was very wary of most of the nannies and they respected that, they tried to play with him but made sure they didn't push too hard, so as the holiday went on he got more comfortable (and we have to say another thank you to Makalie, she was unbelievable with Ethan).
The food was divine. We ate pretty much every meal at Aquana and did not have one complaint.
All in all we had the best holiday we've ever had - and that was largely due to all the staff at Aquana - if we could give them more than 5 stars we would!

Stayed: August 2014
1  Thank CHBeatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014 via mobile

If you've got kids under 4, and ESPECIALLY younger ones, then this is paradise!!!

The reason for this, are the roaming nannies who watch over your kids so you don't have to. To give an example - as we got back from a tour and sat down for a drink, our 21-mo toddled off towards the beach front. As we watched, a nanny wandered over from the kids area and followed her down at a distance. We sat and enjoyed our drinks, reading our books, knowing our daughter was safe and enjoying herself.

The owners claim this is the only resort of its type in the world. I'm not sure if that's true - it's a big world - but it's definitely a winner in our book. The difference with those resorts with a kids club approach, I imagine (never been to one), is the seamless nature of it all. The nannies are always around, from around 8am to 9pm - there's no need to book anything, or take your kid to the club, or check them in or out. Your kids are free to do what they want. If they want to play on the trampoline, or go shell hunting, or play chase, then at the moment they leave you or you leave them, a nanny will ease in and take over. If they ask for you or look for you, she'll bring them back. If you go to play with your kids, they'll sense if you want them to join in or leave you alone.

Also, its a smallish resort - 25 bungalows - which gives it a community feel. Everyone gets to know everyone over the week, with the kids as the glue; the staff are all from the nearby village and all know each other; the resort is far out of town and at the end of a road, so no passing traffic; I did also notice extensive CCTV in reception. Hence there's a feeling of trust and security, meaning you can let your kids run out of sight, leave your stuff around - I left my waterproof camera to dry on a table outside the room for two days. I didn't leave lots of cash in the room, and put my valuables out of sight, but that's my habit.

What it meant in practice, is that my partner and I had an unbroken romantic meal together - every night! I read a whole novel - in my first day, I had to buy more. We both felt unharassed, relaxed. Our daughter played and made new friends. We all had an excellent time.

The service extended everywhere else. The resort booked all our tours and trips, made recommendations, and gave us a loan phone on trips to call them for any issues.

There were a decent TV and DVD player in the room, with a huge (400?) collection of DVDs should you spend the night in. The rooms were comfortable (while also being non-breakable/wipe-clean - you'll notice all room service uses plastic glasses!). The bar was nice with a long cocktail menu (the creamy Baileys/Kahlua one was awesome).

The restaurant was excellent, the owner Marcel also being the chef with an Aussie/European background. Food was on a par with what you'd expect from a quality Sydney restaurant, with comparable prices for the quality. Most dishes are the same price - around 3000vt/$35, and the wines were also all very good and comparable to Sydney at around $10/glass / $50 a bottle. We'd admit to be in the "cheaper options on the menu" brigade, but by being denied that option, I tried a different dish every night, and loved them all. All dishes and wines were a little unique and distinctive. The net effect is you could dine in every day for a week and still be left wanting more time to try the rest.

Actually, on reflection, I think you'd consider such a price/quality in Sydney a real find, on all counts.

What else? Everyone was universally friendly. The owner's cat and dog, Yowely and Rex, were mostly kid tolerant, although our daughter earned a swipe for trying to wrestle Yowely under the bed. For babies/infants, you get even more value out of the free nannies - and if you go on a day trip, they cost $5/hr, which is also worth it.

The evening events were also well worth it too - the fire dancing was spectacular, the music and dancing got everyone involved, and the trivia won us a free massage. The outrigger trip was great for snorkeling at a gorgeous small island, and you can take kayaks and SUPs yourself (just watch the tides!).

Niggles? The free internet can be slow, where Skype was OK for voice but unusable for video half the time, but considering the connectivity to Vanuatu, I think it was reasonable. The local shower gel is too runny - they need to fix that. And the distance from Port Vila means a $20 transfer on top each way for most tours, unless you can share with others or get the free 10am out/2pm back minibus.

The ease of paying for all tours, trips, food on the room left us with a $2500 one-week bill on top of the accommodation documented by 50 numbered dockets, which is impossible to check at 10pm on the last day after three cocktails - but we did do a lot, including $1000 for the Volcano trip. The 3.5% CC surcharge seems high and stung a bit. We paid with our leftover cash and card, keeping $10 for the airport cafe.

Overall, if you have young kids, this place is a Godsend for you as a couple (or more so, if there's just one of you!). Because the nannying is seamless and transparent, it doesn't interrupt your closeness as a family, either.

See my other reviews for activities on the island

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
5  Thank damoske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

My mother and I recently returned from a 7 night stay at the wonderful Aquana Beach Resort. I can't praise this resort enough. Every single staff member that we encountered went out of their way to ensure that our trip was one to remember. Our 2-bedroom bungalow (situated in the 2nd row back from the water) was just the right size and had everything we could want; from the porch swing, lovely clean bathroom, tea and coffee facilities, to the DVD player we used for a relaxing movie of an evening before bed. The meals were AMAZING. Though a little pricy (you will pay standard Australian meal prices), to me they were worth every cent. I am a vegetarian and the staff members went out of their way to cater to my dietary requirements without any fuss. We partook in Happy Hour, and they also make one heck of a coffee if you can't skip out on your daily coffee ritual. Having free access to the non-motorised water sports was a great addition. My Mum and I found ourselves out kayaking nearly every day, exploring the surrounding waters and nearby beaches. The resort also helped us organise day tours: I personally went zip-lining (which is a great experience for the adventurous types). We did a day trip to Eton Beach and the Blue Lagoon, which is not to be missed. We also did a walk into the local village led by an employee of the resort who guided us through the village where we were able to look at the local houses and even visit the school. The resort itself was extremely clean, tidy and welcoming, with daily house-keeping that was vigilant in ensuring that you always returned to a clean and fresh bungalow. We did not have any kids in our travel party, but it was evident that this resort would be an ideal place to travel with children. The nannys that worked at Aquana were nothing short of amazing. We watched them care for every single child in the resort, and every one of them went out of their way to ensure that the kids were safe and always having fun. I wish we could have stayed longer than 7 nights, but i'll definitely have Aquana in mind if I return to Vanuatu in the near future.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank KristyV88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Our family of 4 ( boys 7 and 9) just returned from 8 amazing nights at aquana. The children loved the nannies and they were the loveliest ladys. The resort is beautiful and our beachfront bungalow had amazing views straight out to the water. I must say that even with the great reviews on here the place and whole experience exceeded my families expectations. We have previosly been to fiji a couple of times and Samoa and this place outshon those with ease. We did a volcano tour to tanna island that was amazing and the resort booked that for us in advance aswell as port villa tour, local village tour and a days bus hire to the blue lagoon and eton beach of which the former was just spectacular. Our kids loved swinging into the pristine waters and so did the kids at heart.

a big thanks to marcel for the great food aswell and I wish I could have tried everything on his beautiful menu.

Overall a fantastic break and nothing was too much trouble and a big thanks to the owners and all staff who were always happy and helpful and you guys have made some great memories for all of our family.

many thanks,

Neil family

neil family.

Room Tip: All are good but we had 6 which was perfect, any front row would be best views no's 4-8
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank CanberraIslandhopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

I have just returned from my week in Vanuatu, staying at the Aquana Beach Resort. As many travellers do, I read about other people’s experiences when they travel. As such I was amazed to read about 3 reviews, one “Poor" and two “Terrible” about Aquana. After reading the said reviews as compared to the positive reviews, all I can say is that some people really should not go outside their houses.
My experience has been one to remember with great pleasure. My bungalow was perfect in every way. The lounge was spacious, well equipped (not self contained) , the bed was a queen size and very comfortable, the bathroom, with it’s large shower was soothing after a full day’s exploring Vanuatu. The bungalows were serviced every day and were spotless.
The resort was fully booked out during my stay and at no time did I find that there was a shortage of any recreation equipment supplied by the resort ( ie: kayaks etc ). The service given by the staff and owners was the best I have had from my many journeys, nothing was too much trouble and the extent they went to get the result you wanted was most appreciated. The added little features were especially welcome. One comes to mind, that when you leave the resort for any reason, you are given a mobile phone, so you can contact the resort to arrange such things as transport, or the resort can contact you with any information that you may need. Great stuff. (By the way, I have also travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Australia).
My original plan before I went to Vanuatu was to try an eat in as many restaurants as possible. I did eat in a few at lunch time and was most satisfied with what I got. At Aquana the meals were exceptional, as such I decided that I would choose as many meal options that time allowed and chose to have dinner there every night. The kitchen staff were so flexible, if you wanted something that was not on the menu and the ingredients were available, they would gladly oblige.
There were many families staying while I was there. I was aware prior to my booking that the resort catered to families, however the nannies did such a wonderful job, so much so, that the parents had a truly stress free holiday and childless people such as myself were unaffected by their activities. I was taken by the care they gave the kids, amazing.
To sum up. Excellent resort, staff, food, accommodation and management. To the critics of this resort, stay at home and leave the rest of us to ENJOY our vacations.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank hans 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

Address: Eratap Road, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
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: £151 - £231 (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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