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“great family holiday but not exactly a luxury resort”

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Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu
Ranked #13 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“great family holiday but not exactly a luxury resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2009

We are a family with 2 children age 5 and 6. Travelled to Vanuatu with extended family including teenagers. We had a bit of a rooms saga in the first 2 days like many others. On arrival we were told our requested garden superior room wasn't available We were given a lagoon bungalow (about double the price of the garden superior) instead for the first night ... but ... wait for it ... the room is not ready. We arrived at 2pm and it took till about 5pm for the room to be ready. In the mean time, children got their swimmers on and had a splash. The next day, despite us having our bags all packed by 11am, the room that we were to move into for the rest of the holiday was again not ready till 5pm.
The lagoon bungalow was very nice, spacious and seemed to be recently renovated, complete with a spa bath. Although the materials were good, complete with stone vanity tops and massage shower head, the tiling and plumbing workmanship was little above a DIY renovation - a reflection of the overall laid back attitude throughout Vanuatu.
Although the bungalows were very nice inside, I wouldn't recommend them as they were very lacking in privacy. I also felt sorry for the people in the over-water suites as I kayaked past their romantic balconies.
Some rooms are renovated and some are not. The renovated ones like ours are very nice but the unrenovated ones are really bad.
Food was OK. Buffet nights have changing themes. Breakfast buffet is exactly the same each day. Poolside grill pretty good. Wild Ginger has an innovative a la carte menu which may not be to everybodies taste. I had rack of lamb with morrocan and wasabi flavours.
Nice cultural shows on some evenings. Some kids (but not mine) enjoyed the torch lighting ceremony each evening at 6pm.
We used the kayaks and catamarans quite a lot. Snorkeled in the lagoon. Lots of starfish and coral but not many fish. Activity centre was a hit with the kids and teenagers. Soccer match was on with the locals every couple of days. Pool was great. The middle pool was at standing waist to shoulder depth for my kids.
Prices of drinks and food are at or over North Queensland resort rates. Extra charge for use of gym, golf equipment and tennis rackets.
Tour operators were very friendly, punctual and well organised. Mele falls evergreen tour with bbq lunch was great. Went on a buggy (more like go-kart) trail ride half day, which was quite a unique experience. Need to book this 2 days ahead. Hideaway island had great snorkelling with the full cast of Nemo. Fish come up to the beach if you have some bread with you. Not much at Hideaway for people who don't swim, snorkel or dive. The "beach" is full of dead coral and not for walking on barefoot.
Port Vila itself is not very interesting. Only spent a few hours there. Ate at Chill restaurant for lunch, which was good and catered well for kids.
Overall, we all had great fun. Locals generally happy and friendly. Lots for kids and teenagers to do on the resort. Don't stay here though if you can't deal with the laid back attitude and the (not bad but) less than perfect rooms.

  • Liked — Many places to explore on a kayak
  • Disliked — Delays on check in and waiting for someone to appear on the concierge desk
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank busybee9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2009

We are a family of 4 from Sydney (boy 11 and a girl 10) and had 11 nights in Dec coming home on Xmas eve. Like everyone else who read these reviews before going we had mixed feelings about selecting Vanuatu and Le Lagon, particularly with the stomach bug that was going around the island at the time.

To set the context for our decision: we had been to Fiji, Bali, Thailand & Vietnam before and given the troubles in Bali and Thailand it became a toss up between returning to Cast Away Island at Fiji or trying Vanuatu, Also, having had a stressful year we did not want a holiday that required lots of planning or moving around but just enough to keep us engaged. Given Castaway Isl (where we stayed in Fiji and seriously thought about returning to) is a tiny island and we had already "done it" we decided on Vanuatu (who were also offering cheap air flights though by the time we booked we missed out - so there you go!)

Main reasons for choosing Le Lagon:
- Largest hotel by far (most chance of kids making friends!!!)
- Grounds looked good
- Pools looked good
- Ginger received good reviews which elevates the hotel above the average so food would be ok.
- All inclusive allows us to know the budget and not worry about constant expense.

So how did it go:
- Overall it met our expectations
- Superior Garden View Room was good. Aircon good, size good, beds ok, shower huge - no complaints at all!
- Like other posts breakfast was good (incl getting omelette or eggs cooked to order), lunch poolside was good, dinner buffet ok, dinner at Ginger better but menu a little limited.
- Pools were good (yes towels were a hassle and tiles were slippery)
- Kids club was ok (We all did bus trip to Secret Garden which was good
- Massages were ok and were quite cheap by comparison so had a few (they probably could develop a day spa area - particularly with wedding couples and honeymoons)
- Catamarans were good and easily accessible
- House drinks were ok (Both Red & white wines were good but house spirits leave a bit to be desired)
- Golf course was better than expected with some nice holes over the back and some great views
- Met some lovely people and families "Hello to all" (Most people from Brisbane and Sydney then some from Melbourne and NZ).
- Overall service is a bit dissappointing and certainly well below Fiji (This is an area Mgt need to build a Le Lagon Culture)
- Unfortunately we all got the bug to different degrees desoite taking acidophilus but really only a few days discomfort

Outside the Hotel:
- Cascades were great (just go by bus or taxi)
- Did a Round the Island day tour with (fellow recommended off this website who's name escapes me???) which was very nice
- Buses - great, once you get your legs this is the way to travel 100 VT pp
- Taxis - like always get a quote before you get in and know how much you should pay 3-400 VT
- Wife and I had dinner at Frenchg restaurant on the hill just outside the resort leaving kids at Kids Club - was very nice and a nice time to ourselves - kids were happy too!
- Did the Buggie Tour thing "Bush to Beach" - This was great!!! Definitely do it - even mom!. Go with the Aussie guy Dale (ex Aus Navy, nice guy)
- Port Vila is pretty ordinary with not much to offer (did get some good beach clothes for the kids at reasonable prices)
- Always felt safe and non-threatened

Overall:
Overall it was a great holiday that met our expectations

Would we go back again? - probably not but that's more to do with going somewhere else not a reflection on this.

Recommendation:
Vanuatu is a safe and easy to reach destination. If you want a fairly relaxed break mainly sitting around the pool with just a few outside activities (and you have already done Fiji) then this is a good spot. If you have young children then I believe that this hotel is the best by far.

I trust this is of assistance in making your decision.

  • Liked — The size and layout of the room
  • Disliked — Would like a separate room for the kids - very hard to get
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank AJCisme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2009

When I landed in Vanuatu, I really didn't know what to expect...but when we pulled into the hotel I was really impressed - beautiful landscape and all - upon check in, they gave me my room and helped me get settled... well the room was super small, just able to fit the bed in, and then I noticed that I had paid for a superior garden view. The manager Jamil was very nice, but told me he was unable to do anything about it today and would get me a better room the next day.. the more I thought about it the more I didn't want to stay in that room so I asked how much for an island room over the water -- the amount wasn't that bad, and it allowed me to check in right away (why he didn't upgrade me to a better room to begin with is still a wonder - especially since me garden view wasn't ready) - the room was perfect - incredible and highly recommended - unfortunately someone (obvious an in-side job) broke into my room safe and stole $900 - I filled out a police report - but the hotel didn't take any responsibility - didn't even offer to cover the upgrade - so I would have to say I left feeling disappointed - a top hotel like this can't afford to have its personnel braking into safes.
Nicole

  • Liked — the rooms location
  • Disliked — someone breaking into my safe and stealing $900
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank 100countryclub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taranaki
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2009

Wow I loved this place! After reading mostly negativity through trip advisor I must say I was a bit skeptical about it, but enjoyed our holiday and the resort, in fact I would rate it higher that the "hard to beat" Rarotongan that we stayed in on our trip last year. I travelled alone with a 4 and 7 year old, reception was great and we had our welcome drinks and escorted to our room. We stayed in a standard room which was very nice, clean and well serviced (thank god for air conditioning), complete with a good sized shower and an in room safe. The pool area was devine, and my only real grumble over the whole trip would be the shortage of towels (so pays to take your own) and the tiles become slippery. I only ever saw plastic cups used around the pool never glass.

Kids had a blast and didn't argue once in 7 days!!!! They enjoyed kids club and their excursions to the secret garden and coral viewing etc. All their 3 meals a day were included in the package.

Breakfast - what can I say, it was all put on everything was fanastic and the variety couldn't be faulted, catered to everyones needs from cereal and fruit to cooked, so I ate a big breaky and had a light lunch! Dinner, I ate at the resort every night and everynight the restaurant had a different menu which was great. I ate one night at the Wild Ginger (also located at the resort) but didn't think much of their menu.

Travelling to town to anywhere ensure you look for the vans with a RED "B" (not "T" for taxi) these are far the cheapest way to travel. Avoid going in to town when the cruise ships are in as the prices in the shops escalate. Duty Free is much cheaper in town than the airport too.

I do recommend this place and in fact I will be going there again next January!!!

  • Liked — Air Conditioning!!!
  • Disliked — No private laundry you had to send it away.
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank kells_74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2009

We have just returned from a round the world holiday and stayed at this hotel on 19th November for 7 nights. I had read mixed reviews and travellers pictures on trip advisor looked good so we went for it. On arriving at hotel it looks very impressive, grounds are immaculately kept and reception is smart, however on arriving at 3 pm I heard the couple in front of us been told that the room was not ready and I said to my husband, get ready, that is one of the complaints I read on trip advisor, then it was our turn and guess what, our room was not ready! We sat down and were given a complimentary drink, but 30 minutes later we had not heard any more. I went back to reception and was told 5 minutes, a guy then comes over to take us to the room, but he has loaded somebody elses luggage instead of ours on his cart. I asked him if it was an upper floor room as requested in my original reservation and he said yes, but when we got to the room it was on the ground floor!

The room itself was a superior garden bungalow and we did not have any complaints, it was clean and everything seemed to be in order, however when it got dark we discovered two of the lights had light bulbs which didn't work and one light had been smashed and taped together therefore no light could really shine through, a problem we reported to reception on our way out night one, but was not rectified by the time we left.

We stayed bed and breakfast only and the breakfast selection could not be faulted, there was a great selection of both hot and cold food and the hot food was hot, not like some resorts, however the service was terrible. Not once in 7 mornings did we sit at a table which had been laid properly we always needed a cup, a knife, salt and pepper, etc. Trying to get coffee and tea was a challenge and empty plates you were better off getting up and moving yourself, also in the centre of the breakfast room is a refridgerated unit which fruit, cereal, drinks, etc are kept on and the fridges leaked so if you went down after around 8.30 you had to paddle around and risk slipping over with your breakfast.

The swimming pool and surrounding area were fantastic, picture postcard stuff, however two major complaints, one, the system they adopt is you sign for your towel in the morning and by 6 pm you must have handed it back or the cost goes on your bill, we found that if you were late down to the pool they never had enough towels to go around, we waited nearly 2 hours one day for a towel! Also some days you went to hand your towel back in and nobody was around so although you had signed it out, you did not have any proof you had returned it. The other problem was the swim up bar, which served drinks in plastic and glass glasses, my husband and I both felt to serve a drink in a glass in a pool was an accident waiting to happen, the other problem was they allowed children in the adults pool, although there were 3 other pools they could have used, and on several occasions we saw children playing with glasses in the pool which had been left on the side by other guests.

We found the hotel not just to be too expensive, but we felt actually ripped guests off, we ate in town every night but Sunday and found some lovely restaurants/bars, however if you pick up a taxi within the hotel grounds they charge you 3 times as much as they are managed by the hotel, instead walk to the top of the driveway, through security and pick up one off the road. Beware if you change any money in the hotel they charge you 12% on changing travellers cheques which we found an insult. Also, on the Sunday we ordered room service as this was the cheapest way of eating when the town was closed, not only did we get the wrong meal delivered, but they charge you on top of the room service prices quoted on the menu for bringing the meal to your room!

One final negative point, during the 7 days we were there our room floor was never mopped over and our bedding was not changed, although such a hot climate.

In summary we would say this is a lovely resort, visually above average, but the service is appaling and the management do not manage, even people we became friendly with over the week who had paid for all inclusive ended up eating in the town!

One last word of warning, I have read a review from another traveller about informing the hotel of a special diet and his request been ignored, this happened a week after I moved on, however as we were checking out we got talking to a honeymoon couple who were at reception to complain as they had paid all inclusive and she had an intolerance of wheat and they too had phoned up the hotel and spoken to the chef who had guaranteed them it would not be a problem, however when they arrived the same story, nobody admitted knowing anthing about it and the poor girl had only eaten fruit for 2 days - obviously it is not worth requesting anything other than the normal at this hotel, whatever they tell you!

  • Liked — Spectacular pool with swim up bar
  • Disliked — Over priced with extremely poor service
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank KazzaMiddleEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2008

Here is an honest review, no B.S based on 7 night stay.

Overall had an excellent time.

- Water sports, pool and general facilties I thought were sensational. Gardens and grounds were of very high standard.
- Breakfast was fantastic. Excellent range of food. Coffee service sometimes a bit slow, but overall best meal of the day.
- Pool side grill for lunch was OK. Wide selection on menu, service either very fast or very slow. Depended on how many people around. 50% of the time food tasted great. Other 50% average. (never terrible though)
- Dinner: Had breakfast and lunch in our package. Dinner a bit pricey. Should have got all inclusive deal. Food tasted pretty good though. We ended up going to the markets in town and bought bread rolls for dinner 3 of 7 nights.
- Pool bar was great, sometimes understaffed. Staff were not slow, they just needed more people.
- Staff overall extremely friendly and helpful. Encountered no problems.
- Waited 40min at check in for room, HOWEVER, got a free tropical drink on arrival, and staff could see I didnt look too happy so they gave us free local beer! It was so hot but I would have happily waited another hour as long as the freebies kept coming!
- Stayed in a standard room, was pretty standard but rest of resort made up fpr it. At the end of the day though you only go there to sleep so I didnt really mind. Plus if it does get too hot and you just want air conditioning, theres heaps of good cable TV channels
- Lady who sells local clothes etc on the grass near the pool is really expensive. Go into town and pay half the price for same stuff.
- Drug store at resort is very expensive, but if you need some recognisable brands for headaches/ hangovers, sunburn etc it is a lifesaver.
- Drinks not included in my package and all I drink is burbon & coke. Roughly $8 AUD each at resort and local beer Tusker round $4. Wife only drank cocktails, so in 7 days spent about $400 AUD on grog. Was worth it I though, but probably should have bought cheap grog duty free in Oz before we left.

The BEST thing about this resort is that even though it was booked full when we were there, it NEVER feels like it. 8pm was at pool bar most nights and there was never more than 8 or so other people round. The only exception for this is Sundays. The whole country seems to shut down and everyone hangs out at the resort.

Resort is really close to town which is fantastic. Was ripped off by stupid cab drivers (my own fault)
Heed this advice: Find out price BEFORE you jump in a taxi (ask at reception for an estimate cost. Also if you want a return trip, sometimes its a different price then the way there, so dont agree on a return trip to the resort without agreeing to a price first.)

We will return to this resort in future. If you want 5 star luxury you wont get it here by Australian standards, but this is an overall solid 4 star resort which I do reccomend.

  • Liked — Amazing facilities, awesome pool, bars & water & sports
  • Disliked — room was a bit average.
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank steveofcanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2008

our first time overseas, it was our honeymoon that we had booked through a travel agent, we payed for an upgrade of our room to a lagon superior room which was supposed to be on the beach, we arrived at le lagon resort at 8pm on a thursday, when we got the keys to our room we received a letter saying it was a garden room sorry for the inconvience, the room you have paid for is not available here is a free massage for 2 and you will be moved to your room you have paid for on saturday and that was it ! not just us but other couples too that had arrived, so i asked why and the clerk couldn't speak much english as to why, we had to except our room, we then went for tea in all u can eat, i am a coeliac and our travel agent contacted the Executive Chef Adam Lynch who said all my meal requirements where all sorted, as it turned out nobody new anything about it , so i ate what was available, i then started vomiting and all sorts at 1am til 6am, we then returned to the front desk the next morning to find out about our room and if we can have a refund we waited 2 hours, they said renovations where being carried out in our room, what a crock! we checked what room they where moving us too and there where people in the room since we got there, with there towels even hanging over the balcony, not just that room along the shore but all where full no renovations in site! they moved us on saturday and our room was actually falling apart!! our garden room was in much better working order! we tried on another day to hit off a few golf balls at the driving range, and he said they were on order, we checked with the clerk and he said there where plenty of golf balls what is he talking about, "here i have plenty", then we went on monday to scuba dive in the pool, the lady at the pool said there is no bookings just come at 10.30am no probs, ok, so we turn up and the aussie guy conducting it says sorry we are fully booked, what, how could they be we have been waiting since 9.30am in the pool to do this, he says thats funny just hang around someone will drop out for health reasons , oh my god im about to loose it, i my self am felling completly lost as to what to do at this resort!.......so my story goes on and on good luck to anyone really considering going to this place!

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank bel_21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu

Property: Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu
Address: Erakor Lagoon, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#5 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#7 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#14 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#18 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu 4.5*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu is situated on 75 acres of exotic tropical gardens on the edge of the pristine Erakor Lagoon. Promising some of the finest accommodations in Vanuatu, Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu is the ideal place for your Vanuatu Holiday. The resort offers 140 guest rooms ranging from classic rooms, garden & lagoon superior rooms, garden and lagoon bungalows, to four luxurious over-water island suites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa, Vanuatu Hotel Port Vila
Warwick Le Lagon Resort And Spa, Vanuatu
Le Lagon Hotel Vanuatu
Vanuatu Le Lagon
Le Lagon Vanuatu Resort
Lagon Le Resort Vanuatu
Le Lagon Port Vila
Port Vila Le Lagon
Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu Port Vila

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