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“Magical Erakor”

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Erakor Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
NZ
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Magical Erakor”
Reviewed 27 October 2011

My partner and I stayed at Erakor Island Resort in September on our first trip to Vanuatu. What an amazing place!

The Resort's greatest asset has to be its staff. I see staff names mentioned in other reviews and each of those names brings a smile to my face. They are genuinely good people whose laidback demeanour and welcoming smiles make for a very relaxing holiday.

Don't expect absolute luxury in your room. Having said that the two things that I always consider essential - a good bed and a good shower - were both present, and the rooms are immaculately clean with daily servicing. No TV and no phone (yay!) but a good stereo with a docking station which we used lots. Yes, the spa bath took a while to fill but who cares!? You're on holiday and can kill the time by looking out on a beautiful sunset or the beach.

We stayed in Room 23 which was right at the end of the island and I highly recommend that room. It feels so wonderfully isolated. We borrowed bikes from the Resort and rode everywhere which was heaps of fun in itself.

The water is beautfiully clear and it's possible to swim right out the front of your room, but take reef shoes or borrow them from the resort as it's hard underfoot. At the other end of the island is a white sand beach if you prefer that type of swimming. The Resort has clear bottomed kayaks, sailboats, bikes, snorkels all for free.

Definitely make use of the Spa on the Island. Fabulously relaxing and great value for money. The ladies in the Spa are wonderful.

I've noticed negative comments about the food which I find surprising as we never experienced any delays with food and coming from NZ we found it good value for money (particularly when remembering that food in a hotel/resort is always a bit more expensive than elsewhere). NZ$29.00 for a very generous fish meal is reasonable to me. I highly recommend the Tahitian Fish Salad. Delicious! The fabulous Annie who works in the restaurant will bring you bread to feed the fish off the deck while you wait for your food.

If you feel like you have to leave the Island then it's a short, free ferry ride (24 hours) across the lagoon and a cheap 5 minute "bus" ride into town (I think NZ$1.50). The bus is actually just a van which will pick you up and drop you off whereever you want to go so there's no schedule you have to stick to. A taxi ride is slightly more expensive but still very affordable. Look for a B or a T on the number plate to distinguish between them.

The blue lagoon is an absolute must. Lots of fun jumping off the rocks with the locals. The fruit and vege market is great to visit too, as is the craft market. The pizza place on the waterfront is incredible and worth a stop for lunch.

I was very disappointed to hear some tourists speak of how they had successfully bartered a local tour guide down to some measly amount. Vanuatu is not the place to do this. It's not a bartering economy and it's hard to imagine how any person can take pleasure in cheating the Ni vans out of money when you see how simply they live. Gifts and tips, whilst not expected, are very gratefully received.

I truly cannot recommend Erakor Island Resort highly enough. It's a magical place and I can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Room 23 for a romantic getaway
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank holdtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Blue Mountains, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2011

We have just come back from our 3rd trip to Vanuatu and our first stay at Erakor. We had read so many great reviews and we were not disappointed in the staff, the island, views and lagoon.
The staff are as everywhere in Vanuatu, lovely friendly people always smiling and for those with small children, you couldn't ask for more caring people to look after your kids while you have a break.
The Lagoon water is very warm and clear. There are a lot of fish, not as many as there are to be seen at Hideaway Island but that is a Marine Sanctuary so that makes sense, to attract more fish take a bread roll with you when snorkelling, you will have heaps of friends in no time. The starfish and coral make great photo's.
The rooms were as expected, they are not 5 star but comfortable and cool enough without aircon at this time of year. I would suspect that mid summer could be a different story.
We had friends staying on Erakor also, a few huts away, but we could not all sit at either hut as there are only two chairs per hut, having a couple of spares even foldaways would have been handy. There were also no sun chairs/ lounges with any huts, so if you wished to lay outside and read or get some sun you had to go up to the beach area with everyone else, which sort of defeats the purpose of the privacy of the huts.
Our only real disappointment was the food. It was good but quite expensive and did take time to arrive. We have eaten at many places in Port Vila, The Waterfront, Tilly's, Chill, Wild Ginger at Le Lagon and all of these offer very good food at what we consider, better value for money and better service than Erakor. We do not want to offend anyone but the
beach snack bar should be given a miss. Paying the equivalent of $8 for a burger with cheese and getting just that, a beef patty with cheese in bun is a bit much. With a fantastic 24 hr fresh fruit and vege market only minutes away, expecting a bit of salad on a burger doesn't seem too ambitious. Luckily there are a number of good places to lunch in town the Numbawan Cafe just one to mention.
Erakor does offer family meal deals so if your holidaying with kids you will probably eat cheaper.
Overall, it is still a very nice place to holiday, but you are basically paying for the location.

Room Tip: The prevailing winds seem to be easterly so the rooms on the eastern side would be cooler in mid sum...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TimberBlueMountains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gold coast
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2011

We thought we had died and gone to heaven - but the sign said Erakor Island Resort!

Erakor Island Resort is an intimate, well maintained resort, so easily accessible from Port Vila ariport. This is an absolute MUST for all stressed and busy families looking for a great value, truly relaxing, fun holiday! We can't remember the last time we had so much relaxing time as a couple since BC (before children!) and yet the kids were busy and happy too!

We found Erakor Island Resort to be the perfect family vacation - sun, white sand, safe swimming, helpful, friendly staff, clean amenities, well maintained watersports equipment, delicious meals in a wonderfully laid back environment......I could go on!

Our children (7,9) were in their element with the wonderfully attentive guest relations staff (who were just like the big brothers and sisters they always wanted!) who kept them learning and entertained during our stay. The "classroom" was the whole island and the lessons were centred on the natural environment and the customs here. Palm frond weaving, traditional sand drawing, Hermit crab racing, shell painting, coconut cracking (and eating!), guided walks, marine studies (sea cucumbers, more star fish than you could imagine!, fish, eels, etc etc). There is plenty of watersports equipment - authentic dug out canoe to sailing boats, to clear canoes for coral viewing and special clear view kickboards with plenty of life jackets available. A children's adventure playground was being built during our time there, beach volleyball and numerous little secluded beaches dotted around the island meant there was company or privacy available whenever you wanted. There are only about 24 villas, so the island is rarely crowded. The weddings there during our stay were set up absolutely beautifully, though each unique, with calm, happy staff and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Erakor Island life was casual and relaxed, but this didn't mean slack....nothing was too much trouble for the friendly staff. All our tours and entertainment were arranged efficiently, our dining requests were accommodated with ease, our rooms cleaned and made up each day. Our (sometimes rather demanding) children were treated as treasured guests and loved the free all day ice-creams and juices served at the Calypso Bar which was included in our package.

The traditional melanesian feast held each Thursday is not to be missed! We are looking forward to going back and trying the Sunday spit roast and pizzas from the woodfired oven which were under construction during our visit.

The accomodation was really great with a separate loft bedroom for the kids in our waterfront villa - some even have three beds in the loft for all the families of 5 out there! Being on an island, there was a lovely breeze blowing and the well ventillated, insect screened rooms kept us cool and comfortable and still able to hear the wonderfully relaxing water lapping at our patio rather than the monotonous whirr of an air conditioner! It was really special to wake up early and just outside there was a man from the local village paddling past in his dug out canoe to check the traditional fish traps in the lagoon - Real Vanuatu!

Everything about this holiday was so easy...transport - 24hr ferry never more than 10mins wait and buses and taxis waiting at the jetty, food - the meals served as and when you like them and all day treats for kids, the evening kids movie on the beach meant we could enjoy dinner conversation each evening, the activities - we simply had to mention what we'd like to do and it was all arranged - easy!

This picturesque location (It's no co-incidence that Erakor Island resort features on most postcards of Port Vila) was a mere 5 minutes ferry ride from Le Lagon - and yet a world away from the "typical package tour" noise and crowds and fabricated experiences which so often are the same wherever in the world you are in those bigger resorts.

Linden and his staff have worked hard to transform this place in 15 short months into an idyllic location we could easily go back to year after year after year. In fact, our kids are still asking (now almost 6 weeks since our return) if we can go and live in Vanuatu - they wouldn't have to twist our arm too much if we could live on Erakor Island!

Room Tip: Ask for the loft villa waterfront for families
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank 777island_dream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brisbane
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Just back from Erakor Island Resort & Spa from a 1 week holiday. Despite arriving just after midnight from Bne to Port Vila we and other guests were greeted with a big smile from Wesley who transported us to the Ferry over to the Island. As this was our first (and by no means last) trip to Vanuatu we chose a package deal which included the breakfast each day and various tours to choose from. Breakfast consisted of a choice of cereals, toast, fruit, muffins, scrambled eggs and if you wanted, at a small charge, sausages and bacon. This is plenty of food considering the tours that we went on included lunch. We went on the coongoola day trip, cascade falls, mele village, secret garden, beach/buggy tour and on our last day had a 30min island massage. All tours were arranged by Erakor Island and we were picked up at the mainland ferry. We ate at the Erakor Island Restaurant every night, the prices are very reasonable and the choices were great and every meal was fantastic. Try the toblerone cocktail - very yummy for the chocolate lovers in life.!!. The Staff - I can honestly say that I have never come across the most amazing, helpful, smiling, kind people before. From Wesley who picked us up at the airport; to Annie / Lunga / Blanca / Nixon and many more who we met; to the lovely ladies who made our room each day to the guys you pass during the day cleaning the beach and doing general maintenance around the place.... these people make your holiday wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank familytravelbrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2011

We stayed at Le Lagon, Port Vila, and visited Erakor Island one afternoon during our stay.
We got the ferry over around 3pm and enjoyed an hour on the beach and the kids had some time playing on the swings and play equipment nearby. The water in the lagoon was warmer than the Le Lagon pool and was a good place to test out our snorkeling equipment (not that we saw much).
After the beach we visited the restaurant on Erakor, which is right at the wharf and beside the beach. Before 6pm they do a family dining special, which is excellent value. Garlic bread for all, then a choice of mains (kids and adults each get a choice of about 4 options) and then ice cream sundae for dessert. My wife and I enjoyed Santo beef steaks (she had mushroom and I had pepper sauce) for about A$25 a head and the kids had burgers and pasta for A$10 each. We also had a glass each of NZ red wine (which was about A$8 a glass).
While waiting for dinner (and after dinner) our kids (4 and 7 y/o girls) played with one of the hotel staff who seemed to have child minding responsibilities. This allowed the adults to enjoy a drink and take in the spectacular view from the deck where we ate dinner.
After dinner we took the 10-minute ferry ride back to Le Lagon.
This was a really easy day trip that is highly recommended for anyone staying at Le Lagon or visiting Port Vila.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank leighofsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 October 2011

If you want 5 star, don't go here. However, if you wan't to just relax, this is for the place for you. Just back from a week in heaven, wonderful Ni staff & lovely location.
Ask for Unit 23 when booking, the last unit, furthest from the ferry & restaurant & 2 bedroom villas for families (approx 200-300 metres from restaurant). The "Romance Package" is worth the extra bucks, especially if it entails getting unit 23 (so quiet except for the waves).

Room Tip: Book unit 23, rooms on the other side of island would be noisy fro the village on the mainland
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ross P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2011

My family stayed for six nights in room 9 (we first stayed at Hideaway for 5 nights) and we found the resort to be very peaceful - even though there seemed to be a lot of peoply staying the resort never felt crowded or rushed. The staff are very friendly and the food amazing.
They had movvies on each night for the children - which my 10 year old enjoyed as well as the crab races and the swiming and canoeing.
We were able to swim out from our bungalow and watch the sunset from our deck. It was the perfect place for us to unwind.
I also enjoyed the day spa and the ladies gave my daughter her first day spa experience which she loved.
We can only say that we wished we were still there.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank josigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Erakor Island Resort & Spa

Property: Erakor Island Resort & Spa
Address: P.O. Box 24, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#14 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Erakor Island Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Erakor Island Resort is a beautiful unspoiled island paradise, situated in crystal clear waters on its own private 16 acre island surrounded by white sandy beaches. All bungalows are waterfront with the lagoon just steps away from your private veranda. Enjoy the beauty of staying on a quiet tropical island with easy access to everything off the island, Erakor offers all the facilities of a major resort, but in a relaxed and secluded atmosphere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Erakor Island Resort And Spa
Erakor Island Hotel Port Vila
Erakor Island Resort & Spa Vanuatu/Port Vila

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