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.
- 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