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“The best all-round accommodation”

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Hideaway Island Resort
Ranked #12 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“The best all-round accommodation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2011

I really enjoyed my 5 night stay on Hideaway Island. Our plane was delayed 11 hours so we were very happy to find the friendly staff there to greet us and transfer us to the island. It is a 20 minute bus ride on paved roads and then a very bumpy but short ride down a dirt road before taking a 2 minute boat ride to the resort. We were quickly shown our room. You do have to carry your own bag which we didn’t mind.

We stayed in bungalow 14, which faces west so you can watch the sunset from the balcony. This room is probably the closest to the generator and some noise could be heard (by my husband) in the room but I didn’t notice it over the whoosh of the fans. He slept soundly every night! When he asked to move rooms they had availability and were happy to help but on inspection of the room on the eastern side of the island we could still hear the generator noise. The bungalow was nice and spacious. All the furniture was in good condition and functional. The bed and linen were clean and comfortable. The shutters and screens on the windows and fans on the ceilings were great as we were able to stay cool with out the fear of creepy crawlies getting in. Tea coffee, sugar, milk etc were provided. They also provided small bottles of shampoo and conditioner and bars of soaps. There is a safe in the room. Housekeeping made the room up nicely everyday and replenished all products and towels etc.

The island has a great coral reef around it and there is no sand just broken coral so remember to take your thongs and grab a lounge chair or table early! You can walk around the island in about 20 minutes. On the western side of the island is the beach access, the restaurant, dive centre, jetty, dorm rooms, reception and pool. Around the rest of the island you can only walk on a one metre wide concrete walkway before walking on rocks. All the bungalows a spaced apart and are built around the parameter of the island. The island is a little hill so you have to walk up around 15 steps to reach the accommodation. On the top of the hill and around the bungalows are lovely tropical gardens with the generator housed behind a wooden fence in the centre. We noticed that building had begun on two more bungalows on the eastern side of the island.

The food was ok. The breakfast was basic-bread, a few condiments, home cooked muffins and tined fruit salad with freshly plunged coffee and hot water for tea. I had the banana pancakes for breakfast twice-yum. My husband tried the omelette, poached and fried eggs but did not really enjoy these. Lunch and dinner menu consisted of mostly western style foods and a few Melanesian dishes. I had the vegetable curry a few times which was delicious. We had happy hour drinks at the bar and the staff made my favourite drink even though it wasn’t on the list! Please remember you are on island time and nothing is rushed here, so don’t wait till you are starving to order or complain that service is slow.

The snorkelling is fantastic. Just follow the stairs into the safest part of the beach and then head left. We went as far as the white buoy but we are confident swimmers. The daily snorkel trip took us near and around this area as well. The water is warm and clear. There are so many kinds of fish and coral it is a feast for your eyes.

Handy tips and my feedback on Vanuatu
*Once you get off the ferry from Hideaway Island to the main island you can easily get a cab or bus to anywhere. You should expect to pay 300-400vatu/p for a taxi or 200vatu/p for the bus to Port Vila. It’s easy to tell what is a bus or taxi because the initial is on the number plate!
*If you want to try a different restaurant without going into Port Vila, just jump on the free ferry back to the main island and eat at the Beach Club instead.
* When coming back at night have your driver flash his lights a few times until a staff member from Hideaway Island Resort flashes a light back. This is to signal that you want the ferry to pick you up.
*Mingle with the local people and children. They are so adorable. In other countries I have felt unsafe and have had locals beg or try to rip us off but the people of Vanuatu are so happy, relaxed and welcoming. When we strolled the local beach we were quickly joined by a group of giggling children rushing to find me the perfect shell and asking our names etc. We also swam at the local beach and played on the floating toys and with the balls with the local children as their carers looked on. I loved seeing them so happy and at ease with strangers. This just proved to me how sweet and innocent the Vanuatu people are.
*Hire a car and drive around the island. We did and we got to see the view from the lookout, Cascade Falls, hot springs, the blue lagoon, Pongo beach and Erakor Island and all the little local communities around the island. This helped remind me how beautiful life is when it is so simple and people work together for a common goal.
* Try Kava! Kava Vanu is a great kava place set on the hill in Port Vila, just walk up a dirt driveway and then some stairs. It is on the Linl Highway and the corner of the side street, just before the number 1 (Fatumaru Lodge) on the trip advisor map. There is a home hardware shop on street level which you could probably park in if it is late at night. Kava taste horrible but is a local custom and a great way to meet the local. It makes you feel chatty and relaxed. I strongly suggest eating before having kava.

While we enjoyed our 9 nights (we spent 4 nights at Tara Beach Resort, see my review) in Port Vila, I do not feel there are enough place of interest for us to visit Vanuatu again. I am sorry to say the prices for drinks and food was often more expensive than Australia and not of the same standard.

Room Tip: bungalows14, 15 and 16 have views of the sunset
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ClaireBare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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612 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (150)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2011

Stayed at hideaway with wife and 8 month old in Bugalow 1 for 7 nights. Accomodation is basic but clean, quiet and has everything you actually need. Island has a nice garden/jungle interior and some of the best snorkelling in regard to fish variety and numbers we have ever seen. Reccomend staying as its very good value if your going to come and snorkel anyway. the ferry, snorkel safari, glass bottom boat and all gear hire, kayas, sailboat etc is included if your staying! Did a dive and that was good as well. Species we saw snorkelling (sorkelled every day for 7 days!) included: 4-5 different species of clown fish and anemones, lots of clams, many different species of surgeon fish and butterfly fish, cleaner wrasse, lots of other wrasse, a lion fish, coral banded shrimp, nudibrachs, a coral sea snake, trevally, giant trevally, big grouper and snapper and bream, so many other species to mention them all. Resteraunt food had some good and some average meals. pizza, tbone and curries were good. also the prawns were quite nice when they were available. lunch time the burgers are much better value than the steak sandwich and the stirfry was good as well. breakfast was included and quite good prices were resonable for the location. melanesan feast was good value. they have movie nights and free mele village tours on different nights, and happy hour cocktails were 1/2 price. Highly reccomended. we got a stay 7 nights pay 5 nights deal which made it fantastic value.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mr_Hugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2011

We stayed for 2 nights on Hideaway, which was just the right amount of time for us. The island is lovely and very atmospheric - especially if you arrive at night, taking the ferry across the bay. The snorkeling is amazing - just walk in straight off the beach and you're surrounded by very friendly fish. Staff are super friendly, and very helpful. The food selection is limited, and of mixed quality, although the famous chicken curry was indeed delicious. A great place to spend a few days truly winding down and relaxing.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Starsoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blue Mountains
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2011

We stayed in a 1 Bedroom Oceanfront Bungalow for 1 night, after our original flight home was cancelled and we needed to find one more nights accommodation. We choose to stay here, as we figured it was a nicer option than doing it as a 'day-trip' with our 3 young children. After varying reviews from friends who had been there, we were a bit hesitant- but, given the price of the room was cheap, we held low expectations.

The room was basic, but very spacious and clean, with stunning private views out over the reef and out to Devil's Point. It suited our family of 5 very well. We wished we could have stayed here longer, rather than in our 2 interconnecting rooms at the Le Lagon! 3-4 nights would have suited us at Hideaway Island. The kids enjoyed the small, clean and shady pool and snorkelling/spyboarding/swimming off the beach. The island was quiet on the 2 days we were there. I imagine you could have easily retreated to this room to beat the crowds, if the island had of been over-run by daytrippers!

Room Tip: Book an oceanview bungalow
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Samoa_Wedding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2011

We had booked seven nights at Hideaway Island and left after one night! The staff were lovely and apologetic. I feel sorry for them that they have to work in such a run-down horrible place, they did try and make the place a bit nice. It would be fine for a daytrip to do some snorkling for the family, DO NOT STAY! Everything is dirty - stained sheets, dirty fridge, a long list! So much potential for this place, needs some good money spent on it, and some reasonable pricing.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dene55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Campbelltown, Australia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2011

Husband and I have travelled to vanuatu many times but this trip we took his brother and sister inlaw along with us. We had never considered staying at hideaway but always did a few day trips there when in vila. Because we had people with us who had never travelled out of australia we decided to stay at hideaway in their 2 bedroom villa which turned out to be a fantastic decision!!

From their website we kind of knew what to expect but when the 4 of us walked into the villa, it was either WOW or OH MY GOD that came out of our mouths. The villa is absolutely beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, in fact husband and I are looking at booking it again for the 2 of us for later in the year.

The villa has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large kitchen with everything you could need to cook a meal, laundry with washing machine and dryer. Lovely 6 seater dining table and comfy lounges. In one bedroom was a 4 poster queen bed. In the other bedroom was a king bed which can be split into 2 singles. One of the best things about the villa is its private pool which we spent a bit of time in and then there are the views from your private deck. Just fantastic.

Breakfast in the restaurant was included and it was cleaned everyday, beds made, washing up done etc. The only thing bad I can say about it was the outdoor furniture which is wooden and is showing its age. A bit rickety and could be replaced.

Re the staff.......I cannot speak more highly of them. During our visit we had a cyclone warning and then a tsunami warning. We were unaware of either until we got back to hideaway. With the cyclone warning when we got back to hideaway after being in town the day, bruce (one of the owners) was waiting for us to bring down the roller shutters on the villa and board up the other windows that didnt have shutters. It was fantastic to see that he himself came and done it and didnt ask one of the staff to do it. The pontoons had been taken away from the jetty's by the time we got back and we were helped on and off the boat by the staff.

The tsunami warning (after the japan earthquake) was another story. We had been in town for dinner and then visited one of the casino's. We got back to hideaway about 9.30pm and was unaware of what was happening. All the guests had allready been evacuated off the island and were waiting for buses to take them to the melanesian hotel (which is on higher ground). We were taken over to our villa to collect our passports and any valuables and as we had a hire car we drove ourselves to the melanesian hotel. We spent the night there and all drinks were paid for by hideaway. We were allowed back to hideaway at 6.30am after the warning had been lifted.

During the 2 incidents I cannot speak more highly of Bruce and the staff. They were well organised and they were more concerned for the guests than themselves. When we got back in the morning we were given bacon and eggs for breakfast at no charge. Bruce apologised a few times for the inconvenience but its far better to be safe than sorry and they did the right thing by looking after us and evacuating us for the night.

I highly recommend staying on hideaway island. It is a fantastic place with great snorkelling and the management and staff are just wonderful

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jodybelinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockhampton, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

We love this place. Our 4th visit in Jan 2011 coincided with cyclonic winds and still there was plenty to do. The pool, the restaurant and bar, beach, movie nights (except for cyclone night) and the great staff. The staff are caring, friendly and very smiley. They love kids and babysitters are available by request for a small amount of money. There is a village walk on Tuesdays, glass bottom boats trips every day as well as snorkelling trips. It's a perfect place to learn to scuba dive and that is on my list for next time.
During Cyclone Vania they threw a cyclone party and a free buffet lunch when people were unable to leave.
The great news is that there were no tourists from the big ships there because we were temporarily cut off for a day or two. When the boats come in there are heaps more day visitors and even though they are usually nice and friendly there is always literally 1 or 2 loud tourists. Just escape to the pool (guests only) or the peace and quiet of your bungalow or the nice peacefulness of you own hammock and a book while you take in the gorgeous ocean views and great breezes.
Total peace and quiet = no tvs (only in the dorm) and no phones in your rooms either (1 public).
Regarding the cyclone: we felt totally safe, the bungalows were protected with cyclone shutters. Staff looked after us and kept guests informed and happy.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CClovesVanuatu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hideaway Island Resort

Property: Hideaway Island Resort
Address: | Hideaway Island, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Best Value Hotel in Port Vila
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#12 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#13 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hideaway Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hideaway Island Hotel Port Vila
Hideaway Island Port Vila
Hideaway Island Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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