Travelling with my daughter we booked 6 days at Mangoes in a lagoon view pool bungalow in this adult only resort. The bungalow was good, it has a view of the lagoon and it had a plunge pool, it was clean, had twin beds as requested and a good sized bathroom.
Unfortunately, there was a lot of maintenance work going on around the property and particularly roof work of the two bungalows either side of us. We were woken up with the noise of them setting up each weekday morning and the power tools started at 8.30am. I complained as the dust was blowing onto us and the work did stop for two hours but started up again on the other side.
The gardeners also spent a lot of time outside our bungalow - they cut the hedge on the first day, they cleared up the clippings on the second day, they cut the grass on the third day… we went to the beach on the fourth day. Each activity taking hours to achieve and more than one person hanging around all the time. We had no privacy at all. We wanted to lie in the sun, plunge in our pool but we always had an audience. They were friendly enough, but walked down the side of the bungalow right next to the windows, across the deck (even when we were on the sun beds on the deck) and hung around on the lawn. We couldn't decide if they were just inefficient, hiding or being a bit creepy.
The food was OK (bread was awful). A light breakfast was included and consisted of fruit or croissants, juice and tea/coffee. The rest of the menu was passable but nothing exciting. I liked that there was no extra charge for room service and this arrived promptly. The staff aren't aware of the offers made by the hotel though. When we ordered two items for lunch (to have by our pool) they should have had free beers with them, but the staff were unaware of the offer, so no beer.
There is a bar but its located within the restaurant and is very brightly lit, so doesn't feel like the sort of place you'd want to hang out. The cocktails were reasonably priced but so inconsistent. I had an Island Tempter three times and each time it was like a different drink. The first time it was amazing, looked great and tasted better. The next one, ordered just after I'd finished the first, still looked good but was a different colour and tasted much sweeter. On our last evening I ordered it again and this one was just mango juice and vodka in a boring glass with a straw. Some bar training and consistency would be good - when things get better, its also much nicer than when they get worse towards the end of your holiday!
Little things could make this average hotel into something special.
A porter to deliver and collect the bags would have been nice, particularly as the paths are uneven and on a gradient with strip drains to get the wheels of the suitcase stuck in.
Good quality bathroom products and towels that were white rather than grey would have been appreciated too (the shampoo was impossible to get out of the tiny hole of the rigid plastic bottle and there was no shower gel only tiny cakes of soap). I would also have liked a safe in our room rather than just a lockable wardrobe (which was OK but a safe would have been better). The ceiling fans were really efficient and kept the room at just the right temperature, so I'm not sure why air con units had been fitted. Having had to ask for the air con remote and pay extra for its use just seems mean!
Dressing gowns would also have been nice for those bungalows with pools. I did pay an extra $120AUS per day for the privilege of a pool that was in the shade after 1pm, so a dressing gown might have softened the blow.
One of the things that drew us to Mangoes was its 'child free' nature. However, they are allowed in the restaurant - which means it isn't child free at all. I don't hate kids but if I choose to stay someone that advertises itself as child free that should mean all of it - not just that they can't stay in the bungalows. If I were to choose, I'd rather they did stay in the bungalows and not be allowed in the restaurant anyway - if they're going to be horrible, it tends to be at mealtimes! I think it shows the policy to be one of convenience in the bungalows rather than one for the convenience of the paying guests. They don't have to offer cots or make the pool areas safe but they will take the parents money for dinner.
There was quite a lot of noise from the Holiday Inns feast night - so it is advisable to do something on those nights.
Its close enough to walk into Port Vila but the road outside Mangoes is very steep. Once you've walked up it though, the rest of the walk is pretty easy.
So, not quite the relaxing quiet holiday we'd planned. If you value your privacy, then this isn't the place for you. A few tweaks though and it could be amazing!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set high atop a cliff overlooking Erakor Lagoon on Port Vila, imagine that perfect intimate holiday, away from not just your own, but everyone's children. Mangoes Resort is that peaceful tropical escape for couples where you can relax and enjoy your Vanuatu experience. It is located close to the shops, restaurants, bars,of the capital of Port Vila, yet offers a peaceful retreat from the outside world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mangoes Resort Port Vila
- Mangoes Hotel Port Vila
- Mangoes Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila