My wife and I had visited Port Vila on a cruise in 2010 and we both agreed that of the 5 places the cruise went to, Port Vila would be the first that we went back to. We did a fair bit of research and thanks to sites such as Trip Advisor we came up with a winner.
Fatumaru Lodge is great spot to unwind, it is quiet, so if its nightlife onsite you are seeking please look elsewhere. We are of an age where nightclubs are a seldom visited establishment, but not yet on walking frames.
The rooms are large and airy, and have a really nice feel about them, the decor is perfect, the owners have done a wonderful job. The little kitchenette is just about right but lacking a couple of utensils and the bed was very comfortable.
We had a waterfront room, so waterfront that at high tide it was about six steps off the deck into the water. The swimming is safe and the water temp was fantastic,so good that we did not swim in the pool once, but swam in the bay every day and canoed. (There is nothing wrong with the pool, just our personal preference!!, the pool and bar area are very nice!)
The sunsets were magic, but with that come the mossies, but we have had it far worse on holidays in Queensland, so they are not really an issue. The rooms have mossie coils for your use, but no screens on the large doors, but when going to sleep you just close up and put the aircon on. We did not have to use the aircon during the day, the ceiling fan and flow thru breeze did the job.
The location of the lodge is a big thumbs up. If you want to walk into town it took us about 15 to 20 minutes, or just walk up the driveway to the main drag and you will have a bus into town in seconds for 150vt. Heading the other way out to Hideaway Island or Mele Falls, again just wait up the road for a bus and its cheap (don't book onto tours for these places, just hop on a bus and arrange a time with the driver to come back, or don't, there are so many about you will not wait long).
We bought food to cook for ourselves at the supermarket downtown and fresh fruit and vegies at the big market, you have to to do that, the fruit is great. We ended up cooking for ourselves 3 nights out of seven and did our own breakfasts each day.
(The lodge does offer breakfast but we did not partake so sorry no review on that)
Our only criticisms are small: there was nowhere to hang towels or wet cossies, apart from on the back of the outdoor furniture. A small fold-away drying rack would be a bonus. Also there was no carving or slicing knife in the kitchenette tools, we had a diving knife so we managed, and one extra small saucepan would have been handy.
But that's it for the negatives! Overall, we loved the place, we did not meet the owners, but the staff that we met were lovely, friendly and helpful. Especially Elizabeth and Thomas. We have to say that Thomas is one of the nicest guys you could meet, he taught us so much about the people that make up Vanuatu. It was our pleasure to meet him and that added to our experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Waterfront boutique hotel offering spacious and comfortable self-contained apartments with a panoramic view on Port-Vila Bay. Decorated with Melanesian craft, each room is different. Swimming pool, Jaccuzzi, private beach and air conditioning. Close to town center. Ideal for families and couples. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fatumaru Hotel Port Vila
- Fatumaru Lodge Vanuatu/Port Vila