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“Two words: ABSOLUTELY PERFECT”

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Paradise Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 March 2010

After reading a recent negative review on this property, I am moved to write this report about one of the best kept secrets of Port Vila: Paradise Cove Resort. My family and I (mum, dad + 2 teenagers) stayed here in December 2009 and right from initial email contact with the resort to the very minute we checked out we have always felt welcomed and cherished as resort guests. To this day, my children still thank me for choosing the property and constantly ask when we are going back. Suffice it is to say, for us, the place, the staff and especially the reef, was absolutely perfect.

We stayed in the front two-bedroom bungalow closest to the restaurant. It was well-appointed and clean. The view from our lounge room across the well-maintained garden over to the beach and the water is now part of my “happy thoughts” archive, how I wish we were there right now! Having lived in the tropics most of our lives, we were prepared for bugs and insects, but never encountered any during our stay. We even lit a mosquito coil each night just for the fun (and the scent – hmm, sandalwood) of it! The only “wildlife” that visited us one night was a giant hermit crab that crawled in and found its way in my son’s socks! We were so thrilled to find it - it was almost like a blessing, especially as it could also have been a juvenile coconut crab, who knows? Now, where else in Port Vila would anyone get a treat like that eh?

The beds were firm but nevertheless comfy – we all had such great sleeps while we were there, must have been all that fresh sea breeze flowing through the huge French doors which we kept open all night. Such was the privacy and serenity of the place, one can sleep peacefully with doors wide open. The small bathroom never bothered us – after all, one only needed to shower here – there was hot water available at all times (though with the heat and humidity in Vanuatu, sometimes a nice cool shower before bedtime was even more welcome!).

The best part about Paradise Cove Resort, of course, is its proximity to the reef. We just loved the idea of being able to walk down from our bungalow and straight on to a lovely fringing reef within a few metres! We were so delighted to record more than 100 fish species within the first hour of our holiday. As biologically-inclined folks, this, for us, was sheer heaven. The diversity of marine life within the relatively small area of reef was remarkable. There are very few places in the world where you can see moorish idols, surgeonfishes, butterflyfishes, triggerfishes and bannerfishes (and more!) so close to shore, but on the reef off Paradise Cove, it was so easy. As you can just imagine, we snorkeled almost every day we were there. What luxury it was to have breakfast in the beachside restaurant and contemplating which part of the reef we were going to explore that day!

Speaking of breakfast, this was my favourite time of the day, as we sat by the sea drinking freshly squeezed lime juice and tucking in fresh fruit and croissants followed by steaming hot Tanna coffee, ahh bliss! All other meals at the Paradise Cove restaurant also had that same effect on us. We had intended to try out all the wonderful eating options in Port Vila, but the food at the resort was just as scrumptious that for most of the week we ate our dinners there. Kudos to Shaun who manages the restaurant at Paradise Cove, the quality and tastiness of the dishes more than made up for the rather small menu selection. The smoked marlin carpaccio and the ginger and lime crème caramel are now part of the family’s favourite-dishes-tasted-abroad list. I can even admit now that their chicken satay was much tastier than my version!

The distance of Paradise Cove from the city centre (and the touted pothole-ridden road) did not faze us – hey, this was part of the adventure! We simply took the resort bus to town and found our own way back to Pango either by bus or by taxi. I must admit it was a lot easier when there’s 4 of us – at 300vatu per person, it was easy to persuade the driver to venture that far. Even by taxi (when it was raining), the fare was not horrendously different – 1,500 vatu altogether. We visited the city a number of times during our stay with our favourite destination being the fruit and veg market. The nicest thing about taking either the resort bus or walking down to Pango village to catch a local bus to get to town is that this provided us with a great opportunity to meet people (fellow resort guests, the niVanuatu resort staff and other locals). Every one just has a laugh at the potholes – they’re a great conversation piece!

One cannot finish a review of this place without a special mention to the staff – they are the greatest assets of this resort. We were so blown out by the friendliness, professionalism and dedication of everyone, from the managers (Barry & Marcello), assistant manager (Callie) all the way to the cleaning ladies (especially Alice), restaurant wait staff (particularly Ben and Aileen) and Brian the bus driver. By the end of our holiday, we all felt like part of a family and it was hard saying goodbye. We will not forget the green coconuts that Ben and the other guys in the restaurant would get us for that refreshing drink every afternoon, nor can we forget the warm smiles that greet us every morning from the cleaning ladies who patiently waded through our diving and snorkeling equipment to be able to clean our bungalow and put fresh flowers in the vase on the dining table.

To all those who find Paradise Cove not to their liking – please go somewhere else, this wonderful resort does not deserve people like you. This is probably one of the best places to stay in Port Vila – unpretentious, genuine and idyllic. There is a reason why it is called Paradise Cove Resort, because it is!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank geckopoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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499 - 505 of 577 reviews

Reviewed 18 February 2010

Wesnt there for the honeymoon.
Were not happy at all. The only good thing about the place were some staff members that were very friendly. Especially Ben.
The rooms were crawling with cocoroaches, you could actually hear them at night on wooden floorboards. The cups/plates/dishes were always dirty, had to actually wash them my self, which i didnt mind but that wasnt my job. The morning cleaning took more than 2 hours per bungalow. Food was ok, cocktails were great.
We were overcharged when we received our bill before leaving. They put someone elses dinner on our account and we only noticed because it was food and drinks we didnt have there.
Bathroom was shocking. Shower was so small you couldnt actually wash properly and i am quiet a small person. There is either hot or cold water, no warm or in between. Sheets and towels were stained. Big yellow/grey stains everywhere.
The roads are shocking as well. There is a resort bus that leaves twice a day to take you to the city but good luck getting back, as most taxi/bus drivers will not take you there or will overcharge you once they bring you to paradise cove.
It is a nice and quiet place, but i would not return there and would not reccoment it.
Don't believe all the reviews especially when people write that it is a clean place.
If you keep you house clean and tidy and expect to go and relax in a place like that, then paradise cove resort is not for you.
I'm sorry, but its the truth...

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mlada83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaraPiera, General Manager at Paradise Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2010

We thank these past guests for their feedback however notice the date of stay was April 2009. Living in the tropics means that bugs & insects are an every day part of life. More so during seasonal changes. We do spray the resort periodically but we don't 'nuke' the place as this is unhealthy and un-environmental. Yes - the report is correct that our housekeeping girls do take two hours to clean each fare. Such is our high standard of cleanliness and attention to detail. Last year the access road was poor due to wet season conditions. This past December the road has been graded and 96 tons of material laid for safe, fast and easy access to Port Vila town.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2010

enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. anything you need just ask any of the freindly staff for it. the managers also know alot of languages. The resturant has top notch tucker, the prices are not excessive either. relax by the pool or on the coral beach. snorkelling is great i saw a lion fish and many other reef fish. when you stay at paradise cove it feels like you are in vanuatu with the fresh flowers they put around your bungalow on the outside to welcome you. (this is a traditional custom) + traditional fari that the resturant is built under.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank ithrowtomatoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2009

amazing place to stay the staff very freindly without been to close. the local staff are exceptional,always so happy and helpful.beautiful food tidy well kept rooms,lush gardens and lots of privacy.got married there and could not have hoped for better .all round lovely spot thats well priced.my new wife and i will revisit for sure

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank adellKinkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2009

Stayed there with my husband and our 23 year old daughter in a two bedroom "Fare", it was brilliant. The bungalows are spacious and have a wonderful private outdoor area with lounges and a hammock, perfect for relaxing.
Our daughter is vegan, and the chef Shaun ,made every effort to accommodate her, the restaurant offers good food at Aussie restaurant prices, and with the choice of two dinning areas both with amazing outlooks we ate there almost every night without getting bored.
The staff are all very friendly and accommodating, and the setting is superb, it only has 10 "Fares" and although it was full over Christmas we never felt it was crowded but more it was our own private paradise. They have snorkelling from the tiny private beach at the property, and kayaks. It is about a 15 min trip from the town, so not for you if you want to be in the thick of things, but then why would you?

  • Stayed: December 2009
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1  Thank Sharon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2009

Our time at this resort was great - many of the reviews I had read before going were 'spot on'. The staff at the resort were fantastic and extremely friendly - the gardens were kept immaculate, the rooms were cleaned every day and the food was very nice. The resort is about 15-20 minutes from Port Villa via a very bumpy road. We did not choose to go into Port Villa often so it suited us but just be aware that the main town is not very close. And because of the bumpy roads the 'buses' sometimes do not want to take you to the resort. The resort provides transport to Port Villa, maybe they should do a return trip?
The snorkelling immediately in front of the resort was very good - there is a lot of coral and a huge amount of very colourful fish. It is possible to snorkel anytime of the day as the tides do not limit when you can go. For us this was the main reason we chose this resort and we were not at all disappointed.
Just a couple of things you may want to be aware of before going;
- the resort does not provide beach towels. So you need to either bring your own or purchase one at either Port Villa or at the resort. Compared to other resorts we have been to in the South Pacific this is the first time we have come across this.
- there is no sand leading down into the beach. So, make sure you have some reef sandles. The resort has built up an area behind a stone fence which has sand and lounge chairs which is very nice. However if you enjoy walking along sandy white beaches the sand area is only as wide as the resort.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Anne V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2009

Back a week from a stay for 10 days at Paradise Cove. This is an absolutely nice, clean , friendly,small and well run resort. The staff are very helpfull, see Barry, the manager or Sean in the big beautifull restaurant, meeting place and they will assist you with everything (even getting your bought carvings fumigated to take back to Oz). The food is very good, a nice breakfast at the seashore and plenty to drink at the bar. The road to the resort is atrocious (as most roads at the Island) but it is still a developing country so one takes that in it's stride. The cabins are very nice, a bit Polynesian style and comfortable. An other beautifull thing, noTV and telephones in the cabins, fantastic.
We were here with our friends, had a cabin each, next to each other, so very convienient.
All in all We can recommend this resort if one wants a break from the rat race and have a complete relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank oldJack84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradise Cove Resort

Address: Paradise Cove | Pango, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Business Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: £164 - £271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Paradise Cove Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This private and intimate small resort is located 15 minutes from downtown Port Vila. It offers 10 self contained One and Two Bedroom villas in a well established tropical garden by the ocean. The beautiful reef offers great snorkeling and diving opportunities with an easy access from the private beach and jetty. Under an iconic traditional roof celebrating the Melanesian architecture, the restaurant serves the best fresh local ingredients prepared with a Mediterranean touch. With a relaxed atmosphere Paradise Cove Resort provides a genuine tropical island holiday. Please note that the access by boat to our private jetty is strictly limited. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradise Cove Hotel Port Vila
Paradise Cove Port Vila
Paradise Cove Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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