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“Fantastic Honeymoon”

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Paradise Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fantastic Honeymoon”
Reviewed 8 April 2007

After a very long trip from Perth, Western Australia we were met at the airport by Moses, Paradise Cove's resident bus driver.

On arrival at Paradise Cove (over an extremely pot-holed road) we were led straight to our bungalow by Kelly and Nathan, the aussie brother & sister who work at the resort, and given an outline of how things work, where to go for swimming, snorkelling etc and how to get around town.

The resort was everything we had hoped for (from reading everyone elses reviews on Trip Advisor) and more.

The rooms were clean and well appointed, all the facitities were excellent, the snorkelling off the beach was out of this world (especially at high tide and as the sun was setting) and the cocktails kept us smiling all week.

Overall a great place to stay on honeymoon and we would definitely recommend it to others.

  • Liked — Relaxing
  • Disliked — Far out of Port Vila
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Masaimaraskism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Hobart, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
211 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 399 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2007

Paradise Cove is about a ten minute drive out of Port Vila, past the town of Pango and set in a beautiful gardens that fronts on to crystal clear water perfect for snorkelling & kayaking.

BOOKING
The booking was made direct with Paradise Cove Resort. Our reservation was in order on arrival. Payment for the bill could be made by Visa or MasterCard but it was at the bar not reception. The bill is taken down there before check out we found this out by chance after advising we were on our way to make payment to the office.

ARRIVALS/DEPATURES
Paradise Cove organised a pick up for free from our other hotel in Port Vila at 1000 and was punctual. A free transfer to the airport for our departure was also included, not as punctual as the pick up and we had to give a few reminders to the time. They had wanted to drop us off 45 minutes before the flight departure time but we did want to be there before then especially in case of traffic. Our suggestion would be to confirm your departure time on the day as we observed some other guests in the same situation we were in. As the resort is isolated there aren’t many alternates if the transfer falls through.

RECEPTION
On arrival neither documents nor a credit card imprint were required – very casual operations. There is a little office at the front entrance to the right of the car park entrance that is reception however, it is very relaxed in its day to day running and you could find the reception staff out on kayaks, in the pool or in the bar/restaurant area. We mistook management for fellow guests until we got the same bus to town and started talking. From sitting on our veranda area we would see the staff walk past and ask what we needed to at that time – most guests did this too.

ROOMS
There are ten bungalows total, there are 1 & 2 bedrooms available. They were furnished well with dining table & chairs, fridge/freezer, gas top stove, kettle, toaster, bottle opener, some basic utensils as well as plates, cutlery and glasses. There were pots and pans also to assist food preparations. Tea and coffee are provided as well as milk and sugar (both in the fridge). The only thing no longer available is the oven that has been disconnected from use due to safety (a small note was attached). When we used the gas stove top, the smell of gas did fill the bungalow so do take care when using it. Good water pressure and endless hot water. The linen was dirty on the bedding. The towels very thin and small & no handtowels provided. There were amenities provided in the bathroom; soaps, liquid body wash & shampoo/conditioner (frangipani scent). No telephone or tv in rooms. Outside there was a hammock and two beach chairs to enjoy the fresh air & also was good for when it rained during our stay as it was under cover. It is more comfortable outside on the paved veranda area as the 3 dogs in the resort do roam everywhere by day and for this reason we couldn’t enjoy the sand area down at the waterfront. They were most friendly dogs & we do love animals but the smell from the salt water that dried on their coats, they’d run in the water then come out and shake and the flies that followed them made it – for the price paid per night – not so enjoyable. If booking here you may want to request a veranda that doesn’t face the main pathway that runs from the car park at the road entrance down to the waterfront. The guests and visitors to the resort use this as the only way to get around and it can be noisy and less private than those facing the garden. The rooms are decorated with frangipani and hibiscus flowers each day and our bungalow was cleaned while we were having breakfast so they are very efficient and friendly local staff. The bungalows could have flyscreens or mosquito nets added. The ceiling fan wasn’t sufficient with the high humidity and on some nights we couldn’t leave the doors open as heavy rain came into the bedroom onto the bed. There aren’t windows besides the small one in the bathroom with flyscreen mesh, everything else are French doors that open onto garden area, as previous review stated they dont open fully due to wardrobes being built behind them. It didn’t take long for the mosquitos to enter at night. As the bungalows are set back from the waterfront there was no breeze to help with no AC. We felt AC was needed at least in the bedroom especially for the price of this accommodation.

FACILITIES
There are sport facilities available from the bar/restaurant area and staff on hand to assist. There are Kayaks, double and single, with a round circular clear plastic on the bottom side to see the marine life whilst kayaking. No lifejackets were available. Free snorkel, mask and fins were available for use. The crystal clear water is amazing and take bread to feed the fish when out in kayaks/snorkeling as we saw all types. Day trips to come to the area for snorkeling so that indicates the high standard that we experienced. Reef shoes are a must. There isn’t a sandy area to walk into the water nor a beach area. Bicycles were available for hire. There was an outdoor shower located just a step below the small swimming pool that is even level with the bar/restaurant. There were sun chairs available down at the waterfront but they are moulded to the shape to sit upright so wasn’t possible to change position to lay back for example. The sand area down at the waterfront (not a beach) has shade as big trees cover the area so it is not ideal for relaxing in sun or tanning. There is a public phone at the bar and phone cards are sold if calls are needed to be made. Daily breakfast was included in the rate consisting of a choice from tea/coffee, lime juice, croissant, toast, and fresh fruit platter. There is a blackboard on entering the bar area with the tour recommendations and bus transfer times. The restaurant has a limited menu but good quality food to enjoy. It is open from 0730 to 2100. The prices are expensive and servings small.

AREA
Paradise Cove is a wonderful area to enjoy swimming, kayaking or snorkelling. It has great clear water and many types of marine life can be discovered. The resort offers 2 one way transfers to the town. The first is normally around 0900/0930 and the second around lunch time 1230/1300. The pick up/drop off point is the post office. The cost is 200 vatu per person one way & payment is made to the driver on arrival (have correct money if possible). There is only one return transfer back to the resort & is in the late afternoon at 1630/1700. Same price applies. Getting the bus independently is 200 vatu per person one way. The road isn’t in the best condition to get to Paradise Cove and is quite bumpy. The resort is located in a quiet area and surrounded by expat houses in the immediate area. Au Bon Marche supermarket is located in Port Vila and is good to get supplies from. Taxis are recognised by T on the number plate and to find a bus look for the B on the number plate. Bus will cost 100-200 vatu per person depending on the destination. If you hail a bus and they say no to your destination flag down the next one. A taxi quoted us 1500 vatu one way to the resort and found the convenience of the bus very good.

  • Liked — Snorkelling, Kayaking, & restaurant on waterfront.
  • Disliked — Road to accommodation, no air-conditioning, & no beach.
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank WonderSuper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
aussie
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2007

Honeymoon from hell, the resort is too far out of town along what we saw as the worst road in Vanuatu. We were told beach front bungalows no need for a/c. Not on the beach sticky hot bungalows with fans that didnt work, normal menu wasnt available, the managers dogs roam the resort, small cheap pool if there is more than 4 people in it its too crowded. Manager not helpful at all!! But the staff we great friendly people and the diving was great. On a whole we visited other resorts and wished we had stayed at them instead.

  • Liked — the staff and the diving
  • Disliked — the rest besides the above noted
  • Stayed March 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank surferAussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2007

Our family cannot say enough great things about this resort - and there were 20 of us! Everbody had a great time and would love to do it again. We pretty much booked out the resort and we found it fantastic. The restaurant even catered a 60th birthday party for us with a complimentary cake. All the staff were friendly and great to chat to (lots of local information). Everything was just so laid back and relaxing. We were there for a 5 nights and some of us only ventured out of the resort a couple of times. Couldn't stand to drag ourselves away from the beautifully presented gardens and bungalows. I particularly loved the hammock.

We had planned to self-cater and save on costs, but we found that we could eat lunch and dinner at the bar and restaurant for a very reasonable price. Those in our group who don't drink much averaged $30 (AUD) a day to eat and have a drink or two. And the food there is great. The pasta was tasty and the steaks were wonderfully cooked. The complimentary breakfast was far better than we had been expecting and we particularly loved the croissants.

The sea kayaks were a big hit and it is not far to walk to the beaches near Pango village. The snorkelling was amazing. We had cloudy days and a little rain on most the days we were there, but we were still amazed by how clear the water was and how much there was to see. The water was lovely and warm too. We followed this holiday with a trip to the Carribean and were really disappointed with the snorkelling there after Vanuatu.

  • Liked — The verandahs
  • Disliked — the road
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Spanner68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2007

Loved Paradise Cove....loved everything about it! Food was the BEST...beautiful steak and fish! Beach and reef was lovely, good equipment (snorkels, flippers, kyaks, bikes - even though the bikes were a bit old and hard to steer all added to the experience), great owners and staff - very freindly and helpful, they made us feel really special the whole time (was our honeymoon), the three resort dogs were very cute too, great accommodation. The driver was fantastic, with plenty of transfers each day and the trip into Port Vila was quite quick and cheap (it's 15 to 20 min drive but it's worth the trip for the seclusion you get at the resort). Very relaxing and enjoyable stay...will go back for sure!!

  • Liked — Food and atmosphere
  • Disliked — No conditioner in complimentary soaps
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring conditioner and a good book
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gogic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mount Maunganui
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2006

Like many other reviewers I am also very happy that I selected Paradise Cove Resort, ahead of other downtown Port Vila or nearby accommodation options (that we subsequently made day visits too during our stay - happily confirming we’d in fact made the very best decision).

My parents are avid world travellers and select 5-star lodgings with full service and facilities. My preferred choice is still backpacking around the globe, seeking “out-of-the-way” places with individual character/personality that reflect the culture of the place, i.e. avoiding the “touristy” traps but finding unique accommodation with some level of style and comfort.…a BIG ASK and we wondered if it might not be impossible to satisfy all our requirements ?

We agreed that we were looking for a flexible self-catering option that offered; spacious accommodation (3 adults), indoor/outdoor areas for relaxing, bar/restaurant on-site, nice pool and safe beach in close proximity, plus good snorkelling nearby and other water sport recreational activities. Paradise Cove Resort met all of the above criteria and more than exceeded our expectations.

They quickly responded to my last minute accommodation request - our booking was efficiently made – plus some friendly helpful personal advice on what to bring/expect etc.

Many of the staff at Paradise Cove Resort, we found have worked there for a considerable length of time e.g. 5-7 years. The resort Manager’s attitude is to ensure they are happy and cared for. You can be sure that a place that looks after its staff well, will be rewarded with great staff who go out of their way to take very good care of their guests…without exception every one of Paradise Cove’s staff were helpful, friendly and without being intrusive, they anticipated our needs in their charming ni-Vanuatu manner. So much so, that we began to feel like they were our extended family and Paradise Cove quickly began to feel like it was our “home-away-from-home”.

Their gardens deserve special mention, they are well-maintained and a lovely example of what some foresight with planting and planning can do to offer privacy, maximum shade and aesthetic appeal. It was a highlight to see how the housekeeping staff freshly picked tropical flowers and artfully arranged them in our fare that made us think “Interflora” had just delivered.

Our attractive 2-bedroom bungalow (they all have individual/differentiated decor), as with many of them, bordered a lovely “garden path” meandering through the resort and down to the waters edge. We spent some quality time on our own fare’s private patio just relaxing after our mid-morning snorkel, or enjoying a nice breeze from the hammock when the midday sun had beaten us back from the water’s edge.

An alternative option is the beachfront area (adjacent to the sunset hut) with lounger chairs shaded under trees but endless views out over the blue ocean. We never experienced any ‘demand exceeding supply’ from a few sociable visitors, who arrived by jet boat to experience the fantastic snorkelling (only 100m from Paradise Cove’s beach) and decided to stay for lunch. Once you orientate yourself you can easily explore the nearby village and/or find walking tracks down to other private beaches a short distance from Paradise Cove Resort.

After three nights of dining in enjoying social interaction with other like-minded guests, we thought we should venture out to enjoy some other culinary experiences further afield in Port Vila. A highlight was the Ekasup Melanesian Night, held in the Ekasup village every Friday night, this shouldn’t be passed over - in favour of the Melanesian Feasts offered by the larger resorts – you’ll cheat yourself of a truly authentic experience of Vanuatu ‘kastom’ and great entertainment/local food. We happily enjoyed four of our seven evenings dining at Paradise Cove Resort’s restaurant in total, including returning for our final evening to have a repeat experience of their excellent seafood spaghetti and Tiramisu (my personal all-time favourite dessert and theirs is really good).

Slowly it dawned on us that “The Boy’s” Marcello and Fabio, Paradise Cove’s two hard-working resort managers, in fact were the resort owners. They are both young “renaissance” men who have exported themselves to an enviable Pacific location but bring with them a birthright for executing everything with style, with a keen eye for attention to detail and their passion for the ‘La Dolce Vita’ lifestyle.

Marcello and Fabio were always entertaining and we enjoyed our daily encounters with their subtle sense of humour, perspective on Vanuatu and tours information - our ever-changing tour booking needs were expertly handled by them. “There is always something of the thrill and bafflement of watching a magician, in witnessing skilled people going about their business with effortless dexterity”, [‘Eating Up Italy : Voyages on a Vespa’] - a quote from an enjoyable book I found in their own library seems to sum up best “The Boys” at Paradise Cove !

We would definitely revisit Paradise Cove Resort with; other family members, a group of friends, for a honeymoon or even a “not-the-honeymoon” or special anniversary (just to try out the romantic possibilities !) – it is a special intimate place for comfortable relaxation, maximum rejuvenation, good food, excellent snorkelling and superb friendly hosts.

  • Liked — Spacious indoor/outdoor living areas flow, a hammock on each private patio is fabulous !
  • Disliked — I could have done without the freestanding wardrobe that prevented my opening both patio doors fully, in second bedroom (# 7).
  • Tips/Secrets — Watch out for the resident dog with an amazing skill in the water...you won't believe your eyes !
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank XmasEveBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2006

My husband, 13 yr old son and I spent 11 nights at Paradise Cove in late Sept/ early Oct. It is less expensive and 'touristy' than the big resorts, and we absolutely loved it. We loved the setting on a small beach some way out of town with some great walking trails to other deserted beaches nearby. We had a roomy 2 bedroom bungalow - great for a family - providing parental privacy. The bedrooms are larger than normal in this sort of resort, though the bathroom was small. Sizable living room with kitchen facilities, and best of all a covered outdoor patio area complete with hammock and lounge chairs and a small table. There were a couple of other boys about our son's age there and all three just took off kayaking, snorkelling, night-time hermit crabbing and getting one of the staff members to cut open coconuts for them to drink - leaving the parents pretty much to their own relaxed devices.

The resort fees included continental breakfast which you could have down at the small covered outdoor dining area by the water's edge and overlooking the bay and beach. (Great spot for breakfast watching the fish jumping, or romantic dining at night with soft background music and candles). Lunch was available if you wanted it. Dinner menus were great - everybody seemed to enjoy dining in for most of their evenings. We had a couple of meals in Port Vila, but were more than content to eat at Paradise Cove. My husband says that the fillet steak with honey-soy sauce was the best meat he'd ever eaten. Wine tends to be French, expensive and not as good as Aussie reds or kiwi whites. However we bought a couple of bottles of NZ Stoneleigh Cab Blanc at a wine shop in town and had a glass or two each evening. Buy your Tusker beer at Au Bon Marche in town for drinks on your bungalow patio - it's only 200VT there.

The resort is set back from the small beach with good snorkelling, though there is a bit of damaged coral from a big storm a few years ago and the fish need feeding to bring them around. The resort is set in a lovely garden setting, we were lucky enough to have a small view of the bay from ours. Fairly sheltered, we heard only one mozzie in the bungalow at night and by leaving the overhead fans on through the night we kept the mozzies away. Only 10 bungalows in the resort means that it is quiet and peaceful - and no TV/ DVD's or phones. Bliss. The bungalows were built by local villagers and are traditional in style - simple, rustic, but comfortable. Bathroom fine - nothing special, but plenty of hot water and good though small shower. Small downside - towels were a disappointment, thin and getting a bit worn - they need to buy some new ones!

Resort is low key - a few kayaks, snorkelling gear and bikes available for guests, a few books, games, small pool hardly used, volley ball court, fooz ball game near the dining area/ bar - a couple of well behaved resort dogs, that's about it. Staff were charming - many from the local Pango village, very gracious and service was great. They seemed like good friends by the time we left.

The distance from town was a concern before we went - a pot holed road beyond Pango village (about 10 mins drive from the village across the peninsula to the Port Vila side). But it wasn't so bad - the drivers all seem expert at dodging the pot-holes that are a fact of life in Vanuatu. And we actually enjoyed the contact we got with villagers - several times we went walking in the morning up to the village, and visited their local school one morning. The resort has it's own bus leaving for town every morning at 9.30, and one could time it right to go back with the resort bus, or simply catch a local bus back (bus trips from Port Vila to Paradise Cove cost 200VT per person, the resort bus charges this as well and you just pay the driver). Callie and Nathan, the resident managers, were never far away if you needed to make a phone call or get advice on a tour/ trip / they would happily book it for you. Very relaxed, good-natured - nothing was too much trouble.

If you're staying at Paradise Cove then e-mail the management for suggestions and take up some school gear for the local school. Also arrange to get some end of roll printing paper from the local paper for the school too, only a couple of hundred VT per roll. Take an early morning walk along the road from Paradise Cove to the village and say good morning to all the locals, their smiles make a great start to the day.

We would happily stay at Paradise Cove again. Just a great site to lay back and relax, and Port Vila is easily accessible.

ABSOLUTELY GR8!!!!!!! (My son's contribution).

  • Liked — larger bedroom, privacy, covered patio
  • Stayed September 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Waikikamoocow
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

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Business Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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