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“Fantastic Venue for Parties or Weddings!!”

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Grand Hotel And Casino
Ranked #21 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Fantastic Venue for Parties or Weddings!!”
Reviewed 16 May 2011

I recently had my 50th Birthday Party at The Hemisphere Bar at the Grand Hotel. My husband and I had 14 guests who all stayed at The Grand for between 6 nights and 12 nights. There were 16 in total at the Party at The Hemisphere Bar.

We organised the party with Bea Parsons (Group Sales Manager) from Iririki/Grand . Bea was absolutely fantastic. If you have a small group – probably up to about 30 guests, The Hemisphere Bar was ideal. They set up the room and the tables beautifully, with flowers and balloons. We had a sit down meal. Our entrees were served near the bar (oysters and pre dinner platters). The main meal was buffet style and we had birthday cake and fantastic cheese platters after the main meal. We took our own music on CDs & DVDs but if you wanted to organise other music that would also be possible. We had 4 – 5 staff for the evening to ensure everyone had drinks and to clear the tables etc.

The room looked beautiful and the food was excellent. The wonderful Chef ensured everything was perfect and came to speak to us several times during the night to ensure everything was just right. We were absolutely delighted with everything to do with the party. I would highly recommend this venue for a small group for a wedding, birthday, anniversary or any celebration.

A special thanks also to all of the wonderful staff at The Grand who took care of our group so well. This is the third time we have stayed at The Grand and previous to staying at The Grand we have stayed at 6 other resorts but would now only ever stay at The Grand (actually going back in November). The staff are fantastic and the facilities are great and it has the best location as you are right in town with everything close at hand. Would highly recommend this hotel particularly for couples and business travellers.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank MegandBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2011

The Grand Hotel was a pleasant surprise - the rooms were quite large and well appointed and had fantastic views of the harbour. Even though the balconies weren't private and close to your neighbours, it didn't matter. We weren't really in the room that much as the pool and bar area were great and we could relax with a cocktail, good book and a refreshing swim. All the staff were friendly and once we got used to "island time", we just relaxed and took it all in. The casino was larger that I had expected. It wasn't like a major city casino, but had probably 30 machines, 5 tables and plenty of staff. We are already planning our next trip and will definately stay at the Grand again when in Port Vila.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Philjulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2011

We were travelling with 15 yr old daughter and had asked for and rec'd confirmation for adjoining rooms - we ended up on different floors - not good enough. The refrigerator in the main lobby contained pasteries / fresh cream etc, it looked all very nice but I noticed the from the digital read out the set temperature was 9 deg C - fresh pasteries/cream MUST be kept at between 1 & 4 deg C. The cream was sour - sadly - the staff offered to replace the pastry with another - from the same cabinet - same result - not surprising. Thats Vanuatu, trying hard but not quite making it.. We stayed a week and think everything is done better or cheaper in Cairns or Fiji

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank q'meister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
132 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

For this trip I decided to check the hotel websites for prices. I contacted Grand Hotel Direct, I also checked Wotif.com and Hotel.com. Wotif was $100.00 per night OVER the direct contact price, Hotel.com was $100.00 per night UNDER the hotel direct price!
As before this hotel is very good! Comfortable, no cockroaches, which in the main in Pacific hotels is not the norm! The rooms are a good size, very well set out and clean and well serviced! TV this time was abominable! The in house movie system did not work and the standard local and cable TV system was down for most of the time. Not a problem as I was busy working most of the time.
The internet is quite good. Wi Fi is free, if you can get it in your room (My room was on the first floor and had good reception for Wi Fi) If you cannot get Wi Fi then broadband cable is available at a cost! The conenction I had was good enough to handle all except files over 500kb then it started to have problems
Restaurant - Breakfast is bland compared to most hotels in the Pacific. There is no Buffet, no hot food, other than toast which you make yourself. If you want eggs you can, but must pay $5.00 AUD for 2. Breakfast is complimentary but they do not go out of their way to make it tasty or interesting! For some reason they put cinnamon sticks into all the fruit, so if you like peaches or pears, as I do, tough luck, all you can taste is cinnamon!
Dinner is a very restricted Italian food, menu. Very good food, if you like Italian, but it never varies and the portions are quite small, no salad or vegetables with a main meal unless you specifically order them at an extra cost. Meals are not cheap!
Lounge bar is quite nice, a good meeting place for a light snack, drink, chat! The prices seem to be "whatever" the staff on duty feel like charging. 5 days in a row I had a glass of red wine at the lounge bar and every time the same brand of red wine had a different price, from 500 Vatu ($5.50 AUD or so) to 1500 Vatu ($16-17.00AUD) still cannot figure out how they have that type fluctuation when they have a computerised price list! If you drink the red wine with a meal at the restaurant is is always 1500 vatu, even when in the bar it is 500.
If you ask for a taxi, if you have an appointment to keep, make sure you tell the staff! Otherwise they call a taxi operated by their cousin, freind, uncle, who may happen to be on the other side of the island and take 40 minutes to get there. Meanwhile you see 100 or so taxi's sail past you while you wait for this freind, who is "Just 3 minutes away".
For a holiday where you want all the mod cons but still want to get away from it all, this IS a good hotel. Not sure if i will stay here when next on business.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cremorne, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2010

Just finishing the last day of a 7-night stay at the Grand Hotel. The room is neat and modern with flat screen TV, ADSL broadband (available at a cost ~20 VT/day). All rooms have a view (yes, it's just like the brochure!). Had a minor problem with the shower water occasionally escaping from the cubicle and wetting the floor outside the bathroom, and needing a few towels to mop up the resulting puddles - bad design, or poorly implemented (or both) I think.

There is a small Casino on the Ground Floor, and it seems that you are still allowed to smoke there - this results in the lobby area often smelling of cigarettes, and makes you appreciate how much the area quality has improved in other places since smoking was banned indoors.

We were at the hotel over Christmas and had lunch in their restaurant, Crystals (9500 VT/per), which consisted of a selection of roasted meat, salads and roasted vegetables, free wine, beer and champagne and came complete with a group of local children singing Christmas Carols ni-vanuatu-style!!

The continental breakfast is a little limited for choice but utilises the abundant fresh local fruit, and other available food well - it is after in the middle of the South Pacific ocean, without the benefit of easy/cheap access things you might take for granted, or expect, in hotels in other countries.

The service is interesting, there is a ni-vanuatu flavour to requests, responses were mixed - dont always expect to have your request filled first time, or right the first time, but hey, you soon adapt to island-time, and if you can reach the point were you realise that you needn't stress about it, and can accept things as they come, then you'll be fine - the service always comes with a smile, so how can you fault that...

Staying at the hotel allows free access to the facilities (5 minute ferry ride from a jetty next to the pool area) at Iririki Island - there are 2 additional restaurants (tried the Waterfront restaurant - nice food - not a Good Food Guide entry, but dependable), and free use of the water sports equipment (snorkelling, 3 slightly run down but functional catamarans, and kayaks) - managed to get out on a cat each day to sail around the bay, which is very protected but gets a nice light breeze throughout most of the day.

The hotel is very well situated in the middle of the main town area, easy walking distance to the shops and markets.

The stay also included a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that shook the 6-storey building fairly well and triggered a Tsunami alert - so if you are safety-conscious consider the floor you'd like to be on!!

Would stay here again, there were plenty of positives, and just not enough bad things to matter.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank OZ_peter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2010

We have travelled to Vanuatu many times, this was our first time staying at The Grand. The location is excellent-walking distance to plenty of great places to eat & a short bus or Taxi ride to many others.

We had the Continental Breakfast included in our accommodation & it was fine. The pool area is lovely. The Casino is small, but has the latest Poker Machines & several gaming tables.

I highly recommend having Cocktails in the Hemisphere bar. Happy Hour Cocktails were $650vt each & the sunset views were priceless!

The rooms were quite small as previous reviewers have mentioned, and I didnt like the complete lack of privacy on the balconies-you could shake hands with your neighbours if they were out there at the same time as you. However the views were nice & I enjoyed many a time sitting out there with a drink watching all the goings on in the harbour.

For those who are unaware-there is superficial damage from a large earthquake a few months ago, & there is still work going on to fix it.

Our stay was 4 days, then we moved to a larger resort for the rest of our trip. 4 days was enough for us, but thats only based on the size of the rooms & the lack of privacy on the balcony.
Aside from that we loved it.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnniG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2010

My partner and I had a one week's stay at The Grand Hotel. Yes it is central, but to be honest I have not been to Port Vila for 20+ Years, and I believe the Town has gone backwards since my last visit. The Town itself is dirty.
The shopping is SHABBY to say the very least. Many of the Stores are now owned by Asians......Surprise,surprise. The locals, who by the way are lovely people, work for them.
Poverty is EVERYWHERE. Rather sad to see.
The Grand Hotel itself looks more like it is 10+ years old than 4?????
Tiles were cracked/falling in common areas. The lobby area had a continuous leaking roof. The rooms were very small. Do not judge by the room in the Photo Gallery. This is one of only? 5 Harbour View Rooms in the complex.
We were so disappointed with the Harbour Deluxe Room, that we paid a fair bit for an "upgrade" to one of these rooms. The Grand Hotel's Site is very misleading.
I would love to know where that beach with yachts actually is!
Big mistake going to Vanuatu. We are not fussy people, but this really was a shocker of a choice. Two days and two nights would be enough for anyone, to do and see everything there......and that is not much!
The hotel has only one smallish pool and the one restaurant, which would be 3.5 at best.
THE LONGEST HOLIDAY OF 7 DAYS EVER.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank rogers007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel And Casino

Property: Grand Hotel And Casino
Address: Lini Highway, Port Vila, Efate 0001, Vanuatu (Formerly Sebel Vanuatu)
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#12 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#17 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#20 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel And Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel And Port Vila
Sebel Vanuatu Port Vila
Grand Hotel And Casino Vanuatu/Port Vila

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