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“Great stay!”

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Grand Hotel And Casino
Ranked #19 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 October 2013

We were fortunate to have a room on the 6th floor to accomodate 3 of us and this room was great with a separate bedroom with a TV, and a very comfortable sofa bed in the loungeroom, which also had a desk, TV, tea and coffee making etc, a very large balcony and large bathroom and a separate toilet also off the lounge room. The room was made up every day and that was so nice to go back to, also an arrangement of flowers on the coffee table was an unexpected delight to find one day and they lasted the entire week that we were there. The view from all the balconies of the hotel is excellent, and watching the sunsets and the all of the activity on the harbour is quite marvellous. The foyer of the hotel was very pleasing and welcoming with lovely lounge areas. The food from the dining room and the lobby bar was excellent, the staff super friendly and helpful and the proximity to the shops and other restaurants also excellent. Thank you to Fabius the tour director for helping us with our tours, we enjoyed them all and he was very helpful in arranging them. Colette on the front reception, also Jerry and John, were very helpful and I would like to thank them for all they did for us in arranging transport and suggesting things to do. I thought the breakfasts were very good and the evening dining superb - the eye fillet steaks (we had them on two occasions as they were so good!) were worth going back for! We complemented the chef on both occasions. The only problem I had was that the bathroom fan was noisy and it did not turn off when the lights were turned off - we solved this by turning off the power at bedtime so it did not run, therefore was quiet to get to sleep in (I am a very light sleeper and hate noise!) however then we had no air conditioning but at least I could get to sleep! That may have just been our room (604). There was a little outside noise from a generator also. But apart from that we had a great stay and I would recommend the hotel highly.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jan215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 21 October 2013

Dear Jan215

Thanks for the great feedback, it is good to hear that you enjoyed your stay and Port Vila. Our staff and location are fantastic assets as is our chef!

Please be assured we will follow up on the bathroom fan.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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284 - 290 of 543 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2013

The Grand Hotel and Casino has some very good features and some very ordinary features, which in summary I don't believe you should find in a 4 star establishment.

Firstly the good.
Location, location, location - being right on the harbour in the centre of Port Vila made it very easy to see and experience Vanuatu for slightly mobility impaired visitors. The vista over Port Vila harbour is picture postcard and we found a great way to unwind at the end of each day was chilling out on the balcony watching the water taxis come and go and other boats returning from their day out.
Breakfast, which was included in the package, was excellent with a full range of juices, fresh fruit, cereals, variety of breads, croissants, sweet pastries and hot food like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and baked beans. A cook was on hand to fry eggs or whip up an omelette on demand.
The staff were always courteous and helpful and generally smiling and happy.
Rooms were made up daily and fresh towels provided daily. Floors wre all tiled so easy to keep clean.
Secondly the not so good.
The hotel is starting to show its age and could do with a fair bit of maintenance. Carpets in the corridors are quite worn.
Some problems with hot water were being experienced while we were there which meant luke warm showers on one morning.

Being ardent non-smokers the thing we first noticed on entering the hotel was the stench of stale smoke. On our floor the smoke smell pervaded the corridors but was not noticeable in our room, except in the pillows when you went to sleep.

The dining room floor needs a good clean with hot water and a scourer to remove all of the fat from the floor. While we did see a cleaner with a mop and bucket one day, the fat on the floor near where the eggs were being cooked made the floor quite slippery. Similarly dirty patches appearred on the floor under tables and around where the table legs were, indicating that the tables don't get moved for cleaning. The dining room furniture was also looking old with paint peeling from the chairs and stains on the upholestered seats.

Transfers organised by the hotel were not to the visitors advantage. We arranged for transfers to the hotel via email and were offerred a bus transfer at 2,000VT per person ($A50 for 2). We were in the first 20 to get through Customs (only 1 person processing a full plane of arrivals) found our contact and then were told to wait in a corner as they had someone else to collect. After 40 minutes I went back to the contact person and they then put us in a bus of 10 others. All of the delays meant that by the time we were registered and into our rooms it was almost 1AM after leaving Brisbane at 7.30PM for a 3 hour flight. On departure we were offerred the same bus transfer but for 1,500VT per person. When I complained and told the person at the desk of the problems with the inbound transfer she immediately offerred a taxi at 1,500 VT total. This seems to me that that instead of looking after the customer the reception staff or the hotel are getting kickbacks from the transport drivers and again not the experience I expect from a (self rated) 4 star establishment.

On checking out, I checked through the account to find a 250VT charitable donation to local school which had not been authorised. I queried the receptionist who said it was optional and offerred to take it off the account. Although it was only a minor amount and really not worth quibbling about, I was disappointed that no one asked me if I would like to make a donation. It seemed as though it is standard procedure to add it to the account and hope visitors don't see it. Not ethical in my mind.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank rayw111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 21 October 2013

Dear rayw111

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed aspects of your stay, and appreciate your willingness to highlight your concerns.

Please be assured that we will certainly review your feedback and endeavour to implement change where possible.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Accommodation wise, our aim was to stay at a centrally located hotel, with a decent pool area at which we could enjoy views of the harbour. The Grand was the obvious choice, but I was a little hesitant to book based on underwhelming reviews of past travellers. Such reviews are accurate in a way, however, in my view they missed the underlying charm of this hotel. Upon entering the foyer, one is immediately met with a subtle smell of cigarettes/cigars - that is not meant as a negative, far from it, because although I am a non-smoker, that smell brought a certain charm. The decor of the foyer, hotel restaurant and terrace is perfectly suited to the location - it is south pacific grandiose - hence the name I suppose. Entering the hallway of our floor was a shock to the system. It was in horrible disrepair and in dire need of rejuvenation. The room however appeared to have been recently updated with new decor and finishings. It was comfortable, as was the bed and linen. The real star of this hotel is the view from the balconies, restaurant, terrace and pool deck. It was from these locations that we enjoyed the stunning views of Port Vila, including the most amazing sunsets over the water, with tasty cocktails served by friendly hotel staff. Food wise, we were treated to some really enjoyable meals of modest prices. We especially loved the curry night, which served up three tasty curries, with entrees, sides and a glass of wine for a fixed price. As a place to stay in Port Vila, there are probably nicer hotels, but you will certainly sacrifice locality, convenience and of course, the view. If I had my time again, I would pay the extra money and get the larger suites.

Room Tip: Higher floors are best to enjoy the most of the view. Pay the extra money and get the larger suites...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Anthony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2013

Dear Anthony M

Thank you for overall positive feedback. We are certainly are blessed with a wonderful location, backed up by great staff.

With regards to the carpet, the replacement of the carpet has been slated for the next six months, I am certain that once this has been completed, the Grand will only further enhance its name.

Thanks again.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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Reviewed 30 September 2013

Beautiful views, helpful great staff, great breakfast each day included in room rate. very central location.
But the room toilet leaked like a sewer, right out into the bathroom each morning - yukkie yukkie - we tried to spend as little time as possible in our room! The hallway carpet stunk badly and was extremely worn and stained also.
It seemed the higher up you go from the ground floor - the worse the place got!
We complained for 5 days in a row to the front desk staff, they smiled and said they would get someone to look at it - we started having health concerns after 5 nights so we asked to speak to the manager which we should have done in the first place.
He moved us to another room straight away - however the air conditioning did not work as well as in the other room at all and the shower ran hot and cold randomly (no hot water for 1.5 days with no prior warning)
We are regular visitors to Vanuatu and love the place dearly but 'The Grand' will have to pick up the pace with its accommodation to keep up with its competitors!
We will try another property for our Xmas holiday in Vanuatu!Q

Room Tip: All room face water - ask to look at your allocated room first! Check plumbing, air conditioning is...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wayneo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

Dear Wayneo A

Thanks for the overall positive feedback, I am sorry to hear that the response to your concerns relating to the bathroom were not up to standard. While we are at times faced with challenges it is in our speed of response and guest focus that we can recover.

With regards to the carpet, we do have a refurbishment program in place for this year and will certainly be looking to address the carpet.

I am sorry to hear that you will not be joining us for Xmas, perhaps we may have the opportunity to welcome you back at some stage in the future.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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Reviewed 27 September 2013

Did doubt about making a booking after reading previous feedback but was pleasantly surprised about what we found. Yes hotel is a tad dated but the views are fabulous of the harbor/bay, you could spend hours just sitting on the balcony just watching what is going on with the locals, ferries, helicopters etc. Room clean and tidy, we ate at the restaurant and the food was very good. Staff friendly and helpful. Hotel located very handy to shopping centre and restaurants.
Yes we would definitely stay there again

Room Tip: Go as high as you can less noise during the day - rooms very quiet at night Be careful when you pay...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank pauline g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

Dear pauline g

Thanks for the great feedback, it is good to hear that you enjoyed our wonderful views and great food. I have passed your feedback on to the staff who are always happy to hear such great comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

We spent a week at this hotel in late August, it was our first visit to Port Villa. We arrived to the hotel very late at night and the first room we were given was very smokey, so next morning we requested a new room and were given a choice of two which was very nice. The rooms are quite newly refurbished but the main corridors outside the rooms badly need the carpets renewed. Unfortunately people can smoke on the balconies and also in the casino so there is always the smell of stale smoke around, I don't know the answer to this problem. The foyer is very nice and we spent a few enjoyable afternoons there enoying cocktails. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant one evening, the view is stunning. The breakfast each day was very nice, great location with a fantastic view. We didn't go swimming in the pool but sat outside a few times, lovely. We picked this hotel because of its central location and were not disappointed, it was perfect for everywhere. All the staff we dealt with were very friendly and helpful, all in all we enjoyed ourselves. Oh yes, the beds were very comfortable which is important to me.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra and get a room on a hight floor
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Robyn2912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

Dear Robyn0 10

Thanks for the great feedback, it great to hear that you enjoyed your stay.

Our staff certainly are a wonderful asset to the hotel followed closely by our location and views. With regards to the decor, we do have a refurbishment plan for this year where we will be looking to address things such as the corridor carpet.

Thanks again for the great feedback, we look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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Reviewed 18 September 2013

Fair hotel with attached casino. Slow front desk. Clean pool and outdoor deck overlooking the harbour. Hard to get into the harbour water - beware sea urchins and boats. Towels from front desk only. Adequate numbers banana lounges. Breakfast average. Good omelettes. Soya milk available. Nice restaurant setting. Room clean. Dozen cable TV channels. Shower very temperamental in temperature. Beds comfortable. Wifi free but patchy. Safe in rooms. Casino with 8 or so tables and pokies - blah. No gymnasium. In the middle of the city.

Room Tip: All have great views
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank Phil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear Phil L

Thanks for the feedback, being a central city hotel, safe access to swimming in the harbour is somewhat restricted. However, we are well situated to take advantage of the many beaches in Port Vila as they are a close bus ride away.

Our location and staff are our forte, and we certainly remain very focussed on improving the service wherever possible.

I do hope that overall you enjoyed your stay, and Vanuatu in general. I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to Port Vila in the not too distant future.

Kind regards

Carey Norton

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#11 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#17 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#20 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: £79 - £172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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