We stayed at this property from the 20th December to 4th January with my partner and kids (6&8 years old). It is a beautifully positioned house is high on the hill over looking Erakor lagoon/village and most of Port Vila.
Marg and Martin went out there way to ensure we had everything we needed and more as well as offered a lot of great local tips. Their efforts to resolve any minor issues we encountered was commendable. Everything from booking to arrival to departing went smooth and trouble free.
A big thanks also to Linda and Erin for their help.
We honestly could not fault it. The breeze was constant meaning our use of the AC was not needed due to the massive by fold doors and louvers through out.
A large back deck that opens straight on to the fenced pool meant we could easily relax while also keeping an eye on the kids in the pool. Also great for an afternoon BBQ and THE BEST position to welcome in the New Year with amazing views of the fire works from surrounding resorts and locals!
The view is AMAZING!! Sun rises straight across the lagoon with a truly tropical setting of crystal clear waters, amazing reef and local villages.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the 3 bathrooms comes in handy with a family!
Kitchen was large and had everything we could have possibly wanted. Make the most of the local markets and fresh bread and cook up a storm!
I loved the coffee machine and my morning ritual of fresh coffee and hot chocolates on the deck.
The pool was always a perfect temperature and the supplied pool toys were a hit with the kids.
Make sure you take full advantage of the local phone provided. 2000vatu credit lasted us 15 days! It is very handy to text or call the bus saving you exaggerated prices. Just be mindful to book your pick ups and drop offs for at least half an hr before you actually want to leave as all drivers are on local time and are also busy with their usual work, especially on cruise ship days.
We used the house keeper Erin 3 times during our stay and she is always friendly, approachable and does a great job. She needs the money so never feel bad about getting her in for the day.
She also done a little cooking for us on request which meant we came home not having to worry about preparing our dinner!
We also had no worries leaving our 2 children with her and her Mother Lessie for the day while I went fishing and my wife got massages and done some shopping. We paid 2000vatu for this and our kids had a great day learning about local customs.
Santina is just close enough to the city for supplies and day trips but also just far enough away to avoid to noise and humidity. The best and cheapest way to get around is by Bus. We Used a local bus driver named Mr John. He would pick us up and drop us off any time we needed it, any where on the island, for very reasonable rates. He also speaks good English and very helpful with any information or day trip locations. A full day trip with John only cost around $150 for as many people as you like and he will give you the true local experience. Just ask and he will do anything to help out.
Taxis cost around 1000vatu from the city to your door though we didn't need to use one. Always negotiate the trip price BEFORE getting a lift as some drivers are from outer islands and will charge you as much as they can. From our experience you should not pay more than 2000vatu to get any where on the island.
Our family thoroughly enjoyed Santina and all its features and would not hesitate staying here again or recommending it to any one. It is not 5 star, nothing in Vanuatu really is, but it has absolutely everything you could want for a relaxing stay. It has a great homely feel that makes you feel at ease as soon as you arrive.
Thank you Marg and Martin once again for an awesome stay.
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