After unbelieveable flight disruptions and arriving more than a day late for our holiday, we finally arrived at our destination of Bokissa Island Resort, Santo. I have known about Bokissa for some time having been a former land owner on nearby Aore Island, however, had never been to the resort. The private island resort is simply stunning, the water is clear and inviting and the coral just offshore is one of the best house reefs I’ve seen. The island has it’s own private jetty which makes for ease of getting on and off the several boats that the resort runs. It also doubles as a platform for jumping off into the clear crystal blue waters. If you have soft feet (like I do) it is a good idea to take reef shoes, not that it’s a coral beach as such it is white sand but is littered with washed up coral (from the surrounding reef) which can be difficult to walk on at times into the water.
My main drama on the island was the food, simply because we were led to believe that it was a buffet style affair for breakfast, lunch & dinner but in fact it wasn’t and that breakfast was only buffet (& cooked if preferred) but lunch & dinner was a 2 choice set menu which did not suit my Gluten Free needs, however, the owners and kitchen staff did try to accommodate my needs, although at times, not quite understanding what I could and couldn’t have, however, they did always manage to feed me something which was tasty. We did not like the regiment of having to eat in particular, lunch & dinner at a set time (as the kitchen pre-prepared meals to be ready to eat at a certain time) as sometimes you wanted to be off swimming when meal times came around so it did limit you a bit but in saying that, it was good to meet other guests at the communal tables and share stories.
The owners pretty much kept their distance but were available if you had a query, although, I believe the owners son is now the manager of the resort but doesn’t appear to do much & needs to dress like a manager, Jan seems to mainly be the person in charge and whom to see if need be.
I did a couple of dives whilst we were there and found my DM Sam very attentive and I thoroughly enjoyed both dives and saw things that I had never seen before diving. The dive shop does hire out gear but it does appear to be well used and from other users comments, perhaps not well maintained, I travelled with my own gear & used it – so if you have your own maybe take it along.
We were also lucky enough to witness the hatching of the turtles out of the sand which was a wonderful experience (I hope they all made it out into the wide blue yonder safely).
The fares (bungalows) were comfortable and clean and we were happy with the proximity of our fare to all the facilities and the beach. We did originally have problems with the hot water which was eventually sorted out. We did find the bed a bit hard & the pillows too but I think this is normal for Vanuatu.
Wi-fi is available in the bar area intermittently but it’s great to know that it’s available if you need to keep in touch with the outside world as lots of travellers are business people & unfortunately still need to be in contact with work occasionally.
Barman Joseph was always friendly with a nice smile and made good cocktails.
We loved our trip to the Blue Hole with Reggie, we haven’t experienced anything like that before either.
The grounds of the resort are relatively tidy, the swimming pool was way too hot but I guess that’s to be expected in the tropics.
All in all, we had a lovely time albeit too quick due to our flight disruptions. This is a very pretty and unspoilt part of the world, the resort is what we expected but perhaps could be even better with a bit more organisation and perhaps a fully functional restaurant with a menu which would make it a lot better. I am sure that we will be back oneday.
How many stars?? Has the ability to be 4-5 star due to its surroundings but isn't.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bokissa Private Island Resort is a 30 minute fast boat ride from Luganville which is the main town in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Bokissa is 16 absolute beachfront bungalows on a beautiful island of 175 acres of pristine beaches and tropical rainforest. Walk out of your bungalow onto the sand and into the water - straight off the beach snorkelling and just 10-20 minutes from world famous wreck and reef diving. Bokissa's tariff includes return airport transfers and all meals during your stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bokissa Eco Island Hotel Espiritu Santo
- Bokissa Eco Island Santo
- Bokissa Private Island Resort Vanuatu/Espiritu Santo