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“STUNNINGLY PICTURESQUE”

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Bokissa Private Island Resort
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Espiritu Santo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 January 2013

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.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank blondescubadiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 - 143 of 205 reviews

Reviewed 20 January 2013

We arrived on Bokissa Island on Christmas Day 2012 and were immediately taken by the absolute beauty of the island and surrounds. We received a warm welcome and the friendliness continued throughout our stay. The service was excellent, nothing was too much trouble and everything we requested just happened, completely hassle free. The quality of the meals was excellent even given the fact we had special dietary requirements. We spent our days diving reefs and wrecks in crystal clear water, snorkelling the reefs off the beach and kayaking around the island and to surrounding islands. We achieved expert status in the sport of hammocking, something not to be missed. The staff were always friendly, happy and helpful throughout our stay. The romantic candle lit dinner on the jetty was a highlight in a wonderful week we will never forget.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cmorry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2013

We wanted a quiet and relaxing holiday that abounded in natural beauty with good service,food, wine and snorkelling and diving and that is what we got in abundance!! I am not a 5 star resort person I love nature and serenity and this is what Bokissa provides. We also found the staff really helpful and hospitable and the divemasters excellent in their care and attention. The owners of the island were divers themselves and they are very aware of safety and equipment.
This holiday was a dream and everything we expected and more, the diving and snorkelling was pristine, the water clear and the views from the fare to die for, walk 10 metres and your in the ocean what more could you ask? The food healthy and plenty of it and plenty of local fish and it could not have been any fresher! Bokissa is an Eco Island not a
5 star resort, if you are a resort bunny dont stay here if you love nature and being laid back then do. Also you can be involved with the local kids and the staff as much or as little as you want and that was a beautiful experience too. This is a very special place and I am going back this year. Thank you Jan and Dave

Room Tip: There are couples fares and family fares so it fits all requirements ours was at the southern end an...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Veronica630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

Shiny and new it isn't, clean, friendly and oh so relaxing is what this resort is all about
Old fashion charm Vanuatu style. Staff are friendly, food is tasty with plenty to go around, buffet style. Atmosphere is very relaxed, if you want a party this is not for you. This was the beginning of our holidays and this was the perfect place to acclimatise to Island Time. For divers, (even those wary of diving wrecks or deep dives) this is it! 15 minutes via boat to the Coolidge and an on-site wreck (the Henry Benneaud) which sits in 35 meters of water ready for day or night dives. All this as well as excellent snorkelling with more fish than you can poke a stick at. An added bonus, they do fishing charters and if successful it means sushi for the guests that night. PS. Be brave and try the Kava, but don't under-estimate it. The crabs (hermit & coconut) mentioned in some earlier review are around the island but we found none in our Fare.
Although we travelled as a couple this was a child friendly resort, having said that the owners organise to keep the children busy, so that really was not a problem.
.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank magdita m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2012

We came to find out about Bokissa from Lonely Planet and it was listed as the author's top choice. Upon arrival on the island, we were welcomed by the host at the jetty. Maybe we have been to other established island resort, we found that Bokissa did not really meet our expectation. First, the wash basin was choked, bed liner were outdated and the hut was rather old which we deem retrofitting is very much required. Secondly, during our first day stay, 3 rats were spotted and instead of the warmth of the host, we were greeted by an abdunace of flies. Although the island is meant to be a private island, it lacks vibrancy and the hospitality feel in other beach resorts. However, we must give credit to the food there which was good and generous in their serving. With a minimum requirement of 2 might stay may be a bit excessive.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank DisappointmentAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
travreps, Public Relations Manager at Bokissa Private Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 December 2012

We are sorry you did not enjoy your stay at Bokissa and of course are always concerned when we receive reviews like this one. As you can see from just about all our other reviews, Bokissa is well loved and our repeat guest percentage is extremely high. Yes there are flies sometimes, and the resort is quite remote and located on a island of tropical rainforest - so island rats are sometimes seen in the bushes (but never around the resort). Bokissa is not a 5 star resort with glamorous facilities, but rather an uncommercialised resort in a pristine environment, sometimes this is not for everyone. We do stipulate a min 2 night stay due to the remoteness of the resort and the time it takes to get there - one night just not do it justice, you have no time to enjoy what the island has to offer. Apologies again if your stay did not come up to your expectations. Julie Ingles (Marketing Representative).

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Reviewed 10 December 2012

My 13 year old daughter and I stayed at this beautiful resort for 4 days. We had an amazing time. The bungalow was comfortable with a view to die for. We loved being able to walk 10m from our bungalow to the water where we were able to snorkel in beautiful clear water with lots of different species of fish. Food was smorgasbord style and always plentiful. Staff were friendly and helpful. We loved interacting with the local children and made many friends with other visitors. Loved the idea that everyone sat with others at dinner time. My daughter did a dive and loved it. Great place to snorkel and dive. Would definitely return to Bokissa.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Nelle173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
travreps, Public Relations Manager at Bokissa Private Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2012

So pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay, we hope to welcome you back to Bokissa soon. If you would like to receive a copy of our special deals for return guests please email us at sales@bokissa.vu and we will pop you on our mailing list. Regards, Julie (Bokissa Sales).

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Reviewed 1 November 2012

This what an island holiday is all about. If you want pristine water and reefs to snorkel / dive, complimented by superb food and comfortable accommodation -look no further. As an eco resort, there is no fishing on the reefs fringing the island resulting in some of the best snorkelling I've experienced. My wife managed 6 dives in 4 days- 3 wreck, 2 reef, 1 bommie and was blown away every time. Our fare was clean, decorated daily with fresh flowers and air con at night if needed. As you preorder your lunch and dinner each morning, your food is ready for you as you arrive for your meal. The fresh seafood, including lobster is fantastic and plentiful. The santo eye fillet was the best we've ever had. As you eat at a communal table -we had 10 fellow guests, you meet people from all walks of life and this was a great experience for us. For other activities, don't miss the Malo river kayak trip. Can't thank the staff and management enough for making our holiday great.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CMAX66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bokissa Private Island Resort

Address: PO Box 261 | Bokissa Island, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Espiritu Santo
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Espiritu Santo
Price Range: £263 - £334 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bokissa Private Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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

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