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“I enjoyed Bokissa but I doubt everyone would”

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Bokissa Private Island Resort
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Espiritu Santo
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I enjoyed Bokissa but I doubt everyone would”
Reviewed 9 July 2013

Five days at Bokissa in July 2013. From Brisbane it's a brief flight and you're on the island about an hour after landing - an easy transit. The island itself is great. The beach is lovely, the setting quiet and the reef just off the beach is a real bonus. You can walk or paddle around the island in an hour if you feel like some exercise, or relax out front of your room or by the pool. I would describe the rooms (fares) as tired and in need of basic maintenance. The central area is OK, although limited if the weather drives you inside. Food is best described as home cooking - nothing flash, but plenty of it. Included breakfast is basic - a hot breakfast is available at extra cost. This is certainly not a place to go if you are looking for a luxury resort or the special treatment. The local staff were friendly, although not as attentive as some may want. The owners were aloof - approaching rude at times - though I don't think this intentional. Prices for drinks was OK. AU$5 for a local beer, AU$25-40 for wine on a very modest wine list. Activities such as fishing, scuba-diving, massages and the Malo river trip are an extra cost. I thought the Malo trip was good, however at around AU$80 excessively priced given the kayaks and lunch would have been included on the island anyway! If you're after a casual island experience in Vanuata Bokissa is an option providing you have modest expectations of the standard.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ross M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

My husband and I stayed at Bokissa from 22 - 28 June 2013 (6 nights) and it was an absolute bliss. This was our honeymoon and it was just perfect for us, in fact we are already thinking of going back to Bokissa for our anniversary. I'll break my comments down for you all for easy reading:

Staff = Absolutely gorgeous, friendly and wonderful - I missed them already! Everyday we were greeted with friendly smiles. The owners Jan and David, along with their family members Allan and his kids were just so welcoming and accommodating. They answered any questions that we had and even arranged special meals and a snorkelling trip for us. It was great to see the local kids up every morning at the pontoon, fishing away. Thank you Jan and Allan - you have really made our trip special.

Rooms = We stayed in Fare #9, not too close to the main pool and dining area but not too far away either. Only and literally about 20 steps away from the beach and we had a nice hammock out the front, where I spent most of my morning after breakfast. From the outside, the room looked really simple but inside, we were both very satisfied. It's spacious, has a clean bathroom attached, the bed was comfy (we didn't have any issues with the mattress or pillows) and air con which was only available at night time (you will need to turn this on and it will start at around 7pm and shuts at about 6am). A few reviewers thought this was a negative but you don't need air con during the day anyway as you shouldn't be spending time inside your room! The rooms are cleaned daily to perfection and are generally completed by the time you finish your breakfast. There is no TV in the room - at first I thought I would struggle but it's actually a great way to detox from technology! There is internet connection in the dining area and it's relatively cheap compared that what we had to pay at the bigger resorts. This isn't a 5-star resort so if you are expecting the Grand Hyatt then you're at the wrong place.

Food = WOW. We absolutely loved it. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were prepared for us daily. Breakfast is from 7-9am and it's continental i.e. cereal, bread, fruit, tea and coffee. You can get bacon and eggs etc but that's extra. Lunch is at 12pm and we generally get to choose from 1 of 2 choices plus a dessert (usually fruit salad - yum). Dinner is at 7pm (with happy hour just before that) and it's an absolute feast. You can to choose from 1 of 2 entree, main and dessert if you can stomach them all (we ended up skipping entree and sharing dessert on a few occasions because we were just too full). The quality of the food was amazing and the quantity was more than enough. We had lobster twice during our 6 night stay and plenty of yummy fish. Even their roast pork and veal schnitzel were amazing! You will be full and fed all day long - no need to bring or eat snacks! We loved the communal dining experience as you get to meet some wonderful people and share stories along the way.

Snorkelling = We saw some pretty amazing marine life close by. You really don't need to swim too far to see some amazing coral and fish. We were told that a dugong can be spotted at times and one of the guests actually swam with it! On our snorkelling trip, we saw a small reef shark, cuttlefish, lots of nemos and more! We went on other snorkelling trips in Port Vila and nothing compares to this.

Kava night = This happens every second night or so. If you are thinking of trying this, then this is definitely the place for it. We had it 3 times during our 6 night stay and the experience was great! It's a great opportunity to meet the other guests and get to know the Bokissa island through Allan!

I can go on with my thoughts on Bokissa but I'm sure you get the point on how great this place was for my husband and I. We simply can't fault it. The price per night was very reasonable given that all meals were included. I would highly recommend Bokissa if you are looking for a bit of paradise away from the rest of the world. We will definitely go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: All rooms or Fares are great!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cuggley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

We had 5 nights at Bokissa Is from May 10th to 15th, 2013 and from the airport on arrival until we left the boat back in Luganville (for extra nights on Santo) we were looked after by the wonderful friendly staff of Bokissa. We were met at the airport, transferred to the boat and over to the island with no fuss and lots of friendly banter, where we met Jan at the wharf, how lovely is she! She had put up with the most inane of email questions from me with so much grace.

The whole property, island and staff are just wonderful. We stayed in Fare #13 right at the end away from the central building, where we were right on the beach. The fares are a main room with bathroom attached, and are very functional, with aircon available at night if you want. The sound of the ocean about 20 metres away was not at all hard to take. The king size beds are very comfortable but my only negative is the mattress is covered with a plastic feeling sheet that re-radiates body heat and night from under the usual sheets.

The rooms are spacious and have your own tea and coffee making gear for the early mornings sitting watching nothing much apart from a glorious view from your table and chairs outside the front door.

Just down from your door the ocean has small coral bommies a few metres from shore, with all manner of fish life that makes snorkelling a breeze, lion fish, cuttlefish and fish life galore. While I was unable to dive because of a recurrent ear problems, those that did were raving about the dives their dive crew offer. If you tire of the ocean for whatever reason the pool is there to wallow in to your hearts content.

The meals were great, all included and many reviewers have told of the joy of the food at Bokissa, I'll just add that the meals were superb in quantity and quality, and the idea of having most people eat together is a great one as you are there usually for only a few days it is good to get tips from the people that have been there longer. It is very social even for those that tend to be not so social, remembering the island only cater for a maximum of about 20 or so people. I was very impressed by the reasonable prices for drinks during the happy hour for the hour and a half prior to dinner, as this is a time when many resorts really gouge you.

Finally if you are there when Allan fires up the nakamal and offers kava prior to dinner don't miss it. I've had a bit of kava in the past and this was the best I've experienced by a country mile. Allan is a nice guy too (he'll be the one gracefully fixing your empty gas cylinder problem too) and spending a bit of time in the nakamal gives you a chance to interact socially with some of the local folks and they are the most wonderful people too.

In summary Bokissa is well worth a try, the managers are great and the staff fantastic, so friendly and laid back. The rooms are great and food top class. If you make friends with everyone and get onto island time as soon as you arrive you'll never regret going there.

I've attached 3 photos, one of the view from our front door, one of the lobster dinner (we had lobster twice in five nights) and one where I got in the water at fish feeding. Thanks for that Annie.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank wabster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redland City, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2013 via mobile

What an amazing, warm welcome we received. The resort is relaxed and low key. The view from the cabins, the deck chairs, the huge pool, the jetty and the hammocks is paradise. The massage hut is perfectly set on the beach to catch maximum breeze. The white muslin curtains billow in the wind as you lie there in heaven having a beautiful massage. The diving is just amazing. Incredible corals and a large variety of fish with wrecks too if you are up for such an adventure. We've been to the Great Barrier Reef so can say Bokissa coral is outstanding and the number of dive sites increases the possibilities for good vis and good diving conditions. The dive master who dove with us was Rasu. Felt completely confident with him. A great teacher, a highly competent diver, good control of the dives, well-planned. The dive masters there are all PADI licensed. Very knowledgable, caring and diligent. The owners of the resort task divers for the collection of Crown of Thorns Starfish to help maintain the reef quality. They are highly protective of the natural environment. Owners and staff couldn't do enough for us. We understand how people can differ in their expectations when they travel however after visiting Bokissa, we find it difficult to understand where some of the negative reviews on trip advisor come from.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Catherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

I just retured from a great Vanuatu vaction and Bokissa was excellent. This is a great place for scubing diving and All meals were included on the island contrary to a recent post stating it's not.
I would highly recommend Bokissa for a place if you want to get away from it all and don't want the night life. Perfect in meeting all of my expectations.
The rooms were quaint, the staff friendly and the food plentiful. The meal portions were so huge you couldn't eat it all. And the food was delicious if you remember how remote of a location this is.
The scuba diving was the best in the world I've ever experienced and I've been to many places in the South Pacific and Caribbean. Bokissa does alot to protect the reefs and the north reef is beyond words. I have never seen such healthy, expansive coral reefs. Rox did a fantastic job leading us on all of our dives and making sure we had the full dive experience.

If you are looking for a polite, laid back location to get away from everything and truly experience the seclusion of this island, Bokissa is the place.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank klewington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2013

Everything was beautiful and you really felt like you were on an island. You were responsible for your own entertainment most of the time and although this island is very relaxing we did find it strange that meals weren't included there was only one place to eat. As if we could've jumped in the car and gone elsewhere.

Although I really enjoyed myself I doubt I will return.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AussieCoasterKing
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 review, 10 June 2013
Hi there - we are quite confused about this posting as Bokissa does includes all meals in their daily rate - there are no rates that do not include transfers and all meals. This has been the case for many years, so we are just not sure if you may have got the name of the property you stayed at wrong as your stay was also some time ago.
If you would like to respond to clarify we would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Julie Ingles
Sales and Marketing Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
161 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2013

Bokissa is a wonderful small coral islet bristling with high quality natural values with an unobtrusive resort that actively protects those values.
The thought that this idyll is only 2 hours for Brisbane and a quick boat ride from Luganville is very reassuring.
Individual fares (huts) are placed close to the beach in the shade of a lovely grove of trees. The beach is bracketed by shallow coral reef shelves and a couple of bommies just off the beach give ready access to the liveliest and most beautiful coral reef with huge biodiversity (instant therapy for the soul).
The rooms are fairly self contained and have all the essentials for major relaxation in the sun/shade. Meals are provided at the resort centre. Simple and unsophisticated with a friendly and very helpful staff.
Basic facilities (for snorkelling and kayak) are free and there are a number of really well priced activities too.
Only suggestion I have for improvement is to lose the music at the resort centre (is it just Australians who want to drown the beautiful ambient sounds - let alone conversation - with musac).
We certainly would like to be returning here soon.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Candide57
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Bokissa Private Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 15
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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