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Tanna Lava View Bungalows
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Bungalows simply build out of bamboo, wood and coconut leaves with no power, but beds comfortable, food plentiful and owners nephew very helpful guide. Bungalows 2500 per night, guide 500 per day, transport to airport for 1 person 5000, (2 people is 2500), breakfast incl in price, lunch is 500, dinner is 800.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank cjsw2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 44 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2013

My family and I recently returned from an amazing Vanuatu holiday of which Lava View was a definite highlight. We stayed for 5 days and I was worried it was going to be too long but we could have stayed much longer. It doesn't take long to fall under the spell of the spirit of the local people, the impressive active volcano and all sorts of other interesting experiences. My daughter cried the whole flight back to Villa because she didn't want to leave. The kids were always happy and safe. The drinking water is spring and beautiful. Nobody got sick....all the usual travelling with kids worries never happened. It is very basic but it doesn't take the kids long to remember how to live without electrical entertainment. The only recommendations I would make about kids would be to make sure you have warm clothes, the volcano can be very cold especially at night. Also I took a few snacks and 2 minute noodles sorts of things. They saved the day for me a few times, its a long way to the shops. For our family though the best part about was getting to hang out with Robert and Martha. Robert, our guide was fantastic. Everyday he went with us everywhere and translated everything that was going on. He was brilliant with the kids, always good humoured, helpful, informative and just plain nice to be around. Martha is also lovely, she is the cook for all the yummy meals. I loved being able to get to spend some time with her and learn a little about the village way of life. The kids all had a great time, getting down to the business of play with the local kids within minutes of arriving. They loved all the excursions we did, checking out the volcano (twice), waterfalls, John Fromm village, the river, walking in the jungle. Especially the volcano, it does not get much cooler than that. Daniel has created a very special opportunity for travellers to experience a little bit of Isaka life. If you looking for a family holiday that is a life experience rather than a holiday destination Lava View is for you. Thank you everyone at Lava View, We hope we get to come back and visit you all again soon.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Alice W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2013

It's not a resort... and that's the point. Daniel and family welcome you into their village life. We travelled a month in Vanuatu and this was a highlight. Daniel's knowledge of environmental issues and his commitment to his community, to "think globally and act locally," is powerful. While the search for "authenticity" is problematic and speaks more to what travellers lack at home than to what they project abroad, I have to say... for an authentic experience in Tanna, stay at Lava View. Tanna is MUCH more than a volcano... the people are even better than Yasur (which is saying a lot). Find this out by staying with Daniel at Lava Vie.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Recovering_Hungarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

We were a group of 3 girls, came over to Tanna for one night to see the volcano. We wanted to stay close to the volcano as it is a 2 hour drive from Evergreen or Whitegrass resort, and at night time too. So trip advisor showed us this little gem!

For a quick summary: Great hosts, comfortable accommodation though very basic but that's what makes it so cool being out here! Close to the volcano so don't have to travel far at night. A new cultural experience, and sooo cheap! No one had heard of this place that we talked to in Vanuatu so we were a little bit apprehenisve, but totally didn't need to be. This was one of the talking points we loved telling our friends and family back home, and would definitely stay here again if we were to come to Tanna.


We were picked up by Robert at the airport, and taken to the bungalows. Be warned the road get incredibly rough the last half hour leading to them, you couldn't do it without the 4WD! Passing through the village and up to the bungalows gives you a nice view of the volcano, which you can even hear (sounds like distant thunder). It is obviously very basic being in the middle of nowhere, but the beds were comfortable with mosquito nets around them, and they even have a flush toilet which seems totally out of place! The "restaurant" is a nice spacious room with a couple of tables looking out to the volcano, and we were given lovely cooked meals for dinner and lunch.

With a school teacher among us, she had stationary packs from her students to give to the local children, so Robert walked with us 10 minutes down to the village. The children loved the packs, and sang us a song which almost bought a tear to the eye! I definitely recommend taking things for them as they don't get it often (in fact we were told it was only the second time this had happened).

At about 4pm Robert took us to the volcano. This has a 3350VT entry fee (NZD$45) at the gate, but it's well worth it! We stayed until after the sun set till about 6pm. It's amazing to stand on the edge of an erupting volcano, but we felt safe at all times, plus there were many other tourists up there too.

The next day we asked if they could drop us off at Whitegrass Resort as we wanted to do some snorkelling at Blue Hole 2 (one of the best we reckon in Vanuatu too!), which they happily did.

All up it cost us 3500VT each which included one nights stay, 3 meals, transfers to and from airport plus volcano trasnfers, and tour guide on the volcano - that's NZD$46!!! We only had 5000VT notes left though but happily paid this as they were great hosts, and we got way more worth than what we paid.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Steph551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

When you go to Vanuatu, you could stay at a resort, or you could actually experience Vanuatu. Staying in a village bungalow is likely, the best way to truly immerse yourself in island life.
At Tanna Lava View, you will get what is likely the best of such an experience.

Daniel, the host, is unbelievably gracious, and happy to arrange any and all natural or cultural excursions you may desire. I stayed here previously, and returned in November with my family. On our family visit, we went to the hot springs, the volcano, Lamakara Village's Friday night singing ritual (home of the John Frum movement), and witnessed village life firsthand. The relationship my daughter formed with Daniel's daughter in the short time we were there was truly touching. At nightfall, we all enjoyed the glow of Yasur on the sky above from our balcony.

This is not the closest bungalow to Mt. Yasur, but the panorama of the ash plain and the volcano is probably one of the best from anywhere on the island. The centralized location of the village llows for anything that you may want to do on the island to be an easy day-trip. I look forward to returning again soon for an extended visit, and am counting the days!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Papakava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights. Even though I didn't have the best weather, I enjoyed every minute of my stay.

Trips to the volcano, kastom and John Frum villages etc. are a unique experience, but I enjoyed the village life the most. I attended the daily Kava ceremony and I really loved the atmosphere.

The bungalow is basic (but that's what I came for), but the food was delicious. Would go there again!

Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank Majan66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel S, Owner at Tanna Lava View Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2013

Thank you so much for your review. Here at Lava View we are very happy you enjoyed your stay. Hopefully we will see you again sometime.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2013

We spent 2 nights in the bungalows in September 2012. The Lava View bungalows are very well located, on the top of a hill facing Mount Yasur and hence giving you a perfect view to spot the eruptions at night and to hear the volcano (contrary to most of the other bungalows which are at the bottom of the volcano).
Yes the bungalows are rustic and basic with no electricity during the day and a generator at night, there is a shower (sometimes not working but they bring you a bucket of water) and a toilet, but that's what makes the experience so great. The bungalows are clean, with comfortable bed with nets. The food cooked specially for us was really good for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was basic but ok. Big appetites may consider bringing some biscuits though. The bungalows are made of bamboos and leaves and are set up in a beautiful natural scenery, very close from the village, which gives you the opportunity to meet the locals and the children, see how they live and distribute some school material to the kids.
Daniel and his family are great hosts. The pick up from the airport and the bookings for the volcano were all organised. They really look after their guests: we went for a walk from the bungalows to the ash plains and they got worried for us as they did not see us coming back so they walked down to ensure we were all right.
We also asked to attend to a traditional ceremony and not one organised for tourists. We were kindly invited to join a circoncision ceremony organised by close villages. They took us for a 2h walk in the rain forest and we attended to a very typical ceremony with traditional costumes, danses, songs, gifts and met with local kids who were clearly not used to see white tourists and cameras. It was such a privilege for us to be able to attend this ceremony and this was thanks to Lava View Bungalow. You tell them what you want to do and they try their best to meet your request.
Just keep in mind that Tanna is remote and that to go anywhere you either need to walk for a couple of hours in the forest with a guide or your need to arrange a car to drive you and pick you up. This second option is quite expensive. We only realised that it was complicated to move on Tanna by ourselves once we were there and it was a bit frustrating not to be able to go freely/easily to all the places we wanted to see.
But if you go to Mount Yasur, stay at the Lava View Bungalows, they are the best hosts in the area and will provide you with wonderful memories!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Pep1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tanna Lava View Bungalows

Address: Isaka Village, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Region: Vanuatu > Tanna Island
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 30 Speciality Lodging in Tanna Island
Price Range: £25 - £69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Tanna Lava View Bungalows 2*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Real Village Life at an Eco-Friendly Bungalow, Lava View Bungalows is an integral part of Isaka Village. The gentle rhythms of authentic village life surround and welcome you. Dawn breaks to the sound of children playing, roosters crowing or the echoing music of ceremonial shells. The rumbling of Yassur, the volcano seen from your bungalow verandah, is a constant soundtrack to the day. We are a sustainable, locally based small community enterprise. We think globally and act locally: your bungalow is made of local materials, very basic and is powered by solar energy 24 hours a day but no power plug is not available. Please bring spare batteries for your camera. Meals feature fresh organic local vegetables, fruit and meat. We are committed to supporting the development of our community. Your stay helps to fund school fees and other community projects. Our deep knowledge of the culture and customs of the local area means we can customize your stay to suit your interests. At Lava View Bungalows, our family looks forward to welcoming you to our world ... a unique experience you will never forget. Note: Airport to Bungalow transportation is available. Please send email to ask any question, however, we can only check email every few days. We do not sale alcohol, and no refrigerator at our bungalow, you can bring your own drinks such as red wine and spirits if you wish to consume alcohol. We are surround by the village and forest, so there could be flies, and insects. Please bring Insect repellent. If you have any problem with height, we do not recommend you to stay at the Tree House but we also have bungalows on the ground. We built the bungalow from scratch again since the Cyclone, devastated our bungalows so it might not be the perfect but we will do our best to make you feel it's home. ... more   less 
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