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“Awesome place with the best snorkelling anywhere!”
Review of Uepi Island Resort

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Uepi Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uepi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 July 2012

My wife and I have recently returned from a trip to the Solomons which included a 4 night stay at Uepi.

First off, the snorkelling is just mind blowing with coral and fish everywhere! For example, if you just snorkel around the 'Welcome Jetty' where your boat transfers arrive/depart from, you can swim along the edge of a coral drop off that descends 30m almost vertically downward. 3 types of shark (none dangerous) will come up and take a look at you as you snorkel along and just marvel at the abundance and diversity of species you can see. A short boat ride away (at a cost of something like $10 - $15 each) is the manta ray cleaning station where huge rays come into water only 8-10m deep and slowly swim around beneath you as the cleaner fish give them a wash and brush up - a magical experience!

The accommodation we had was a beach-front bungalow which was a fairly long walk away from the bar and dining area but it's on a flat, sandy path that's well maintained so it's not a big deal. Each bungalow is a good distance from the next one (at least 50m at a guess) and has a nice veranda with seating and a hammock. The beach-front bungalows look out onto Marovo Lagoon whilst the others are set back slightly from the water but still appeared to be great and were very close to the water. Our cabin was the last in the line and had the sea at the front and forest on the side and back. We actually spotted a rare hornbill in one of the trees from outside our bungalow which was really awesome!

Dinners are communal and consist of a 3 course meal with the main being a buffet. The food is really excellent and, if someone has caught anything on one of the evening fishing trips, includes an extra sashimi course! We had fresh, raw Spanish Mackerel one night but the Wahu I caught the next day was definitely better! Alcohol is very expensive but they allow BYO so if you want wine or something, better to bring it with you.

Besides snorkelling, diving, relaxing and the odd fishing trip, there's not so much to do on land. There is a bush walk but that's only for the very sure-footed as it's quite treacherous under foot and is strenuous in the heat.

My only regret with this place is that we didn't do any diving. My wife can't swim and snorkels in a life jacket (a great idea we came up with on our honeymoon) so as we wanted to do things together; diving was off the menu. Of the people we met there, some had been back more than 30 times for the diving and atmosphere of the place! One very nice lady was a photographer who regularly comes to Uepi to get photos of the rare sealife there - this should speak something about just how good the snorkelling and diving at this place is.

The whole resort is very professionally set up and run though in doing so lacks the real Solomon Islands experience - possibly the only negative thing I can say apart from bemoaning the lack of mosquito nets over the beds. The bungalows all have screened windows but as the cleaners tend to leave the door open when they've been out, the screens don't do a lot!

Room Tip: Beachfront bungalows are awesome - your lunch is delivered to your hut each day and you can sit out...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Steven V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 112 of 133 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2012

Taking a nostalgic trip by reading recent reviews on Uepi. I was at Uepi in 1989! Diving, snorkelling, feeding the sharks that came up to the pier. We did not have the bamboo pipes entertainment. Things were pretty laid back, still with the communal dining. Loved kayaking at the crack of dawn and a pod of dolphins would keep you company. Peaceful. Loved the transport from Honiara. Is the soccer field still doubling up as an airfield and you take a motorised outrigger ride to the resort? I can only say - it sounds like things haven't changed much. That's great!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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Thank MIPAGRPE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012

We took our 6 and 8 year old children along with my mother to Uepi. I was worried about all of them, taking them to a relatively remote place for 2 weeks. During this time, my husband and I were a part of a medical mission (www.marovomedical.org) so we were gone much of the day during the week. I should not have been worried. The owners, Jill and Grant, and all of the staff were amazingly hospitable. They catered to some of our irritating dietary restrictions with impressive patience. My kids got to swim with reef sharks, see Nemo and sea anemones, snorkel is the best place in the world to snorkel. They saw a monitor lizard and named him Solomon. We hiked to a fresh water waterfall in the rainforest with our guide who carried a machete and had to use it to clear the path. We saw beautiful sunsets, tons of hermit crabs, lionfish, blue starfish, sea turtles. It was the trip of my lifetime.

The accomodations are not luxury but are certainly adequate. Ceiling fans and screens for the crosswind were enough to keep the rooms cool. The rainwater showers were... refreshing. The food was great and the community dining experiences made for great memories. This resort recycles, composts and gardens, and are wonderful neighbors to the Marovo lagoon. They work with the other islands to keep the environment sustainable, including caring for the reef and responsible timber production. On top of this, they support twice a year medical missions that help keep the locals healthy. This experience brought back a little of my faith in humanity.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Elizabeth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

Visited Uepi two years ago for the 1st time.
Found the diiving great with brilliant dive guides that take you where you want most the time.
Cabins are fine and the food amazing considering how isolated you are.
Jill and Grant where great hosts and staff very friendly.
Just back from diving Kuredu in Maldives, but to us this is our big trip planned for September and cannot wait!
Lets face it sometimes you have to pay a little more to get the best and as we are returning it has to be pretty good..
10 weeks to go....
Mark and Chris

Room Tip: You like diving - visit Uepi for its isolation
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank macfod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

The resort is great recommend cabin C4 it is off the water but gets the best sea breezes from both sides of the island. New bar area terrific. Needed more music playing at night. A real shame to have to walk thorough all the old sheds and laundry, etc on the way to the dining room. Need more trees to block this out. The price of wine, beer and mixers is quite high although they do allow you to bring your own duty free alcohol. Loved the plunger coffee and Scotch Finger biscuits in the room great to have after diving. Rooms clean and comfortable and spacious but they do vary a little. Stand alone are the best.
Diving was great the guides let us do pretty much as we wanted. Lots of sharks, few rays. Viz not brilliant at times. Babito day trip is an absolute must. 40m viz on the vertical tuna boat, Sinkhole is a real buzz with barge at the bottom at 40-55m. Extra dives are AUS$73 each! whether it is a shore or boat dive. Years ago we could grab a tank and do a shore dive for free. I thought this was very expensive. Went snorkelling with a passing pod of short-finned pilot whales a rela buzz. Only caught one fish on fishing trip.

Room Tip: C4 or other stand alone rooms are best. Waterfront nice but they do get hotter as face away form pre...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Dalidowicz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Uepi is fantastic. We highly recommend Uepi and are already planning a return trip. The diving and snorkelling was excellent. There were hammerheads, many sightings of pygmy mantas and eagle rays and heaps of sharks. We even had the unique experience of snorkelling with Dolphins - wow! The bungalows are well appointed and well maintained. We stayed in a garden bungalow but would try to stay with in a waterside bungalow next time. The garden bungalows are perfectly fine, we simply would like to be right on the water's edge. The food is excellent and they catered for my son's food allergies with ease. The nightly meals are buffet style and you eat at shared tables with the other guests. Fish and crayfish feature prominently on the menu. The owners, Jill and Grant, live at the resort and are wonderful hosts. This is one of the best run resorts we've come across in the Pacific - this is all down to Jill and Grant's excellent training of the staff. We found the other guests very friendly and we've made some good friends here. The power's on 24 hrs/day but the showers only have cold water - you quickly get used to this. The big house is great and has a new big bar area. Can't wait to go again.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Annette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

I traveled here with a group of diving friends. We had some dramas flying from Honiara to Sege as our luggage put the plane over the limit (we had only 20kgs each) so most of our stuff had to come across the next day which was an inconvenience (the airlines are a bit disorganized here). Anyway once at the resort it was lovely and we had a nice welcome drink waiting for us (it would have been good if we could have ordered more drinks like this).

Our rooms were nice although some nicer that others. One of our rooms had a better bathroom and was right on the lagoon while our other rooms were set back from the lagoon but still had good views. The whole resort was nice but the paths could have been better lit in some places. The food was amazing with so much crayfish/ lobster and crab you almost get sick of it ... almost. Also if you want alcoholic drinks bring some duty free stuff with you as the island is very remote and other than the nice local brew and a few wines there isn't much available. The staff are happy for you to put your alcohol behind the bar and you just need to buy mixers. The staff were great the whole time and the bamboo pipe band was very fun the night they played.

Onto the activities now...

Dili our dive guide was great fun, although a little vague with the dive plans. We had some truly spectacular dives with a great array of fish and some other highlights like rays, turtles, spanish dancers and sharks (more on them later). We paid a little extra to go on some dives a little further away and this was well worth it. We went to some Japanese WWII wrecks and other wrecks which were all great dives and also a small cave system which was really fun but not for the newbie diver. A night dive is also worth doing. There is plenty for the non-divers to do as well (there was 1 couple who couldn't dive and they seemed to have a great time).

So back to the sharks, you can go snorkelling with them by the welcome jetty and this is great fun. The sharks are black tip reef sharks and whalers. Some come quite close which is a little unnerving at first but just stay calm and all is well. Also some lion fish and pipe fish can be spotted at the end of the dive boat jetty and there is a good snorkel between these to jetties.

There is plenty of other stuff to do including stuff like reading on the hammocks,walking around the island, fishing trips (some people caught wahoo which was very tasty for dinner), water skiing, and there was a carvers market which has some amazing stuff and you buy direct from the makers, we had no problems bringing the wooden stuff back to Aus. Be careful not to buy the few pieces of turtle shell, whale bone of dugong tusk they sell as this stuff will not get through customs and while they say the animals aren't killed for their shells/ tusks you can't be sure.

We became friends with some of the other travelers and this resort seemed to suit most people except perhaps the type of people just wanting to get drunk and rowdy and children. We tended to go to bed early as the day starts quite early here.

We also had dramas getting home due to flight cancellations and had to stay a few more days which Jill and Grant were great at helping us with. They liaised with the airline for us and worked out how to squeeze us in for a few extra nights. I also managed to see a tiny pygmy seahorse on a dive on our extra day which was great as they had been hiding for every other dive.

I really had a great time and hope to return again.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms were on the lagoon and had nicer bathrooms than some of the other rooms, worth ask...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank MelbDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Uepi Island Resort

Address: Marovo Lagoon, Uepi, Solomon Islands
Region: Solomon Islands > Uepi
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uepi
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With an international reputation for excellence, Uepi Island Resort in the Western Province is the ultimate getaway in the Solomons. World class diving, snorkeling and sea kayaking is complemented by beachfront bungalow accommodation, friendly personalized service and meals based on fresh local produce. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Uepi Island Hotel Marovo

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