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“Luxurious its not, but....”
Review of Uepi Island Resort

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Uepi Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uepi
Certificate of Excellence
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Luxurious its not, but....”
Reviewed 24 April 2013

Luxurious its not, but it is a unique experience. The fishing has been minimised in the area which is very obvious from the abundant marine life around the island. Simply standing on my bungalow's veranda I watched so much life take place in the water. The owners have done an outstanding job to retain the environment and work in with nature to provide a getaway for a small number of people to enjoy at a time. The bungalows are simplistic but nice, food is excellent. The diving was very very good and you are not set on time limits like most dive operations, its up to the customer, not the dive master wanting to hurry the dive along. Staff were fantastic. I had reservations at first because I thought it was over priced, but after the experience and seeing the local community benefiting, I would highly recommend. Thanks again Jill/Grant and staff at Uepi.

Room Tip: Get a beachfront bungalow if you can. Its worth the extra.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Oz70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2013

We stayed in a beachfront bungalow at Uepi early March 2013. Having been there before a number of years ago I had high expectations and was not disappointed. Our transfer from Seghe airstrip to Uepi Island was quick and efficient - 25 minutes. We were greeted at the welcome jetty by Jill (owner) and provided with a welcome drink and briefing. As Jill says herself Uepi is a resort that does not have stars awarded to it but sits in a 5 star location. The rooms are basic however they are very roomy, clean and comfortable. Tea and coffee is provided in the room as are bathroom and beach towels. The water in the room is clean and drinkable. We did not have any issues with the water whatsoever. The bed was extremely comfortable. There is a ceiling fan and a pedestal fan in the room. The absence of air conditioning was not an issue despite the humidity.

Breakfast consisted of a choice of 2 cereals, fresh fruit a rotating cooked breakfast and tea & coffee. Lunch consisted of either pizza, meat & fish pies, burritos (and something else which I cannot recall!) accompanied by fresh fruit and cake. It is brought to your bungalow. Dinner consisted of various dishes which were primarily seafood based which is no great surprise considering where you are. We had no complaints about any of the food which was delicious and plentiful. The resort provides a free laundry service.

We had 26 dives between us whilst at Uepi and it's hard to pick which dive was the highlight. We saw Devil Rays, Hammerhead Sharks, Black Tipped Reef Sharks, White Tipped Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays, Turtles to name a few. The hard and soft rock corals are stunning as is the diverse range of reef fish. The local DM's know the reefs intimately and provide good pre-dive briefs. We used our own equipment so we cannot comment of the standard of the hire equipment but from what I saw in the dive shop it appears to be excellent.

We had no complaints whatsoever about Uepi but please remember that the island is extremely remote and difficult to service. I sometimes read negative reviews on Trip Advisor which clearly show that the author did not do their homework before booking the holiday. If you expect Bulgari products in the bathroom you will be sorely disappointed however you will LOVE Uepi and will not want to leave - trust me!!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank TetleyJeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2013

We have recently returned from our 14th trip to this magnificent spot. We are casual divers with two kids - we have been taking them to Uepi since they were 3 months old.

Uepi and its surrounds are the definition of true luxury to us - magnificent, pristine wilderness remote enough to be off the tourist beat. The accomodation is basic but very clean and comfortable with beautiful rainforest and/or lagoon outlooks. Great facilities for divers and the main house and bar where breakfast and dinner are served have a fantastic location and outlook at the tip of the island. Food is wonderful, home cooked style and plentiful. Emphasis on fresh seafood (hard to tire of coral trout, crayfish, mudcrab, freshest ever sashimi!) but a pretty good variety considering how remote this place is. The Kellys make sure you are well looked after, and the service (local villagers are staffers) has laid back local charm. If you are a high maintenance type into the textbook luxury of glam resorts then this isn't for you. Happily, Uepi attracts a varied range of international guests who are typically interesting, engaged types who 'get it' and that adds to the attraction of this destination.

The wildlife above and below the water is amazing and the more we visit, the more we see and appreciate in this special place. In one snorkel at Uepi Point my little one managed to see some giant trevally, a huge barracuda school, maori wrasse and a herd of bumphead parrotfish, eagle rays, the ever-present sharks, a very confident octopus, not to mention the fields of beautiful and varied corals and of course nemo. We sometimes do nothing for days on end just sitting in the lagoon under the shady trees playing with the kids and feeding the fish. The diving is wonderful, lots of big stuff but experienced divers always rave about the diversity of little stuff also. Our favourite dives are right off the island but there are unspoiled wrecks and other interesting stuff a boat rodeo away.

The owners are heavily involved in the local community, providing jobs, and extensive scholarships and medical programs to the lagoons population. They are passionate about Uepi and its reefs and are very experienced and knowledgeable divers, with some great stories.

The simplicity of this wonderful place is perfectly appropriate to the location, and provides the ultimate venue for relaxing and forgetting the world...

Room Tip: Garden bungalows get cross breezes and are just 50m from the water. Waterfront bungalows more expose...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dingbat15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2012

We have stayed at several pacific dive resorts in recent years and Uepi would be the most impressive location. Breakfast and dinner were served in the dining room/lounge building, a short walk from the bungalows. Lunch is prepared and delivered to the bungalows to enjoy at your leisure. The meals were excellent albeit a little heavy on the seafood. But we expected that when surrounded by water and fish. Local vegetables/salad/food predominated so we did crave tomatoes, beetroot, cheese, apples, oranges after a while. For predominantly western guests I think some of these home foods could be provided even if of the tinned variety.

The accommodation was very good and whilst not 5 star, was very comfortable given the location. Ceiling fans and a floor fan provided adequate air flow for the hot, humid nights. Comfortable, huge beds for sleep. Tables, chairs, lounges, hammocks provided ample facilities to relax inside and on the bungalow decking. Mosquitoes were not a problem during our November stay, but the bungalows are well screened anyhow. Our bungalow had all the facilities and supplies needed for comfortable holidaying - electric lights, kitchen, toilet, shower, wash basin, and associated dishwash/body wash/shampoo/conditioner. Electric jug and teabags, plunger coffee, sugar and milk satisfied our need for regular beverages. A small fridge to hold cold water/drinks. Plenty of power points for charging batteries.

But then there was the diving. In the tropics, like most places you take your chances with the environment when diving. We were lucky and had about 50% bright sunny days and the rest was rain and dull light. Dull days are not good for soaking up the colorful coral reefs. And when many of the dives are walls at 20-30 meters the viewing is almost like a night dive. But you take the good with the bad and make the best of if. We were luckier than most other guests in that the day we chose to snorkel at the manta ray cleaning station they actually turned up. Plenty of small and schooling fish and reasonable number of reef sharks during our time at Uepi. Visibility was generally poor while we were there but it was coral spawning season. But 15-20m viz is OK, especially if the sun is out. The dive operation and facilities were good, as were the boat and dive staff. Impressive gear storage stations of local wood structure for guests. The only complaint I would make, but didn't, is that the gear rinsing water should be changed daily. It wasn't and got quite dirty after a while. Jill and Grant, our hosts were great and dedicated to their cause and lifestyle. They were hands-on hosts and looked after their guests well. We were first timers at Uepi, but many of the other guests we met were regulars. This is an indication of the quality of this dive resort.

Room Tip: Bungalow/Cabin 1 is fully wood paneled and stand alone. It is probably the best of them.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Francis J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tasmania
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2012

We don't usually go back to a place but returned to Uepi as our daughter is living in Honiara at the moment.
Uepi is a great diving destination, well organized and lots to see. The food is excellent, as much crayfish and mud crab as you can eat. Grant and Jill are great hosts.
The cabins are rather like Aussie caravan park cabins, rather tired and dated but that is the only
downside, the beds were comfortable though.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KingstonTasmania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2012 via mobile

We first visited Uepi two years ago and fell in love with the place. This time we visited with a dive group from Byron Bay (Sun Dive) and had an even better time.
Jill, Grant, Josh and all of the staff really went out of their way to make us feel at home. The food was fantastic - Jill, you really need to produce an Uepi Cook book, it would sell like hot cakes. The chickens and eggs are free range and so fresh, the fish and seafood is all freshly caught. We had sashimi several times as an extra course and Oysters from their own Oyster beds a couple of times.
My husband is a diver and I am not, he loved all of his dives - even squeezing in an extra on the Saturday morning. He was lucky to do the Manta snorkelling trip on the Sunday when there were 3-4 Mantas around, one of which was feeling playful and seemed to really engage with him. As a non diver, I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and spending time in the water watching all of the fish or on the Welcome Jetty watching the sharks. It was also great to hear all of the diving stories each evening at dinner.
One of the great things about this resort is that the owners really care about the area and are trying to make a difference - encouraging sustainable fishing and supporting education and health services in the Morovo Lagoon. So as a tourist you can feel like you are making a difference at the same time as having a fun and relaxing holiday.
Last time we stayed lagoon front, this time we stayed in a garden bungalow and both were great. The garden bungalow did have more afternoon shade and better breezes but it's hard to beat direct water access.
So, to everyone at Uepi, thank you for a memorable holiday and hopefully we'll be back soon.

Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LorryBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new zealand
Level Contributor
128 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2012

They say you always the first time and so visiting Uepi again two years later was always going to be a comparison.
We were not disappointed, we what we thought was even better diving than previous with what appears more fish life and bigger sharks.
Grant was very good at allowing us to get at least three dives a day in and if your British divers that just have to get amongst the coral and walls you can understand that thats our main reason to go there was to dive.
We managed to find over thirty different species of nudibranch over our seven days.
Dive guide again were great and its good to see some young blood.
Food was great and the new bar area our mainstay when not diving.
OK the chalets are getting a little tired now, but you are in the middle of nowhere and thats the big plus for Uepi.
Its a private resort and obviously very protective about the reef and coral which is brilliant.
We just sometimes felt though that we are intruding a little on Jill's little patch of paradise and paying guests privileged to dive there.
Hey, us Brits are expected to have our views on something..and its not a moan but an observation from previous paying guests.
Uepi is not for the cheapskate, but if you love diving in small groups or often on your own with only a guide then visit.
Mark and Chris now living in New zealand

Room Tip: Stay near the beach
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank macfod
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

Property: 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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