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“Great place”
Review of Zipolo Habu Resort

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Zipolo Habu Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lola Island
Reviewed 24 May 2013

We recenty spent 3 nights at Zipolo Habu Resort with Joe and his family and staff. Everyone went out of their way to make our stay very enjoyable. The accommodation was clean and comfortable and the food was fresh and tasty. Having extended family living on the property gave the whole resort a friendly, family feel. Paul was an excellent fishing guide and good company too.

Room Tip: If your budget runs to it get one of the waterfront bungalows. You won't want to leave the deck...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Katherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 3 October 2012

We did like Zipolo Habu Resort very much but unfortunately the owners really have let the place down with their attitude.
Most of the time they where drunk and we felt quite often as we were a burden and not wanted!
The staff were friendly enough but we felt they were alittle nervous to be too friendly! The barman was fairly new and was quite often talked down to if he didn't get something quite right or was abit slow! Not sure if he is still there!
Our bungalo was serviced everyday with fresh linen.The food was average and very expensive for what it was! Not sure where the new cook was hiding as Lisa seemed to do most of the cooking. We had a self contained bungalo which I really do recommed. We got most dried foods from Honiara and fresh veges etc from Munda which is about a 30 minute boat ride.
Full tide was very beautiful for swimming and snorkling and the marine life is pretty good. Low tide can be abit muddy and boggy.
We would go back as there is so much to see and do in this part of the Western Province.
Skull Island is a must!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank BEACHBUMS6770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2012

This is a lovely place to relax or fish or they can arrange diving with dive munda . Joe and his wife and daughter are excerlent hosts , bungalows are other set on a little beach or set in middle of the island with coconut trees . We had 4 days here and we dived with dive munda very good service. Joe aslo did a transfer for us to Munder airport good service.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank greatwhiteswindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We were unlucky enough to have terrible weather but it did NOT matter - we had a thoroughly enjoyable stay. From the moment we were welcomed at Munda by Phyllis and the crew to the time we were accompanied by Ben back to the airport, we felt welcome.

Our semi deluxe unit was more than we had expected - fresh drinking water and electricity are valuable commodities in the Solomons, especially on a 100 acre island 30 mins boat ride from the nearest 'town'. We had plenty of both.

We self catered breakfast and lunch, and ate delicious, inexpensive meals at the restaurant each night - the sea food was fresh that day, and we got to meet the fishermen who provided it.

The company of Joe, Uma and co at the bar was great and we found all the staff on the island friendly and helpful.

If you like to be waited on hand and foot, then perhaps stay at one of the big hotels in Honiara, (or Sydney, for that matter!). If you want a fantastic relaxing get-away on a beautiful tropical island, you'll find it at Zipolo Habu.

Suggestions for travellers:
Self catering breakfast and lunch is a good idea - shop at Honiara before you fly to Munda.
The Lagoon boat tour was fantastic and well worth the effort. (we even saw a big croc!)

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sue G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

The location is beautiful and our room was lovely, however the service was terrible and we were made to feel like our presence was an inconvenience. The food was tasty but expensive and took between 1 and a half and 2 hours even when we were the only guest and had pre-ordered dinner earlier in the day. We also had trouble with no staff being around and the kitchen closed during lunch and not being able to order any food. We also had problems with fire ants in our rooms and in our beds, and if you have been stung by one of those you will know it not very pleasant. We spoke to the manager about the ants and he did nothing about it. In addition, we stayed 4 nights and only once was our room made up. Overall, the location and facilities are great however we were made to feel very unwelcome and we probably would have felt earlier if we hadn't prepaid for the accommodation.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank my_travelling_family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben_Kilsby, Manager at Zipolo Habu Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2012

Thank you for your feedback. My name is Ben and both myself and my wife Uma have recently been employed by Joe and Lisa to improve on the very issues that you’ve identified. Yes, Lola Island is a stunning location, but as a team we are also very aware that our service to customers is what makes a visit memorable for all the right reasons. We’re putting a number of new approaches in place to make sure this is central to everything we do.

We appreciate your feedback about our meal service. We’re currently reviewing our prices and engaging a new chef to ensure we maintain a high and consistent standard of service for our guests.

We reflect your concerns about fire ants and are sorry to hear that they impacted on your visit. Unfortunately they are a challenge throughout the Solomons (and from what I understand, much of the Pacific) but we are largely able to minimise their impact on guests. Although there may have been little that we could do during your stay, your bungalow was routinely treated after your visit and we’re confident that we’ve managed the problem to the best of our ability.

We’re confident that future guests will already benefit from our actions in response to your feedback, and we thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention.

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Reviewed 27 January 2012

From reading the other reviews, it really does sound like AJ was the backbone of this operation.... When we were there over Christmas, there seemed to be only Joe and Lisa around - nice enough people, but it seemed they would have been happier without any guests. The other family who were there when we arrived, said they felt extremely unwelcome.
CONS: The cook had left a month prevously - and even though Lisa is a good cook, her heart isn't in it. I could never find anyone at breakfast time, lunch was 'do you want fish, chicken, beef or sandwiches?' The food was expensive too (although the buffet for Christmas was excellent! BUT, they charged 100 for our 4yr old (who didn't eat even one mouthful) and on another occasion, charged us 30 to cook a sml fish we'd caught.
FACILITIES: even though there was one other family at the resort, we were only offered a very basic bungalow as others were coming 'in a few days' - we did manage to organise a nicer bungalow for two nights though. Canoes/Kayaks - great, but they keep the paddles locked up, and you can't find anyone between mealtimes to unlock the shed and get them out for you (or to sell you a drink). THINGS TO DO: day 3 Joe gave us a sheet showing us what was on offer. FISHING - I asked in an email if fishing equipment was provided and was told yes - only to be asked if we brought landlines with us - we found a couple of bottles with a bit of line/hooks on them on the jetty and used these. BEER - pretty warm (except for the day one of Joe's mates was coming over, when he put some on ice) TRACK ACROSS THE ISLAND - barely there, Lisa mentoined they hadn't bothered to clear it for 2yrs.....
BUT its not all negative - the PROS - the island is beautiful, a trip to another island for snorkelling Christmas day was great and the seafront bungalows are lovely (not fancy, but nice - with ensuite and fans/lights that work all night). If you want to go here for a holiday - bring your own supplies and self-cater. If you don't require any service at all, and want to be self-sufficient, this is the holiday for you. Relaxing and laid-back. Unfortunately, we needed a little bit of service - not to be waited on, but to be able to get a drink, paddles for canoes, meals and information. Disappointing - sorry Joe and Lisa, but there needs to be some effort put into this resort, and if you guys really aren't interested, you need to get some staff back....I still thnk the type of people you have working at a resort can make or break a place - there is usually always one great character that makes a holiday memorable (and its often the barman!)

Room Tip: Go for the Deluxe seafront bungalows
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Dee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben_Kilsby, Manager at Zipolo Habu Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2012

Hi Dee H.

Thank you for your feedback, you’ve provided a well rounded review and we appreciate your honesty.

My name is Ben and both myself and my wife Uma have recently been employed by Joe and Lisa to improve on the very issues that you’ve identified. We know this is a brilliant place in a beautiful setting, but as a team, we are also incredibly aware of the importance of customer service.

We’re in the process of engaging a new chef and reigniting a focus on the things that can really help to make a guest’s stay memorable for all the right reasons. We’re reviewing food prices, particularly for children and appreciate that we need to find the right balance.

Absolutely, staff should be at hand to provide information, access to recreational equipment and food and beverages as required. We’re introducing new ways to make sure this isn’t a problem in the future.

The bush track has been re-cleared, complete with new signage.

Like many of our guests have identified, AJ was a great barman. Unfortunately we had to let him go towards the end of last year due to misconduct. This said, we’ll do our very best to ensure your beers are once again the coldest in the West and served with an attentive smile.

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Reviewed 18 August 2011

PRO's - My partner and I visited this island for relaxation and fishing. We had a waterfront bungalow which was charming and adequate without being over the top and too flashy. Fairly basic facilities, but what a location and view!! - just what we wanted, very laid back, casual and private. The staff were very friendly and tried hard to please, the head barman AJ was a pleasure to meet and was certainly the backbone of the operation whilst the owner Joe was overseas. (you can take your duty free to the bar which is great!!) Nothing was too much trouble for AJ and he kept the place humming whilst doing his job also - he was the man to go to to get things done and organised. It was also fairly intimate with only about 6 or 8 cabins so they place felt like it was all yours. You have to leave western expectations at home here and just go with the flow. They will respond to this with a smile and genuine friendship. The food was wholesome and fresh.

CON's - The menu was limited, they tried to mix it up and we had a BBQ buffet one night which was appreciated by the guests. Foam mattress on the double bed was a bit uncomfortable and they changed the sheets and towels only once in our 3 night stay.

The cost of Fishing tours was OVER THE TOP. I can't blame the guide who was pretty good, new his stuff and was only getting paid about $20 per day but the resort was charging me on average including fuel about $450 - $550 per day and I supplied all the gear!! I know fuel is expensive here ($2/L) but there was a lot of travelling time to get to decent fishing grounds and that made it very expensive considering this is pretty 3rd world facilities ie boat very small and unequipped etc. I would expect to pay that for a top flight charter boat but this was certainly not that!! One other thing that really annoyed me was that one day after catching a good feed of fish and supplying the restaurant and all the other guests (at a personal cost of $550) my partner and I got charged for our meal that night!!!! not real happy. Beware - cost of activities will certainly hike up the bill

All in all, great place to stay and relax, AJ was the best barman in our whole holiday in the Solomons and really made our stay a pleasure with his genuine manner and great sense of humour. It's not 5 star, but we didn't want that

PS Feeding the sharks near the jetty was fun and fascinating to me, but particularly terrifying to the girlfriend, HA HA - had a good laugh over that one, especially after she was swimming there hours before!! They're like pet dogs and swim right up into the shallows!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank maacs09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zipolo Habu Resort

Address: Lola Island, Lola Island, Solomon Islands
Region: Solomon Islands > Lola Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lola Island
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zipolo Habu Resort is located on Lola Island in the beautiful Vona Vona Lagoon and are accessible by a 20 minute scenic boat ride from Munda Airport. We are proud to be one of the leading and most respected family run resorts in the Solomon Islands. We offer a range of accommodation from our Traditional Bungalows, built to reflect an authentic island living experience, through to our Semi-Deluxe and Deluxe Bungalow range, each with progressing levels of attention to detail. All of our bungalows have basic kitchenettes to allow for the preparation of meals, tea and coffee making facilities and fresh drinking water.All bungalows are fitted with 240 volt power from 11am-11pm and our Semi-Deluxe and Deluxe range have back up power which allows for the use of fans and lighting 24 hours a day.Our two Deluxe Bungalows both have ensuite bathrooms, whilst our Traditional and Semi-Deluxe utilise shared facilities conveniently located behind the bungalows amongst flowering orchids and frangipani.Not only are we known as the Solomon Islands premier fishing resort due to our numerous custom fishing boats and onsite tackle shop, we also offer supurb diving (PADI) and surfing (albeit seasonal). We have a wide variety of local day-trips on offer to ensure guests get the opportunity to explore all that the region has to offer. We can tailor experiences to suit your interests - be it visiting local villages or spending the day relaxing on the beach on your own uninhabited island. We also provide picnic baskets and can even organise a bottle of wine - it's up to you. From the resort we offer bushwalking, beach volleyball, snorkeling, jetty fishing and kyaking. For the less adventurous we have karaoke and satellite TV as well as plenty of hammocks to lounge in. At the end of the day, enjoy a cold drink from our fully lisenced bar and a sumptuous meal from our resturant where we speciallise in fresh locally caught seafood. We can arrange transfers to and from other accommodation in the area at competitive prices. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zipolo Habu Hotel Lola Island

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