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“We had a good time BUT” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Oyster Island Resort

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Oyster Island Resort
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3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   PO Box 183, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Mooloolaba, Australia
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“We had a good time BUT”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

A nice place to stay and Greg the diveinstructor and organiser of various tours is the life and soul of the place. The bures are a bit like Eric Morecombe and you cant see the join in that the thatched roof is open to the elements. Lots of geekos spiders, cock roaches etc. No radio or tv and lights in the rooms dont lend themselves to being able to read, so as the restaurant closes by 9 at the latest, not much night life!! Make sure if you get a transfer and use Paradise Tour that you give yourself plenty of time, our driver was 30 minutes late and we almost missed our flight. Good restaurant but it would pay to get some supplies in Luganville as you are a captive audience once you get to the island.

Room Tip: Number 11 at the far end would be verybquiet and private
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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264 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Lake Tyers Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

Where do you start with such a gem like Oyster Island Resort. The beach huts were simple but beautifully constructed to incorporate some traditional design whilst taking in glorious views over the water. There are a variety of hut options to suit your budget. The island itself is just beautiful with some magic snorkeling just off the shore. Not alot of infrastructure or fancy pools or paths etc. which for me was the appeal, It all felt relatively untouched. Food at the restaurant was supurb and I felt of a very high standard whilst being reasonably priced. As for the owners and staff, what a lovely bunch of people. Always smiling, helpful and joking around yet very efficient at their job. Greg who organises the tours was extremely friendly and laidback but also very helpful giving us all the info we needed, but never once did we feel like we were being pressured into anything or to spend money. I tried to think of some improvements but all I could think of was perhaps an extra toaster to meet the toast rush in the morning. Please dont change as we intend to come back to this little piece of heaven.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OysterIsland, Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this review, July 26, 2011
We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us, we'll look forward to welcoming you back. Lukim yu bak again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Macquarie, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

My partner and I have just returned from Santo and spent 3 nights at the Oyster Island Resort. The resort is located on the sheltered side of the island and I found it quite cute and 'quirky'...from the ferry which is fashioned to look like a grass hut.... to the 'Gilligan's Island' outdoor shower (see photo) and the coral shower inside our frangipani unit.

We were greeted by the manager and by Greg, the tour guide who recommended paddling a kayak from the resort up the nearby river to the closet blue hole. We heeded Greg's advice and paddled to the blue hole which took us around 40 minutes. It was very beautiful but (as pre-warned by Greg) the mozzies were out in force, so we didn't linger too long after a quick dip into the cool azure pool.

After a nice lunch at the resort we decided to check out the island, particularly the snorkeling. The other side of the island is more exposed to the wind and to ocean currents but we eventually found a good spot at a place called the 'swimming pool'. The coral here was very impressive and there was lots of colourful sea life. I don't know who got the biggest shock when I saw a piece of 'coral' move and let out a squeal (it was actually a rather large turtle)- the turtle or me!

We returned to our room for a shower before dinner. The room (a frangipani unit) was quite small and there was no fridge, jug or coffee making facilities. As it was relatively inexpensive we didn't really mind that, but I had an issue about not being able to boil water as we had at our previous resort. The guest book pointed out that rain water was available to guests from the bar but when I requested some water the manager informed me that it was not available during the dry season and that the tap water was safe to drink. That is probably the case but I didn't want to take chances for a short stay so purchased water instead. The room was serviced daily and the rooms were pretty clean although our toilet had a bit of a slow leak.

We were looking forward to dinner as we had heard that the food was good. We found the food very reasonable and tasty (particularly the oysters) but a number of things on the menu were not available, so that was a little disappointing.

When we woke up it was quite windy which meant that snorkeling on the more exposed side of the island was not really an option. We had tried to organize a dive with Greg via the managers but he didn't have any gear and was unable to get any from the operators in Luganville so we were not able to dive near the island.

We decided instead to do a tour to the northern part of the island with a local tour operator and booked this through the resort. We somehow got the impression that this would be tacked onto our bill when we checked out, but unbeknown to us we were supposed to pay the tour guide in Vatu (as we found out half way to Champagne Beach!) Unfortunately we didn't have enough Vatu and there is no where near Oyster Island to change money that I am aware of, so I'd suggest doing that in Luganville before you get to the Island. To their credit the management at Oyster Island did sort this out for us by giving us a cash advance, but it was a little uncomfortable (and confusing) while we were on the bus.

Our tour guide took us to a couple of different blue holes which were beautiful, as well as to spectacular spots such Shark Bay, Port Olry, Lonnoc Beach (where we had a nice lunch) and Champagne Beach. We snorkeled near the jetty at Champagne Beach which was teaming with fish, but the coral we saw was mostly damaged and dead- probably due to the frequent visits by cruise ships. The beach itself is very picturesque though, with fine white sand and crystal clear water.

On our last day at Oyster Island we were hoping to do some more snorkeling but once again the wind was whipping up the water making snorkeling impossible on the more exposed side of the island. As it was low tide we put on our coral shoes (a must have!) and explored the tidal pools which housed all kinds of curious looking creatures. (see photo). I let out a squeal on a number of occasions as eels suddenly appeared out of no-where and slithered between my feet!

Overall I would describe Oyster Island as a pretty resort which is good value for money. The local staff are friendly and the meals are good but the menu needs to be updated to reflect what is actually available. The breakfast is very basic and it would be good to have cereal and a couple of extra spreads (such as vegemite) available. I did enjoy the bread (which is baked daily) and the selection of fresh fruit though. It would have also been good to have a jug and a fridge in the room (I personally would have paid a little more for those comforts). Oyster Island is a little isolated and that's a bit of an issue when the weather is not so good, so my advice is to combine a few days here with a few days somewhere closer to Luganville.

Jenny

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tweed Heads, Australia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

We spent a few days at Oyster Island in early June - Arrived after dark - were met at the airport as arranged and approx 30 minute drive to Oyster Island - My partner was not impressed when she had to take off her shoes etc to climb aboard the rubber ducky for the transfer across to the island - The normal ferry was out of action and it took 4 days to get a new ouboard fitted ( island time I guess) by which time we were checking out - Even then we had to get our feet wet but by then I suppose we has got used used to it. - Would be nice for a landing on the Santo side

The resort itself was as promised and we settled in for a few relaxing days - It was well staffed by the locals who were very friendly and helpfull - We stayed in one of the more basic waterfront bungalows which was clean and well serviced - No complaints about that - The only issue was with the hot water which was not working properly and leaking over the bench top - We raised this with the manager the first day but we were still showering in cold water 3 days later - Disappointing - We were not that impressed by the new managers as they seemed to look down on the local staff - They were new and I guess still finding their way

The food was OK - Reasonably priced but seemed mainly to be based on the cheaper cuts of meat - We had the Sunday buffet lunch but that too was quite basic - Sausages, mince, chicken wings - Drinks were reasonably priced as was the meals - My partner would have loved a piece of chicken breast but all that was served up was wings even on the nightly menu - Would have been nice to have experienced some local cuisine as we had done on Tanna - Breakfast was too basic - just juice, tea, coffee,bread (toast) , butter, jam, peanut butter and fruit - I would have died for some cereal and marmalade or vegemite

We did a couple of tours and saw much of what there is to see on Santo - Were hoping for more of a WW2 experience but that was 66 years ago and what has not been raided or souveniered has rusted away - The snorkling and the blue hole are great though not as good as Tanna - Million dollar point looks like the rubbish dump that it is - We did not go kayaking but should have (not confident enough) - There is a very interesting catholic church on the hill on the southern side of Luganville - Get your tour guide to stop there

In summary Oyster Island Resort is a very relaxing 3 star resort - Good value for the money but get out of the place and experience Santo - Pity it is so far out of town as we never got to walk the streets of Luganville and the only way out of the resort seemed to be on a tour

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chiba, Japan
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

I stayed with my small family at this beautiful little resort for a week. Our beautiful bungalow was tastefully decorated and was spotlessly clean. The staffs were friendly and were ready to go out of their way to help us. We were greatly impressed by their dedicated service. The restaurant out here is good. It serves some very tasty food. Particularly, the lobster is tasty. There are a lot of activities to entertain you at this resort. You can go kayaking, snorkeling, touring around, etc. One will never regret staying at the Oyster Island resort. It offers good value for your money.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

Oyster Island is one of those locations that takes your breath away. The short boat trip over puts a smile on your face, as does the staff greeting upon your arrival. All of the bungalows are lovely including the least expensive Frangipani bungalows.

Greg, the scuba instructor, is the friendliest of the western staff. He always has a smile on his face (although you do get the sense that he is trying to "sell" you something most of the time). The new managers seem nice enough but are a bit elitist and aren't consistently friendly. They can be quite condescending to their hard working underpaid Vanuatu staff which is not nice to witness.

The snorkeling is adequate but we would definitely recommend taking a kayak to the Blue Holes which is magnificent. The kayak rental is very overpriced but the snorkel gear is free which was appreciated.

The food is delicious but insanely overpriced. Due to the isolation of the island, there are no other food alternatives so be prepared to spend an insane amount of money.

Overall, this is the best place that we experienced in Espiritu Santo and would definitely for back for a longer stay.

Room Tip: All rooms are great but the Frangipani are the most basic. All rooms have a great view of the water.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OysterIsland, Manager at Oyster Island Resort, responded to this review, July 13, 2011
Thank you for staying with us at Oyster Island and we are very happy that you want to come back for a longer stay. It is a beautiful island with beautiful people.
We are disappointed that you feel our meals are over priced but comparable to prices throughout Vanuatu we feel our prices are very reasonable. Fillet steak is approx. AUD$23 and pasta dishes are AUD$14 to mention just a few.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our little piece of paradise.
Lukim yu back again. The Staff and Management Oyster Island.
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

We stayed for a week and enjoyed every minute, from the easy pick up at the airport, the welcome drink to the warm farewell. In-between the staff was accommodating, the view from the rooms spectacular, and the atmosphere so relaxing... Highly recommended!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oyster Island Resort

Address: PO Box 183, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo > Luganville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Luganville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Oyster Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a private 25 hectare island just 2 minutes crossing from the mainland. Oyster Island Resort resides within a Marine Reserve, abundant in marine and wild life. Sandy beaches, tropical rainforest, coral reefs and war plane wrecks make for fantastic snorkelling. Bungalows line the waters edge, each with private decks or patio's, enjoying stunning views out over the calm lagoon waters. Family Vila allow room for parents and children to enjoy the large grounds and gardens and are set off the water for safety. Skilled Chefs serve the very best of local and western cuisine from our waterfront restaurant. Only 20 minutes from the airport and township. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Oyster Island Hotel Luganville
Oyster Island Resort Vanuatu/Luganville

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