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“A beautiful experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tara Beach Bungalows Resort

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Tara Beach Bungalows Resort
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Devil's Point Road | Bukura, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Port Vila B&B and Inns
Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A beautiful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We stayed for seven days and enjoyed the hospitality and welcoming we received from Erik, Thomas, Christine and Lulu.
Would highly recommend this as a private and relaxing place to stay. The owners are like family to us and we miss them all!! Feeding the fish off the wharf was definitely a highlight.
A great dive spot and excellent company.

Hoping to return shortly!!
:)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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120 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    66
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

I love the reviews by Annette R, Debbie W and Thomas E. They say everything that I've said before about this magic, locally owned resort. My wife (Narelle) and I returned yet again for our first wedding anniversary. The resort Manager, Eric, kept his promise and on the evening of our anniversary, the intimate (just us two) overwater dining room was prepared with a heart made of sand surrounding our table and adorned with candles and frangipanis. Palm branches were attached to the walls. Soft music. Coconut crab. Mind blowing. If you want to dine like this, book ahead. Eric is a bit of a magic man, but in fairness to him and his staff, give them a bit of warning if you want to celebrate something special in this way. We go to Tara Beach Resort because it's isolated, great diving, lovely staff. A cupboard door may fall off here and there and bugs live everywhere, so get over it you 5 star people. Having said that, I got dragged down to a massive dinner a concert one evening. Cost $10 a head for the lot. I prefer candle light (in the blackouts) and the soft ocean roar in the background, but in this tiny, amazing restaurant, there was more sound equipment piled up than a Phil Collins concert. After dinner, the most amazing, world class female singer I have ever heard, entertained just a hand full of people for two hours. Vanessa Quai. (google her) The Diva of the South Pacific! Huge band. Brother, Sister, Mother, Father...all in there with vocal backups and technical support together with the New Breedz Band. Turns out that Sala (the Resort owner) is her uncle! Tara Beach Rersort just keeps surprising us in so many ways. I left the door open one night and a huge crab got in and crawled over my head. There was a bit of a fight and some screaming from Narelle. I managed to get it outside eventually. My fault. Tip? Keep the doors closed at night and leave the windows open just a tad.

Room Tip: We always have bunglaow 1 allocated for us. We love it. It has geckos. I have no idea what the ot...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich QLD
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We chose Tara Beach because it managed by a local family, and found all the staff are wonderfully ,friendly and very helpful , where nothing is a problem
The location is a bit out of town but that is what we wanted where you can kick back & relax
Bungalow are lovely & comfortable .All meals at the restuarant were basic but very enjoyable .A handy hint is to make sure you take your beach shoes for walking on the coral beaches & a torch for walking back to your bungalow at night . Fanatastic snorkeling along the front of the resort & a short kayak paddle to the sandy island where we went each day to snorkel & fish feeding from the deck.
A big thanks to all the staff of Tara Beach , it was hard to leave to come to Aus, but we hope to return again to enjoy your island hospitailty again

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We have just returned from 6 nights at Tara Beach. I had read all the reviews, but it still exceeded my expectations. The bungalows are lovely, and great value for money. We chose it as it is run by locals. Elsewhere on the island we'd only have got a hotel room, maybe with a balcony. It is out of town, but that is part of the charm, especially for city dwellers. We hired a car and drove all round the island - a great experience - but it was always lovely to return to our temporary home. It was too rough to snorkel most days we were there, but that's life. The awesome sunrises make up for that. Breakfasts are great, and the airport is fairly close. If, like us, you choose to stay where you'd most prefer to wake up, this is the place. Thanks to everyone.

Room Tip: We stayed in Bungalow 2, which was great. All should be fine though.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coromandel, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We had a great time at Tara Beach. It is locally owned and operated and the family operating the resort was very friendly and generous with their free transfers to and from town or to local attractions.
Tara Beach facilities are nice and tidy. The restaurant is offering basic meals at very reasonable prices and nice breakfast with eggs, toast, fresh fruit platter and coffee and tee is included.
The resort offers free use of sit on kayaks to explore the local beach and tow reefs with a small sand island about 200m off shore.
The snorkeling is good and better than it most places close to shore with lots of fish coming to a fish feeding platform with ladder that also offers save entry and exit into the water at all tides.
Snorkel enthusiast can use the kayaks to explore the two reefs just off shore under most conditions and will find excellent corrals and fish there too. We even had a pod of Dolphins cruise past us!

The beach is mostly corral reef and best suited for people who like to snorkel. Bring reef walker shoes or wear fins to enter and exit the water. Its not ideal for swimming with very small children but for experienced swimmers and snorkelers it is great!

The ride to town is abut 20 minutes and Hideway Island is reached in just 5 minutes by car from the resort with a nice and very reasonable beach bar at the cost side which offers great fire dancing shows and outdoor cinema.

Tara Beach has a Wifi connection and you can purchase credit to use it at a reasonable rate from TelsatBroadband. It operates at a modest speed of 256Kbps but you are in Vanuatu and it works well enough indeed for holiday use.

I would return to Tara Beach any time with our family. We checked many of the other and much more expensive resorts out and in the end Tara wins out with its local charm, friendly hosts and a truly relaxed atmosphere at very reasonable cost.

Room Tip: All rooms equal and shore front.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

Our first trip to Vanuatu, and definitely not the last.
Tara Beach is very well managed by a local family, who are wonderfully friendly and helpful- especially Eric. The location was really nice, make sure you take your beach shoes for walking on the coral beaches. Great breakfasts and meals if you choose to eat in, there is always a quick shuttle ride available as an option if you want to eat out.
Tara is peaceful and super close to the ocean. A quick kayak out to the sand bar/reef for great snorkelling or take a quick drive around to Hideaway. We felt very well looked after and will be back!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Brisbane
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Everything started well as I was met by a representative of Tara Beach at the airport. After a brief stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies (i.e. especially bottled water) we headed to the Resort. There are ten bungalows, but only nine are currently for visitors, as one was purchased for permanent use by a local, and it is easy to see why. Situated along a rocky portion of a bay, the location is absolutely gorgeous, made even nicer by the constant sea breezes.

The bungalow was huge! Because it was my birthday, the bed was not only decorated with Frangipanis, but also tinsel and a Happy Birthday sign - a nice touch. There was also a welcome drink on arrival. The tiled floor was clean and there were two bedroom areas. One was a separate room and the other attached to the main room. I found the bed to be comfortable and sleeping to the sound of the surf outside is divine. Ceiling fans in the rooms helped to circulate the air. There is a TV, but there appeared to be no reception, so you'll need to rely on the free DVDs on offer. Coffee making facilities are provided, and a bar fridge can be used to keep drinks cold. The bathroom was good, but the toilet was a bit odd, didn't seem to flush that well (I was in Bungalow 3 and a reviewer wrote something similar about this same toilet below). I had constant hot water during my time there, but I was aware of another visitor who did not. At one stage I lost power and one of the doors to the spacious balcony had difficulties in opening, but these are minor inconveniences.

Remember that this is a small, locally run business - it does not have all the benefits of a large resort with many restaurants, swimming pool or spa. If that is something you are after, then maybe it is better to stay elsewhere. However, what they do provide here is excellent value for money. Many items are free upon arrival such as free drop-off and pick-up in Port Vila (though they did forget my pick-up time and I needed to make a call). We were given a free trip to the Tanna Coffee factory and to the local village as well. Also free was use of the snorkelling gear, kayaks and food to feed the many and large fish that loiter by the covered jetty. There was a library of books one can read, and this is a perfect place to sit on your balcony for hours with a good book.

If you want to partake in the water activities such as snorkelling or kayaking to the coral island a few hundred metres off shore, do so in the morning before breakfast. By about 0800, the wind had increased significantly, and both activities would be less pleasant after that time.

Breakfast in the restaurant was fine and it kept me going for most of the day. I ate dinner twice, and was a fan of the fish and chips, but not so of the chicken curry. Perhaps there could be more choices on the rather limited menu. Meals can be delivered to your bungalow if you wish. Service was very good all round with lots of attentiveness and smiles - all very ably lead to Erik. Nothing seemed too much of a problem when asked.

Due to my late afternoon departing flight, I was allowed to stay in the room until that time, which was very welcome. I was genuinely sad to leave this beautiful and intimate resort - two nights was not enough. Not everything was perfect, but this intimate resort in glorious surrounds is a place where one could truly unwind from the usual busy pace of life. I am eager to return to Vanuatu, and will certainly stay here again during my next visit.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tara Beach Bungalows Resort

Address: Devil's Point Road | Bukura, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Tara Beach Bungalows Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tara Beach is absolute beach front situated on 12 lush acres fronting picturesque Mele Bay, Efate, Vanuatu. With crystal clear, safe waters at your doorstep, we are the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking, swimming and getting away from it all for a while. We also have a chilled out open air bar / cafe known as the Beach Hut that is also open to day visitors and locals. Located about 15 mins from town & 10 mins to the airport, we provide free airport transfers for guests. All bungalows have tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge, with ocean views a few metres from your door included as standard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tara Beach Bungalows Hotel Port Vila
Tara Beach Hotel
Tara Beach Port Vila
Tara Beach Bungalows Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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