We stayed five nights at Aquana Resort and I really cannot recommend it highly enough, especially for families with young children. I don’t normally fill in surveys or reviews but I felt that it was really important to write this review because in the past I have relied upon the excellent advice of others on Trip Advisor in finding the right holiday for my family and I want to pay it forward to others considering travelling to Vanuatu. We actually stayed at two resorts to break it up a bit over our two week stay and they were both absolutely wonderful in their own right. This review is focused on Aquana Resort and I have done a separate review for Paradise Cove Resort also. I would definitely recommend doing your research before you decide what type of resort suits you, depending on whether you are a solo traveller, couple or family.
The minute that we arrived at Aquana Resort, we felt like we were instantly made welcome by Fabienne and her highly professional staff. Before we knew it, our three year old daughter Amelia was whisked away to the play area by lovely nannies, who made her feel comfortable and settled in straight away. The resort has a number of dedicated staff that are there to specifically look after the children and these particular staff (whom truly are angels!) are what made our holiday not just good but great! At home we don’t have family living close by, so we have never had a babysitter for our daughter. Staying at Aquana enabled my partner and I to reconnect as a couple, which in the hustle and bustle of daily life at home is sometimes difficult. Amelia was able to choose whether to spend time with us or with the carers and other children but she simply had so much fun that she chose to spend a lot of the time away from her parents…we were too boring! The facilities and activities for children is great, especially for the 1-5 age group. Kids can do arts and crafts, play in the toy corner or playground, feed the fish in the lagoon, skip rope or play in the pool to mention just a few activities. The children were free to roam the grounds and were always closely followed by a nanny to make sure that they were safe particularly around water. It was like my daughter had a personal body guard following her around at all times! The bungalows themselves are perfect and comfortable too, furnished to a very modern and contemporary style. The owners have done a magnificent job with the place and it is still evolving. All of the food is also delicious and the resort has a very comprehensive menu. Will at the cafe area also makes excellent coffee, thank you Will! If you want to try something different for lunch or dinner, you can either paddle a canoe to Eratap Resort around the corner (takes about 15 minutes on high tide) or catch a bus. Be aware that Eratap is a child free resort most times of the year though, so littlies will have to stay behind at Aquana Resort. For peace of mind, we arranged to have a personal nanny assigned to our daughter for a very small fee for a few hours. We paddled to Eratap which opens up to the ocean and spent an hour doing some excellent snorkelling before having a bit of a 'fancy' lunch on the water front and it was just lovely. In summary Aquana Resort has cornered a very good niche market in the way that they cater so well for kids and adults alike. It is in fact so well set up that we are considering getting married there in the not too distant future! Thank you so much to Fabienne, Marc and all your lovely staff, your service is fantastic! We will be back again… definitely and hopefully soon!
*Some general notes and advice regardless of where you stay in Vanuatu: Bring reef shoes (although several resorts will have these on lend including mask, snorkel and flippers), insect repellent (we went in July/August but there are always things that will bite you), also bring immodium or similar. We stayed at a couple of resorts and found the tap water in most places okay but we still managed to get travellers’ diahorrea most likely from a day trip that we did with the Cooloongoola sailing/snorkelling trip. The trip itself was excellent but the food that was transported onto the ship sweated away under cling wrap for a few hours and I am fairly certain that is where we got it from. Also check where the water in ice cubes has been sourced for happy hour drinks…! Proper hygiene is essential, so take some hand sanitiser with you and apply liberally when out and about. Vanuatu is a third world country and if like me, you don’t have an iron gut, there is a moderate risk that you could contract a bit of a tummy bug depending on which time of year you travel, although it is nothing like Bali Belly…Common sense applies. We regularly take probiotic tablets and they are great for gut flora and tend to shorten any sort of illness that you might get.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened in 2012, Aquana Beach Resort has become Vanuatu's leading three and a half star family friendly boutique Resort and this has largely been due to the unique childcare approach it has developed and the quality of the food from it's very popular casual dining restaurant. Located 25 minutes from the International Airport and only 15 minutes from the town centre, Aquana is situated in a large lagoon surrounded by groups of deserted islands and pristine reefs. Aquana has a 150 meter long man-made beach great for children to be able to play free from danger and for adults to relax on and soak up the sun. Aquana consists of 16 bungalows all located within 30 meters of the lagoon front and a hot a la carte and a continental breakfast are both included in the room rate and the resorts idyllic surroundings provides the perfect location for weddings and functions. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Aquana Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila