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“A relaxing and memorable stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aquana Beach Resort

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Aquana Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 238, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 46 Hotels in Port Vila
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A relaxing and memorable stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Many thanks to all at Aquana for looking after us so well on our trip to Vanuatu. We were fortunate to spend a week there with our young daughter and left feeling very relaxed and satisfied with our stay.

Pros:
- The bungalows are very clean, serviced each day and set in well kept gardens.
- All staff were very friendly and helpful, especially the patient nannies who were very attentive and showed genuine affection to all the children present. Our daughter referred to them as 'her friends'. Service was very professional and nothing was too much trouble.
- Wonderful meals in the restaurant at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We didn't want to eat anywhere else.
- Helpful with organizing any tours around the island and offering transfers to pick us up whenever it suited us. A hotel phone was also given to us in case we wanted to return earlier. Nannies also provided on trips for those with children. Would recommend the trip to Eton beach and the Blue lagoon trip to those with kids. A delicious barbecue lunch was provided for us also.
- Entertainment for the evenings was great and got everyone involved. Our daughter loved the fire dancing show.
- Excellent canoeing around the island. We saw all kinds of sea life amongst the coral and you can find your own private beach to stop off for a while.

Cons:
- We found none!


Highly recommended. Thanks again Aquana. We hope to return soon!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Grafton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Any of the waterfront bungalows are great, we were in room six but all are within 40 metres of the w...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

We stayed with out son and family including 16 months old bub. Every time we had finished feeding bub, there was a nanny suddenly there to take her while we enjoyed our meal. The nannies were amazing. The chef is amazing also. We have stayed in many resorts over the years and owned our own restaurant but the food here is outstanding. Prawn salad with fresh coconut and raw mango is the bomb. The excursion to Eton beach was wonderful. Surely a preview of what heaven must be like. We asked for a special table for our son's birthday and had a fully decorated tent on the beach. It is an excellent resort for families especially with young children.

Room Tip: Waterfront rooms best. Cabin 8 the top
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

We had a great stay, very professional family friendly place. 2 young kids, 15 months and 3 years had a ball too. I had read reviews of children asking for the nannies as soon as they woke, I thought our son would never do that and sure enough at 530am the morning after arrival he was asking. Nothing ever too much trouble.
Food great, service great.
Kerryn behind the bar was awesome, she was picking coral out of my foot at 9pm, using first aid kit. Always making great cocktails and organising events for each evening.
Tours and buses were always booked with ease.
Great location and free bus to town daily.
Is not as cheap as some places but when in need of a good quality holiday this is where you want to stay.
Thanks aquana team for making my 30th birthday week a time to remember

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

This is the best place we have ever stayed for a fantastic family holiday that is great for kids and adults alike. As mentioned in the many positive reviews, it is a family-run business and this is reflected in the friendly and attentive atmosphere of the resort.

You can be as busy or as relaxed as you like, lazing by the pool, taking out a kayak, checking out the fire dancers that perform weekly or taking the highly recommended local village tour.

The food, cocktails, bungalows and service are great. Many thanks to Marcel in the kitchen for being so accommodating with food that wasn't on the menu and for taking the time to make lasagne with the kids one night.

What can I say about the nannies. Just perfect. These lovely women whisk your kids away and genuinely love spending time with them. Many of them are mothers themselves and our kids adored them.

Overall, a really great experience from the moment we contacted Fabiene in the front office while still in Australia to organise a tour to Mount Yasur volcano (a must for all visitors to Vanuatu) to being greeted by Rita at 2am on our arrival, then chatting with Hugo about how he built the property and the history of Vanuatu.

Highly recommended, particularly for families. Stayed for 10 days June/July 2013.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballarat, Australia
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We decided on Aquana Beach Resort for our second trip to Vanuatu in as many years as we were after a smaller, quieter property having stayed at Iririki Island previously. The reviews on Tripadvisor look promising and we certainly were not disappointed - it lived up to all our expectations and them some.

Whilst you could write volumes on why it is so good, in a nutshell it is the experience - the food, its people and the ambiance which were all a delight and its location nestled in a quiet lagoon at the foot of Eratap Village adds a stand out brilliance and nu-Vanuatu authenticity.

Marcel and his team have constructed a comprehensive menu that frustrates in that you struggle with the decision whether to try new items on the menu whilst wanting to repeat what you had at the previous sitting. After a week we can definitely report it is all delicious and if you don't put on several kilos a week you aren't really trying!

The resident owners ensure that you are relaxed, informed and happy without living in your back pocket and the staff are 100% committed to making your stay an absolute joy. Whist our child was in her late teens so we didn't need the resident nannies, they are committed, caring and fun loving and obviously enjoy their work. They even engaged our daughter and took her off to experience local culture and explore the local walks and rock pool. Wait staff are extremely friendly, attentive and competent and we utilized the massage services and kept going back - absolutely brilliant!

Aquana Beach Resort is located behind Eratap island so it is protected from the waves and there are some tidal restrictions getting out to the ocean side for snorkeling on surrounding islands, though nothing that is too problematic. They organized an outrigger and crew member to take us to a nearby island to snorkel which was great but we also used their free kayaks to check out the great reefs nearby and were amazed at the numbers of fish we saw. We also took the local tour to Eratap Village which was also organized by the resort and had a very enjoyable time seeing how the village operated and even meeting our tour guides' family which was a fantastic experience. This was followed up by local basket making and the like and a feast of local food which provided a comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable cultural experience that should not be missed.

Aquana Beach Resort is about 25 minutes out of town and half the journey is on main road with the other on a bumpy dirt road through the village. The trip provides a great insight into village life and the enjoyment of traveling in Vanuatu is seeing the people which overcomes any lack of comfort from bumpy tracks.

In all Aquana provides a unique package that breaks the starchy, overly polished and commercial feel of larger resorts. We were delighted with the standard of accommodation and all the resort facilities and overall the whole package is nothing short of superb. Credit should be paid to the owners whose vision in developing the resort over recent years was enlightened and magnificent in reality. Very well done...we will definitely be back, and hopefully soon!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We just had a week at Aquana Resort. Our family travelled with another family and we had side by side beachfront bungalows – which were immaculately clean and spacious.

By the end of the week we were all thoroughly relaxed and wanted to stay longer. We did the village tour – not expensive and well worth the trip – especially for the kids – was good for them to see the school and walk through the village. We also did the outrigger and kayaks over to another island – 10 mins away – great coral viewing! The boys [big and small – small over 6 years] went out for an afternoon in offroad buggies – they had the best time. There was different entertainment every night – be it marshmallows over the bonfire or Tribal Dancing and Sand-drawing and the Fire Show was the best we have seen and so intimate – I have never seen it that close - was amazing! The Massage lady was great too – we fit in a couple during our stay. My daughter had her hair braided by one of the nannies too - $20 and it is still in now a week and half later. [no knots and brushing for me so I am loving it too!]

What really ‘makes’ this resort is the babysitting – knowing your kids are looked after at any time of the day [7am-9pm] The first morning they walked out of our bungalow [after a delayed flight arriving at 2am so we were tired] and the nannies took them off our hands to have a sleep in and collect shells. With a start like that to the holiday we were soon aware of what all the fuss was about with this resort. I have stayed at many hotels and have never experienced this with the babysitting, it is a great idea. We stayed at another large style resort in Vanuatu last year and after this experience I would never do that again – regimented kids club times and large plan resort is now not for me. Aquana has 14ish bungalows and it was just perfect I don’t think they plan to extend much more – maybe a few more – aside from the babysitting the size was also very appealing to us. Combined we had a 10, 6, 4 and 2 year old. The older 3 have all said best holiday ever – my 2 year old isn’t talking much yet but he had a great time – was more hesitant going to the nannies than the older kids at first but next time he will be fine – it’s just the age! And yes there will be a next time! For sure!

Last but by no means least, the food – Marcel is a brilliant chef! The food night after night was to die for and he offers a very extensive menu and has special nights where he adds something a bit different. [Seafood chowder my fave] It really was beautiful – not expensive but not cheap. Same as home really – which is what I have always expected on holidays to Vanuatu and Fiji.

Aquana know what they are doing and they mean business! They are onto a good thing – you will not regret your stay here. I would defiantly recommend to families. Couples beware of children. If you don’t like kids around don’t stay here – it is a family friendly resort – just the way we like it. Thank you Aquana!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aquana Beach Resort

Address: PO Box 238, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#4 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aquana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
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 
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Also Known As:
Aquana Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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