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“Holiday Inn Vanuatu August 2012” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

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Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Tassiriki Park, PO Box 215, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu (Formerly Palms Resort and Casino Vanuatu)   |  
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Ranked #14 of 46 Hotels in Port Vila
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Holiday Inn Vanuatu August 2012”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Hi All
An honest review

WeI stayed at the Holiday Inn August 2012.

Negatives first
- Garden View Twin Room the view was of a service driveway
- Bathrooms no ventilation, water drainage very slow
- We stayed for 7 nights , my sheets had recent stains (looked like blood), I asked to have the sheets changed, a couple of nights later when I removed the blanket I found that the sheet had been turned around - stains at the bottom of the bed - not acceptable
- restaurant - buffet breakfast and dinners , great selection , unfortunately when fresh food was brought out it was put on top of the older food, one night we ordered a steak , it took 1.5 hours although good , if we knew it would take that long we would of selected something else
- pool bar - lovely staff, I ordered a sandwich and it came out with a side of chips ( eg smiths plain crinkle cut), food does take a long time to come out
- day spa staff found to be very rude and rough
- we had to request fresh towels and after 3 hours some were delivered
-we found it very difficult to communicate with the front desk staff, as I wanted to pay our tab daily with VAT , I was told I would have to pay at the end of the stay. I did not see an issue with us paying daily ( we had a budget to stick with), after an hour they relented and let me pay the tab ( drinks and food from the pool bar)
- often the lobby bar staff were standing around, even though we had ordered drinks we waited usually 20 mins for a drink
- air conditioner didnt work and had to call someone down to repair it


POSITIVES
- the location and grounds are impressive
- pool areas beautiful and refreshing
- just far enough out of town
-activities staff were fantastic, always smiling and lovely to talk with.
- a must have a coconut juice in the morning , they chop of the top and stick a straw in the coconut - yes a little addictive
- beds very comfortable

Vanuatu is a beautiful place. I have recommended Vanuatu to family and friends. Many are looking at booking in January as I am coming back with my son . Unfortunately due to my previous experience with The Holiday Inn I have been looking for alternative accommodation. it is a real shame as I believe that The Holiday Inn could become one of the top Hotels in Vanuatu

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Good Afternoon ITravellingTessI

Thank you for the review.

Please accept my apologies for the lapses in our normal levels of service that you experienced during your stay. It is certainly not the level that the team strive to achieve each day. AS you found Vanuatu is a wonderful destination with a lot of unique experiences complimented by the genuine warmth and hospitality of the Ni-Vans.

Hope to see you all back in Vanuatu in the future.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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512 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (207)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

We recently had 6 nights here with our two kids. Would reccommend this hotel as it offered a luxurious family experience. Initially we thought it was expensive for eating and drinking, but have had time to compare this to others in the area and it was very fair.The hotel has recently been facelifted , and the room we had was small for us but we wanted a pool view, so this made it ok. Anyway we spent most of our time by the pool or doing things out of the room. Breakfast buffet is fantastic. Kids also ate free at every meal with us so that helped keep us eating there.
On the downside... Room fridge was too small and struggled to keep our drinks cold. With kids we needed to have a few snacks on hand and this was tricky. Also, could do with another mirror in room, as one bathroom became an issue when we all wanted to get ready at same time. bathroom would have benefitted from a few hooks to hang things on, as with 4of us the towel rail wasn't big enough.
We would definitely go back here again. We have visited a few other resorts while here, and this has helped us appreciate how good the holiday inn was.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Good Afternoon yvonnebad

Thank you for your 'great' review.

Sounds like you had a great time and we have now added a "kids special' to the daily specials just to make sure they aren't being left out.

Don't forget to like us on facebook!

Look forward to welcoming you all back in the near future.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Byron Bay
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

This is a nice resort and has the usual amenties but certainly missing "something" that makes you feel you are far away from oz. Felt like we could just be on Gold Coast.

We were disappointed when we arrived, and our kids suite was not ready. Reception offered little information about the resort on check-in. We were staying in a premium rated suite with very high nightly rate and to be told to go to pool and come back later was not good enough. We were not offered a complimentary drink, were unable to bill to our room as they would not give us a room number , and were fortunate we had some money to be able to pay. We did not arrive before checkin time either. WE found housekeeping quite often did not get around to servicing our room until well after lunch, having come back from tours to an unserviced room on several occasions.

Resort is set on side of hill so does have several sets of stairs to get you from lobby to restaurant then again down to pool. They do have 2 happy hours each day, one at pool then later up at lobby bar. Unfortunately you have the guests that just like to bar hop and get drunk too! Pool is very nice and set up well. They had jumping castles for kids too and tennis court.

We found the choice of entertainment interesting. A local band entertained in the restaurant on the night we ate there. This was weird. a group of men singing western songs dressed in "island attire". Entertainment was not culturally focused.

Breakfast buffet was always good with great choices, dinner not so good. We dined at the restaurant once and did not enjoy at all. Also had meal in lobby lounge which also was not very good. Found the delay in getting our meals in both very unreasonable, especially given we were the ONLY one in lobby bar at the time. We ate all others meals elsewhere for remainder of our stay. They have the kids 12 and under eat free but did not enjoy meals anyway so ate elsewhere. Also if ordering the kids are restricted to a set menu. This was not explained to us either by the staff!!!!

Kids suite was a great set up and room was very nice. It was great to have 2 bathrooms as these are not very big at all. A/c did not seem to cool to room sufficiently though despite us setting on the lowest setting.

Could go on but enough said. If you want a holiday were your kids "stay and eat" free, you will pay a higher room rate than other resorts, pay a higher price for adult meals and beverages if dining in the hotel. Just really misses the mark for me though.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

My husband and I just spent 8 nights staying at this resort,before heading to Tanna with our two kids aged 4 & 6 yrs. It really did offer everything to keep the kids entertained. My daughter just loved the kids club and made lots of new friends there. The staff were lovely and always looked happy to be there. My son really enjoyed all the water activities, swimming, kayaking or sailing at every possible chance. The daily resort activities were a bonus that kept both children and adults entertained. Especially the fire dancing. We were lucky enough to see it twice on our stay and we were all captivated both times. The karva ceremony was fun and the karva was stronger than we had in Fiji. The buffet breakfast offered everything you could ask for and the juicer was a hit. The dinner buffets were excellent value for money and the kids especially loved the sundae bar. I also loved the feeling of no pressure when ordering, whether you decided to order from the menu or have the buffet. Everyone was pleasant and relaxed. The food pricing was quite standard for a resort. We have traveled very extensively and when you stay in a resort you understand that you pay resort prices. If you dont like it, then you find a nice local eatery and dine there instead. Theres no use in complaining, its just the way it is- world wide. We ate large breckies, shopped at the local supermarkets for bread etc and made our lunches (we were out everyday anyway) and ate at the resort most nights, where the kids ate free from a selected menu, including desert. I found the quality of the food to be fantastic. Lots of fresh vegies and fruits, (which i have found to be quite hard to get on other pacific islands) and the seafood was divine. The prices are around the same as Australian restaurant prices with the wine being a little more expensive if imported. Our room was on the ground level opening onto the garden. Sadly our free room upgrade wasn't available, and actually, as much as i would have liked a lagoon view, we had NO NOISE AT ALL. Whereas others i had spoken to who overlooked the lagoon/pool and said it was quite noisy and busy. Our room hardly ever saw anyone even walk past. We had tonnes of space to kick the soccer ball around just outside our door. The recent refurb was very nice, clean and modern and the kids loved the size of the bath tub. My son did end up with headlice but they could have come from anywhere. The LCD TV was really useful when my kids needed some wind down time and i took a USB stick with a load of kids movies which plugged straight into the TV!! Best thing i did. My only gripe would be that we had 2 double beds, and our kids wont sleep together so we slept with one each. This sucked! A double and 2 singles would have worked better. The resort is located a good distance from the hustle and bustle of Port Villa. Its only $1.50 pp by bus (kids 50c) or $5 by taxi. We walked there one day with the kids and it was about 20 min, but an easy walk. Overall i would be happy to recommend this resort for families, but i can see how it could be seen as busy and noisy for couples without kids. Alot of people just hang by the pool drinking cocktails and thats not us either, but each person is entitled to their idea of a holiday. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms are very quiet with minimal human traffic.
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  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Good Afternoon janelle n

Thank you for the beautiful review and photo's.

Vanuatu is well known for its fresh Kava being the strongest in the Pacific but you have drink it freshly ground to get the full affect. We have it produced locally in the afternoon just prior to our two tasting ceremonies to ensure that experience its as authentic as possible.

As you found its not hard to get out and about to experience all that Efate has to offer!

Look forward to seeing you all back in Vanuatu soon.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

This place was overpriced and i had problems at every turn. At check-in they didnt have me booked in (eventually sorted). I would have left but had paid already. The food was way overpriced ($45 NZ for an average main). If you like to spend your time sitting by the pool with loud australians then you will love this place! The entertainment was dull- a guy singing ballads while playing the keyboard... honestly we could have been anywhere as this place had very little vanuatu culture. On the last night i was bitten by a large caterpillar (15cm) while sleeping. Someone from reception gave me some cream for it which was needed, but i found another in the room a few hours later. Someone was supposed to turn up to spray the room but never did. When we left there were caterpillars on the carpet outside the room. I told reception who were mildly interested. Then upon check-out my bill was full of errors! The Ni-Van staff were lovely however and were easily the highlight.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Good Afternoon Jack H

Thank you for the review,

I am sorry to hear that the resort did not meet your expectations and we have discussed your feedback with the team to look for ways we can improve moving forward.

Crowning Moments are on of the success stories of Vanuatu and are continually being flown to various events in New Zealand and Australia but I can see that they are not to everyone's liking. We are lucky enough to have 6 other performances by other local bands around the resort during the week the full entertainment list can be found on our facebook page.

Once again I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations and thank you for the vamluable feedback.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We just spent 7 nights here with our six year old daughter. We had a garden view room which I believe is the same as the lagoon room but without the view. Rooms were modern, recently refurbished and very comfortalbe. Only downside is they lack space.
The location of the resort is great-with the outlook to the lagoon. Walk to the main street is about 40mins round trip- too far there and back with young children. $1.50 per person/bus or $5.00 taxi is your best bet.
Kids club was fantastic and between this and the pool we were challenged to get our daughter to leave the resort.
We ate at the resort each night-as it was just easier and while some of the buffett was not to my liking- overall it was quite OK. The steak (off the menu) was very good. Breakfast- as many have written is also very good.
Tours etc can be very heavily booked(in school holidays) so when you get there check cruise ship docking at the tour desk and plan around this. Dont miss the fire show on Wednesday nights.
Overall a great family resort- prices are not cheap- on par with most holiday destinations you will find in Oz-but not cheap for an overseas destination. Take advantage of happy hour at the pool bar and terrace.
Staff and locals are typically friendly and add to the relaxed atmosphere.

Room Tip: Garden view- looking back to the entrance. Lagoon- facing the view. Garden view rooms are small and...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Good Afternoon TulltheTraveller_8

Thank you for the review.

The Kids Club tends to have that affect on the kids! As you found nothing is that far from the resort and can be a great part of the experience using the local buses.

Look forward to welcoming you back to Vanuatu in the near future.


Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Stayed for 5 nights in a garden view room unfortunately our room overlooked the children's play area, colourful & cheery but not very serene, but this was very quickly fixed by asking for a room change we were then relocated downstairs facing the lagoon which was just perfect. This hotel is great for family's, the children appeared to be well looked after by the staff with plenty of activities to keep them busy and a kids club. Our room was well appointed with everything you need, very modern and clean. As always in Vanuatu the staff are incredible, very friendly and eager to please. If you are going during the school holidays a lot of the activities are booked out so it would be best to book ahead (which i didn't do) but we managed to try the new Ziplining which was fantastic if not a little scary and the caves at Siviri which we only just discovered even though this was our fifth trip, overall a very good trip but I think it would be hard to have a bad one given the beautiful people and scenery. (also it pays to be a Priority Club member at this hotel as you are given a late check out and free internet.)

Room Tip: Ground level rooms have sliding doors onto the garden.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas T, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Good Afternoon melefan

Thank you for the review and photos!

Great tip on being a Priority Club Member which not only gives you benefits at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu but also at the over 4000 hotels IHG has globally and the points never expire. The newly opened Zipline located at the Summit Gardens is quickly becoming one of the must do activities followed by a wood fired pizza at the Summit Cafe!

Look forward to welcoming back for your sixth trip.

Tankiu tumas

Thomas Tait
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Address: Tassiriki Park, PO Box 215, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu (Formerly Palms Resort and Casino Vanuatu)
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#5 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#15 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu 4*
Number of rooms: 148
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the serene waters of the Erakor Lagoon, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is set in vibrant natural surroundings. Meaning “the land that always existed”, Vanuatu is a holiday destination made up of 83 tropical islands located northeast of New Caledonia. Immersed in cultural richness and native splendour, the islands hold crystal blue beaches, coral reefs, hot springs, exotic rainforests, and stunning waterfalls that are some of the most beautiful in the world. The Vanuatu hotel’s Erakor Ballroom and Valea meeting space provides exceptional indoor and outdoor meeting facilities, and the accommodation resort also features a unique Namele Day Spa, two luxurious outdoor holiday swimming pools, and the newly refurbished Palms Casino. The views from the rooms include lush gardens, blue lagoons, and a golf course. The hotel boasts 5 dining areas. Breakfast, buffet and à la carte dinners are served daily. There is an extensive wine list from New Zealand, Australia and France. Get to experience the perfect Vanuatu holiday with island lifestyle at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Hotel Port Vila
Port Vila Le Meridien
Le Meridien Vanuatu
Le Meridian Vanuatu
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Port Vila

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