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“Clean and basic with amazing snorkelling” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hideaway Island Resort

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Hideaway Island Resort
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 1110, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 43 hotels in Port Vila
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Clean and basic with amazing snorkelling”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2011

After reading lots of reviews of this place over the last 9 months I prepared my family by telling them it would be pretty basic. Pretty much like camping with walls...
I was very wrong and we had a wonderful 2 night stay. We stayed in the bungalow 11. It wasn't ready when we arrived but the greeting with fruit drink was very refreshing and we went straight to the beach. Our luggage was in the room and our keys given to us within 30 mins.
Accommodation
The bungalow was beautifully presented and spacious. A double door to the main bedroom, two beds in the living area, a sitting area, dining table and fridge and coffee/tea making facilities. Outdoor sitting area with double hammock and private steps down to the beach was a nice escape from the day-trippers on the beach. Simple and basic but lovely touches; table design, vases, flowers and towels changed daily. Adequate bathroom with toiletries supplied.
Island
A lot of the island appeared to have building work going on and therefore we couldn't walk the full circumference.
The beach when we arrived was absolutely packed and we had a few doubts when we couldn’t even find four sun loungers. After finding two we left our belongings and ventured into the water down a coral steep drop. Two steps into the water and the reason for such a steep drop became apparent – hundreds of colourful fish were everywhere! Venture further over the coral reefs and it was so worth it. AMAZING fish and colourful coral. Having been to the outer reef at the Great Barrier Reef a few times, to see more variety, colours just a few metres from land blew me away! Of course there is the underwater post office and box for the unique postcard location which has to be done. One of the main reasons we chose to stay here for 2 nights was because the first resort we were staying at didn’t have a pool. We didn’t even use the pool at Hideaway Island as the sea was so clear, still and warm.
Location
It is a fair way from Port Vila, which isn’t a bad thing unless you want to make the trip which is around $15 in a taxi each way.
Food
Again after reading reviews wasn’t expecting much with the included buffet breakfast but there was plentiful, cereals, fruit salad, toast, muffins, fruit juice, (but no water) tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner menu reasonably priced (Vanuatu based) but pretty basic, average food. We enjoyed the Melanesian Feast, which was personal and prepared by the staff on the island. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t authentic dress (the band wore boardies and shirts the dancers wore grass skirts over normal dress). The maids/entertainment staff told a few stories about the history of the dances they performed for us around a camp-fire. We were on the front row and couldn’t hear very well as the lady talking was very shy. The food was very nice but it would have been nice to know what we were eating. The staff looked extremely proud to share their custom and food with us. It was very different to the full on authentic costume, great food and party atmosphere of the Melanesian feast at Erakor. Hideawy was low-key, intimate and very sweet. The Managers small daughter was even involved in the dancing, which was lovely.
All in all, Hideaway is an amazing place to visit, the staff on the whole seem happy to be there and it feels like a family. We would love to go back and scuba some time but again wouldn’t stay much more than 3 nights purely down to the crowds and average food. The clean, basic rooms are also part of the charm and hope that they are not upgraded to be a higher star value as it would actually lose some of the appeal. Have a two resort stay if you want a little more action, entertainment and good cuisine

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

to mr & mrs Bruce I take my hat to you nothing a problem they can do it Thomas and all the boys bend over back wards to make sure you have great diving i love this place cant wait to get back there every body is always happy you never see cranky people or road rage Just the place to kick back and enjoy

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011

I really enjoyed my 5 night stay on Hideaway Island. Our plane was delayed 11 hours so we were very happy to find the friendly staff there to greet us and transfer us to the island. It is a 20 minute bus ride on paved roads and then a very bumpy but short ride down a dirt road before taking a 2 minute boat ride to the resort. We were quickly shown our room. You do have to carry your own bag which we didn’t mind.

We stayed in bungalow 14, which faces west so you can watch the sunset from the balcony. This room is probably the closest to the generator and some noise could be heard (by my husband) in the room but I didn’t notice it over the whoosh of the fans. He slept soundly every night! When he asked to move rooms they had availability and were happy to help but on inspection of the room on the eastern side of the island we could still hear the generator noise. The bungalow was nice and spacious. All the furniture was in good condition and functional. The bed and linen were clean and comfortable. The shutters and screens on the windows and fans on the ceilings were great as we were able to stay cool with out the fear of creepy crawlies getting in. Tea coffee, sugar, milk etc were provided. They also provided small bottles of shampoo and conditioner and bars of soaps. There is a safe in the room. Housekeeping made the room up nicely everyday and replenished all products and towels etc.

The island has a great coral reef around it and there is no sand just broken coral so remember to take your thongs and grab a lounge chair or table early! You can walk around the island in about 20 minutes. On the western side of the island is the beach access, the restaurant, dive centre, jetty, dorm rooms, reception and pool. Around the rest of the island you can only walk on a one metre wide concrete walkway before walking on rocks. All the bungalows a spaced apart and are built around the parameter of the island. The island is a little hill so you have to walk up around 15 steps to reach the accommodation. On the top of the hill and around the bungalows are lovely tropical gardens with the generator housed behind a wooden fence in the centre. We noticed that building had begun on two more bungalows on the eastern side of the island.

The food was ok. The breakfast was basic-bread, a few condiments, home cooked muffins and tined fruit salad with freshly plunged coffee and hot water for tea. I had the banana pancakes for breakfast twice-yum. My husband tried the omelette, poached and fried eggs but did not really enjoy these. Lunch and dinner menu consisted of mostly western style foods and a few Melanesian dishes. I had the vegetable curry a few times which was delicious. We had happy hour drinks at the bar and the staff made my favourite drink even though it wasn’t on the list! Please remember you are on island time and nothing is rushed here, so don’t wait till you are starving to order or complain that service is slow.

The snorkelling is fantastic. Just follow the stairs into the safest part of the beach and then head left. We went as far as the white buoy but we are confident swimmers. The daily snorkel trip took us near and around this area as well. The water is warm and clear. There are so many kinds of fish and coral it is a feast for your eyes.

Handy tips and my feedback on Vanuatu
*Once you get off the ferry from Hideaway Island to the main island you can easily get a cab or bus to anywhere. You should expect to pay 300-400vatu/p for a taxi or 200vatu/p for the bus to Port Vila. It’s easy to tell what is a bus or taxi because the initial is on the number plate!
*If you want to try a different restaurant without going into Port Vila, just jump on the free ferry back to the main island and eat at the Beach Club instead.
* When coming back at night have your driver flash his lights a few times until a staff member from Hideaway Island Resort flashes a light back. This is to signal that you want the ferry to pick you up.
*Mingle with the local people and children. They are so adorable. In other countries I have felt unsafe and have had locals beg or try to rip us off but the people of Vanuatu are so happy, relaxed and welcoming. When we strolled the local beach we were quickly joined by a group of giggling children rushing to find me the perfect shell and asking our names etc. We also swam at the local beach and played on the floating toys and with the balls with the local children as their carers looked on. I loved seeing them so happy and at ease with strangers. This just proved to me how sweet and innocent the Vanuatu people are.
*Hire a car and drive around the island. We did and we got to see the view from the lookout, Cascade Falls, hot springs, the blue lagoon, Pongo beach and Erakor Island and all the little local communities around the island. This helped remind me how beautiful life is when it is so simple and people work together for a common goal.
* Try Kava! Kava Vanu is a great kava place set on the hill in Port Vila, just walk up a dirt driveway and then some stairs. It is on the Linl Highway and the corner of the side street, just before the number 1 (Fatumaru Lodge) on the trip advisor map. There is a home hardware shop on street level which you could probably park in if it is late at night. Kava taste horrible but is a local custom and a great way to meet the local. It makes you feel chatty and relaxed. I strongly suggest eating before having kava.

While we enjoyed our 9 nights (we spent 4 nights at Tara Beach Resort, see my review) in Port Vila, I do not feel there are enough place of interest for us to visit Vanuatu again. I am sorry to say the prices for drinks and food was often more expensive than Australia and not of the same standard.

Room Tip: bungalows14, 15 and 16 have views of the sunset
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

Stayed at hideaway with wife and 8 month old in Bugalow 1 for 7 nights. Accomodation is basic but clean, quiet and has everything you actually need. Island has a nice garden/jungle interior and some of the best snorkelling in regard to fish variety and numbers we have ever seen. Reccomend staying as its very good value if your going to come and snorkel anyway. the ferry, snorkel safari, glass bottom boat and all gear hire, kayas, sailboat etc is included if your staying! Did a dive and that was good as well. Species we saw snorkelling (sorkelled every day for 7 days!) included: 4-5 different species of clown fish and anemones, lots of clams, many different species of surgeon fish and butterfly fish, cleaner wrasse, lots of other wrasse, a lion fish, coral banded shrimp, nudibrachs, a coral sea snake, trevally, giant trevally, big grouper and snapper and bream, so many other species to mention them all. Resteraunt food had some good and some average meals. pizza, tbone and curries were good. also the prawns were quite nice when they were available. lunch time the burgers are much better value than the steak sandwich and the stirfry was good as well. breakfast was included and quite good prices were resonable for the location. melanesan feast was good value. they have movie nights and free mele village tours on different nights, and happy hour cocktails were 1/2 price. Highly reccomended. we got a stay 7 nights pay 5 nights deal which made it fantastic value.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2011 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights on Hideaway, which was just the right amount of time for us. The island is lovely and very atmospheric - especially if you arrive at night, taking the ferry across the bay. The snorkeling is amazing - just walk in straight off the beach and you're surrounded by very friendly fish. Staff are super friendly, and very helpful. The food selection is limited, and of mixed quality, although the famous chicken curry was indeed delicious. A great place to spend a few days truly winding down and relaxing.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue Mountains
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

We stayed in a 1 Bedroom Oceanfront Bungalow for 1 night, after our original flight home was cancelled and we needed to find one more nights accommodation. We choose to stay here, as we figured it was a nicer option than doing it as a 'day-trip' with our 3 young children. After varying reviews from friends who had been there, we were a bit hesitant- but, given the price of the room was cheap, we held low expectations.

The room was basic, but very spacious and clean, with stunning private views out over the reef and out to Devil's Point. It suited our family of 5 very well. We wished we could have stayed here longer, rather than in our 2 interconnecting rooms at the Le Lagon! 3-4 nights would have suited us at Hideaway Island. The kids enjoyed the small, clean and shady pool and snorkelling/spyboarding/swimming off the beach. The island was quiet on the 2 days we were there. I imagine you could have easily retreated to this room to beat the crowds, if the island had of been over-run by daytrippers!

Room Tip: Book an oceanview bungalow
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2011

We had booked seven nights at Hideaway Island and left after one night! The staff were lovely and apologetic. I feel sorry for them that they have to work in such a run-down horrible place, they did try and make the place a bit nice. It would be fine for a daytrip to do some snorkling for the family, DO NOT STAY! Everything is dirty - stained sheets, dirty fridge, a long list! So much potential for this place, needs some good money spent on it, and some reasonable pricing.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Hideaway Island Resort

Address: PO Box 1110, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#13 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#16 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hideaway Island Resort 2.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hideaway Island Hotel Port Vila
Hideaway Island Port Vila
Hideaway Island Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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