Vila is Vanuatu's "bustling" town. It's great to spend a day walking around and having a good look, going to the markets etc. If you are only in Vila for a short stay, I think the resort you choose can make or break your experience.
Mangoes is a nice little resort - child free - with ornate gardens and 3 pools. It's up on the hill overlooking the lagoon side which is really pretty. I underestimated the lagoon and was really surprised as it's very blue and pretty. For some reason I was imagining a river (i.e. Yarra!) but it's not like that at all.
The room we were in had cooking facilities, which is handy, but maybe not so important for a short stay.
The restaurant there is meant to be great, but we only ate our included breakky there, which was basic. You can buy a cooked breakfast if you want.
It's an easy 10-15 min walk into town (harbour side) from Mangoes, or you can flag down any of the many mini-buses you will see, and go anywhere you want within Port Vila town for VUV150 (AUD$2.00).
We always took a bus back home to Mangoes, because the walk home is uphill. The privately run buses (mini vans) are great. There are heaps of them, they run constantly, even well into the night. They have a B on their number plate which is how you know it's a bus.
There's no direct beach from Mangoes so you'd be using their pools.
One day we had a look at Iririki, as it was one of my accommodation options and I was very curious to see what it was like. Their ferry from Port Vila runs 24 hours a day, is free for guests, and takes about 3-5 mins to get across to Iririki Island. The resort itself is kinda like a Club Med. Very orderly and manicured, and full of Aussies. I didn't see any of the rooms but the new side, called Snorkellers Cove has new apartments which look nice from what I would see on the website/through a window. Snorkellers Cove is family friendly. The other side, with the original overwater bures are adults only. I have read that those bures are a bit tired.
As the resort occupies the whole island (which we walked around comfortably/leisurely in about an hour or less) you have little beaches which you can swim/snorkel right off. I'm pretty sure they'd have a pool but we didn't see it.
At Mangoes where we overlooked the lagoon from the hill, I could see some amazing brand new overwater villas right on the lagoon edge. They belong to The Palms Resort and Casino. Real shame about the Casino, and I never went down there to have a close up look, but from my view overlooking them from Mangoes, it made me really want to stay there! The setting is so picture perfect and tranquil, just perfect for a short getaway actually!
Also I have to tell you, the blue waters of Vanuatu are the bluest I've seen anywhere! They really look postcard blue in real life. It's so pretty!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set high atop a cliff overlooking Erakor Lagoon on Port Vila, imagine that perfect intimate holiday, away from not just your own, but everyone's children. Mangoes Resort is that peaceful tropical escape for couples where you can relax and enjoy your Vanuatu experience. It is located close to the shops, restaurants, bars,of the capital of Port Vila, yet offers a peaceful retreat from the outside world. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Mangoes Resort Port Vila
- Mangoes Hotel Port Vila
- Mangoes Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila