We are a family with two boys (5 and 8) who are noisy, curious and active. I should preface this review by saying we are not really resort people. In Australia we camp in national parks.
One of the main reasons that we chose to stay at Paradise cove is because it is a small contained resort that nonetheless has plenty of gardens and lots of place for the kids to safely explore without constant supervision. (Younger children who would be unsafe around water would not be able to have these freedoms of course). On these terms, it was really well suited. We were lucky that there were other children to play with for our stay including Marc and Constance's two boys and the kids really enjoyed the spaces. They enjoyed playing chess and cards in the shared area also.
The staff were very kind and friendly to our kids and this made a big difference to our experience there. We did speak with the boys about being considerate of others and being quieter in shared areas etc of course but they were not perfect. We never got the sense that our boys were not welcome at Paradise Cove.
We were also attracted to the fact that the bungalows are self-contained. This turned out to be a good choice as having the opportunity to retreat by cooking a simple meal in the bungalow was just what was needed once or twice during our stay.
Our kids particularly enjoyed complimentary continental breakfast particularly the croissants. The restaurant is a good option with interesting and varied food. We were offered our choice of vegetarian meals - all we had to do was request what we wanted from the chef. However he did not really know how to make many vegetarian meals so this could have been better. The kids meals were enormous and a lot of what we ordered for them went to waste! It was all excellent quality though.
One really good aspect about Paradise Cove is the excellent staff, particularly Benjamin, who offers thoughtful, helpful and accurate advice on activities/bookings etc.
My husband and I have lived in Melanesia before and could hold a conversation in Bislama and I highly recommend giving it a go. Ni-Van staff at Paradise Cove say that they rarely speak to a white person in Bislama, which is sad really. Frankly it isn't a difficult language when spoken slowly and a willingness to try completely changes the relationship you have with people. Of course staff speak excellent English and there are French speakers also I believe.
The physical environment at Paradise Cove is lovely, nice gardens, great restaurant area, lovely waterfront, lots of fish (some coral but very little compared with other parts of Vanuatu) and very easy and safe to learn to snorkel for kids (there are life jackets, reef shoes etc for guest use). It is naturally a coral beach, but they have built a sandy beach also.
The family bungalows are quite spacious and each is slightly different (we stayed in no 5 and 7). We all slept very well, although our kids woke earlier than usual as the rooms were not overly dark in the morning. Refurbishment is probably a good idea as there is still some damage from the white ants that needs fixing but generally the rooms were far nicer than we could rent in Australia for a similar cost. At the time we were there there was absolutely no need for air con. It is much cooler than we expected and we were never overly hot/sweaty. We left the doors open for the breeze and some nights we shut them because it was too cold!
We also saw no mosquitoes even after a day with rain, but one could order mosquito nets if needed.
We were given a very reduced rate for our stay at Paradise Cove as we stayed so many nights and I believe we got excellent value for money. Much was done to accommodate our needs - eg. we changed our plan and asked for some extra nights at short notice. Also we were moved to an empty room on our last day so we could have a shower after lunch and a swim before the plane ride home at no extra charge.
We ate one lunch at the Lagoon Beach Resort where we had considered as an alternative choice. The grounds are more extensive there, it is more convenient to town and there is a great children's playground but there is much less shade and the staff were much less friendly.
We were very pleased with our choice to stay at Paradise Cove.
- Also Known As:
- Paradise Cove Hotel Port Vila
- Paradise Cove Hotel
- Paradise Cove Port Vila
- Paradise Cove Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila
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