We stayed at Paradise Cove for 6 nights in May 2006, and booked direct with the resort. Paradise Cove was a very pleasant and relaxing place to stay, the service is excellent (if a little laid-back, Vanuatu style!), and even at its standard rate, quite reasonably priced compared to the big hotel chains. The highlights of our stay were definitely snorkling and kayaking on reef off the resort's private beach and borrowing the mountain bikes to explore the nearby villages.
On the downside, however, is the fact that the resort is quite a long way from Vila. (Although, those of you who have previously visited Port Vila - which bears a striking resemblance to Port Moresby - will probably see this as an advantage). This is a good thing for the first couple of days, when the novelty of winding down into holiday mode is still fresh, but you soon start to want to get out and explore. You can either organise to catch the hotel's mini bus (200vt pp each way) or a taxi (probably about 1500-2000vt). Because it needs to be organised, and because going to and forth ended up being a little pricey, we felt a little restricted by the location.
Also, don't believe the rhetoric about dining in Vanuatu...we tried meals at pretty much all of the places recommended on the internet and in the guidebooks and were fairly disapointed by the quality of food especially for the price. You will probably end up using the kitchenette!!!
We had a very nice time in Vanuatu, it is a great place to visit if you are young and adventurous. We loved getting out from the resort and doing tours (don't miss Lelepa Island tour - fantastic!!), horse-riding, scuba diving (Big Blue will pick you up from beach!!), and plenty of snorkling and walking. The locals are extremely warm, friendly and trustworthy; you always feel safe, and their are no touts or bargaining.
In some ways, however, Vanuatu is a difficult place to visit if you are at all politically aware - its hard to enjoy a meal when you are paying $25 for a main course and you know that the waiter is taking home $1.80 per hour (and won't accept tips), or accidently walking through a shanty town, or seeing Vila hospital with its open drains, or little children playing in rubbish. Despite the glossy brochures, Vanuatu is definetly a 3rd world country. For this reason, I am not sure that I would choose Vanuatu for a special occasion holiday, like a honeymoon, unless you planned to spend the whole time in a resort.
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Cove Hotel Port Vila
- Paradise Cove Port Vila
- Paradise Cove Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila