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“Excellent experience. Very accommadating hosts. Would recommend highly.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunrise Bungalows

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Sunrise Bungalows
Manuapen | Lenakel, Tanna Island 4, Vanuatu   |  
Hotel amenities
Fort Wayne, Indiana
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent experience. Very accommadating hosts. Would recommend highly.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2010

Pleasurable hosts. Took me right to the volcano on way to bungalow. Took me on a walk following day to meet and eat with locals. Shared kava with me in an evening group setting. It is in a remote location, so don't expect 5-star lodging. Enjoy the Tanna outback and friendly company.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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15 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ramat Hasharon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

I have been traveling in the Pacific for two months and this was my least favorite place, despite its beautiful location and two handsome bungalows out of the seven. Several things stood out, especially in a friendly place like Tanna - everything cost significantly more than the equivalent places on the East side (Port Resolution Yacht Club and the new Island Dream) - The food, the tours, the transportation. The food was untasty and in small portions and we ended driving to Island Dreams for much tastier dinners at half the price. The attitude of the people in charge significantly less friendly, a request to clean the room after two nights encountered a surprised reaction. And then - do take into account its windy most of the time, so unpleasant to stay outside despite the beauty. And - other guests had rats in their rooms, to the extent they had to use a trap to unsuccessfully try to catch them... note Port Resulotion is in the midst of upgrading and in the midst of astounding beauty with much more space to roam around, and Island Dream has new bungalows, run by a very friendly family and also has a great view for better options

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2009

I stayed here for a few nights on a short trip to Tanna to visit the volcano as part of my medical elective in September 2008. I wasn't sure what to expect as I knew Tanna would be extremely basic but the Ni-Vans have got it spot on with Sunrise Bungalows.

I was travelling with a female friend that I met on my elective (no romantic interest whatsoever!) and we were given a bungalow that had a double and a single bed. Mosquito nets were included but were a little worn around the edges. Bedding was more than adequate and extremely cosy. The bungalows are quite small but, again, more than adequate.

Electricity is only on for a few hours at night but this wasn't a problem, there is an electric socket and light bulb in each bungalow.

There was a block of toilets and showers, unfortunately these were cold (which I expected) but the area was clean and did the job.

The food - not cheap by Vanuatu standards at 1000vt each meal but WELL worth it. The cook there (who I got chatting to as I learned the local language) did some really imaginitive things and we had freshly caught fish every day with gorgeous local vegetables. Quite impressive to say that the market, at the other side of the island (3/4 hr drive if memory serves), is only open one morning a week!

I would really recommend Sunrise Bungalows to anyone that is staying for a couple of nights to see Mount Yasur. A longer stay may be less comfortable and there isn't much to do on Tanna but we really enjoyed our stay.

The only problem I had was that they added a charge for transport to the volcano which I thought we had paid for with the travel agent back in Luganville. However, this is quite common in Vanuatu - they don't tell you about charges until they give you the bill!

Oh I forgot to mention, you can wonder down the cliff (less trecharous than it sounds) to an AMAZING beach - just like the one from Castaway with Tom Hanks.

Go to Sunrise (or anywhere in Vanuatu for that matter) NOW!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2009

We went to Tanna Island purely to see Mt Yasur. We chose sunrise because it was on the west coast and therefore only a 20 minute ride to the volcano. It was an affordable option as the only 2 good resorts are quiet expensive (Whitegrass & Tanna Lodge). We stayed in a bungalow with private facilities. The accommodation is exactly what the website promotes, it not luxurious but was still fairly ok accomodation. The bungalow has 4 beds and a separate toilet and shower area, sectioned off by a curtain. The floor has a few sharp bits, so keep your shoes on. The walls are thatched and have opened areas all the way around, I was pretty suprised that I did not see any spiders in my room. The rooms are fairly dark, electricity goes on from 5.30 -9.30. We stayed in Sun 4 and both nights when the lights came on we shared our room with a crazy mouse. I talked to other people staying at Sunrise and we seemed to be the only ones with a mouse, so I don't want to scare people off. The mouse only ran on the roof beams which were quite high up, so although I was not impressed it was not too bad. We took earplugs and tried to pretend it wasn't there!
The food is interesting, there are no choices, just what is served. Omlette with curry sauce & vegies for lunch (1000vatu) & fish & rice for dinner (1500vatu).
The location is on the cliff top overlooking the ocean, you can get down by following a track. We were there in June and it was a quite breezy.
I would recommend the walk to Port Resolution, where there is a beach shack restaurant to have lunch (750vatu). It is a 45 minute walk IF you go through Turtle Bay Resort. This was hard to find and we ended up walking all the way around the rocks which took 2 hours, as did everyone stayindg at Sunrise. Tip - to find Turtle Bay, watch out for small palm trees and if you get to the hut on the beach you have gone too far.
Near the Restaurant, just around the corner to the right, there is Surf beach, which is amazing. The water is so clear, the snorkellings good and there is sand to relax on. Most of Vanuatu's beaches are coral beaches and I would recommed taking reef shoes.
All in all the staff at Sunrise were lovely but I would only recommed staying here if you have realistic expectations of the place otherwise it may be too rustic, 2 nights were good but definalty enough.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2009

We chose to stay on the east side of Tanna, as various travel guides and online discussions suggested this as being ideal for visiting Yasur. It certainly saves you from having to do two terrible road trips across the island in a single day, so in retrospect I still consider it a good idea, if you can afford staying a little longer on Tanna. There is plenty of accommodation on the east side, but most of it is rustic and definitive information about each place seems hard to come by. In the end we picked the Sunrise Bungalows because they have positive reviews on this site and they maintain an informative webpage of their own. We booked via email and their response time was quick. They didn't take credit cards, however, so it was important to take cash along.

We got picked up from the airport and taken on a long ride across the island (costing 5000vt each way). Their main vehicle does not have air conditioning, which is not so nice this time of year. They also have a habit of picking various locals up to take them to various places, which actually got a bit annoying on the way back, as it added another 40 minutes to the 2 hour ride. We arrived after sunset and were greeted with flowers, but the bungalow they wanted us to stay in only had a single light - and none in the bathroom! After we expressed our dissatisfaction about this, we were offered a bungalow with a few more lights, and this is where we settled down. We were told that dinner would be ready soon, and it was, but unlike what it says on their website, you can't really choose what you want. The food was okay, but not very hot. You also don't get told what they are going to charge for it (1500vt pp). The beds in the bungalow are musty and only clean if you have a liberal interpretation of cleanliness. The bathroom is better, but you only get cold water, though this was to be expected. Power cuts out at 9.30pm.

The next day we toured around Tanna's east, seeing the hot springs (nice) and white beach (great snorkelling) and, of course, the volcano in the evening. Morris is a fine guide, always available and friendly, and he only charged us 2000vt for the entire day! However, we were separately charged 8000vt for transport, which is a bit ridiculous given the short trips involved. The volcano entry fee (4500vt for the two of us) is also rather steep, but the volcano is amazing. We then spent another night in our bungalow. On our first night we got bitten by mosquitoes whenever we were outside the bed's mosquito net, or so we thought. There are stupendous numbers of mosquitoes here, after all. But on the second night, we - my girlfriend in particular - got bitten by something, despite the mosquito net being down and secured and assuredly mosquito-free inside. The bites were getting so out of control that we decided to leave as soon as possible. Bedbugs seem the most likely cause, given the bite patterns we observed.

The next morning we had to take our breakfast directly from the kitchen, as noone was around to serve us. We ultimately found someone to talk to. Sunrise was kind enough to check us out and put us into different accommodation on the west coast. They first tried to overcharge us (6600vt instead of 5600vt for the room; and wrong number of nights), but relented after we showed them our booking email and a printout of their website. The lack of prior information about food and tour costs, even when you try to ask about this (the website food and tour prices are pretty irrelevant), was particularly annoying because you need to pay cash. I'm not sure what Sunrise does when customers end up short of cash? Eat them? Hey, we're in Vanuatu...

After paying up, we were taken to Sunset bungalows near Lenakel on west Tanna, which turned out to be cleaner, free of bedbugs (both places have mice, though!), with better and cheaper food, and no attempts to rip us off.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SunriseBu, Manager at Sunrise Bungalows, responded to this review, October 30, 2011
This is my short statement written against towards a statement advertised through TripAvisor Reviews on April 18 2009.
I am serving my short statement to make it clear to all people all around the globes concerning a complains advertised through TripAdvisor reviews on this date 18th April 2009. Be advised that during that time, Sunrise vehicle was in the garage with engine problem. We organised another driver to pick up them up and this is why a driver picked up the locals on the way to Sunrise bungalows. A driver should not pick up the locals while servicing our clients and this is our faults to inform a driver about it. This is our normal charge for airport to Sunrise is 5000 VT for two people. Normaly, it takes 1 half hours to drive and it took 2 hours drived because of some stop overs on the way to Sunrise bungalows.
According to our meals we normally charged 1000 Vt for lunch and 1500 Vt for dinner for each person. The price given are charge according to the meals expenses.
Yes, a bungalow they stayed has a problem and with no mosquito net and now it is fixed and has new mosquito net on it.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2009

This place was fantastic! For basic accom at a great price it more than exceeded our expectations. Ths hosts were lovely and organised all tours for us. It was recommended by a friend and I will be recommending it to anyone I know going to Tanna!! Chef was great, food was lovely, we took lunch food stuff wih us as we were normally out for the day (there is no fridge though - its vanuatu). Great authentic tanna village experience - made kava with the hosts. So much more to Tanna than just the volcano you need 4 days at least!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2009

We spent two memorable nights at Sunrise Bungalows.

When we arrived in Tanna at the airport, we were met by Morris from Sunrise who was waiting for us. We clambered into the four wheel drive and were away on our Tanna adventure.

I had previously asked the kind folk of Sunrise in an e-mail if they had bottled water and they said we could buy some on the way to the bungalow. So we stopped at a town called Black Man Town (it’s even on the signs), because it is owned by the locals so the money stays on the island. We went into a shop brought some water and then waited outside. Morris returned from talking to some of the locals and asked my husband if he wanted to try kava (welcome to Tanna). After some hesitation he did and it wasn’t as bad as he had expected (tastes like dirty dish washing water).

From there we went to one of their village homes to get provisions and while there we met the family busy preparing and cooking dinner over a fire. One of the live crabs made a hopeful escape but was soon caught by the chef and returned to the boiling water. We carried on to our bungalow slowing down so the locals in our 4WD could talk to people in villages; this was a nice introduction to Tanna and its way of life. At the moment their vehicle is closed in, but they have brought another Sunrise vehicle that is a twin cab (my husband says he saw a couple of seats facing backwards on the back as well).

We were greeted at Sunrise Bungalows with a beautiful smile, a necklace made of leaves and flowers and a home made passionfruit drink. The food is very yummy; the fruit is much sweeter than Australia’s. From memory breakfast was the home made passionfruit cordial (so we did drink the local water with no problem), fruit, bread with spreads and Tanna coffee. Dinner was three courses, the first night the main was fish and the second a local chicken dish. I know the chicken was fresh because that afternoon there were two, the next day there was one.

We stayed in Sun 1 bungalow; to one side was the bush and when the sky is clear you can see the smoke from the volcano above. The other side was a view from the top of a cliff which over looked the ocean that the sunrise turns into a postcard prefect picture. The bungalow had two rooms and a veranda. The first room has a couple of chairs and a coffee table and the main room has a large double bed and a single bed, both with mozzie nets. It poured down one night and the bungalow kept us perfectly dry, so even with its few construction imperfections, it still does its job and keeps you dry and comfortable. They are building more bungalows and another toilet block at the moment and they seem to be using some more modern materials (brick and solid doors). The toilet block has western style toilets and showers (cold water only). There are also bungalows that have their own facilities.

There is a track below Sun 1 that goes down to the ocean, even if you don’t want to go all the way down, go part of the way for a look, I thought it was beautiful. If you’re interested in local schools - there is a French school at the start of the driveway and at least one other in walking distance.

The volcano is about 20 minutes drive away. Morris (our guide who knows all things Tanna) walked to the top with us and showed us the best spots to stand. It seemed other operators waited at the bottom for their quests.

If you’re looking for a slice of tropical paradise that hasn’t been spoilt by western civilisation (with the exception of the odd four wheel drive and the toilets), Sunrise Bungalows is it. A tidy, beautiful location with friendly staff that are always ready to do what they can to make your stay perfect.

As everybody we met says; we wish we spent more time in Tanna.

  • Liked — Owned by locals and you felt like a friend rather than a guest.
  • Disliked — -
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Sunrise Bungalows

Address: Manuapen | Lenakel, Tanna Island 4, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Tanna Island
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Tanna Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunrise Bungalows is located in Turtle Bay, Manuapen, on the south east coast of Tanna Island, close to the Mount active Yasur volcano, Shark bay and Port Resolution. The Bungalows and Restaurant are situated on the top of cliff overlooking the ocean. Bungalows are locally built and owned and managed. Sunrise is a place for adventure, harmony, serenity and peace and quiet with a fresh ocean breeze. ... more   less 
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