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“Lovely Place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of White Grass Ocean Resort

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White Grass Ocean Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   2 kms from the airport, Tanna Island, Vanuatu   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tanna Island
Luanda, Angola
Top Contributor
602 reviews 602 reviews
328 hotel reviews
Reviews in 298 cities Reviews in 298 cities
929 helpful votes 929 helpful votes
“Lovely Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2009

I stayed here for only one night as part of a Unitr Airlines package (with upgrade) to visit the volcano. My advice is not to go with Unity as you get in at after 1 PM and leave at 9:30 the next day so don't have time to vsit the cultural village or do anything other than climb the volcano. Book direct with the property and fly Air Vanuatu instead and save money to boot.

Unity had caled the hotel just before our charter arrived but there was confusion and no one to pick us up, so we just had time for a snack before doing the volcano tour by the time we got to the resort. One there, however, all was well and we were well looked after.

The rooms are simple but the setting lovely. The menu is limited but the food good. (Other resorts feed their guests a few pieces of bread and fruit. and have no hot water.)

The volcano tours are wonderful. The best view is usually on the higher left rim, but children and elderly can go to the easier right rim for a view of the smaller crater. Bring some glasses and eye drops as you will get volcano ash blown into your eyes. Also, bring a sweater or jacket as it gets cold. Best time to see the volcano is at dawn, but no operator runs dawn tours. Speak to your driver as to whether they would be willing to set off at 3 AM to take you and if they agree the manager's will let you go. The cost to go to the volcano a second time is half price or about $60 per person.

I wished I would have have had two nights here.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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300 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2009

Now if you are reading this read the entire review as I have contained alot of tips.

Firstly this is a great resort to stay in. 35 minutes by plane from Port Villa is the Island of Tanna. One thing you want to do once you get out of a plane is to travel to your accommodation base and unpack and relax. Fortunately White Grass Resort (WGR) is just 5 minutes down the road.

You will be greeted by Robyn or Ted and shown the ropes to the resort. Your bags are delived to the rooms by the employees while you are listening to all the attractions etc of Tanna.

Robyn and Ted are great. Robyn has worked as manager for a number of 5 star resorts in Australia and Vanuatu. She really knows what her guest needs are.

You'll find Ted in the bar. :-) He is always happy for you to tlk to him and he will leave you alone as well so you can enjoy the serenity this place has to offer.

The little burre's are cute. Bed, lounge chair, toilet, shower, basin etc. There are no cooking facilities in the room. And on this note there arent any shops around either so youve guessed it, you have to eat and drink in the restaurant. And yes you pay for it...

Each Burre is located away from others so if youre noisy in the sack (snoring of course), then it wont wake your neighbours.

Best time to visit here is in early May. Before the school holidays and after the wet season. We had fantastic weather there.

Now for the attractions.

I think the trip to Mt Yasur Volcano is a must. In fact anything I do now is going to come in as a second. Its that good. The trip is really a safari. The road is rougher than anything Ive been on. But dont let that put you off. Its part of the fun.

WGR arrange the tour. So its only guests that come with you.

Dont wear anything white or light in colour. (Ash). Still I had orange runners and that was ok but then again we had no rain. Once you get to the volcano theres a walk for about 20 minutes. Its straight up.

On the rim there are no roped lookout areas. Its a real deal. You are on the edge of the Volcano. So for parents its a good idea to instruct your kids youre history shoud you go over the edge.

Again its all part of the experience.

The time will be at dusk so you will see the mountain at its best. You can get your bearings before night falls. The volcano vent explodes every few minutes. And what a blast. Some rocks obviously go over your head judging by the debris all around however the main vents (4 in total) blow the lava and rock on the other sides from where the lookouts are. Still, follow your guide's directions. They know best. Take video and photos. Its a blast (excuse the pun)

Snorkeling is also worth doing. I was in the water everyday.

The shelf off the jetty is the place to go. The shelf drops away about 30-40 metres. And its alive with coral and fish. Even the inexperienced should do it as well. Its safe and Robyn will give you a whistle before you go out.

About 100 metres off the shore is a Turtle Sanctuary. Its great to see turtles swimming around and if you are lucky you will see a sea snake or rays.

There are more attractions for you to do but these were my highlights.

A big mistake people make is that they stay here for 1 or 2 nights. We stayed for 5 nights so we could really relax. I understand its fairly expensive but just do it. You wont be disappointed.

I recommend the oinion chees and ham omlette. Its delicious.

Hopefully a band will be playing their traditional music. It all has the same beat.

Have a good time if you are going and say hi to Robyn and Ted for Mike and Reina.

Good travelling.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

We spent two nights at White Grass, originally only going to Tanna to see the volcano - this was a mistake - I should have booked longer. There is a very good reason why White Grass won the Best Accommodation award last year and that is because it is FANTASTIC !!!

I took my husband to Vanuatu as a surprise for his 40th birthday and Tanna was definitely the highlight of the trip. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the bure was clean and comfortable, and the food fresh and delicious. We arrived mid afternoon and were given a very warm welcome by Robyn. The surrounding gardens and coast line are stunning and Brandy, the dog, makes a great guide. I dare anyone to find a better lobster dinner for AUD$40 pp anywhere and we still can not believe how beautiful our first sunset over the sea was.

The volcano is definitely the most well known highlight of Tanna Island but the people and sights you see on the 40km trip are the island's hidden secret. This is the real Vanuatu - small villages with extremely friendly people waving as you go passed. We also walked to the village near White Grass and were treated to an impromptu concert by a group of children singing hymns. I would liked to have had the time to do one of the other tours but that gives us a reason to return :)

Be warned - the trip to the volcano is rough. 40 kms took 2 hours and I did end up bruised. An older couple (probably 65) did find the trip difficult on sore legs and backs. Actually, I would say that the trip has more dangerous aspects than being at the actual volcano - a group that did the tour the day before got bogged 3 times and the road is quite steep in places. At the volcano, just make sure you stick to what the guide says and it is quite safe.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2009

We were lucky enough to include 6days/5nights at White grass ocean resort and would have traded in the rest of our honeymoon to stay there longer. What bliss! It was everything I imagined the honeymoon should be like, the cute bure, the fantastic views, the wonderful no stress pace. It was heaven! We both couldn't get over just how nice and helpful ALL the staff were. The managers were fantastic! Loved Ted and Robyn. They manage everything so very well and always helpful and happy! We made wonderful friends with the staff and can not wait to go back again.

A major highlight for us was the food! Magnificent is an under statement. All organic, all local and freshly caught, made, baked! We loved everything we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The volcano tour was amazing, with staying longer it gave us the opportunity to go up again if we wanted to. We also did the Black magic tour! Erik and his community are wonderful and welcoming, a wonderful tour if you are thinking about doing it. Also the Yakel hill tribe was a true highlight for me. We had a wonderful day with Tom and his village.

The location of Whitegrass is perfect, It was the perfect part of our honeymoon and I cannot thank the managers and staff enough.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

We fell in love with White Grass Ocean Resort from the moment we drove into its gates, sitting in the back of the Hilux which picked us up from the airport. Ted welcomed us with a refreshing lime drink and a rundown of the resort and its facilities.

We were in one of the older bures (bungalows) which, although basic, contained everything we needed. From the fresh flowers on the bed, to the beautifully arranged mosquito nets, to the steady supply of hot water, the accommodation exceeded our expectations in every way.

The Black Magic and Blue Cave tours are an excellent way to experience the best the island has to offer. Don't bother pre-booking tours - Robyn and Ted will arrange everything for you. We arrived at 11:00am and did the Black Magic Tour that same afternoon. The Mt Yasur Volcano tour is also a must-do and is worth every cent.

The service, facilities and location of the resort are outstanding and I wouldn't hesitate to return to White Grass Ocean Resort.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2009

Resort is very nice, lovely gardens and a nice pool. Bungalows traditional, fan was not very good and there was no hanging or shelf space for our clothes... that may just have been our particular bungalow however. Comfy bed and mossie nets good. Warm shower too.
Great snorkelling off the pier and at Bluehole 1 and 2. Wear reef shoes. Found the pier a bit scarey when water a bit rough.
It rained a lot and it can be very isolating in the rain. Tanna cooler than Villa but wetter. Spent 4 nights in Villa and 3 in Tanna and we found the no of nights in each just right.
I thought the food at the resort was not very good. Limited choices and not very tasty. Food overcooked more than once.
Resort hosts were great and very helpful.
Bikes at the resort not good at all. They charge quite a bit to use them, yet not one bike had everything working.
Tanna more remote than we thought it would be. Spent a year backpacking to some very remote places in Asia but Tanna is up there with remoteness. Very friendly villagers.
Spent 2 days trying to get to the volcano. First day was so wet that we could not cross the river. River is at the foot of volcano and we had to travel 3 hours to get to river just to not get up to see the volcano. We broke down on the way and spent 1.5 hrs waiting for a lift. Second day, did the whole 7 hr trip again. Was bruised and battered from the trip, no made roads, dead wet and slippery and potholes. We had to pull a local out of the mud. But wouldn't have missed it. Was amazing seeing a volcano errupt. Can honestly say i was dead scared however, was shaking like a leaf. Was high up and raining and windy and dead smelly.
One thing that i think is important to say, when we checked out they tried to charge us half price for the first trip to see the volcano when we didnt actually see it. Maybe this is to cover the guide and petrol etc. but i thought it was cheaky baring in mind we were not told in advance that we would be charged even if we didnt make it and no one really expected us to make it i dont think cos the weather had been so bad. If i had been told i would be charged for the first trip i would not have done it cos i didnt think we would get there.

  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QLD AUS
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

We went to Whitegrass after spending 4 nights in Port Vila. When we first arrived, we were so blown away by the beauty of the island and the perfect location of the resort, that we immediately wished that we were staying longer. That changed, however, when it rained the entire next day. Its an amazing place, very tranquil, romantic, and you feel like you are truly isolated on the most beautiful place in the world...thats if its sunny.... If its raining, you want nothing more than to get on the first plane out of there as there is quite literally nothing to do in the rain. And it seems like every bug, spider, and flying "thing" wants to take a time-out in your room, while its raining. Unfortunatly, most of the fly screens on our windows were ripped, so there was no stopping them. We went to see the volano, but because of the bad weather, we didn't stay long and the roads were very muddy, which made it a scary and dangerous road trip. We also went to one the primary schools and brought them school supplies. The children were so beautiful and friendly.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about White Grass Ocean Resort

Address: 2 kms from the airport, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Tanna Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tanna Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — White Grass Ocean Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
14 Ocean front Bures sitting amounst tropical gardens. Direct access to Ocean for snorkeling & swimming. On site full service Bar and Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Grass Ocean Hotel Tanna Island
White Grass Ocean Tanna

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