Lifou is a 40 minute flight from Noumea. We stayed at Drehu Village for 6 nights over Christmas. We were met at airport in an unmarked, fairly old van. Check-in wasn't particularly welcoming and there was some dispute over a 'compulsory' (not the case as it transpired) payment of a special Christmas Eve dinner, which we had in fact pre-paid. LOCATION - right on the beach at Chateaubriand Bay, facing East (so be up early for a sunrise shot as sunsets don't happen). The sand is clean and white and the water clear, however there are no sun lounges or umbrellas. ROOMS - two rows of bungalows, all described as 'waterfront' but if you are in the second row that is certainly not accurate, fortunately we were well positioned in front. Rooms themselves are okay, lot of dark timber so combined with very little natural or artificial light, they are dim. One key deadlocks both the front door and deck door which was bothersome, taking key in and out of each. The bathroom was small and basic and the towels extremely threadbare. No hairdryer supplied. Bed comfortable but strangest lumpy pillows we've ever come across. FACILITIES - did not use the pool, given its very close proximity to restaurant and bar area, only a few ordinary outdoor chairs around it. There appeared to be a games room. RESTAURANT - other than the daily menu, a choice of two entrees/ mains and desserts at a set price, everything was written in French only so ordering from the a la carte was difficult and expensive. There was often very lengthy wait times due to insufficient staff. Entrees and desserts were best, the mains patchy in quality, a lot of tuna based dishes (on daily menu). Breakfast was average. TOURS - alternate days going to North or South. We travelled North, our guide showed up late in same unmarked van, which we noticed had two warning lights on the whole time, and while he was friendly, had extremely limited English so we didn't get a whole lot of information. It really would be best to hire a car and see places on your own, the roads are well sign-posted and not busy and time could be spent at some of the gorgeous snorkelling spots we could only have 10 minutes looking at. STAFF - mostly not helpful or friendly and limitations if you didn't speak, read or understand French. NEARBY - are two supermarkets, within a 10 minute walk (walk down driveway and right at the roundabout), the larger one particularly (furthest from hotel), stocks all you need for putting together your own lunch. OVERALL - Drehu Village is certainly somewhere to go for total relaxation as the days are long and quiet, there is no spa or entertainment. Maybe it was just the time of year we stayed but the orientation East meant that every day was windy, even to the point of being unpleasant. I did ask our guide re this and he said it was always like that but possibly this was something else lost in translation. There was also a stray dog that hung around all the time, following guests along the beach and coming into the restaurant at night which we found very off putting. Check-out was as our welcome and the receptionist did not even raise her head to say good-bye or au revoir as we walked past for the last time to the same van with warning lights still aglow!
- Also Known As:
- Drehu Village Hotel Lifou