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“Truly special in an outstanding location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Uepi Island Resort

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Uepi Island Resort
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Uepi Island | Marovo Lagoon, Uepi, Solomon Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uepi
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Truly special in an outstanding location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We have recently returned from our 14th trip to this magnificent spot. We are casual divers with two kids - we have been taking them to Uepi since they were 3 months old.

Uepi and its surrounds are the definition of true luxury to us - magnificent, pristine wilderness remote enough to be off the tourist beat. The accomodation is basic but very clean and comfortable with beautiful rainforest and/or lagoon outlooks. Great facilities for divers and the main house and bar where breakfast and dinner are served have a fantastic location and outlook at the tip of the island. Food is wonderful, home cooked style and plentiful. Emphasis on fresh seafood (hard to tire of coral trout, crayfish, mudcrab, freshest ever sashimi!) but a pretty good variety considering how remote this place is. The Kellys make sure you are well looked after, and the service (local villagers are staffers) has laid back local charm. If you are a high maintenance type into the textbook luxury of glam resorts then this isn't for you. Happily, Uepi attracts a varied range of international guests who are typically interesting, engaged types who 'get it' and that adds to the attraction of this destination.

The wildlife above and below the water is amazing and the more we visit, the more we see and appreciate in this special place. In one snorkel at Uepi Point my little one managed to see some giant trevally, a huge barracuda school, maori wrasse and a herd of bumphead parrotfish, eagle rays, the ever-present sharks, a very confident octopus, not to mention the fields of beautiful and varied corals and of course nemo. We sometimes do nothing for days on end just sitting in the lagoon under the shady trees playing with the kids and feeding the fish. The diving is wonderful, lots of big stuff but experienced divers always rave about the diversity of little stuff also. Our favourite dives are right off the island but there are unspoiled wrecks and other interesting stuff a boat rodeo away.

The owners are heavily involved in the local community, providing jobs, and extensive scholarships and medical programs to the lagoons population. They are passionate about Uepi and its reefs and are very experienced and knowledgeable divers, with some great stories.

The simplicity of this wonderful place is perfectly appropriate to the location, and provides the ultimate venue for relaxing and forgetting the world...

Room Tip: Garden bungalows get cross breezes and are just 50m from the water. Waterfront bungalows more expose...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We have stayed at several pacific dive resorts in recent years and Uepi would be the most impressive location. Breakfast and dinner were served in the dining room/lounge building, a short walk from the bungalows. Lunch is prepared and delivered to the bungalows to enjoy at your leisure. The meals were excellent albeit a little heavy on the seafood. But we expected that when surrounded by water and fish. Local vegetables/salad/food predominated so we did crave tomatoes, beetroot, cheese, apples, oranges after a while. For predominantly western guests I think some of these home foods could be provided even if of the tinned variety.

The accommodation was very good and whilst not 5 star, was very comfortable given the location. Ceiling fans and a floor fan provided adequate air flow for the hot, humid nights. Comfortable, huge beds for sleep. Tables, chairs, lounges, hammocks provided ample facilities to relax inside and on the bungalow decking. Mosquitoes were not a problem during our November stay, but the bungalows are well screened anyhow. Our bungalow had all the facilities and supplies needed for comfortable holidaying - electric lights, kitchen, toilet, shower, wash basin, and associated dishwash/body wash/shampoo/conditioner. Electric jug and teabags, plunger coffee, sugar and milk satisfied our need for regular beverages. A small fridge to hold cold water/drinks. Plenty of power points for charging batteries.

But then there was the diving. In the tropics, like most places you take your chances with the environment when diving. We were lucky and had about 50% bright sunny days and the rest was rain and dull light. Dull days are not good for soaking up the colorful coral reefs. And when many of the dives are walls at 20-30 meters the viewing is almost like a night dive. But you take the good with the bad and make the best of if. We were luckier than most other guests in that the day we chose to snorkel at the manta ray cleaning station they actually turned up. Plenty of small and schooling fish and reasonable number of reef sharks during our time at Uepi. Visibility was generally poor while we were there but it was coral spawning season. But 15-20m viz is OK, especially if the sun is out. The dive operation and facilities were good, as were the boat and dive staff. Impressive gear storage stations of local wood structure for guests. The only complaint I would make, but didn't, is that the gear rinsing water should be changed daily. It wasn't and got quite dirty after a while. Jill and Grant, our hosts were great and dedicated to their cause and lifestyle. They were hands-on hosts and looked after their guests well. We were first timers at Uepi, but many of the other guests we met were regulars. This is an indication of the quality of this dive resort.

Room Tip: Bungalow/Cabin 1 is fully wood paneled and stand alone. It is probably the best of them.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tasmania
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We don't usually go back to a place but returned to Uepi as our daughter is living in Honiara at the moment.
Uepi is a great diving destination, well organized and lots to see. The food is excellent, as much crayfish and mud crab as you can eat. Grant and Jill are great hosts.
The cabins are rather like Aussie caravan park cabins, rather tired and dated but that is the only
downside, the beds were comfortable though.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

We first visited Uepi two years ago and fell in love with the place. This time we visited with a dive group from Byron Bay (Sun Dive) and had an even better time.
Jill, Grant, Josh and all of the staff really went out of their way to make us feel at home. The food was fantastic - Jill, you really need to produce an Uepi Cook book, it would sell like hot cakes. The chickens and eggs are free range and so fresh, the fish and seafood is all freshly caught. We had sashimi several times as an extra course and Oysters from their own Oyster beds a couple of times.
My husband is a diver and I am not, he loved all of his dives - even squeezing in an extra on the Saturday morning. He was lucky to do the Manta snorkelling trip on the Sunday when there were 3-4 Mantas around, one of which was feeling playful and seemed to really engage with him. As a non diver, I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and spending time in the water watching all of the fish or on the Welcome Jetty watching the sharks. It was also great to hear all of the diving stories each evening at dinner.
One of the great things about this resort is that the owners really care about the area and are trying to make a difference - encouraging sustainable fishing and supporting education and health services in the Morovo Lagoon. So as a tourist you can feel like you are making a difference at the same time as having a fun and relaxing holiday.
Last time we stayed lagoon front, this time we stayed in a garden bungalow and both were great. The garden bungalow did have more afternoon shade and better breezes but it's hard to beat direct water access.
So, to everyone at Uepi, thank you for a memorable holiday and hopefully we'll be back soon.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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new zealand
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

They say you always the first time and so visiting Uepi again two years later was always going to be a comparison.
We were not disappointed, we what we thought was even better diving than previous with what appears more fish life and bigger sharks.
Grant was very good at allowing us to get at least three dives a day in and if your British divers that just have to get amongst the coral and walls you can understand that thats our main reason to go there was to dive.
We managed to find over thirty different species of nudibranch over our seven days.
Dive guide again were great and its good to see some young blood.
Food was great and the new bar area our mainstay when not diving.
OK the chalets are getting a little tired now, but you are in the middle of nowhere and thats the big plus for Uepi.
Its a private resort and obviously very protective about the reef and coral which is brilliant.
We just sometimes felt though that we are intruding a little on Jill's little patch of paradise and paying guests privileged to dive there.
Hey, us Brits are expected to have our views on something..and its not a moan but an observation from previous paying guests.
Uepi is not for the cheapskate, but if you love diving in small groups or often on your own with only a guide then visit.
Mark and Chris now living in New zealand

Room Tip: Stay near the beach
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Just had a week in this fantastic resort, scuba diving.

This is a small intimate resort, owned and managed by an Australian family for 30 odd years.
The whole resort runs like a well oiled machine. Meals, diving, accommodation, transfers all perfect.
Accommodation is spacious, comfortable and clean, not five star chain hotel, but that is not what we want.
The food is fantastic, sourced locally as much as possible to help local economy, plentiful seafood.
Dining is at communal tables, so you get to socialise with the other guests, who were mostly divers also.
Uepi Resort and our travel agent recommended we combine stay with transfer and time at Wilderness Lodge a few hours South by boat. We did this and absolutey recommend the combination.
We will certainly be returning to Uepi.
The scuba diving in the Uepi area is spectacular.
All the staff are very friendly and very helpful.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Stavanger
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

We loved this place. It does feel like you are guests of the owners/managers and are living like one big communal family which may put off some people. It also means that you have to be fairly sociable at dinner times which may not always be to everyone's liking. We met quite a few regular guests and dinner conversations with strangers actually added to the holiday. This is a place for divers although the snorkelling is amazing enough on its own right. Harmless sharks off the jetty? The resort is dated but it is charming and has the charm of feeling like it is an outpost in the middle of the jungle. This is a remote resort on a remote lagoon in a remote corner of the world. It is run well (no mean feat given its location) with attention to all the right details. Not much of a sandy beach but plenty of places to swim. The diving was phenomenal and this is why this is a popular spot for serious recreational divers. Marovo lagoon is outstanding beautiful and remarkably untouched by tourism. Go before this disappears. Thanks to Josh, Josh's mum, Lloydie, Jason and all the others for making it all so enjoyable.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Uepi Island Resort

Address: Uepi Island | Marovo Lagoon, Uepi, Solomon Islands
Location: Solomon Islands > Uepi
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uepi
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With an international reputation for excellence, Uepi Island Resort in the Western Province is the ultimate getaway in the Solomons. World class diving, snorkeling and sea kayaking is complemented by beachfront bungalow accommodation, friendly personalized service and meals based on fresh local produce. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Uepi Island Hotel Marovo

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