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“One of the most beautiful setting anywhere in the world with stunning views in all directions” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sanbis Resort

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Sanbis Resort
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Mbabanga Island | Western Province, Gizo, Ghizo Island 1100, Solomon Islands   |  
Hotel website
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Gizo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“One of the most beautiful setting anywhere in the world with stunning views in all directions”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

This resort is really beautifully sited and located. The staff, many of whom are of Gilbertese origin are lovely and will do all they can to be helpful.Transfers run on Solomon time are can be early or late and it is advisable to double check with the staff. The diving is stunning - some of the very best we have ever enjoyed. Wreck dives and walls alive with corals and teeming with the most stunning array of fish life. Just drifting along in the current is a dream experience. Apart from pizza the menu is limited and some food items can run out, however staff will improvise to try to please you.
The new lodge is the pride and joy of the establishment but existing accommodation while pleasant and very clean, is due for a bit of maintenance and tidying up

Room Tip: If you travel with a small group consider the new lodge as an option. Nicely appointed, quiet and ra...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2011

excellent host and staff in an idylic location, what more could you want. the food is fresh and plentiful. great spa and accomodations. the ability to slide into the water for a swim or snorkel and return to the bar for a relaxd was awesome. the fishing is without question the bets i've seen. must stay location...

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Perth, Australia
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

We wanted to go somewhere really unique and not commercialized. We stayed in "the Lodge" within Sanbis since there were two couples and some wanted air-conditioning. We were greeted at the airport and led to the boat which took us to the island. When we stepped into the lodge, I was thrilled. The design of the open air living room, kitchen, sitting room with deck and jetty looked like something out of a design magazine. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our bedrooms were sparkling clean every day. Our sheets, which I learned were washed in rainwater, were super soft. The food was fresh, delicious, and beautifully plated in the "guests only" dining room. In the more casual, on the water bar area, we got hooked on the brick oven pizzas. We went scuba diving almost every day at some remarkable sites and the staff made it very convenient. We told them what we wanted to see that day and they took us right to the wrecks, reefs, manta cleaning station, whatever. VERY personalized. The dive guide stayed with us the entire time. 4 divers, 2 staff. We picnicked on deserted sandy beaches in between dives. My favorite was the night dive off the jetty bar. Hans, the owner, and his crew sunk a boat a few hundred meters from the resort making it an easy snorkeling or night dive destination. On our last day we walked across the island through the villages and jungle like paths. It was wonderful. When packing, take sunscreen and bug spray and pack light (this is a very casual place). This is a remote location and it is an eco resort, don't expect the downtown luxury hotel experience. If you are looking for a relaxed vacation on a beautiful exotic island you will be thrilled!

Room Tip: This is a small resort. It is fantastic. Email directly with Hans to make sure it is the right
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

Spent the day here a couple of times. Great design your own Pizza's, starting from $170 SBD. Fantastic snorkelling around the resturant. The boat goes over at 11am and returns at 5pm from the Gizo Hotel pier. There is also the option of going over for dinner, leaving on the 5pm boat and coming back with the staff change over at 10pm. Would recommend it for a nice dinner, and lovely change from Gizo! Also, there is some (limited) free equiptment for borrowing, such as snorkelling gear, and pool table to keep you occupied.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

It was a toss-up between Sanbis and Fatboys and Sanbis won us over due to their no children policy. Fatboys is on the same island, however, and after visiting it one afternoon for lunch, we were glad we had booked at Sanbis.

The flights were all good and on time and we were met by a Sanbis employee who took us to the resort by boat (a ten minute ride).

The chalets at Sanbis are very private and comfortable – all of them on the waters edge - with hot showers (although the weather is hot and a cold shower is fine most of the time, there is just nothing like a hot shower after diving or swimming!) The shower water was a bit salty but apparently they are about to change over to a new well so that should fix that problem.
There are mosquito coils, insect spray and nets in the room and the windows are screened but lots of mozzies find their way in and a full bottle of personal repellent is an absolute must - not so much for when you are sleeping as you have the net but in the morning and evenings they are out in full force - even when dining. One thing we did find was that they put the mozzi coil on a little shelf next to the bed and for the first three days, the other couple and ourselves could not work out why we woke up foggy headed and feeling like we had sinus – then it dawned on me and once we moved the coil to the other side of the room, we had no more problems. The rooms have a verandah which is lovely when you don’t feel like mixing with others - although the resort only holds about 12 - 15 people so it’s not like there are people everywhere! Coffee, tea and drinking water are provided in your room as are towels and shampoo/soap. Occasionally we asked for some ice and soft drinks so that we could have a couple of our duty free drinks at sundown and they were more than obliging.
We were fortunate to be able to look through the new ‘Lodge’ and have to say that it is stunning – if you are looking to be extremely private and have the extra luxury, then it is a fabulous place.
The food was good but it lacked a bit of choice - but I think that is everywhere here in the Solomons as you are pretty much limited to fish and chicken – it wears a bit thin by the sixth or seventh day. (On a trip to Gizo, we had a look at the markets and there is really nothing exciting food wise and very small variety!) Even the vegetables are pretty limited here. We did have crayfish a few nights which were delicious. There is a pizza oven in the bar over the water and they make a welcome change and they really are delicious. We found ourselves eating dinner down there most nights as the breeze stopped the mozzies. We were glad that we bought some chocolate and lollies with us as there is nothing to fill the urge for something sweet when you need it.

The staff are very friendly and really go out of their way to help fill any request – nothing is too much trouble.
There is wi-fi and mobile reception (occasionally) - you can buy a wi-fi card to use. Anything you forget, they will gladly buy for you in Gizo, if it is available – or you can do the trip yourself. Gizo was as fitlhy and uninteresting as I thought it might be. The Gizo Hotel was nice though and worth going to for a meal for a change. You can sit upstairs on the open air deck and watch the world go by and they do have things like toasted sandwiches and burgers and pies (not sure if I would be brave enough to try a pie!)

The diving is spectacular - not only from the point of being gorgeous and untouched but it was wonderful to be the only boat at a dive site and sometimes, the only couple diving. The water is a balmy 29 degrees all year round and so we only dived with rash shirts but they do have a small range of stinger suits for divers to use. You are dropped off on an island for an hour between dives and they give you a packed lunch (fish! - we got sandwiches the first day but the next three were fish - next time I would ask for sandwiches and fruit). I prefered the dives that Ravia (the dive guide) took us to around Sanbis to the ones that are advertised as the best places to go.

The snorkelling is just as good and Sanbis have a sunken tuna boat right in front of the resort as well as some great coral and giant clams. There are also kayaks for free use. The fishing was not great on our trip and that was one reason that went to the Solomons - it seems that it gets 'fished out' from boats with nets every now and again and takes a few months to recover. Not sure if that is just in the Gizo area or all over the Solomons.... but a bit disappointing considering it is supposed to be so good. However, Sanbis did all they could to make the fishing successful and we eventually caught some fish but not as many or as big as we expected to catch here. The staff prepared them for our dinner and they were delicious!

All in all, I loved our trip but I have to say I was rather over the fish, fish, fish and chicken meals and the mosquitoes by the end of the week. If you are looking for a nice quiet break away and some good diving then this is the place for you.
Not having children around really made the difference to us - not that I dont like kiddies but we have been there and done that and now are able to holiday on our own.

Thanks Hans, for the great hospitality while we were there - we really enjoyed ourselves.

Room Tip: Obviously, if you can afford the lodge, that is the cream of the crop but otherwise all the other ro...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2011

Hans, we have been a bit slack with giving our feedback but have not forgotten about you. Thank you so much for looking after us at your resort in March ... We have had THE BEST holiday and we have told many people about Sanbis and advised them to visit.

To all the readers:
If you want to shop, have (over) crowded beaches, travel with small kids and be entertained all day then this is not the place for you. This is a place where you go to relax, enjoy nature, eat delicious (sea) food, go fishing, snorkel gorgeous reefs and dive on the American Hellcat (see photo). If want to get away from it all then this is the place for you. Sanbis has its own house reef that which is literally 5 meters away from your bungalow.
The staff services your every need and they are loving local people. Hans handles his staff more like family instead of his workers and has some amazing stories to share about the area and the history of Gizo.
We do reiterate that this is an ECO resort so don’t be surprised about limited lighting in the bungalows and the occasional salt water showers and tap water. There is plenty of bottled water available at the resort.
If you consider visiting Solomons you must have read that it not bombarded by tourism yet so go with the flow and don’t be upset that you do not get ALL the fancy amenities that you are you used to at home... Its paradise you just need to get on that plane and see it for yourself...

Brett, Teus and Ilse

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

Several people asked me "where's that?" when i said i was going to the Solomon Islands, of course i was tempted to let them languish in their pool of ignorance as this is not a place that i would want just anyone to go to. I would reserve it for people who i really thought were worthy of this wonderful destination and specifically Sanbis the oasis of civilisation in a sea of mediocrity. From start to finish our experience was quite exquisite and ticked every box that we imagined as well as some of those we had not. Hans was the consummate host and the staff were attentive without being instrusive, friendly without being unprofessional and always willing to help and assist no matter how large or small the request. The staff were also really considerate and we always found that our towels or swimmers that were hanging out to dry were whisked indoors off our balcony as soon as the afternoon rain loomed. Without doubt, this is the best destination that i have stayed at for as long as i care to remember and i have no doubt that i will return just as soon as i can. The food is exquisite and what would cost you $50 AUD in a restarant in Sydney, costs between $20-$25 AUD. The seafood is wonderful and takes fresh to a whole new level. My girlfriend caught a Tuna and we were eating it wiithin 1 hour of landing it. Peole travel from far and wide to have the Pizza and whilst you are able to relax in the overwater SB bar with a chilly Solbrew, you also have the option of retreating to the guest only bar for a bit of solace which is a very nice touch. The coral and marine life around the resort is wonderful and the highlight for me was snorkelling on the purpose sunk fishing boat (artificial reef) which is home to all sort of large and small critters, from Barracuda to Zebra fish. We went on a total of 6 dives and each was unique and fascinating. We did a night dive as well as the Toa Maru, Hellcat, Naru Wall, The Beach, The Gap to name but a few. I thoroughly recommend doing all of the above and they are made even more enjoyable by both Patchun and Ravia, the dive / fishing / boat crew. We stayed at Olasana island for the morning / afternoon and if you would like to experience true isolation, it is but a short boat ride away. There is so much to write, however Hans has managed to create an Eco sensitive resort whilst providing an incredibly relaxed and comfortable environment. The only time i wore footwear was on arrival and departure! It is a testament to the design of the resort that you never hear the other couples in their bungalows as there is plenty of room between them and each is screened from the other by palm trees. I could think of nothing worse than sharing a wall which i believe is the case in other resorts around the Gizo area. The showers were hot, the beds comfortable, we had lanterns lit in our room every night along with mosquito coils and we were lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. If you are after a party atmosphere i would recommend that you stay at other establishments that are geared towards the less discerning traveller. If you are after a truly relaxing holiday where the pace is set entirely by your own wishes then this is the place for you. A big thank you to all the staff that worked so hard, but made it appear so effortless to ensure that our stay was without reproach, Josie, Daisy, Kavia, William, Patchun, Ravia and of course our host Hans, THANK YOU.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanbis Resort

Address: Mbabanga Island | Western Province, Gizo, Ghizo Island 1100, Solomon Islands
Location: Solomon Islands > Ghizo Island > Gizo
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Gizo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Total Exclusivity! Located on a secluded island approximately 7 minutes from Gizo by boat, Sanbis Resort offers premier accommodation with each bungalow having its own private beach; ensuite with hot water and a stunning view across the lagoon. The number of bungalows has been limited to six to ensure privacy and luxury for guests. You will be spoilt in every way possible. The resort boasts a gourmet kitchen with a fully stocked bar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sanbis Hotel Gizo

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