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Bp 396, Luganville, Espiritu Santo Vanuatu
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About

#1 of 11 hotels in Luganville
Location
4.9
Cleanliness
4.6
Service
4.7
Value
4.3
Ratua Island is a wild, magical place with authentic people who offer a simple and warm reception in a naturally beautiful environment. The resort boast of its hand-crafted teak wood villas reconstructed from 200-year old traditional houses in Java and Sumatra. There are 14 Indonesian villas and 2 luxury safari tents, that have been specially reconstructed onsite offering stunning views with a private deck or beach. Located in the Vanuatu Archipelago, off the South East tip of Espiritu Santo, Ratua is only a 35-minute motorboat journey (weather dependent) from the mainland on our own motor launch. In enhancing guests' experience, Ratua offers wide selection of activities within the island. Swim with horses, Malo blue hole adventure, legend of Kava, are some of the unique offerings that guests enjoy. Most days guests enjoy standup paddle board, kayak, canoe, snorkel, and swim in calm Ratua bay. Alternatively, other guests walk/run around the private island to their hearts content.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Bar / lounge
Beach
Canoeing
Babysitting
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Shuttle bus service
Spa
Public wifi
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Diving
Snorkeling
Entertainment staff
Fishing
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Full body massage
Concierge
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
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Room features
Private balcony
Minibar
Refrigerator
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
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HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Harbor View
Ocean View
398Reviews29Q+A100Room tips
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Gary H wrote a review Nov 25
Just returned from our second stay at Ratua. Oh my days! After a flight into Port Vila, and then one to Espiritu Santo, the tiny tropical island resort of Ratua is a further 30 minute banana boat ride, enhancing the feeling of adventure and seclusion. 147 acres of paradise with calm water beaches, palm trees, well kept gardens, fish and turtle laden coral reefs on your doorstep and stunning views all around. On one paddle board outing I literally stood and looked around counting 14 sea turtles in view. You can simply drift past them on the tide without startling them... just gliding past in water thats only a metre or two deep for the most up close and personal view. I'm happy to report the reefs have survived the storm well or regenerated exceptionally. There are myriads of fish and amazing coral formations to be seen....snorkelling here is as good as, or better than the first time we stayed. The whole place is really quite overwhelmingly relaxing. This stay was a little different as the resort is undergoing renovations needed in the aftermath of Cyclone Harold in 2020. Rendered images of the building works underway promise an even more amazing look and feel than before the storm. Even now the place has a casually relaxed, elegant atmosphere, though this time there was less buzz in the evening with fewer guests on site.. not that there are ever that many people there. The waterfront pavilion and the adjacent beach served as an ideal spot for meals in the village centre. We stayed in a villa at the far end of the island...a 10 minute stroll from the next guests. Our 200 year old teak villa, surrounded by lush gardens and lawns, was situated overlooking a private beach with deck chairs and a shower to rinse off after swimming. The villas themselves are rustic timber construction, quite detailed joinery with intricate carved panels, hand crafted timber hinges and latches....real artisan work from a different era. The roof is palm thatched, windows have no glass or screens, just timber shutters. Furnishing is simple in line with the look and feel of the antique villa. There's a super comfy four poster bed with mosquito nets draped over giving the tiny place a real old world romantic feel. There's a timber desk and old school wardrobe and a fridge housed inside a timber Kelvinator look cupboard. The bathroom is a separate building attached with double shower and vanity basins built for two. The room was serviced daily, clean and tidy. Waking in this bed in this bare foot luxury villa to a view of palm trees and blue waters just a stones throw across the lawn is simply magical. I can't recommend this place highly enough...already planning our third stay!
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Date of stay: November 2022
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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tombarnett wrote a review Nov 5
Coolum Beach, Australia20 contributions10 helpful votes
Ratua is for you if you really, truly love to be immersed in a divine environment that looks and feels like a lost paradise. The people are warm and genuinely love the people who come to stay and act with appreciation for the people, their culture and their home. We had exceptional experiences snorkelling with turtles, on pristine coral reefs, and over the wrecks nearby. The food was delicious, locally sourced and lovingly prepared and presented. Much of it is grown on or near Ratua. Our accommodation was in a 200 year old hardwood hut. Open windows and mosquito nets are super comfortable and comforting but done come expecting A/c. This is a genuine lux-barefoot experience and takes you to the realisation that you are a part of the place you are in and not a controller of it. I found the people and the island to be a divinely relaxing, supporting and very freeing environment to relax and return to a very peaceful and uncluttered life. That's priceless, rare and incomparably liberating. If you really want to relax, release and be all human again, set your compass for Ratua.
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Martha Delmonte wrote a review Oct 2022
5 contributions
+1
My husband and I were on Ratua for 5 days. Coming from Port Vila and then Santo, this little paradise island was nothing like what we expected. The grounds are gorgeous, the staff even more so, and the food…. don’t get me started! The portions were so generous, beautifully presented and tasted so fresh and delicious. We really appreciated Ratua’s efforts in sourcing food within a 5km radius, fresh organic produce and meat/seafood from the island itself or the neighbouring islands. We were lucky to be the only guests on the island at the time so we got to bond with the staff/locals. Colina the chef even taught us how to make fresh coconut milk from the flesh of coconuts which was incredible! There are so many activities to do around the islands and on Ratua, our highlight was the Malo Blue Holes for sure. Insane! We weren’t lucky with the weather so we didn’t get to Millennium caves or swimming with horses but that’s more of a reason for us to come back. Lukim yu Ratua! Ryan and Martha from Queenstown, New Zealand.
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Andy O wrote a review Oct 2022
49 contributions9 helpful votes
+1
This is our second time to Ratua and this was way better than the first. We managed to get accommodation even though they were closed for renovations after the recent cyclone. We were the only guests (besides builders that we never saw or heard) and the owner's and their wonderful family which was awesome as we were all involved in beach "Night Cricket" games, evening cocktails, bit of boot scootin, mystery DJ, was unreal fun. Food I've got to say....... was amazing, I'm extremely fussy when it comes to food but the local chef's were right onto it. Not to often you'll see me thank the chef's, but found myself there quite a bit. We stayed at Dragon which I would say is the best to stay as you have your on private beach, big and spacious, and right on cnr to pickup breezes. The walk to the restaurant was a bit of a hike at first, but once you've done it 8 times before dinner I think I lost a few Kg's. Big shout out to the staff :- LINO who picked us up from the airport to the boat, and did a couple of day tours with to Santo was an amazing interesting bloke, and so knowledgeable of his local culture, just a bloody nice bloke. SAMMY is the boat captain/concretor/ tour guide/kava expert, just the biggest smile you could ever get. And just a really nice bloke. NADESH just the best coffee maker in Vanuatu I'd say, and always a happy cheerful face and manner, just so assertive with service and detail, and a lot of fun. JEN Jen is the shy one, but when Jen pop's out, she's so cool, Jen offered to make us juice one morning, and totally loved the flavour (we nick named it Jen juice). ED Works the bar and waiter, and what a bundle of happiness ED is, her laugh is sooo infectious, that you can't help laughing with her. Extremely good at her job that just seems to be natural to her. CHEFS What really blows me away is that the food that you provide is not what you guy's are a custom to but you could nail it every time, pig on the spit, lamb on the spit, just amazing, fresh seafood, they even pull oysters of the piers on the bar, just fresh as. JOHNNY Johnny is the horse man, he did the tours and the swim with the horses and big part of the string band that the owner's organised for us to be part of, what an awesome night. When ever we had had an opportunity, we'd ask Johnny for a song.
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Jordane N wrote a review Sep 2022
1 contribution
Where do we begin? This is a very special place, a peaceful tranquil slice of paradise! Ratua is the most beautiful resort we have ever visited. We were fortunate enough to stay for 3 weeks. We flew from Port Villa by private plane and landed on the airstrip where we were greeted with fresh coconuts and warm smiles. We got to enjoy the activities like visiting the blue hole (it’s like being in the amazon!) swimming with turtles, horse back riding into the ocean, island night where you get to have a good dance and enjoy the company of other guests and staff, Kava Legend evening, learning how to remove the husk of a coconut, the delicious organic local food and good wine along with a chilled daily drink of organic coconut water, paddle boarding and snorkelling the reef and seeing all the beautiful wildlife - the geckos and the goats, the baby chickens and the birds, the crabs - and the beautiful starfish! Our children were amazed and entertained each day with so many things to enjoy. Here you get to detach from busy city life and really unwind and relax with no outside distractions. The staff are absolutely beautiful and we fell in love with the island and the people. The spa is beyond stunning, sitting right over the ocean with a glass floor so you can see the blue starfish and the crystal clear water underneath - where you get to relax with a beautiful massage/facial using local organic products. There are so many places on the island to explore and the villa’s are BEAUTIFUL. We stayed in Tiger and had our own private beach to swim, with space to exercise or lay in the day bed and read, or loungers to lay on and tan. The ocean is warm and the weather was perfect. Even the odd rain shower or thunder storm late at night is exciting! Leaving was heartbreaking as Johnny played the traditional farewell song and everyone sang as we drove away by boat, but we cannot wait to visit again. Ratua you have our hearts!!
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Date of stay: September 2022
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Room Tip: All the Villa’s are private and have their own beach access, Fish Village is great for big...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Anika T wrote a review Aug 2022
Los Angeles, California46 contributions9 helpful votes
Upon arriving on the grassy green airway of Ratua we knew we were in for an absolute treat. We were greeted by Jan and Edwish and some fresh coconuts upon our arrival. We were escorted to the lounge of Fish Village and met Brett + Leah the owners of this magical place. After being briefed on this history of the island and more importantly the FOUNDATION it gives back to we were already in awe. Not a dime of the profits of this place line the pockets of the owners. It goes back to the workers, the cost of running the resort, and more importantly the Ratua Foundation which has initiatives like one child one bag. They provide children with school supplies and backpacks that help ease the burden of the cost of the families who work so hard to send them to school. So every activity you do, every massage you book, every drink you buy helps the people of Vanuatu and I personally think that is part of the beauty and magic of this place. All the food is locally sourced and many of the meats you’ll eat come straight from the island of Ratua. The chef’s are wonderful and create the most intricate and beautiful meals for you to enjoy.

As we were brought to our Villa, Tiger our jaws dropped as we walked past coconut lined steps and introduced to our new home for the next few days. Every building you see has been brought over from Bali and they’ve done a wonderful job at maintaining the charm! Each villa is unique and different. Ours had 2 rooms, a sunbed, a private beach and was located just far enough away from fish village we had a lot of privacy and close enough that it wasn’t a trek to meal times.

The more we interacted with the staff the quicker we realized they are the heart of this incredible island. Suneli will give you a magical experience at the overwater spa as the waves and her hands lull you to sleep. Captain Sam will take you to and from Santo safely and make sure you have a fun boot ride on the way. Edwish and Nadesh go out of their way to give you the best service in the restaurant and help you with anything you need. One of my favorite moments of the trip was when I saw the two of them on the beach looking for clams and went to help them. We got to chat for awhile and I learned so much about them, their lives, and the culture they come from. Johnny has been here from the beginning and he will take you on the coolest tour of the island by horseback pointing out major landmarks and giving insight on the many years of caretaking of this island. Then he’ll bring you INTO THE WATER with the horses and you can swim! It’s absolutely magical. Feeling the power of the horse underneath you is something I never thought I’d experience.

There are many fun evening shows planned such as Legend of Kava where they serve you Kava in their new nakamal (traditional hut), a water music show that will take your breath away and make you reconsider how in shape you are, and the island night where a string band from Santo come to play some classic hits and the staff come as well to enjoy, dance, sing with everyone. 

As we gathered our belongings and the staff sang us farewell at the runway tears streamed down my face because it was hard to say goodbye to such wonderful people who I’ve come to love and care for. Their authentic joy, kindness, graciousness, and love is so contagious and I hope that I have the privilege of returning sooner than later and can share the magic and beauty of this island with many more friends and family in the future.
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Date of stay: August 2022
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Room Tip: Tiger + Bear have the most stunning private beaches
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Peter T wrote a review Feb 2020
Sydney, Australia228 contributions46 helpful votes
+1
Having never thought about going to Vanuatu before - all I can say is DO IT! But if you’re going you stay anywhere - stay here. The place is amazing, the food was fantastic and the environment clean and beautiful. We stayed at crocodile and was nicely positioned, quiet and a great spot out the front to read and relax while looking at the ocean. As we stayed over Christmas, they put on a great spread for lunch and we carried on for most of the afternoon drinking and chatting to the owners and fiends we had made. The local band was fanatic and island night was great fun. We choose to unwind on the day so didn’t do you many activities - but the blue hole is defn worth a visit. A tranquil tropical getaway only a few hours from SYDNEY - forget Fiji or anywhere else, Vanuatu and Ratua island is the place to be!
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa
Responded Mar 26, 2020
Dear Peter, Thank you for the kind review. It was absolutely great to have welcomed you here in this little island paradise and we are glad that you left totally “Ratua’d”! Thank you for the strong recommendation too! Kava, kava, kava! We look forward to welcoming you again and please send our regards to Brendan. Regards, Ratua Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kira M wrote a review Jan 2020
Sydney, Australia28 contributions36 helpful votes
Our week-long stay at Ratua was nothing short of magical.  For those travelers looking for something truly unique, special and seemingly undiscovered, this is the place.  You could believe for an entire week that you had somehow stumbled upon the greatest secret in Vanuatu, and that among this tremendous natural beauty, genuine warmth and friendliness, and return to the elements, you had found the perfect getaway.  We spent the week without shoes, without screens and with the happiest children (and adults!) we have ever had.   Mornings began early, with a sunrise paddleboard ride around the lagoon, looking down at giant sea turtles, colorful fish, rays, and all sorts of sea life.  Then we would return for a delicious breakfast, followed by hours of swimming, snorkeling and relaxing.  Lunch was the next delight, and then perhaps we would spend a few hours reading and playing games in the over-water lounge in Fish Village, followed by more exploring and swimming.  Evenings were a wonderful treat- our hosts brought delightful and unexpected entertainment from the nearby islands.  Both the adults and children alike were fascinated by the water musicians, the bamboo band and the staff band.  Dinner and dessert was varied and always great.  And then we would fall asleep under the mosquito nets in our villas to rest until the next day.      Not a single time during the entire week did our children even ask about television or screens, they were never bored, and they thrilled at having the ability to go anywhere in the resort with shoes, knowing that all of the staff knew them by name and were available to help if needed.  They loved swimming out to the dock and jumping off, finding fish in the reefs, and snorkeling in the shallow warm waters.    We also took advantage of some of the really unique activities on the island.  One morning, we took our boys out fishing with Sam and to their immense delight, they reeled in an enormous coral trout from the ocean (almost bigger than our son!).  We did the swimming with horses activity one afternoon with Johnnie, which was completely unique.  And the boys went out one night for crab hunting with Roy, which delighted them to no end.  Oh and of course the adults signed up for some lovely spa treatments in what must be the most scenic spa in the Pacific.   To a person, the staff were warm, welcoming, friendly and helpful.  The general managers (Eileen and Bong) were constantly available, knowledgeable, informative, and receptive to all of our questions and feedback.  Other reviews have talked about how much they go above and beyond, and we saw this as well when one of our group had some ear issues and Eileen somehow obtained medicine from the city within hours.  The waitresses were kind and patient,  and the ladies at the spa were also great.   I will caveat to say that for those who prefer large resorts with air conditioning, pools, multiple bars and restaurants, and kids clubs, this may not be the place for you.  There are no locks on the doors (none are needed!), no screens in the windows, and an occasional lizard in your bathroom.  But for those who are seeking an adventure, open to new experiences and places, and looking to re-connect with nature, people and perhaps their children, you will find nowhere better than Ratua.  We already cannot wait to return.  
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Date of stay: January 2020
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Room Tip: Fish Village is great for families and groups.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa
Responded Mar 26, 2020
Dear Kira, Thank you for the long, very detailed, and kind review. We enjoyed reading it, great title too! It was a pleasure having you here on the island along with your close friends Arash, Leili and Family. Thank you for pointing out the unique qualities of Ratua as it’s not everyone cup of tea, but for those wanting to experience something off the beaten track, Ratua just might be the place as you eloquently mentioned in your review. The luxury aspect of Ratua is space, serenity, authenticity, and rich beauty of nature. Thank you very much for your recent stay, we enjoyed our conversations, and we hope to see you again soon. Please send our regards to Charles, Caleb and Henry. Regards, Ratua Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Violet16 wrote a review Jan 2020
Lake Macquarie, Australia16 contributions6 helpful votes
I visited Ratua with my cousin. It was simply amazing! There is safe and easy snorkelling access to the reef straight off the beach! We saw turtles, clown fish, sea cucumbers, clams and beautiful coral to name just a few metres off the beach. The staff at this resort are friendly, welcoming and make your stay feel like a real home away from home. The activities are wonderful, all equipment available for SUP and kayaking around the little lagoon. Fabulous food and over water spa! Accommodation is traditional Balinese. This is a destination suitable for friends, families and couples. The island is quiet and relaxing- just beautiful. The only thing to be aware of is flight times in and out of Santo and the boat ride on a smaller boat to the actual island is approx 35 minutes. No TV and Wi-fi is limited to the reception/some area of the bar. I would go back in a heartbeat!
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa
Responded Mar 26, 2020
Dear Violet16, It was great to have welcomed you and your cousin here in Ratua. We are happy to hear that you find your visit quite an amazing experience with close encounters of the rich marine life just in front of the resort, no need to take a boat ride to swim with the turtles! Thank you also for mentioning the flight times in and out of Santo. Yes, it can be a bit of a challenge to come to this part of the world but you may also arrive in style via private charter from Port Vila which saves you a lot of time waiting in the airport. On another note, yes there is no television in the rooms and WIFI is limited in the reception/Yacht Club. The reason is to urge guests to engage in nature and enjoy the holidays with family and friends instead of connecting to the world wide web. It’s nice to disconnect sometimes  See you again soon! Regards, Bong
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Phillip P wrote a review Jan 2020
6 contributions5 helpful votes
The service here is incredible. Everything had a very nice luxe feel. You must be prepared for the heat as it can get very hot at times but the feeling of an all inclusive island where everyone is very friendly (shoutout to Bong who was a most gracious host) and you dont even need a key. Some considerations maybe - no pool, not a big point at all but might be nice as an option. - snorkelling equipment is a bit lacking, people tend to take and keep for the duration of their stay so coud do with a refresh and have surplus - the rooms can get very hot! the ceiling fan blowing onto the fabric of a mosquito netted bed is not working. Need another solution to get some ventilation into the beds. Overall the stay here was amazing and the food incredible. Best in Vanuatu. Would recommend 3-4 nights. We did only 2 which felt a bit too short!
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Date of stay: December 2019
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Room Tip: Ask for the Deer villa - it has a private overwater deck!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa
Responded Mar 26, 2020
Dear Phillip P, Thank you for coming to stay at Ratua on your honeymoon and congratulations once again! Thank you also for the kind review and special mention as our mission is to offer magical moments to all our guests. We are happy that you enjoyed your visit although I must say that we need more snorkelling gears during busy season, thank you for this feedback, we will definitely restock our supplies. We hope to welcome you again in the future, perhaps with a new member of your family? Regards, Ratua Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
ratua private island hotel luganville
LOCATION
VanuatuEspiritu SantoLuganville
NUMBER OF ROOMS
16
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RATUA ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Updated 2022 Resort (All-Inclusive) Reviews (Vanuatu/Espiritu Santo)

Frequently Asked Questions about Ratua Island Resort & Spa
Which popular attractions are close to Ratua Island Resort & Spa?
Nearby attractions include Freshwater Plantation (4.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Ratua Island Resort & Spa?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and a spa.
What food & drink options are available at Ratua Island Resort & Spa?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Does Ratua Island Resort & Spa have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Ratua Island Resort & Spa offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are there any historical sites close to Ratua Island Resort & Spa?
Many travelers enjoy visiting SS President Coolidge (7.2 miles).
Does Ratua Island Resort & Spa have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the harbor view available here.