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Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

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Beaumaris, Australia
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33 posts
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Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Hi

I'm planning a Vanuatu family holiday in September. Santo is the main attraction but we want to have 3-4 days near Vila. I say near, not in Vila itself. I've narrowed down to 4 resorts based upon reviews and pricing (1-2BR Villas or equiv - $250-$300 a night). Have ruled out Iririki, Erakor, Eratap, The Havannah for various reasons.

Snorkelling will be a big part of our holiday and our 5 year old is only just learning. Therefore getting in and out easily without coral cuts is a key consideration. So whilst I'm assuming Hideaway has the best snorkelling, what's it like getting in and out?

How might the snorkelling compare at the other resorts I've listed?

Am I right to be avoiding lagoon resorts due to poor snorkelling?

Next consideration is transport to Vila and other resorts for dining. Looking forward to the apparent range of quality restaurants in Vila area (compared to other South Pacific destinations). Obviously Breakas is closest to town and I read there's a free bus.

How expensive / frequent are transport options from other resorts listed?

Is it possible to dine out at night in Vila if staying at Hideaway?

Will you have to pay a premium for taxi's after dark to Benjor or Aquana?

Cheers

Jamie

Melbourne
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385 posts
112 reviews
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1. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

We have stayed at Breakas its great but check with them as when we stayed no Children and on their web site still staes no Kids but check with them

Beaumaris, Australia
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33 posts
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2. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Damn, it is adults only.

Sydney, Australia
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for Denarau Island
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3. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Surfside takes kids, its just along the beach from Breakas

http://surfsidevanuatu.com/

Anni

Australia
Destination Expert
for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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2,305 posts
133 reviews
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4. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Aquana is lovely but no good for snorkelling (it is good for kayaking etc but is a bit mangrove-y with no reef fish ) . It has a pool though and a daily shuttle bus to town (about 20 mins depending on the state of the road).

Breakas is accessible at any time and buses pass the gates (bus fare anywhere in town is 150vt (or about $1.80). There are waves here as its a surf beach and you need to get out a bit to the reef to see much..probably not good for a 5yo.

Benjor is nice but not suitable for a 5yo to snorkel (as per Breakas) and its about 20mins from town.But buses pass regularly.

Hideaway is good as there are plenty of fish for kids to see even sitting at the edge of the water as its a marine sanctuary too. They have glass bottom boats etc. The access is down stairs across crushed coral and it is shallow for a metre or so then drops off a bit deeper. There are pontoons you could lead your child to and the underwater post office etc. You are close to the Mele Beach Bar at the Hideaway wharf and from there a 200vt pp bus ride to any restaurant in town. Buses are on demand (like taxis) but pick up others on the way to each destination..whoever is closet gets dropped off first and its a nice way to meet locals and see things off the beaten track.

I do think its a mistake to discount Erakor as its well set up for families and beginner snorkelers with a shallow beach and sand bars. You won't see as much as on a reef but to start you can see star fish and seahorses and if you go out a little way trigger fish and nemos. They have an ice-cream bar and theme nights with dancers too.

Its also pretty close to town and other restaurants like the Warhorse Saloon on Port Road, Les Jardin des Saveurs etc. And the same applies to Le Lagon as its on the mainland opposite Erakor, has kids club etc but not so good snorkelling off the front.

Have a read of the Top 10 Questions about Port Vila at the top right of this page too.

Have fun planning!

Edited: 5:03 am, June 03, 2014
Stratford
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28 posts
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5. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

I'm not sure if it is just a new thing but we were at Aquana last week and they took us on an outrigger boat to some amazing snorkling in fairly shallow water.

Great resort , great food and the staff will take care of your 5 year old while you read a book or have cocktails! They are amazing. We didn't stay there but had a look at the rooms and they are very clean and well set up with all new furniture etc. Not five star but really nice.

Teouma on the Bay is a must go to restaurant. About 20 minutes from Aquana and a stunning beach front restaurant with the best food we had at reasonable prices and again they have staff to mind children while you eat. We found transport to generally be about 1000 Vatu each way ($12 aust).

Melbourne
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385 posts
112 reviews
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6. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Hi

Just an add on yes Kids can stay at Surfside but I wouldn't with a 5 year olds as each Villa has a private pool at the rear some pools quite large some a bit bigger than plunge pools,however they are straight out the back no pool fencing as we are used to so you would be on standby all the time is that relaxing. Plus can you take kids into Breakas eating areas as Surfside is largely self cater but has good Kitchens

Sydney
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131 posts
20 reviews
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7. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

I would endorse P&L comments on Hideaway as a good option for your family. Pluses include: good snorkelling, free kayaks, easy access to the water, relaxed atmosphere, easy access to Mele, town and the rest of Efate, and generally there are other children around for your children to socialise with. Have a great holiday.

Beaumaris, Australia
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33 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Many thanks for your feedback. It's great to have options!

Still tossing up between Hideaway and Erakor (thanks to Peaceandlight, I took a closer look), Still tossing up between Bokissa and Ratua as well, but that's another story.

Unfortunately some of the others considered don't allow younger kids which is a shame but understandable.

Cheers

Jamie

Queensland
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162 posts
91 reviews
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9. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

Hi Jamie

I'm keen to see where you end up - I'm doing research for a family holiday with my 3 yr old. We are currently considering Hideaway Is and / or Holiday Inn. We are thinking of splitting our time between the 2 resorts. Its a difficult one when your balancing the needs of mum and dad and the little ones too.

Easy access to Vila is also important to us, don't want to spend all our time in the resorts.

Anyway following your thread for advice too.

Melissa

10. Re: Breakas / Benjor / Hideaway / Aquana - calling recent guests

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