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“Perfect Paradise”

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Ratua Private Island
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Luganville
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect Paradise”
Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

I stayed on this beautiful island for 7 days and my experience was perfect in every sense. I will return in the future to experience it all again, thank you to the beautiful staff and management for making my stay so memorable : )

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tommy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bong S, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Greetings from Ratua Private Island! Thank you very much for your review. We are glad that we and the island have made your stay memorable. We hope that you would share and treasure fondest memories here in Ratua for always. Best regards!

Bong Sarmiento
General Manager
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302 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

I will start this by saying that we probably aren't the average holiday maker and therefore Ratua was perfect for us. We love the quirky, unique and high end. We are not big resort and mainstream people and love exposing our children to different experiences.

We've stayed in plenty of high end resorts and hotels over the years and Ratua eclipses them all.
This is the place to be if you love the following:
close to nature
amazing fresh, local, in season organic food
fantastic French wines
the choice to do as much or as little as you like
freedom for your children to roam around, explore and learn about the island
swimming in the ocean as opposed to a pool
quirky and unique rooms and bathrooms

If you would prefer a man made resort with cookie cutter rooms and a timetable of organised activities you will be better off somewhere else!

Our kids loved the snorkelling, jumping off the jetty, eating, eating and eating some more, boat trips, kayaking, paddle boarding. They thought their room was pretty cool and the bathroom unreal. Days were spend just hanging out, having crab races, biking, visiting the ranch, searching for sea turtles and paddle boarding for dugongs. Oh and eating again!

We stayed in Fish Village which was perfect for us, a short walk to the Yacht Club and with it's own little village green with daybed plus an amazing lounge room/bar area right next to the water.

Ratua is what it is, high end, eco chic. If you're happier in a big vanilla resort or hotel chain then you may find the island isn't for you! Also remember that all the profits from the resort go to the Ratua Foundation to assist in the education of local children.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
6 Thank mariahGoldCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bong S, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Greetings! Thank you very much for a lovely review. The managment and staff of Ratua were very pleased to have you here and we hope to have your here once more on your next holidays! Cheers!

Bong Sarmiento
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We stayed in Ratua for two weeks last year and we have just returned from another two weeks this month. What a place! Happy to say we weren't disappointed as we know sometimes the first time is always the best.

Ive worked in travel for over 20yrs, and also lived and worked in the South Pacific and in Asia. Ratua is very hard to compare to anywhere else I have been before and I like to think of it as our little undiscovered peace of paradise. Extremely unique and very understated. We love it.

Ratua has had a few management changes since our last visit. Bong the new manager and his wife Eileen are excellent, extremely enthusiastic and immensely proud to be working for such an incredible place. We hope they stay for some time. The fact alone that this island is not for profit and 100% goes to supporting the Ni-Vanuatu people is extraordinary and a great point of difference for anywhere else.

The staff are all amazing. There are too many to name who all contributed to us having a fabulous time. Thankyou Ratua!

We started off in Fish village, in the master suite, as we were travelling with a toddler and 2x teenagers for the first week. Its massive and very beautiful. The location of Fish village is better for swimming and access to the yacht club etc but we do have to say we preferred Dragon which is where we were previously and where we were for our second week. Located on a stunning beach (although tidal), and a lot more private. Its a bit of a walk to the yacht club but its a lovely walk, (which you need after all the gorgeous food Evan cooks up) but if youre not up to it then Claude or one of the boys can drive you in the electric buggy back to your room (or you can jump on a bike) The rooms are very different to each other and very different to anything you've normally seen in a resort, you have to see them to fully appreciate it. I raved on about all this so much last time that I wont repeat myself.

Just going back to Fish Village though. If you had a larger family group or a small company conference or private party then taking over the whole of Fish village for your own use would be amazing. It has the most beautiful private lounge right over the water where you could party to your hearts content. The rooms are closer together here so although less private for single bookings, perfect if you were booking all 3 (a master villa and 2x2 bedroom villas)

Ratua is definitely not for everyone though, if you are used to massive resort complexes, air con, motorised watersports, pools and shopping then don't come cos youre in the wrong place. There is heaps to do here if you want to do it . The blue holes are simply gorgeous, the marine life is incredible, fishing excellent, the horses are awesome (especially swimming with them) biking, caving, snorkelling, canoeing, turtle spotting (and there are heaps) etc etc etc and then theres the spa. (excellent) Its also well worth visitng the foundation school to see what you're helping support by visiting Ratua. Our teenagers were astounded and really enjoyed the visit as well as their full day Millennium cave tour. The water dancing on a Tuesday night is a must see and the island string band are lots of fun too. It is quiet though so don't expect action packed evenings. We met some fantastic friends from all over the world from our two visits here, its a real place to unwind, completely relax or to make new friends or do whatever the mood takes you.

The people are beautiful, very non invasive, genuine and kind. They are some of the happiest people we have met in the world. Our little girl would have been adopted by the village if they could have taken her, it was fantastic. Some of the staff were in tears when she left.

The food is great. Same chef and he even cooked us up some of our old favourites. Plus who can beat fresh lobster and calamari on the BBQ for lunch. The house wines are also excellent

We did have a couple of housekeeping issues at the start of our holiday but management were excellent at sorting these out and the issues we had were quite unavoidable due to really heavy rain (very unseasonable and pleased to say only lasted 3 days out of the 14 we were there, the rest of the time was sunny and clear) It would also be good to see the projector fixed in the cinema as the cinema is very cool and would have been great for the kids on our wet days.
Another thing to note is that there is wifi at the yacht club and our boys were very happy to also be able to access this in Fish village.... we were pleased to move to Dragon where there was no wifi access ;)

Thankyou Bong and all your team for another memorable trip to Ratua and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

There is not a doubt that we will be back . We love this place!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Stewart615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bong S, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Greetings! Thank you very much for your kind review. The management and staff of Ratua were very pleased to have you here in the island and we look forward to your visit next year! Marianne missed Jessie. Best regards to your family and thank you for telling your friends about Ratua, cheers!

Bong Sarmiento
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We recently visited Ratua with our young family of four children - aged 11 through to 5.
We all had a wonderful time. The island is absolutely beautiful and the snorkelling is the best we've ever seen - and right in front of our room. Just be careful of stone fish - you need to wear reef shoes at all times - especially if the children are playing near the shallows.
The food was very good most of the time - the occasional dinner was a bit average- but most of the time it was great, and the desserts are fantastic! I definitely recommend the meal plan as its much better value than ordering every day, and the snack menu is also very good. The buffet lunches on the beach were delicious and the salads were always top quality.
A special thank you must go to Jean Francois and Claude - our buggy drivers. They were both so friendly and fun, and the children loved riding in the buggies!
The horse riding was a great way to see the island and such beautiful horses too!
The only disappointment for us was the lack of water sports available. There were only 4-6 paddle boards - and often these were being used by other guests. There were no catamarans except for the giant balinese boats that were too heavy for anyone to use...We were told it would take 10 men to get one out.... It would have been nice if the staff could have arranged an outing for those guests interested maybe once or twice a week. We made use of the canoes which were fun and most of our time was spent snorkelling because the reef was just so spectacular.
The evening entertainment was nice but it would have been better if there was a bit more happening. The band only played once a week which was a shame.
The only other comment I would make is the lack of mosquito spraying on the island. It said in the brochure that the resort was sprayed fortnightly but in the 8 nights we were there we never saw or heard anything.
It was also a shame the cinema was out of action, but the pool table was fun. Maybe a few more games for the younger kids would be helpful.
But overall we loved Ratua - we would come back in a heart beat!
Forgot to mention the Spa - which is heavenly!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Dragon room, which was a bit out of the way from the Yacht club, but definitely one...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emzy777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RATUA, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you very much for your review about Ratua Private Island. Apologies for a delayed response as I had to get the admin access being new here in Ratua. I am glad that you and your family had a wonderful time here in the island. Apologies for few things we missed during your stay. Rest assured, we shall make it a point to continuously improve/add our facilities to make your stay even more enjoyable. For updates, we recently received 2 pro paddle boards for guests recreation. I hope to have you here once more in your next holidays. Please do send your warm regards to your kids.

Bong Sarmiento
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burleigh Heads, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

We were married on Ratua on June 8th and I have to say I never could have imagined how wonderful it would be. When we boarded the boats in Santo in the dark.. I honestly was terrified about what I had got my friends and family in to!! On the boat ride there the whole group were just in a ecstatic level of amazement and awe and we all promised to savour the moment!

We arrived around 9pm to the most amazing place on earth and met the wonderful Sandra and the other staff. We were all taken to our rooms to quickly return for dinner. My husband to be had to coax me out of our room (dragon) because I was in awe at the décor and outlay. Words can not describe how all my anxiety about other peoples views, the wedding and had we chosen the right venue completely vanished.

We returned back to the yacht club for dinner and the food, service, setting and ambience was incredible. That night I slept like a baby and possibly with a smile on my face all night. I awoke and it was even more magical. I was on cloud 9... and for the next 7 days I felt the same.

The wedding morning I was worried that my decorations would be a waste because it was all too perfect decorate anything!! Sandra and the head chef met with me in the morning to discuss the proceedings and could not have been more professional, knowledgeable and organised.

The next seven days went way too quickly and I would do it all again, exactly the same.

Highlights -

Customer Service
Sandra and her management team are what you would expect at any prestige hotel (or better!)
The beautiful staff can not do enough for you but are perfectly non-intrusive
Nothing was too much and always with an amazing smile
*If you like people always asking are you okay? or is there anything else I can do for you every 10 mins ... maybe you should consider going somewhere that expects tips or the expectations are to pump the guest egos..

Meals
UNBELIEVABLE.. 10 out of 10 for the head chef and his team. I would definitely recommend the meal inclusive package... I despise buffets and resorts/hotels where you are over it by the 3rd day. The food was AMAZING.. different every single day and something I would expect in any 5 star restaurant every single meal. The lunch BBQ buffet was incredible and dinner was always an exceptional way to finish an already perfect day.
*If you like disgusting all you can eat buffets with powdered scrambled eggs etc.. this resort is not for you.

Rooms
WOW it is certainly a different experience - but right up my alley. It blew my mind how beautiful, individual and exquisite the rooms are. The most amazing huts, décor and once in a life time opportunity. Our whole party were like "How are we ever going to explain this to anyone?"
*If you like marble, bright lights and leather only on your holidays.. this resort is not for you.

I could go on and on but I am almost out of characters! All I can say is thank you for the most incredible 7 days and we are all experiencing Ratua depression here back in Oz!

Thank you to everyone at Ratua. We recommend you strongly and will definitely be back!!

Room Tip: Dragon! It is a distance from the yacht club but it was unbelievable!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank chillgoldcoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013

My husband and I spent a week on Ratua. It was our first time on a private island with a resort. We arrived by air, using the resort's plane and landed directly on the island from Port Vila. Already from the plane we understood that our stay will be a great experience.

We were then taken to our room which are actually 100 year's old houses from Indonesia. Lot's of caché, beautiful colours and fantastic woodwork. The room comes with your private beach. I don't need to mention that the view is astounding. The room offers a great en-suite bathroom and all you need. It is very different from anything I experienced in the past. And as the house is made of wood, you actually sleep with the noise of the waves. Very nice!

There are no internet, no TV in the room, which makes you actually enjoy every single moment of your stay. Of course if you really have to, you can get access to your email at the bar and the restaurant.

The islands offers not only water activities but also a great running track that I actually went to do every day. You follow the trail and manage to run around the entire island where all the farm's animal are free. It was the first time I actually ran next to goats, sheep, horses and cows.

Last but not least, the food was brilliant. And I am french so I know what I am talking about. The fish was delicious, their beef is to die for and the patisseries are absolutely fantastic. There is not one day that I didn't like the cakes and deserts.

Ratua is a great place to experience all the great services of a resorts and still feeling close to nature.

And what a pleasure to stay at Ratua knowing that all the benefits are going to the Ratua foundation which help to improve the learning conditions of children in Vanuatu! I never felt so happy to use the spa knowing that it benefits the ni-vanuatu children.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laura N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra E, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Google Translation
Chers Laura et Sylvain,

Un grand merci pour votre gentil commentaire.

Nous sommes ravis que vous ayez passé un excellent séjour parmi nous, et sommes contents de savoir que l'expérience Ratua a su vous séduire!

Nous espérons que la suite de vos aventures se passera comme vous le souhaitez et que votre tournage se passe au mieux!

Bien à vous,

Sandra E & l'équipe Ratua
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Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 13, 2013

We recently spent a leg of our honeymoon on Ratua (4 days), fortunate enough to be the first to experience the new luxury safari tent offered (only one available). The tent itself is absolutely magical, made in the most unique and rustic way I have ever seen, it is definitely something we will never forget. For the travellers below that were critical of these rooms (For example: no shower cap, open windows, no locks) I strongly urge you to go and travel somewhere more generic, perhaps a 200 room hotel. The Balinese charm and infrastructure extends across the whole island, with beautiful arches and huts in the most random of places, it is truly an intriguing island.

The food itself was by far the best we have had across all of Vanuatu, you will be absolutely spoiled. The quality of produce & obvious skill of the chef, made for memorable meals. The food is a touch expensive, and I did dislike not being able to sign for anything, We did not have a meal plan organised and were given no indication of what any meal would cost at any time, something they need to look at changing.

A couple of other minor issues, the snorkel gear did have mould around the mouth pieces, and there was only 1 rod available but a few others were there and broken, so some maintenance issues there.This only bothered me because some other guests whom we had befriended wanted to fish with us. The friendly gent in charge of the gear spent his days reading a book, perhaps a little more time with the equipment.

All in all the location, staff, beautiful tent & sunny days made for a peaceful & romantic getaway which we will always remember. Definitely worth the trip, if you consider yourself a real traveller who enjoys something a bit different, you will love it!

Room Tip: Luxury Safari Tent!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra E, General Manager at Ratua Private Island, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Dear Andrew & Jessica,

Thanks a lot for your very nice comment about our Safari Tent and about Ratua in general! We are very happy to receive our very first feedback concerning the Safari Tent...

We are glad that you enjoyed staying here for a moment during your honeymoon.

We take good note of the small inconveniences you mentioned, we will pass the message to the concerned services and do our very best to improve what can be improved.


Kind regards,

Snadra E. & your 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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Additional Information about Ratua Private Island

Property: Ratua Private Island
Address: BP 396, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo > Luganville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Luganville
#2 Romantic Hotel in Luganville
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Luganville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ratua Private Island 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ratua Island is a wild, magical place with authentic people who offer a simple and warm reception in a naturally beautiful environment. There are 13 individual 200-year-old Indonesian villas that have been specially reconstructed on sites 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 30-minute motorboat journey from the mainland on our own private motor launch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ratua Private Island Hotel Luganville
Ratua Private Island Vanuatu/Luganville

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