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Towock Restaurant and Bungalows
Reviewed December 31, 2013

It is with regret that I am writing this review. As the Towock Bungalows were recommended to us by a friend, and appears to have some stunning reviews. I want to share our experience to try and warn and equip other travellers. We stayed in the beachfront bungalows, with a bathroom ensuite. Far from simple, I would say they are basic to a low standard. There is only a bed, with a foam mattress. Which isn't the most comfortable. There is a shower but there is only cold running water and no hot water at all. The shower is weak, which makes it difficult to wash your hair - be warned! There are no plug points in the room and therefore no access to electricity of any kind - - so, you can't plug in any modern gadgets. There is no luxury here, so would suit the most hardened of traveller only.

The location of the bungalows is isolated - it must be said the views and the beach are pretty stunning - no argument there, but what you don't get told is the endless cruise ships that pitch up every day to spoil the view. As you look out from the bungalow you can see the massive ship ferrying thousands of tourists onto the famous champagne beach next door (and consequently to outside your bungalow). Endless streams of them ruining any hope of a tranquil afternoon - or even space to enjoy the beach.

We hoped to seek refuge in the Towock restaurant but sadly this was not to be. The meals are outrageously expensive - much like Vanuatu, and the service the worst I have seen. The menu is the same every day that you are there, the food tastes overcooked, and rubbery or worse it is served to you stone cold. It's hard to believe you have to pay so much for this kind of quality. Often we would be eating at the same time as other people staying, which seemed to put the kitchen in disarray. Orders took over an hour and fifteen minutes to be served, and we noted on busy nights everyone was being served the same dish, rather than the one they ordered because it was easier for the kitchen. This is not how it should be. You also don't seem to be able to eat the one thing the area must be famous for - fresh fish. Often the staff and their families were having BBQ's around the place , eating better food than on the menu!

The last important point is the attitude to the costs. When we checked out, this was 1 of several arguments we had with hotels when we refused to pay for services that are 2 or 3 times more than they should be. As a result of this experience we decided to check out early.
We asked Janet to help organise a taxi back to Luganville - stopping at some blue holes on the way. Warning. Double check and triple check what you are paying. For a 5000 vatu trip - she tried to charge us 12000 vatu. She was quite prepared to argue with us directly on this - and had absolutely no understanding of service or thought for the thousands we had paid to be there.

This is no paradise. I do not recommend this as a place to stay - please take note of this review - you won't get your money's worth.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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12  Thank melissa w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 38 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

Towoc is a gorgeous spot to relax for a few days.

We stayed in one of the back bungalows for the first night. The bungalows (4500vt) are simple but well constructed and comfortable, with decent beds and mozzie nets. But the communal shower was broken so showering consisted of trying to wash off with a hose nozzle - not ideal.

We then moved to one of the newer, more expensive, beachfront bungalows (6000vt), which have ensuite toilet and shower. Facilities were clean and nice, with the water's edge just metres away.

Host Janet is lovely and a great cook, but the meals seemed quite pricey compared with Tanna Island, which you'd expect to be more expensive as it's more remote.

The location is fantastic, just a few minutes walk from Champagne Beach. Staying at Towoc you can go early morning or evening, when there's noone there, or you can snorkel around the point between the two.

Recommended - I just hope it doesn't get too much bigger and lose its charm.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Nikki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

This place was a perfect balance between a low cost authentic local experience while still being accessible and feeling safe and comfortable. Around half a dozen people there at a time so it's quiet but with the option of being sociable if you feel like it. Janet is a gem. Oh and I had a great mattress!

Room Tip: they are all good. two are close to the water which is nice. mine was further back but still nice an...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Chae L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

stunning location just around the corner from world famous Champagne Beach....the beach here is amazing as well....friendly family run bungalows and restaurant....everything cooked organic...animals roaming around freely....the food served is nr 1 ....very hard to beat...delicious homecooking...abundant portions...I still can dream of it after 11 months...will go back...one sunny day....

Room Tip: all bungalows are simple but very comfy
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank JacekGruszczynski7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Towoc was a fantastic experience. We stayed 3 nights and could not recommend it highly enough. No fancy smancy bed linen, in room facilities or interweb. Bathroom is a walk from most bungalows, and if animals noises at night disturb you, perhaps another property would suit better. But the thing that makes Towoc special is the hospitality, honesty and integrity all guests receive from your hosts Janet, Peter and their ni-van team. If we can offer any advise, while Janet's meals are very enjoyable, most provisions are scarce even in Hog Harbour. Maybe bring some extra munchies for those sunny beach days and tropical nights ...

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Selfhelp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

We spent six nights in July at Towoc in a bungalow with an ensuite.
The ensuite bungalows are simple, clean and perfectly located close to Towoc beach. Mosquitoes were not a problem inside as the ensuite bungalows have screens.
The LED light was enough for all but reading, so if you plan to read at night, a headlamp would be required.
We found it was best to hang our food in a bag from the doorknob as we got visits from rats in the night. Don't let this put you off though, it wasn't a problem for us. The water (supplied by a solar pump) stopped at night but buckets are provided. Again this was no hassle.
Janet and her family provides beautiful, low cost meals. Our favourites were fish with coconut-style sauce (about 1500VT) and freshly caught coconut crab (delicious and only cost 2500VT).
Breakfast was simple but again delicious - we had pancakes with fruit, or omelettes, plus tea and coffee.
A family of pigs kept us entertained for hours, which was an unexpected treat. There are cows and chooks too which wander the property.
It's a short stroll to Champagne Beach which is as beautiful as the photos suggest.
The best snorkelling is at high tide at Champagne Beach on the ocean side of the jetty and continues to the point.
Janet always has a smile on her face and is happy to help out with requests. This is no sterile resort, instead guests really feel part of the place.
We went to the blue hole and Port Olry on a day trip (4000VT for 2 people), which is recommended. Peter drove the ute and Janet came too, and even went swimming with us in the crystal clear blue hole surrounded by the jungle.
Staying at Towoc Bungalows is a unique experience and we couldn't recommend it more highly.
It's perfect for people who are easy going, with a sense of adventure and can do without the mod cons.
In short, we loved it.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lisat t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

In the review from Airbus 100 he wrote that the taxi from Luganville to Towock is 400vt, I think that he means 4000vt, It is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Luganville and this price is for 1 person and goes up for 2. Prices for 2 to 5 persons in the taxi cost the same though, not 100% sure, I think about 6000vt. Sorry please ignore rate because I haven't stayed to Towock, just filling out the blanks

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank KelGC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Towock Restaurant and Bungalows

Address: Champagne Beach Area, Luganville, Espiritu Santo 000, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo > Luganville
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Luganville
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Towock Restaurant and Bungalows 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
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Also Known As:
Towock Restaurant And Bungalows Vanuatu/Luganville

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