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“great location, poor service, average food, wine past its best”

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Oyster Island Resort
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
86 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“great location, poor service, average food, wine past its best”
Reviewed April 22, 2011

Our pick up at the airport never arrived and we had to take a cab. The rooms were nice, but dark and the rats in the bathroom were more of a nuisance than anything. Food was variable and expensive, wine was restricted to one vineyard and most wins were well past their best. But it's a lovely location, there were nice walks round the island to a couple of small beaches, and it was relaxing.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank badddriva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
Reviewed March 22, 2011

We have just returned from 6 days on Oyster Island - nothing could be faulted. A special mention to Grant who gave us incrediable service - even took us to the local Dentist when one of our girls needed an emergancy filling. Grant had so many wonderful local stories of his years on Vanuatu - priceless. The Staff were also exceptional and good fun with lots of laughs and managed to distroy us in a game of Beach Volleyball. Food at the restaurant was so great and very well priced- we didnt bother venturing to any others. The location of the island is perfect to see the blue holes and the Mt Hope Waterfall trip was an unexpected huge highlight for all of my group - a must if you stay on Oyster. I look forward to returning some time in the future and would recommend this location to anyone wanting to get away from the tourist traps and hectic life of computers, tvs and such...

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alexstramp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2011

Plenty has been written about this resort but i want to highlight the four wonderful WW2 aircraft in shallow water around the island. They are all amenable to snorkeling and are in quite good condition. The managers, Grant and Lisa, had few details to offer about these planes but if you have come to Vanuatu to dive the Coolidge and enjoy war history you should try to snorkel or dive on the planes too. The other highlight was kayaking 30-40min up a river to a beautiful blue hole complete with rope-swing. Do yourself a favour and book one of the newer bamboo bungalows with broad water views and relaxing hammock and the private outdoor showers are a real treat. Food here is quite good unless you hate bananas (which my wife does unfortunately) which feature prominently on the menu. The Wifi is free but slow and mobile reception could be kindly described as patchy. Small downer is that the service can be a touch patchy and as for other places around here bring cash if you can to save on the hefty credit card fees (5% plus whatever your bank at home adds for foreign currency transactions). They are trying to protect the reef and whilst mooring points to protect the coral from anchors have not been installed Grant assures me its on the "to do" list. Very pleasant way to isolate yourself from the world for a few days.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DoctorGusSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campbelltown, Australia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2011

We recently spent 5 nights at oyster island. I travelled with my husband, his brother and his sister in law.

I had booked a bamboo bunglow for each couple but a few weeks before we left for vanuatu, I emailed and we upgraded to a deluxe bungalow. Payment had been made for the bamboo bungalow and when i went to pay for the upgrade whilst we were there, we were given it for no extra cost. That was just one of the wonderful things about oyster island.

The deluxe bungalows are very spacious. Large comfy bed, outdoor furniture with a hammock. Small fridge, ceiling fan and a partly open bathroom. There is a roof covering half the bathroom so you are standing under the stars to shower.

They have recently built a barge to go to and from the mainland. It has a ramp and the access was very easy.

We were dropped off on a deserted island for a few hours and we were sent with a packed lunch of toasted sandwiches, chocolate cake, banana's and water.

The owners grant and lisa were in port vila at the time of our visit and we were well looked after by Pip. A lovely girl with a great attitude towards life who I reckon has one of the best jobs in the world!!! No matter what you asked of them, it was no trouble at all. All the staff were always ready with a smile and you constantly heard the "vanuatu giggle". The locals just love to laugh and its great to hear them so happy.

We also did a day trip from there which included champagne beach, lonnoc beach and port olry. All beautiful locations.

The food is just fantastic at oyster. Large meals and if you wanted to change it a little it was no trouble for them. I have allergies and when I got there I wrote down what I was allergic to and it wasnt used in my food.

I highly recommend staying at Oyster Island and am looking forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jodybelinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 20, 2011

Oyster Island is just magical. It's so exciting arriving on the boat and seeing the little bungalows grow closer. We came for our honeymoon and it was a beautiful spot with lots of little secluded beaches (absolutely amazing blue water and soft white sand!).
We only had a couple of nights here as our flight was delayed but the staff helped us rebook a later flight so we could have a bit more time, we would have loved to have stayed even longer - a week would have been great!
The staff were fantastic - one of the highlights - they were all so friendly, happy and helpful, they made us feel very comfortable. We also had plenty of fresh drinking water, they were happy to fill up our drinkbottles with rainwater several times a day. They also make great sandwiches which you can order to have a picnic somewhere on the island.
The home-made bread is delicious, we could have lived off it alone! Definitely try the bread and dips platter.
Our only complaint was that there was no mosquito net and while there weren't that many mosquitoes around it still would have been nice to feel a bit safer sleeping at night.
One of the best things about this resort is its close proximity to the big Blue Hole - it's such a spectacular kayak ride, the most amazing we've ever done. It's so exciting as the water gets clearer and bluer and the green leafy foliage and the birds are breathtakingly beautiful. The Blue Hole is indescribably amazing! You really just have to see it to believe it!
The hotel also offers day trips, we did one to Champagne beach which was great (another must see in Santo! possibly the best beach in the world!!). The lunch wasn't very nice on the day trip though, I think it'd be better to take sandwiches from Oyster Island.
The whole island is amazing, you can walk through the rainforest, through the fields of coconut trees and cows, and the snorkelling just off the beach is amazing (we think even better than the Great Barrier Reef in terms of colour and variety)
We really look forward to going back and having a longer stay, if you enjoy seeing amazing natural wonders, kayaking, swimming and snorkelling you're sure to love it too!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank thetravellingjackets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2011

We stayed a few nights at Oyster Island, we chose this resort for the quietness and the beaches around this island. We arrived at Santo and did arrange for transfer from airport, however, the resort didnt send out anyone to pick us up. As we didn't wanna wait around, we just got a car to give us a lift, it's okay as it is 500vt less than what the resort offers. And we didn't really bother asking them why nobody's picking us up as it doesn't cause us much trouble.

We stayed in a basic room, it is really nice and breezy. Both of us enjoy it a lot as it is very relaxing looking at the lagoon while lying in bed. Compare with other places in Vanuatu, there's not much flies or mosquitoes during the day. However, as it turned dark, many mozzies flying around...geckos crawling on the roof. Good thing is that there's mosquite coil provided in the room so we just lit it up at night and we both had a good night sleep.

As for the restaurants, the staffs are very friendly and helpful. The food is unexpectedly good but very limited choices. I really enjoy the sandwich and their beef is excellent. The welcome drink is very different from other resorts, it's very tasty!

Around the island, there's 7 beaches that you can walk to and snorkel your way out. However, both me and my partner are not super good swimmers in the sea so we didn't dare to go on our own as it is very wavey at the beaches. On a side note, their beaches are not that easy to access, they don't really have a footpath or any signs telling you where u're going, you have to ask your way thru. The grass are not that easy to walk too as there's many coconuts fell on the ground and u can easily get tripped/slipped.

We decided to go on a boat with one of the staff to snorkel. This is the most disappointed part of our whole stay. We're supposed to leave in the morning however the instructor didn't show up an hour later. We did know from other staff that the instructor will be late so we waited in our room for a bit. As the instructor's back, we went out to meet up with them. The first thing we got wasn't an apology for being late, but a question asking if we are still keen to go. Seriously, what kind of attitude is that?! As if we are not that important and they can just ditch us if we're not keen to go?! Actually we don't really mind to wait that long and still wanna go snorkel...but after a question like that, our mood just went downhill and didn't want to go.

There's other activities that you can choose like kayaking to the blue hole, diving and massage. A few nights staying here will be very relaxing and nice, but more than 4 nights will be too much as there's not much you can do, esp. when they are not good at organizing activities.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank risky_poon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 1, 2011

If you are looking for peace and quiet, with options of exploring/ activity when you feel like it, this is a great place.
Vanuatu is not like most "Tourist" destinations, it is a relativley new "Hot Spot" and I suppose will eventually succumb to "Tourist Takeover" see it in its natural state while you can. Oyster Island is just secluded enough to keep that warm country feel while still being accessible from Australia in just a few hours travel.
The Waterfall tour is Awesome, the blue holes are Awesome and the Snorkeling is Awesome!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank smarkey12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oyster Island Resort

Property: Oyster Island Resort
Address: PO Box 183, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo > Luganville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Luganville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Oyster Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a private 25 hectare island just 2 minutes crossing from the mainland. Oyster Island Resort resides within a Marine Reserve, abundant in marine and wild life. Sandy beaches, tropical rainforest, coral reefs and war plane wrecks make for fantastic snorkelling. Bungalows line the waters edge, each with private decks or patio's, enjoying stunning views out over the calm lagoon waters. Family Vila allow room for parents and children to enjoy the large grounds and gardens and are set off the water for safety. Skilled Chefs serve the very best of local and western cuisine from our waterfront restaurant. Only 20 minutes from the airport and township. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oyster Island Hotel Luganville
Oyster Island Resort Vanuatu/Luganville

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