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“Oyster Island total relaxation”

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Oyster Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Dandenong Ranges Victoria
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Oyster Island total relaxation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2011

Overall Oyster Islands is one of the most relaxing paces we have ever stayed with the most delicious cuisine. We will be back.

This was our second trip back to Vanuatu and need I say we will be back again and again. We flew into Santo beginning our holiday at Oyster Island. Arriving at the airport itself was an experience as we had traveled with many musicians for the music festival the following weekend. The locals got wind of their arrival and put on a traditional welcome and custom dance so it made us feel a little special too. Our pre organised transport was waiting and was an air conditioned very new vehicle - pacific tours by memory. We drove approx 20 minutes on a well made road, (the road has now been made all the way up to Port Olry) and arrived at a little make shift ferry point with an empty gas cylinder hanging in prime position. The driver walked to the cylinder tapping it making a gonging sound that rippled and rung over the water to inform the resort's boat master we had arrived.

A short journey on the palm leaf roofed pontoon took us across the lagoon towards Oyster Island. With the view of the restaurant and bungalows perched by the blue green water we knew we had arrived at paradise. Greeted with a welcome drink we were quickly made comfortable and at home.

ROOMS - We chose to stay in bungalow 11 due to other comments on trip advisor and personally I would have chosen any of them. Number 6 to 9 are particularly gorgeous with the best outlook, I thought. All other bungalows had just as good out look also of the lagoon. Number 11 does have the most privacy but is a fair walk to and fro and is a little stuck in the marshes at low tide (how ever we did not experience any mosquitoes). The rooms are clean perfectly sized with a fridge, kettle (coffee was rock solid from the humidity), fan, hammock, balcony and en suite bathroom. Cleaning tended to daily with fresh towels and flowers the rooms provided a very comfortable stay.

FOOD - Yum Yum Yum The cooks provided some of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten. Our first stay on Vanuatu was Tanna island and the food was not worthy of mentioning BUT here at Oyster Island evening meals were special, well priced and better than many restaurants back in Australia (evening meal average price $18 - $27). You must try the Organic Tanna beef, cooked to perfection ( I can still taste it). Lunches were light and simpler, yum all the same and averaged around $10 - $14. Breakfast provided was toast (home made bread), fruit and coffee really nothing more was required.

BAR- At your service from 8 am till approx 9/10pm. Friendly entertaining attendants. Drinks are similar prices as Australia $4.50 for a beer.

WHAT TO DO- Oyster Islands offers a good position mid way to all the main attractions. A taxi ride into town is about $8 and at times the staff are going in and wiling to give you a lift. The best days activity is kicking back, k yacking and snorkeling the many colorful lagoons and pockets around the islands shores. We could have spent the whole time doing just this but had to spread our wings a little, as you do. K yacks in good order, and like anywhere best to take your own snorkeling gear, its a personal tool.

Trip to the blue lagoon by k yack is and an awesome journey and not to be missed. Easy enough to do yourself with reasonable fitness.

ON THE GRAPE VINE - I hear oyster island can be a bit more pumpy around sailing season (mid year I think) when the yachties come in. This would be a fun teasing time to go, hearing every ones stories and I have heard they often escort people back to their yachts for a drink if your lucky.

It was unfortunate in a small way we went to oyster island whist the main managers were on annual leave and the main guide was at a wedding else where on the island which meant we missed the opportunity to meet them proper and have all the information at hand. Mark was our host and should be commended as he had only arrived himself 2 weeks earlier.

Mark made our stay at Oyster Island. He is a natural at being a host and a very comical intelligent man, he is a kiwi but don't hold that against him. The tour information in the rooms could be improved along with the tour information at the bar ( I mentioned this on leaving and It was on their agenda as priority as they are keen as punch to make your stay memorable)

I cant praise the staff enough, everything we asked for they accommodated. They are friendly, trustworthy and fun. The only leaving comment I would leave for managment is I would have loved to experience more of the culture and ni vanuatu at the resort. It is their culture we go to see when traveling over seas and one of the best experiences I have ever had in Vanuatu was staying at White grass resort and being able to wander down to the lagoon and join in with the locals and their children. I learnt so much that trip. I believe a fine balance of relaxation and privacy can be met whilst experiencing the ni vanuatu culture before it is lost. There is plenty of area on the island where the children could play creating a friendly work environment for the employees and sharing their culture with the visitors.

Keep up the great work in providing one of the most perfect locations to stay:)

yumi catch up soon, we missim vanuatu:) Shaz and Moose

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank shaz-moose
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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
Date | Rating
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English first
South Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2011

We are a family of four, 2 girls aged 7 and 9. We stayed for a week at Oyster Island Resort in October and had a fantastic holiday. We stayed in a deluxe bamboo bungalow which was lovely and clean with an open air shower, great novelty for our girls. The girls were set up with bunk beds, however as you do get a bit of wildlife in the room (geckos) neither of them wanted to be on the top bunk, so we took the beds apart and there was room enough to set them up as two singles. Lizards in the room aren't a big deal for us at all. We found once the light was off at night they disappeared.
Setting is gorgeous with a deck out the front over the water when the tide is high.
Good snorkelling over the other side of the island which requires a five minute walk.
Friendly staff, good food although after a couple of days we asked for "no salt". They also have a vegetarian menu which they don't offer but is available if you ask. After 7 nights there this was great as it gave us a few more selections to try.
Breakfast was great with fantastic home made bread to toast. Nothing fancy but all we needed.
We found it a great place to do lots of day trips, we went up to Champagne Beach, Port Olry, Lope Lope Lodge for horseriding which I cannot rave enough about. The horse riding was one of the best things we've ever done as a family!
Great snorkelling trips to nearby reefs and islands.
Some of the review below say that a couple of days in enough but honestly after 7 nights we were very sad to leave and we all agreed we would have loved another couple of days. Bearing in mind we are not the sort who need loads of action, we are quite happy to spend time lying about with a good book while the girls play in the beach.
I would recommend to anybody!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank katelucy_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2011

We were married at Irriki Island in Port Vila. We spent our first anniversary at Oyster Island. It was absolutely beautiful. Very relaxing!! The staff were very friendly (just like everyone in Vanuatu). Our cabin was perfect. Oyster Island is a little piece of secluded paradise. Perfect for a honeymoon (or anniversary) We stayed there in November 2010.

Room Tip: Spend a little more and get the Deluxe Cabin. It's worth every cent.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Barwicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2011

We really enjoyed our stay at Oyster Island Resort. The staff was great! Very helpful, professional, and friendly. We loved our bungalow, complete with a couple of resident lizards. (If you don't enjoy these little guys, stay home because Vanuatu has lots of wildlife). Everything was well maintained and clean. The bungalows are charming and comfortable and right on the water. We found plenty of great diving sites around the island and Greg and Charlie took us in the boat to some especially interesting spots to view WWII plane wrecks underwater. The restaurant served generous portions--the fish and chips was especially good. We were able to kayak to nearby islands, which were fun to explore and saw sea turtles as well as fantastic coral reefs. Highly recommended! We'll book here again.

Room Tip: All the rooms are on the waterfront, some are just bigger than others, and, of course, cost more. Th...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Geri C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2011

My son and I have just returned from 10 days in Vanuatu. We went to Port Vila for 3 ½ days before heading north to Santo ... and Oyster Island.
We loved Vanuatu. It is a very easy going, friendly, relaxed and happy place ... and we found that Oyster Island reflected each of these qualities.
Arriving at Oyster Island late in the afternoon I was completely taken by surprise by the warm welcome displayed. We were first greeted off the boat on the beach and then were each handed a cool tropical drink as we stepped into the resort. As I sipped my drink, Sue (the wife of the husband and wife management team) came out to meet me. She was one (ex-pat) contact that I had been emailing prior to travelling yet was the only one to greet me as a valued friend. (I had a cold shoulder from another!)
We stayed in a Frangipani bungalow which was PERFECT! I describe it as ‘luxury camping’! We had four walls and a roof over our heads, plenty of windows for the air to move through, adequate and clean amenities, beds to sleep in (they accommodated us by placing an extra bed in for us), a cute verandah and a stunning tropical panorama to look at! We didn’t have a bar fridge (which just gave us an excuse to go to the bar!) ... nor tea and coffee making facilities ... but, hey, who needs a hot drink in the tropics! I am quite fond of nocturnal creatures so the geckos were always welcome visitors to our bungalow!
The BED AND BREAKFAST rate was so affordable we extended our stay from what the travel deals suggested. (tip: book through the Oyster Island website and check out their Facebook page for special deals) In the mornings we were presented with a plate of fresh local fruit with the option of having tea, Tanna coffee and toast (yummiest bread!).
We found the food at meal times to be beautifully cooked and presented, with an obvious emphasis on fresh local ingredients. My son worked his way through the dessert menu over the week and could find no fault in any of them! The prices are on par with Australia and I had it explained to me why. Vanuatu has no Income Tax so the G’ment gets its money via Sales Tax .... hence why Vanuatu isn’t a ‘cheap’ destination. Added to that, there is no wholesale purchasing per se so the resorts must buy their supplies at retail prices. The prices are therefore reasonable when you take all this into consideration.
The eating area becomes a place where you fall into conversation with fellow guests. You very soon find out where everyone has come from .... and start swapping recommendations for places to go and things to see. There is free WiFi in this area which was an unexpected bonus so keeping in touch back home was no problem. The staff at Oyster Island are absolutely gorgeous! They were always quick to smile and extremely helpful. We were able to do tours of Santo (Paradise Tours were excellent), go fishing, kayaking, swimming and snorkelling effortlessly thanks to their eagerness to organise it all for us.
I have read the recent reviews below and am quite shocked at the personal stab at the ‘new management’ that were posted. Surely a smoothly run resort and happy and accommodating staff would be a reflection of the management? Being ‘new’ suggests also that there would be a settling in period and possibly some understandable ‘teething problems’ - but none were evident during our stay.
Overall: if you are going to Vanuatu and are wanting an all bells and whistle, loud, energetic, nightclubbing type resort then don’t go to Oyster Island (their bar closes at 9pm every night and I actually feel that they should change the ‘resort’ to either ‘retreat’ or ‘haven’ or just leave it simply ‘Oyster Island’)
BUT if you are going to Vanuatu to appreciate its people, its culture, its natural environment and its pace then Oyster Island is for you. It is very easy going, friendly, relaxed and happy .... just like Vanuatu itself.
I am still not sure if I want to recommend Oyster Island to anyone .... because then I would have to share it!!! ;O)

Room Tip: Just keep in mind ... 'it is what it is'. The frangipani bungalows are basic ... they are wh...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lambx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2011

We spend 10 days on osyter island with our 10 month old baby and we loved it. The place is truly amazing and the staff is as friendly as everyone has commented before. We were amazed by the welcoming staff and the way they all loved babies which made it easier for us. The hotel itself is great and a little paradise if you want to relax and eat good food. The santo beef is to be recommended and you will eat more than once that's for sure. We found the price/quality at oyster ratio to be good given that Vanuatu is not a cheap place to begin with. We ate out once and it showed us that oyster was on the money. To recommend is a trip to Lope Lope. We regretted to have gone there on our last day which is also a great place for a meal and to just hang out on their amazing deck. the management we found to be very welcoming and nice and always willing to accommodate us with your special needs due to Mac our baby.
thanks heaps for a great trip.
Sandra, Myles and Mac

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mylandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2011

Arriving in pouring rain we were greeted by the friendly face of Luke from Paradise Tours. Before heading to Oyster Island Luke took us into Luganville town to change over $AU to Vatu and for anyone to grab a few things at the supermarket. Definitely wait until you get there to change your money over, a much better rate in Luganville. Who would have thought a service station changed money???

Reaching our destination we have the ferry to take us over to the resort. The clarity of the water was way above my expectation and it is a pity the sun didn’t shine whilst we were there to show the passage of water at it’s best.

Fare 5 is set over the water, clean, large and spacious with comfortable outdoor furniture. Plenty of storage and an enclosed shower which I requested because of fears of what may enter the room. Toiletries and mozzie coils are provided, no mozzies during our visit.

The fare’s are not fully sealed as I discovered when I saw a rat running on top of the bamboo wall and out of the fare. We were told the room had been empty for a few days and once we were there it would disappear which it did. Gecko’s are larger than we have in QLD and a few were in the room, I suggest you leave your indoor lights off when not in the fare so not to attract insects so the gecko’s stay outdoors.

Breakfast of Tanna Coffee, toast and fruit was enough for us to start our day. The restaurant was also a good place to catch up with other guests to see what they had planned or done for their day. Make sure you try the Santo Beef, fantastic. Some dishes were a little salty so just ask the waiter to pass on to the chef that you would prefer no added salt.

The resort organised for us to go on a Paradise Tour to Champagne Beach/Lonnoc Beach and to a Blue Hole. The stop at a Copra was very interesting too, worth the stop. The beaches are a must see whilst on Santo, take your snorkel and mask. Remember to take cash with you to pay for the tour, lunch and fees to land owners.

Greg took us to what I thought would be a small village but instead very geared up for tourists. If you haven’t seen water dancing, drunk Kava, had traditional food, seen men and woman dancing then I suggest you go to see it all. Check out Greg’s photos on Facebook. Greg took us to his local watering hole before going back to Oyster, if Greg has time then go along to speak to locals and to get a real feel for Luganville.

We hired a kayak and went up the river opposite the resort to a blue hole. The trip up the river was a highlight, so pretty and the water is amazing. The paddle will take you about 45 minutes at a slow pace and be sure to stop and just listen to nature.

Oyster Island Resort was a great base for us to do what we wanted to do on the mainland. I wish it had been better weather so we could have been able to enjoy more of what is on offer at Oyster.

Room Tip: Fare 5 has a ramp and 1 small step to get onto each landing
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank loeythelip
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 star — Oyster Island Resort 3*
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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