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“This was paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Oyster Island Resort

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Oyster Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“This was paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

We had four nights at Oyster Island Resort in the deluxe bungalows and thought it was paradise. The rooms were fantastic, clean and spacious. The deck with hammock overlooking the water was so relaxing. There is so much you can do, or you can just chill and relax. Wonderful meals at the restaurant and friendly staff. The kayak to Matevulu blue hole is a must, wonderful to swim there. Also did Riri river blue hole by dugout canoe, and it was also incredible. The island is lovely to walk around and explore, good snorkelling at midway beach.
The resort also organised a 2hr fishing, 2hr snorkelling trip for us with Fabrice from Island Fishing Santo which we thoroughly recommend. We would definitely recommend Oyster Island Resort and hope to be back one day..

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dreamingAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 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 (115)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

My family (myself, my husband, and 2 kids 14yo & 11yo) stayed at Oyster Island Resort for 5 nights in Sept 2013. We found the resort to be of an excellent standard, and after reading some of the other reviews on trip advisor, we were more than happy with the overall experience. One of the highlights of the trip was the quality of the food at Oyster Island. My son is a particularly fussy eater and I was worried that the restaurant would not have many meals that were suitable for him. In fact, I found just the opposite. The food was very child friendly, and the size of the meals were enormous (which meant we often ordered 1 meal between 2 people). Depending on the number of people in the restaurant, the staff were sometimes operating on 'island time', but I found that the quality and size of the meals more than overcompensated for the extra time we waited for our meals (compared with typical waiting times in Australia). I would definitely recommend the 'Santo Beef', as it really is as good as people say, and I am sure that my steak was the best I've ever had.

The rooms were beautiful, and the open air bathroom awesome (deluxe bungalow #8). Some of the furnishings are not quite as nice as I'd seen on the website, but were perfectly acceptable and the hammock was a definite 'fav' spot for the whole family. The bungalows and restaurant have recently been re-lacquered and have bought out the beautiful timber used in their construction. The wifi was playing up while we were there and my mobile phone reception, dodgy at best, so we were essentially cut off from everything which was not a really big deal to us as we were in paradise and had so many other things to see and do.

Some of the tours that I would recommend include a kayaking trip to the blue holes (which took us quite a bit longer then the 45mins each way that is suggested) and is quite physically demanding, especially if you are going against the tides. Don't forget to take snorkles, food & water and your mosquito spray (although there were not that many mozzies when we were there). The Matevule Blue Hole was stunning and a lifetime experience, but there is very little there except the blue hole and a few small picnic table/areas. Also, smaller children/ non-swimmers do not have any shallow areas to swim. There is only one small step/rock area where everyone can enter the water.

We also went to Champagne Bay and highly recommend this, but food venues are very limited and I would not recommend the cafe/ hut at Lonnoc. We paid about $50 AUD for our lunch, which took 1hr and 15mins and was cold. The food was not child friendly at all.

The final highlight of our trip was our Horseriding adventure with Megan from Santo Horsriding Adventures at Lope Lope Lodge. She was very supportive of my daughter who had never been riding before and all the horses were extremely well behaved and the tracks were stunning and varied (past villages, up a hill to a veiwing spot of the whole area, down through rainforest and finally out onto the beach and a small blue whole). She even stopped to take photos for us so that we could all be in the photo together :)

My final piece of advice is to make sure that you do take reef shoes as you will definitely need them for swimming at most of the beaches on the island. The beach in front of the reception/ restaurant is fine, but outside the bungalows there is quite a bit of coral which can be sharp on your feet. All in all, I would give Oyster Island 4.9 stars and look forward to coming back again in the near future. Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality!

Room Tip: The deluxe bungalows are definitely worth the extra money if you can afford it :) The numbers go fro...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bordon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2013

We stayed in a Frangipani bungalow for 8 nights recently. It was such a peaceful, relaxing stay. The bungalows are right at the water's edge and offer beautiful views to wake up to each morning. It was so relaxing just to sit on the balcony and watch the world go by.

All the staff are very friendly and welcoming and work hard to make your stay enjoyable. Nothing was too much trouble.

We enjoyed walking around the island, swimming and snorkelling. Reef shoes are a must as there is lots of sharp, broken coral around but you can borrow some reef shoes from the hotel. The snorkelling is awesome at mid-way beach. We also took a day trip to Port Orly Beach and one of the Blue Holes whilst there - these trips can be arranged by the hotel. The hotel's waterfall trip is a lot of fun but not for the faint hearted. I thought from the description that it was just a calm, gentle float down river through the tropical rain forest but be warned there were rapids over some very sharp rocks which weren't easy to negotiate in the shallow water. I have to confess they did scare me and I think there is the potential to really hurt yourself. It is probably not a problem in the wetter part of the year though when the water would be deeper. That said, I did enjoy it and would recommend the trip.

On a couple of evenings there was entertainment (water dancing and a local band). This was enjoyable but the only thing I would slightly criticize the hotel for. The hotel welcome people who are mooring their yachts in the harbour to this. Whilst this is fine it makes these evenings very busy (not what we really wanted - we had booked Oyster Island because it was so small and therefore seemed to offer a quiet retreat from everyday life) On the first evening the water dancing hotel guests' tables were not reserved. We decided that we would skip the entertainment and order our food/grab a table as there were so many people there we would have been waiting a very long time for a table or food had we all waited till the end of the entertainment (food is cooked to order). On the 2nd night (barbecue night) they did reserve tables for the guests but as these were inside (and the yacht people were on tables outside) we couldn't see the entertainment from where we were seated. I think it would be a good touch to ask guests where they want their tables reserved before taking yacht orders. But that said this isn't a huge thing it is very hard to say anything negative about such a beautiful resort!

I would just like to thank all the staff for a very enjoyable stay. It is a shame it wasn't a longer one. We were very sorry to leave.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BUBBLES00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

We stayed in a frangipani unit for 4 nights. This is a superb little resort to get away to, with friendly staff who always want to help. The food was good, and the room was comfortable. The snorkelling around the island was unforgettable - and there are numerous activities the resort can arrange for you. I'd very happily go back here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dg2061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed 5 nights at Oyster Island Resort in August and found it to be absolutely delightful. This is a small resort about a half hour’s drive from Luganville airport and set on its own small island amid beautifully maintained gardens. A little private ferry connects you to the mainland in minutes. We had a very comfortable deluxe bungalow with an open-air bathroom and a big balcony that extended over the water. When the tide is in it feels like you are on a boat. There’s nothing like the lapping of water to encourage a good night’s sleep! We were in Bungalow 8 and found the bed to be firm but perfectly comfortable. We certainly had no trouble sleeping. The room was well appointed including decent lighting for reading and a fridge and tea making facilities. When we ran out of something we just asked for it to be replaced and it was, cheerfully and quickly. We had two upright chairs and a hammock on the balcony - a lounge would have been a nice addition. Of course we had a few mosquitos and a resident gecko – it’s the tropics after-all. The mosquito coils provided by the resort were very effective but it’s a good idea to carry some insect repellent in the tropics. The resort has a lovely restaurant and bar with an extensive menu and some quite decent wines. We mostly found the meals to be very good but on one or two occasions we think maybe the head chef was having a day off and things went a little awry. We mainly pottered around the island, plenty of walking trails and little beaches to explore (mainly coral underfoot though so bring beach shoes). And we also enjoyed some interesting excursions to other parts of Espiritu Santo, organized seamlessly by the staff. It must be said that it is the staff that make this place. They were all very friendly and attentive to our needs from the moment we arrived. Nothing was ever too much trouble. All the staff deserve high praise for the great job they are doing, but we’d like to give Aaron and Christina a special mention. We found Oyster Island to be a beautiful, comfortable but low-key resort, a great place to unwind and enjoy the charm and hospitality of Vanuatu and its people.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Jayne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

We had 10 days on Oyster Island in July 2013. It was fabulous. There was lots to do if you wanted to (the snorkelling was fab) and also lots of space and time \to do nothing but relax..
The staff we all really helpful and interested . Nothing was too much of a problem.
Would recommend highly.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Megan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

Review of Oyster Island Resort, Espírito Santo, Vanuatu

My husband and I took a flight from Auckland to Port Vila (3hrs) and then an internal flight (50 mins) to Santo.
Upon arriving at Santo we were met by the sound of music, happy faces and our minibus driver and driven to the ramp (about 45 mins) where the driver hit the gong alerting the staff on the beautiful island opposite to our arrival.

The pontoon barge took a couple of minutes to arrive and ferry us back to Oyster Island. We were immediately made to feel very welcome, offered a fruit cocktail and introduced to the staff. We were orientated to the island with a map pointing out the attractions: a natural swimming hole, a snorkelling area and another with a sunken WW11 aeroplane. Then we were shown to our buree. There are 11 along the water, the last 6 being their 'deluxe'. We were in no.9 which had a hammock, lounger and two cane chairs on its balcony looking over the water with the sea lapping at it during full tide.
Inside there is a queen sized bed, two bedside tables, a unit to put and hang up your clothes, a small fridge with milk inside, basic tea, coffee & sugar and kettle. The bathroom has a toilet, sink and shower with the shower open to the sky.

We stayed 10 nights at Oyster, and overall had a fantastic time. The staff are lovely, the location superb! The meals are mostly very good; there were a couple that weren't fantastic but we have learnt that you don't go to the islands for the food and comparatively this was superior to most. We had read that the prices are NZ equivalent (although not always in standard) so this wasn't a shock to us. You could have the meals delivered to your room at no extra cost too which we thought was good on the odd occasion when the hammock was too good to leave! Breakfast was included and consisted of home made fresh bread to toast, weetbix or muesli, a mixed fruit salad and luke warm coffee. You could order a better coffee for 300 vt. It was basic but adequate and if you wanted a cooked breakfast it was available (obviously at your expense).
On our anniversary we were served a complimentary meal, the staff having set up a table right by the water with candles & burners all around. it made our day very special.

The room was more than adequate however at $200+ a night we think the furniture could do with upgrading. The hammock was coming away at the seams, the lounger needed a thicker swab and the mattress should be of better comfort. Also, perhaps the tea/coffee facilities could be upgraded and replaced when they ran out.

It is also a shame that the use of kayaks to paddle around the island or visit the blue hole close by (amazing!) are charged for. We could understand that policy for day visitors but for guests?!

Do not be put off though: these are minor issues and we had a great stay.
As mentioned the blue hole 45 mins by kayak is not to be missed, the opportunity of finding your own private beach on the island, wandering past the cows grazing on your way to a snorkelling spot, lazing in the hammock listening to the tide, watching the fish leap in and out of the water is unforgettable.

We took two day trips during our stay, utilising a taxi driver (with a van) we had meet in town: Andrew from. He gave us excellent discounts from what was advertised elsewhere and was an interesting and friendly host.

The Millennium Cave:
Wow!! What an experience! An hours jungle walk followed by a half hour slipping and sliding our way through the pitch black cave up to our waist in water with small hand torches to shine on the swallows and bats, followed be some rock hopping, followed by canyoning, floating through water on blow up rings and then a climb out via ropes and ladders! Oh, and then an hours walk out through the jungle :-)
The guides were one to one and although there was a slight language barrier there was good communication which at times was essential! I am quite sure I could not have done it without their assistance. They were always conscientious as to your safety, and even in their bare feet able to walk backwards holding your hand, pointing out where to place your foot/hand etc Not sure I would go so far as to call it dangerous but it certainly wouldn't get past health and safety at home!
It was an exhilarating day and muscles were called into use that hadn't been in a while meaning a very quiet hammock day the following day.

Champagne Beach
Beautiful. Sand like talcompowder. Transparent blue water. A sunny day and a Turtle!!
We had taken snorkelling gear and were so glad we did. Around the edges there are some great corals and sealife: blue starfish and many other fish species but right in the centre there it was: a sea turtle, graceful and spectacular. We must have followed it for 15 mins before it decided to return to the deeper waters.
A truly tranquil spot.


Would we recommend Oyster Island? In a heartbeat. Yes it has a few comfort factors that in our opinion need to be addressed but overall a wonderful relaxing holiday in a wondrous spot with friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the privacy of room 9. We tried for room 11 but it was booked already, possibly the most...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bynny
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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