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“Incredibly Relaxing”

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Eratap Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Incredibly Relaxing”
Reviewed May 11, 2009

My husband and I recently returned from a weeks stay at Eratap. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our time. The staff are lovely and Tony the Manager/Owner is the perfect host. We never expereinced anything other than efficient and friendly service and had no problems with our bill as per the other reviewer's comments.

We loved the outlook of the villa's - when they say "beach front" they mean it. Incredible views of the ocean from your living room and bedroom. Lying on the deck chairs on the terrace and watching the ocean was so relaxing. We never really left this vantage point unless it was to go swimming/snorkelling or for meals. The only small gripe that we had in relation to the cleaning/villas was the quality of the towells. On a few occassions they were very ratty and looked like bleached out rags.

We found the food to be more than acceptable, especially for an island location and incredibly good value with the meal plan. The only small gripe I had was that they seemed to be out of a lot of entree options, which I can understand given that a lot of ingredients need to be flown in, but no replacements were available on the daily specials which seemed to concentrate largely on main meals.

It was wonderful to be able to so easily arrange for a boat to take us to nearby islands for snorkelling/swimming and that there was no extra charge for this. Unfortunately there were very strong currents when we were there and the main beach off the resort was not really usebale which was very disappointing as the reef off the resort would have been wonderful to snorkel. The massages we had at the spa were great and the price of treatments very affordable.

We'll definately be back to Eratap - the location, staff and price point make it hard to beat!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Oceans1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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English first
Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2009

We (2 adults and 2 children) recently spent 5 nights at Eratap. After a long cold European winter, we were very much looking forward to enjoying some time in the sun - swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and generally taking it easy. We were not disappointed. Eratap was truly idyllic.

Having now been there it is easy to agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews that precede this one. They provide a comprehensive insight into what makes Eratap a unique and fantastic holiday experience.

For us there were several things which made our trip great. The big smiling staff and local people, who are all incredibly friendly and accommodating. The location is also ideal, situated between a lagoon that is perfect for kayaking and the sea with easily accessible coral reefs for snorkelling. Better yet, there are few other people around except for local villagers. The ability to simply jump into one of the resorts two run-abouts and skip across to one of the small uninhabited islands close by for some swimming, snorkelling or surfing is a huge benefit. Every day we were always doing some sort of activity, including a couple of afternoons of surfing which the kids loved. And, of course, the food (and wine) was terrific - breakfast, lunch and dinner.

With only 12 villas, despite it being full, at times it felt like we were the only people there. We were however fortunate to meet some fantastic people during our short stay.

Eratap is an informal, relaxed and unpretentious resort that fits perfectly into its surrounds. Owners Tony and Louisa have created a really fantastic place and the recently won awards are well deserved. Our only regret was that we didn’t stay longer to relax a little bit more.

PS While some others have commented about the drive in, we felt the 30 minute trip from the airport, the later part through thick jungle on a fairly bumpy track, was all part of the charm and appeal of Eratap.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank ashandjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2009

Eratap has the potential to be an amazing 5 star experience but is sadly let down by service & general management issues. With a sublime pool area, lovely villas and located on a beautiful site it is no doubt one of the best holiday venues Vanuatu has to offer.
We had a lovely time due to the location & wonderful weather but our stay was riddled with issues & shortfalls that we did not expect from a resort in this price bracket. To this end we would certainly not recommend it to our friends for that special getaway. We are experienced travellers at both ends of the spectrum. When we back-pack we expect to problem solve on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. However, when we pay five star rates we do so on the basis that we wish to be freed from the majority travel stresses associated with back-packing to enjoy a more restful kind of holiday. This expectation was simply misplaced in this case.
Some observations:
- There were set menus at meal times with a few specials each day. Those menus catered poorly for vegetarians, or those who, like us, eat predominantly fish and vegetables. Further, on most days, things (such as mushrooms) on the set breakfast menu were not available. For the first two days there was no fresh fish which we wrongly assumed might be in abundance.
- For a dining experience at this price level there is a very poor & limited choice of mainly low-end wines (at high prices due to import taxes).
- The snorkelling gear included at the resort is poorly maintained and under-stocked. It took us a couple of days to find sizes that were acceptable once other guests' gear was returned. All the masks we had access to were moldy and we never observed any appropriate disinfection process being carried on any of the equipment - something that should be a basic health measure at this kind of resort.
- Although the snorkelling off the resort's beach is quite lovely it can only be done on the high tide when wind conditions keep the waves down - otherwise a boat must be arranged to snorkel the nearby outer reefs (which are very beautiful).
- We were also assured prior to arrival that a carseat was available for transport however it was just tied to the handle of the back of the seat of the Hiace van rather fixed than to a proper bolt. This was very unsafe especially considering the state of Efate's roads and although it may surpass Vanuatu standards it is just not good enough for a top class resort.
- The resort boasts a daily shuttle service into town and when we arrived we were told it left at 10.30am and returned from town at 12.30pm and 2pm. We made arrangements accordingly but then were told on one occasion that contrary to what we had been told, the bus was returning earlier at 12pm and we would be charged an additional transport fee.
We agreed because we had no other choice. We then had to wait an hour in Port Vila in the driving rain because our booked transport had turned up without a car seat for the baby.
- Although the service is friendly & accommodating it was frustrating to regularly have orders mixed up or room service simply not delivered due to the inexperience of the local waitstaff. Some leeway of course is given due to cultural differences in time expectations etc. but this issue became inexcusable when it came time to settle the bill and check the food & drink tallies.
It seemed every single day we were charged for items we did not order (I'm sure due to the wrong room number written on the dockets rather than any dishonesty). It took us an hour to sort through each day's charges because they were so incorrect and had overcharged us by about $500AUD. I find it hard to believe no other reviewers have experienced this inaccuracy?
- Eratap also bills itself as a spa. Both my husband and I had fabulous massages. However, one of the family got a pedicure and, despite allowing ample drying time (one hour), the nail polish did not set. She went back a second time (after we advised of the problem) and the same thing happened. While we were not ultimately charged for this service, it wasted time that could have been spent on activities. The resort should not offer spa treatments for which their staff are poorly trained and/or the materials are substandard.
While we appreciate the obvious difficulties associated with building and running a resort such as this in such a remote and culturally challenging environment, at this price range, inattentiveness is unacceptable.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
14 Thank ubear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TPVan, Owner at Eratap Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 6, 2009
As the owner and on site Manager of Eratap Beach Resort I am sorry that our resort did not meet the expectations of this reviewer. We will of course take on board the reviewer’s comments and ensure we continue to improve our product as a result. For the record however I wish to advise the following:

• we do not have a set menu – we have a restaurant menu with blackboard specials every day for all meals. Please email me for all our menus as we are very excited about our new chef and the exceptional quality of food provided.

• we only serve fresh fish – we do not serve frozen fish. Hence when the seas are rough there might not be fresh fish available – this occurs about 5 days a month during winter and never in summer

• please email me for our wine list – which includes higher end wines such as Penfolds RWT, Bin 707, Bin 389, Devil’s Lair, Cape Mentelle, Evans & Tate etc

• Snorkeling gear is provided free of charge to all guests and is cleaned and sterilized after guests have returned the gear at the end of their stay

• We offer snorkeling on any of the 10 different reefs and 4 islands that surround the resort. Our 2 complimentary boats allow access for snorkeling in any conditions and on any tides.

• Our free shuttle bus leaves the resort at 10.00am and leaves town at 12.30pm daily. If variations occur it is always in consultation with guests

• You will never wait 1 hour for your bill and if it is ever wrong it will be corrected immediately

• Our prices per night are extremely competitive given the standard of accommodation and quality of property. We could reduce the price but then we would have to charge for airport transfers, cooked breakfasts, use of motor boats, transfers to town, use of snorkeling gear and guided activities.

• We are extremely proud of our 42 well trained Ni Vanuatu staff and know that their genuine hospitality and caring nature will be a highlight of anyone’s stay

If you require any further clarification on any of the issues raised in this review please do not hesitate to email me directly at the resort. I will gladly provide you with whatever information you require

Best regards
Tony Pittar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moriac
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2009

We went to Eratap Beach Resort for our Honeymoon and had the best time ever!!! I highly recommend this resort to any couple wantiing to go to Vanuatu!!! The staff are some of the nicest people I have ever meet.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AmberAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2009

Came from New York for our vacation in Australia and topped it off by visiting Vanuatu. A lot of research helped my wife and I find this wonderful secluded place. Don't let the pictures of other hotels in Port Villa fool you with the touched up pictures where the beaches look secluded and the water flows clean and turquoise. At ERATAP you will have all of this and more. Ff you see the pictures on their website..no worries..when you arrive you will say to yourself.."yep...this is what I imagined it to be..this is more beautiful than what I saw in the pictures."

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank milehighliving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TASMANIA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2009

This resort is fantastic!!! My husband and I went with our 15month old girl and had a wonderful relaxing 12 day holiday. The staff were so helpful, the food was beautiful, the villas were even better then the photos and the setting just perfect! My husband is a keen surfer and he surfed everyday which was an added bonus for him. We came home so relaxed and with big smiles on our faces, we are definately going back.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank ROBANDEMILY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2009

The rave is warranted. We had an incredibly enjoyable family holiday here. It is luxurious, but the luxury is very casual and unpretentious. Despite being only 30 minutes out of town, the resort has an exciting sense of remoteness, and is in a truly beautiful location. All the villas have prime beach front positions, and are superbly finished inside. The owners/managers are a sea changed couple from Australia - passionate about their resort, extremely attentive, obliging and charming, but not at all intrusive. Great snorkeling and beachcombing. One of the highlights was the dining. The dining area is an open air deck, with a stunning aspect over the beach to the offshore island. The chef (Fiona) is fantastic. Prices seemed very reasonable. Service was sometimes a bit "island-style", but invariably friendly and enthusiastic. We found that the limited number of guests at the resort, and the delight we all shared at being there, led to some enjoyable interaction amongst the guests. But the resort space was big enough to find privacy if you wanted it. We were there in school holidays, and our young kids were very welcomed and entertained. You’ll love it.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank hughandsuze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Eratap Beach Resort

Property: Eratap Beach Resort
Address: PO Box 3037, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#2 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Family Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Eratap Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Eratap Beach Hotel Port Vila
Eratap Beach Port Vila
Eratap Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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