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“Friendly staff but accommodation poor”
Review of City Lodge

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City Lodge
Reviewed May 5, 2012

The standard of accommodation was poor, to say the least; toilet was dirty; AC not working; WiFi was supposed to be accessible in private room s but the signal was weak and it only worked near the front desk. But the staff was very friendly and location was excellent; right in the heart of Port Vila.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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Thank heinz49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 - 32 of 44 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2011

Hostel type accommodation with private rooms - in the centre of town.
Directly opposite the markets and conveniently located to all tourist booking offices.
Choose either fan cooled or air conditioned room.
Staff very helpful and addressing issues that are not up to scratch.
Good starting point.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lyrebird6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

I've read the previous reviews concerning this establishment, along with the criticisms, and have to say in fairness that I think the owners are addressing at least some of them, while others still remain.

City Lodge advertises fan cooled or air conditioned en-suite rooms, Wi-Fi connection, tea/coffee making facilities in the common room only. No pool, restaurant, in-room refrigerator or optional light breakfasts. It's in the middle of town with easy access to cafes, restaurants and night-life. I stayed two nights of my seven in Vila. Not because of any deep dissatisfaction with the establishment but simply I needed facilities City lodge didn't have.

Although I understand some of the rooms are rather small, mine was quite large, furnished with two double beds, away from the main street side and so relatively quiet. It was diligently serviced and cleaned daily. The sheets and pillow cases were quite new. The bed was also firm (not "hard", as some appear to have found) and comfortable. The curtains were thick and did a very good job of keeping out the street lights at night. My air con was relatively quiet and came with a fully functioning remote. There was also the option of using the ceiling fan.

On the debit side of the ledger, the room lacked clothes-hanging space. There was a small open hanging rail about 50cm in length, with three hangers. Maybe I'm nit-picking and perhaps could have asked for more, but another half-dozen or so hangers would have eased constantly digging through bags for clothing.(There were no shelves or drawers either.) Also, the room only had one accessible power point: beside the bed for the bedside lamp. One juggled use between phone and camera re-chargers as well as the lamp. Perhaps replacement of the current socket with a twin socket could be considered. The television is a unit no larger than 30cm, high in a corner about 4 metres from the bed. Expectation of a larger flat screen will disappoint.

My first experience with my bathroom was: no hot water! A query to reception bought a prompt visit from the maintenance chap who checked the flow then disappeared and reappeared fairly quickly informing me that it had been fixed and I had no more problems during my stay. I was pleasantly surprised to find hot and cold water supply to the basin as my experience has been that many 3 - 3½ star establishments only supply cold. The other unexpected surprise was like the aforementioned sheets and pillowcases, the towels were quite new. Also they - both hand towel and bath towel - were refreshingly large and comfy to use.

Other reviewers have commented their shower doesn't drain. I concur. Once the water was turned on, the shower pan would almost immediately start to fill, and one was quickly ankle deep in water. With others commenting about the same problem, perhaps a survey of the drainage side of the plumbing might be considered. There was a heavy build up of mould (perhaps try some strong household bleach weekly) in the shower recess which detracted from the shiny new and clean shower curtain. One very small shelf barely 25cm X 10cm was all that was provided for the necessities of civilisation in the bathroom.

Robust locks, fitted on to a large stainless steel plate were furnished to all doors, far more thoughtful security than I have seen is other establishments, even those of a higher star-rating standard.

The open areas of City Lodge were well maintained. The staff were constantly mopping the tiled main passageway - I always found both it and the reception area clean and tidy. The only concern I had was with security of access. The front door is open 24 hours, and supposedly the reception counter is attended at all times. This wasn't the case as I would duck in and out at odd hours and the counter was unattended with the staff member watching TV in the common room at the far end of the main corridor. One evening I left my key at reception and upon return had to scurry about trying to find the staff member to retrieve it from the open box left unattended at the front counter. No security camera was fitted that I could see, making it easy for anyone with nefarious intent to enter. In contrast, the other establishment I stayed in at Port Vila closed the doors at 9:00pm, provided a key and also had a security officer in attendance at the front.

Summary: A very competitively priced establishment right in town. Strictly budget accommodation but close to everything. If holidaying, then probably suited to a short stay only.

Room Tip: Street-side rooms are apparently rather noisy.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Hastatus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2011

Stayed they 4 times now & as i mentioned, you literally are in the middle of town. The markets are straight across from it & you can get a great hearty meal from the ladies there for just a few dollars. Its cheap room but relatively clean for that price. The beds are absolute torture...i love a very hard bed & these sorted me out. Even though its in the middle of town its quiet as Vila isnt noisy outside of independence day celebrations, then City Lodge gets really bad but thats only for a few days a year. Get an air-cond room in summer for sure! Over all the place is ok for the money.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank markdimad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CityLodge_Management, Public Relations Manager at City Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2011

Dear Markdimad

Thank you for your review. Having recently taken over the management of City Lodge, your comments have greatly helped us to improve the place. We have put in all new mattresses and pillows. We also have a new common room with coffee/tea facilities for your convenience.

We hope you see you again soon and show you what we have done with the place!

- City Lodge Management -

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Reviewed December 18, 2010

Cheapest election in overpriced Port Vila. Clean rooms, hyperhelpful staff. Just in the city center, close to the local market and cheap places to eat. It has free WIFI. Perfect place to stay for one or two nights and keeping some money in the pocket.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank pepitopulpito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2010

Shower was dirty & it blocked every day, shower curtain had holes in it, bathroom door wouldn't close, no hot water in the morning, mattress was so old it made our backs ache. Paid extra for an airconditioned room but they didn't give us a remote & we couldn't turn it on (therefore room was very hot). Internet access was advertised as free but that didn't work either. Looks much more run down than their photos on their website. Central location.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LittleVeggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CityLodge_Management, Public Relations Manager at City Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2011

Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us at City Lodge and for your review. We have recently taken over management of City Lodge (August 2011) and have found your comments invaluable. Based on your feedback we have replaced all the mattresses and pillows. We have also installed new hot water systems and upgraded the bathroom and internet facilities.

We look forward to showcasing our improvements to you in the near future.

- City Lodge Management -

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Reviewed June 22, 2010

Hotel is pretty central (hard not to be in Port Vila), but not close to the beach. Not ideal for a leisure traveler who wants to chill out on the beach. Room was OK, the bathroom was a bit disappointing (shower wasn't the cleanest, bathroom door wouldn't even close). It is also right opposite the markets, so don't expect to sleep in...

Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
Thank srakovska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about City Lodge

Address: Lini Highway, Port Vila, Efate ., Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Port Vila
Price Range: $33 - $47 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
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Also Known As:
City Hotel Port Vila
City Lodge Vanuatu/Port Vila

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