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“Great Stay”

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Tara Beach Bungalows
Ranked #2 of 22 Port Vila B&B and Inns
adelaide
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Stay”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Fantastic, enjoyed so much the setting the people, was better than expected with a true local flavor, clean neat bungalows and the best Garlic prawns i have had in a while ,bit meesy though you need a few napkins, and the setting overlooking the water for all meals amazing, went on my own and loved it would go back with out a doubt,thank you Eric, LuLu and a big thanks to Keith
for your generosity of spirit and insight into what is going on in Vanuatu- absolute value for money
i have stayed in 5 star places etc but this place redefines what a star may mean.

Room Tip: I really enjoyed bungalow 2 great view
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank tox12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Not perfect but the owners and staff make you feel comfortable and give you a good understanding of the local culture/villages and attractions. We really appreciated the fresh flowers all over every morning. Breakfast was adequate, fresh grapefruit was amazing!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lisandra2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hervey Bay
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We arrived in Vanuatu with the first 3 nights booked at the Tara Beach Resort and an open mind of where to go from there during our 12 night holiday. A local experience appealed to us and it looked like it was going to suit us from what we could see on the internet. How wonderful, in this day and age, to be so pleasantly surprised with the reality surpassing the expectation by miles. Usually accommodation is presented so well on websites that this is not the case and you can feel a little disappointed. But on my arrival at Tara Beach I couldn't stop smiling as it was so lovely on every level. Vincent picked us up on time from the airport and made us feel welcome. All subsequent trips in his ute were positive, prompt and informative experiences. The bungalow had that Wow factor and was clean, colorful and filled with fresh tropical flowers and plants. A wonderful touch that occurred every day. We would return from breakfast to a clean bungalow and fresh flowers throughout the bungalow. The view of the gardens and beach from the bungalows is fantastic and you can find yourself staring out to sea, mesmorised for big chunks of the day. The grounds are kept in excellent condition with paths and grassed areas raked daily. Soon after our arrival we wandered to the Beach restaurant area to a warm welcome from Lulu and complimentary welcome drinks. We enjoyed our regular contact with Lulu very much as he shared his culture, language and joy of life with us. During our stay Lulu took us to his village which was a highlight of our stay, we were able to see the school and kindergarten in action. The children made a huge impression on us.
Tara Beach not only provides a wonderful local, cultural experience but it is wonderful value. We extended our stay to 10 nights and would have made it 12 but they were booked out one weekend that we were there. Our very reasonable nightly rate included a huge daily breakfast, the fruit was such a treat, free snorkeling gear and kayaks which we used regularly, the village tour and transfers. The resort is a local family affair and Eric, older brother of Vincent is doing a terrific job of managing the resort. We so enjoyed our daily chats with him. He consistently checked up on us and made sure we made the most of each day. If you are looking for a locally owned and run Pacific Island experience and to connect with Vanuatu culture Tara Beach Resort is the place. We loved it and want to return. Tanku tumus, faftai Eric, Lulu and Vincent.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank Sally B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyogle, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

For anybody who wants to meet locals, enjoy pre-tourist-boom-tranquility, snorkel for free, use free bicycles to visit nearby spectacular waterfalls, feed fish and relax on the beach in the shade of gorgeous ancient trees (hopefully PLEASE never to be logged...:-), this is the place to go to.

Competitively priced, we knew there are even more spectacular Island resorts available in Vanuatu, but eventually we decided to make this lovely local village family business our base for the entire Vanuatu holiday, visited lots of other places in day trips, and would always do the same thing again.

Comments about "tired accomodation" we cannot share, the seaside cabins are all clean and lovely decorated with fresh flowers on the bed. Certainly, if someone is after flash modern 5 star resorts, then this one might be disappointing, but let's be honest, why come all the way to Vanuatu to stay in one of those anonymous luxury resorts which You can find anywhere in the world, I'd say save the air fare and go to Cairns instead.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank Ferdinand K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunshine Coast QLD
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Our family of 5 arrived in Vanuatu to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. Yes we took the kids, 18,15 & 12 to celebrate with us. Upon booking our accommodation online with Tara Beach, I requested that perhaps Eric could arrange a romantic candlelite dinner for my husband and I to celebrate our anniversary, which he promised would be no problem. I will start our fairytale holiday from the beginning - We were greeted at the airport by a very welcoming Thomas at 10.30pm. We arrived at our Bungalow to find fresh flowers throughout the room and in our bathroom. The next morning we awoke to the beautiful ocean views just metres away from our door, which was a short stroll to the beachside restaurant for a fresh local breakfast, where we were greeted by Lulu. Lulu is a teacher in the local village and has many a story to share. After breakfast each morning we would head to the jetty to feed the colourful reef fish which were in abundance. During our stay we were given a tour of the local Mele Village, which was a wonderful joyous experience, with local children running out to greet us, and pet pigs and piglets running around, it was gorgeous. Thomas was always on hand to drive us anywhere we wanted to go, which was very helpful. We were also invited to attend the village church on Sunday, which I would definitely recommend. There is plenty of attractions to see close by, and the family is happy to drive you. If you wish to relax it was nice to laze around at the resort, kayak or snorkel. One day during our stay Lulu arranged for some of the local children from Mele Village to come and swim and play with our kids, they had a lovely time and have made some life long friends in the village girls. Our Anniversary night, is so hard to capture in words, as it was the most amazing night I could have ever wished for. The local children sang for us while Lulu played the guitar, and a tribe from Tanna Island came to perform cultural dances for us. We had a beautiful dinner with lots of singing and laughter with Eric, Sala(who sings like Elvis) and the family. They made us a beautiful anniversary cake and we danced together and celebrated with them until late. We were very sad when we had to leave, but will definitely return for another visit. We still miss all the happy faces daily, and would highly recommend you stay at Tara Beach resort if you are after an authentic Vanuatu experience. There is no hot water, but not once did my teenage girls complain, because everything else far outweighed any hot water. Tankiu Tumas and Lukim yu - Thankyou very much and see you later. :)

Room Tip: Every room has gorgeous ocean views, my best tip is to sit back and relax.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Byron Bay, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We absolutely loved the 2 bedroomed bungalow we had on the water's edge with lush gardens. The welcome Eric and his family extended from buffet plus hot cooked breakfast, to services through out the day was fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. The reef is good right there, with feeding the fish, it was the best snorkelling spot obviously! We enjoyed a Summit lunch (must do), ribs and Mexican at the War Horse Micro Brewery, Mele Cascade Falls, Hideaway Island and more all within a 10 minute courtesy bus drive. We stayed on Effate Island for two weeks and our 3 night stay here turned into five nights!

Room Tip: Being a couple, we enjoyed the privacy of a bungalow about 5 along.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Suzette62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed here on our way to Tanna Island and were glad it was only one night. The first disappointment happened when our free airport transfer wasn't at the airport to meet us. We ended up getting our own way by taxi. The location and people were lovely, but the accommodation was very tired, no hot water and parts were falling off such as the kitchen cupboard doors. The website says daily meals including dinner but there was nothing on offer when we arrived on a Saturday night. We had to go to another place for dinner which ended up being lovely anyway. If you say you provide daily meals then you need to make sure this is the case.

I couldn't have stayed here longer than we did, but if some money was spent to bring it up to scratch (and provide hot water) then I'd consider going back. My parents stayed here in 2009 when they attended our wedding, and they raved about it. I can't help but think it's gone down hill since then which is unfortunate. Hopefully things will improve.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank pandagurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tara-manager, Manager at Tara Beach Bungalows, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
As of the 18th May 2013- 89 reviews on our page: 52 Excellent, 27 Very Good, 5 Average, 3 Poor and 3 Terrible!!! Our accommodation business has just won 2013 Certificate of Excellence Award from Tripadvisor. What more do we have to say or do that previous Guests have not already said in their reviews? Accommodation abit tired" definitely NOT.

This 2 couples stay in a family bungalow which supposed to be for 2adults and 2 child at A$120 per night includes return airport transfers, breakfast and free use of snorkels and kayaks. (There's nothing in the website that say include dinner or all meals on wotif for the last 5 years)

The only time we forget to pick up guests at the airport, is when they book through wotif and not call, email or add their flight details on the guests comment as advise on our page at wotif.
Once this 2 beautiful couples arrive at Tara Beach, we apologise and explain for what has happen and refund them they A$30 back for the taxi, put they bags in the room and walk them up to the restaurant for welcome drink and one of them went snorkel.
Everyone was happy and no one was complain, if they complain we would be happy to refund them back and help them book another place to stay that night.

We always ask our guests whether they like to dine in the restaurant or dine out, so we could organise transfers for them, if they told us about the Dinner inclusive, we would show them their booking with everything written down. We recommed Beach Bar Restaurant to them, drive them there and back.
They all sleep well, had a nice breakfast and we drop them to the airport to go to Tanna.

This 2 couples stay at Tara Beach for one night only to go to Tanna, so they won't have to pay for return airport transfers, breakfast and expect Tara Beach to be a 5 Star Accommodation for A$60 per couple per night.
If i were PandaGurl, i would stay at the resort i stay and married at back in 2009 for the one night before going to Tanna.

If we total up everything it would have come up to A$120 same as the price they pay for accommodation include return airport transfers, welcome drink, breakfast, free use of snorkels and kayaks and if dinner is included and they all had Coconut Crab or Lobsters that night for A$65 per head - I'm sure we will make a profit of one Terrible Review Again.

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Tara Beach Shuttle (Return Airport Transfers) $60 ($30 one way for the 4)!

Big Breakfast (Egg on toast, juices, pastries, fruits, cereals, coffee, milo, etc) $15p/p x 4adult $60

Not forgetting use of electricity, water, Toileries, clean bed linen, towels, tea and coffee making facilites, housekeeping, etc.....

"THIS IS A GREAT BARGAIN"
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Like we always said, Tara Beach is a 100% locally owned resort which operate in true Vanuatu Island Way.
The rooms are improving and we have a communal hot shower for guests to use only.

If you want to support locals and experience the Real Vanuatu, this is the best place to be.

Tankiu tumas PandaGurl for your review and also we want to say a Bigfella Tankiu Tumas to all our guests who supported us all through the years. We wouldn't got an Award for 2013 Certificated of Excellence without YOU.


Lukim yu!!!

Eric Vatoko
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tara Beach Bungalows

Property: Tara Beach Bungalows
Address: Devil's Point Road | Mele Bay, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Tara Beach Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tara Beach is absolute beach front situated on 12 lush acres fronting picturesque Mele Bay, Efate, Vanuatu. With crystal clear, safe waters at your doorstep, we are the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking, swimming and getting away from it all for a while. We also have a chilled out open air bar / cafe known as the Beach Hut that is also open to day visitors and locals. Located about 15 mins from town & 10 mins to the airport, we provide free airport transfers for guests. All bungalows have tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge, with ocean views a few metres from your door included as standard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tara Beach Bungalows Hotel Port Vila
Tara Beach Hotel
Tara Beach Port Vila
Tara Beach Bungalows Vanuatu/Port Vila

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