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The Havannah, Vanuatu
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Reviewed January 17, 2013

We stayed at the Havannah over the Christmas and new year break. The hotel as other reviewers have described is a boutique resort. I would not go as far to say it is luxurious but it is not bad. Others we spoke to who went to other resorts on the island did reaffirm that it is the best resort in Port villa.

We stayed in a lagoon pool villa, which are the same layout as the Garden villas but on the private shared pool. We found the villa fine and most of the time we had the pool to ourselves.

Positives

1.Small and adult only – We did not want a resort that had children. The other thing was during the day you did not see anyone. You did see familiar faces at breakfast and dinner, but not generally around the resort. Therefore in our case we had the pool and beach areas to ourselves a lot of the time. You have you own space to relax and spend time together.

2. Staff – all the staff went out of their way to help and provide you what ever you wanted

3. Beach area – The beach itself, whilst small was great. Not many people used the beach when we were there, so most of the time we had the beach to ourselves. Others we spoke to said a lot of the other resorts beach areas were coral and not sand.

4. Food and Restaurant – we found the food to be excellent. Breakfast was good, albeit not alot of selection, but they would make up anything you wanted. We ate dinner at the resort every night apart from one. Each meal we had was excellent and could not be faulted. As other reviewers have said, I thought there would be more seafood options as well. An example would be a seafood platter.

5. Location – we thought the location was great. It is isolated but that was a good thing for us. In fact we only left the resort twice, once to the shops and another time for a restaurant. It is about 20 to 30 mins from Port Vila via the hotel bus

6. Spa – great massage !

Negatives

1. Value for money – I don’t think it was particularly good value for money. Why I say this is, I think for the price you pay you should receive the little extras in attention and detail. Let’s face it, we paid $400 AUD a night and still had to carry our own bags to reception on arrival. When we arrived we were dropped off at the top of the footpath leading to reception and then left there. Nothing said and no one around. First impressions count and this was not a good one. Maybe they should consider investing in a hotel luggage trolley that guest could leave their bags on so they could be bought to reception. Also maybe a seat at the drop off point/pick up point for the hotel bus so you did not have to sit on the ground when waiting for the driver.

2. Transport – the transport from the airport to the hotel was arranged by the hotel and this was serviced by Adventures in paradise. As the name suggest the trip to the hotel was an adventure. We referred to the trip as the Vanuatu roller coaster. If fact at times it was a little scary at the speed he was going. We were not the only ones that mentioned this, maybe Fredrick and Victoria should say something to the operators as it does not paint a nice picture as a first impression.

3. Air-conditioning – whilst the air is very welcome and necessary with the humidity, they are bloody noisy, particularly at night when there is no other noises. After a couple of days you get use to it, but it was noisy to start with. It was just not our unit as they all made the same noise.

4. Views – with the lagoon villas, one of the best spots to lay and relax was in the shallow entry area to the lagoon pool out the front of each villa. The problem was that the two fixed covered umbrellas in the main pool block the view. Therefore you end up look at a latched roof.

5. Lack of tour information – whilst we are not really into the touristy stuff, we did go across to tranquility island to snorkel. There was no information in the rooms or at reception with regards to tours etc. The only way to find out is to ask, but Victoria did tell us they are in the process of putting together a compendium with all the info. This would be a great addition. We were a little disappointed when we did book our snorkeling tour that were not told anything. We thought it was just a beach, but is was actually tranquility dive resort and turtle sanctuary. This was a welcome surprised but, as we did not know, we did not take any money. It was ashamed as we would have like to sponsored a turtle or two.

Overall we were happy with the resort, albeit we thought there could be some extra touches that would make it that little more special. Frederick did say they are in the process of doing a few things like building a new boat shed and over time I am sure the resort will get better.

Room Tip: If choosing a lagoon Villa, ask for with 6,8 to 10. The views will be less obstructive from these villas.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Barneyridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havannah-GM, General Manager at The Havannah, Vanuatu, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear Barneyridge
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review and thank you for your suggestions. I will organise for a bench to be set up at the bus drop off, it is a great idea and I do not believe I did not think of it myself.
We have contacted the airport operator and passed on your comments, requesting them to ensure their drivers slow down and we will monitor them closely.
I am surprised at the air conditioning being noisy as they are serviced every month, however I will have all the villas units checked.
I know and agree about the view of the thatched roofs however if I lower them, guests will hurt their head and if I remove them, guests will have no shade.
I have also spoken to our receptionist as they obviously did not gave you the introduction to the resort on arrival which encompass all the relevant information and activities whilst we are waiting for the activity book to be printed. Even when we have them, I will still insist that in coming guests are given a complete introduction to the resort.
I do hope we will have the pleasure to have you staying back at the Havannah. All the very best for 2013.
Kind regards
Frederick

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Reviewed January 13, 2013

My partner and I stayed at The Havannah for 5 nights from 27 November 2012. On arrival we were made very welcome and settled in quickly to our lovely garden villa. We were hoping to have a restful few days but as active people we still wanted the balance of peace and quiet with the option to participate in other things as needed. The balance was perfect, we got the rest we had hoped for in absolutely beautiful surrounds in a lovely villa while still doing more active things like snorkelling, paddling, walking (too hot to run), chess, tennis, massage and the odd cocktail or two (thanks Fil).

We had meal's in The Havannah's amazingly beautiful restaurant (all breakfasts and dinner) and were treated to wonderfully prepared and delicious meals including an amazingly freshly caught lobster on the final night. Fredrick and his staff always subtly checked to ensure we were getting everything we wanted including information on getting to the local village and travelling to Port Vila and things to do and see (even though there was lots to do at the Havannah). All in all we had a wonderful time and fondly cherish the days we stayed.

The Havannah is in a magical location, run by the friendliest people you could meet and our holiday in Vanuatu was everything we could have expected. Thanks "The Havannah", wish we stayed longer.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Rod B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havannah-GM, General Manager at The Havannah, Vanuatu, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Dear Rob B
It was indeed a pleasure to have you and your partner staying with us at the Havannah. I do agree myself that I am blessed with very friendly staff and they care about the well being of our guests, which as you know make my job so much easier. I have passed on your comments to our staff and to Phil, who does make mean cocktails! I hope we will see you again soon. In the meantime, my team and I wish you both a great 2013.
Kind regards
Frederick

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Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed for a week in a Waterfront Villa everything was beyond expectation. If you are looking for a secluded relaxing holiday then The Havannah is perfect. The staff are extremely friendly and really make you feel welcome. The villas are very clean and the resort is safe. The beach is perfect. Would go back in a heart beat!

Room Tip: Would highly recommend the Waterfront Villa - you open the doors to your infinity plunge pool and the ocean - awesome!
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Allison D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havannah-GM, General Manager at The Havannah, Vanuatu, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear Allison D
I started at the end of May 2012 at the Havannah and may not have been there went you stayed with us. In any case, I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us and that you have taken the time to write a review on your experience. We would love to have you back with us and for you to see some on the improvement we have made to the property.
In the meantime, I wish you a great start to 2013 and hope to welcome you at the Havannah.
Kind regards
Frederick

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Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

<3 ** This resort is pure heaven! **<3
What a fantastic place!
A beautiful luxurious, adults only resort!

Everything we wanted in a holiday, we found at Havannah! Could not find one fault during our stay at Havannah! We will be coming back for my partners 40th Birthday and also for our wedding ceremony, both events in 2013.
Victoria is the most wonderful hostess, she was so attentive and went out of her way to ensure our stay at Havannah was perfect!
Victoria and Fredrick, thank you so much! I feel our holiday in Vanuatu only really started once we got to your resort!

We had been in Vanuatu for 6 days before we discovered Havannah! We hired a car and while driving around the island we drove past Havannah! My partner rang Havannah later that day and spoke with Victoria hoping there may of been a room available for a couple nights as we were disgusted at the resort we were currently staying at! Unfortunately our travel agent had booked us into Breakas Beach Resort, which was the worst experience and a terrible place to stay! We were lucky enough to get a fantastic lagoon/poolside Villa for two nights due to a sudden cancellation by another couple! I felt so lucky and spoilt....!
We didn't want to leave and go back to the other crap resort we were staying at!

Every meal at Havannah was fantastic! The Thai Chilli Beef was one of my favourites! A massive helping of beef. A beautifully cooked and presented dish! The lamb shank is cooked to perfection! I moaned whilst eating dessert, Sam's Chocolate Mousse was ....... freaking amazing! We had reserved the private dining spot on the jetty on one evening and Mericka, a lovely waitress looked after our every need!
Early that afternoon we were taken on a sunset cruise around Vanuatu on Havannah's own catamaran, called the "Sunset Cruz", we enjoyed the afternoon thoroughly! We were again spoilt with free glasses of wine and beer! It's all part of the Havannah experience!
We haven't stopped talking about this place since we left!
We have told everyone if they come to Vanuatu, stay at Havannah! You won't be disappointed! This place is a hard act to follow!
Thanks again Victoria, Fredrick and all the staff for making our stay with you the highlight of our trip to Vanuatu!
From Tash and Todd!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank Schoonergrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havannah-GM, General Manager at The Havannah, Vanuatu, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear Tash and Todd
Thank you for this delightful review of the Havannah. We were very happy to give you proper time out during your time in Vanuatu. When you are ready for another break, we are only 3 hrs away. We do look forward to welcoming you back and we also look forward to organizing your wedding. Victoria is the "wedding guru" and I will ensure that all your F&B requirement are catered for. I will pass on your comments to the staff to let them know how much you have appreciated their service.
Until we meet again, have a great start to 2013.
Kind regards
Frederick

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Reviewed December 29, 2012

The island seems to have been set in there ways of traditions new and old. Tourism seems to have been embraced and attached into the lives of the whole island. I would have to say I did not feel threatened by anyone or anything.
We stayed at the Havannah which I found out is the best resort on the island, thanks to my partner I got to stay there. The resort catered for couples had every thing covered. From a warm and lovely welcoming from the resort manager to a lovely refreshment and bed turned in while you are out at dinner. I felt like anything we would need was covered.
The room was amazing, we book in the Garden view room but were upgraded to the pool views, oh my goodness the view is just perfect. You look over the pools palm trees to a perfect ocean and beautiful sky line. Thumbs up.. the rooms above us have personal pools and the room below have garden views.
The tours that we took were quality this is where I really saw that tourism is apart of the Venuatu culture. Everywhere we went we were always welcomed with a smile and a hand of welcome. We saw the old culture on one of our tours and some great snorkelling spots on the other. I highly recommend going on the tours they are safe and fun, different to. I trusted my resort recommendation as Kelly really new what suited us over other ideas such as hiring a car or buggy, it is best to go around the island or activities with a guide ( taxi driver) or tour guide…
Would I go there again? Yes I would, and hope to. Already starting to think of when to go…..

Room Tip: The rooms are grouped highest price with personal pool and beach access and views, in the middle views and a shared lagoon, and lowest price you get the beautiful room and garden views.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jodie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havannah-GM, General Manager at The Havannah, Vanuatu, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Dear Jodie
Thank you for your review. I was happy to read that you had a great time in Vanuatu and enjoyed the Ni-Van hospitable and friendly nature. It was indeed a pleasure to have you stay with us, and I hope we will have the opportunity to seeing you again in 2013. In the meantime, I wish you a Happy New Year and all the very best for the year ahead.
Kind regards
Frederick

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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