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“Short stay great, long stay maybe not”

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Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu
Ranked #6 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Short stay great, long stay maybe not”
Reviewed April 9, 2012

The only real dampener was the rain - and well, it was the tail end of the wet season so what else can you expect. Very soothing going to sleep with the sound of rain though.

You can't help but compare places that are 'same same but different', so I apologise a little (but not in total) for my other travel location comparisons.

Firstly, the PEOPLE - beautiful! Warm and often shy smiles, but always welcoming. I felt the locals were much more genuine than my one budget-oriented visit to Fiji, infinitely more friendly than our trip to the Maldives (understandable as a female in a Muslim area), and without any of the financial undercurrent of the Indonesians (and I exclude the Balinese from that grouping). SERVICE is definitely under the island-time heading though, so don't get stressed if you have to ask for your drink twice, and your water to be refilled three times. The housekeepers / maintenance people were working double-time while we were there, in order to keep the wet sand etc out of everything.

The RESORT itself was larger than initially imagined. I'd since learnt from Fiji & the Maldives that postcards are just that, and the reality is always far more rustic and rusty! Which is fine when you know and expect that. So the sands aren't white, nothing is ever as luxe as it is made out to be. There's a bar, a pool, deck chairs, a view, lovely people and a relaxing island-time feel. There's a tiny little souvenir shop, a few games and some leftover holiday books, and of course an assortment of activities to plan (taking place outside of the resort). There was a real sense of calm and quietness whilst we were there. Quite a demographic mix of guests, predominantly Australian as you would expect, from older couples in their 50s ("nearly deads") to young couples in their 20s ("newly weds") as mentioned previously. Whilst there are no children under 15 permitted (yay!) it's obviously not a young ragers destination as a result.

The GARDEN ROOM was delightful - clean and well presented, it was larger than our Bali accommodation and nicer than our Maldives one. I think the mosquito net was more for decoration as it was functionally inadequate. Luckily - especially as I am exceptionally tasty to bitey bugs - there were no mossies. Unlike the Maldives we also had hot water - bonus - and there was better water pressure than Bali. We were in a Garden Faré, but could still hear the surf rolling in. Unlike other reviews we heard no road noise and barking dogs only once, briefly, from our leafy location, but nothing that kept us awake. There's a small bar fridge, and indoor lounge chair, two balcony chairs and table, and a bench/day bed that could get made up into a single bed. Everything worked that was supposed to at least! The fan kept the air moving, and the temperature was just right (even with all the rain), but there was a blanket in case you got a little chilled at 3am. I'm sure the ocean-front fares and the villas towards the village are more luxurious, but we were happy enough where we were. We did have to build a little moat wall to keep out the flooding water due to the incessant rain while we were there.

The SURF report for those surfers hoping for a bonus to their trip. For our brief stay the surf was a welcome surprise with a left and a right 100m straight out the front, with the left a far more consistent break, and head high for our trip, with a fun little wall. Watch out for the pin cushion at the end. Whilst it wont make a stop on world tour, it's well worth the paddle out. There's other breaks to the right of the resort, in front of the local village, for the less experienced surfers, with a mix of lefts and rights. Consider taking an older giveaway board to give to the local kids at the end of your stay.

The DAY SPA is a seriously an overinflated title for Faré 24 with two massage beds squished into a standard room. That said, the one-hour Tropical Massage for 6000vt (~AU$56) was better than the Maldives (especially at US$120)! Nothing like our beloved Thai AU$5 or Balinese AU$8 panel-beatings though, and not as good as home, but worth trying out.

The FOOD was better than I'd thought it would be in many ways - definitely well above our rustic budget Fiji trip (though I'm sure a better resort would have better food naturally), which I expected as a comparison. The à la carte menu provided enough variety (although the local poulet fish is obviously a favourite!) and everything was quite simple but very tasty. The Saturday Seafood Buffet night had plenty of variety but was deemed reasonably 'average' by my aficionado partner. For a short stay (and due to the rain) we were happy to eat in, but for longer stays you'd definitely want to venture out.

PRICES for food and drinks were on a par with Australia - which made it all a bit more expensive than we'd hoped. Dinner entrées averaged 1900vt, and mains were around 2300 - 2900vt. Wine ~ 750; beer 600-700vt; cocktails 1200vt; basic spirits 800vt. In my head I tended to just drop the two end zeros for an instant easy conversion. We exchanged AU$ at the Vanuatu airport for a pretty good exchange of 9000vt for AU$1. Putting everything on the resort tab makes it feel all 'free and easy' but I did get a serious shock at the final tally, especially as we'd skipped two lunches and breakfast was included in our room package. Something to do with the bar tab methinks?!

ACTIVITIES - we were only here for the Easter break, and coupled with the constant deluge and our desire to just chill out, and as my partner's second time here, we didn't take advantage of activities on offer. My partner surfed, we checked the rock pools at low tide, walked to the point past the village, swam in the pool, hung out by the bar, read in the hammocks, got a massage each etc. As certified divers we didn't need to do the intro pool session, but nor did we do any dive trips available. Assisted by the resort management, you can also do half or full-day fishing trips, bush walks, bus trips into Port Vila, and and a host of other ways to occupy your time and explore the island and the culture.

LAGOON - it was sad to see the level of coral damage in the immediate 'lagoon' area (it wasn't what I think of as a lagoon). Inevitable I guess with the frequent resort visitors - but then the locals go fossicking for crabs and octopus to use for bait, and are crunching around every low tide as well. Perhaps management could take on some eco-tourism and create some concrete paths to encourage rock-pool tourist walks to help some chance of coral rejuvenation? There are numerous sea cucumbers, some blue sea-stars, lots of little fish and crabs, sea grass, and even a tiny banded sea snake looking for tidbits in the coral.

LANGUAGE - I was a little sad though, that I had brushed up my rudimentary school French, only to find that English was well spoken and all that was required! Certainly not the usual tourist lament!

LOCAL FAUNA - There are three local cats (not on the menu!). Snowy (as we christened the all-black one) trolled the dinner tables on occasion, looking for handouts. Sooty (the all-white one, as per standard Aussie humour) would quite happily venture into our faré, and onto our laps when we sat outside reading, while the rain pelted down. Don't think he picked us as cat lovers in particular, just taking advantage of friendly humans. The third one, black & white so I'll call him (Michael) Jackson, we never saw but others had him hanging around their farés. If you don't like cats (or are scared about catching something) I'm not sure you'd be impressed.

WET SEASON - we were there in early April, the last month of the designated wet season. I would advise taking one of those string washing lines, easy to dry clothes, an umbrella or raincoat.

OVERALL, the rain did put a dampener on the trip (pun intended) and meant the horse-riding and helicopter trip and a few other activities were not going to happen - but obviously that isn't the resort's fault! Whilst it was a nice getaway, I was glad to come home and dry out (I was running out of clothes!). I felt the prices of the food and drinks were quite high and our final bill for two and three-quarter days was around $750 which shocked me, when you consider we didn't have breakfast costs, nor two lunches, but do throw in a massage each. The end bill isn't itemised per se, so I wonder if we got stung with extras along the way? It was a lovely getaway, and if you want a relaxing no-stress time-out it would be perfect. We wouldn't go back there, mostly from a "been there, done that" perspective and because we usually jam-pack our trips so this was something unusual for us. Would we recommend it? Read the reviews and make your own opinion, I guess. Lovely, nice etc, but worth the price? Hmm...

Room Tip: Our garden fare wasn't one of the ones closest to the road, so that was a good compromise perhap...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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9 Thank phoenix555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Gladstone, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from the most wonderful stay in paradise at Breakas Beach Resort, Vanuatu. It was my first trip to this beautiful part of the world (at my husband's recommendation from a previous visit) and hopefully not my last. The resort was nothing short of perfect. The staff were so friendly and accommodating, nothing was too much trouble. The location was breathtaking, our "fare" would have to have been the BEST location, looking out across the sand to the ocean and the early morning surfers. The ladies who attended our room and adorned it with fresh hibiscus flowers daily, the gardeners who raked the leaves and the ladies who swept the sand from the restaurant never stopped smiling! God I love those smiles!
By the way, my greatest indulgence (apart from the Sav Blanc!) was the Wagyu beef. Finally someone knows what "blue steak" should be like!
We cannot speak too highly of Breakas, everyone do yourselves a favour and enjoy as we did!
Mary & Rod Whyte
Gladstone Qld
Australia

Room Tip: Room ("fare") 09 on the beach is the ultimate location. Wake up and look out across the s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mary w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

Fantastic to stay in a adults only resort. I love kids and have my own but find it fantastic to have peace and quiet.
Well situated 5 mins out of town right on the beach.
Nice Fare with ceiling fans and lots of cross ventiilation.Thought I would need air con but not needed as the fans ans sea breeze enough.
Especially love the open air shower,gives a real tropical feel
Whole resort very well maintained.There is a choice of the beach or pool to cool off in.
The staff are fantastic especially Rosemary and the girls at breakfast.
The resort is run by the owner George who can't do enough to make your stay a truly memorable one

Room Tip: The Fare's overlooking the water arethe best choice
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marg E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2012

Stayed for 2 nights in a deluxe fare; attended the Melanesian feast/show also. Fare was lovely with gorgeous open air shower. I did not like the fact that the shutters on all 3 walls of the room were unable to be closed giving you no privacy from anyone walking past to look in and see you sleeping or whatever though. Its right on the beach with lovely views and a gorgeous pool. Food was great too. Staff were friendly and accomodating and owner George was very lovely ensuring we felt welcome and that he would do anything to make our stay great.Definitely would go back again

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank smallbyname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NZ
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2012

This was a mixed bag for us - the resort itself is nice enough, with a beautiful outlook. It's well priced and staff seem genuinely friendly and helpful.

The fale was nice - the bed was great, and the rooms were serviced regularly - although sometimes we'd not get all the necessary towels...

The garden fales are a bit of a nightmare when it comes to sleep - the nearby village dogs, the rowdy drinking and yelling sessions, the school bell (??) early in the morning left us getting less sleep than we'd like.

Breakfast was pretty average at best - the fruit was often good, but the baked good etc. were a little to be desired.

We ate in town every night and felt this better reflected our independent travel motif - the meals in the resort perhaps better suit those that like everything laid out for them and an 'experience' at every meal. We ate at Mangoes twice and far preferred the quiet, less 'tourist package' restaurant there...

Last, one of the things that stuck out for us in terms of payment on Vila (so the island overall, NOT just the hotel), was a tendency for the staff to hit the signature OK button BEFORE receiving a signature... This meant when it came to check out, and we had noticed we had been overcharged (signficantly) we had to ask for a refund - unfortunately, as we later discovered, this meant two transactions which came with different exchange rates and put us out of pocket $NZ3-400. It took a month or so, but we finally got a reimbursement for this (after much emailing - incl. to head office!).

Our advice would be that people specifically ask for the reception staff to not accept the transaction till after it has been checked (although this might take some explaining!!!)

Room Tip: Pay more for a beachside fale - the garden fales are near impossible to sleep in...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank CardinalNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

My extended family and I just spent 7 days at this beautiful resort, the staff were amazing, a special thanks to the elderly gardener who gathered fresh flowers for me every morning without fail to Helen who kept our Fare spotless and to Alfred who has "connections" everywhere , bus, hair-braiding, Kava etc whatever you need he is the one to ask....George (owner) was always around to have a chat and make sure everything was ok, The Resort is lovely, very quiet and serene and therein lays the problem, this is definitely not the place to go with a large group, we always felt the staff were torn between keeping us happy and letting us enjoy our stay and placating the "couples" or as an expat Aussie living there calls them "Newly Weds and Nearly Deads",The "Retirees" are the worst they complain when water gets splashed in the pool or when the children from Pango village venture into the resort or if you are not in bed by 10 o'clock they will send security over to tell you to keep quiet, I will not go back to Breakas I will go to a family friendly resort I personally love the sound of kids having fun and family's enjoying each others company.

Room Tip: All rooms are great
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank melefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2012

We really enjoyed our 7 days at Breakas. The service was great and the people were very friendly. The meals were on the high side as far as price goes but the food was good. I spent a lot of time in the pool. I asked for a Coconut to drink and they sent someone up the tree to get one and 3 minutes later i had a coconut in my hand (thats good service). We got taken on a tour of the local village which was one of the highlights of the trip. I would throughly recommend Vanuatu and Breakas.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maddisyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu

Property: Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu
Address: Pango Bay Road, Port Vila, Efate 00000, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#7 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#11 Family Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amidst swaying palms fringed on it's own private beach, Breakas Beach Resort is an intimate 3.5 Star tropical resort in a 5 star location for adults only welcoming guests over the age of 15 years. Enhanced by individual garden & beachfront Fares (Bungalows), Breakas Beach Resort is the ultimate relaxed "feet in the sand" beach holiday. Slip into a world of tranquility. The Resort features a stunning 22 metre infinity pool which falls into the horizon of the Pacific Ocean. The natural beauty of a private cove on the Pango peninsular provides an unrivalled backdrop in Port Vila. Fares (Bungalows) are scattered along the shoreline and throughout manicured tropical gardens ensuring privacy, intimacy and seclusion. With spectacular views to Port Vila's best surfing beach break, the restaurant provides a unique setting for a unique dining experience. The executive chef has created one of the finest menus using fresh, local produce, seafoods and world class Santo beef and we are famous for our beachside dining with stars above and sand underfoot.... It does not get much better than this. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu Hotel Port Vila
Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu Port Vila

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