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“Best holiday ever! Paradise found!”

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Aquana Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best holiday ever! Paradise found!”
Reviewed February 29, 2012

We had never been to Vanuatu before, but my partner and I decided to spend the week from Chistmas to New Years at Aquana Beach Resort. We enjoyed every aspect of our stay there! The staff treated us royally and they all waited on us hand and foot! They threw us a big party for our arrival and also had a huge party the night before we left! We felt truely special! We have many fond memories we've took back to New Zealand with us, like the wonderful beach bungalo with air conditioning we stayed at, the wonderful food by the best chef in Vanuatu, the drinks, the picnic on the island, champaign at sunset, massages on the beach, complementary use of the kayaks, canoe, etc. We really can't wait to return! The owners are very personable and friendly! We got a lot of special attention and pampering! It was so nice being out of the city, away from it all for a week in Paradise! Cheers to the team at Aquana Beach Resort! Chad & Zap :^)

Room Tip: Highly suggest asking for the beachfront bungalos, as the ocean and swimming beach was right outside...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chad_Whoopass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2012

I just returned home today from a 5-night stay at Aquana, and I am missing it already. It is an incredibly peaceful, beautiful, and friendly place.

The owners are some of the most down-to-earth people I have met, and they really made the effort to spoil us. The chef went out of his way to cater to our dietary needs for every single meal and we are still blown away by that (as well as by the quality of the food itself).

This is the opposite of a cheesy, overcrowded Club Med type island resort. It is more personal, more friendly, and prettier. In short, it had a soul. It didn't feel like a business, but more like a beautiful place on earth.

Things like wifi, DVDs, and board games are free at Aquana, which I love (I hate it when hotels charge exhorbitant fees for internet use etc).
Also, the food is fresh and organic.

Aquana is about a 20 min drive from town so you can either hire a car to get around, catch a bus or pay a driver. A return trip to Vila is about $25 AUD total, so it’s no big deal. You can buy snacks from the supermarkets in Vila to eat in your room at Aquana, but things can be overpriced in Vanuatu, so be prepared to possibly spend more on food than you expected. We preferred to eat most of our meals at the Aquana restaurant because they were so yummy.

You can get a lot done in one day, and pay a driver between 70-100$ AUD to drive you anywhere you want on the main island (e.g. Mele cascades, horseriding, buggy riding, kayaking, Hideaway island, kava drinking). Then just spend the rest of the time relaxing at Aquana, where you can kayak and snorkel and swim.

I really want to go back one day and would recommend this place to anybody!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank KittenCatten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2012

I am travelling frequently to Vanuatu and always enjoy good company but I normally don’t take advises from people where to stay. This time, I did because it is a very good friend of mine and after our bad impressions from the last hotel in Vila, I guess, I was up for a new try out.
We booked into Aquana Resort, which is obviously a brand new one since there were no records of this hotel to be found anywhere, which made me a bit more worrying as I didn’t know what I am going into.
Well, we arrived at the airport and were greeted by Akouma, our bus driver to bring us to the resort. Akouma is definitely an example of the happiness and friendliness of the people here in Vanuatu and his wife is sooo wonderful too.
We arrived at the resort after a 10 minutes drive over a road, which I found is better to be taken by a 4 wheel drive rather than a comfortable bus that can’t take those pot holes.
We were greeted by the manager, who I knew already from earlier visits to Vanuatu and Vila. I was pleasantly surprised to see him here, which is now definitely a loss for the other hotel, he was before.
We felt taken care of from the very beginning. Chilled towels were given to us, a refreshing welcome drink and a pleasant check in. Our luggage was gone in no time to our room while we chatted to one of the owners and enjoyed our drink.
I organized a car with front office as I had to go to town more often and the bus transfer, which was provided by the hotel didn’t unfortunately help me.
We stayed in room 4, which is a one bedroom bungalow and it was huge compared to other standard rooms in town. We actually stayed in a bungalow with separate lounge and bedroom. Air condition and ceiling fans in the rooms ensured a comfortable stay. I just loved the hammock chair. While my wife had challenges to get in it, I sat in there every morning enjoying the peace and quietness of the resort.
As I have been to Port Vila and around Efate a lot, we stayed in most of the time to eat here and I can say that I was unable to compare any restaurant to this one. The food and service were outstanding. I cannot recall any restaurant where the chef actually comes to your table to say hello and to find out what your preference is or what you would like to eat. The menu is rather small but the chef makes up for it and is happy to arrange the food you like. There was no coconut crab on the menu and I did mention this to him. Guess what the next evening, we got a special treat and were presented with not only a coconut crab but a seafood platter! That was a WOW experience for me as I didn’t expect that kind of treat. We actually planned to go to town to eat it there but stayed in again.
My wife enjoyed the company of the owning family as I had to be in town more often. We liked the family style approach and still received that little bit extra service that is missing in most of the bigger hotels.
We haven’t had much time to do tours but did one organized by the family and as surprise for my wife. We went out on one of the wooden canoes for a picnic on the neighbouring island. Ruth and Kalo, who brought us there gave us a tour as there used to be a village as well. We learned a lot that day and YES, we make sure to drink more coconut juice from now on thanks to Ruth and Kalo.
This tour is definitely a “MUST DO” while you are here.
We got a bit sad when it came to our last day and didn’t really want to leave. The hospitality of the family and staff was just amazing and I booked us back in for March when we will be back in Vanuatu.
This trip to Aquana definitely restored my impression about the hospitality in Vanuatu. I am looking forward to my next one and will most likely become a repeat guest here.

Room Tip: Book the ocean front accommodation, direct access to beach and water, beautiful views, amazing sunse...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank 7_seas_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greater Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2012

Aquana Beach Resort offers what you would expect from a resort in a tropical paradise. Sun, sand, friendly staff, good service, great food - all in a fantastic location.

We stayed at the resort over the Christmas break. Very pleasant experience. Beautiful modern room, tastefully decorated, in a quiet location. Great view out over the lagoon from our front patio. White sands, blue water and life peacefully passes you by as you work on that tan.

Great couple of days - could not have wished for more

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2012

Aquana is located about a 20 minute drive from Port Vila. It's at the end of what seems like a long deeply potholed road (like most in Vanuatu), but when you get there it's so worth the trip. We were met at reception by the management team, our bags were whisked away, and we were provided with cooled flannels and a wonderful fruit cocktail. This set the standard of service that we received throughout the week.

The resort is currently comprised of 8 bungalows, next to the restaurant and reception block. The restaurant flows out around the pool area, and down onto the beach. Our favourite table was on the sand under a palm tree five meters from the waters edge.

This brings us to the food. The food was reliably excellent, and was easily the best food we had in Vanuatu. Breakfast, which was included in the room rate, was a delicious combination of home made bread, fresh tropical fruit, bottomless cups of good espresso (a local Vanuatan roast, and excellent), fruit juice, and cereal (if you could fit it in). Cooked options were also available, but we never got past the continental! Oh, and all this is served at your table. The dinner menu is quite small, but everything was cooked to perfection. Our favorites were the smoked chicken (smoked on site), the garlic prawns, and the Vanuatan beef, which was everything a steak should be.

The Bungalows are new, and provide everything you require and are stylish but not over the top. We had a beach side bungalow, which has a covered porch area, a great place to sit and look out over the bay with a glass of wine before dinner. Housekeeping was meticulous, and nothing was too much trouble. I left a sandy pair of beach shoes on the porch, and came back from breakfast to discovered they had been cleaned! That's service!

The resort sits at the head of Eratap bay, and is sheltered from the ocean by a large uninhabited island in the centre of the bay. The view is green and tranquil, and there are no other signs of habitation from the bungalow. There are fish jumping, and the occasional local fisherman gliding past in their outrigger canoes. We also saw a turtle glide to the surface one evening. The owner told us he has banned jetskis and powered craft from the resort, so the silence in undisturbed. This probably gives the flavour of the place - if you are looking for noise and a lot of action this is probably not the place for you, but if you want a place to unwind in peace and tranquility, with a little bit of pampering, we can't recommend it too highly.

Having said that, there is also plenty to do here - kayaks are available free of charge, and the bay is a great place to explore. There are small deserted beaches on the island, and the view of the ocean when you get around the island is beautiful. The resort also arranges trips for small groups. We would recommend the island trip, where you are paddled on an outrigger canoe to the island, and guided on a bush walk by some of the local people. We learned so much about the natural environment, including which nuts to eat (and sampling a few), catching crabs, tasting coconuts at different stages of development, as well as learning about trees and plants used to build boats and houses.

As you can see, we are very pleased with out choice of resort, and have booked to come back again with the children in a couple of months.

Room Tip: Pay the extra and have the waterside bungalow
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank stardad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aquana Beach Resort

Property: Aquana Beach Resort
Address: Eratap Road, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aquana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in 2012, Aquana Beach Resort has become Vanuatu's leading three and a half star family friendly boutique Resort and this has largely been due to the unique childcare approach it has developed and the quality of the food from it's very popular casual dining restaurant. Located 25 minutes from the International Airport and only 15 minutes from the town centre, Aquana is situated in a large lagoon surrounded by groups of deserted islands and pristine reefs. Aquana has a 150 meter long man-made beach great for children to be able to play free from danger and for adults to relax on and soak up the sun. Aquana consists of 16 bungalows all located within 30 meters of the lagoon front and a hot a la carte and a continental breakfast are both included in the room rate and the resorts idyllic surroundings provides the perfect location for weddings and functions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquana Beach Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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