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“Good value and great food (& the chef understands gluten free)”

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Aquana Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Good value and great food (& the chef understands gluten free)”
Reviewed July 28, 2012

I made the mistake of not researching Vanuatu much before I left for 5 nights at Aquana. Vanuatu is a beautiful place but very third world. Port Vila is run down and expensive. Just about everything in Vanuatu is imported and not always of the best quality. Don't expect Vanuatu to be like Fiji - Fiji is decades ahead of Vanuatu. Now, having said all that, Aquana was an excellent choice. The location is beautiful (when the weather is good) and the food is excellent. Expect to pay Australian restaurant prices but nothing is cheap in Vila. The difference is the quality of the food. The chef Marcel will come around to your table at dinner to talk about any specials or dietary requirements. I am sure if I went to another resort, the chef would not fully understand what it means to prepare a gluten free meal. Although no gluten free bread was on offer (they have had it before but the supermarket was out which means a wait for the next boat), every meal I had was gluten free and delicious.

The resort is small, with 12 bungalows and 2 more being constructed. The family who run the business are hampered at times by the constraints of operating a business in Vanuatu. However, they will do what they can to remedy any concerns. I was very impressed with this. The staff, as other reviewers have pointed out, are very friendly. The resort suits families and couples and has lots of family friendly extras.

In terms of price, the nightly rate is less than half of the rate of Eratap Beach Resort which is a couple of kilometres away. The bungalows are clean and spacious and sufficient. If you want ultra luxury, go somewhere else and pay a lot more.

The resort offers a few tours and I found the village tour very good.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BrissyGirl00
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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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
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English first
Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

Firstly, I would like to say how helpful Fabienne (one of the owners) was when I was making the booking for this resort. She made everything so easy and was very prompt in answering emails and any questions I had. Our family of four (2 children aged 9 and 10) stayed for 7 nights and had a wonderful time. After a warm welcome from Birgit at 3am (flight delayed) we were led to our two bedroom villa which was spacious and clean. The view over the lagoon is awesome and the outrigger trip to go snorkelling is lots of fun (snorkelling gear all provided). Kayaking on the lagoon is also great and you can use these whenever you like!!! There was a great menu choice for breakfast, and all meals in the restaurant were sensational. We could not fault any!! Thank you to Marcel for his recommendations and 'specials', and of course for cooking them. Restaurant prices are not cheap (around$AUD20-$25) for a main course but they are well worth it. Also happy hour from 5-6pm for cocktails is a must! Free bus into town at 10am each day (returning at 4.30pm) is very convenient (taxis not overly cheap there) and takes around 20 minutes. Trip to town would be quicker if the road nearby was not full of potholes but that's how it is in Vanuatu. They also provide you with a mobile phone from the resort when you go out which is a great idea. The fire show was great on the Tuesday night and 'wowed' both kids and adults. The kids had the choice of swimming in the lagoon or the pool and opted for the pool most of the time. Staff there were all very friendly, great with the kids and always went out of their way to help, rooms were cleaned thoroughly each day. There are various sightseeing trips organised on different days and the girls at reception are more than happy to help you with drivers if required. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a relaxing and/or adventurous holiday. The choice is yours here!

Room Tip: All rooms have views but a waterfront bungalow is well worth it!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank RobJen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2012

I am writing this review on my last day at Aquana sitting on my verandah enjoying the peacefulness of the scene before me watching the local fishermen in their longboats and being serenaded by a choir of birds.
We originally booked 5 nights at Aquana with the plan to travel to Santo and Tanna but that didn't happen. We were looked after so well that we stayed at Aquana for 12 nights. Early tomorrow morning we leave and we will all be sad to go.
Our family of 4 with 2 teenage daughters were made to feel special and like part of the Aquana family. And this is how everyone is treated.
The staff are fantastic. The owners Marcel,Hugo,Birgit and Fabienne(Congratulations on baby Pascal) do a superb job.
Marcel, owner,chef, manager, tour guide went out of his way to make sure our stay was perfect.
All the local staff were lovely. Friendly,happy and fun to be with. Our daughters made good friends with them and learn't a lot about their culture.
Thanks for everything. It was wonderful.

Room Tip: Rooms are all good All have view to lagoon
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Familyof4fromPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2012

Our family spent three days here and wished we'd planned for more. It was the perfect spot to unwind from the stresses of school and work. n about 20 minutes from Port Vila, close enough to be accessible to the 'big city' and far enough to feel as if you are really getting away into paradise. The accommodation was very comfortable, the location stunning and we were able to be as active (or not) as we wanted. We kayaked (free use of kayaks) to nearby islands and snorkelled. We took the free shuttle into town and shopped and explored. And we took a tour to the Mele Cascades which was gorgeous. Our hosts, Hugo, Birgit and Marcel were so friendly and helpful. The food was wonderful and the whole atmosphere of the place was positive and relaxed. Next time we'll stay longer!

Room Tip: The oceanfront bungalows were sold out when we booked. I might try one of them next time for uninter...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank maryags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2012

A great location out of town, the staff are so friendly, (the people who work there was the best part according to our kids) impromptu bushwalk water spring walk for the kids by the friendly Rutha, we enjoyed a very special tour to Eton Beach and Blue Lagoon - incl BBQ lunch - highly recommend, a place where you can wind down as much as you like - very relaxing or snorkeling various tours activities available, we stayed 3 nights and wished it was longer. The food was just lovely as well

Room Tip: Beach front room was great lovely area to relax
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Majgaard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Holliday for 10 days, NOT long enough. Great place to relax & have fun as well. Lot's to do and not enough time to do it all. Beautifull food from the chef "Marcel" and staff are sooooo friendly. The family run resort with Marcel, Hugo Birgit & the coolest 4 legged friend you would ever meet Mr Rex. Cannot wait to go back and we can't speak highly enough of it. Have stayed elsewhere in Vanuatu, BUT this is THE BEST place to stay. Beautifull beach side bungalows (extremely clean & soooo comfortable), great pool, great food. The massages are TERRIFIC. Friday night malaysian feast GREAT and the coctails from the COOLEST LITTLE BAR, Well you need to go and stay & you will know waht i mean. OH, and breakfast/ brunch on sunday morning WELL just YUMMMMY. We will see you soon. Tanka Tu Mas. oxoxoxox

Room Tip: Ocean front bungalows THE BEST.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stef C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Everything was great. The food was fantastic, the staff were friendly and willing to help. Rooms were lovely and the view of the lagoon was gorgeous. Can't wait to get back there.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jessthefabulist
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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