We stayed in November 2013 for 11 nights for a holiday on Efate. Overall, we liked our studio and especially the kitchen, but in retrospect should have chosen somewhere outside Port Vila.
Things we liked:
- The studio itself was great for us in terms of its size and we were particularly glad to have place with a kitchen. Some of the utensils were pretty old, and the knives were blunt, but it had what we needed, including a toaster.
- Having wifi included in the price was essential for us. It was a bit slow, but adequate, and worked reliably after the first day when we couldn’t get access.
- We don’t like air con because it’s so bad for the environment, and were happy that the room had fans instead. These worked well.
- When we met the owners (a week into our stay as they’d been away), they said we could borrow their spices if we needed any, which was nice of them, though we didn’t need to in the end.
- During the first week a friend of the owners was running the motel for them, and she gave us lifts a few times, which was much appreciated.
- Free use of laundry facilities is really handy too.
Things we didn’t like:
- The proximity to the road: we had to keep the balcony door shut if we didn’t want to hear loud traffic and breathe in fumes from the road and the regular burning of rubbish piles.
- The long walk into town: we obviously should have done our research better, but we thought it would be about five minutes’ walk to the town centre, whereas it’s more like 20 at a good pace. This would be fine if you could actually walk along the seafront, but for most of it you have to walk along the busy main road breathing in fumes, being virtually skimmed by passing vehicles, and asked by lots of minibuses if you want a lift. It’s also unlit at night except for car headlights glaring in your face. I guess that’s why it’s called a motel – suitable for drivers, but not for people on foot...
- The mosquitoes: these got in every day when the cleaners came in as they would open the doors and windows. Although there were fly screens, these had gaps and tears in them so we always had some munchy friends awaiting our return.
- No hot water after the first night. This didn’t matter as the water was tepid and the weather was so hot that we wouldn’t have chosen to have cool showers anyway, but it would have been handy for washing up.
- There was no flame torch for the gas cooker, just matches that would light and stay lit one time in ten, which was tricky, especially when trying to light the oven.
- Before we arrived, they said they’d throw in the airport pickup free of charge as we were staying quite a while and because I’d thought it was included when I made the booking. However, when we got home we realised we'd been charged so that was a bit disappointing.
- We would have loved to see more eco-friendly features and policies here, e.g. not replacing the towels every day, a recycling bin, biodegradable washing up liquid, etc, but I guess some of these things might not be available in Vanuatu.
Tips for future guests:
- If you have an Australian bank account, it’s worth being aware that you can pay by making a direct bank transfer to the owners’ Australian bank account, thereby avoiding substantial credit card fees on top of the room charge. This is stated in the guest handbook but is not pointed out when you’re making the payment, and unfortunately we didn’t see the note in the handbook in time.
- There are no toiletries provided other than soap. We prefer to use our own eco-friendly stuff anyway but it’s worth being aware so you can bring your own shampoo etc.
- If you like smoothies and are on a budget, bring a hand-held blender to blend delicious, cheap, fresh, local fruit from the market. We wished we’d brought ours, and the plugs here are the same as in Australia, so it would have been easy!
- If you haven't been to Efate before and are visiting for a holiday, it's worth being aware that Port Vila itself has no swimming beaches, no nice walks, no snorkelling, no nice bars or resorts with outdoor pools, and no clean air. So if you’re going to Vanuatu for these things, it’s better to find somewhere peaceful and beautiful within walking distance of a lovely beach. You can always get in and out of central Port Vila by bus when you have to stock up on food or feel like splashing out on a restaurant. This is definitely what we should have done in retrospect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- THE BEST KNOWN, BEST VALUE ACCOMMODATION IN VANUATU. Very large, spotlessly clean, SELF CATERING studio apartments (twin share) for your cost effective holiday/business trip. Ten studio apartments, all with their own kitchens including full size stove & fridge/freezer, direct dial phones, complimentary wireless internet & satellite TV. Extra beds added on request. WE NOW OFFER HUGELY DISCOUNTED, QUALITY CAR RENTALS FOR OUR GUESTS. Friendly Australian owners are on hand to help at all times. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Motel Port Vila
- Coral Hotel Port Vila
- Coral Motel & Apartments Vanuatu/Port Vila