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“A return visit to this little piece of paradise. We were not disappointed.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hideaway Island Resort

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Hideaway Island Resort
Ranked #13 of 48 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A return visit to this little piece of paradise. We were not disappointed.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

We first stayed on Hideaway in July 2012. We had so many fond memories from our first stay that we recently did it all again but this time for stayed for 9 nights. Hideaway just feels like home for us and we are already missing it like crazy. We travelled with our son and 3 other families, 14 of us in total. We all had our own oceanfront bungalows and once again they were just bliss to stay in. I had noticed some renovations had been done since last time so it's obvious there is an on-going renovation in process. Beds were clean and comfy again and the whole bungalow was cleaned and put back into order each and every day. Once again the food was fantastic and the BBQ night was so yummy !!! Lot's of salad variety, meats, rice and the most amazing dessert served in a tiny little tea-cup. Well worth it so make sure you try it. '
As we were on a return visit it was such a lovely surprise to find a bottle of champagne sitting on ice in our rooms when we first got there. Very unexpected by us and such a lovely gesture.
The staff were fantastic again and it was great to see some old faces. Loved the snorkelling again, happy hour and the fire show across the water at the Mele Beach Bar.
Once again the dive shop boys were fantastic !!!! Special hello to Antoine and Nedge :)
We love that Hideaway is natural and not all 5 star. Really it's the only place we would stay when we visit Vanuatu.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Leanne408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (150)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

Mele Island, otherwise described to tourists as 'Hideaway', is a lone, little islet that juts out from the recess of Mele Bay. Despite being nestled comfortably away from the municipal sphere of influence of Port Vila, the island has become a draw for most visitors due to the surrounding reefs. Certainly they're nothing to scoff at - the main reef itself on the islet's shore has been drawing tour groups and cruises for decades on end to dive and snorkel.

During the more active tourist seasons, the resort becomes a hub of activity for diving and snorkeling, with curious families and snorkel-laden couples entering in and out of the resort as consistently as the tides wash over. By the late afternoon a stillness overtakes the resort and the gawking majority have left for other pastures, though no more greener. At this time, tugboats whisk away the more committed of divers on resort-offered tours of the more far-flung reefs.

Hideaway Island Resort is not a luxury resort. Once one accepts that the plush comforts of Eratrap and Irriki are absent here, some of the more endearing aspects of the experience can be appreciated. Such as the fact that your concrete sink is elaborately shaped like a clam. Or that the buxom ladies at the resort's restaurant enthusiastically break into song as they prepare steak sandwiches. Or the fact that a docile group of cats are 'employed' as pest control on the island (standard practice, even at Irriki and Eratrap). Or that, inevitably, you will end up appreciating Vanuatu's biodiversity: mostly due to the number of geckos that see fit to rest on your porch, end table, or roof.

Such as is part of the experience. I keep returning to this idea of having an 'experience' at a tourist resort because, perhaps, nowhere else are the charms and quirks of Vanuatu so plain in sight. The staff share a common trend of being unusually, but flatteringly enthusiastic about their enterprise - be it them directing you to a room, taking you on a dive, or endlessly ferrying you back-and-forth on the small tin boat that seems to depart at every minute of every hour of the day. Upon closer inspection, you may notice that a man is employed every night to sit in a structurally questionable crow's nest on the coast and direct the boat from Hideaway with a spotlight.

It is, as I have mentioned, part of the experience.

If 'endearing' is the best word to describe Hideaway as far as the experience is concerned, then 'modest' best describes the accommodation. Just as Hideaway is nestled between Port Vila and Mele, the rooms lie somewhere vaguely within 'spartan' to 'adequate'. The beds are worthy of sleeping in, as are the showers worthy of showering in. If you are the type that classifies resorts based on the tensile strength of their mattresses, this may be somewhat of a shock. Then again, this is Vanuatu. A mere five minutes down the road lie villages of a living quality that would send a number of high-flying five-star tourists into an outbreak of tears.

There is also the point of what to do for dinner. The adjacent bar-restaurant hybrid is competent, if a tad predictable in its sample of food. Curry, beef fillet, burgers. Across the stretch of water is a bar that runs into the late hours of the night, though it is too small an establishment to pose much of a nuisance. They serve kiln-fired pizzas. Australian sporting matches blare on what may be Vanuatu's largest (if only) widescreen television. A boy will probably want to show you his pet reptile. It doesn't bite.

If you have read this far, you have presumably understood by now that what makes Hideaway an interesting and enjoyable place to stay for a number of nights isn't the accommodation. Nor is it the facilities or cuisine, which some of the more discerning travelers may be disappointed by, expecting some combination of privacy and luxury. These things are not lacking, but certainly better can be found elsewhere. But this is, of course, missing the point. What defines the Hideaway 'experience' is a mix of the marine life and people that occupy the space of the resort and make it a fundamentally interesting place to visit and stay.

Also, about the coral - it's not going to cut your foot. If this worries you, or you have skin on your feet as thick as a flake, bring shoes.

Room Tip: Renovations and changes to the policy of the resort have been rather recent. That said, this is a pa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ground-view
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

The best part of staying here is the amazing snorkeling right off the island. The bungalow was very clean and spacious and had nice view of the sea.
We loved the lounging seats on the beach front, plenty for everyone including the day trippers.Our only moan was about the food. The breakfast was great, lovely pastries and fruit but the evening meals were rather limiting and not always well cooked. The best was the chicken curry, really yum but my steak was so overdone and chewy. However you can go into town pretty cheaply and have many options to eat out which is what we did.
Overall great but don't expect 4 star! but excellent value.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vandra12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

Stayed at Hideaway to relax for a couple of days after a hectic eco-tour of Vanuatu. We picked it because the price was good and found it very good value for money. Our accommodation was basic, but fine. We were pleasantly surprised with the food. We thought that having a captive audience the food might be expensive and mediocre. In fact it was better than most we had had in Vanuatu and reasonably priced. The snorkelling was great and the free kayaks were a lot of fun. And if that isn't enough for you, it is very easy to get into Port Vila.

On the downside the shared bathrooms, while clean, were usually wet. Also it got noisy at night as we were there during the Independence celebrations and there was a lot of partying on the mainland, the sound of which carried very clearly over to us.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank colliefleur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tairua, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

Where to start?
Hideaway Island is a short trip from Port Vila airport (transfer)s can be pre-booked when you book accommodation) OR right outside arrivals are Buses (old vans with 'B' number plates) and they will take you to the ferry for around 200-300Vatu pp, pretty reasonable. The ferry across takes 5 minutes, too easy!
On our arrival the guys from the dive shop dealt with our bags and we received a very warm welcome from the reception staff including a free welcome drink! We were shown to our room, we opted for the Twin-share room but there are 3 options available-
- Dorm room: Typical Back Packer accomodation
- Twin share room: Double bed + extra single bunk above some, Basin, toiletries, towels, Fridge, kettle,Tea, coffee, Milk, Cooling Fan.
- Bungalows: Suitable for families and offers more space and comfort (check website, not entirley sure of the layouts but looked perfectly comfortable what we could see).

The Twin Room was extremely comfortable, very clean and perfect for a couple like us who are so busy snorkeling, sitting in the sun or exploring the island, we only ever needed the room to sleep and make a cuppa! House keeping came in everyday- replacing towels, coffee, tea, miik etc and often our clothes would be folded and tidied for us on our return along with beautiful flowers decorating the room, they did an awesome job! Towels, bed linen were all white and crisp and the bed was more than comfortable (i struggle to sleep well but slept perfectly here). The Twin Share guests all share 2 bathrooms with shower/toilet and wash basin, early morning they were beautifully clean......however throughout the day they became very sandy and dirty looking- Having said this i do believe this is more to do with the day trippers using these facilities although it clearly says on the door TWIN SHARE GUESTS ONLY! I say this as at one point only 3 of the rooms were in use and it still became 'dirty'. I recommend that House-keeping or reception spot check the bathrooms after lunch and late afternoon to ensure cleanliness! -It did put me off having a shower every night to be honest, but this is easily preventable if they add spot checks twice a day!
Breakfast was wonderful, your typical hotel continental, cereals, toast, condiments, cakes, croissants, fresh fruits, yoghurt, tea/coffee, 4 juices....plenty of choice, anyone complaining on here about the breakfast is being completely unreasonable! I ate way better than at home. Lunch and Dinner menus are good, prices are the same as NZ/AU as previously commented, the food is good quality and my partner and I (a chef) enjoyed a couple of meals here, the hideaway curry particularly nice.
We also tried food from the local village, back on the mainland as you get off the ferry from hideaway walking down the main road and bearing to your left there is a blue/white pavilion; the local mothers bring cooked foods from their homes to sell on tables there, you can get beef/chicken dishes with vegs/rice etc for 100-300vatu! We ate local foods on a few occasions and were absolutely fine! The best thing is, the money goes straight back into that mother's pocket to feed her family as oppose to lining the wallets of restaurant owners!
We also tried foods at the AMAZING Port Vila Markets in Town, Hop onto one of the 'B' plate buses- average cost is 300vatu pp (they will try charge you more...once tried charging us 500 and 800 pp- that is too much!) You can drink/eat fresh fruits,vegs and cooked lunchs/dinners, all so cheap and again going straight back to the people who have harvested/cooked the food your buying.
The Craft markets in town are wonderful- so much colour, you can watch the ladies at the sowing machine making all these wonderful dresses and clothing. Take money with you- plenty of change for souvenirs!

We rented a car for the day- Not long enough! You need two days to really be cruisy and stop off at the sights.. The local map points most things to see out, Cascades, Blue Holes, Eton Beach, Blue Crystal Lagoon etc BE AWARE, You have to pay to visit everywhere and to go on the beaches as they belong to local people, most beaches are around 300 vatu and the cascades are 2000 vatu- we didnt actually make it to the cascades- next time! Blue holes were around 1000 vatu per person also. So make sure you have change etc!! The roads are pretty crappy, pot holes, large stone lining the road, crazy drivers, suicidal chickens and pigs- IF you run over a chicken you will be fined, most probably if you run over a pig too as pigs are extremely valuable and special in Vanuatu! There are very very limited signs; we wondered where we were on quite a few occasions! However seeing the whole coastline of Port Vila is a must if you can squeeze it in! 2 days would be ideal, 1 day around one half and the other around the other side!
Snorkeling at hideaway was awesome, reef practically on the shore line, the early parts of the reef are dead- from stupid people who SIT, yes SIT and STAND on the reef- i saw this on a few occasions- People who you would think would know better about 'reef care'!! I feel more needs to be explained to people before they head out snorkeling to protect the marine life!!
We saw tons of stunning fish and coral and even saw an octopus swimming along! The underwater postbox was being updated while we were there, a few previous comments on here suggest it was partially broken. This didn't worry us, that wasn't the reason we came here!

The free Mele Village walk is a MUST, you get a little insight into how these people live, large contrast to the western world, i think some people ought to remember this. Absorbing any culture is a blessing and really special. The local kids loved the lollies we gave them- but word of advice, dont hand them out until nearing the end of the tour as you'll be swamped with kids and miss alot of information and interesting facts about village life! You gotta try kava if never before, you know what they say...when in rome..!

Movie night is wedenesday and sunday, watching movies under the stars with free popcorn, melansian feast is a great night, with dancing and music, would certainly recommend going to that! Friday nights at the beach bar- just across the ferry from hideaway have a fire dancing night which was incredible! Local teenagers/young people who are unemployed and little education make their money from this show so make sure you put money in the bucket at the end!! It is free entrance, and gets very busy so get there around 6.15, 45 minutes before the show starts to get a good seat and a beer, food menu looked good however we had already eaten!


Staff at Hideaway were great, really hard workers, nothing was too hard for them. Always smiling, laughing and chatting to you! A few people on here complaining about staff attitude - I cannot DISAGREE more! Exceptional staff here who work very long days yet still give all enthusiasm and the owners should be really appreciate these people. I have to say particular staff members made our holiday what it was, so much so actually, we remain in touch with them beyond the holiday! -In my eyes, you only get what you give!!!

All in all, a wonderful experience in a beautiful Island on a stunning island with friendly and very kind and attentive people!! I would certainly recommend and most definitely return, although this time for 10-14 days! Thanks guys! x

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank burlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

Sadly disappointed with my stay here at Hideaway for 2 nights - the staff didn't seem all that engaged, and generally the place felt tired and in real need of updating. Rooms were certainly clean, but quite souless and certainly noisy. They seem to be doing some renovations and also a generator goes on all night and even I couldn't sleep through it (which is unusual!). Food was actually quite good.

Don't get sucked into the cocktail happy hour - they just reduce the amount of alcohol!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Annie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

We recently stayed here for six days. The coral reef and marine life were beautiful and the fish had no fear, so you could swim amongst them and get up close. No turtles - we did see them elsewhere in Vanuatu though.

The staff were all friendly, very smiley, often laughing, relaxed, typical Ni-Vanuatu!

We stayed in a twin share room which is in a block of six, with shared bathrooms. You have your own basin in the room, a table, fridge, and coffee facilities, a closet, fan, and a bunk bed with a double on the bottom and a single up top.

The shared bathrooms weren't especially nice, they probably needed to be cleaned a bit more often. We stayed at a resort in Fiji that had self-composting eco toilets and I think these would have been a better choice for a small island like Hideaway. But the water was hot, and you never had to wait. And there was plenty of soap, shampoo and conditioner provided.

The pool was a nice quiet place to hang out under the big umbrellas, sunbathe, swim and use the free wifi. (Also, the island can get very busy during the day with day visitors, and the pool is reserved for guests.)

The restaurant prices were about on par with typical Australian/NZ restaurant prices, and the food was quite good. I probably wouldn't recommend the pasta but the coconut curry, the wraps, and the burgers were all yummy. Breakfast was typical hotel buffet style, as much cereal, toast, pastries, fruit, yoghurt and coffee as you want.

Hideaway is very close to a few other attractions if you are looking for an easy excursion off the island - the Cascades, the Summit Gardens and the Tanna Coffee Plantation. I'd strongly recommend the Cascades if you only have time for one thing, but they're all nice.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank esthercharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hideaway Island Resort

Property: Hideaway Island Resort
Address: | Hideaway Island, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#2 Best Value Hotel in Port Vila
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#12 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#13 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hideaway Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hideaway Island Hotel Port Vila
Hideaway Island Port Vila
Hideaway Island Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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