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“Great Place to Relax and Best Snorkeling”

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Hideaway Island Resort
Ranked #13 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great Place to Relax and Best Snorkeling”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Travelled to Vanuatu solo for 2 weeks for a relaxing holiday, Stayed here for the entire two weeks. I booked my room through Booking.com and it didn't go through for some reason so I had to stay in a different room for the first night, I recommend booking direct through their website.
Is only about a 5-10 min drive to the main town, but there are always taxis waiting on the main land to take you wherever you want to go.
This has to be the best snorkeling I've ever done, better than the Great Barrier Reef, Clear warm water, they run a guided snorkeling tour every day as well a glass bottomed boat ride, free snorkeling gear to use for the day.
The restaurant and bar right on the beach was great with excellent food and wide selection of drinks and exotic cocktails.
The staff were very friendly and willing to help out but they did seem to have trouble understanding english at some points.
Would highly recommend staying here and would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Seanzito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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611 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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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
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

I have travelled quite extensively overseas and can honestly say that Hideaway Island is one of my favourite places I have been. Whilst it is not 5 star luxury, you will be surrounded by the most endearing and amazing people you'll ever meet. I came with a friend for 10 days and we had the most amazing time, thanks largely to those who work here. The staff were extremely willing to help us out with anything we needed, lending us the phone several times a day as we attempted to relocate a lost bag!

The snorkelling is absolutely amazing, even better than the Great Barrier Reef, and it's all right there at your doorstep! We stayed in a twin-share room which was basic but incredibly comfortable, and really, how long do you spend in your room when you're on a beautiful tropical island like Hideaway?

But most of all, the dive shop boys were just incredible. We came as strangers and left as friends, and I can honestly say that it was thanks to them that I have memories I will never forget! Phil, Antoine with his crazy hair, Brian with his loud singing voice, Nedge and Robbie were so friendly and funny, making our trip a bundle of fun!

The restaurant has great food at very reasonable prices ($10-20), and the lemon tart is to die for! Try the curry, it's just amazing. The Melenesian Feast is great for around $25, well worth it with entertainment.

Across the bay at the Beach Bar they have Fire Dancing on Friday nights. It is AMAZING and free! Honestly, it's a great show, you should definitely head across, they have wood fired pizza as well. But get there early- 6pm!

I cannot fault Hideaway, it is an amazing place, you really are in a tropical paradise! We will definitely be back again and again and again and again...

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank mitchellashlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

You'll see this place advertised everywhere – here on TripAdvisor, all over the internet, even at the airport in Efate. You'll get the impression that it's THE place for diving and snorkeling. But what you find when you get to Vanuatu is that there are loads of other options.

I've rated average, but I mean REALLY average. Rooms are quite expensive for what you get. Mine was near the generator, which was so loud it sounded like we'd never left the airplane. Some of the staff are naturally friendly, but mostly they just seem bored and disinterested.

The place opens up to day trippers each day, so the "beach" (actually uncomfortably coral rather than sand) gets crowded on nice days with families and groups sipping overpriced cocktails and talking loudly.

Certainly the fishes are amazing and the island is cute, but overall this was a tourist machine that I was very pleased to leave.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tarver G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

what can i say what a great spot a short ferry ride from the main island and it does not get any better the staff were all so very friendly, the dive shop guys were playing Mr wolf with a group of kids .the coral is straight off the beach ( the approach to the water is coral so reef shoes help ) the rooms are pretty basic but your not there for the rooms the snorkeling and diving is fantastic. took many good shots of the very colourfull fish with a cheap camera but they turned out alright and the island is serviced by small vans that will take you anywhere you wish to go i would say for me the highlights were the blue lagoon and the mele cascades

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank putsy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Hideaway Island is a tiny island just of shore near Prot Vila. It is nicely positioned and surrounded by a nice coral reef. It has several accommodation cottages. We (me and my brother with wife and 3 teenagers) stayed in Vila, a very nice and comfortable vila.
The resort has a small but nice beach. The coral reefs are right there, just meters from the shore. Already in knee-deep water you see all kind of fish.
Staff is friendly and that is apparently the same in all Vanuatu. The food is good (we ha breakfast included). There are also a lot of activites, snorkelingm diving, Island Festival (with Kava!).

Room Tip: Vila is goregous but do you really want to stay in the room? We had our own pool but the water was c...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sveto v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ground-view
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
#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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