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Hideaway Island Resort
Ranked #12 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 19, 2014

Stayed at Hideaway to have a relaxing holiday and do a lot of snorkelling. We had one of the better accommodation available on this tiny island in one of the villas. On the surface it was really beautiful; spacious with a balcony that over looked the sea. The furniture was comfortable and tasteful, though only very sheer curtains on the floor to ceiling windows, fine as it was very private (unless the security guard decides to “check things are safe” as he peered in our windows and spied our siestas). Also the sun comes up around 5 am, little chance for a sleep in. There were broken door knobs, some missing all together, peeling paint work, a constantly flushing toilet (though that was eventually fixed), and a flat screen TV that wasn’t connected. We didn’t care about the TV but all the other things really became annoying. I have travelled a fair bit and am pretty relaxed about things, it comes with travel but when you pay more you expect your shower to have an intact tap.
Another couple who were staying in one of the bungalows had rats running around their room eating their soap and leaving little presents all over their stuff. They were moved but the excuse was it was mango season so there were a lot of rats around…it is an island the size of a large oval…I am sure an eradication program would be successful.
The snorkelling was good, though they note they are a marine sanctuary they are doing little to prevent or educate people not to stand on the coral. Loads of people from the cruise ships came every second day to enjoy the area but I felt it will be loved to death as evidence of people standing and breaking the delicate coral was very evident.
The food was fine, though became a bit monotonous (the Beach Bar across the bay had a far more interesting menu), and be sure to order a drink (other than beer) before you get thirsty.
One of the best things was the staff, as they were great and very friendly.
I did enjoy my time there and achieved some relaxation and snorkelling but the place is tired and needs a bit of maintenance, though the most important thing is that the reef needs far more protection.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nellipot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 8, 2014

I went to Hideaway on the 29th December til the 5th January 2014 with my son and his girlfriend.

We had one of the best holidays I can remember going on - we loved every minute of it. I have been to Vanuatu 7 times but this is the first time we have stayed on Hideaway which came highly recommended by 2 other friends. I loved it from the moment we arrived. It was just gorgeous and super super casual atmosphere so you are very relaxed at the resort.

We stayed in one of the 2 bedroom villas over looking the water which also had a kitchen, dining and loungeroom (Villa 1) - that was heaven. We ended up in one of those because when we tried to book the island it was booked out so we put our name on a waitlist and got a last minute booking in that room otherwise we would have stayed in a bungalow.

We also had a look at the Bungalows and they looked great too . They are only 1 bedroom but there is a divided section where extra bed can be arranged so would be suitable for families with kids without all having to be in the one bedroom.

They all have a pathway down to the beach and awesome views.

I was worried about the weather at this time of year as it is meant to be the wet season and very humid however it was quite ok - it only rained a few times and not for long . The temperature was perfect and the island seems to get a nice breeze of an afternoon which cools things off at night to a comfortable temperature. My bedroom didn't have air conditioning and it wasn't too hot.

Best tip for this island would be to take some wetsuit type shoes that you can walk into the water with as the beach is coral and hard to walk on into the water.

The water is crystal clear and gorgeous for swimming. There is also fabulous snorkeling with a big coral reef , stacks of fish including lots of clown fish (we found nemo) and also a big deep drop off with lots of very colourful fish beyond that too. The snorkeling was better than I was expecting and I have snorkeled many placed in the world including Great Barrier Reef, Vanuatu, Fiji, Maldives.

The restaurant is very very casual so don't worry about taking anything fancy to wear - a lot of the nights people were dressed in swimmers and casual tops, during the day it wasn't uncommon for people to be eating in their swimmers as the tables are set up on the beach. There are some tables set up inside the restaurant but not many people seem to eat in there. I thought it was heaven having breakfast on the beach each morning (sometimes with a glass of champagne just because I could- lol). Breakfast is very basic - a few types of cereal, toast and fruit. You can order a cooked breakfast and pay a bit extra if you like. The lunch and dinner menus are fairly small but have some really yummy meals on there.

The island can get quite busy on days when the cruise ships are in town so we took our own snorkeling gear as the dive shop gets a bit inundated with people hiring the gear.

Hideaway is also accessible by a short ferry (a few mins) then about a 20 mini bus into town - there are buses almost instantly available all the time and its only 300 vatu per person (about $3.50 ) go to into town where you have a large selection of restaurants, shops and activities to enjoy.

We did day trips to Blue Lagoon, Cascade Waterfalls, Turtle Bay, Erakor Island and Iririki Island Resort while we were there. All were fabulous except not sure I would go back to Turtle Bay (bit overpriced there). We just hired the same mini buses (im not a fan of organised tours) and Henry who is one of the island staff helped us negotiate prices with the drivers to make sure we were not being overcharged.

They also have an underwater post office -you can buy underwater post cards from the island shop and write a postcard then swim underwater between 1 and 2pm to send it- bit of fun.

Special mention to some of the island staff who made it extra special - the wonderful Amy who kept our room immaculately clean each day and also made it special by giving me a giggle when I had a lovely chat to her on our last day, Henry who helped us with organizing the buses , James and Paul behind they bar - great guys and last but not least the managers - Mark and Sue who were also friendly and very welcoming.

I would not hesitate this island for a holiday for anyone wanting a relaxing, tropical island holiday where they are not totally isolated and would like to do a few things each day to mix the holiday up a bit.

Woohoo - cant wait to go back.

Room Tip: If you can afford the extra go for a Villa but the Bungalows are also fantastic. I wouldn't stay...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Anita M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We have returned yet again to Paradise.
What a lovely surprise to get a note, champagne and personal welcome back from Managers, Sue and Mark. From the guys on the boat over to Rachael and Paulina on Reception, right through to the friendly staff that abound around us, nothing seems too much bother, and all delivered with beautiful smiles.
We thank you emphatically for our time in your beautiful country and for your amazing hospitality.
Cheers
Randell. :-)

Room Tip: We only ever consider the bungalows.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Randell W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We have just spent 7 days over the New Years period welcoming in 2014. We stayed in one of the 14 private bungalows which are well worth the extra price. They are light and breezy and ours had a fabulous view over the ocean where we could hear the waves rolling on to the shore. There is a large private balcony on each of these with a huge hammock, great for laying and reading while the ocean breeze licks over you.
Make sure you take thongs! The beach is actually made of broken (but smoothed) coral pieces, so you definitely need to walk to the water with thongs or booty's on. But once in the water, it is teaming with the most beautiful marine life I have ever seen. I have seen better coral, but the fish here must be somewhat used to the divers and snorkelers and swim around you as though you are just one of them. There are plenty of Tangs, Angel fish, Butterfly fish, Banner fish, Wrasse etc. Some you can see right at the shore line. I really would have been quite happy just snorkeling around every day.
We were there for a dive package and I have to say the staff everywhere, including the dive shop are very professional, yet super laid back and friendly. A special thank you to Niedge who made us fairly novice divers feel very comfortable to get back in the water. Also Antionne is always walking around with a beaming smile ensuring everyone is enjoying themselves. The water temperature is divine. We dived to 20 meters for 40 minutes in board shorts and a t shirt and did not feel the slightest bit cold.
There are no facilities in the room for making food so you do spend quite a bit of time at the only bar/restaurant on the island. The food choices became a bit limiting after 7 days. Prices are not too bad, think Sydney Cafe prices.
My only real gripe was with the music being played at the bar. I think they had 4 CD's on rotation the entire time, one of which was something like "Party Hits from the 60's". I can not get the awful song, "Yakity Yak, don't look back" out of my head, I must have heard it 30 times over. If the manager is reading this - I really suggest you go digital and get some decent playlists.
To get away for a different scene, the boat shuttle across from to the main land is very regular; (every ten minutes). There is almost always a bus waiting to take you into Port Villa for about $3.50 a person. These are really Maxi Taxi's but will take you where you want to go for a small price. Although you will appreciate the solitude and beauty of Hideaway Island after going into Port Villa, which isn't particularly nice.
The island is not entirely private and about 30 tourists arrive every day at 10 am and leave at 3 pm. But for the rest of the time the island appears to be limited to only those staying there, which feels really quite exclusive and we met some very nice people. Overall, it was a fantastic holiday. Exactly what you need for a break from the rat race. Oh, and I forgot the amazing half price cocktails every day during happy hour from 4.30 pm. Bought to your lounge, watching the sunset. Heaven.

Room Tip: Bungalow 11 was great and at the end of the beach, so very private. Bungalow 14 was quite close to...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank iwaswayoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

I have to say the location is excellent and the food very good even the underwater Post Office was fun for the kids.
The disappointing thing was the Snorkel Safari. It was scheduled for 12.15pm but was delayed an hour as the guide was having lunch, as this is a relaxed island lifestyle we went with the flow.
My wife got into trouble during the snorkel safari and was being pushed onto the coral by the waves. I had my daughter with us whilst I was trying to get my wife to calm water to stop the panic.
The tour guide who was in the water was no where to be found and the boat driver gave us no assistance even though he could see we were struggling. The guide did not keep us together as a group which in these conditions should have. Once on the boat my wife and i were bleeding from coral cuts but we were offered no assistance from the guide, driver or the staff when we arrived back on shore.
Lucky we had our first aid gear close by. Expected a little more from the staff in these circumstances.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank GriffinFamily4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

What a fantastic little spot! The staff were fantastic and all very friendly. If you're looking for a luxury holiday this isn't the spot but if you're looking to do some snorkelling and diving or just relaxing by the beach this is the place for you! The diving was incredible and we only just scratched the surface. We did have a minor issue with no hot water in the shared bathroom and very little water pressure in one shower but all in all a great place to stay....we will be back!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Darren C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

The most perfect location in all of Port Vila. The snorkelling on this island was spectacular. Some of the best quality in the world. The staff on the island are all lovely, very welcoming with the majority being locals from the Mele Village. The boys in the dive shop are always up for a laugh. We got to meet the manager Mark & Sue who were amazing and helped make our stay there even more beautiful, who were more than willing to help us enjoy our honeymoon in anyway they could.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amy T
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

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: $59 - $226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hideaway Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
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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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