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“Love the staff, location & diving, but owners need hospitality/tourism decorum lessons!!”

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Hideaway Island Resort
Ranked #12 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Blue Mts (NSW
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Love the staff, location & diving, but owners need hospitality/tourism decorum lessons!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2009

I have now stayed solo twice on Hideaway. First in April to May 2009 for nearly 1 month, then late May to June 2009. I do not have a bad word to say about the staff, location, or diving, but the owners behaviours' was and is unbecoming!!!

Although i would nave have thought twice about recommending Hideaway Island Resort as an ideal spot to holiday with family, friends or solo previously - NOW i would offer a warning.

On my first trip I fell in love the truly welcoming and friendly staff who took the time to get to know me and made me feel at home. In fact I loved it so much I hardly left the island because most of my needs were met there. I found that you could truly hide-away at Hideaway. The basic, but cosy accommodation more then met my needs and the restaurant and bar staff and food/beverages exceeded my fussy taste buds. Further the island is divers dream. With varied dive sites and staff that cater to all levels – if you just snorkel, you will be wowed!

On my second trip after having been warmly welcomed back by the staff with hugs and kisses, I found that the darker side of Hideaway Island Resort are the owners. Not only did I notice a change in the staff’s domineer when all owners are present on the island, but I also personally found myself being targeted. The first incident involved one of the owners inappropriately questioning all male staff on the island about my personal life. It should be noted that the island is very small and word does eventually get back to the topic of conversation. I thought I had dealt with the owners interfering in personal life – well kept away from the island & their business, when I confronted the owner. However upon my return to Sydney I received a phone call from my family who live on Efate (the capital island of Vanuatu) to inform me that another of the owners was spreading untrue and personally nasty rumours about me to anyone who would listen.

All I have to say is that the owners behaviour is not only inappropriate, but tasteless!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travel_n_culture_luv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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612 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Adelaide
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2009

A very relaxing get-away-from-it-all experience. Comfortable, roomy bungalow accommodation a short walk from the bar, restaurant and beach.

The resort's diving facility was excellent, with a secure lock-up room for your equipment and enthusiastic professional divemasters who took helpfulness to a whole new level. Dive briefings on the sites were comprehensive and the staff catered for novice and experienced divers alike. All dives were a short boat ride from the island. Snorkling off the beach is colourful with many fish varieties, and as a bonus, there's the underwater post office.

The restaurant has an extensive menu selection catering to almost all tastes, and the coconut curry is to die for.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sammo65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
1,031 reviews
402 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,159 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2009

I had wanted to stay here in order to post a card at the Underwater Post Office on scuba. But they either had dorm accommodation or huge bungalows, which was over kill for one person, so I opted for the nearby Benjor Beach Club instead (see my review) and dove here so this is a review about the diving, food and ambience at the Hideaway, but not of the accommodation.

Most of the reef around Hideaway is dead--the reef gets continually walked on by snorkelers and inept divers (this resort sees a lot of cruise ship activity). Also, there is a nearby tropical fish farm nearby which is starting to interfere with the reef’s ecology. There are a few healthy bits around their 16 divesites and they feed the fish, so some of them are quite tame and even clown fish will approach divers. You can usually spot turtles as well, so many snorkelers and divers I met were happy with their Hideaway dive experience. Other guests had told me they weren’t happy with their Hideaway dive guides who molested the sea turtles and didn’t point things out to them, but my guide was great and didn’t molest the turtle he pointed out. I found the dive operation was very efficiently run, and they slotted me in for a dive on less than 2 hours’ notice. There’s no getting around the dead reef though. So more discerning divers who have dived in PNG, Palau, Indonesia or the Solomon Islands, will not be impressed. A better bet is to dive with Big Blue which leaves from close to the Benjor Beach Club and does reefs further away from Hideaway which don’t see as much diver and snorkeler action on the reef, but don’t expect world class reef dives.

The underwater post office is a bit of a gimmick (they also have a post office on a volcano on Tanna Island). It’s a plastic post office counter weighted down with sandbags with a yellow post box you can drop your post cards in front of it. You can snorkel down to it as it’s only 5 meters deep, but it is a nice picture to be mailing a postcard on scuba. The Hideaway gift shop sells the underwater postcards for U$4 each and you write the address and your message in pencil before dropping it in the box. They put a special underwater seal on it (there’s not usually a postmaster who mans it, so don’t expect this to be done in front of you) before sending it to you.

The food in the Hideaway Restaurant was very bland snack type food and took a long time coming even though there were few guests. You have to put in your order and pay for your food at a counter, get a number and then wait for your food to be delivered. However, food tends to sit outside the kitchen for a long time with no waiters to bring you the food--I ended up walking up to get mine. I would hate to eat here when the cruise ship passengers descend on the island, even though they have a special menu for them.

Also, there’s only a small strip of white sand beach and they have clunky deck chairs right next to each other to ensure they all get a spot on the sand, so don’t expect a private Pacific island as the name Hideaway suggests--especially when the cruise ship passengers are in town. Also, since the island sees a lot of traffic, the toilets in the restaurant and bar area were not too clean.

I’m glad I ended up staying at the Benjor Beach Club instead.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2009

Arriving in Port Vila and being picked up at the Airport was hassle free, Mele is not far fro the airport and the ride to the fore shore was great before being picked up in a boat to transport you to the Island.

Rooms were clean with fresh sheets and towels, the views were lush and amazing, the staff and locals very friendly. The swimming pool was so lovely first thing in the morning before arriving at the outdoor restaurant for breakfast.

It's early to bed and early to rise on this Island although you could leave the Island to visit Port Vila anytime as the boat service is at your service 24/7. There is duty free shopping in Port Vila, french bakeries and markets to visit. Loved exploring the Cascades, this is a must see.

However one could stay on the Island all day and move to sit at the gorgeous coral beach in the afternoon. The water is so clear and divine, able to see all the different colored fish and of course you could swim out to the famous under water post office. You could live in your bathers all day, meet people who may visit the island for the day, or other guests who are there for the deep sea diving.

Afternoon cocktails before a quick shower and back to the restaurant which offers a great range of food and different cuisines on the menu. I was there in September 2007 by myself and loved it. I told my friends about it and so we decided to go this year in March, it was fun and relaxing at the same time.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Arrived17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2009

My Mother and I were greeted in Port Vila airport with a group of locals playing local music - and the magic had just started. We arrived on Hideaway and were amazed at how close to the mainland we were. The staff who greeted us as well as all local people we had encountered offered nothing but friendly smiles and interesting information on local culture. We were booked in a twin share room - clean and simple - the best was yet to come as we changed and went snorkelling right from the shore. It was charming - and we saw many varieties of fish - our favourite has to be the Nemo's - and there are so many! I enjoyed sharing some bread with the fish as I tried to photograph them - I managed to get many close ups!!!!!! The staff made our stay so warm and inviting - we are in the process of booking our next trip in 4 months time. I recommend to those who love hearing the coral wash up on the shore this is the place for you. Port Vila is lovely to visit the markets but if it's peace and wonderful waters with coral you want I say go to Hideaway. Our daily routine consisted of walking around the island then going for a quick dip before breakfast. After relaxing on a lounge chair under a palm tree it was back to the water - that's where we spent most of our trip. Next time we will pack so much less - towel, togs and some casual clothes. If you visit Hideaway don't miss a walk into Mele Village - the children who greet you with hand picked flowers will warm your heart - and don't forget a visit to Mele Cascades - word of advice: wear closed shoes and not thongs! Thanx again Hideaway for the magic - see you alll again soon - and don't forget to feed the fish! Trish and Christina.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TrishBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2009

We have just returned from a great 10 day break on Hideaway Island and would recommend it to anybody looking for somewhere to relax and "get away from it all"
The staff could not be faulted, always happy, polite, courteous and helpful. The same goes for the food, fresh, tasty and cooked to your satisfaction, congratulations to Bruce and his kitchen staff for their efforts. The accommodation is perhaps basic to some people but to us it was comfortable and clean with the room serviced every day and that was what counted. While not being divers we found the snorkelling to be good, with an abundance of fish to look at and feed. Hideaway made an excellent base for walks to the Cascades Waterfall, Secret Garden and the Melanesian Village, the people of which made us feel more than welcome. The Melanesian feast put on by the Island was worth every vatu and I don't think anyone that attended did not enjoy it. Transport into Port Vila was never a problem regardless of the time of day requiring at the most a 5 minute wait for a bus, which was a good way to look around the area as the buses did not always go direct to town if they picked up other passengers on the way and dropped them off first and the price stayed the same. We would not hesitate in recommending Hideaway to anyone looking for a stress free relaxing break.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fishnchipsMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QLD
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2009

In line with prior comments in the related postings, the resort is positioned in a wonderful location next to a thriving reef. Its attraction for me was opportunity for scuba diving & snorkeling in its immediate vicinity. The latter could be enjoyed in a lovely marine environment & immediately on the resort's doorstep whilst the former was much of a muchness in that it appeared to me that the sites offered no better than the opportunities to sight marine life whilst goggling the house reef. However, some events for service arrangements went awry. The meet & greet arrangements on arrival failed so I ended up taking a taxi to the ferry point, which was a mild irritant. The reception staff apologised nicely, etc. I then requested a transfer back to the airport for my departure that as fixed at 2 hours prior to departure, which is considered the norm at the resort. Having crossed to the main shore on time with luggage there was no vehicle & on calling the reception no-one picked up the phone. A walk of several hundred meters to a main road to attempt to flag down a taxi carrying 25 kg of kit as night was setting didn't appeal. I then returned to the island resort using its ferry with all my kit, but no-one was in attendance at the office. Having eventually found someone in the resort to assist, they had difficulty contacting the vehicle operator as his phone was switched off. Eventually contact was made with him & a pick up was promised after a further 15 mins, or thereabouts. On returning to the ferry drop off/pick up point on the main island the vehicle arrived some minutes later. The chap driving the service was most apologetic, but it didn't help much as my blood pressure had risen a fair bit at this stage. I was happy that a vehicle eventually materialised, but this event was a most unwelcome drama which has caste a shadow over my Hideaway experience. I would also suggest that the bill be perused on check out as I found that an extra dive had been added to my account, but this was quickly rectified at the reception. On the whole the fare served in the restaurant was okay, but the menu didn't provide exotic seafood which appears to be due to the island wide high demand low supply factor. Nonetheless, the high quality of the local steak & pork more than compensated. In my view, the resort lacked charisma & had an absence of any charm but it appears to receive lots of repeat visitors. Its unlikely I'll ever venture back to that facility. As it is, given the fuss created over the transfer problem, I'd likely be met with even colder shoulders than hitherto!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank C 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

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
#3 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
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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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