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“Been there, done that, going back next year.”

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Hideaway Island Resort & Marine Sanctuary
Ranked #14 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 30, 2010

This was our fourth trip to Hideaway and it wont be our last.

In March 2010 I took a group of 20 people on a dive holiday based at Hideaway Island. From the time we arrived until the time we left we were looked after very well by everyone on the island. This isn’t a 5 star resort but that wasn’t what we wanted. The accommodation starts with dorm rooms with shared bathrooms through twin share/double rooms with shared bathrooms up to some very nice bungalows and a luxury 2 bedroom villa. There were a few changes since our last visit. The dive operation has been taken over by Woody who has made some operational changes without loosing any of the fun. The beach looks a whole lot better with some nice gardens and the whole island seems a bit more professional than last year. The food was very nice as usual (I put on 5kg again) and the kitchen and bar staff did a great job keeping us fed and watered. The office staff were always helpful as were the activities staff. Housekeeping and maintenance staff were always friendly and did their jobs without disturbing us.
We had a few off island activities. We went to the Cascade Falls, Port Vila, the Saloon Bar and a couple of bus rides around Efate.

Some special mentions; Stella is the person to see if you want to know anything or arrange anything. She can answer questions about the island, village, town and country and organise any tour as long as she has a little notice. She is trying to train others to do her job but that will take a lot of training.
All of the dive crew were great and it’s hard to single any one person out. Joka is fairly quiet but can find anything you are looking for. Kolen was the first to greet us and the last one waving goodbye and made sure we were enjoying ourselves the whole time we were there. Kevin was our entertainment for the trip and made it his job to make sure we were smiling. Madi was great to dive with and always talked to us on his way past. Nikki is Kevins’ apprentice and kept us smiling. Thomas didn’t dive with us (he had some students) but still found time to come and say hi. Brian was the new boy who just learnt to dive and was always interested in where we came from and what our diving was like.
Woody, the dive manager, has done a great job lifting the diving standards and kept checking on us to make sure things were going well.
Bruce, the resident owner, was always walking around and checking on us, always stopping to talk on his way past and made us feel very welcome.

The best things I can say is that 20 people had a great time and we will be bringing another group next year.


Greg
Scuba Shack

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank GoatfishFace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 29, 2010

(This review is specifically for the dive shop operation on Hideaway Island)

What a great place to dive! We arrived late on Sunday evening and were ready for our first dive (as part of a 10 dive package) by 8am on Monday. Almost all of the dive sites are within 10 minute boat drive and many could be reached from the shore. the diving itself can be best described as easy, relaxed and beautiful. Most sites are less than 30m deep. All sites are incredibly beautiful with an abundance of beautiful reef fish to look at. the water is 28/29 degrees warm and visibility was mostly good to very good. As a bonus you can spend many hours exploring the reef just snorkeling off the beach!

What made the diving even more fantastic was the excellent dive crew at Hideaway Island! Woody (the only Aussie in the dive shop) runs a tight ship with just the right balance between focus on dive safety and relaxed underwater fun. The rest of the crew - awesome! Madhi is always up to tricks and Kevin is one of the best dive leaders I have met!

It was an absolute pleasure diving with you guys - thanks from Susie and Marcus!!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ms12341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2010

Small Island. Accommodation is basic - on a par with motel accomadation in Australia. Linen and towels changed every day. Very friendly atmosphere. Very good dive shop. Snorkeling right in front of the island is easy and exciting. The road to the island ferry from the main road needs fixing as it had gigantic potholes that filled up rapidly during the rain. The taxi was like a pre-ferry ferry. Overal, food was good, need to rok on a coffee machine, beer limited to the local brew. Too small to visit again but recommended for snorkelers and SCUBA.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank SCUBERDIVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

We loved Hideaway Island. It was hard to believe that we were still in Port Vila, it felt like we were a world away. The private cosy bungalows that over look the reef make you feel like you have your own little view on paradise and the Beach Bar and Restaurant not only serves good, cheap food and drinks but has a priceless location. It's awesome to sit and have a cocktail with the sand between your toes. The staff were exceptional, always providing helpful, efficient and fast service. Snorkelling off the beach in front of the bar is excellent and the underwater post office is a great novelty and not to difficult to get down to and send the specially made postcards. I went there mainly for the diving and was not dissappointed, diving was excellent and very reasonably priced. The dive shop and staff are very friendly and professional with excellent equipment, organisation and knowledge. My favourite member to dive with was Choco who is the eagle eyes of the undersea world. He could spot a nudibrach at 100 metres i reckon. All the staff were fantastic though and i enjoyed every single dive i did. My only complaint is that we didn't stay long enough. If your going to Port Vila forget the big fancy Hotels and go to Hideaway, transport to town is easy and doesn't take that long. Jump on a bus though which will only cost 300 vatu over a taxi which is 2500 vatu. Hideaway was just amazing!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank BrisbaneMarcoA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

Our 3rd visit to this hidden gem...A great place to relax, with the friendliest staff... from the ferry boat drivers, Andre', Tu'be, to Jeffery , Lu, Nancy, Charity in the the bar/restaurant, (you should hear the girls in the kitchen sing, oh what beautiful harmonies!!) Stella, Sue & the girls in the office, the girls who clean your room everyday. Pedro and the maintenance staff & of course the Dive Crew, Tomas, Joka, Kolen, Nicky, Kevin, Henry, Madi and last but by no means least Woody the New Boss, who seems to be able to accomplish any number of requests at the same time with ease and still takes the time to have a social drink and a chat with you at the end of the day. Our 2 week stay was an absolute pleasure. Great food, spectacular diving, wonderful bungalows, warm & friendly staff. Thank you for a wonderful holiday....see you next year,

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank andlyn7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2010

How does one explain the peace of pulling up to your island resort, being shown around by the friendly staff, having bags (full of scuba gear) carried to your secluded bungalow, then spending the rest of the day relaxing? Well, aside from the facts above, it's a great start to a holiday, and definitely what you can expect at Hideaway Island!

From the first trip brief, each and every dive, the food and the service were all excellent.

Watching dive guides like Kolen and Maddi having fun with their groups, including blowing some of the biggest and best air bubbles I've seen, while ensuring we were ok is an amazing experience. Bringing people back from the brink of panic at 20M isn't easy, but Kolen did it well for one of our group.

Maddi entertained us both above and below water, and always brought us back to the mooring lines. These guys really know their dive sites, and can find the boat at any time during the dive, meaning not everyone is waiting at the boat for those people who aren't as good on air as others.

All the guys there were great, the food was wonderful, the singing from the kitchen a beautiful accompaniment to our last dinner on the island.

If I could stay there and dive every day I think I would.

Many thanks to all the dive team, even to one of the new members Ben for helping me on and off the boat (not my favourite thing in the world, which is strange considering once I'm in the water diving I love it!!!!)

I hope to come back and enjoy the reef there again one day, and hope to find it in the same state it's in now, it's an amazing place to go and find life.

The Diving Fairy

  • Stayed: March 2010
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1  Thank TheDivingFairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2010

As a group we were welcomed at the resort and treated as part of the community from the start. Everything was well organised and nothing was too much trouble, all you have to do is ask. I will have no hesitation in returning to Hideaway, to catch up with new friends and dive more of whats on offer. Thanks Guys, Kolin, Madi, Choka, Kevin as well as all the other guys who's names escape my tired mind.
Damon Devir
Canberra Australia

P.S. Seek out the most contagious laugh while you are there, just listen and you will find Alice, surely the happiest woman on earth.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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Thank damo1106
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 & Marine Sanctuary

Address: | Hideaway Island, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Port Vila
#2 Business Hotel in Port Vila
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#11 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#13 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: $50 - $203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hideaway Island Resort & Marine Sanctuary 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hideaway Island Resort is located on the private island with a protected Marine Sanctuary with a full service 5 Star Padi Dive Shop. House guests enjoy free use of snorkel gear, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, net ball, beach movies, and can take Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel Safari Tours for free. Beach Restaurant and Bar. Continental breakfast included. Free Wi-fi for all guests in lounge. Accommodations include self contained Vilas, Bungalows, Beach Lodge and Dorm rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hideaway Island Hotel Port Vila
Hideaway Island Port Vila
Hideaway Island Resort & Marine Sanctuary Vanuatu/Port Vila

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