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“Good Units in Bad Location”
Review of Tradewinds Villas

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Tradewinds Villas
Ranked #34 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Reviewed June 22, 2010

I stayed in unit #20 at Tradewinds for 2 months while volunteering in Vila. It seemed like the best value for a longer term self-contained accommodation within walking distance of town. It is a small place, with 10 separate units -- a mix of studios, 1 & 2 bedrooms, and a couple houses. There is a small central area with a small pool, table tennis, and a BBQ. A mixture of tourists, and short and long term workers, volunteers, and doctors/midwives stay here. It generally feels uncrowded. The property is well kept. There is no grassy area and the views of the lagoon are limited for the units near the front.

It is located on a lightly trafficked road, and it is a 10-15 minute walk to the center of town or to the largest grocery store (Au Bon Marche Numbatu); sometimes I walked and other times I took a bus ($1.50 flat fee, often shared with others, so not always direct). There is wireless internet (usually at an additional charge), which was definitely useful to have (if you have a laptop), but the signal was often weak (at least from my unit) and it sometimes was quite slow or did not work. There is a decent sized TV with 3 channels (1 sports, and 2 mainstream American and Australian programming), however the remote did not work well, the TV had to be fixed at one point, and sometimes the channels froze or were poor quality. There is also a DVD collection that you can rent from during office hours; it has about 75-100 DVDs, and it was certainly convenient to have. Although DVDs were only 250 vatu each (about US$2.50), it would have been nice if they were complimentary, especially due to the limited TV options, and, besides, isn’t it illegal to profit off renting DVDs unless you are registered to do so?

What I liked:
- The owners were accommodating with my budget and my uncertain time frame
- The bed and futon were soft and comfortable
- The local staff (Sally at front desk, Emma and her cleaning staff, and Maliki as security) were friendly and helpful
- All units were separate as opposed to attached

What I didn’t like:
- Location near densely populated and poorer areas. While this adds some local character, it also meant I had to experience all the sounds and smells from nearby. Sound-wise, often there are screaming kids, barking dogs, and the bass from music. Smell-wise, the air, especially in the evening, smelled heavily of burning wood (for cooking and lighting in the villages). For whatever reason (change in weather conditions? Change in neighbor habits?), the sounds and smells bothered me much more during my second month here. In particularly, a house across the street played music and bass loud enough to wake me some mornings and bother me during the days. The thumping is not diminished by closing the shutters (which darkens the whole place substantially as well) o r much else. My multiple complaints to the neighbor were responded by that he couldn’t change the bass level on his stereo, that it was his property anyway, and that everyone plays music loud. My complaining seemed to help only mildly. The air pollution from burning wood also became quite strong, even sometimes during the day. It often irritated my throat and gave me headaches, and I know it is bad for long-term health as well. I talked to a couple staying in one of the houses further from the road, and they also mentioned the noise and pollution (although they still seemed overall happy with Tradewinds). For me, the noise and pollution certainly took away from any image of “paradise.”
- I rarely was able to operate the shower in a way that easily gave me warm water. Most of the time it was scalding hot or ice cold.
- There were occasional bugs, ants, geckos, cockroaches, and flies in my apartment. Small ants were a noticeable problem at first (especially in kitchen and bathroom), but I used their Raid killer that mostly solved the problem. The screens did seem to keep the mosquitoes out which was important, especially given the existence of dengue and (to a lesser extent) malaria here. There did appear to be some regular insect spraying, which seemed to be working since many of the crawlers appeared dead if they made it inside.
- While the apartment was adequately stocked & furnished and seemed in pretty good condition, there were a few items that were showing wear & tear. (the plastic spatula to name one, and there was no sponge here, just some sort of smelly wash cloth for washing plates).
- When something went wrong (TV, internet, light bulb burned out), the male owner was quick to accuse past guests or the local staff, which I found unfair and unprofessional. He even once swore at me that this wasn’t a “[--]5-star hotel” when I mentioned the TV wasn’t working and the reception issues. He also made me feel that I was inconveniencing him with any obvious maintenance issues, rather than care about the inconvenience for his guests. Finally, at the end of my stay he yelled at me for working out of my apartment too much rather than going to the office, which was adding to his electric costs. I thought this was particularly unfair, since if our arrangement was not appealing to him, he could have changed the terms or been more explicit on his expectations at the outset (or before I paid for the second month) rather than being angry with me at the end.

Some of the things I did not like may be quite common in Vila (noise, pollution, shower, bugs). Nevertheless, although there were things I liked about the place, I would not stay here again due to the noise and pollution from the environs.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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4  Thank tSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 68 of 74 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2010

I have traveled to Vanuatu and stayed at many places there from the Resorts to smaller places
I have stayed at Tradewinds many times now and would stay no where else.
I like the privacy, you can do your own thing you are self contained , you are close to every thing , the place has beautiful gardens and pool and the the staff are very very friendly and non intrusive , but are there to cater for every thing you want.
i highly recomend Trade winds to families and singles alike.
The tuesday night BBQ is a great way to meet Mitch, Lynn ( The Owners), and other guests staying there to swap stories and share adventures and get ideas of what to see and do.
Enjoy your Stay
Lukum u after
Angus

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BrisbaneZebra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2010

We stayed at Tradewinds for ten days in March but are planning to go again in May - this will be about our seventh stay at this friendly resort. The fact that we keep returning is an indication of how much we like it. The owner-managers and staff are always cheerful, helpful and very willing to do all they can to make one's stay happy and comfortable. The ladies who look after the rooms always maintain a high level of cleanliness. The gardens surrounding the studio apartments and houses have been well designed and cared for. The pool is an added attraction for those who like to swim. To us it is a 'home away from home' and we always look forward to returning.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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3  Thank Sheralynrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2010

This was our 2nd Holiday in Vanuatu. Tradewinds Resort was good value for money with all needed for a self contained unit. Staff were very helpful. Resort located 15 minutes walk to town through local villages. Locals very friendly. Some small supermarkets nearby with the basics available.The resort security guard Maliki was very freindly and informative on local culture. We shopped at the main market for fruit and veg plus local crabs. We cooked Coconut Crab which was very nice and a fun experience as they were live crabs.
Local produce was very good.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Thaimick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2009

What a fanastic spot from which to explore Port Villa and surrounds. Service was great. Mitch took us to the supermarket soon after we arrived and waited very patiently as we meandered through the aisles. Great room - very clean, well kitted out kitchen, air-con, roomy. Only a short walk into town through local housing. Locals were incredibly friendly - almost everyone would say hello, good morning. The walk to town could be a bit smelly though as rubbish was left lying around, festering in the January heat. Staff also provided good info on trips and things to avoid. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kitncat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2009

We hadn’t stayed at tradewinds before but found it to be just what we liked. Private, clean bungalows. A king size bed with an additional futon and a kitchen with stove and pots/pans and utensils and a fridge/freezer. There is a clothes line outside to hang your wet towels. The rooms are spacious and are cleaned daily by the house maids. The aircon was useful at night to be able to get a comfortable sleep. Their pool is very clean and we enjoyed it each time we jumped in. Mitch and Lyn own and operate this resort and we found them to be very likeable, lovely people who couldn’t do enough for you. We loved our stay at Tradewinds and will definitely stay there again and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jodybelinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2009

We enjoyed our stay here. We used the unit as a base to explore Efate.It was nice to come home to air con, own kitchen, clean pool and lovely view.
The owners and staff are really friendly and helpful and someone was there on duty 24 hours a day.Our new unit was cleaned spotless each day and the property seemed very well maintained. KItchen was very good in 2br unit as we ate out at restaurants for most lunches and cooked at night then relaxed indoors or by the pool. Kids liked watching all their favourite drama shows on Aussie cable tv (7 and 9).

Collyne in the office is a gem and helped with local knowledge, bookling tours and sightseeing suggestions. All staff are great with kids and babysitting is arranged at a very reasonable price. Nearby villagers are very friendly but be aware they live in poverty. there is a small general store over the road for cold beer, bread , coke etc. Transport is cheap -300 vatu into Port Vila or 150vt per person by bus. Its an easy walk into town with restaurants (ie Coconut Palms, Mangoes)close by. It is quite safe to walk at night and the staff can give you directions at all hours.

This is a quiet and cozy small complex ideal if you are working short term or on an active holiday.If your holiday is mainly relaxing by the beach or poolside then you will need to visit some of the nearby islands and resorts, only a short ride away.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank vegiemuncher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tradewinds Villas

Address: Captain Cook Avenue, Port Vila, Efate 00000, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: $65 - $237 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tradewinds Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serviced Air-conditioned Studio Bungalows Serviced 3 Bedroom Townhouse Serviced 2 Bedroom Apartment Experience the relaxed comfort of home while exploring the unique culture and beautiful lifestyle of Vanuatu. Overlooking the serene waters of Erakor Lagoon, Tradewinds Resort offers self-contained bungalows in the peace and quiet of the 'suburbs'. A 10 min walk will take you to the fresh fruit and vegetable markets in town, or a short stroll to the local restaurants when you feel like dining out. The air-conditioned bungalows also have ceiling fans and can be configured as twin share or double. The kitchenette is equipped with microwave, jug, toaster, and full-size refrigerator and includes crockery and cutlery and cooking utensils. For the family or small groups, the 3 bedroom Townhouse or 2 bedroom apartment overlooking Erakor Lagoon would be a great base for your Vanuatu adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tradewinds Hotel Port Vila
Tradewinds Villas Vanuatu/Port Vila

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