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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Priceline, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Orbitz, Hotwire and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Tradewinds Villas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Tradewinds Hotel Port Vila
- Tradewinds Villas Vanuatu/Port Vila