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“Sufficient Room-Service and Policies could be better”

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Coconut Palms Resort
Ranked #31 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Reviewed April 16, 2014

I stayed in the single with shared facilities. The room was tiny but sufficient. It was clean and the shared facilities were also clean. I had dinner in the restaurant and thought the food was good and reasonably priced. Unfortunately, the hotel has a strange payment policy; as a result I changed hotels after the first night and wouldn't return.

Problem #1: I booked for the first night online which requires using a credit card and paying a credit card surchage. I assumed I could pay for my next three nights in cash when I arrived as it appeared there was availability. When I arrived I was quoted a price much higher than available online and told that if I wanted the lower price I would have to book online through their agent. It made no sense to me so I ended up changing hotels to one that would accept cash.

Problem #2: There wasn't hot water in the evening after I checked in or the next morning. When I reported that, the receptionist didn't seem very phased and said that sometimes they have hot water, sometimes they don't.

Room Tip: It was very hot and the fans in the room are wall fans, not on the ceiling. As a result, the fan co...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Colleen324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsResort, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2016

Dear Valued guest

We are sorry for the delayed response to your review. We are very thankful for all feedback both positive and constructive. The time you have taken to share this is appreciated.

We have had new management in place since March 2015, we have spent the last 15 months lifting many aspects and features of the hotel, this included menus, training, reservations and check in processes.

If there is any aspect of your review which has not been rectified and you would like to discuss it in further detail, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at elliot@coconutpalms.vu.

If you are planning another trip, check out our website for the best rates online.

Many thanks

Elliot Agius

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 153 of 338 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2014

I have stayed in the Coconut Palms a number of times over the past few years (see my earlier reviews). On this trip I was in four different rooms because of going in and out of Port Vila. Things seem to be going down hill with each visit seeing more annoyances that take away from the quality of the experience. This trip was exceptionally full of annoyances. Maintenance is only fair and reception clerks are not well trained and often do not know how to answer basic questions relating to things of interest to the guest. On the last visit of the series I booked on Hotels.com but they could not find my reservation and even though I showed them the receipt from Hotels.com it took over half an hour to get clearance to go to a room and then they first took me to a room that was already occupied and had to take me to another on the third floor. This was the last in a series of bad experiences with the management and my long history of staying at this hotel is at an end, I will never return.

The good:
1. Nice included breakfast with mixed fruit, sausage, eggs, coffee, cereal and bread with butter and jam. About a $15 value by Port Vila hotel standards.
2. Large enough room and bath to be comfortable (“superior” rooms, definitely not ‘coco’ rooms)
3. Friendly staff. Lot of smiles and pleasantries but very poorly prepared for anything unusual
4. Free Wifi (in the lobby and a some rooms) slow but ok for emails (not Skype though)
5. Though the volume of food on the plate is small the food presentation is pretty and it tastes good though for the price I expected to to have a bit more on the plate.
6. 10 minute easy downhill walk to the main shopping area of Port Vila.
7. clean rooms

The bad:
1. No hot water in my room (204) in the morning. Ok after 10 am through 10 pm but had to do the morning ablutions from a bucket with water heated in the electric kettle.
2. False advertising. Two of the rooms I stayed in were “superior” rooms. Their web advertising and the listing on Hotels.com say that there is a full complement of appliances including a fridge and microwave. Indeed when I wanted to pay to upgrade the undesirable standard room I originally was assigned on my first visit, the “superior” room they showed me as an example had both a small fridge and a microwave. The room was lovely, nicely decorated and inviting with a really nice view of the pool and gardens. The “superior” room I was actually given had neither fridge nor microwave, maintenance of the room was marginal and the view was the roof of a storage building. They did bring in a fridge the last day I was there but none of the 'superior' rooms I have stayed in ever had a microwave.
3. Restaurant service was awful. Several times I sat down at a table and it was more than 15 minutes before anyone came into the restaurant serving area and offered a menu. It wasn’t that the staff were off talking in the corner, there simply was no one there at all. Bring your iPad for entertainment while waiting for service.
4. WiFi does not reach all rooms. Of the three rooms I was given in my trip, one (108) had no WiFi and I had to go to the lobby or bar to get connected.
5. Nothing but basic bar soap is provided. No shampoo, body lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
6. There are no chairs in the “superior” rooms. In room 204 I asked for a chair so I could sit at one of the small bed-side tables in the room so I could use my computer and was given a fold up chair that was useable but very dirty.
7. To save a few cents on the electric bill, they use motion sensing lights in dark areas including the windowless hall entrances to rooms that are in the back of the hotel. It is very dark there even in mid-day. The motion sensor is just around the corner from the room and it comes on nicely as you pass by going in but when you leave from the room you are in total darkness until you turn the hallway corner and the sensor sees you. Also even coming into the room, you need to be very quick in getting the key into the lock because the light shuts off after 7 seconds and it is really dark when you have to feel your way back to the hall to the point where you can wave your arms to get the light back on.

Warning: The ‘coco’ rooms are super basic. 307 was a walk-in closet sized room and was below the standard of many YHA Backpacker rooms. I chose that as I was only to be in the room for 12 hours waiting for the flight out but for sure I would not want to stay there for more than a few hours. Mosquitos were a problem for sleeping but with the ceiling fan full blast (no A/C in that class of room) and in bed covered by the sheet it was livable. The shared bath was ok and clean and had hot water in the evening.

It is sad, but this potentially excellent hotel seems in a downward spiral. It is not very profitable due to poor maintenance and service so management cuts corners on maintenance and service to save money which then angers guests and causes bad reviews like this one. The absentee owner needs to hire a good manager or return to manage it himself.

The hotel is not recommended for people who expect to get all that they paid for. Also, if you want one of the nicer rooms, book directly and pay the extra $20 or so, don’t go through Hotel,com, Agoda.com, Wotif.com, etc. like I did. Apparently you will be a second class guest and get the worst rooms of the room class you book. Book on the hotel website and pay the higher price and maybe if you are lucky you will get one of those nice rooms overlooking the pool.

Room Tip: Get one on the second floor overlooking the pool if you can. The back rooms are beat up and have no...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sunnyguy61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsResort, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2016

Dear Valued guest

We are sorry for the delayed response to your review. We are very thankful for all feedback both positive and constructive. The time you have taken to share this is appreciated.

We have had new management in place since March 2015, we have spent the last 15 months lifting many aspects and features of the hotel, this included menus, training, reservations and check in processes.

If there is any aspect of your review which has not been rectified and you would like to discuss it in further detail, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at elliot@coconutpalms.vu.

If you are planning another trip, check out our website for the best rates online.

Many thanks

Elliot Agius

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

I stayed at the Coconut Palms Resort for 5 nights. My room was the Villa accommodation. Very spacious, quiet, with air conditioning, ceiling fan and a mini fridge. The swimming pool was my favourite spot, specially at night with all the fire torches and candles lit. Very moody and welcoming. The food was a fantastic surprise; from a beautiful steak to seafood platters, all the dishes I had were excellent. On the weekend there was a fire dance show at the Resort. Very entertaining. The staff was always ready to help and they make you feel at home. Great place for a family vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank maurorisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsResort, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2016

Dear Valued guest

We are sorry for the delayed response to your review. We are very thankful for all feedback both positive and constructive. The time you have taken to share this is appreciated.

We have had new management in place since March 2015, we have spent the last 15 months lifting many aspects and features of the hotel, this included menus, training, reservations and check in processes.

If there is any aspect of your review which has not been rectified and you would like to discuss it in further detail, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at elliot@coconutpalms.vu.

If you are planning another trip, check out our website for the best rates online.

Many thanks

Elliot Agius

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

This was my fifth stay and I'll be back again as it's good value, especially if you find a deal online. It doesn't have all the facilities of the big resorts but it offers everything you need for a comfortable stay and only a short walking distance from town. Good option for a few nights stay in Vila.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
Thank Glyn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsResort, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2016

Dear Valued guest

We are sorry for the delayed response to your review. We are very thankful for all feedback both positive and constructive. The time you have taken to share this is appreciated.

We have had new management in place since March 2015, we have spent the last 15 months lifting many aspects and features of the hotel, this included menus, training, reservations and check in processes.

If there is any aspect of your review which has not been rectified and you would like to discuss it in further detail, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at elliot@coconutpalms.vu.

If you are planning another trip, check out our website for the best rates online.

Many thanks

Elliot Agius

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Our family stayed for 7 nights. Cooked breakfast each morning was delicious. Our kids spent a lot of time in the pool and on rainy days, played pool. All the staff are very friendly and went out of their way many times to cater for all our needs. Nothing was too much trouble, and they always did their job with a smile. We were given great advice about tours and things to see. It's only a short walk to the main shopping street (or 150 Vatu by bus). The whole place is very clean. We stayed in a Deluxe room, complete with air conditioning, full kitchen facilities and even a hair dryer. During our week, we saw the wonderful fire dancers, reggae nuts, kava tasting and trivia night. I will recommend Coconut Palms to everyone, especially families.

Room Tip: Read the room descriptions before you book. I recommend a Deluxe room.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank Bron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsVanuatu, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Dear Valued Customer,

We thank you for taking the time to write your review at our Trip Advisor page and furthermore we are delighted that you have really enjoyed your stay with us.

Accordingly let us know if you visit us again as we will be more than happy to welcome you back to our resort.

Kind regards,

Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

The staff were really friendly and couldn't do enough for us on our holiday. They helped with booking tours and transfers and thanks to them, my holiday went very smoothly! Very cheap yet comfortable and the food from the restaurant food is delicious. The tapas were my favourite. I would recommend to people who want to be close to the city, whilst staying in a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Tiscal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsVanuatu, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for sharing your review on your recent holiday experience with the Coconut Palms Resort. Accordingly this resort is known for value for money as we continue to pride ourselves as your Vanuatu friend!

Tapas is our delicious local cuisine we encourage all our visitors to experience whilst staying at Coconut Palms Resort and we are happy that you enjoyed it.

Until next time we are always at your service whenever you decide to discover what matters for Vanuatu!

Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Just booked my 6th with coconut palms. I visit Port Vila twice a year & have stayed at several other places & there is good reason why i have just booked my 6th stay with them, great value.

'yes' they do have some low budget small rooms with out air-cond & shared bathrooms.. Those that complain here clearly can't (or didnt bother) read a room description as its all laid out in plain english what amenities the room has when you book.

Rooms are clean although varied. Pool is fantastic after a walk back from town which is a 5 min walk but up hill coming home. Nakamal right next door for some kava & small shop across the road for snacks. I love the breakfasts…allways the same but tasty & plenty. Fire show is not to be missed.

Staff are always a great bunch & very friendly & will help out anytime. Those whom have not travelled to the South Pacific before, be aware that sometimes things are done on 'island time'.

Room Tip: Read …what your room booking does & does not include, its all explained clearly.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank markdimad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CoconutPalmsVanuatu, Manager at Coconut Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Dear Valued Customer,

We thank you for being our repeated valuable customer and we sincerely thank you for sharing your experience on our Trip Advisor page.

Coconut Palms Resort will always prides itself as your Vanuatu Friend and we will continue to maintain this value for service experience to all our customers however please allow us to add to your comments by saying; 'one can fully appreciate the uniqueness of Vanuatu when you travel with less expectations but rather an open mind'

Thus our friendly Staff and Management are already looking forward to welcoming you again to Coconut Palms Resort in your next visit.

Thank you.

Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coconut Palms Resort

Address: Cornwall Street, PO Box 1515, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Port Vila
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: $55 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Coconut Palms Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the Award Wining, Coconut Palms Resort we pride ourselves as "Your Vanuatu Friend" where our happy staff will do everything possible to ensure that you: Stay, Relax & Enjoy all that the resort and beautiful Vanuatu has to offer. We are governed by our mission: "To be the best value resort in Vanuatu where service is not compromised and happy memories are guaranteed." ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coconut Palms Hotel Port Vila
Coconut Palms Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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