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“A real piece of Paradise”

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Paradise Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A real piece of Paradise”
Reviewed October 27, 2006

My husband, 13 yr old son and I spent 11 nights at Paradise Cove in late Sept/ early Oct. It is less expensive and 'touristy' than the big resorts, and we absolutely loved it. We loved the setting on a small beach some way out of town with some great walking trails to other deserted beaches nearby. We had a roomy 2 bedroom bungalow - great for a family - providing parental privacy. The bedrooms are larger than normal in this sort of resort, though the bathroom was small. Sizable living room with kitchen facilities, and best of all a covered outdoor patio area complete with hammock and lounge chairs and a small table. There were a couple of other boys about our son's age there and all three just took off kayaking, snorkelling, night-time hermit crabbing and getting one of the staff members to cut open coconuts for them to drink - leaving the parents pretty much to their own relaxed devices.

The resort fees included continental breakfast which you could have down at the small covered outdoor dining area by the water's edge and overlooking the bay and beach. (Great spot for breakfast watching the fish jumping, or romantic dining at night with soft background music and candles). Lunch was available if you wanted it. Dinner menus were great - everybody seemed to enjoy dining in for most of their evenings. We had a couple of meals in Port Vila, but were more than content to eat at Paradise Cove. My husband says that the fillet steak with honey-soy sauce was the best meat he'd ever eaten. Wine tends to be French, expensive and not as good as Aussie reds or kiwi whites. However we bought a couple of bottles of NZ Stoneleigh Cab Blanc at a wine shop in town and had a glass or two each evening. Buy your Tusker beer at Au Bon Marche in town for drinks on your bungalow patio - it's only 200VT there.

The resort is set back from the small beach with good snorkelling, though there is a bit of damaged coral from a big storm a few years ago and the fish need feeding to bring them around. The resort is set in a lovely garden setting, we were lucky enough to have a small view of the bay from ours. Fairly sheltered, we heard only one mozzie in the bungalow at night and by leaving the overhead fans on through the night we kept the mozzies away. Only 10 bungalows in the resort means that it is quiet and peaceful - and no TV/ DVD's or phones. Bliss. The bungalows were built by local villagers and are traditional in style - simple, rustic, but comfortable. Bathroom fine - nothing special, but plenty of hot water and good though small shower. Small downside - towels were a disappointment, thin and getting a bit worn - they need to buy some new ones!

Resort is low key - a few kayaks, snorkelling gear and bikes available for guests, a few books, games, small pool hardly used, volley ball court, fooz ball game near the dining area/ bar - a couple of well behaved resort dogs, that's about it. Staff were charming - many from the local Pango village, very gracious and service was great. They seemed like good friends by the time we left.

The distance from town was a concern before we went - a pot holed road beyond Pango village (about 10 mins drive from the village across the peninsula to the Port Vila side). But it wasn't so bad - the drivers all seem expert at dodging the pot-holes that are a fact of life in Vanuatu. And we actually enjoyed the contact we got with villagers - several times we went walking in the morning up to the village, and visited their local school one morning. The resort has it's own bus leaving for town every morning at 9.30, and one could time it right to go back with the resort bus, or simply catch a local bus back (bus trips from Port Vila to Paradise Cove cost 200VT per person, the resort bus charges this as well and you just pay the driver). Callie and Nathan, the resident managers, were never far away if you needed to make a phone call or get advice on a tour/ trip / they would happily book it for you. Very relaxed, good-natured - nothing was too much trouble.

If you're staying at Paradise Cove then e-mail the management for suggestions and take up some school gear for the local school. Also arrange to get some end of roll printing paper from the local paper for the school too, only a couple of hundred VT per roll. Take an early morning walk along the road from Paradise Cove to the village and say good morning to all the locals, their smiles make a great start to the day.

We would happily stay at Paradise Cove again. Just a great site to lay back and relax, and Port Vila is easily accessible.

ABSOLUTELY GR8!!!!!!! (My son's contribution).

  • Liked — larger bedroom, privacy, covered patio
  • Stayed September 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Waikikamoocow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
sydney
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2006

My wife, my two year old and I stayed at Paradise Cove first week in August '06 and we have nothing but good things to say about the place. The staff were friendly but unobtrusive, knowledgeable and professional. They were also very caring and helpful when our son got sick - nothing to do with the food which was very good. The bungalows and grounds were immaculately maintained, as were the swimming pool and small sandy beach area. The resort's driver, Moses, was always available to take us into Port Vila (20 mins - 200 Vatu = about $2 USD pp) and was a very safe and courteous "chauffeur".
We thought we had booked a one bedroom bungalow while in Australia, but were pleasantly suprised when we got there to find ourselves in a more spacious 2 bedroom bungalow.
Nice local girl available for babysitting who charged us $10 USD for the whole night - ask for Sarah.
Each night we had a drink under the large Melanesian style thatched rotunda then down a few more steps to have dinner right next to the ocean. This place is so far removed from the resorts in Port Vila. It is very quiet and as there are only 10 bungalows it seemed on many days like we had the place to ourselves. Nothing tacky about it.
On the downside, we had cloudy weather most of the time while there and right at the ocean's edge it is all broken coral, so bring good reef shoes. (The little beach was P.C's attempt to bring some sand to the place!)
We would definitely recommend it and would visit this place again.

Helpful?
7 Thank walkabout007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forster, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2006

A delightful escape from the rat-race with the name most apt. Stayed with family members including a toddler and 12 year old. Coral snorkelling right on the doorstep, kayaks, sand volleyball. Accommodation was spacious and private, each bungalow set in its own lush tropical garden. Bungalows had limited cooking facilities. On-site restaurant was idyllic, sitting in the open air right next to the water,with substantial and delicious continential breakfast included in the tariff. On-site owners and staff were most friendly and helpful. We visited other resorts during our stay (some more up-market) & still preferred Paradise Cove. The only negatives were lack of beach towels (bring your own or otherwise you must buy them on-site - about Au$25 each), the damaged snorkelling gear, most of which was not useable (bring your own mask & flippers) and the distance from town on a VERY rough road (20 minutes & Au$2.50 pp by mini-bus each way, although some tour operators will collect you free if the numbers warrant the trip). Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank narla20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 15, 2006

We stayed here for 6 nights and loved it. This property has 10 fully self contained rooms and is located 15 minutes drive from Port Vila or 25 minutes from the airport. The roads to get there were terrible (all roads were bad in Vanuatu) as it had been raining for a few days but once there it is worth the trip. As the property was out of town it was quiet and relaxing. The rooms were set in 5 separate buildings so there were 2 rooms per buildiing. The style of accommodation was traditional roof covered with palm fronds, very high ceilings, rendered walls inside and out, and timber floors. While we were there (winter) it was warm and tropical in the evenings so we used the ceiling fans every night. The night temperature only varies slightly from the day. As there are not many guests at the one time the staff got to know us and made us feel at home. The food at the restaurant was good and the service friendly. We found the prices the same as eating at restaurants in Australia. The beach at the resort is coral so reef shoes are a must. The snorkeling at the resort was good however there was not much colour in the coral. The resort had a bus to take guests into and back from town however there is a charge of 200VT per person (around $2.50) each way. Town is too far to walk to. We did a few tours while there and hightly reccommend the Lelepa Island Day Tour and The Mele Cascades Waterfall Tour including the optional lunch. We also went to a traditional feast while there and would not reccommend it. The locals are extremely friendly and laid back so tours don't always run on time. We had a fantastic time and found it very relaxing. We would stay at Paradise Cove again.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2006

We stayed at Paradise Cove for 6 nights in May 2006, and booked direct with the resort. Paradise Cove was a very pleasant and relaxing place to stay, the service is excellent (if a little laid-back, Vanuatu style!), and even at its standard rate, quite reasonably priced compared to the big hotel chains. The highlights of our stay were definitely snorkling and kayaking on reef off the resort's private beach and borrowing the mountain bikes to explore the nearby villages.

On the downside, however, is the fact that the resort is quite a long way from Vila. (Although, those of you who have previously visited Port Vila - which bears a striking resemblance to Port Moresby - will probably see this as an advantage). This is a good thing for the first couple of days, when the novelty of winding down into holiday mode is still fresh, but you soon start to want to get out and explore. You can either organise to catch the hotel's mini bus (200vt pp each way) or a taxi (probably about 1500-2000vt). Because it needs to be organised, and because going to and forth ended up being a little pricey, we felt a little restricted by the location.

Also, don't believe the rhetoric about dining in Vanuatu...we tried meals at pretty much all of the places recommended on the internet and in the guidebooks and were fairly disapointed by the quality of food especially for the price. You will probably end up using the kitchenette!!!

We had a very nice time in Vanuatu, it is a great place to visit if you are young and adventurous. We loved getting out from the resort and doing tours (don't miss Lelepa Island tour - fantastic!!), horse-riding, scuba diving (Big Blue will pick you up from beach!!), and plenty of snorkling and walking. The locals are extremely warm, friendly and trustworthy; you always feel safe, and their are no touts or bargaining.

In some ways, however, Vanuatu is a difficult place to visit if you are at all politically aware - its hard to enjoy a meal when you are paying $25 for a main course and you know that the waiter is taking home $1.80 per hour (and won't accept tips), or accidently walking through a shanty town, or seeing Vila hospital with its open drains, or little children playing in rubbish. Despite the glossy brochures, Vanuatu is definetly a 3rd world country. For this reason, I am not sure that I would choose Vanuatu for a special occasion holiday, like a honeymoon, unless you planned to spend the whole time in a resort.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Paula123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wagga wagga
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2006

Just got back today from my 10 day honeymoon to Vanuatu, which began with 7 nights at Paradise Cove. We went there initially as we got a very good deal through Coral Seas, and we are very glad we did!

At first I was a bit apprehensive as the road to paradise cove isn't the best (but after we travelled some more we discovered all of vanuatus roads are like that), however as soon as we arrived I was awestruck. The resort is a little way out of town so it is very quiet, and there were only another 3 or 4 couples there the whole time we were there.

On arrival, we were greeted with a complimentary fruit cocktail, and as we were honeymooners, there was a large list of complimentary inclusions. My favourite one was the palm-leaves they constructed around the doorway in the shape of a heart decorated with fresh hibiscuses and frangipanis every morning. Our room was filled with small tokens of fresh flowers everyday also, and in addition to that being honeymooners we got a complimentary fruit platter, a complimentary dinner and a bottle of sparkling wine.

While we were there it was my husbands birthday, so in conjunction with the manager I organised a suprise candlelit dinner on the jetty for him. It was beautiful! And to top it off, the resort organised a cake and brought it to us, singing Happy Birthday in french to him!
We had a great time during our stay there, and despite the distance from town we found it relatively easy to organise lifts into town with the bus-driver, Moses, and we hired a car for 2 days to travel to other parts of the island. We found all the staff to be very friendly, with some of them even inviting us and other guests out for a night on the town.

We left to go to Tanna and then stayed at Mangoes in Vila the last night. But out of all of it, Paradise Cove was definitely our favourite place, and we will definitely be heading back there sometime!!!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jakiesmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gisborne, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2006

We stayed for a week and loved it! The Italian food was wonderful, freshly made pasta everyday. Friendly staff and transport in to Port Vila if you timed it right! Mostly we walked in to the village (10mins) and caught one of the little buses. Only complaint was the pool was unusable when we were there.
I would certainly recommend to people who don't want a big resort and value their privacy.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ruthzmail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradise Cove Resort

Property: Paradise Cove Resort
Address: Paradise Cove | Pango, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port Vila
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#1 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#3 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#6 Business Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Paradise Cove Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This private and intimate small resort is located 15 minutes from downtown Port Vila. It offers 10 self contained One and Two Bedroom villas in a well established tropical garden by the ocean. The beautiful reef offers great snorkeling and diving opportunities with an easy access from the private beach and jetty. Under an iconic traditional roof celebrating the Melanesian architecture, the restaurant serves the best fresh local ingredients prepared with a Mediterranean touch. With a relaxed atmosphere Paradise Cove Resort provides a genuine tropical island holiday. Please note that the access by boat to our private jetty is strictly limited. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradise Cove Hotel Port Vila
Paradise Cove Port Vila
Paradise Cove Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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