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“Laid Back, Lazy, Typically Tropical” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Benjor Beach Club

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Benjor Beach Club
Ranked #25 of 48 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Laid Back, Lazy, Typically Tropical”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2007

Our family of 2 adults and 3 kids stayed in one of the 4 bedroom houses at Benjour. It was spacious, clean and well maintained. There were 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, gas BBQ and a laundry with washing machine. There is no tv reception, next time we would buy some of the cheap dvds from the Chinese shops in Vila to play for the kids in the afternoons when its too hot to go out in the sun. the house was situated in its own private garden separate from the smaller accomodation units. Great for the kids to run around. There is also a big grassed area next door if the kids wanted to kick a ball around. The accomodation is fan cooled only, wasn't really a problem for us really as the house was very airy and whilst the sun was very hot there was always a breeze. I probably wouldn't book to stay there from January to March though as I think it would get hotter and more humid and I am an airconditioning junkie. But then I probably wouldn't go to Vanuatu at all during that time so not really a criticism of Benjor.

In the time we were there it appeared maybe only one or two of the other units were occupied so it was very quiet, apart from the final construction work on the new units near our house, (some earthworks while we were there) I would think that they would be finished and occupied by now.

The pool is very basic but we never had to share it with other guests, it was like having our own private pool! The beach is coral rather than sand, you definitely need to take reef shoes or crocs to walk on the beach or swim. The breeze comes across the bay so there was often a small wave coming onto the beach. I personally wouldn't bring very small children here, the seawall at the front of our accomodation was quite high, there were steps down to the water but no beach (it was further along)

We found the snorkling good and very accessible. At high tide, you can walk straight in and swim out maybe 25 metres, we had our own gear. The reef to the left of the beach has some very nice coral, and loads of small fish, very relaxing and calming just floating over the coral. The kids loved the "nemos" and the little blue fish that swam in schools and hid in the coral when you got too close.

We arranged to stop at the Supermarket on the way from the airport and bought what we needed for the 3 days we stayed. We ate at the restaurant on the last night, food was good and reasonably priced by Vanuatu standards.

We never went to town or on any other excursions as we only stayed a few days and had another 10 days at Le Lagon after our stay at Benjor so can't comment on the availability of transport etc. The resort arranged our transfers from the airport with Melanesian Tours, then also arranged for them to take us in to Le Lagon at the end of our stay, This worked very well for us.

Benjor is for you if you want:

Spacious Accomodation, easy good snorkling, very quiet.

Benjor is not for you if you want:

Sandy beach ( same in most places in Vanuatu) airconditioning, easy access to town, entertainment, partying.

We will go back, probably in the winter months, to enjoy its enforced relaxation for a busy family.

  • Liked — Spacious, Clean, Quiet, Good Snorkling
  • Disliked — No Airconditioning
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 3littlepigsgotroppo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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347 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Australasia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2007

We arrived at Benjor for our last night after having stayed at Tanna, and at a different place in port vila on our first night. Perhaps our expectations were a little high, however, I believe I am justified in writing a review from a room perspective as opposed to the people who booked "the retreat". First of all... it is a secluded location, away from the city. It also has a nice restaurant with decent portions for meals and good music. The food was also delicious and the view while eating is really good. The local staff are really friendly too. The bed was comfortable.
Having said that... we booked based on the reviews here and based on the price... believing the more you pay, the better it is. This just isn't the case for Benjor. There is a little bit of false advertising going on. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. We were expecting 4 star resort, 23 acres of landscaped gardens, white sandy beaches and perfect snorkelling 10 minutes from Port Vila.
What we found instead had us a little dumbfounded. The snorkelling is poor, even if you get the tides perfect, most of the coral is dead. The snorkelling gear is old, in three boxes and unwashed. The flippers aren't paired and are all sized below 5 or above a 10. So my partner and I couldn't fit the flippers. The 'sand' beach is broken coral and in a bad state of disrepair.. tyre tracks and broken glass on the 25 metre stretch of beach as well as tired plastic lounges. The 23 acres of garden is mostly a flat open plain of grass. The quiet tranquillity of the resort is broken by construction on new villas (can you imagine drilling while trying to relax by the pool?)... It is also the departure point for the local kayak tour and buggy tour operator (so again the tranquillity just isn't there). If you book the 'retreat' then this wouldn't affect you. The concrete putt putt golf course is unplayable due to the debris on it.... Because of the construction, we lost power several times during the day.. once while having a shower, which turned the water pressure down which in turn lost us the hot water. Also no power meant no fan... in Vanuatu you need A/C or a fan.
The room doesn't have A/C. Neither did it have a bath tub. There are emergency numbers on the wall and room service for meals, but no phone (what's the point?). There is a tv and dvd player, but no channels (so you can only use it if you hire a dvd.. which costs money). And our room didn't include breakfast, which at a couple hundred a night is a bit rich. The room was missing a beach towel and the hand soap is diluted with water. Basically they lack attention to detail.
Anyway, we had lunch and it took two hours (which was the last straw) so we decided to get out of there and go to town. So we told reception... and they asked if we could wait an hour and we could go in with the staff vehicle at 4:30pm. Then we asked if they could ring for a taxi.. 5 minutes later we were still waiting as they didn't have any taxi number. They called a local bus for us and it did come to take us to town about 10 minutes after that. The resort is more like 15 minutes from town by bus which you have to organise and wait 20 minutes for. But the return is more difficult as it is a little off the main route for buses. So we ended up taking a taxi back for 3000vt. The driver then gave us some advice about where we should have stayed...thanks mate.
As it was light at 5am, we were up and ready for breakfast at 7am... but they didn't open until 8am and the manager did make us feel foolish for being awake so early.
The management made no apologies for the construction, gave us no explanation for the loss of power (even though they were running around yelling at their staff for the reason for the loss of power) and didn't make us feel welcome. A simple ‘sorry’ for the electricity disruption as well as asking us how our stay was would have been nice.
It is only now while reading other reviews mentioning cascades do I realise that we weren't even given a map of the area to find the cascades. Apparantly there is a decent snorkelling spot a few km's down the road, but they aren't really into sharing info. They do expect you to relax in the room, on the balcony, in the restaurant and watching dvds. Heaven forbid if you have other ideas. I include photos so that you can make your own judgement...
It was an unpleasant way to finish an otherwise perfect Holiday. Port Vila is great and Tanna wonderful. The locals are friendly and interesting.. but the white expat managers can be distant. We will be coming back, but next time we will choose our place much more carefully.

  • Liked — the bed was comfortable
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank kezsco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2007

My husband and I have just returned from the most wonderful, relaxing , happy,enchanting holiday in Vanuatu....and all of the thanks go to the attentive, caring,happy, nothing is ever any trouble managers and staff of Benjor . From the moment you arrive at this resort with it's breath taking scenery , you are made to feel part of this unique family . The bungalows are spacious,sparkling clean ( daily), and a sundeck to enjoy the wonderful view of Mele Beach.
Every day my husband went for his daily run and came back to the refreshing pool. Breakfast is served daily and we are missing our tropical breakfast very much!!!!
Thankyou Jane,David,Fred,Sandrine and everybody else who made our stay soooo very memorable. The food is magnificent especially the fish and the cob bread . The pina colada cocktail and the Benjor Blue cocktail ( made with blue curacao )are DELICIOUS. As are the tusker beers!!!
Cliff and I will never look to stay anywhere other than Benjor. We have beenn very spoilt and would return wirthout hesitation.
Benjor is close to Cascade waterfalls and hideaway Island...and a request for a bus to take us there was never a problem for the staff, and buses are always available on return when requested or just a wait at the bustop with the wonderful local people for around 200vt.
Once again we had the most wonderful experience and it was made easier for us as strangers in a new country by this wonderful resort Benjor and it's magnificent staff. Thankyou to all
Anita and Cliff Smith

  • Liked — Cleanliness,Quietness,Views,Staff,EVERYTHING
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank nina-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Benjor Beach Club

Property: Benjor Beach Club
Address: Devils Point Road, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Benjor Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lovely boutique 3.5 star resort located 15 mins from Port Vila and 10 minutes from the International Airport, on 23 acres of absolute oceanfront, all Villas with ocean views, fabulous restaurant and wedding chapel, simply delightful. Attractions within 5 mins from Benjor include kayaking and snorkelling tours, diving, horseriding, zorbing, Firedancing, Jungle Zipline, International Golf Course, Botanical Gardens and the world famous Cascades Waterfalls. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Benjor Beach Club Hotel Port Vila
Benjor Beach Hotel
Benjor Beach Resort
Benjor Beach Club Vanuatu/Port Vila

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