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“REMEMBER THE CONCEPT OF "THE HOLIDAY" ?”
Review of Benjor Beach Club

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Benjor Beach Club
Ranked #29 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 5, 2010

Benjor Beach Club - WOW! In desperate need of a truly relaxing break - yeah, a HOLIDAY I believe it used to be called - I was not disappointed. Dilemma after dilemma confronted me from time of arrival: What to choose from the exquisite menu, Where to sit in the gorgeous open-air restaurant to ensure the best view for the time of day, Which cocktail to try, and Which wine from the extensive list would best complement my meal? Fortunately, there was always help at hand! The staff at Benjor? Rate them World-Class! They're absolutely committed to ensuring your every whim is catered for. Each time I'd come back from a morning or day of 'gruelling' adventuring, I was greeted by a fresh towel, crisply made bed, and a stunning floral arrangement clipped from the local surrounds. Happy hour? Man! I was happy for the whole 264 hours I was there! My bed was so comfy I didn't want to get out, but I didn't want to miss a second of any day. The weather wasn't that great, but every effort was made by the Benjor Team to ensure I enjoyed my stay. Their recommendations of great places to visit ranged from sightseeing, and active stuff like kayaking, great walks and the best places for scuba/snorkelling (which turned out to be right on the doorstep!) - even a "ME" day at a Spa! ooohh how indulgent! Going by the day's forecast, they developed my 'list of possibilities' from fabulous restaurants at spectacular locations around the island, Cascade Falls (OMG everyone must do it!), the 'coral gardens' in Havannah Harbour, or the best place to sit and read a book out of the breeze, under a shady tree and just listen to the lapping of the sea - actually I never finished that book as I was so relaxed I kept dozing off! I don't think I've ever been anywhere where people actually seem pleased to see you - they SMILE - yeah, All The Time! And the house-staff sing whilst they're working - that was the coolest thing to wake up to after a 'nano nap'! Oh!!! That, and the pesky sound of the sea and the occasional dropping coconut - yeah, what an annoying disruption to my "Z" time! Moreover, nothing was too much effort - all I had to do was ask! I could ramble on for hours about how fantastic this place is, but I don't want too many people discovering my little secret... My précis: If you want a Low Budget "Booze Up" with crowds, noise, and heaps to "not do", go to Benidorm. If you want a Megabux Boutique Break, maybe the starchy pristine-ness of St Barts or Bora Bora are more your style. But if you want a great value, fair dinkum HOLIDAY where YOU get to choose, I can't recommend Benjor highly enough! Seriously - put your watch on Vanuatu time and book into Benjor: I arrived DIstressed and left DE-stressed! Only 364 sleeps till I can go back! TWO THUMBS UP!!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank SimmyCoops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 4, 2010

Me and my wife got married and decided to head to beautiful Vanuatu. My wife made most of the arrangements, and decided to stay in the Benjor Beach Club, on the main island of Efate.
Benjor is about ten minutes from the airport and fifteen minutes from the capital Port Vila. It's located on a private secure road alongside picturesque Mele Bay. I had wanted to stay in the city of Vila proper, but my wife overrode my judgement. And how glad I am that she did!
Benjor is not an enormous international type resort. It has only a limited number of one two and five bedroom villas, as well as "The Retreat", a private spot for honeymooners or those whishing to recapture the romance of their honeymoon. Having only limited rooms makes you feel like a person and not a number. It's reassuring to see the same friendly and outstanding staff each day, as opposed to having to look for a name badge every time you need to ask for something.
As honeymooners, we opted for "The Retreat". It's a very private setting, while still being thirty seconds from the bar and restaurant. It has its own private spa, tv and dvd, fridge, toilet and {huge!} shower, all done in elegant tropical style. The highlight though is "Honeymoon Point" - a short pathway from your door takes you to your very own private and secluded coral balcony overlooking Mele Bay and the Pacific. Words truly do not describe how beautiful the view from here is. Breathtaking.
The Retreat features only fans, but the place is screened throughout so you can open up all four sides windows to get a truly outstanding tropical crossbreeze. Underneath the leafy trees and with the sea breeze blowing, you realise how extraneous air con would be. You're cooled naturally, and the only sound you can hear is the mighty pacific crashing onto the coral. Sitting on the terrace in the late afternoon with one of the wonderful cocktails the Benjor staff make is one of lifes great pleasures.
A thirty second walk takes you to the Officers Club Bar and Restaurant. Benjor was built on the original American Officers Club during World War Two, and an unpaved tile near the bar is evidence of the original foundations. There is a freshwater stream to a plunge pool between the restaurant and the Retreat, and it is said that the Americans created the plunge pool with hand grenades!
The bar and restaurant is truly outstanding, open for breakfast from eight until ten, and then from noon until late. You can opt for a buffet style breakfast as part of your package, or choose from the breakfast menu. Awesome ambience here as you sit and eat outstanding food overlooking the bay while the attentive staff pay attention to your needs.
Benjors chefs were trained the French way, making everything from scratch. Although you may have to wait a little longer than if you were at a chain style resort, the results are truly worth it. I have never eaten food so consistently outstanding....and I've been to France. The local produce is just fantastic, and the way the food is prepared brings out every flavour. Portion sizes are enormous, and very reasonably priced. You will eat cheaper at Benjor than most places in Port Vila, and on a level that I simply cannot describe. The coconut crab - a local delicacy - is the finest meal I've eaten in my whole life bar none. There is a set menu, and specials from the board, depending on what produce may be available. The portions are enormous, and to completely finish a Benjor three course meal would be worthy of a footnote in the Guinness Book of Records, such is the richness of the food.
Indeed, many travellers come to Benjor just for dinner, an option well worth taking should you not be able to secure a room. I've never eaten so well in my life, and I suspect I might not again - until I return to Benjur!
The resort itself features a beautiful inground swimming pool, a private white sand beach, and access to some of the most beautiful coral you will ever snorkel over. There is also a tennis court, a rather odd mini-golf course, a volleyball court, sand pit, and giant chess board. The swimming pool is a good option for those who just want to swim without coral. But five minutes down the road is Mele Beach, the best "black sand" beach on Efate. Here you can splash around in quite safe {although very salty} waters, and then maybe head up to the Beach Bar for a local brew.
Benjor is located in a simply perfect spot to my mind, only minutes from local attractions like the Cascade Waterfalls {a MUST if on Efate} and The Secret Garden, while still close enough to go into Vila and do some shopping. Down the private road is the village of Mele, the largest on Efate and home of simply the friendliest people you will ever meet. Me and my wife had a few dramas with bus drivers from Port Vila, but cannot say enough about the Mele people. They are the kindest, most big hearted people you could ever hope to meet.
Nothing is too much trouble at Benjor, just ask the staff and they will make it happen. I had wanted to try the local herb Kava, and a quick talk to Ronnie at the desk meant within an hour I was in a local "nakamal" {kava bar} in Mele enjoying their traditional herb and food. Going for a kava is the Ni-Vanuatus people equivalent of having a beer after work. They drink it at dark, and then talk and unwind whilst enjoying their dinner. The only cost you will pay is the Kava itself - very cheap - and your bus ride there and back, for a truly unique cultural experience.
The staff are all incredibly friendly, and will answer any questions you have about their lifestyle and their country freely. They are rightfully proud of their incredible history and culture, and more than willing to share their knowledge of it. All of the staff speak three or four languages, and have a total understanding of English so their is no language gap.
I could carry on forever about Benjor, but like so many things in Vanuatu, words do not do it justice. The only way to experience this breathtakingly happy place is to get their yourself. Me and my wife have just returned, and cannot wait to go back. It is truly the best part of the best place in the world, and I urge anyone who has an opportunity to go there to do so. You will not be disappointed.
Salud' Benjor!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank deucelow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2010

Short but sweet - picked Benjor at random for a quick escape on a tight budget - couldn't have chosen better - huge rooms with great views, clean and comfortable. Staff were great. Food was good. Didn't do much - just hung out by the pool and drank and ate way too much! Would like to have stayed from longer.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alwayshopeful79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2010

We tavelled to Vanuatu with a large group of about 25 for my friend's wedding. How cool - wish I could redo mine again at Benjor. The wedding chapel opens to the ocean, the water was blue, the path had beautiful flowers thrown all the way down to the heart shaped sand drawing in the chape. Seriously romantic! We stayed in a oen bedroom unit which had great ocean views, was very large and comfortable and yes, you do sleep better when you can hear teh sound of the ocean. Nola & david and the staff were really terriffic - food was good - about the same sort of prices as a good Bistro in Oz and the variety was great. Port Vila town itself is not much but I can recommend the markets and there are some good shops selling look alike designer tshirts and bags. We caught the local buses everywhere and only had to wait about 10 to 20 mins for the staff at Benjor to order us one - not bad for "island time". All in all - great spot - will be back - maybe to renew my own vows... Keep up the good work.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank Wantacomeback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2010

This resort is in a beautiful location and has well kept grounds and public areas but the rooms and facilities are atrocious. We arrived late at night to be shown to our room by a security guard and I was astounded (in a bad way!) when we walked in. The furnishings are bedding were so poor and run down. The sheets had holes in them and were grey with wear. There was no TV connected (DVDs were available from reception), no phone in the room so no way of contacting anyone other than walking to reception. The bathroom facilities were poor - no toiletries, an old bottle of soap, no hot water and the towels were grey. Our room was serviced only once during our stay of 5 nights. Overall very disappointing. The owners seemed to be trying their best, but there is no way we would return.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank judentom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this place, and when I compared it to many of the other places on Efate, I felt very lucky that I had booked a bungalow here!
The Benjor Beach Club is about 10-15 minutes of driving north of Port Vila (be careful, it's too far to walk, you will have to take a bus into town which will cost around 400 Vatu or AUD$5 each way). In the beginning, I was a little disappointed by that, but learned to appreciate it later, because it is a lot more quiet and remote, and not as dirty as many of the places close to Vila.
The palms and lawns around the bungalows are in very nice condition, and the bungalows themselves are very spacious and airy, with good mosquito netting. The amenities might not be top-of-the-rank, but everything is very clean, and trust me, for Vanuatu standards, they were exceptional.
There is no real beach at Benjor, it's rather razor sharp dead corals, so you can only swim at high tide. However, once you have made it over the coral, for example with one of the kayaks you can hire there, you basically have your very own reef to explore right in front of your door step.
The restaurant as part of Benjor is very nice, once again particularly for Vanuatu standards. After I had seen other food places, I ate every meal at Benjor, and it was delicious!
The staff were extremely helpful with EVERYTHING! The manager sat down with me for about an hour to plan my activities for the next 3 days, and then got on the phone and booked it all for me. Other staff members often sat down with me when they saw me sitting alone at my table and chatted with me, which I very much appreciated.

I enjoyed my stay at Benjor Beach Club and would recommend it to others. Yes, it is a little off the main centre, but once you have seen Vila, you will understand that this is a positive thing :-)

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Matthias S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2010

Miranda provided us with a free upgrade from a studio apartment to a 4 bedroom house. We had 3 kids under 10 and this was such a terrific bonus for our 5 day stay. The house was immaculate and in such a beautiful setting. Everyone at the resort was very courteous and helpful. It wasn't great beach weather due to the wind but the grounds are huge and the kids raced around happily playing mini golf and soccer with the gardeners. To top it all off we left some clothes behind which Benjor located and very kindly offered to post back to NZ at their cost. Big Ups to Benjor.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank sb1000
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

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:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Port Vila
#15 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: $82 - $112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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