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“Close to town centre”

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Grand Hotel And Casino
Ranked #21 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
canberra
Level Contributor
100 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Close to town centre”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

All rooms in the hotel face the beautiful Port Vila harbour - good for seeing cruise ships come in and all rooms have a balcony. Nice just sitting and watching boats go by in the mornings. The better rooms are at higher levels. The sun comes into the room in the afternoon and can make the room quite hot, so you need to draw the curtains. The rooms are fully air conditioned - which you need in the hotter, humid months.

A glass window separates the bathroom from the rest of the room, but you can draw blinds if you are modest! There is a separate shower and toilet - with glass doors. The shower had crappy water pressure and there was no ledge to put shampoo or soap - just the floor. The bathroom vanity unit was not big enough to fit the toiletries bag. Apart from this the room was clean, although showing some signs of age.

There are a small TV channels (free to air and cable) number channels - even a TV channel from Australia - Imparja.

The pool is small but it does the job and keeps you cool. There is a swim up bar - highly recommend the freshly squeezed lime drinks with crushed ice - so refreshing.

My tariff included a full hot and cold buffet breakfast. There was a good selection of tropical fruits. If you like eggs - there is a woman who cooks them any way you like them - poached, fried, omelette, scrambled - all freshly made to order. Staff are very polite and welcoming. If you like your espresso coffee, one will be made to order for about 300VT. I ate at the hotel restaurant for lunch and dinner except for two nights where I went to La Tentation (beautiful views, right beside the harbour). The meals were well presented and tasty - there was big Nepalese theme - curries etc. Every time you eat at the hotel restaurant you get vouchers to go into the Casino. I actually won money on the Poker Machine.

Internet was quite good value. You get 8hours of WiFi - it's a little slow but it does the job. If you need a top up like I did, reception staff will give you another 8 hours worth.

There is not much hotel car parking - around the side there is a gravel car park which you share with other cars, taxis, taxi vans. It's free, but one should be cautious with security. There is a plentiful supply of taxis and buses that go past the hotel. They often stop you on the hotel steps and ask if you want a lift. Taxis to the airport cost about 1500VT. Otherwise you can go on a shuttle bus.

The hotel overlooks Iririki Island Resort which is worth visiting as a day visitor for a small fee - the pool setting is beautiful. The ferry to the resort is near the hotel car park.

As I was here for work, the hotel was very central to my work needs. Downtown Port Vila is a bit gritty and traffic can be chaotic- there are no traffic lights in town, just roundabouts, so if you do drive take care - its right hand driving in Vanuatu! If I came back here for a holiday I would try staying at one of the resorts.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank aus59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Dear aus59

Thank you for your overall positive feedback and your excellent snapshot of Port Vila.

Kind regards

Carey Norton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

As the title mentions, we stayed at the Grand in September 2012. We being my husband, 2nd youngest daughter and her boyfriend, and our youngest son, and after a disastrous start to our holidays with Virgin, we let out a sigh of relief when we staggered into the Grand Hotel & Casino. Firstly I would like to thank George, you are my ray of sunshine and helped our family immensely. The hospitality staff, to numerous to mention, but I will mention Jeff from the pool bar, whom we had met before at Iririki, is a valuable member to the Grand, and an all round great guy, okay I tend to be a little biased lol. The restaurant staff were awesome, nothing absolutely nothing was a problem especially with my husbands special dietary requests. Thank you to the kitchen chef/s who came to greet my husband and speak to him about his diet.

The casino area was fun, had to ban the hubby for a day or two. It's a fun little area and fellow travellers don't take it seriously, just have a good time. Some of the locals are little bit shall we say, demanding at times with regards to a particular machine/s.

The rooms, as far as I/we were concerned - neat, tidy but warmish. It did take a little time for the a/c to kick in, but when it did, ahhh relief, and September isn't even the warmer months, they are yet to come! The bathroom was clean and tidy, in fact there was not one thing I could say or pick against at all. Other guests just seem to have way to much time on their hands oops go away evil twin sista.

The housemaids were a delight, in fact I can not speak highly enough of all the staff at the Grand Hotel and Casino. My husband and youngest son will be returning in December for a few days, I can't make it this time around, but hopefully I will be visiting sometime January 2013, as we are setting up a business in Port Vila and hope to use the Grand Hotel as a base until such time when we can buy a base in Port Vila.

So fellow travellers, we had an extremely enjoyable and relaxing time, however I did forget to mention the Spa. It is a tad to expensive, when there are others around in the immediate vicinity. Maybe the Spa side of things could be looked at price wise, but ambience wise very pleasant indeed.

Oh and also to the management, more day beds are required outside around the pool, they are extremely popular with not enough to go around.

Tangkutumas & I lukim yu afta

Room Tip: Try to learn a little bislama and have fun with the staff, their laughter is contagious and delightf...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank see paradisetra... a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Dear see paradisetra.... a

Thank you for your wonderful feedback, please be assured that this has been passed on to all staff concerned.

Kind regards

Carey Norton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin
Level Contributor
280 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Spent 2 nights here a week ago in the Harbour view room, and now back for a 3rd night. This older hotel is in a great location on the main road next to the CBD. Nice views of the harbour from all or most rooms. The public areas are well laid and pleasant, if a bit dated, but with lovely views from the dining area. The roof top bar is a must for sunset drinks. The service from staff is very good, to excellent. The rooms are also a bit dated, and the age and lack of upkeep showed up in a couple of foibles in the room such as the shower swinging from boiling hot to cold, and the air con made some odd noises at times. But both were minor issues and not a deal breaker (and weren't evident in my second stay). Good buffett breakfast included as is free wi fi.

Expect no more than a 3.5 star hotel and you'll be very satisfied. For what I paid (under three-figure A$ + tax) overall the Grand is great value, and mostly a comfortable stay and I'd happily stay here again. Top-shelf mid range hotel.

Room Tip: Higher is a better view, but all rooms have nice views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank VinceDarwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Dear Vince Darwin

Thank you for overall positive feedback. Please be assured your comments have been well received.

Kind regards

Carey Norton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed in the Grand Central hotel for about a week.
The rooms were very worn down; mouldy carpet in the hallways (level 5), shower tiles mouldy etc. The room was nice with a good view, otherwise.
The casino is nice and the food was also quite good; average price for decent food.
Location is excellent - middle of town and in walking distance to everything.. I mean everything!
Staff were okay, but they were very tenacious with money; they want to charge you for everything and the service is just on average.
Overall, not a memorable hotel but great location. Would be excellent if they could do up the rooms and train the staff a bit better.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jngroen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carey N, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Dear jngroen

Thank you for your overall positive feedback. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed Port Vila.Thank you for your constructive comments, it is only through such feedback that we can improve our overall service and product.

Kind regards

Carey Norton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 21, 2012

I would really recommend this hotel. Well positioned, clean and great facilities. It was just so beautiful to sit by the pool and watch the amazing sunsets.
But above all the staff were so wonderful and helpful.
A big special thanks to Sylvie working there who was just so helpful and always smiling.
And the casino staff were just so wonderful also. A big special thanks to Bransen, Frederick and Manu for making our evenings there so enjoyable!!
I would recommend the Grand Hotel & Casino to anyone and already have!!
Thanks so much guys for adding so much to our amazing time in Vanuatu!!
Maria & Ivan

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maria V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 20, 2012

This was our first time to Vanuatu and our stay at the Grand was awesome. We stayed in a Harbour View room on the 3rd level and the views of the harbour was wonderful. Room was tidy and clean and bed was nice and comfortable. Staff were very friendly and caring, especially when I had an off day and not feeling very well. Their concern was very heartwarming and appreciated. Enjoyed the lovely buffet breakfasts and the welcoming smile of Hellene and also Jeff the bar tender who was a lot of fun. ALL staff we very helpful and friendly, going out of their way to make our stay even more enjoyable.

The people of Vanuatu are so very friendly and we learnt a lot of the culture there.

Our whole trip was awesome and we hope to return again.

The Macs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank carmel m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, General Manager at Grand Hotel And Casino, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Hi The Macs

It was great to read that you enjoyed your time here in Vanuatu, and that the Grand Hotel and Casino were to your expectations.

It was also nice to read that you enjoyed the hospitality of the staff and I will be sure to pass your comments onto Helene and Jeff. I will pass onto the breakfast crew your appreciation of their service ethic also .

Regards
Dean Swaagman
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

This was our first time in Vanuatu ( Port Vila where the Grand is located ). We where picked up from the airport at no cost, the room was as described and the service excellent, warm & friendly. Any problems with the room or facilities where quickly delt with. The views from all the rooms over the Harbour are excellent and sunsets are a treat from the balconies.

The ground floor is quite upmarket, enticing for casual drinks and dining. The 6th Floor has a very nice bar for Happy Hour Drinks. Internet was in room and downstairs and free. The speed of the internet was good too.

The Breakfast buffet is absolutely great - a wide range of quality choices and a magnificent setting overlooking Port Vila Harbour ( and included in the price ! ). Lunch menu is varied and also good value. Dining can be indoors or outdoors.

The pool area was also excellent with a vewry nice pool, great views and offcourse bar service !

The staff are friendly and supportive, for example you can even take your locally purchased Tusker beer to the downstairs bar and have it opened for you - no hassle ! Better to bring your own bottle opener however the service is still appreciated :))

Room Tip: All rooms have a balcony and face the Harbour so you can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VANS_HH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel And Casino

Property: Grand Hotel And Casino
Address: Lini Highway, Port Vila, Efate 0001, Vanuatu (Formerly Sebel Vanuatu)
Location: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Port Vila
#12 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#17 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#20 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel And Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel And Port Vila
Sebel Vanuatu Port Vila
Grand Hotel And Casino Vanuatu/Port Vila

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