Just finishing the last day of a 7-night stay at the Grand Hotel. The room is neat and modern with flat screen TV, ADSL broadband (available at a cost ~20 VT/day). All rooms have a view (yes, it's just like the brochure!). Had a minor problem with the shower water occasionally escaping from the cubicle and wetting the floor outside the bathroom, and needing a few towels to mop up the resulting puddles - bad design, or poorly implemented (or both) I think.
There is a small Casino on the Ground Floor, and it seems that you are still allowed to smoke there - this results in the lobby area often smelling of cigarettes, and makes you appreciate how much the area quality has improved in other places since smoking was banned indoors.
We were at the hotel over Christmas and had lunch in their restaurant, Crystals (9500 VT/per), which consisted of a selection of roasted meat, salads and roasted vegetables, free wine, beer and champagne and came complete with a group of local children singing Christmas Carols ni-vanuatu-style!!
The continental breakfast is a little limited for choice but utilises the abundant fresh local fruit, and other available food well - it is after in the middle of the South Pacific ocean, without the benefit of easy/cheap access things you might take for granted, or expect, in hotels in other countries.
The service is interesting, there is a ni-vanuatu flavour to requests, responses were mixed - dont always expect to have your request filled first time, or right the first time, but hey, you soon adapt to island-time, and if you can reach the point were you realise that you needn't stress about it, and can accept things as they come, then you'll be fine - the service always comes with a smile, so how can you fault that...
Staying at the hotel allows free access to the facilities (5 minute ferry ride from a jetty next to the pool area) at Iririki Island - there are 2 additional restaurants (tried the Waterfront restaurant - nice food - not a Good Food Guide entry, but dependable), and free use of the water sports equipment (snorkelling, 3 slightly run down but functional catamarans, and kayaks) - managed to get out on a cat each day to sail around the bay, which is very protected but gets a nice light breeze throughout most of the day.
The hotel is very well situated in the middle of the main town area, easy walking distance to the shops and markets.
The stay also included a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that shook the 6-storey building fairly well and triggered a Tsunami alert - so if you are safety-conscious consider the floor you'd like to be on!!
Would stay here again, there were plenty of positives, and just not enough bad things to matter.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel And Port Vila
- Sebel Vanuatu Port Vila
- Grand Hotel And Casino Vanuatu/Port Vila