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“Great Stay, Comfortable, Convenient - with a Vanuatu flavour”

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Grand Hotel And Casino
Ranked #20 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 29, 2010

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.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OZ_peter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 19, 2010

We have travelled to Vanuatu many times, this was our first time staying at The Grand. The location is excellent-walking distance to plenty of great places to eat & a short bus or Taxi ride to many others.

We had the Continental Breakfast included in our accommodation & it was fine. The pool area is lovely. The Casino is small, but has the latest Poker Machines & several gaming tables.

I highly recommend having Cocktails in the Hemisphere bar. Happy Hour Cocktails were $650vt each & the sunset views were priceless!

The rooms were quite small as previous reviewers have mentioned, and I didnt like the complete lack of privacy on the balconies-you could shake hands with your neighbours if they were out there at the same time as you. However the views were nice & I enjoyed many a time sitting out there with a drink watching all the goings on in the harbour.

For those who are unaware-there is superficial damage from a large earthquake a few months ago, & there is still work going on to fix it.

Our stay was 4 days, then we moved to a larger resort for the rest of our trip. 4 days was enough for us, but thats only based on the size of the rooms & the lack of privacy on the balcony.
Aside from that we loved it.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AnniG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2010

My partner and I had a one week's stay at The Grand Hotel. Yes it is central, but to be honest I have not been to Port Vila for 20+ Years, and I believe the Town has gone backwards since my last visit. The Town itself is dirty.
The shopping is SHABBY to say the very least. Many of the Stores are now owned by Asians......Surprise,surprise. The locals, who by the way are lovely people, work for them.
Poverty is EVERYWHERE. Rather sad to see.
The Grand Hotel itself looks more like it is 10+ years old than 4?????
Tiles were cracked/falling in common areas. The lobby area had a continuous leaking roof. The rooms were very small. Do not judge by the room in the Photo Gallery. This is one of only? 5 Harbour View Rooms in the complex.
We were so disappointed with the Harbour Deluxe Room, that we paid a fair bit for an "upgrade" to one of these rooms. The Grand Hotel's Site is very misleading.
I would love to know where that beach with yachts actually is!
Big mistake going to Vanuatu. We are not fussy people, but this really was a shocker of a choice. Two days and two nights would be enough for anyone, to do and see everything there......and that is not much!
The hotel has only one smallish pool and the one restaurant, which would be 3.5 at best.
THE LONGEST HOLIDAY OF 7 DAYS EVER.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rogers007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2010

A hotel I would definitely recommend for people who are more comfortable in a Western style hotel. The room we stayed in looked modern and was well lit with a great view and was comfortable. The staff were very friendly though a bit below expectations with English understanding. The only things I can criticize is in the bathroom there was quite a lot of rust on some of the fixtures and had an issue with room service for dinner one night that took a lot longer than it should have to fix up. Other than that an excellent hotel with a great location.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank steve321123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Had a great week at the Grand Hotel.I think the best position in Port Vila The views are amazing and the beds sooo comfortable had the best nights sleep. Breakfast was great. Staff are all really friendly and helpful. The ferry to Irririki was great. We had so much to do...visited the produce markets most days.So interesting .We had so many bars and pools to chose from at the grand and Irririki it was to hard to decide so tried them all! I miss happy hour!!! Plenty of restaurants near in town. Vanuatu beef is the best I've eaten. Always felt safe walking around town day or night which was great. I found Vanuatu such an interesting and beautiful country -in one view from our balcony you're looking at the picturesque view of overwater bungalows on Irririki and if you turn to the right the view is such a contrast of the public wharf where boats come and go all day...produce is unloaded from the outlying villages, squealing pigs, goats etc I could have sat and watched for hours... but ran out of time ...oh well I'll have to go back :) Our whole group of 11 were happy with our choice of the Grand...I must mention there is still a lot of repairwork going on from the recent earthquake.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank mareeNewcastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2010

I had a fantastic time at the Grand. So conveniently located within walking distance of the town. The fact that you have access to all the amenities in Iririki Island is a big plus. One of the reasons we chose this hotel was the lack of children. (we are past that now). The meals were fantastic and the service good – island time of course. The views are fantastic from anywhere in the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MsGVS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2010

I and my partner stayed at Grand for 6 nights in October 2010. It was our first visit to Vanuatu and I booked hotel through wotif.com. It was a good vale. We only paid A$150 per night. Airport transfer and breakfast were not part of our package. It is cheaper to get them separately.
When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff at reception. We were served a welcome drink (sweet fruit juice) as well. Lobby was not terribly big but it had a few sofas and also had a bar so we could order drinks and snacks.
Everything was well prepared and we were directed to our room. As I have requested, they offered us a room on a higher level with a nice view of Iririki island resort, Grand Hotel's sister resort. Room was not big but it was well maintained and clean. It has a small balcony and view was spectacular. It was over looking Port Vila harbor and Iririki island. Bathroom had a big window so we could enjoy the view of beautiful Port Vila harbor while having a bath. There was a blind for privacy as well.
Bed was comfortable and big. Room had a safe, mini bar, small table, dryer and iron, and there was a small table and two chairs on balcony. We were able to see swimming pool from our balcony. Our room was on level 3. If you were on level 1 you cannot see swimming pool. You better request for a room on at least level 3 if you prefer better view.
As Iririki is a sister resort of Grand Hotel, guests of Grand can visit Iririki for free and use all Iririki facilities. There is a free ferry departing from Grand to Iririki 24 hours. You just need to press a button then ferry will come and pick you up. We snorkel and paddle on kayak at Iririki. You get to see many beautiful fish and coral. There are a few bars and restaurants around the island and they offer drinks and snacks. We did not particularly like food at neither Grand and Iririki so we dined in the town of Port Vila. Food is very personal opinion so you can try if you like.
Room was very well cleaned everyday and fresh towel was supplied everyday. We booked tours at lobby. There is a guy called David. He is very helpful and friendly. He helped us booking tours and other matters. Make sure you check your account time to time to see if you have been over charged. You better record your spending to make sure you are charged correctly. Our account had a few mistakes.
I think we would go back to Grand next time but we would love to try other resort as well when we visit Vanuatu next time.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mapper9209
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

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:
#7 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: $120 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel And Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 74
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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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