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All reviews kuto bay air con lobster perfect location the ground floor natural pool lower quality hotel offers hotel is situated baguette stunning island hire bikes highlight of our trip three nights shuttle service remote island oro bay
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Reviewed June 9, 2019 via mobile

This place was so clean and staff were very helpful. Food was amazing and beachfront restaurant just lovely. We went for long walks on the beach. Did some snorkelling in a gorgeous cove a short walk from the hotel.

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank tezzafrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2019 via mobile

We stayed for four nights as part of our honeymoon in early January 2019.

TL:DR
Nice, clean room in a great location. Plenty of activities on the island and stunning beaches throughout.
Helpful and friendly staff, but very slow service in the bar and restaurant due to understaffing. WiFi only available at reception.
I would have given 3.5 out of 5 if I could - its better than average, but falls a bit short of ‘very good’.

FULL REVIEW

Location:
The hotel is situated right on Kuto Beach. The beach itself is beautiful, with powdery white sand and crystal clear water. It’s easy to spend a whole day on the beach and then it’s only a 2 minute walk back to the rooms.
It’s a 20-minute drive to the other side of the island to get to the natural pool, but you can take a hotel bus for 2000XPF (depart hotel at 10am and get picked up at 3pm) or rent a car.

Rooms:
We stayed in room 43, which was the last room on the right on the ground floor. Lovely spacious room with a comfy bed and a decent sized bathroom. Spotlessly clean every day upon our return from the beach / excursions. Good air con and ventilation.
A bit of noise leakage from the room next door on the first night, but nothing major. No WiFi in the rooms - you have to go and sit in the reception to connect.

Staff:
Extremely friendly and helpful (especially the ladies on the front desk) when responding to requests and enquiries. They can speak French, English and Japanese.

Restaurant:
This was what brought the score down for us. The servers are friendly, polite and courteous, but there simply isn’t enough of them! On the first night in the hotel we sat down at our table at 7 o’clock, but our order wasn’t taken for 20 minutes. When we finally ordered, we waited another 25-30 minutes for any food to arrive (minus the drinks). After enquiring about the drink order, we finally received them as we were finishing our main course. Just to reiterate, it wasn’t the staff’s fault (they were lovely), but there needs to be more of them!
The food is OK, not great, and is rather overpriced. Compared with our previous hotel (Paradis d’Ouvea), the food was of a lower quality and higher price.
I would avoid the braised beef, it was burnt to a crisp on the outside and the portion size was enough to feed about 8 people!

TIP: If you walk north for about 1km there is a supermarket called Curios Maliska, which sells baguettes, fruit, veg and other groceries.

Overall:
A really pleasant place to stay in a wonderful location, but the restaurant has serious issues in terms of the quality of food, the slow service and the sky high prices.
Fantastic staff - thank you for making our stay a memorable one.

Date of stay: January 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank arctorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2018 via mobile

This hotel was situated directly in front of Kuta beach so is perfectly positioned but sadly lacking in the quality of service and ammenities. The bungalow rooms were small and stuffy despite having air con. The restaurant was perfectly positioned on the beach and a great spot to watch the sun set each night. The food was good for all meals but like everything highly priced. When cruise ships come in expect prices to inflate even further and they won’t service beer on tap until the ship leaves port. The wifi was the usual 250meg per 24 hours as found in Nouméa but you can pay $13 extra to have it for a week. This is good when it works but it often drops out and is very unreliable. Hubby found cockroaches in the bathroom!
The beds were good and it was quiet except for the roar of the ocean. The room itself was dark and dirty and shabby and had obviously received a many repair jobs over the years. There was a small in transit lounge with 2 bathrooms, showers and toilets however they were dirty. There was no swimming pool despite advertising there was one. The gardens and general upkeep were of slow standard. This was surprising given hw busy and popular it was.
It is surprising that there is nothing the quality of the Meridien off this side of the island.

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Rachael951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2018 via mobile

Stayed at Hotel Kou-Bugny for three nights in September 2018 which is situated right on the best swimming beach (according to the locals).

The Hotel;
Probably had it’s prime back in the 90s, however still comfortable and rooms cleaned daily. From the hotel you can hire snorkel gear and there is an amazing snorkelling option right at the back of the hotel at Kanumera Bay! You can also hire a car from the hotel adorned with pictures of sea shells and cruise around the island! The island is explored comfortably in one day. Hire of the car was approx 6000 XPF with unlimited km and fuel included. There are multiple excursions run from the hotel at a price. The hotel will also organise a lift to and from the airport for 1000 XPF each- let them know your arrival time.

The hotel has an adjoining restaurant situated right on the beach, which without a car is one of the only eating options available to you unless you want to walk km. Although the food was good quality- be prepared to pay. The night we arrived the only option was a buffet at $65/head, drinks not included. Overall for the quality you received, Hotel eating was expensive by Australian standards.

Continuing along the lines of eating out- ‘Snacks’ or little roadside cafes are a cheaper alternative to the Hotel menu. Unfortunately they are only open for lunches and close around 14:00-15:00. You will pay around 1500 XPF for a meal or approx 800 for a baguette sandwich. On the Isle of pines there are two.

And please, if you can- spare some food for the 3-4 hotel stray dogs that wander the beach, are very friendly, want a pat and will eat anything including coconut. Hotel Kou-Bugny for whatever reason does not lend its scrap food to the strays!! They are not aggressive and you can’t help but feel sorry for their plight. Lend them some food- if you bypass a store buy a few packets of dog and make their day. There is a little black one with a crippled back leg- she often misses out so prioritise her first if you can.

Make sure you visit;
- The natural lagoon for amazing snorkelling
- Pirogue boats - you can drive down to Joseph’s Bay to view them moored, or the hotel offers an excursion for approx 5000 XPF where you take a boat ride up to Upi Bay and then walk 45 min (through a mosquito laden forest) to the natural lagoon
- Grotto d’Oumagne
- Climb Pic Nga - close to the hotel and take walking shoes and water it’s a bit steep and rocky in parts!
- Crabes Bay
- Vao

PS - when at the beach, be prepared to see striped sea snakes! Apparently venomous but so docile they never bite anyone.. you can’t miss them for their stripes, and they will also be in the landscape up from the beach also- so kind of everywhere. Keep your eyes out!

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank laurena929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2018 via mobile

We spent a week on Isle of Pines. Personally I think that was too long, most people spend 2 to 3 nights as there isn’t much going on on the island.

Pros:
- spacious rooms that are cleaned every day
- Fridge and safe in the room
- Hotel is located 1minute away from beach.
- Hotel offers day trips to most attractions of the island, including the Pirogue along bay of Upi followed by the Natural Pool, for about 4,200 francs.
- One of the ladies at reception is very very nice, sadly I don’t know her name!

Cons
- WiFi is appalling. You need to pay 900 francs to get WiFi in your room for 1 week but it simply doesn’t work. It’s 2018, they need to solve that problem urgently. I stayed in over 20 hotels over the past 6 months including some near Everest Base Camp that had better WiFi so the excuse of “being on a remote island” is no longer acceptable
- As everywhere on the island, you pay a premium price for everything (food, activities) but what you get for that price is very average. You will pay similar price to eat out in Dubai for example, but at least there you get a luxurious service.
- You can rent snorkels for the day at 1500 francs, that is silly money when you see how filthy the snorkels are. I didn’t use the snorkel in the end, only the goggles.

The main attraction (and most beautiful) is the Natural Pool is near Oro Bay. So if you can afford it, i recommend you stay at Le Méridien. It’s a proper resort and you can walk to the Natural Pool every day if you so wanted to.

Kou Bugny is 20 minutes away from Natural Pool by car, so every time you will want to go there, you will have to pay 6300 francs to rent a car or 2700 pp to use their shuttle service. There is no other way to get there.

If I had to do it again, i would stay 3 nights instead of 6 and would have stayed at Le Meridien.

Date of stay: July 2018
1  Thank marellemahy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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