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“Just a fantastic experience! Try their Kava.”

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Bokissa Private Island Resort
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Espiritu Santo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We had 5 nights at Bokissa Is from May 10th to 15th, 2013 and from the airport on arrival until we left the boat back in Luganville (for extra nights on Santo) we were looked after by the wonderful friendly staff of Bokissa. We were met at the airport, transferred to the boat and over to the island with no fuss and lots of friendly banter, where we met Jan at the wharf, how lovely is she! She had put up with the most inane of email questions from me with so much grace.

The whole property, island and staff are just wonderful. We stayed in Fare #13 right at the end away from the central building, where we were right on the beach. The fares are a main room with bathroom attached, and are very functional, with aircon available at night if you want. The sound of the ocean about 20 metres away was not at all hard to take. The king size beds are very comfortable but my only negative is the mattress is covered with a plastic feeling sheet that re-radiates body heat and night from under the usual sheets.

The rooms are spacious and have your own tea and coffee making gear for the early mornings sitting watching nothing much apart from a glorious view from your table and chairs outside the front door.

Just down from your door the ocean has small coral bommies a few metres from shore, with all manner of fish life that makes snorkelling a breeze, lion fish, cuttlefish and fish life galore. While I was unable to dive because of a recurrent ear problems, those that did were raving about the dives their dive crew offer. If you tire of the ocean for whatever reason the pool is there to wallow in to your hearts content.

The meals were great, all included and many reviewers have told of the joy of the food at Bokissa, I'll just add that the meals were superb in quantity and quality, and the idea of having most people eat together is a great one as you are there usually for only a few days it is good to get tips from the people that have been there longer. It is very social even for those that tend to be not so social, remembering the island only cater for a maximum of about 20 or so people. I was very impressed by the reasonable prices for drinks during the happy hour for the hour and a half prior to dinner, as this is a time when many resorts really gouge you.

Finally if you are there when Allan fires up the nakamal and offers kava prior to dinner don't miss it. I've had a bit of kava in the past and this was the best I've experienced by a country mile. Allan is a nice guy too (he'll be the one gracefully fixing your empty gas cylinder problem too) and spending a bit of time in the nakamal gives you a chance to interact socially with some of the local folks and they are the most wonderful people too.

In summary Bokissa is well worth a try, the managers are great and the staff fantastic, so friendly and laid back. The rooms are great and food top class. If you make friends with everyone and get onto island time as soon as you arrive you'll never regret going there.

I've attached 3 photos, one of the view from our front door, one of the lobster dinner (we had lobster twice in five nights) and one where I got in the water at fish feeding. Thanks for that Annie.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wabster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 - 138 of 212 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

What an amazing, warm welcome we received. The resort is relaxed and low key. The view from the cabins, the deck chairs, the huge pool, the jetty and the hammocks is paradise. The massage hut is perfectly set on the beach to catch maximum breeze. The white muslin curtains billow in the wind as you lie there in heaven having a beautiful massage. The diving is just amazing. Incredible corals and a large variety of fish with wrecks too if you are up for such an adventure. We've been to the Great Barrier Reef so can say Bokissa coral is outstanding and the number of dive sites increases the possibilities for good vis and good diving conditions. The dive master who dove with us was Rasu. Felt completely confident with him. A great teacher, a highly competent diver, good control of the dives, well-planned. The dive masters there are all PADI licensed. Very knowledgable, caring and diligent. The owners of the resort task divers for the collection of Crown of Thorns Starfish to help maintain the reef quality. They are highly protective of the natural environment. Owners and staff couldn't do enough for us. We understand how people can differ in their expectations when they travel however after visiting Bokissa, we find it difficult to understand where some of the negative reviews on trip advisor come from.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Catherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I just retured from a great Vanuatu vaction and Bokissa was excellent. This is a great place for scubing diving and All meals were included on the island contrary to a recent post stating it's not.
I would highly recommend Bokissa for a place if you want to get away from it all and don't want the night life. Perfect in meeting all of my expectations.
The rooms were quaint, the staff friendly and the food plentiful. The meal portions were so huge you couldn't eat it all. And the food was delicious if you remember how remote of a location this is.
The scuba diving was the best in the world I've ever experienced and I've been to many places in the South Pacific and Caribbean. Bokissa does alot to protect the reefs and the north reef is beyond words. I have never seen such healthy, expansive coral reefs. Rox did a fantastic job leading us on all of our dives and making sure we had the full dive experience.

If you are looking for a polite, laid back location to get away from everything and truly experience the seclusion of this island, Bokissa is the place.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank klewington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Everything was beautiful and you really felt like you were on an island. You were responsible for your own entertainment most of the time and although this island is very relaxing we did find it strange that meals weren't included there was only one place to eat. As if we could've jumped in the car and gone elsewhere.

Although I really enjoyed myself I doubt I will return.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AussieCoasterKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
travreps, Public Relations Manager at Bokissa Private Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2013

Hi there - we are quite confused about this posting as Bokissa does includes all meals in their daily rate - there are no rates that do not include transfers and all meals. This has been the case for many years, so we are just not sure if you may have got the name of the property you stayed at wrong as your stay was also some time ago.
If you would like to respond to clarify we would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Julie Ingles
Sales and Marketing Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Bokissa is a wonderful small coral islet bristling with high quality natural values with an unobtrusive resort that actively protects those values.
The thought that this idyll is only 2 hours for Brisbane and a quick boat ride from Luganville is very reassuring.
Individual fares (huts) are placed close to the beach in the shade of a lovely grove of trees. The beach is bracketed by shallow coral reef shelves and a couple of bommies just off the beach give ready access to the liveliest and most beautiful coral reef with huge biodiversity (instant therapy for the soul).
The rooms are fairly self contained and have all the essentials for major relaxation in the sun/shade. Meals are provided at the resort centre. Simple and unsophisticated with a friendly and very helpful staff.
Basic facilities (for snorkelling and kayak) are free and there are a number of really well priced activities too.
Only suggestion I have for improvement is to lose the music at the resort centre (is it just Australians who want to drown the beautiful ambient sounds - let alone conversation - with musac).
We certainly would like to be returning here soon.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Candide57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

My wife and I recently spent 6 nights at Bokissa. We've stayed in Fiji a few times, Tahiti and Noumea, but probably enjoyed Vanuatu the best. We flew over on Air Vanuatu and couldn't fault the service - and that's from two people who fly a lot. The airports in Port Vila and Santo aren't flash, but very few Pacific island airports are. We were met at Santo and taken by mini bus to our boat pickup. Even though we were hours late after fog in Sydney, nothing was too much trouble. As soon as we were on the boat, we were given a menu and asked what we'd like for dinner - which was radioed ahead. When we arrived our bags went to our Fare and we sat down for a delightful dinner.

The Fares are simple but only metres from the beach and most have shady trees in front with a hammock slung between the trees. The Fares have a ceiling fan and an air conditioner - which only runs between 8pm-6am - which is when you want it for sleeping. The wall between the bedroom and the bathroom doesn't go to full height - so may concern some (shy) people!

The Fares are not far from each other, but have timber louvres so privacy wasn't an issue.

The water throughout the resort is all rainwater so no problems there.

The food is on a meal plan and what it lacks in choice - choice of 2 mains at lunchtime and choice of mains and dessert, with one entree at dinner - it makes up for in freshness and taste. Fabulous dishes every day including lobster, fish and great steak (Santo beef is world famous). Breakfast is a limited cold buffet but you can order a cooked breakfast for approx $10. The bar is very well stocked (plus a mini bar in the Fare) and the guys mix some great cocktails.

One reviewer commented on the fixed meal times which might annoy some people, but seemed to work for everyone while we were there. We all chose to eat together and dinner was a highlight of the day - great conversation and often turned into games of pool or darts after dinner.

The pool is large and clean, but why you need a pool is beyond me. The sea is gin clear and the reef is only feet off the shore. I'm not a diver which is the resort's main attraction, but even the snorkeling was brilliant. So many fish and stunning coral.

We did the Malo River day trip which was well worth doing - quite a paddle up the river if the tide is running out. But the blue hole at the end was worth every muscle ache.

We've certainly stayed in more lavish resorts, but none where the smiles from the local staff were more genuine. And in fact if we had to pick a highlight - that was probably it. Which says a lot about the relationship between the owners Jan, Dave and Allen and their staff.

It was our first trip to Vanuatu and already we' re planning to go back. And we will certainly head back to Bokissa.

Room Tip: Ask for a Fare closest to the beach. I think these are all the odd numbered rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MDWAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

How I miss hearing the soothing sounds of the waves gently lapping the shore metres from our fare. Bokissa was a magical experience and I’d love to live there! I enjoyed everything – no-one ever seemed the slightest bit crotchety. But then with such an incredible location, scenery that never fails to captivate; the marine garden of Eden in which countless hours swiftly pass by as the sights on which one’s eyes feast are so rich and plentiful – the incredible diversity and variety of coral and brightly coloured fish are truly amazing, there simply is no reason to feel out of sorts.

Talking of feasts, the meals are filling and very tasty too. Delicious locally grown fruit was always on offer. I’m not partial to crustacean food, but at Bokissa it was incredibly tasty; lobster on the menu twice during our 5 night stay. My only complaint was that I always felt too full after the meals; three courses at dinner, two at lunch time.

I love the large shady trees near the beachfront, the beachside hammock was a joy to rest on. Found the flowers, both the lei and the many blooms in the rooms and on the mat outside, very welcoming and their vibrance and warmth were evident in all the staff too. The staff have a wonderful sense of humour and are so accommodating. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble and we had so much fun with the various staff members on our various excursions. We spent an enjoyable day kayaking to the Malo blue hole lagoon followed by a snorkel excursion at a nearby location. On our way home we came across manta rays in the channel and the staff were happy to stop the boat and let us snorkel with them; that was an incredible experience. We were also fortunate to snorkel with a dugong on another occasion elsewhere.

The fares blended into the location perfectly; roomy, rustic and very relaxing to be inside of. The slatted windows were a novelty to me (they are all completely bug proof and I’d imagine this is to prevent mosquitoes entering the rooms during the steamy summer months).

I am trying to think of something negative to say about this tropical paradise; but in all honesty I can’t. We enjoyed the hospitality, the peace, the snorkelling, the cuisine and the congenial company of our fellow guests. In short, the perfect place to unwind.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank happy_vegemite_too
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bokissa Private Island Resort

Address: PO Box 261 | Bokissa Island, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Espiritu Santo
#4 Spa Hotel in Espiritu Santo
Price Range: $349 - $442 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bokissa Private Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bokissa Private Island Resort is a 30 minute fast boat ride from Luganville which is the main town in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Bokissa is 16 absolute beachfront bungalows on a beautiful island of 175 acres of pristine beaches and tropical rainforest. Walk out of your bungalow onto the sand and into the water - straight off the beach snorkelling and just 10-20 minutes from world famous wreck and reef diving. Bokissa's tariff includes return airport transfers and all meals during your stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bokissa Eco Island Hotel Espiritu Santo
Bokissa Eco Island Santo
Bokissa Private Island Resort Vanuatu/Espiritu Santo

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