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Bokissa Private Island Resort
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Espiritu Santo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2013

We wanted superb walk-off-the-beach-snorkeling and that is definitely what we got.
We'd been to two other locations in Vanuatu and this had easily the best fish (no fishing allowed so they were large) and great coral as well. For this reason alone we'll probably come back. The diving was excellent too.

However,
The accommodation is very 80s with neon strip lighting in the large rooms and tired bedding and bathrooms. All functional but not modern. The food was good, but also 80s style, being heavy with cream.
The logistics from getting from the airport to the island worked very well, but were not in any way luxurious. The flexibility of the staff was appreciated with expertly made sandwiches for our packed lunch.
One thing to note is: you are seated for meals with the other guests, which may not suit all. Though some had their evening meals in the kava hut.

Is it good value for money? Absolutely for the snorkeling and diving - but if you're not into your coral and fish - maybe think again.

Room Tip: Odd numbered rooms are at the front.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Helen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 - 122 of 207 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2013

Our family of three including 16 yr old son stayed at Bokissa for 12 days during the Sept. school holiday period.We have holidayed in Vanuatu a number of times but this was our first at Bokissa.We were a little concerned our son may have been one amongst a group of seniors but that was not the case,there was plenty for him to engage in---aided by local youngsters and visiting school holiday makers.The proprietors have everything sorted--pickup and delivery fault free--organisational skills are high.Jan took care of everthing.The fares are all but in the Pacific Ocean with great outlooks.The staff are both charming and friendly.Snorkelling is great ,the water is clear the coral is close to shore and there is an abundance of marine life--my wife described it as swimming in a fish tank.Meals were great and generous--our son was struggling to finish on a number of occasions which is generally an unknown.If cereals,toast and fresh fruit do not suit for breakfast a cooked breakfast is available at around $10.Staff are happy to organise tours and our son was thrilled to see and have the chance to swim with sea turtles on one of these excursions.In summary nothing short of stunning.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank olliethewonderdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

If you are looking for something off the beaten track, a world away from the hustle and bustle of a usual holiday spot (ie Phuket, Port Villa, Denarau etc) then this is what you want. The best way I can describe this is my version of heaven. From the moment you get off the plane everything is taken care of. They are there waiting for you to take you from the airport to the harbour for your short boat trip over to the island. It is truly a secluded island with no one else there other than a few other guests and a small tribe of locals. Even though you are isolated from the world you do not want for anything.
The food is completely delicious. Breakfast; fresh fruit, toast w plenty of condiments, a range of cereals, herbal teas, tea, coffee and you are able to order a hot breakfast also at an extra charge. Whilst at breakfast you are handed the menu for the day which is when you chose what you would like for lunch and dinner. There are always two options for lunch followed by fruit salad. We ate seafood every single day but don't worry if you're not a seafood eater, there is always an alternate. For dinner you get 3 courses (if you want), soup, main and dessert. We ate lobster whilst we were there and my partner even got a second helping! We also had mouth watering fillet steak, roast pork, fish, calamari, chicken etc etc. You will never be hungry!
Happy hour is a fabulous time to sample the delicious cocktails they have and to watch the sun go down (or play a game of pool or darts) followed then by kava. Don't be afraid to try the kava, it's not as bad as you may think!
The fare's have everything you need. They are cleaned everyday & towels and sheets replaced. We were there in September so didn't quiet need the aircon on (although I do enjoy the heat) but it's there if you want it. We did find our bed a little hard but that is literally my only 'complaint' out of the whole trip. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves was absolutely divine. There are no mozzie's, midgies, dangerous spiders or snakes on the island but all the fare's are screened anyway. We never even locked our door during the day when we were out or at night. There are lots of hammocks and they are good quality ones, not easy to fall out of.
The snorkelling is world class. I have done a lot of snorkelling in different parts of the world and I found Vanuatu to be in a world of it's own. The coral gardens are endless! You could quiet literally get in at sunrise and get out at sunset but still feel like there is more to explore. I absolutely loved the fact that we could just snorkel straight off the beach, no fussy boat ride required. You can actually snorkel around the entire island if you wish. We stuck to the resort side as there was just so much to see in the little time we were there. Reef sharks (don't be scared of them), octopus, starfish, cuttlefish, lion fish, clownfish, turtles, maori wrasse, gt's & a seahorse are just some of the animals we spotted along with a massive range of reef fish. There are also dugongs and manta rays in the area but we weren't lucky enough to spot any.
We did a snorkelling trip over to million dollar point which was very interesting to see all the world war II army equipment sunken underwater. Something different to do.
We did a kayaking trip to the blue hole. This is an absolute must for anyone visiting Bokissa. You go over to the island on a barge boat and then kayak up the stream which turns into fresh water until you come to the most picturesque blue hole you've ever seen. Kayak back to the boat for lunch and then over to another (& one of the best) snorkelling spots to look for turtles and manta rays. It is a magical day and don't worry about fitness levels as there is no 'rushing' in Vanuatu. You simply take your time and do what you want when you want.
One day we decided we wanted to walk over to the other side of the island (a short stroll) so the staff happily packed our lunch into a picnic basket for us, we took with us a bottle of wine from the bar and went & had a picnic on the beach. It was very beautiful, secluded (even more so!) and relaxing. We then walked around the island back to the resort. It is truly one of the most beautiful & interesting bush walks I've ever done. Some tree's are thousands of years old! There are huge hermit crabs everywhere which are fun to see and we even picked ourselves a coconut to drink. I suggest you take walking shoes but plenty of people did just wear thongs too.
Jan and Dave (the owners) are so helpful and accommodating. There is really nothing they won't do for you or have arranged for you. Jan even arranged a guided bush walk for me (and any other guests) with a local from the island to show us a bit more of the jungle. He even found a coconut crab for us all to hold and take a picture of. On our last night there Jan arranged for us to have a romantic private dinner out on the jetty which was truly beautiful. We also had an hour massage each which was just perfect. All the staff are local Vanuatu people who are super friendly and always happy!
They take care of all of your transfers home so you do not have to worry/stress about being late for your flight. There is honestly nothing to stress about during your entire holiday to Bokissa, it is simply heaven.

Room Tip: All the standard fare's are the same and we are glad we didn't bother upgrading as we spent...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank FiiFii84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Four of us booked in for a five day stay in September. Everything went smoothly travel-wise from Air Vanuatu, to the waiting taxi, to the boat. A pleasant surprise! We arrived at Santo at dusk & by the time we got to Bokissa, it was dark. We received beautiful frangipani leis on arrival & rooms were decorated with flowers. A nice touch! Wow! What a beautiful place when we woke the next morning! Beaches, palm trees, gardens - a real paradise! The meals were all first class & plentiful. The cocktails were amazing! The coral reef snorkelling really was just off the beach, unlike other resorts which advertise this then you find them quite a long way away. The diving was superb! A special thanks to Lambi Leckie! The hammocks & lounge chairs are in excellent condition & sturdy. The rooms are cleaned daily while you are at breakfast. Thanks to the girls who did this during our stay! There were only a few other couples while we were there & we spent an enjoyable time chatting & laughing during meal times. Long live NZ & Aus rivalry! We visited the school & enjoyed meeting & listening to the children - as well as seeing the children's slingshots & a knife - so different to our schools. Thanks kids & thanks Vicky! We did the Malo trip - great! We did not do much hammocking as we didn't have time between eating, swimming, diving, snorkelling - maybe if we stayed longer we would have taken it easier, however it was all worth it. We will definitely return here.

Room Tip: Fly direct to Santo from Brisbane instead of Sydney if possible to avoid the extra flight time throu...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 012sapphire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Bokissa for 5days and it was absolute bliss. Snorkeling and fish feeding was our every day activity, the reef is only a few meters away from your doorstep. Plenty of fish and coral to look at. Definitely go on the Malo cruise, the kayak to the blue hole was an experience not to forget especially the delicious BBQ after a arm workout! The best bit is after the kayak we went to spot sea turtles and we found at least 4 swimming around.

We felt spoilt everyday at Bokissa you don't need to know the time for lunch or dinner because they bang on a wooden log to tell you when to eat! Food was delicious, every night was different and the portion size was huge! Lobster one night was delicious and poluet fish is always on the menu which is yummy.

Fares are simple but has every thing inside that you need. We had a resident geko in the room but that didn't bother us he helped eat the flies that flew in.

Staff are friendly and helpful Alan who owns the island is a great chap, you will see him at kava night and wow the kava is strong but good! Thanks again to Jan and Alan for making our stay memorable. And Lamby for taking us to Malo and sharing his local knowledge with us.

We will be back Bokissa can't wait till next time!

Bella and Greg

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank bubbiguppi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

If its perfect manicured gardens and 5 star accomodation you are after then don't bother. If its rustic beautiful well established rambling tree lined shores and a friendly family run holiday beach hut holiday you are after, then this it. The snorkelling is out of this world, my husband and I did 3 dives but soon came to realise it wasn't necessary to get the best view of some of the best coral gardens I have ever seen. The food was the best we experienced in Vanuatu, staff helpful and friendly, management on the ball. I found it hard to fault this place and the perfect place to relax, unwind and kick back.

Room Tip: Next time I go back I will definitely ask for bungalow no 1 with a coral garden at my door step, bea...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Bilgola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We stayed at Bokissa late July. Just what the doctor ordered laid back and relaxed atmosphere and beautiful weather even with the Earthquake a experience in its self. Fares where typical island style thatched roofs right on the waterfront, clean and tidy but would not describe them a luxurious as one review did, our bed was hard for us so sleep quality was not so good but everything else out waded this, the island was amazing with the bluest water, fish life, coral great for snorkelers and divers or just relaxing by the pool.

We did the Malo river tour which was great our tour guides did a great job of providing a experience not to forget with the barge trip and picnic on the beach, thanks guys. My husband and friend went fishing twice but to no avail, he thinks they might need some new gear thanks for trying your hardest Captain.

The food was included and was good we had Lobster twice in 5 days yum, Jan and David the owners were friendly and helpful with some great stories to tell, the other staff I felt were a bit shy compared to other places we stayed they could be more outgoing. There is not a lot for children to do 'no kids club' but I’m sure they would have fun fish feeding and swimming, no night life except mingling with other guests which we enjoyed.

If you looking for a relaxing holiday with amazing beauty, peace and quiet this is the place.

Room Tip: all fares are beach front
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank seashellsNsw
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
Phone Number:
Location: Vanuatu > Espiritu Santo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Espiritu Santo
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Espiritu Santo
Price Range: $338 - $425 (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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