I stayed 8 days at Rocky Ridge, and it was exactly what I was looking for.
First, I had no idea what to expect when arriving on Tanna. Trevor answered my questions promptly via email before I arrived, and he gave me a good sense of what to expect (cash only, bring sunscreen and insect repellant along, etc). Tom, Margaret, and their family were accommodating, helpful, and a pleasure to talk with. They speak English very well, and I had no real communication issues. Tom grew up in the area, knows his way around, and is focused on providing a high level of service and helping members of his community. The tours were good... Waterfalls, Blue Caves, and I enjoyed the Lenakel Kastom Village, even though it was the 3rd time I attended a Kastom Village tour. (As a note, I was asked if I wanted to do a Kastom tour multiple times by different people, especially drivers hired to take me from one side of the island to the other. This seems to be an effective way for villages to consistently earn small amounts of money. The Lenakel - or John Frum Cult - village on Tanna was the best of the 3 I experienced.) Staying at Rocky Ridge was an incredible part of my 3 week vacation to Vanuatu.
If you want to spend your time around loads of other tourists, checking emails, and playing tennis, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a quiet, clean home-base from which you can snorkel (before breakfast!!) explore black sand beaches, white grass plains, caves, and blue holes, this is it. The clean bungalows provide the basics: a bed (which was more comfortable than I expected), hot/cold shower, and a toilet. This is a great deal more than many of the people on Tanna have, and Rocky Ridge was a good middle ground between everything I'm used to having at home and the simple basic necessities that one requires. Tom and Margaret are small business owners making a huge effort to be successful not only for their family and village but for the larger community as well.
The level of service was extraordinary, and I enjoyed myself so much. My stay at Rocky Ridge was the perfect ending to 3 weeks in paradise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Locally owned and managed. Rocky Ridge Bungalows is situated along the west coast of Tanna Island and is a 5 minutes drive from the airport. We have two single/double/twin rooms and two family rooms. All our rooms have their own private toilet and bathroom with gas hot water heater. All our rooms are surrounded with a garden of flowers and the view of the ocean. We organise for all local tours on the island, airport transfers and we provide for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We do not require a deposit for bookings and we do not have cancellation fees. We only accept cash payments upon arrival or before departure. ... more less