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“Recommended by a friend, now recommended by me!!!!!! Great price!”

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Tanna Island Dream Bungalows
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Recommended by a friend, now recommended by me!!!!!! Great price!”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

Tanna is all about the volcano for the wider tourist trade, however Tanna is the most exciting island of Vanuatu. Tanna has retained a large amount of its culture with minimum influence from the west. It is the true "black man" island.
Island Dream Bungalows its owners and staff, remind you that there is a whole bunch more to do and see on Tanna! They are very close to Mt Yasur (on the best side of the island) near Port Resolution and offer tours and transport to this most amazing volcano, and its surrounds.

First things first, the accommodation. I stayed in, (a stand alone bungalow built from local materials with a shared bathroom) was simple comfortable and offered and amazing view of the volcano smoke. The bedding was warm and was a spring mattress. The shared showers were excellent by Vanuatu bungalow standards. Another traveler who caught the airport transport with me (arranged when I booked my room) stayed in a bungalow with a bathroom attached was very impressed also. I saw an awesome looking tree house but did not get to look inside. Check out the pics.

The food and service really impressed me. Food first, It was a perfect blend of island food (Kai Kai), and western influence. By this I mean it was tasty yet used the freshest of ingredients. The evening meal was amazing. The breakfast was also a treat, and after almost four months of Vanuatu travel and Kai Kai (food) you know when you get the good stuff.

The owners and staff. These guys are way ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding tourism in Vanuatu. They are genuine,friendly and open people, like all Tanna and Vanuatu folks, but they also understand your needs. You will be picked up at the airport (with all the important questions asked of you whilst booking), where you will then be driven for 2.5 hrs to the bungalows passing across the ash plain and close to Mt Yasur on-route. Its in a 4WD and its neededed because the roads in Vanuatu are rough. Once on the property you can arrange the activities for the rest of your stay. Sam and Nancy the owners will help you out when it comes to all advice.

I insist you do the afternoon to evening tour to Mt Yasur. Its Unbelievable! I went to Port Resolution, the white beach and to the hot springs, both were very good. There are plenty of other activities also Shark and Turtle bays. Ask about a women's centre near the yacht club where you can buy shells, hand woven bags, mats, and other cool stuff. Your cash goes directly to the community.

My only regret is not staying longer at this amazing place. I can always go back.

Transport to the bungalows from the airport is 5000 vt ($50 AUD) approx per car, same return. The cost is shared between all travelers. All other tours come at a cost, arranged at time of organising. Entering the Volcano has its own separate entry fee so expect to be charged extra for any tour price quoted by the 4WD driver.

If you require any further assistance with advice about any part of Vanuatu do not hesitate to contact me.

Room Tip: Relax it will happen.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
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1 Thank James J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
82 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

We stayed at tanna island dreams for 4 nights. Sam and nancy were delightful hosts. The bungalows were made by Sam and his family over a few years. They are beautifully constructed from local materials. We had the bungalow with the ensuite, and the verandah where you could sit and look on to yasur pumping out its ash every few minutes, as well as look over the valley towards port resolution. The meals were great. We are vegetarians so were curious about what food was going to be available. It was always good. The evening meal was 3 courses, but not excessive in quantity. For eg avocado for entre, omelette rice and verges for main meal and pamplemouse for dessert. In the bedrooms, there was a mosquito net over the bed. And only cold water.

It is a pleasant 20 min walk to port resolution and white beach. The avoca tanna coffee shop has the wonderful,tanna coffee provided by serah. The meals are also very good and reasonably priced. The community market place is also good for buying bananas or a papaya, or local handicrafts. It was good to talk with marie and learn how the market had been set up and the rules for how it operated. Aunty leas restaurant at white beach also had good meals that were reasonably priced. The hot springs are about 20 min walk around port resolution and also interesting to visit. Women were there cooking bananas and taro and doing their washing. Shark bay is about an hour walk away. We did see sharks below. Truely amazing. And then as it was low tide we walked back by turtle bay to white beach. Snorkeling at white beach was also pleasant...corals and lots of fish.

The trip to the volcano was amazing. I hadn't expected the loudness and the real power of the explosions, with the lava bombs spewing high into the air. You definitely feel humbled by the power of nature.

I also saw the kastom dancing on the way to the volcano. I was the only audience, and they still put on a marvellous performance. I love the stamping and the earthiness of their dancing, with the women jumping around the men and the male and female voices singing out loudly and strongly. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the women dancing and singing on the way to shark bay. Next time.

Room Tip: The bungalow with the ensuite, also has the small verandah to sit on and enjoy the views, including...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kym320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Vila, Vanuatu
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Stayed at Tanna Island Dream for two nights in June. First afternoon spent wandeing around and getting acquainted with surroundings, while the second started with a 15km walk to Shark Bay, Turtle Bay, Whitesands Beach, Port Resolution village and bay and back around the lake, before heading up to Yasur. Accomodation was super neat and tidy and Sam and Nancy's pride in their place is obvious. We had breakfast both mornings and dinner on the first night only (visited the highly recommended Aunty Lea's at Whitesands on the second). All the food was really enjoyable, particularly the cassava hash browns, but as fresh bread seems to be a two hour drive away we didn't have any for the second morning. Still nothing that a seond cup of Tanna coffee didn't fix. Compared to othercommunity based accommodation in Vanuata, this was the nicest I've had and super reasonable in terms of price.
Tips for your stay though:
- be prepared to pay for access to local land, usually about Vt500 per person (the concept of public land here really doesn't exist so respect the need to ask permission before exploring somewhere.
- fresh fruit is easy enough to come by but don't expect any convenience stores or shops to pick up a few supplies other than in Lenakel on your way through.
- transport costs should be agreed upon up front. I naively made the mistake of thinking that we were getting driven to Port Resolution as part of the deal. The trip was Vt2500 per person, one way. Access to Mt Yasur is Vt3350 per person with an additional Vt1000 per person transport fee. All understandable costs but as there really isn't much in the way of ATMs on Tanna it is easy to be underprepared.
All in all though this place is brilliant. I wouldn't hesitate to go back and would probably enjoy it even more the seocnd time around. As lovely as the accomodation and its views are though make sure you get in to Port Resolution as well as it makes the cultural experience even more worthwhile.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Tim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Visited Tanna and stayed at Tanna Island Dream Bungalow.
Room was Ok (wished it was a bit bigger) - had an ensuite bath also quite ok considering the island facilities.
Had solar cell power in the night. No snakes on the island - so no worries.

The facilities were quite tidy - drinking water was safe enough.
The view of the ocean was soothing and the plume of smoke from Yasur was visble all day long and on a moonlit night the red glow of the eruption in the white grey smoke, the moon above in the cloudless starry sky was a sight to behold.

The volcano tours were well organised. The transfer vehicle was also good - the road was horrendous to say the least. But the driver was great and you will reach your destination in one piece. The drive through to Tanna Port Resolution ( where the resort is) was scenic none the less. Soon after leaving the airport and travelling a few kilometers , at a turn around your first sighting of Yasur emitting smoke in the distant and the ocean below will entrall you - a great secenic look out!
People are very friendly at the resort and all other places in Tanna - with their warm smiles.

Food was Island style - breakfast was also not great but just manageable. Take along some energy bars , chips and biscuits.Coffee was great - Lime water an absloute delight in the warm Tanna Weather. We went there in summer - it was very sultry and hot.

You can ask Nancy to make simple meals rather than elaborate banquets. We were not used to Island food and she made good fish and chips (with red Kumara) for us against special advance requests - simple rice with butter and boiled eggs and green salads were good enough for us. Fruits also are fresh and great in taste.
If you arrange at the time of booking you can order in advance for Lobsters. Fresh ones taste great.

The whole resort terrain / campus was reasonably well kept with flower bushes and coconut palms and very tidy all around.
Take some choclates and goodies for the wonderful children in the villages - and you will be greeted with the most innocent and warmest smiles.

And lastly Mt Yasur - it was amazingly beautiful in all its glory and magnificient fireworks display. The beauty has numbing effect on your mind and soul - when you think that this phenomenon has been happenning ever since time immemorial - the power and force of nature will leave you spell bound.It will leave you spellbound.

You will simply fall in love with the volcano. Enjoy your stay and coem back with wonderful memories. Bon Voyage !

Room Tip: Ask for the room with Ensuite or the Tree House. Also ask for a double Cabin Vehicle for transfer an...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank Ujjal G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2012

We booked for one night but as soon as we saw the view from the balcony of our bungalow, we decided to spend the rest of our time in Tanna here. The location is stunning, perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking a valley of coconut palms, a John Frum village and Port Resolution. There's a variety of accommodation on offer including two bungalows with en suites and a house up a tree. We used the shared facilities which were spotless, and as we were the only guests staying there at the time, had them all to ourselves. The paths are lit by solar lights making trips to the smol haos in the middle of the night easy.

The restaurant coped admirably with the fact we were vegetarian, inventing innovative ways of cooking green beans. The service was personal and very attentive with Sam and other members of the village stopping by to chat. We loved the wonderful welcome we got and felt privileged to be given a glimpse into the lives of these people.

Young Fred took us to the hot springs at the end of the black sand beach while Sam and Jack took us adventuring up Yasur. We found our own way to Port Resolution Yacht Club, the Avoca Tanna Coffee Shop and the white sand beach, all an easy walk from the bungalows.

Note: I rate this property excellent for local travel. We had a rat in the room, but that didn't mean it was dirty, it's just part of the wildlife. People looking for top-end resort style accommodation probably shouldn't stay in Tanna.

Room Tip: Our bungalow had the vertigo view - best of all the bungalows - and shared facilities means it's...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dianne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

We had an en-suite room and would recommend this to anyone else. There's no hot water in the en-suite rooms, but it was so warm that that wasn't a huge detraction. The bathroom was huge! If I were designing these bungalows, I'd make it a bit smaller and increase the size of the main room. There's battery backed solar power there for LED lights, which were more than adequate for lighting the bungalow.

Like others we were the only ones staying there for the majority of our 3 night stay.

The food was delicious, though there was no choice. You got what Nancy chose to cook that day. We were never disappointed. Being watched by the family while eating was a little disconcerting, but after experiencing the same thing at a local ni-Van run "restaurant" at Port Resolution, we decided that this must be just their way of doing things.

We were within walking distance of Port Resolution, the Hot Springs, Shark Bay, and many villages. Only a few (slow and bumpy) km from the volcano, Mt. Yasur and the local John Frum celebrations. Our thanks to our guide, Joe for his colourful and informative tours of the local villages and the volcano.

Contrast this to our travelling friends who stayed at the much more expensive Evergreen resort, with power (that was turned off about 9:00 and no lighting after that), hot water (that was "temporarily" broken), a choice of meals (all disappointing) and a 2hr trip to the volcano, and I think we got a much better deal.

Room Tip: Coose an en-suite room.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank AussieAlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

We stayed at Island Dream Bungalows for 4 nights in Sept 2011 with a group of 10 friends, including our young children. The bungalows were a great base to explore Mt Yasur and other attractions around Port Resolution. Sam, Nancy and family were great hosts and made us all feel welcome. The food was all local and fresh (papaya, grapefruits, fish, Tanna coffee) - the coconut jam for breakfast was a particular highlight. We ended up staying in both the tree house and one of the newer bungalows. Both were clean and comfortable with fantastic views. The newer ground-level bungalows had their own shower and bathroom and were probably more practical for families with young children. Nancy and Sam were very helpful in organising local "tours" - this is how you get to experience the local cultures and sights. They all cost extra money (so bring some extra vatu, in small denominations) , but it's not much, and tourism is one of the few opportunities the locals have to earn money, so we were more than happy to contribute to the local economy. We thoroughly recommend Tanna Island Dream Bungalows for an excellent jungle, beach and cultural experience!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank regndunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tanna Island Dream Bungalows

Property: Tanna Island Dream Bungalows
Address: Sanaie Village | Near Port Resolution Bay, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Tanna Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tanna Island
Number of rooms: 13

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