It's nearly 2 years since our visit to Uepi Island but after reading the reviews left already, we felt the need to add our thoughts. Even now we can't wipe the smiles off our faces at the memories that will never fade.
After spending 6 months working and living in Honiara, we decided to treat ourselves to a trip off the main island, thankfully, we found Uepi.
The flight to Seghe airstrip was an adventure in itself, culminating in a landing on a small grass strip. We were met by a lovely man with a boat who whisked us off on a scenic ride across the Morovo Lagoon.
Grant claims that Uepi is a NO star resort in a 5 star location, he isn't giving his home enough credit.
As long as you come with a sense of adventure and a desire to stay amongst nature as it should be, then look in the night sky and you will leave knowing in your heart that it has a million stars.
We stayed in the garden bungalow and it was fabulous. We had views of the water in two directions, the beach between the beach bungalows and the ocean slot through lush gardens. It took us 30 seconds to get to the beach and 30 seconds to get to the Figtree Grotto, a decked area which overlooked the slot.
We took our picnic lunch to the grotto a few times, but mainly stayed on our private deck , enjoying the amazing food and then fighting over who would lay in the hammock afterwards.
Meal times were set. Turn up for breakfast between the designated times and you could ask for anything and everything on the menu.
Lunch picnics came to your bungalow, dinner was a set time for all to eat together as a family. Grant and Jill would sit and enjoy the days conversation. Whether it be where we went, what we saw, who we were or introducing the newcomers, dinners were never boring and always tasty. The nightly menu announcement was a highlight, delivered and received with joy.
We had our 7 and 8 year old kids with us. Jill saw us dealing with our kids on the first nights dinner and the next day offered to organise an early dinner for the kids which we gladly took up. They told us what was on offer at lunch time and we adapted it so the kids were happy, they then joined the local people watching DVD movies on the only TV on the island while we enjoyed the food and the company hassle free.
Jill also thought the kids might enjoy an island pizza instead of some of the delicious foods the adults were treated to for lunch, they were in heaven.
There was no nightlife apart from a chat and drink at the bar after dinner, we were all too exhausted from our daily adventures.
After 6 months on a foam mattress in Honiara, the Uepi mattress was heaven. The bungalow was cleaned daily and the towels were left as different sea creatures each day, which delight the kids.
We had our tea/coffee making facilities, toilet and cold shower. NO TV, NO aircon, NO luxuries, It was basic and perfectly acceptable to us and everyone we met. We didn't need anything else, the whole experience was such a joy that I don't think the best resort in the world could outdo it.
We weren't scuba divers, still aren't, but we had the most wonderful experiences in the water surrounding Uepi.
We snorkelled up and down the channel with an array of nature and creatures including the reef sharks. Jill gave the four of us an introduction lesson to snorkelling and found the first stone fish that they had seen for years. The stone fish was whisked away to another location and our lesson continued. The kids loved it. Our 7 year old wasn't the most confident swimmer but took to it, sharks and all, like a duck to water. 9 year old was up the front with Jill showing us how to do it.
We brought our own snorkelling gear but Rob had trouble with water entering through the valve, they gave him one he could use.
We all got a bit sunburnt snorkelling on the first day, we were given full body suits to use for the rest of our stay.
We asked about the resort dive, the next day, the kids were being minded and Grant partnered Hubby while poor Jill did her best keeping buoyant me under water and we scuba'd from one end of the island back to the scuba shack.
The kids delighted at dolphins swimming past, Grant rushed them down to the jetty and onto a boat to follow them.
The kids delighted at the huge monitor lizards, they took us to an out of bounds area that had them everywhere.
The kids asked about the wooden canoe, a local lady took them for a ride.
The kids said they had a ball at the beach, they were given access to a surf ski.
Hubby wanted to go fishing, they whisked him off for a few hours of fun. A Spanish Mackerel and a Barracuda later, they all came home and there was a special addition to that nights dinner.
Young kids aren't the usual visitors to this paradise, but we were made to feel very welcome
There was so much more, but that's enough.
It was our experience that the least you wanted or expected, the more you got.
This is their home and they delight in sharing it with those priviledged enough to find their way there.
Getting to the Solomon Islands can be difficult, getting to this isolated destination even harder, but you will find it well worth the effort.
We haven't given up hope of getting back there one day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With an international reputation for excellence, Uepi Island Resort in the Western Province is the ultimate getaway in the Solomons. World class diving, snorkeling and sea kayaking is complemented by beachfront bungalow accommodation, friendly personalized service and meals based on fresh local produce. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Uepi Island Hotel Marovo