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“The best hidden escape”
Review of Sanbis Resort

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Sanbis Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Gizo B&B and Inns
Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I stay Honiara over the best few years I have been lucky to stay at many small hotel/ resorts around the pacific. This being a completely unplanned trip and so last minute worked out to be perfect.
We were meant to go to Papatura but due to changes in flights we couldn't being disappointed and my birthday I decided to ring and see if there was any chance Sanbis could squeeze us in and luckily they could!! By four thirty that afternoon we were enjoying a sol brew on Hans famous bar over the water and were chuffed.
We were suppose to stay two nights and go back on Sunday but extended to Monday we were having such a great time.. We loved all the water activities and the ease at which we could choose to dive or fish and it would happen so easily. We found the activities to be so worth it and actually quite reasonably priced. The bungalows all though very simple are well built with everything thought of and fitting with the environment. Each bungalow has been placed strategically so you almost feel like you are alone on the island. I loved waking up in the morning to the sun coming up over the water, was magic!
The food was great very pleasant and fitting for the environment we loved margaretta pizza with crayfish. We both left the island feeling we had one of the best breaks we have had there is something for everyone. I would definantly like to book the lodge on our return trip.
Staff also very helpful and very well trained.

Well done guys we will be back :)

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank Kelly-Solomons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 106 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2013

Currently living/working in Honiara the local (X-patriots) I have come to meet had always advised me to choose ‘Sanbis Resort’ for a get away, as it was told to be second to none over the abundance of resorts spread out over the Solomon’s.

After nine months of listening to the enjoyable experiences everyone had on their return from Sanbis, I was convinced that it was sound local knowledge. So I booked the Lodge for just under a week for my partner and I.

Even equipped with high expectations, both of us were astonished of its presence. I don’t believe spectacular things can’t be truly expressed in conversation. The main and dinning bars are the most alluring tropical structures.

Every meal was outstanding and delivered impeccably. Once you get past all the freshly prepared seafoods and local fruits and produce, I would suggest trying the mouth-watering wood fire pizzas and focaccia breads.

In result the sociable service; we felt as if we knew the staff for years even only after a couple of days of the stay. Nothing could ever be a problem and any request was attended to in minimal time.

Although Sanbis is remarkably sophisticated, I would advise to book with the acknowledgement that you are staying on a remote island resort, expect to utilise insect repellent on occasion and leave your classy dinner attire and pretentious accessories at home.

Both my partner and I will be back at the next available opportunity but will be bringing friends to share the experience with.

Room Tip: Although the lodge would be most ideal for two couples our accommodation was more secluded then you...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brendan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I don't think of myself as someone who does upscale resorts -- instead, I'm a mkid-60's guy who's more inclined to backpacker hotels and inns. But on this occasion, after completing several trips from the US to work with the Solomon Islands government, I decided to go for it ... if only for just a few days. And I'm glad I did -- it was worth it, on all counts.

Yes ... it's pricey, very pricey. But as so many other reviewers have said it's worth it -- at least for a few golden days. Primarily, I wanted fabulous snorkeling that's easy to get to, and maybe even a "resort dive". But I also needed comfortable accommodations where I could do some work on a final report. I got it all ... and more.

Here's why it worked for me:
* the setting is picture-perfect
* the snorkeling is great ... and it's only steps away.
* the diving instructor was absolutely the best -- he expertly guided me through a couple of introductory "resort dives" that I will always remember; I had total confidence in him.
* the accommodations are secluded, comfortable, with understated and informal luxury (not over-the-top honeymoon style);
* there's a natural eco-friendly atmosphere that is part of the "sell", but which definitely works;
* the food is first-class (but seriously adds to the costs)

Behind all this -- and in front and all over the place -- is the owner Hans. Much has been said about him in other reviews ... a larger-than-life presence who's the architect designer, builder, service manager, staff trainer and supervisor, marketing manager / web-master, and constant presence overseeing everything (and his attention to detail and customer service from his staff is so good that you hardly notice it). He's an incredible story-teller, with anecdotes, insights, and opinions that fascinate and entertain -- though I sometimes found myself wondering about some exaggeration that might creep in from telling -- and re-telling -- good stories too many times to so many attentive guests. Whatever ...

Aside from the physical setting, the food, the comfort and understated luxury ... what really makes this place work are the staff ... all of them (servers, chefs, maintenance, housekeeping, diveshop, and probably many others I didn't get to know). I found them to be friendly, informal, personable, available and attentive -- but not in-your-face. They are clearly well-trained and experienced -- many having been at the resort of years (and a few since it began). Even though they are probably having the same conversations over and over again with guests ... the interactions didn't feel stale, artificial, or put-on. Instead they made me feel genuinely welcome, comfortable, and happy to be there.

Bottom line ... I had such a good time over the four days I was there ... I never did make any real progress on the final report. And I left feeling that it was definitely worth it, pricey though it was.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Chuck D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

This is no Hawaii. No crowds or tacky tourist traps. I have traveled the South Pacific a number of times with my family and can honestly say that Sanbis resort has been without a doubt my favorite place. This is not only a great resort but a great once in a lifetime experience. The staff treated us like family. Unlike most hotels, my family and myself felt at home here as we developed a close relationship with the staff. My brother would go out with them to nearby islands for hours at a time and would return glowing with stories of marketplaces and fish sightings. Our trip is long since passed yet we continue to correspond with them and exchange pictures and gifts. Sanbis Resort is a place to reflect, relax and enjoy the peace and serenity. By day, ocean activities are endless and by night we often played pool or chess with the staff out on the main dock. My mother is always a problem during vacation as it is impossible to make her content food-wise, a food-snob we call her. However, the meals were something we always looked forward to. in addition, there was a pizza oven out on the pier which was fantastic. Despite the remoteness of Sanbis resort, they were technologically equipped with Wifi and had flat screen tv in the dock bar that played your choice of an endless selection of concert videos. Sanbis resort is a place I will always remember and is a place I will without a doubt return to. PS bring bug spray!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Tsullivant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We had a splendid time at the Sanbis Resort.
The food is amazing. (Especially the pizzas. You don't get better pizzas on the solomon islands)
We spent our days diving with the experienced divemaster Sunga, snorkelling and kayaking at the resort or surfing and fishing on the other side of the gizo island.

In the evenings we enjoyed ourselves playing table tennis and pool or watch rock concert dvd's.
Watch out: one does not simply win against Hans at pool. Also because you play Hans's rules at his pool table ;-)

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank tobspoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

This little resort in Gizo offers the ultimate vacation experience which you could ever want. Once you arrive in the resort's private island, you'll soon find out that what you've ever wish for in a vacation is there: privacy in your cozy bungalow a step away from your private beach; a full day frolics in the pristine ocean with your private sea kayak, snorkel, mask and fins; mind-blowing scuba diving experience around a massive WWII Japanese ship; a long nap, away from the noise and crowd; wonderful friendly staff and nicely prepared meal (lots of yummy crawfish, love the buggers!) and not to forget the cool fellow loggers whom we met there. Would recommend this place for couples and families.
We were planning to stay one or two nights here, but ended up spending the whole week in this cozy pocket in the pacific. I'd love to go visit again to see if the place is indeed as wonderful as I remember, but sadly it's quite a long distance from Tokyo. Maybe someday.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Diamantia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Although I never stayed a night at Sanbis Resort, I can vouch for the resort as an outstanding day trip option if you're staying at Gizo, Fatboys or Oravae Cottage. In all, I estimate I enjoyed about 20 visits to this piece of paradise. From Gizo, you can catch the (free) twice daily staff boat from the wharf at about 11am and 5pm to Sanbis and back to Gizo at approx. 4:30pm and 9-10:30pm. If you'd like to go another time, you'll need to phone ahead to Sanbis and book a boat (which may be $60SBD/person). At Sanbis, there is snorkelling gear to hire, although (if you have limited time) I recommend it's better to bring your own gear. After a short (15-20min) boat trip from Gizo, you'll arrive at Sanbis' charming jetty/bar hut and often greeted personally by one of the friendly staff. If you're lucky, you'll meet Hans, the owner and quite a character in these parts, who's already ready with a good story to share. Upon arrival, I also recommend ordering your oven-baked pizza straight away (it may be a good hour before it's ready, especially if there are other guests). During a day trip, you can fill your time with snorkelling (I think one of the best snorkelling locations around Gizo. You can swim over a sunken tuna vessel and some lovely coral reefs), billiards/pool, ping pong/table tennis, walking, diving or simply relaxing with a cold Solbrew beer and a book. Yes, it can be an expensive day out if you like your pizza with all the extras and a few beverages (so bring plenty of SBD cash), however Sanbis is a gem of a day trip for lunch and/or dinner. Enjoy the amazing sunset!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TaskaQueensland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanbis Resort

Address: Mbabanga Island | Western Province, Gizo, Ghizo Island 1100, Solomon Islands
Location: Solomon Islands > Ghizo Island > Gizo
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Gizo
Price Range: $211 - $771 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Total Exclusivity! Located on a secluded island approximately 7 minutes from Gizo by boat, Sanbis Resort offers premier accommodation with each bungalow having its own private beach; ensuite with hot water and a stunning view across the lagoon. The number of bungalows has been limited to six to ensure privacy and luxury for guests. You will be spoilt in every way possible. The resort boasts a gourmet kitchen with a fully stocked bar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sanbis Hotel Gizo

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