I often feel that gateways to beautiful islands get the raw end of the deal when it comes to reputation and Port Vila is no exception. I guess I can understand why when it has to compete with the other 82 island spectacles surrounding it. Even though Vanuatu’s archipelago of islands means there are many different places to visit, don’t let that stop you from visiting Port Vila. It has so much to offer every traveller and is sure not to disappoint. The array of hidden beaches, lush green resorts and beautiful restaurants ensures that there is never a dull moment in Vila.
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Vanuatu
When it comes to accommodation I can’t go past the Holiday Inn Vanuatu – this property has it all; great service, modern rooms, delicious food, endless activities and a superb lagoon front location. My favourite memory of this property showcases that it is the little things that make for a memorable experience and this is one of those skills the Holiday Inn does so well. On my latest stay we went for a very special birthday celebration for my incredible mother. Being the only family member that had previously been to Vanuatu and the occasion being so momentous, meant that the stakes were high. I was keen for everything to be perfect! To our delight upon arrival the ever attentive & kind staff were climbing a coconut tree and freshly picking coconuts. To ensure we were in on the fun they cracked a few of them open and handed each of us one with a straw for our enjoyment. As if I wasn’t impressed enough already by this property this type of a welcome just sealed the deal.
I love this resort so much that I have stayed there every single time I have visited Vanuatu. The Holiday Inn doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. It isn’t the most luxurious hotel I have stayed at but it’s strengths overshadow that as only the best hotels do. The rooms are large, comfy and modern. The service is impeccable. The food is delicious. The activity opportunities are endless. For me the asset that stands out most about this property is the service. I seriously believe this is the reason that this property is almost always at the top of the trip advisor recommendations for Port Vila. In addition, the properties grounds are immaculate, the cocktails are divine and you can do as much or as little as you want. Activities wise the kids club (yes I have attended as a grown kid to ensure I experienced all the resort had to offer J) is phenomenal for all the little people visiting the resort, the 2 pools and massive lagoon front area mean that there is plenty of places for rest and relaxation and if after a bit of downtime you fancy to learn to sail or kayak around the island spotting all the different coloured starfish you can do that too.
As well as the Holiday Inn I have enjoyed staying at a few other properties in Port Vila:
Mangoes Resort: Gorgeous, affordable private pool villas, spectacular views and magnificent onsite restaurant.
Iririki Island Resort & Spa: Fantastic Snorkeling, large array of onsite activities and beautiful large pool area.
Breakas Beach Resort & Spa: Adults only, intimate boutique style property on a quiet beach with surfing available on site.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in Port Vila and I believe it would be easy to entertain a great array of tastes easily for a week’s vacation here.
Top 3 Tour Recommendations
Ekasup Cultural Village Tour: Informative, interesting and amazing insight into the history of Vanuatu.
Sail & Snorkel Tour: Beautiful and relaxing tour to see some beautiful snorkeling spots and some gorgeous white sand beaches.
Jungle Zip Line Adventure: Fun, adrenaline filled tour and offers spectacular views of Port Vila.
Port Vila also offers numerous restaurant options and overall the food that I have experienced at almost every establishment has been delicious with amazing service and an overall memorable experience.
Top 3 Restaurant Recommendations
Mangoes Resort Restaurant and Bar: Local, fresh produce and my favourite restaurant to visit everytime I am in Port Vila.
The Beach Bar Mele Bay: Fun, relaxed vibe with spectacular view over Mele Bay and delicious wood fired pizzas.
Reefers Restaurant & Rum Bar: Fantastic location right on the water’s edge with delicious food and mouth-watering cocktails.
Next time you are planning a trip to Vanuatu make sure to include Port Vila and all the wonderful experiences it has to offer.