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Hotel Review: The Holiday Inn Vanuatu

Traveltalk's Jessica Zoiti spent four nights at The Holiday Inn Vanuatu and found a resort perfectly poised for both business and pleasure.

The more exhausted I am the more critical I tend to be of hotel rooms and when I arrived in Vanuatu, I was simply shattered.


After too many hours in transit (in this case, 14 from Perth to Vanuatu) I craved a hot shower, room to sprawl and a bed that begged to be slept in. The Holiday Inn Resort, Port Vila, delivered.


Swiftly shipped off to room 267 on the lobby level I made a beeline for the bathroom where I threw environmental caution to the wind and stood under the piping hot water for a little longer than necessary.


The bathrooms aren’t huge, but with sophisticated grey, white and black mosaic walls, warm wooden vanities and splashes of shiny chrome, they’re very modern and clean. They’re also stocked with the usual array of toiletries – shower cap, comb, and sewing, shaving and dental care kits – and a note offering others, should guests need them.


Back in the room, I found myself with plenty of space. With Wi-Fi successfully connected and the usual array of electronic equipment plugged in I set off to explore the resort.


Rated four stars, it’s one of Port Villa’s largest and certainly best for families.


Kids aged three to 12 can hang out in the Totel kid’s club – a zone open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm and offering dedicated to games, traditional crafts, sports and treasure hunts.


Then there are the two-bedroom family suites. Spacious, they offer 56sqm of living space including a Banyan tree house-themed room with a kid bed and a set of colourful single bunk beds. Adults sleep in a private king room, decorated in a more sophisticated palate. Over water villas and family villas sit at the top end of the accommodation spectrum.


To cool down – something you may want to do frequently in Vanuatu – there are two pools. The Terrace Pool is the smaller of the two. Overlooking Erakor Lagoon it’s designed with adults in mind. The Beach Pool is perfect for families. Set adjacent to the resort’s private beach it has a pool bar, paddling pool mushroom fountain and tipping water buckets.


Guests can also organise paddle boarding, sea kayaking, catamaraning, golf and beach volleyball among other activities from the Activities Hut on the beach.


Here on business, I didn’t have time for pampering however, for guests lucky enough to completely unwind there is the onsite Namele Day Spa where beachside massages, in-room treatments and even hair braiding is offered.


Breakfast is served in The Verandah Restaurant overlooking the Lagoon. The buffet is pretty standard, but good (actually, the omelettes are better than good), but revisit for dinner and you’ll choose from an excellent Australaisan/French-inspired menu filled with seafood caught that day.


What makes Vanuatu shine is its consistently high level of service, always delivered with a typically broad Ni-Vanuatu smile. The Holiday Inn is no exception and from the reception staff through to those who delivered my laundry, it seems nothing is too much effort.


I stayed four nights, but I would have liked to truly slip into island time and stay a little longer.


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Written by: Jessica Zoiti
Published: 1 September 2014

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