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Hotel Check: Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Published: 13/02/2018 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Welcome to Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Hotel Check: Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

HOW MANY ROOMS? 148 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Overwater bungalows, an inviting open-air lobby, and excellent dining (including along the beach) make this a popular resort for families and conferences visiting the island.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $125

CONTACT Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, PO Box 215, Tassiriki Park, Port Vila, Vanuatu, tel 678-22040,

WHERE IS IT? About 20 minutes from the airport on the edge of Port Vila, this resort sits on the edge of an island lake providing guests a breezy waterfront beach. Vanuatu is easily reached via nonstop flights from Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The open-air entrance is grandiose and reminiscent to what you might find in Tahiti or the Cook Islands.

Its thatch roof and hilltop position overlooking the water below provide an immediate tropical feel, but then again, so does the traditionally dressed performer that welcomes arrivals with ceremonial music and seashell lei. Families are the main focus during the high season, and meeting and conference groups fill in the blanks well.

ROOM FACILITIES In low-rise buildings abutting the main lobby, guest rooms are reached via colorfully carpeted hallways. Brisk air conditioning and whirling ceiling fans keep them cool, and the island colors are vibrant and welcoming.

 Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Modern art stretches across the wall in the form of an abstract sea turtle with pops of green, gold, and purple found in the fabrics. Thick comforters top the king or paired queen beds facing flat-screen cable TVs. Tucked into alcoves are coffeemakers and refrigerators, a favorite of families that can stock them as they please. Side tables can double as desks with convenient power outlets everywhere in the room. Corner sofas provide views through the sliding glass doors that open to furnished balconies facing either the gardens or the water below. Bathrooms stock Pacific Company toiletries from New Zealand, excellent lighting and water pressure, and hairdryers. Full-length mirrors, alarm clocks, and free wireless Internet round out the amenity list. The most prized accommodations are the overwater bungalows on the opposite side of the bay, which provide direct access to the lagoon.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Dining is in the main restaurant with hilltop views of the bay and the pools. Here, breakfast buffets unfurl each morning with the highlight being the tray of coconuts with colorful straws for natural morning hydration.

 Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Open-air seating is surprisingly breezy, but there is also an air conditioned dining room. Lunch and dinner are served here or in the lobby lounge with a bar and breezy seating areas. By the pool, a café menu of sandwiches and light bites supplements the lengthy cocktail list. The resort is known for hosting a variety of special events from beach barbecues to movie nights by the pool. Fire dancers perform once a week on the beach at another dinner event popular with guests.

LEISURE FACILITIES There are two swimming pools: one located at the beach with a kids’ splashing area and another tucked into a hillside terrace that is more quiet. Both are quite large with excellent views and bar service. Towels are stacked high for guests to use, and staffers can coordinate nonmotorized water sport activities or a game of tennis or basketball on the courts.

 Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

The beach has several cabanas with lounge chairs, free for guests, and the hammock swings dangling from the tall palm trees are a real delight as you whisk forward toward the overwater bungalows. They are popular with all ages. A keycard-accessible fitness center is located by the pool. Each week, the resort prints a detailed newsletter with daily activities from local arts and crafts to visits to the local market. Many are free while others carry a modest surcharge and provide a comfortable and easy way to explore the island and its local culture.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Given the need to appeal to business functions, the resort made a concerted effort to beef up its wireless Internet.

 Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu meetings

Admittedly, it is faster than my own home and works by the pools, on the beach, and all around the public areas without the need to log in and out. Conference space includes modern audiovisual equipment, and it is not uncommon to see white tents along the beach to host social gatherings.

VERDICT While the resort is lovely, it is the staff that makes the place shine. They are very proud of their nation and their resort, which has held many titles over the years including InterContinental and Le Meridien. 

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

As a Holiday Inn Resort, it proves to be an excellent example of the brand’s makeover to provide an amenity-rich environment with modern facilities and a value-focused price. This resort and its overwater bungalows already capture plenty of attention from Australia and New Zealand, but deserves more attention from North American visitors thanks to convenient one-stop flights to the U.S. via regional hub airports. For now, it’s a secret slice of paradise without the crazy prices of Tahiti or Hawaii.

(Pictures by Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu)

By Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels.  He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.

You can find more from Ramsey at, on Twitter - @dailytraveltips and Instagram - @dailytraveltips

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