Iririki Island Resort Hotel

, Port Vila, Vanuatu
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Iririki Island Resort Hotel

, Port Vila
Iririki Island - Port Vila - Vanuatu Hotel Website | 23388
379 Traveller

Reviews - Iririki Island Resort Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Iririki Island Resort Hotel

Waste of time!!!!

from al-no1
From the time we got there it was obvious that this was Not going to be a place we could enjoy, The staff left our luggage on the jetty the friendly welcome was Not and the staff did not even try to help. We had to get angry before being given a key to a room which they did not know was room 6 or 9 just try the door!!!
Kristina, Quality control? was then on hand to direct us to our room with no help from other staff. We were not alone in this farce of a welcome. The room was old in need of desperate upgrade and as such was dirty and not as in the photos.
We tried the Air/con but turned it off as it was smelly and very noisy.overhead fan worked ok. Sliding screen, didnt without force. Beds not changed once in 5 days floors brushed over, shower not cleaned at all.
As to the food breakfast was included in tariff but as it is placed on buffet early then left without refrigeration not advisable!
Everything else was expensive including drinks and snacks.
To be fair we have raised our concerns with managemnent only to be told they are having difficultys with keeping good staff and we could have a free stay when we return. Not now or ever!!!

Refurbishment is desperately required

from Frequent_os_Travella
I agree with both last two reviewers of Iririki Resort.

The fares leave a lot to be desired!

Screen doors don't close proerly, extremely noisy air conditioners and fares could do with a lick (or three) of paint - both inside and out.

Room cleaning basically consisted of making of the bed (sheets never changed), bathroom generally wiped over (soap sometimes never replenished and towels were a dirty colour) and the floor swept.

The food at the Bali Hai Bar and Cafe left a lot to be desired! At the beginning of our stay the food was good as there weren't too many guests, but toward the end of our stay, as the resort started to fill somewhat, it appeared that the chefs/cooks couldn't cope with the extra demand and the food was ... well passable, if not tasteless!!!

Breakfast is abyssmal to say the least. It's 'buffet' breakfast consists of 3 (sometimes 5) types of cereal, some seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), dried fruit, bread for toasting (most of the time you have to put it through twice to get it right), some fresh fruit (never covered to protect it from flies), orange or pineapple juice, pastries and, depending on the day, crepes, french toast or scrambled egg. No where near the type of breakfast one would expect from a "RESORT"!

Food at the restaurants are equilent to, or more than expensive than, Sydney. The Bali Hai Bar and Cafe food prices are on par with Sydney but beverages are a little more expensive (the local beer, Tusker (draught), costs AUD$6.00, a can of Coke (if available) AUD$4.20 and pre-mix Coke AUD$3.00.

Around 4 days before we were to leave we were advised that cans of Coca Cola were no longer avauilable and could only get pre-mixed Coke. This was after the drink was served ... not when ordered! Was informed that the Resort will not have cans of Coke in future.

The Bali Hai Bar and Cafe, Mitcheners' Restaurant and Watermark Restaurant were all closed on New Years Eve as the resort had a New Years dinner at the Sunset Restaurant. There may have been a reason for this as a couple of days later we received a note asking us to attend a sales speil at the old reception (entrance to Bali Hai Bar and Cafe and Mitcheners Restuarant). Cost of the dinner was fairly steep (approximately AUD$144 for a seafood buffet (wife does not eat seafood) ... compared to AUD$80 in Vietnam on New Years eve 2005/2006 ... and it was a buffet spread and included wine and champagne).

The beach outside the Watermark Restaurant is small. The beach is covered in small sailing vessels and kayaks, but still manages to have quite a few deck chairs. The water is crystal clear and, if one tends to snorkel and venture away from the beach itself, has a enough different coral and fish to excite.

It appears that the resort is gearing itself up for time-share enthusiasts. The new development on the western side of the island resort, Snorkeller Cove, is basically five studio apartment blocks, a rather large swimming pool and the Sunset Restaurant. These apartments are sold and then leased/rented out to visitors when the owners do not occupy them. THis area appaers to be very well mainatained comparted to the rest of the resort.

The only other thing I tend to add is that be very acreful if you intend to walk around the island. The resort has golf-buggy transport and the drivers tend to go fairly quickly in them. At night 'land' hermit crabs walk across the roads toward salt water, and occasionally you may even come across land and coconut crabs.

As for the resort's 3 star rating ... I don't think so. We have stayed in 3 star hotels/resorts all over South-east Asia and this place can't even compare with the worse of them it is that bad. We definitely won't be staying there again.

We will return to Vanuatu ... but not to Irirkii Resort ... except to swim (maybe).
Management Response from gmiririki
My name is Jean Francois Debon and I have been the General Manager of Iririki Island Resort & Spa since February 14th 2007. I went through all the reviews posted about our resort. I must say that I basically agree about all of them, good and not so good. How can it be?
Iririki Island Resort & Spa is the flagship of the Vanuatu hotels. It's a fantastic resort which has plenty to offer and in particular the best location of any hotel in Port Vila, on a private island right in the heart of an 80 acres marine reserve, just 4 mn from town by 24 hours a day complimentary ferry service. 4 mn away from dozens of restaurants, bars, boutique, activities & tours....
Iririki Island is an historical landmark in Vanuatu as it was the British High Commissioner Residency for almost a century from 1886 to 1980 when the country was called the New Hebrides. Iririki Island Resort open in 1986 with 70 bungalows, most of which are still the original bungalows.
Two years ago, the current owners decided to add 61 deluxe apartments to the resort plus a whole range of new facilities such as tennis courts, a 1,300 sq meters lagoon pool, gymnasium, game room, two new restaurants & bars, new reception…. All those facilities open in November 2006 setting a new benchmark in quality accommodation & facilities for our destination at that time. During the two years that the construction lasted, I must admit that all focus and cash flow was on new development. Original bungalows and resort were a bit abandoned to themselves during that construction period. Many guests had to suffer from this situation. Our sincere apology to them. Thanks for the indulgence & patience of many of them. Bungalows were certainly in a dire need for refurbishing and upgrading up to a few months ago. I am anyway pleased to let you know that we have now almost completed a good extensive soft refurbishing of our fares and public areas. Improvements reflected in the recent good comments. New cushions, sheer drapes, curtains have been installed in all rooms. Bedspreads were changed. Most of the fares have now been repainted, revarnished. Old electrical appliances have been replaced. Bungalows are now looking great! Fresh and clean! Certainly not like new but at least like well maintained 21 years old bungalows instead of 21 years old run down bungalows. Improvements are also happening in all other aspects of the resorts from new menus, new theme nights, daily Melanesian activity programme, wireless internet, helicopter transfers to/from the airport, landscaping and gardening…. Our new deluxe rooms and penthouse suites are absolutely stunning, definitely the best of their kind in Vanuatu. All the recent developments brought a whole new dimension to the resort so be assured that when you book Iririki Island Resort, you book the very best hotel in Vanuatu and that poor service and run down accommodation are now things of the past.

Resort in Desperate Need of an Overhaul

from SharonJB
We stayed in this resort from 27 Dec 2006 to 5 Jan 2007.

ACCOMODATION
The Garden View Fares (Huts/Cabins) interiors are NOT as pictured at the resorts website. In fact the one we stayed in though OK view-wise was rather shabby . Bed was comfy but the daily cleaning was performed half-heartedly at best. I noticed for the time we spent our sheets were NEVER changed. Towels were once white are kind of grey and the bedspread had one or two blood like stains on it. The fly screen sliding door did not close properly and hence mosquitos were a misery and we had to buy fly spray and douse the place every night. Air conditioning could not be used as it was so noisy it woke up the neighbouring huts occupants and sleep was impossible with it on. It seemed to be also stuck on ARCTIC.

FOOD
Breakfast was OK though completely and utterly static. The toaster was working only on some days and positioned so that it spat out the toast onto the floor if you did not catch it on time. Choice was limited to fly blown fruit, cereals,toast and a croissant. Coffee cups were sometimes stained and looked unwashed and used cutlery was left on the table from the meal the preivious night.


For lunch we sometimes opted to eat at the cafe there as the menu in the restuarant was 3 to 4 times dearer than Sydney, Australia prices and also static. The Cafe's menu also never changed. When we arrived the cooking was OK but as more guests arrived the cooking and service went slowly downhill. In the end we when to the local supermarket on Efate and made our own lunches each day.

If you order a simple can of Coke there you may get one and at 400Vatu ($4AUSD +) they are SMALL cans. Imagine our chagrin when we ordered a can of Coke after a few more days there to get a glass of pre-mix coke (even smaller than the can) for the same price and then decided to try again and the glass was even smaller again! We were told the report had run out and there was no more on the horizon!

We sometimes ate at the cafe for dinner opting out of the $150 dinners (for one!) in the main restaurant. Mostly we ate in Port Vila restuarants which were SURPERB!

SERVICE
Mostly friendly and OK but I put that down to the ni-Vanuatu peoples generous and friendly outlook. But as more people arrived the service unraveled somewhat.

BEACH
Small VERY SMALL beach where is you are not early you miss out on deck chairs but its generally clean and the water is beautiful.

FERRY TO MAIN ISLAND OF EFATE
Great service and very reliable.

CHECKOUT
Generally hassel free though had to delete items ordered in our fare number that we did not order.

OTHER
We found out that the Australian GM for the resort had been sacked recently and that they were interviewing for a new GM when we were there. How did we know this? The interviews were held in rather loud voices in the Cafe in the evenings so we were 'delighted ' (not!) to hear peoples life stories (interveiwees) over and over again!


Dispite this I loved Vanuatu. The ni-Vanuatu peoples are friendly and hospitable. I challenge anyone to go there and get off the beaten tourist path! Be prepared, living is expensive there as most if not everything is imported. But this does not excuse waht I believe is one of the most wretched stays in any resort we have ever had. If it got its act together,renovated the existing infrastructure and stopped building time share...they'd have happier clients and return custom.

We will return to Vanuatu very soon but never to Iririki Resort.

t stay at Iririki - not worth the money

from gregeric
We have just returned from our 7 day honeymoon trip to Vanuatu staying at the Iririki Island Resort. We wanted to go someplace to relax and enjoy great weather and good service as we have had a hectic year. After some searching we decided on Vanuatu over Tahiti because of perceived value for money. Vanuatu itself is a beautiful place to visit - sunny/hot, close to Australia, relaxed and very friendly people. However, we didn't get what we paid for at Iririki Island Resort.

We stayed in an over-water bungalow/fare and I would not have imagined that we would be able to overlook pockets of coral and colourful reef fish that we could feed from our balcony but, that is the best part about staying at Iririki Island Resort.

On arrival, we were dumped by our airport transfer in an open dirt lot on the waterfront, no signs for Iririki and no one to greet us. We caught the quaint ferry across to the island and checked in. The welcome drink was flavourful and a nice 'welcome' touch. The resort was quiet as we arrived on a warm and sunny Christmas Day. We got to the bungalow/fare and discovered our air conditioner did not work and reported it immediately. It ended up taking 4 full days to get it repaired after constant reminders and two people checking it on two separate days.

The bungalow/fare is worn and has a run-down feel about it. My partner was there 13 years ago and nothing has changed except the new 'children allowed' apartments they built to sell to people as a modern timeshare facility. The outside of the bungalow/fare is very weathered and tattered.

The customer service for the most part is concerning. We had problems with our meal service, we paid for full breakfast in our package and on arrival were told no, just tropical. So, we had to talk to the manager about that too.

Our mini-bar was not stocked on arrival and it took them 4 days to get that right, but, they were happy to charge us for the items that were never in the fridge, so, on check-out we had to argue about that. Our room service order was wrong, it took over an hour for pancakes one day, and our pool side lunch took 1.5 hours - they served it to the wrong table and just moved on until we followed it up.

We didn't get our honeymoon package inclusions even after asking several days during our stay, and finally on our last day, after speaking with a manager, tah-dah. The customer service off the island is fantastic, so, don't expect anything from Iririki as a whole.

Jennifer in the main restaurant is fantastic at Iririki though, thanks Jennifer!

The view from the island is fantastic. There is a lot to do around the island, you can snorkel anywhere! Take a boat for a sail, kayak, organise fishing, etc. It is a nice place to relax. The new Snorkeler's Cove pool is nice and large, but the main old pool is just that, small and old.

Off the island we took a fantastic helicopter flight with Vanuatu Helicopters - totally worth it to see the 'jungle' and reef's from the sky. We spent the day on an average island, Moso Island, because it is eco-tourism for the cheap-n-nasty, but that said, it is doing a great job in helping the Hawksbill Turtle. We sponsored a turtle and released it - a fantastic feeling to help nature. Moso is the Island where Survivor Vanuatu was filmed. They took us on their dive boat to the outer side of the island for snorkelling which was fantastic!

Parasailing was fantastic fun and the game/reef fishing was a blast. The activities around Port Vila are expensive but worth it for the experience.

Food on the mainland was great although pricey, but, it is a holiday in a French pacific island.

A couple of words of warning to travellers - Be careful if you're shopping in Port Vila on the same day that there is a cruise ship in port. The majority of the shops put up their retail prices to catch unsuspecting passengers. We were asked "are you from the ship?". Saying no, we were given a cheaper price.

Secondly, be careful if you decide to buy the cheap DVD copies. You may only pay between VUV1500 and VUV2000 for a DVD but you either get only a poor quality copy or (as happened to us) get a DVD with nothing recorded on it at all. They are all packaged up to look authentic but are definitely not.

Overall, the honeymoon was OK because of the activities we did on and off the island. The resort did not live up to expectations in anyway, we pay approx. $3.5K AUD for our over-water/waterfront bungalow/fare with full breakfast. Iririki sells themselves as a high 4 star resort, it felt more like a low 3 star - we would have got the same service somewhere else without the waterfront. It was not worth what we paid. We would suggest staying somewhere else if you want good service and quality.

Iririki was just what we wanted - quiet but fun

from CiaraB
We wanted a quiet week away from Sydney somewhere close, warm and not too hectic. We chose Vanuatu/Iririki after some friends recommended it over a Fijian holiday. We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend it.

Our room was a bungalow/fare one row back from the water so we had harbour views from the balcony. The room was fine, bathroom a little tired but that didn't bother us. The island was relatively quiet and no kids are allowed in the Fares. The new Snorkeller's Cove apartments look fantastic, and kids are allowed there.

Tropical breakfast was just right for our stay, and the coffee didn't take forever to arrive despite a few warnings re. that problem. We had lunches/snacks on the Island too and they were fine. For dinner we ventured to some great restaurants in Port Vila. Some were a little further afield than on the main strip and well worth the taxi fare. The Steak and Seafood that we had were excellent.

Iririki has a great range of free watersports and we tried them all briefly - windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and snorkelling. The small beach is adequate, and if you find the hammock there you will never want to leave it! There's a tour company called Vanuatu Ecotours that took us on an excellent river walk half day tour. Next time we plan to do their mountain bike tour.

The staff at Iririki were friendly as were all the folk in Vanuatu that we met. The only issue was a lack of early breakfast and wake up call on our departure morning (5am), so be prepared to set your own alarm and pack a Mars Bar or a Banana! All in all I look forward to my next Vanuatu experience, and will probably stop in to Iririki again - its so handy and beautiful!

Great week at Iririki

from joelk
After reading some of the reviews on Trip Advisor, I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming stay at Iririki. But I can honestly say it was much better that I thought it would be. We had one of the new waterfront studios. A larger than average hotel room with a fully equiped kitchen and laundry (Fridge, Microwave, Hob, Washer, Dryer, a lounge area with comfy sofa and side chair, large LCD TV with free movies, pay movies, Internet, triple DVD player, music center, walk through dressing room, modern bathroom with massive shower, and large balcony with spa. Overlooking Snorkellers Cove you can lie in bed or in the spa and it's like being suspended over the water.

The original resort has been supplemented by a new Reception adjacent to the Ferry, a new watersports center with a great restaurant above and outdoor patio overlooking the smal beach, a huge lagooon pool (they say the biggest in the South Pacific) with a smim up bar, two tennis courts, a gym, and a 3rd restaurant. We at at all the restaurants including dinner at the Bali Hai bar and all were very good with good quality ingredients, well prepared, and excellent friendly service.

Overall a very pleasant and enjoyable stay.

Not quite paradise

from GR8FUN
My wife and I have just returned from a 7 day holiday at Irirki. Overall, it was a good trip. The round up:

The Accommodation; For it’s age and obvious use it was still in quite good condition. The bathroom did have some problems though, the silicone in the corners of the shower had been covered over with fresh silicone to hide the mould / stop leaks so it did look a bit gluggy and the existing tile grout had a pinkish base to it which made it all appear as though it was dirtier than it actually was. The toilet developed a suction through the S bend which resulted in a gurgling / sucking sound every 17 or so hours. We also woke one morning and did not have any water to the unit. This was returned at 7:30am. We were also interrupted during the day for routine maintenance checks by staff. The cabins are only about 5m apart, which was a little closer than I would consider optimum, so you consequently have no privacy on the deck of each unit. We stayed in a Harbour View unit and would not pay the extra for a water front unit. It was kind of nice having a bit pf greenery in front of the water view.

The Food; The breakfasts we thought were adequate. There’s plenty of fresh fruit, cereals & pastries (although the croissants did become more like bread rolls by the end of the stay). There was also a chef cooking lemon crepes, which were very nice. The pool bar food was very nice, decent size and reasonably priced. Diner proved to be a nice surprise. The Eye filet steak was probably the best value and one of the nicest we’ve had anywhere in the world. That coupled with the entrée of marlin & salmon had us coming back three nights straight for the same combination. The Melanesian Feast night was also quite good but bear in mind if you don’t want to partake in the feast’s there isn’t a le carte on offer. You have to go to the pool bar or mainland to eat.

The location: It’s a coral rock in the harbour and the coral extends into the ocean, so there’s very limited beach to lay on. Yes it’s close to town and you don’t really quite appreciate how close until you see it. It’s good and bad. We happened to be there when they had a agricultural expo on the foreshore of the mainland which meant load music and talking for 3 days straight. With the doors closed in the fares you could still hear the boom, boom, boom of base until 10pm each night with the exception of the last night when it went to 1:30am – Not Happy and nothing that could be done about it and yes Friday night you can hear the discos till quite late. You also get a bit of construction noise from town every day. There is a free ferry which takes you back and forth at any time you want and this did make the location quite nice. If you wanted a little excitement, it was a 5 min trip to the main land and off to do some shopping or try out some local restaurants or even visit the market - very nice. Little tip – if you want to pick up some of the cheapest D/F booze around head to Fung Kuie at the western (lagoon) side of town. We picked up 4 bottles which in Aust D/F would have cost $140, for $76.

The Activities; There is only a very small beach (50 – 60m) and it fronts onto the boat harbour. Again you don’t realise how annoying it is to try and sail between so many boats moored 20 – 40m apart. The double kayaks made for a nice way to see the island though. There’s a road around the top and western side of the island for the walkers. The western side is where the new buildings are going up and if we were to return, this is where we would stay (far away from the mainland noise). I’d be surprised if any of the rest of the construction would impact on anyone staying in any of the existing fares.

The Staff; Very friendly and courteous, perhaps a little shy which is what I’ve put down the previous reporters comment to. The only gripe we had was the daily requests we had to make for face washers and the annoyance at being told they had run out of shower caps (but then in the nic of time one was delivered to us, without us having to get upset at them).

The Tours; We did a “Horizon – 2 in 1 Island tour”. We would not go with this company again as they missed a couple of the promoted highlights which another tour that ran the same day did do (another couple we met at Irirki and tagged with during the day, comparing notes). Sorry didn’t get the name of their tour company. It’s worth doing an island tour though, so make sure you do one. Cascades Waterfall – do yourself. You can catch a bus (any minivan with a number plate commencing with a B) for 200V pp each way. 1000V entrance fee and it makes for a very easy to do trip.

Overall we did enjoy our stay, apart from the mainland music. Well worth the trip.

A Fantastic Holiday

from Ian2127
My wife and i just returned from our 1 week honeymoon at Iririki, which was simply outstanding. The moment we arrived at the island we were greeted with great service, which continued till the day we left. We stayed in a waterfront bungalow, which is highly recommended. Its very clean and cosy, and the views were breathtaking.

Overall, i found this resort to be perfect for couples who want to unwind. Also, the island was very clean and alot of daily maintenance and care is put into the landscaping.

The nightly entertainment at the Bali Hai and the restaurant was good as well as the food!

Looking forward to visiting again!

Great Relaxing Holiday

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I have just returned from 2 weeks at Iririki. We had a very relaxing holiday, and found both the staff at the resort and the people of Vanuatu extremely friendly. We had a Harbourview Room at the resort which was clean and presentable, having been to many other Pacific Island resorts it was on par with some and better than others. We had not been to Vanuatu before, and chose it because we really wanted a relaxing time without being coerced into playing sports or games which you get at some resorts, so the peacefulness was something which we very much enjoyed. The buffet breakfasts although not vast in choices had sufficient, including fruits, cerals, juices, pastries, toast, and eggs cooked how you wanted them. The food from the Bali Hai bar was fine and reasonably priced.

We kayaked around the island on a couple of occasions, and saw no debris or rubbish floating in the water, just plenty of tropical fish, and black sea urchins.

The current building works did not affect our holiday in any way, other than a minor detour whilst the new reception is being built near the jetty. We were told that once the new apartment resort is finished at Snorkeller's Cove that Iririki will be refurbished too. They are also planning to build a new reception area with shops and a new jetty on the Port Vila side for transfer to the island. So there will be some major changes over the next couple of years if all goes to plan.

All in all we had a wonderful stay.

couldnt wait to leave

from A TripAdvisor Member
we just returned from what was ment to be a 10 day honeymoon to a 5 day bore.
as ud expect we had been looking forward to this moment for a long time and couldnt wait to see the pictures from the brochures come alive. instead we arrived only to find a small smelly room which was run down and needed a lot of repairs.
we ate the same old breakfast every morning for five days and had nothing to do on the island but swim in a tiny pool or go snorkling amongst the plastic bags and old food packaging that was floating in water.
all meals on the island were over priced and didnt taste good at all and we got fed up of repeating our room number 100 times a day.
its very very overated!!! and we were extremly dissapointed that we cut the holiday short and came home after 5 days.

Top Local Tips for Port Vila

Easy & FUN Just look for the small mini bus with B on the number plate have 100 Vatu ready for each person and enjoy the ride after telling the driver your destination.

Sunset Cruise Even if it's cloudy, Meridian Charters Sunset Cruise is a "Must Do" activity whilst in Port Vila. You WILL have FUN!

Food Food & going out for dinner in Vanuatu is very good stay away for the lager resorts for food there are many small eating places with better food such as Breakas & Waterfront.

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Other names for Iririki Island Resort Hotel

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  • iririki island resort
  • iririki island port vila
  • iririki island hotel
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  • Address: Iririki Island - Port Vila - Vanuatu
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