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Laguna Vista

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Port Vila, Efate Vanuatu
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#45 of 51 hotels in Port Vila
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Port Vila, Efate Vanuatu
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Sandra A wrote a review Mar 2012
Brisbane, Australia67 contributions46 helpful votes
I stayed at Laguna Vista in 1997(Trip Advisor does not offer this time in their drop down menu!) and it was the perfect choice for me. Available was a "typical Aussie barby" which served its purpose. The pool is nice and the view form the hotel was good. The hotel was not modern but it was clean and safe and offered an affordable, friendly, relaxed atmosphere which was what I wanted. . Because they have a kitchen, there is no restaurant but town is just a 15-20 minute walk or a bus ride away (there’s shops less than five minutes walk away). I made my own breakfast and dinner each night and ate lunch out, saving heaps. I brought local fruit and veges at the local shops and market place. I know I good a good service here and I saved money for other trips which was my main aim, as this trip was a working holiday. When in a bus or taxi, say you want to go to Poppys, as nobody knew about Laguna Vista, but it is half way down the Poppys driveway. It’ll cost you about 150 Vatu each on the bus (children under two years are free) to get to town and you may be able to get taxi drivers to accept the same (just make sure you fix the price before you get in the taxi). I found Laguna Vista to be a lovely haven to retreat to once I'd finished my (health) work for the day. My apartment was very clean. The vista also has a complimentary laundering service which is not always good but if you have time there are machines to do your own! I would stay here again.
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Date of stay: April 2011
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Trip type: Travelled on business
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Sam J wrote a review Jan 2010
New Zealand36 contributions14 helpful votes
We have just returned from a white (sand) Christmas in paradise which was made even better by our stay at Laguna Vista - this place is a treasure! My partner and I traveled with another couple and had booked a 2 bedroom apartment way back in July 2009. After reading the last couple of reviews on here I admit that I was worried about our impending stay - so much so that I emailed Ray (manager of the property and owner of Melanesian Tours) to ask questions about some of the comments raised - he told me not to worry and he was absolutely right... For a 10 day stay this place is the perfect antidote to some of the noisy and overcrowded resorts and hotels around Villa - there are only 4 or 5 apartments in the block. We were in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment which was light, airy, spacious and really well equipped, it really does look like the photos on the website! The deck was huge and we spent most evenings out there looking over the trees to the lagoon, drinking wine and cooking up the fabulous local produce on the BBQ - a great idea BTW. I had been worried about possible noise from the apartment above - I needn't have! There was a family with 3 children staying above us and we hardly heard a peep out of them for the week they were there. We saw them in the pool (which was right next to our deck) a couple of times and heard them move chairs once and that was it! I expect we probably made more noise than them! It was also very windy (unusual for Xmas in Villa) and we never once felt that we needed to close shutters or doors - it was nice to have a cooling breeze at 30 deg... The housemaids were great, the apartment was pretty much spotless the whole time were were there and we had to tell them not to come on Xmas and New Years days! They also did truckloads of clothes washing for us at no extra charge. The pool is fairly small but very refreshing - I probably wouldn't lie around sunbathing next to it as there isn't a huge amount of space but it was ideal to cool down after a day out exploring. Ray and Glenda were very helpful whenever we needed them but very much left us alone to enjoy the apartment. We never felt under pressure to purchase their tours though all the info was there if we wanted it. Its a handy 10 minute walk into Villa and the apartments had safe parking for our hire car. I would fully recommend hiring a car so that you can tour the island at leisure, you really do get to see some amazing spots. Our Christmas day was spent at Mele waterfalls and drinking champagne on a deserted private beach - very nice! The main around island road is about 90% rebuilt and fully sealed so it is a pretty safe drive - some of the back roads and resort driveways can be a bit of a bumpy ride tho. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Laguna Vista for excellent value and a great place to stay - we will deffinately be back... .
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Date of stay: December 2009
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
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FireDragon888 wrote a review Dec 2009
Cairns, Australia9 contributions1 helpful vote
Would definitely agree with the descriptions given from other reviewers, however, if we had known that the 'local/expat' family living on the top floor were there for a whole year and were going to cause such headaches with the constant banging and crashing, yelling and crying, dropped toys and furniture scrapped across the tiled floors, then we certainly would have choosen a different place. Even a stay 7, pay 4 nights deal wasn't enough to balance out the horrendous experience we had with the noisy inconsiderate family upstairs from us. FYI, that family will be there until at least February, although if that is entirely accurate is anyones guess as time means little in Vanuatu.. We were told the spa was removed two months ago, yet other reviewers suggest it has been gone a lot longer than that. The lack of internet access, even though on some sites it was stated as having, was a disappointment. We were able to get wireless access from Tradewinds for 2000 Vatu for the week. Poppy's charge 1500 for 2 hours!!! Mind you, we could only access it because we had a wireless antenna which boosted the wi-fi ranges. Their own website suggests a 5 star resort (everything is a resort in Vanuatu) with 6 star views!?! I certainly would disagree on both accounts. Maybe a 3 star.. and the views? Well, we could barely see the lagoon through the high bushes. I would only recommend Laguna Vista if you were to book into an upstairs apartment, and certainly not apartment no. 2. The housekeepers were fantastic!! A prompt efficient laundry service was certainly appreciated as was our dishes being done and the rooms kept spick and span. Oh.. Laguna Vista is hidden away in the 'sticks' Although the locals are very friendly and crime is supposed to be rather low, I never felt comfortable walking around at night time in that area. The barking dogs, day and night is a bit offputting when one is seeking peace and serenity.
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Date of stay: November 2009
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Response from Ni-Van2009, owner at Laguna Vista
Responded 25 Dec 2009
Thank you FireDragon888 for your candid comments. We are always happy to receive comments as they help us keep Laguna Vista meeting guest expectations. With regard to sound transmission from the upper to lower floors floor rugs have been installed and felt pad placed under all chairs. The family currently in Unit 4 will be leaving on 21Jan2010 and upstairs apartments will be for holiday makers only. Your rating of "excellent" given to our houseeeping staff and cleanliness is consistent with all other posted comments and feedback that we have received. Our staff has been with our family for 12 years and they feel great loyalty to us and pride in Laguna Vista. WiFi connection has never been advertised on our web site and we apologise if it is advertised on other sites. Currently Internet connection is being installed to all units and should be ready early in 2010. The spa was removed due to misuse in Jan 2009 and all reference was removed from our website and advertising immediately. The gardens of Laguna Vista are beautiful and lush however we have instructed the groundsman to ensure they are kept well trimmed to maximize the specular views of the lagoon. Thank you again for your comments and we hope to host you again.
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Findthedoor wrote a review Aug 2009
Cairns, Australia11 contributions1 helpful vote
Karris21 has given us a pretty definitive description of what can be expected of the 3 bedroom apartments and the staff at Laguna Vista. My cousin and I booked one of the 2 bedroom apartments, both of which are downstairs, for a week. Unfortunately, we had some pretty strong winds during our stay, and with the wooden louvres even partially closed, it was so dark as to require lights on all the time. Also, we found that the owners (not the manager) had let the 3 bedroom apartment above to a ‘Vila family with 3 small children. At 5.45am I could hear the youngest’s feet hit the floor directly above me and run to mum and dad’s room. From then on, it was every noise clearly heard through the ceiling, from dropped toys, loud children's conversations, chairs dragged across the floor, fights, crying and tears until we left for the day. To Ray’s credit, he offered us the three bedroom apartment for our last 3 days – and what a difference! Daylight, spacious, a better view, better appointed and QUIET!! Given that the upstairs apartments are family-oriented, ours is probably not a unique experience. So consider carefully if you are thinking of booking a downstairs unit – go upstairs if the budget can cope! A couple of other notes – we are dedicated coffee drinkers, and there is a lot of truly dreadful coffee here for a place that grows the stuff – and we tried most places along the main street/ waterfront. If you care about good coffee, Chantilly’s makes by far the best, and is definitely worth the walk. Café du Village on the waterfront is a great night out, with good music and a dance floor, Vila Chaumieres is an upmarket restaurant in a beautiful lagoon-side location – but very quiet. Starfish Cove, also overlooking a lagoon, is the complete opposite, big, and shiny-new, but good food and wine there too. Remember though, it is Australian capital city prices.
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Date of stay: August 2009
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karris21 wrote a review Mar 2009
Australia282 contributions37 helpful votes
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We stayed at Laguna Vista over the period of the 1st to the 9th of March 2009 and it was the perfect choice for our needs. We were two couples; our friends with an infant of 10 months and ourselves with our 20 months old daughter. We chose the three large bedroom apartment, which also had two large bathrooms (one an en suite) so we were never waiting for the bathroom (ie toilet) and the showers were huge in both. The main bedroom even had a walk in wardrobe. The kitchen and dinning were full size, and the main bedroom and lounge are spacious and over look the lagoon. There was also a huge covered balcony with a barbecue. We had imagined the typical Aussie barby but it was a simple electric number, but it still served its purpose. The third bedroom is a loft upstairs and looks out over the lounge, dinning and kitchen. The pool is nice and we swam in it most days. The vista advertises a spa as well but it has been removed. It didn’t bother us as we had no intentions of using it anyway. Because they have a kitchen, there is no restaurant but town is just a 15-20 minute walk or a bus ride away (there’s shops less than five minutes walk away). We made dinner each night and ate lunch out, saving heaps. We brought limes and passionfruit from the markets and Lissing or Wendy made us juice the first couple of days, until my husband asked how they did it, then he took over the task (it made him feel like he was contributing to our little village and he needed it for his vodka). Since coming back to Australia, I am still having the drink made (using lemons); my normal cordial doesn’t quite cut it now. On that same day Lissing showed us how she makes her famous banana cake, and I had asked about Lal Lap, so she showed us how to make that as well- with some help from us, (we brought the ingredients), she had never made it in an oven before that day. Lissing and Wendy were great with the little ones. This apartment was good for us as it was very child welcoming, and we didn’t feel like we had to walk around on tip-toes. Also the price was right as they had a stay 7 and pay for 4, and after separating that between our families, we think we got a good value for money (for Vanuatu). When in a bus or taxi, say you want to go to Poppys, as no one we spoke to knew about Laguna Vista, but it is half way down the Poppys driveway. It’ll cost you about 150 Vatu each on the bus (children under two years are free) to get to town and you may be able to get taxi drivers to accept the same (just make sure you fix the price before you get in the taxi). The manager of Laguna Vista is Ray who runs Melanesian tours, which seems to sit on the other side of the Poppys complex (we didn’t know that until we arrived). He was very friendly with all my e-mails, but we didn’t have much to do with him there. We found Laguna Vista to be our little haven to retreat to once we have had a day out in Vila. It is a very well thought out design and is extremely comfortable to live in (even with two different families). Lissing and Wendy will kept your apartment very clean.The vista also has a complimentary laundering service but be aware that Vanuatu can be quite harsh on clothing and some stains will not come out in the wash. In fact some stains appeared larger upon the return from this service. But at lest they no longer smelt of sweat and felt clean. My husband loved the quality stereo. It can play MP3 and has RCA auxiliary ports. If you like TV they have free satellite with twelve stations, but we didn’t even turn it on. They don’t provide a DVD player (and we didn’t want one of those either). I hope this review helps others choose this place to stay. When I booked, there was only the one review to go on, but I am glad I listened and trusted it.
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Date of stay: March 2009
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Trip type: Travelled with family
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LOCATION
VanuatuEfatePort Vila
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4
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Frequently Asked Questions about Laguna Vista
Are there opportunities to exercise at Laguna Vista?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.