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All reviews horse riding fish blue hole boat ride water spa magical experience swimming with turtles sea grass crab hunting little slice of heaven family holiday sea life very special place paddle boards pristine waters ni vanuatu food was fantastic
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Reviewed 28 January 2020

Our week-long stay at Ratua was nothing short of magical.  For those travelers looking for something truly unique, special and seemingly undiscovered, this is the place.  You could believe for an entire week that you had somehow stumbled upon the greatest secret in Vanuatu, and that among this tremendous natural beauty, genuine warmth and friendliness, and return to the elements, you had found the perfect getaway.  We spent the week without shoes, without screens and with the happiest children (and adults!) we have ever had.  

Mornings began early, with a sunrise paddleboard ride around the lagoon, looking down at giant sea turtles, colorful fish, rays, and all sorts of sea life.  Then we would return for a delicious breakfast, followed by hours of swimming, snorkeling and relaxing.  Lunch was the next delight, and then perhaps we would spend a few hours reading and playing games in the over-water lounge in Fish Village, followed by more exploring and swimming.  Evenings were a wonderful treat- our hosts brought delightful and unexpected entertainment from the nearby islands.  Both the adults and children alike were fascinated by the water musicians, the bamboo band and the staff band.  Dinner and dessert was varied and always great.  And then we would fall asleep under the mosquito nets in our villas to rest until the next day.   
 
Not a single time during the entire week did our children even ask about television or screens, they were never bored, and they thrilled at having the ability to go anywhere in the resort with shoes, knowing that all of the staff knew them by name and were available to help if needed.  They loved swimming out to the dock and jumping off, finding fish in the reefs, and snorkeling in the shallow warm waters.
  
We also took advantage of some of the really unique activities on the island.  One morning, we took our boys out fishing with Sam and to their immense delight, they reeled in an enormous coral trout from the ocean (almost bigger than our son!).  We did the swimming with horses activity one afternoon with Johnnie, which was completely unique.  And the boys went out one night for crab hunting with Roy, which delighted them to no end.  Oh and of course the adults signed up for some lovely spa treatments in what must be the most scenic spa in the Pacific.  

To a person, the staff were warm, welcoming, friendly and helpful.  The general managers (Eileen and Bong) were constantly available, knowledgeable, informative, and receptive to all of our questions and feedback.  Other reviews have talked about how much they go above and beyond, and we saw this as well when one of our group had some ear issues and Eileen somehow obtained medicine from the city within hours.  The waitresses were kind and patient,  and the ladies at the spa were also great.  

I will caveat to say that for those who prefer large resorts with air conditioning, pools, multiple bars and restaurants, and kids clubs, this may not be the place for you.  There are no locks on the doors (none are needed!), no screens in the windows, and an occasional lizard in your bathroom.  But for those who are seeking an adventure, open to new experiences and places, and looking to re-connect with nature, people and perhaps their children, you will find nowhere better than Ratua.  We already cannot wait to return.  

Room tip: Fish Village is great for families and groups.
Date of stay: January 2020
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kira M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2020

Dear Kira,

Thank you for the long, very detailed, and kind review. We enjoyed reading it, great title too!

It was a pleasure having you here on the island along with your close friends Arash, Leili and Family. Thank you for pointing out the unique qualities of Ratua as it’s not everyone cup of tea, but for those wanting to experience something off the beaten track, Ratua just might be the place as you eloquently mentioned in your review. The luxury aspect of Ratua is space, serenity, authenticity, and rich beauty of nature.

Thank you very much for your recent stay, we enjoyed our conversations, and we hope to see you again soon. Please send our regards to Charles, Caleb and Henry.

Regards,
Ratua Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2020 via mobile

I visited Ratua with my cousin. It was simply amazing! There is safe and easy snorkelling access to the reef straight off the beach! We saw turtles, clown fish, sea cucumbers, clams and beautiful coral to name just a few metres off the beach. The staff at this resort are friendly, welcoming and make your stay feel like a real home away from home. The activities are wonderful, all equipment available for SUP and kayaking around the little lagoon. Fabulous food and over water spa! Accommodation is traditional Balinese. This is a destination suitable for friends, families and couples. The island is quiet and relaxing- just beautiful. The only thing to be aware of is flight times in and out of Santo and the boat ride on a smaller boat to the actual island is approx 35 minutes. No TV and Wi-fi is limited to the reception/some area of the bar. I would go back in a heartbeat!

Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Violet16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2020

Dear Violet16,

It was great to have welcomed you and your cousin here in Ratua. We are happy to hear that you find your visit quite an amazing experience with close encounters of the rich marine life just in front of the resort, no need to take a boat ride to swim with the turtles!

Thank you also for mentioning the flight times in and out of Santo. Yes, it can be a bit of a challenge to come to this part of the world but you may also arrive in style via private charter from Port Vila which saves you a lot of time waiting in the airport.

On another note, yes there is no television in the rooms and WIFI is limited in the reception/Yacht Club. The reason is to urge guests to engage in nature and enjoy the holidays with family and friends instead of connecting to the world wide web. It’s nice to disconnect sometimes 

See you again soon!

Regards,
Bong

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Reviewed 8 January 2020

The service here is incredible. Everything had a very nice luxe feel. You must be prepared for the heat as it can get very hot at times but the feeling of an all inclusive island where everyone is very friendly (shoutout to Bong who was a most gracious host) and you dont even need a key.

Some considerations maybe
- no pool, not a big point at all but might be nice as an option.
- snorkelling equipment is a bit lacking, people tend to take and keep for the duration of their stay so coud do with a refresh and have surplus
- the rooms can get very hot! the ceiling fan blowing onto the fabric of a mosquito netted bed is not working. Need another solution to get some ventilation into the beds.

Overall the stay here was amazing and the food incredible. Best in Vanuatu. Would recommend 3-4 nights. We did only 2 which felt a bit too short!

Room tip: Ask for the Deer villa - it has a private overwater deck!
Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Phillip P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ratua Management, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2020

Dear Phillip P,

Thank you for coming to stay at Ratua on your honeymoon and congratulations once again! Thank you also for the kind review and special mention as our mission is to offer magical moments to all our guests. We are happy that you enjoyed your visit although I must say that we need more snorkelling gears during busy season, thank you for this feedback, we will definitely restock our supplies.

We hope to welcome you again in the future, perhaps with a new member of your family?

Regards,
Ratua Team

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Reviewed 7 January 2020 via mobile

Bong and Eileen were wonderful hosts. The island is majestic. We enjoyed the relaxing, snorkeling, horse riding and swimming with the horses. Truly a special part of the world and worth the boat ride to get there.

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank 9gjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ratua Management, Agency / Consultant at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2020

Dear 9gjp,

Thank you for taking time to make a review. We are happy to that you came to visit Ratua and enjoyed its unique activities. Indeed, this island is filled with wonders that make your visit memorable. Hope to get the chance to welcome you again.

Best regards,
Ratua Team

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Reviewed 27 November 2019

I can talk all day about our 7 nights at Ratua Island Resort - The people, sights and sounds, excursions, food etc but quite frankly it won't do it justice and you have to experience this yourself! Get yourself and/or significant other/Family to Ratua! You will not regret it!

Info:
We travelled in November 2019 - just before cyclone season kicks in. We had fantastic weather while we were there. Only sprinkled with Rain on one of the days which lasted 20mins.. And rained one of the 7 nights we were there. Rest of the time perfect 29/30+ deg weather
November is a great time to visit the island!

People:
The staff are just wonderful. Super friendly and cater to all your needs… with a smile!
Special mention and thanks to Bong, Ailyn, Rosaline, Elianna, Johnny, Sandy, Patricia, Leanne, Kimi and Roy! You made our holiday/Honeymoon a super special experience that quite frankly we will never forget! We miss our Fresh coconuts by the way! And the occasional Tusker :-)

Activities and excursions:
Activities and excursions were quite special. Snorkelling was absolutely great with plenty of fish and new, exciting coral areas everywhere you look. Plenty of areas to snorkel which will take you days to cover!
The cherry on top was swimming with turtles - Just wow! Such a wonderful experience!
The Blue hole kayak trip and swim and horse riding/swimming in the ocean was also a magical experience which we enjoyed. - Taking a trip to visit a local school in the area is truly worth it. Wonderful experience and great to see the smiles on the little faces. Please take any stationary/unused Clothes and practical items the school can use.. They will be truly grateful for this. It is a great initiative Ratua have implemented in supporting the local schools and communities!
If you want to lounge out and read a book on the lounger in front of the reef with the ocean serenading you while you in luck… that’s my type of meditation! With a beer of course.
Even catching a movie in their quaint cinema hut was great.

Food:
The food was just so delicious! Kimi was our chef for our time there.. what a guy and chef!.. My wife is vegan and it can be hit and miss when going out to eat at times, coupled with what resorts can cater for, however, Kimi and team did not miss a beat putting on a spread after spread of delightful food! Always something new - World class! All produce comes from the Ratua’s organic garden and from surrounding islands.
You will not leave with an empty or unsatisfied stomach, that's for sure!

Stay:
We stayed in the Cobra Villa and loved our little accommodation. Good privacy and spot on the island... Opening up the doors every morning and looking out onto the reef was a great start to the day. Check out Ratua website to see which appeals to you... The villas are beautiful 19th-century Teak villas from Indonesia.. Wonderfully maintained, rustic, spacious/airy.
Crocodile Villa is also a good villa offering good privacy and great views.
If you have family, the Tiger Villa is a great choice as it has plenty of space and a separate room for the kids. You will also have a little "lagoon" in front for the kids/adults to paddle in (High tide preferable) Low tide is also ok and about knee height but great and safe for kids – plenty of fish to keep them entertained.

Summary
In summing up you will leave refreshed/rejuvenated. You will enjoy the friendly ni-Vanuatu culture. I'm sure they will even teach you a bit of Bislama ;-) and introduce to Kava and its Origins :)
Thanks for a great and memorable trip team! Chris and Rachel.

Date of stay: November 2019
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Lekkertravels11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ratua Management, Agency / Consultant at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2020

Dear Chris and Rachel,

Thank you for the lovely review and sorry it took a while to respond. Juggling too many things at the same time .

We are very happy to hear that you had a fantastic time here in Ratua and that you enjoyed all the activities that nature has presented. Indeed this little island paradise has so much to offer to its visitors, many of which are unique to the island.

Thank for mentioning that your dietary requirements were met with satisfaction, Kimmi will be happy to hear about it. I am also glad to know that you loved your villa, it does have a charm that we all love, the breeze, the privacy, the view, and the pathway leading to the small private beach under the tree - perfect for sundowners!

Thank you for choosing Ratua, it was a pleasure to have welcomed you here and we hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Ratua Team

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