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Reviewed 8 January 2020

Lisa and Brad as well as Aore Island Resort's very friendly staff make you feel welcome the moment you arrive. This is a perfect place to 'stop and drop' which is exactly what we were after. Swimming in the lagoon and snorkelling during the day, bike riding across the island, and kayaking and SUPing between reading and cups of tea was the order of the day. The fact that breakfast and all non motorised craft is included in the tariff along with the ferry trips to the mainland each day makes this good value. The gardens are beautifully manicured with staff taking obvious care and pride in their work. The beautiful staff made a fresh frangipani lei and headpiece as well as a coconut cake for my birthday. We did not take any tours on this trip as we were only at the resort for 3 nights but the options did seem very attractive. Food and beverage prices are on par with other resorts throughout Vanuatu. Rooms were clean and tidy as was the main restaurant area. We loved everything about Aore Island Resort and are already planning our return. Thank you Brad and Lisa. Please give the staff (and pooches Max and Lolly) our love.

Room tip: If you are travelling without children choose the adults only area
Date of stay: January 2020
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tll477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad G, Owner at Aore Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2020

Thank you tll477 for your great review, and for allowing us to host you during your short stay in Santo. We are so pleased you enjoyed your time with us, and were able to participate in some of the activities on offer at the resort. We sincerely hope we may meet you again on a future holiday to Aore. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us on this occassion.

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Reviewed 27 December 2019

We stayed for four nights at Aore Island Resort. There were ups and downs, but we did enjoy our stay overall.

The only way to get there is via a 10 minute ferry ride across the channel. Unfortunately our flight was delayed so we ended up doing this in pitch black that first night. That was pretty scary if I'm honest! You just have to trust that they know what they're doing.

When you arrive, you are greeted by the Australian owners and a coconut drink. The owners sit with you on the comfortable couches next to the restaurant area to go through the paperwork and talk through the amenities the resort offers. Even though we arrived after the restaurant was meant to close, they stayed open for us and the one other family that we arrived with.

Speaking of the restaurant, it was generally pretty good. As expected, the prices are rather high for local resorts but that's kind of to be expected considering you have no other choice. Unless you take the late ferry out and back on Friday nights, you'll be having all of your dinners at the resort. Quality wise, it was mostly quite good. I had one or two dishes that were only so-so, but I can't really complain overall.

The farés are really lovely, with comfortable beds and clean bathrooms. They have the traditional palm roofs, which is nice character wise but not great for keeping out critters. We ended up shifting to another faré after the first night because ours (Faré 5) had a crapload of flying ants that bit me multiple times throughout the night and a MASSIVE cockroach. Faré 1 was much better insect wise, though my husband did notice mouse poop in one part of the room. We also overheard others mention this problem with their rooms. The only thing we didn't see were mosquitos, which I believe they take great care to prevent in the rainy season. I will also note that the roofs are not 100% waterproof when it rains really hard.

One great thing: each faré has its own private deck with water views and an outdoor fan that is bliss in the afternoon heat. I spent a lot of time sitting out there reading.

The day spa is definitely worth indulging in. I had a full body massage that was HEAVENLY. And it's pretty decently priced as spa treatments go.

The snorkelling out in front of the resort is fabulous. On the adults only side of the resort, you'll see a lot of wonderful fish and a few bits of lovely coral. In front of the restaurant and on the families side of the resort, you'll get to see some amazing coral. You can also feed the fish right off the dock, which they provide bread for throughout the day.

The one thing I really didn't like was how remote it was. There are only a handful of ferries to and from the main island throughout the day, and they usually run either late or early. And there's no rhyme or reason as to why. We were so worried about missing our ferry back that we ended up arriving at the wharf almost an hour early and had to bake out in the sun until it arrived (and left late). I personally would prefer if there were more services because it does make you feel a bit limited about what you can and can't do in Santo.

Overall, if you're looking for somewhere with lots of character and don't mind a bit of rustic charm / critters, Aore is a lovely place to stay. It's also a great place to stay if you really just want to get away and not feel pressured to do much on your holiday. However if roaming Santo without a tour guide is your aim, you're probably better staying on the main island instead.

Room tip: Farés 1-3 on the adults-only side are probably my picks re: closeness to facilities and less critters.
Date of stay: December 2019
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank RantingJules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad G, Owner at Aore Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 December 2019

Thank you Ranting Jules for your very in-depth review. We are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us in Santo, and were able to completely relax. A quick note on the ferry schedule (which runs 5 times per day). The times are set to meet with departing & returning tours in Santo, whilst also allowing for the siesta closure of shops in town in the middle of the day; a special ferry outside of the scheduled times can be organised on request, which attracts a small additional fee. Flying ants are an activity which happens 2-3 times per year; we are sorry they occurred during your visit with us. Thank you again for staying with us during your visit to Santo, and we hope we may be able to host you again on a future visit.

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Reviewed 22 December 2019

My husband and I spent the first four days of our honeymoon at Aore Island resort - what a way to kick things off! Our flight was significantly delayed, but the staff was very accommodating of our late-night transfer (by van and boat) and even kept the kitchen open late so that we could grab dinner upon arrival. Our "hut" was spacious/luxurious and included a beachfront, a small private pool and a hammock over the water. The resort offers tons of fun tours. We did the Mount Hope waterfall/river float (beautiful and super fun!), as well as 2 days' worth of diving with Aore Adventure (see separate 5-star review). The staff is extremely friendly, helpful and personal. Lisa even shared her own stash of moisturizer with me after I suffered a sunburn! Loved the fact that the resort is plastic-free and filters their own water - aka no need for plastic bottles! HIGHLY recommend staying with these guys!

Room tip: Room 8 is top-notch if you can get it!
Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Meg F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad G, Owner at Aore Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2019

Thank you Meg F for your fantastic review, and mostly for allowing us to be part of your very special holiday. We are very pleased that you thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of your stay with us, and your positive comments go a long way for all of the resort staff. Thank you again for staying with us during your honeymoon, and we hope all of your future holidays get better as you age together.

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Reviewed 22 December 2019 via mobile

Staying at Aore Island Resort was overall a very good experience. The staff are friendly and welcoming and some are exceptional like Manson, Gerry and Annie for whom nothing was too much trouble. The resort is immaculate and the groundskeepers should be commended for their excellent work. The accomodation was clean and functional although the ceiling fans were not adequate enough for me to stay cool at night, it is however summer season and a warm/humid time of year. The food was excellent with a varied menu and a good choice of daily specials. It is however expensive to eat at the resort and this is certainly something that needs to be considered and budgeted for especially for a family.

An average couple staying for one week could expect to pay roughly $100 AUD per day for lunch/dinner with a single drink each. For example specials board prices.. Starters Vt 1500, ($18)mains average Vt 2500-3000, ($32-39) dessert Vt950 ($12)and 1400 ($18)for cocktails (no happy hour ☹️). The main all day menu is slightly cheaper with a burger costing Vt 1600 ($20) for example. Given the resort is on an island options to eat elsewhere are limited.

You can go to Freshwater Plantation 3km down the road on the island and they will pick you up/drop off for dinner or lunch or you can cycle there and have a snorkel and eat some lunch or do the plantation tour for 4000 vt. Prices are similar to the resort and the food is good quality. The only other island option is the Aore island coffee cafe 1km down the same road as the plantation which offers basic lunch like an egg/bacon roll for Vt 1000. Two canoes is shut permanently despite still having an active website.

The resort ferry service is great and links up with the tours that can be booked through the resort staff. You can get lunch in Luganville or dinner on Friday night when the resort operates a 6pm drop off and 9pm return ferry. The Tu is recommended but again expensive.

The free access to bikes, SUPs and Kayaks are a nice touch and the snorkeling in front of the resort is pretty decent. Watch out for the Picasso trigger fish who aren’t that welcoming!

Tours on santo I would recommend are the RiRi river kayak and blue hole and mount hope waterfall tour. All tours on Santo are expensive both of the above are Vt 5500 per person.

Overall Aore island resort is very good, and you will have a good experience mindful of the cost of eating and activities/tours.

Date of stay: December 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank lewiswhittle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad G, Owner at Aore Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2019

Thank you lewiswhittle for taking the time to post a great review; but a bigger thank you for choosing to stay with us. Your outline of activities which are available in Santo is comprehensive, and a great guide for future visitors. Food prices in Vanuatu can be viewed as expensive, compared to countries such as Bali; but I think, with the knowledge that all goods (apart from protein foods & some vegetables, which are all organic) are imported, and attract high import duties, menus tend to be comparable to Australian pricing. Thank you again for allowing us to host you on your visit to Santo, and we sincerely hope we may meet you again on a future visit to Vanuatu.

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Reviewed 2 December 2019

We had the pleasure of joining Lisa and Brad at their beautiful resort for our 30th wedding anniversary.
We were made feel very welcome from the time we arrived.
Our room was spotless and was full of beautiful flowers on arrival.
The food was amazing especially our Taste Of The South Pacific anniversary dinner .Receiving our Lei was another beautiful touch to make our night special .
Snorkelling out our front door of our room was awesome full of beautiful fish and coral in crystal clear water .
The paddle boarding, canoeing and bike riding was all great fun .
We loved Aore Resort and definitely will be back .

Date of stay: December 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Tracy049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad G, Owner at Aore Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2019

Thank you Tracey049 for your great review, but mostly for choosing to stay with us while celebrating your special event. We are very pleased you enjoyed partaking in the activities of Aore, while immersing yourself in the raw luxury of our slow tourism.Thank you again for staying with us, and we sincerely hope you will return for another holiday in the future.

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