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Unlike Efate and Port Vila, there are no large scale, international style resorts on Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Rather the resort accommodation Espiritu Santo style is mostly laid back and low key – boutique style bungalows, units and rooms usually owned or managed by ex-pats. For the purpose of this blog we define “resorts” as accommodation offering guests additional amenities and features over and above the standard hotel accommodation (unique location & layout, pool, activities, on-site restaurant etc).  If you are after more information on the best budget accommodation Espiritu Santo click here, for the best cottages and bungalows Espiritu Santo click here . And for self contained holiday houses click here. Our top 10 resort accommodation Espiritu Santo listed below is based on a combination of local knowledge, reviews/feedback, location and value for money.

Resort Accommodation Espiritu Santo

1. Turtle Bay Lodge, Turtle Bay

If you’re after resort style accommodation in a stunning location for a value for money price, then you can’t go past Turtle Bay Lodge. Located on 2 acres of land on a small peninsula jutting out onto beautiful Turtle Bay (about a 20 minute drive north of Luganville), the Lodge consists of 14 rooms surrounded by tropical gardens and palm trees.  In addition to the double rooms, the Lodge also has family rooms and a selection of beautiful “glamping marquees”. And while there is no real beach as such (just strips of white sand among the rocks and coral), the Lodge does feature a pool and some great fringing reef for snorkelling out front as well as fantastic kayaking in the bay. There’s a PADI dive centre on site. Food-wise, the guests are catered to very well, with an excellent, value for money on-site restaurant and bar. Reviews are generally fantastic. All up a great choice for families, groups and couples looking for an idyllic, peaceful location in a laid back resort atmosphere. Prices range from around $120 a night for a basic double room up to $350 a night for a family room.

resort accommodation espiritu santo

 

 

 

 

 

2. Aore Island Resort

resort accommodation espiritu santoThis laid back family operated resort is located on Aore Island, directly across the Segund channel from Luganville, the main town. The resort operates a free ferry for guests to get across to the island (takes about 10-15 mins). It has recently been renovated. Accommodation is in the form of 18 cute bungalows ranging from studio bungalows to 1 bedroom bungalows that can fit a family of 4. The bungalows are fairly basic but have everything you need for a relaxing holiday, including a reasonable-sized balcony. At the heart of the resort is the large nakamal, which features a great restaurant, a bar, a pool and an on-site dive shop (they can even organise fishing adventures). It’s also the de-facto social centre of Aore Island, which has numerous ex-pats in residence. There’s a beautiful deepwater beach out front for snorkelling and a day spa at the far end of the resort, offering a range of beauty treatments. Check out their website HERE

resort accommodation espiritu santoPrices start from around $255 for a garden view studio cottage and go up to around $365 for a beachfront 1 bedroom bungalow. The price includes free wifi, free use of onsite watersports, free push bikes and free continental breakfast each day. All other meals are extra – the restaurant however is quite reasonably priced! Overall guest reviews are mostly excellent with only a few complaints highlighting small faults in the service (mostly in the restaurant).

Although Aore Resort does not match the stunning beauty of other island resorts like Ratua, it is much more accessible from Santo and significantly lower in price. Aore Island is also a great option for families as there are lots of places to explore and have fun.

3. Barrier Beach Resort, Barrier Beach

Tucked away in lush tropical gardens and overlooking a stunning white sand beach, it’s location at Barrier Beach is what makes this low key 4 star boutique resort a standout. Rooms start from around $240 a night for two people. In return you get intimacy and good service – it only has 12 fares in total, and there are no kids allowed so it’s perfect for couples. Located about a 15 minute drive north of Luganville, on the main island of Santo, Barrier Beach Resort manages to be luxurious and laid back all at the same time. There’s an on-site restaurant that caters to guests, a fantastic day spa area offering a range of treatments and massages and a range of watersports including kayaks, stand up paddleboards and snorkelling gear (plus there are free mountain bikes to use!). Accommodation ranges from spacious beachfront fares to luxury garden fares with (or without) plunge pools.

4. Deco Stop Lodge, Luganville

resort accommodation espiritu santoLocated on the top of a hill overlooking the main town of Luganville and the Segund Channel, Deco Stop is Australian run. It’s great value for money and is popular with divers and sportsfishers due to its close proximity to all the major dive shops. There is a total of 12 hotel-style rooms in all (some with air-con), nothing too fancy but clean and well- appointed with fridges, ensuite bathrooms, screened windows and daily room service. The large pool and restaurant quite possibly has the best views in all of Espiritu Santo and it has good food to match. Other facilities and services include a fully stocked bar, on-site car rental, laundry service, free wifi, diving facilities and push bikes for hire. Room prices start from around $150 twin share for a standard double room and go up to around $200 for a 2 bedroom family suite. The prices include breakfast. Overall, basic but comfortable rooms in a tranquil setting with close access to everything and million dollar views.

5. Beachfront Resort, Luganville

resort accommodation espiritu santo Beachfront

Located in a tropical beach side setting on 6 acres with 150 metres of absolute waterfront lawns and gardens, Beachfront Resort is close enough to the main town of Luganville (approx. 2 kms away) to be handy to shops and amenities while far enough away to avoid the noise and traffic. Although the beach and ocean out front (actually the Segund Channel) is not particularly inviting, the grounds are spacious and well-maintained and the choice of accommodation options is many and varied. There’s also an excellent on-site restaurant, The Coolidge Bar & Grill, which provides good food in relaxed Melanesian style. There’s even a large swimming pool to relax and sunbake around.

All up there’s 27 units and bungalows on offer that are very good value for money, ranging from 2 bedroom self-contained family units to cute studio bungalows, with most featuring tea/coffee making facilities, fridges, air-con, comfortable beds and covered outdoor patios/decks.

There is also the Starfish Lodge, which has been designed for large groups and can sleep up to 34 people in a variety of rooms and bed configurations. The lodge has its own kitchen, TV room and sitting area as well as BBQ nakamal with an ocean view. Room prices are reasonable for their 2 person bungalows, they also have a Manta family apartment that sleeps 4 people.

6. Ratua Private Island Resort

resort accommodation espiritu santoRatua Private Island is without doubt one of Espiritu Santo’s most picturesque island resorts and the epitome of barefoot luxury. The 146 acre island is located in between Aore Island and Malo Island (about a 35 minute boat trip from the main town of Luganville). It’s been undergoing a massive renovation for the last year and will be relaunched in April 2024.

Surprisingly, Ratua is not native Vanuatu style but rather Indonesian in origin with the 15 antique wooden villas shared between 3 villages – Fish Village, West Point Village and South Point Village. Many of the villas are almost 200-year-old (they were shipped to Ratua from Indonesia in pieces and specially reconstructed) so the place has a laid-back bohemian feel to it. It’s unique and not to everyone’s taste – there is no air-con or screened windows, and the rooms tend to be dark rather than light and airy but there is an amazing overwater spa and in Fish Village there is also an overwater bar/living/dining area to die for. The stunning beachside restaurant and dining area (the Yacht Club, the island’s social centre), serves good food, if a touch on the expensive side but you do get exceptional views .Expect to pay good money for the privilege of staying here however. Room prices range from around $450 pp per night for a room for two people to over $750 a night for a 2 bedroom villa that can sleep 6.  Activities on offer include horse riding at their horse ranch, fishing, kayaking and snorkelling on the reef out front which features some of the most amazing reef in the whole of Vanuatu. Check their website out for latest prices. While there is other resort accommodation Espiritu Santo that offers far better value for money, if you’re prepared to splurge to experience something truly unique then Ratua is worth the effort.

7. Exclusive Sunrise Eco-Resort, Barrier Beach

This small, intimate eco-resoresort accommodation espiritu santort has recently been revamped and repackaged as a high end exclusive getaway. It only does 7 day all inclusive packages (food, flights, accommodation, experiences) for a limited number of people but expect to pay top dollar for the privilege of staying here. Accommodation ranges from four garden rooms in a pagoda style shared villa to cute 1 bedroom oceanfront villas to an entire private island (with its own villa).  Prices start from around $8000 for a garden room and $26,000 for a villa to $36,000 for the whole island. If price is no option this is the place for you. It’s located next to Barrier Beach Resort (20 mins north of Luganville) at the end of a beautiful white sand beach. For more information and bookings click here.

8. Black Pearl Resort, Natanara

While this resort is advertised as 5 Star, it is still under construction and only features a few large waterfront villas (some with their own plunge pools) that have actually been completed, along with a restaurant. The grounds are spacious and beautiful but are littered with incomplete building projects (including the giant pool). The resort is located at Natanara Beach about 15 min north of Luganville in a very pretty area and it has it’s own private beach. Oceanic Restaurant and Bar is open most nights and the food is good if a little on the expensive side. The villas are large and spacious but at $380 – $500 a night, it doesn’t not offer the same resort style services as some other less expensive resorts on the island. Contact +678 779 1873 or email: ivojetter12@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page HERE

9. Bombua Beach House

This is one of Santo’s newest luxury offerings, located about 7 minutes drive north of the airport. Technically it’s not a resort yet as they are still constructing the restaurant and the oceanfront saltwater pool but 2 of the villas are complete with one more to come. All the villas are fitted out beautifully with private plunge pools and luxury furnishings. Prices start from around $400 a night for 2 people. Bombua is not close to any shops and is a little isolated from town but Million Dollar Point is just down the road and there is amazing snorkelling nearby (on a calm day). Check out their website HERE

Top 10 resort accommodation espiritu santo bombua

10. Matevulu Lodge

Nestled amidst swaying coconut trees and adjacent to one of Espiritu Santo’s unique blue holes Matevulu Lodge is the perfect escape to reconnect with nature. It’s a beautiful beachfront property featuring a cute white sand beach and gorgeous protected bay out front surrounded by islands. It’s not technically a resort but a Bed & Breakfast with 5 beachfront bungalows (two of which are ideal for families), however they do have a fully equipped fare-kitchen that guests share for self-catering meals and they provide catering services for home-cooked meals at a reasonable price. I recommend the larger newer family bungalows The very reasonable rates (starting from around $120 night for two) include a homemade continental breakfast, free WIFI, free use of kayaks, paddleboards and snorkel gear. Check out their website HERE

*Special Mention – Turtle Bay Beach House

Turtle Bay Beach House holiday complex is technically not a resort but it features resort style amenities (like an overwater deck) and is located very close to one (Turtle Bay Lodge). Which means you can have the best of both worlds – a bargain basement range of self-contained beachfront accommodation (ranging from studio cottages to spacious 2 bedroom apartments) within walking distance of a resort with a restaurant, bar and dive facilities. There are two holiday houses in total, catering for up to 20 people in a variety of accommodation styles from as little as $37 pp per night. Turtle Bay Beach House consists of 2 beachfront cottages and a two bedroom beach house while Turtle Bay Tree House features two large apartments. Prices include free satellite wifi, free kayaks and stand up paddleboards and a free on site laundry. Contact Vanuatu 678 7788590 or Australia (WhatsApp) 61 491166194 email info@turtlebaybeachhouse.com  or click HERE to see their website.