Aore Island Resort4.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
As a group of 4 adults and 4 children all stayed here together... we had a fabulous stay! It is such a beautiful Island and the Resort is so amazing! The staff are all so great, especially Mansen, Michel and Montana! You 3 all made us feel important and created some great memories with us and made our time here that extra bit special! There is so much to do one this Island, however you don't really need to leave the resort it has everything! Thankyou for having us! The kids are missing you and so are we!
Just had a fantastic few days at Aore Island Resort on Espiritu Santo, can't rate it highly enough. Some days I could just chill on the beautiful beach in the clear cool water, laze around on the deck chair or eat the fabulous food in the restaurant. That's if I wanted to rest up totally. Some days I could go on adventures nearby - scuba fishing or Millennium Caves (spectacular but be careful it's not for the faint hearted) and others on inexpensive tours across the island to other beautiful sports such as Champagne Beach and Port Olry. I was amazed at just how many fish were in big schools just a few feet off the shore and not far from Aore is one of the world's great dive sites for the SS President Coolidge. The staff at Aore could not have been more helpful or accommodating. Really nice people. Massage was terrific and the guided tour of the jungles, plantations and World War II bunkers nearby was something remarkable. A really wonderful place. Just 2 1/2 hours from Brisbane, it's a whole new world of beauty and adventure. Do yourself a favour and check in.
We had a very relaxing week here. There is enough to do if you venture back over to Santo on the regular ferry service, or just stay in the resort and relax. We took the guided walk up into the rain forest behind the resort which was very interesting and educational. Nothing like slashing your own path through the jungle! Food at the resort was top notch, with my personal favorite being the local steak. Staff were all extremely friendly and seemingly went out of their way to make sure we had a good time. Special thanks to Manson. It is amazing to have a place right on the beach and to wander down and swim and snorkel straight in front of the room.
I feel it important to share this on social media so others thinking about choosing this accommodation get a realistic view of what it is like. We didn't feel comfortable bringing up our concerns to the owners face to face because we felt them unapproachable and stand-off-ish, and see from previous responses in trip advisor, this confirms this. The accomodation and general grounds/surrounding were great and beautiful with some amazing snorkelling....however even after all this My family and I were left with a disappointing experience due to the not so friendly owners of the resort Lisa/ Brad and their two adult children. As a family owned business I would have thought they would be family friendly but they were not at all...in fact the complete opposite. I should point out they were advertised as being family friendly which was one of the main reasons we chose to stay at this resort. Reasons they are not family friendly: 1. looked disapproving at us if kids made any noise 2. If any of their cushions or ornaments were moved by us in the main common area (at the bar/ lounge) they didn't like it. Kids are kids and will always touch things so we made sure we would move any breakable things out of arms reach (doing the owners a favour actually) which the owners (particularly owner's daughter Montana) didn't like based on their glares and hovering over us and placing things back in its place if we moved things around. We always made sure we put things back. 3. We received uncooked sausages for the kids dinner meal and had to send it back to get re-cooked. 4. We ordered kids meals (basic fish and chips/ sausages) 1 hour later we received them. This shouldn't have taken that long to cook and we had to complain. We noticed adults who arrived after us got there meals before our kids! This is simply unacceptable and not understanding of guests needs with small kids. Other disappointing service 1. Booked a full body scrub, the masseuse was not sure what needed to be done for this treatment. I had to point it out in their brochure to ensure I got what I wanted. Their spa room had cold shower for us to use, because their hot water system wasn't working. And there was crusty used soap for us to use which was completely disgusting and unhygienic 2. When wanting to ask more information about particular day tours we wanted to do, the resort owners daughter Montana was clueless and unsure about certain details. I had to ask other guests on the resort who had done the tours to answer our questions. I got more information from other guests than the owners running the show! This is unprofessional and very disappointing. 3. When we wanted to know more about their food menu. The resort owners son replayed "I don't know they are just different". Hmmmm great customer service....not! 4. Wanted to order a coconut drink fresh from coconut but we were told they needed to save the few coconuts for the new guests arriving later in the day. This was terrible, we have been on the resort for few days already and pending guests got more priority?? 5. We ordered a bottle wine but received a completely different one. 6. Didn't have enough bath towels in our bedroom so had to ask for some more 7. Broken snorkel gear in our room for us to use. We hardly saw the owners they were always locked away in their offices and didn't feel warm or welcoming. We were there a week and the whole time they never spoke a word to us, no greetings as they walked past, or asked us how we were doing or if we needed anything. In fact We were made to feel like we were an inconvenience to them. After talking to some of the other guests and even day trippers who would visit the island, it seemed that this was to a common sentiment among these other groups....so it wasn't just us. We generally like staying at smaller sized/ boutique resorts because of the friendly and close net community of the resort owners/ staff but Aore was the first place we have ever stayed at where this was not the case. You would openly see the resort owners chat and mingle with people who would come over to the island from their expensive private yachts but as far as having any contact with their own guests staying on the island there was zero contact. All in all if it wasn't for the friendly Vanuatu local staff and great snorkelling options around the resort, we would have struggled staying there longer than two days. We certainly won't be going back there and will be letting anyone we know about our experience and won't be recommending this place to others especially those with small kids!
We took the free boat across from Luganville in the morning and spent an enjoyable afternoon snorkeling right in front of the resort. There were a hundred or so fish hanging around the jetty, and although it was a windy day (17kmh SW), the island provides enough shelter. For my five year olds first time snorkeling, it was perfectly fine - enough to keep her interested and engaged. Lunch was good, and Rose and her team were very helpful and accommodating. Use of the resort facilities is free if you are having lunch. The free boat leaves Luganville at 1130 (and possibly an earlier time also), and return trips depart the resort jetty at 1330 and 1600.
We like going to small resorts because of the personable experience you get from the hosts. This was by far, by far the complete opposite!! Over a week we had literally a handful of interactions with the hosts which includes the welcome and goodbye, the other interactions were official matters eg ferry time, weather update. Not even a hello when they walk past unless I said hello first. This was by all the hosts (husband, wife and their two adult children). And this was not only with us, they were like this with all guests. We spent most of our time in the main hub (central lounge/restaurant/bar area) and we hardly saw them, we could see all four of them sitting in their office with closed doors. Oh yeah the big bosses! They would only come out for official matters. When out of the office, their main focus was the arrival of new guests; quite OCD about everything in the main hub being in their perfect positions in prep for new guests. Other obvious focus was on the very wealthy guests who visited from the super-duper yachts for a meal. Apart from my review title we found their mannerisms just simply peculiar and narcissistic! This was very surprising because all the email interactions prior to us arriving were super prompt, friendly, informative. We were even joking amongst a few other guests that we should continue email conversations while staying at the resort! Yes, other guests felt the same too including a day tripper to the resort who had kids and felt an instant cold/unsmiley reception. We had kids too and that added another level of inhospitality even though they say they are kid friendly. By kid friendly I think they just mean "allowing" families to stay (as opposed to "welcoming"). The hosts' first interaction with our child was after 3 days (??!!) when our child was squirming over a wasp nearby and Lisa (lady host) said "no running" (tho our child was not running) and then immediately our child climbed onto the sofa and Lisa again said "don't climb on my beautiful cushions" to which our child said "this is not your cushion" - this made me laugh because our child was confused thinking Lisa was one of the guests cos she had never seen Lisa before. That's just one example! The hosts were always eyeing the kids from a distance. We were conscious to ensure the kids didn't run around much, we moved fragile decorations out of reach (and always put them back later) but the hosts didn't like we moved them (we overheard snide remarks by the daughter host) ... most of the time they were pretty tame kids, wait till they get high energy kids come through! When we left, the guy host just said thank you for coming ... not "how was your stay / hope your stay was good / is there anything we could have done better / hope to see you again". Nope. Host customer service = zero! We are however so thankful that the staff were amazing! So lovely, friendly, attentive, warm! They made our stay bearable. But never again to this place!
Weekend away from the grind of Port Vila. Such a relaxing place. Excellent food. Very comfortable accommodation (clean, comfortable bed, cool, no mozzies). Good watersports. Went with the neighbor Dive operator (Aore Adventure Sports) to the SS President Coolidge. Cycled to the other side of Aore, through jungle & herds of beef cattle. Walks. Had a great time, really recommend it to you.
Loved this place. From the personalised greeting/coconuts upon arrival to the cute little waterfront rooms to the exceptional food, it was a wonderful stay. Everything we had from the kitchen was seriously good. Any chance your chef can be sub-contracted to Airlie Beach Brad? ;) As others have said the logistics of getting to the mainland are an extra consideration but only that - not a bother for us. We didn't find Luganville to be that nice and would much rather spend the time on Aore! We just went over to change money and to dive the Coolidge each day. Yes the resort is on par with Australian prices for certain things (e.g. food and beer) but the free SUPs, bikes etc compensate for that. The wifi is slow as others have stated but I don't believe there is much the resort can do about this. Plus I was on an enforced 'gadgets down' holiday anyway! Much better! We really enjoyed our stay and will be back in the future I'm sure. Cheers!
The staff are all amazing here, so friendly, so helpful and offer a great service (the nice fresh warm dinner rolls are very welcomed)! One of the kitchen staff was also making a special lemon ginger tea for my partner who had a bad cough. It's amazing how many different kinds of fish they have right at their doorstep to enjoy snorkelling. One of the best spots I've been snorkelling with so much variety and such colourful coral and fish. This place is sooo relaxing. The beachside bungalows are just beautiful and the property is very well maintained. The only thing that I would suggest is that if you want to pop into Luganville to pick up a few things the free boat doesn't really allow for that as the timetable between drop off and return is too short. Might be better if there was an hour gap between leaving each boat ramp rather than just half an hour which only ends up being 10-15 mins by the time you get across the water. I'd also like to suggest more local cuisine on the menu too.
For what you pay it is really a good deal... nice beach, clean water with nice corals and a lot of fishes. Food was ok, service very slow. Room clean and big. Good inland. If compare the total managment in details with Ratua the difference is devastating, so it can be a motivation to improve a little more.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
90% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 320 reviews