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Reviewed May 27, 2018

This is a hard review to write. The resort is beautiful. Even though we didn't have good weather (clouds and sporadic rain) I could still see that it would be wonderful in the sun. Most of the staff were very nice, friendly and welcoming. The food was very good and service was good. The problem we had was the arrival which shaded the rest of our visit. We arrived just after dark and were taken right to our room. The restaurant was waved at and we were told there was a reception going on over there (wave). It took a little discussion before we figured out that it was a resort event and we could join. Since we had just arrived from the US east coast via Sydney we went right to our room to unpack and shower. Now to where things fell apart. Lighting in the rooms is dim. I know it is ecologically friendly, but the only lighting for the sinks is one light on the ceiling behind you. It is very difficult to see anything by the sink. The shower was also difficult as there was only one dim light in that vicinity. I looked all over for the hairdryer and finally found it hidden in a cabinet. I couldn't find any outlets in the bathroom. After searching for a long time I gave up and used the outlet above the desk, opening the mirrored wardrobe door to see what I was doing. There was little heat in the dryer and I finally gave up. Unpacking - there is no where to put your luggage. No luggage rack or shelf. We had to put our bags on the floor (only light was in the ceiling behind you so it was difficult to see into your suitcase). We did use the one desk chair as storage for our roll aboard. There is lots of wall space in the rooms so I don't understand why they don't have a bench or luggage rack for you to use.

We ran back to reception to join the party or eat dinner. No one was around. And the lighting was dim. We walked all over to figure out what was going on and where we should go. An investigation of the buffet indicated it was not ready. We finally found a solo staff member who escorted us over to the "party". I guess it was the manager's cocktail reception. We arrived just as it was ending so we got no drinks or snacks. After 30 hours of travel plus the boat ride and difficulties in the room we weren't really happy.

Luckily the dinner buffet was delicious and the service was good. The next morning after breakfast we did our formal check in with passports. There was not really any further orientation.

Breakfasts and meals were very good, although we found it to be too much food for us and learned to ask for details so we could edit out things we didn't want and cut the portions to be manageable and not waste food. They were very accommodating to our preferences. 5 stars for the kitchen and wait staff.

Unfortunately we had rain on and off for the next 2 days and didn't get to use any of the resort amenities. Just as well as we weren't really sure what was available. On our last day we discovered that there was a little house with a pool table and who knows what else. We had not been told about it and I guess it was our fault for not walking all over and investigating every little spot.

Back to the room. The rooms are delightful in design. We really enjoyed the sourcing of all the buildings and found them quite charming. There was a wonderful deck out over the water with 2 comfortable lounge chairs and cushions. Luckily we did get some time to sit out there when it wasn't raining. I was happy that it was cloudy as there were no umbrellas so I'm not sure what I would have done during the few hours a day when the trees did not provide shade. The room had a refrigerator which was a nice touch. Plenty of seating outside on 2 different covered patios. There was an outdoor faucet to clean your feet and nice beach towels.

Back to the hair dryer. The next time I went to use the hair dryer I just could not get my hair to dry as the air was only "warm" on all the settings. I decided to use the phone provided to call housekeeping to send a new one. That didn't work. It just could not call any of the numbers stored by the resort (no SIM?). When we next went to reception I complained and they sent a new dryer (worked great) and lo and behold there were outlets hidden in the bathroom on the vanity along the front ledge which is where they left the new dryer plugged in. This should have been disclosed when we were brought to the room since it was impossible to see any room details in the dim light. The light at the sink (doors and windows) was behind you when you were standing at the vanity so the glare made it very difficult to see in the mirrors. Yet if you waited for dark there wasn't enough light from the ceiling light behind you to see anything.

The bed had mosquito netting and the room had a ceiling fan. Due to the weather we had a nice breeze. However, housekeeping closed all the windows at night cutting off the breeze. We figured we would put the ceiling fan on. But no air penetrated the solid fabric of the top of the netting. We thought - no problem. We'll use the floor fans (one on each side of the bed) and that air should pass through the thin netting. My fan did not work. So we lugged his fan over to my side and that worked. But no air penetrated the netting. So you had to open the netting to get air and risk the mosquitoes. I am not sure what the solution is to this but I'm glad we weren't there in extremely hot weather. We ended up opening the windows partially so that air could pass through, skipped the ceiling fan, and turned the working floor fan on and ran it through a small opening in the netting.

One more thing. There is a resident goat. He is very cute. He hangs out on the furniture. He pees and poops on the furniture and on the floor. It is not cleaned up. Be careful if you see puddles in the lounge/dining/bar areas as this is most likely from him.

On the boat ride out of the resort the sky was threatening rain. And then it started to rain. We had to scramble to find rain gear. The driver should have gotten them out before we started as I am sure he could read the weather. We ended up getting wet but luckily dried out before our 3 hour flight back to Australia.

So, although there were aspects of this resort I really liked, and the food and meal service was good, I would not come back here. It was just too long a ride for us from the US given the negatives. I am giving it 4 stars because of the food and staff and because I think if it wasn't raining the activities would have been very nice.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank EWR-NJ-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 22, 2018 via mobile

My husband and I recently celebrated our honeymoon in vanuatu. During the 2nd week we stayed in ratua. It was lovely just to relax before heading back to the hustle and bustle of every day life. We Must give a huge shout out to peter the owner who went out of his way to make our stay enjoyable. This place is a must go for any couple, whether you want to ride horses, canoe or even just relax by the beach. It is just paradise worth every second.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2018

My husband surprised me with this amazing holiday.Upon arrival we were greeted by Jojo and Peter and knew we were going to have a wonderful time,as we have stayed with them before at another resort in the beautiful South Pacific.They have the unique ability to make you feel so special and just seem to know exactly what you want!!! The resort was a combination of rustic luxury, which is something hard to find and yet easy to fall in love with. If you love snorkelling with beautiful fish and turtles right from the beach, this place is a must. I still close my eyes and picture the amazing views from our Bure and beach and my mouth waters at the thought of the delicious food we were tempted with at breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of the staff were delightful and would do anything for you. We would totally recommend this place if you want a relaxing magical holiday.
Thank you all!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank WandD30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jojo L, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2018

Hello Love Birds ! Congratulations once again for your special milestone celebration :) Your both an inspiration ! Thank you for taking the time in your busy lives to review the amazing Ratua Island and quote some very special points. Our staff are a joy and all add a special and different colour tone to the business and guests experience. Thank you for appreciating them! After traveling extensively especially in the pacific , we have surrendered a little piece of heart to Espiritu Santo and can honestly say it is a hidden gem of the islands. We look forward to your return with some of your crew and can positively ensure Ratua Island ( with or with out Pete & Jojo ) will not fail to deliver a unique, magical escape for all demographics or celebrations. Possibly request a group booking into 'Fish Village' where you can taketh Each Club exclusively with attentive staff tabour :) It can sleep a configuration of 15 People ....Take care of each other - peace from paradise - the entire Ratua Team + Zeik Dog & Sunny Goat xoxo

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Reviewed February 10, 2018 via mobile

The place Surrounded with tropical gardens and sandy beaches !
Mostly Everything is surprised you at every corner here, combine with Magical people giving simple and warm feelings. It was the best decision we ever made to stay here.

They offers a a quality service and the island very Private & Wild!
The food is amazing, breakfast with the view is one of my favorite

Snorkeling and best nature has offer. The beaches are beautiful, clearly shallow waters.
The blue hole is a must go and you will find a magical peace full time during your way there and enjoying the views by kayaking yourself.

Love this place so much and thank you to create this awesome place. I’m definitely will come back here again one day.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank christy a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jojo L, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2018

Hallo Christy ,
Thank you kindly for your wonderful review! We are so happy you enjoyed your private & wild Ratua escape !

We love all of the square set window frames of every unique building on the property - they frame each vision of natural beauty perfectly.

We are lucky to have the Malo Blue Holes on our door step and almost completely to ourselves ... best to be done on a clear blue sky to experience this vivid jewel at it's best !

Ratua is definitely a unique creation and a special vision kissed with organic charm allowing you to step back in time and appreciate life as it was , as it should be!

Thank you for making the effort to visit and we welcome your return soon ,

Have a wonderful Easter - The Ratua Team xoxo

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Reviewed February 9, 2018

After reading all the reviews we decided to spend 15 nights on Ratua. Best decision we ever made. We arrived before Christmas and stayed into the new year. The reservation process was made easy and we were made to feel at home as soon as we arrived. Jojo and Peter are a great team and make everything run smoothly. They interact with the guests on a daily basis and go out of their way to make sure everyone is happy.

Food- Scott the chef is amazing. He is able to make any food into a five star experience. He only uses fresh local food, no sugar and is able to use coconuts in 101 different ways. Have never looked forward to meal times so much in my life, the desserts in particular are beyond words.

Accomodation- I read somewhere that the rooms were luxurious yet rustic and until you actually see them this is hard to picture. The rooms are large with everything you could want. My girls favourite room was the shower. They loved the wood on the walls and floor. The water runs down between the floor boards. The bedroom and the bathroom is separated by an undercover walk way so pack a very light dressing gown. Some are provided but they are heavy weight and too hot to wear. I love the fact that there are no tv's in the rooms or on the island. wifi works around the reception and restaurant areas. Mosquito nets are provided and fans are in the room. It is hot on the island and humidity is very high so only lightweight clothes are needed.

Water activities- snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming or just floating in the water. You could actually spend all day in the water which we did on many occasions. Bring water/ reef shoes as there are stone fish in the water (although unlikely to be a problem). Husband and daughters went fishing on the game boat and banana boats. The Blue hole is a must and makes for an enjoyable outing. We had to drag the girls back onto the boats as they didn't want to leave. Next time will organise a picnic and stay longer if possible. This excursion runs everyday and Jojo and Peter change the time depending on the tides.

Horseriding- Loved it so much I went everyday. There is a choice of riding around the island or swimming with the horses. Riding around the island is done at a walk pace and suits every type of rider, swimming with the horses is done bare back and is an amazing experience. Johnny looks after the horses as if they were his kids. He knows their traits and personalities and can match rider and horse with ease. He is relaxed and makes everyone feel safe to enjoy the ride.

Scenery- beautiful, and surprises you at every corner. Never a bad view and you can't help but relax here. The beaches are beautiful, clear shallow waters. Most suites have their own beach. Every room has a view and one you can't seem to get enough of. Privacy is in abundance here. You could go all day and not see anyone but at meal times, if you choose. Due to the small number of guests it is also easy to make friends as well.

Staff- Love the staff here. Jojo and Peter have done an amazing job at selecting staff that have a smile on their faces all day and are so friendly. Being on the island for the two weeks really makes the staff turn into family by the end. The Vanuatu people are the friendliest and happiest people we have ever met. Robin took my girls under his wing and kept them entertained with stories and activities on many days. My little one still brings him up 6 weeks after our return.

Activities- The girls favourite place to cool down after being out in the water all day was in the movie room. There is a selection of movies available but feel free to bring your own if you have any favourites. Bikes are also free to use to ride along the island paths, and there is a games room/library with a pool table, chess, and books ranging from english to french. Island night with music from the staff and the water dance ceremony is a must to see.

Spa- My second home, The two ladies here are amazing and give the most relaxing massages I have ever had. The fact that the spa is out overlooking the water and the doors are open to the ocean view adds to the relaxed feel. Beware though that you come out so relaxed that it is hard to walk.

Overall this place is one of a kind, there are other islands that we have been to that are just as beautiful but what sets this place apart is definitely the staff and theVanuatu people. It takes two days to totally unwind from the busy pace that we all live in so stay longer so you can really benefit from the islands relaxed atmosphere and island pace.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank familyof4girls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jojo L, General Manager at Ratua Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2018

Hello Familyof4girls !!!

Thank you ever so much Edith for bringing your beautiful family to Ratua, we all missed you as soon as you departed and we have homed Tess's little painted coconut at our reception awaiting your return. Thank you for re-booking in October - we are counting down the day's !

We feel and see the magic of this place and the staff when we see our guests shoulders drop and release after about 48 hours into their holiday! We were so happy to see your husband completely relax here and we almost didn't recognise him when he glided onto the boat for departure !
The staff all appreciated seeing your family time and interactions - you have set the bar for parenting :)

It's nice to see all the girls in a safe sense of freedom and chilling out with our local staff.

Please pass our regards to reality, have a wonderful family Easter and we await your return :)

peace & sunshine - Team Ratua + Zeik Dog & Sunny Goat xoxo

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