enjoyed staying on the island and the owners were very helpful in organizing transport and trips. best place to stay on santos
We spent 5 days here celebrating a milestone birthday with our 2 adult kids and it was absolutely perfect. The location is unbelievable, the beach house is very well appointed and the owners (who live on the other side of the island) are exceptional hosts who provide the perfect mix of availability and discretion. Torquil and Marianne have thought of everything - to supplying enough food to start your holiday, escorting you to local markets and local places of interest, providing kayaks and snorkels to do your own exploring - even to supplying you with a daily loaf of homemade bread. They also have a wealth of knowledge about Vanuatu history and culture. It was an absolute pleasure to be their guests and share this idyllic lifestyle.
If you want a holiday with complete privacy, the ultimate in peace and quiet in a genuinely unspoilt part of the world this beach house is for you
Spent one week on this amazing island, hard to say why it was so special, where do I start? The moment you arrive you start to relax, for me that is unusual, but you just can't help it. Then there is Marianne and Tork, such lovely people, we felt so welcome. When we arrived we had a fridge full for a couple of days, thank you Tork for the beautiful poulet fish, the BBQ cooked it beautifully. We spent our week swimming, kayaking, snorkling and just exploring this beautiful island. If you are looking for the perfect place to relax, Malvanua is the place!! Thank you Marianne and Tork for keeping Malvanua so pristine and sharing it with us! We'll be back xx
We visited Santo and Malvanua for the first time in April. Had been to Efate before but so much preferred this trip. Torq and Marianne, the owners and hosts are amazing - incredibly thoughtful and caring. We had the best time - fishing for GTs in front of the house, swimming in the incredible water and kayaking over for to Turtle Bay for lunch and beers. Highly recommended. Hope to be back.
We just spent 5 nights in this beautiful place made even better by Marianne and Torq who are brilliant hosts in every way.
The place - from the sublime water outside perfect for early morning wake up dips to the ever changing light and beauty of the natural bush garden surrounding the cottage - all set up for outdoor living and a brilliant pressure shower to wash the salt off at the end of long warm days. Fishing off the beach or in surrounding area is bountiful and fun and so much life everywhere. If you don't want to cook the great local food from the market and fish and local beef, 5 minute hop on the kayak takes you to a local reef and some lovely food and hospitality.
Nothing is too much trouble for Marianne and Torq - they provide great advice and support, stock your fridge for arrival when it's a public holiday (thank you so so much including the home made bread) and ferry you across the water for any day trips you may want to arrange. Best of all they give you complete privacy and space to do your own thing and for a little while, imagine you're on your own island without a care in the world apart from wondering about that fish that got away! Thank you so much - hope we can come again.
We loved Malvanua the first time so much that we returned, for a fortnight this time. It was magic. The boys hit the water and the kayaks right away, setting the pace. Our amazing hosts, Marianne and Torquil, had done a great job of stocking the cupboards and fridge for us with some basics, as we arrived on a weekend. First mainland activity was horse riding with the lovely Megan and it was fantastic to do that again... we wore shorts this time :-) We drank lots of coconuts, ate loads of incredible fresh fruits... not to mention the mouthwatering Vanuatu beef and uber fresh fish. We went fishing and snorkelling twice with Fabrice... and although we didn't catch, we had a brilliant time looking around nearby islands, snorkelling, and hearing about Fabrice's experiences (he is a NiVanuatu and so has a wealth of knowledge). We were also lucky enough to see not one but four dugongs while out the second time with Fabrice!
We got a bit adventurous this time and did the Millenium Caves trip... it was absolutely brilliant. Our guide, Paul, was terrific, with a great sense of humour to boot. We also hired a Jeep one day and toured Santo, snorkelling at Million Dollar Point (brilliant! so accessible even for beginner snorkellers), Port Olry, and Champagne Beach (where my son and I spotted a turtle while snorkelling) and then cooling off at Nanda Blue Hole. We loved Million Dollar Point and Nanda Blue Hole so much that we returned to both spots via taxi the day before we left. We all did lots of kayaking, mostly just in the lagoon. I went around the nearby Oyster Island a couple of times and was amazed to spot a huge greenback in the totally calm water at very close range the first time. Also, my boys and I took the double out one morning (yes you can fit three people on it) and we journeyed out to Mavea Island. That was a very special experience too... the islanders there were very friendly and curious and it was just sooo beautiful. Actually the one mistake I made on that occasion was not bringing a camera along, as from Mavea we had a clear view of Santo's mountains and profile... oh well, next time! In the evenings we enjoyed stargazing, spotting fireflies, and a little evening swimming... fabulous phosphorescence. Thanks again, Torquil and Marianne... you are the best hosts ever! We'll be back again for sure.
Our family had an amazing time at Malvanua Santo is a must see destination. It is remote but still has enough creature comforts to have a great holiday. I'd really recommend a holiday home in preference to a resort. The resorts we saw were quite simple and honestly and understandably meals were reasonably expensive for what was on offer. The supermarket has everything you need for cooking up a storm and sampling the local produce and meats is also a must do experience.
Malvanua Island is owned by Torq and Marianne and they are impeccable hosts. We enjoyed fresh bread regularly from Marianne which we really appreciated and looked forward to. Torq, a Scot, is just a really down to earth man who goes way above and beyond to make sure your stay is great. He does a huge amount of really great work helping the Ni Vanuatuan people.
He met us at the airport, we hopped in his ute ( just in the back tray if you want!) and headed out of town along the east coast of Santo for about 20km, loaded our bags onto a small timber barge which fitted us all very comfortably and motored us across the lagoon to our own home for the week.
Marianne greeted us warmly and had pre stocked our fridge with some items so we could easily BBQ ourselves some dinner and finished off our day of travel with a nice drop of white before retiring to a neat, simple and spacious bedroom with each bedroom having its own bathroom with toilet and shower.
Malvanua has a very homely feel. It's pleasant without being so fancy that you a frightened to let your children touch things! Our family is older, but I remember that feelings of fear that the kids will break some beautiful ornament or dirty a bright white towel with their fishy hands! That isn't the case here. It's comfy and relaxed with a great deck out the front where you spend the majority of your time when you're not out exploring the natural beauty of the island.
Do not stay in the centre of town. I'd strongly imagine you'd be disappointed. The town by Australian standards is really unattractive, basic, rough and on cruise ship days, very, very busy.
The natural beauty is what it's all about on Santo! Fishing was actually quite disappointing. You can't eat what you catch because of a bacterial poisoning risk from the fish. We found it to be very fished out by locals netting and it was too windy to go off shore where fishing is better and the fish are edible. That was the down side.
The rest of the island has so many scenic places to visit and enjoy. Torq drove us places which we were very, very grateful for and we hired a car to take ourselves around on one of the days too. You can paddle 'your' canoe over to Turtle Island and hire a car from there. We paddled to several blue holes (take money with you..there is an entry fee), saw lovely sand and beautifully clear water near Champagne Beach and the surrounding areas. Olry was great to visit too...We preferred the north to the south. It's also a great destination to show your children just how lucky their life is. Life is so simple..no luxury here and even less so in the bush villages. Helps you reassess what is important in life.
You MUST do the horse ride with Megan. It is just such a beautiful trip. Megan is great. Easy going. Very personable. Don't worry if you can't ride. Megan will select a horse suitable to your ability. It's such a unique, picturesque journey. You'll never experience anything quite like this anywhere else in the world. It's not too physically stressful either so it's great for younger or older people.
On the other hand, Millennium Cave tour is a seriously amazing, exhilarating, strenuous, physically challenging experience. I'm not fit (just average and 51!) and this was by far the hardest and most rewarding tour I've ever done. I felt like I was on Survivor:Santo but was fortunate to have a fantastic guide named Simon, who held my hand the entire day. His English was fantastic. He was very knowledgable, chatty and extremely helpful. There is no way I could have done this trip without him. We hiked, visited villages, climbed ladders, boulders, through caves, in gorges, climbed up, down...and had the most wonderful float through crystal clear, cold rivers and sat under waterfalls..spectacular! This wouldn't be good for small children and not older people either. I was really nervous about going and felt like a champion for completing this trip. It was how I'd imagine being in the Amazon..without piranhas! It was just so remarkable.
We went to church here too. We were so warmly welcomed and could follow most of what was happening. Thank you to the congregation. There are lots of churches to choose from as most Ni Vanuatu go to church on Sunday. This is a great spiritual and cultural event to experience.
We loved Malvanua Island Beach House. We were here for a week. It's quite difficult to slow down to island pace when you live a busy life. We played cards and board games, read, took photos and you do have Internet access too! We have travelled extensively and stayed in many different places in all sorts of countries. Torq and Marianne really are exceptional hosts. Location is outstanding. A fantastic holiday!