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Island Magic Resort
Ranked #18 of 47 Hotels in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We had visited Vanuatu in 2013, staying at Holiday Inn and actually had a fantastic time, but wanted something with a little more personality this time around and Island Magic so delivered.
I cant believe how big the bungalows are - there was only the 3 of us (me, my husband and my 4 year old) but it was great to have some space to ourselves. Everything was very clean, well equipped and I loved the ceiling fans and anti bug meshing on all windows - so much better than air con - although would be great to have some fly screens around the desk too, as I got eaten alive every time I sat outside.
It is a bit of a distance outside town, but that also adds to the chilled out vibe and you are close to a lot of the attractions like the Waterfalls.
My biggest shout out is reserved for Joe, one of the onsite staff - security guard/property manager/gardener - he was just awesome, always friendly and helpful and a big part of the Magic.
We liked using the BBQ by the pool and the pool itself was a nice addition - not big but nice for a quick dunk.
We weren't actually that blown away by the snorkelling off the jetty. Its quite dicey trying to get in and its always quite wavy, even first thing in the morning, so not clear. We preferred snorkelling at Hideaway (especially with the 4 year old to consider), as much safer and clearer.
Benjor resort was a nice option to walk for dinner or desert - it is quite pricey, but the food is amazing and its fun to walk back in the dark and just take in the nightsky in all its glory (without pollution clouding it)!
The manager advised that they are thinking of building on a restaurant in the next couple of years, which would be a great addition and add a little more atmosphere to the place.
All in all, I would definitely recommend!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank marriedcouplefromUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2014

We loved our little bungalow. It was quiet and peaceful with a lovely spacious feel to it. It was well equipped and it was great to have a washing machine. I'm glad we had a rental car as it was a fair distance (on a bumpy road) to a supermarket or market. I went snorkelling on three occasions with varying degrees of success. If there are waves the visability is poor. The fish life is amazing with so many different species. Unfortunately I found the access fairly difficult. I also swam in the swimming pool which was fine.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014

We had the most magical time celebrating Christmas in Vanuatu made even more special by feeling so much at home at the Island Magic Resort.

The managers and staff are extremely friendly and helpful, always at hand to provide everything you need, they even drove our group in the back of their ute's to the local beach bar to watch the amazing fire show!

We booked 2x 2 bedroom villas to accommodate our group of 8 adults & 2 children. The villas are extremely spacious we ended up putting 2 trundles in the dining area, you could easily fit a trundle bed in a bedroom if you are a family of 5. The villas are equipped with everything you need such as washing powder, mozzie spray even stubble coolers!

I cannot rate this resort highly enough and if anyone would like to message me with questions I would be most happy to answer.

Our highlights were (to name a few)
- the snorkelling off the jetty (amazing variety of fish you can see without even stepping foot into the ocean) followed by wine & cheese whilst watching the sun set
- our BBQs around the pool and late night swims (the outdoor kitchen area is spotlessly clean has all the utensils you need and a huge fridge to keep everyone's drinks cold - perfect!)
- an amazing Christmas Day lunch at Chantilly's recommended and booked by the managers (thank you!)
- fireworks set off by other guests but enjoyed by all on Christmas night

We would highly recommend this resort to anyone wanting a relaxed, easy holiday in one of the most gorgeous parts of the world. I could not fault our accommodation in any way, wish we had the managers jobs!!

Happy travels.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
4  Thank mcgrorey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

Stunning ocean views. Very nice accommodation. Very peaceful and quiet location.
Very handy to local attractions.
Was nice to be able to cook our own meals from local produce bought from the markets.
The BBQ facilities both by the pool and on the decking over looking the ocean are very good.
The pool was lovely and not too big, many an evening was spent relaxing in the pool admiring the views.
Snorkeling off the jetty was amazing. Keep your food scraps to feed the fish before you swim and you will be rewarded with a lot of different fish varieties to watch.
Be aware of the local buses and taxis as their prices can vary quite considerably.
The local beer (Tusker) is very good and easy to consume.
Island Magic is a great place to stay and has my recommendation for anyone wanting to stay at Port Vila for a relaxing holiday.

Robyn and John
Perth WA

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank John_Edmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

The Bungalow was very good. Very clean. The managers were very proactive and very helpful in organising things. The views were stunning. There are no restaurants within the facility so you have to shop and cook if you are having meals. Internet was there but not in all places.

Overall a very pleasant stay. Very enjoyable.

will stay there again - any time and will recommend to anyone

Room Tip: There is one studio bungalow with a stunning ocean view. The rest are 2 bed rooms some have ocean vi...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Kam A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

When it comes to accommodation in Port Vila, this is going to be our favourite place from now on and we will come here again on our next visit. Island Magic Resort ticks all the boxes:

1) Resort-style accommodation without the resort-kind of clientele. No rowdy crowds while we were there, in fact, we had the whole place to ourselves! It was bliss! The bungalows were huge and spacious. Where else could you comfortably fit 5 adults in a beachside bungalow with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in Port Vila? There's lots of room to spread out both inside and outside. The shower spaces are huge, you can literally have a party in there! The kitchen is well equipped (gas cooktop, a microwave, full size fridge), it made catering for 5 people very easy. No more having to get up at a specific time to go for breakfast as in typical resorts, the family can get up in their own time and make whatever they wanted for breakfast. We went on a provisioning trip to Au Bon Marche 2 on our first day and stocked up on our favourite fare: croissants, pane de coco, raisin escargot, jam, tanna coffee, bacon, eggs etc, we didn't find ourselves hungry, in fact, we had to give our unopened tins away to the gardeners! All the creature comforts of resorts are available: TV (4 channels, including ABC Sydney, a 24-hour movie channel, Ch10, Imparja), DVD player; and more! There's a full-size washing machine and iron and ironing board - excellent for getting fresh clean clothes daily (you will be grateful for it as you sweat alot in Vanuatu due to the humidity). It is basically set up as a home away from home and boy did we settle in well! The managers Jane and David are excellent, the best managers we've encountered in our travels (and this says a lot). Friendly, efficient and ever so helpful, but never in your face. They're like nice neighbours who are always there when you need them, but will leave you alone to live your life. They're awesome and very down to earth!

2) Peaceful location away from town but still accessible. Located on the Mele side of the bay, along Devil's Point Road, we were far from the madding crowd on cruise days and enjoyed peace and quiet throughout our stay (having said that, Hideaway Island is across the water and there are nights when you can hear the duff-duff of their beach parties. So glad we decided not to stay at Hideaway!). Being close to Mele Village, IMR is still on the local transport route and it wasn't too far for tour pickups and dropoffs. It seems like everyone we know lives in Mele! Pretty soon we were part of the local scene as we waved and said hello to folks passing by. Yet alot of Vila's attractions are actually close by, within 5minute bus ride (150vatu per person max). We went on the Jungle Zipline and visited the Summit Cafe (they come and pick you up, it's just 5 minutes up the road, thought i'd hike up there one day till i saw the road, whew, it IS steep! Saw some young girls jogging down, must be hell on their knees!). Mele Village is also a great place to visit, just to get an insight into a typical niVan way of life. One morning Joe from IMR took us to visit his family home and showed us his garden. We loved chatting with him about village life and hanging out with his kids. The Secret Gardens is also nearby. We did the Melanesian Feast one night (once again they picked up up) and on our last day, my husband and I borrowed the resort bikes and cycled to Secret Gardens to buy more wood carvings (a lovely 15-minute cycle by Mele Beach!). My daughter and her boyfriend also cycled to Tanna Coffee for more coffee. Other nearby attractions which we didn't bother doing (maybe next time) were the Cascades and Hideaway. I know they're must-do's for most Vila visitors but we are not fans of touristy places and tend to avoid them. Mind you, the city and everything it has to offer is not too far away. Just 15 minutes on a bus (too easy, Joe or Jane will call one in for you), we visited the city fruit market several times during our stay also dining at Chills, Jill's and Waterfront Bar & Grill. In the end we befriended a local driver who we just arranged directly to pick us up whenever we needed transport (300-400vatu per person one way, you can have multiple stops along the way if you wish - we often used ABM2 as our first stop for some quick provisioning, then back to the fruit market).

3) THE REEF HERE IS EXCELLENT. I left this to the last as this is the biggest drawcard of IMR for us. My husband, a fish biologist, is absolutely delighted to find the reef off IMR to be so accessible and in such good condition that the fishes are so abundant and diverse, comparable to what one would see on the outer Great Barrier Reef. As a testament to the fantastic snorkelling opportunities off IMR, we were in the water an hour after arriving in Vanuatu, and almost every day of our stay. I couldn't keep our kids off the water, even if we were scheduled to go on a tour that day, they'd still fit in a quick snorkel! We flew home with wet cozzies as we just couldn't resist one last snorkel before going to the airport. The fishes, oh, they're so awesome! In the end they were like our friends, they never shied away from us, happy to share their habitat. Flamboyantly coloured wrasses, cheeky damselfishes, bossy surgeonfishes, beautiful butterflyfishes, triggerfishes, hawkfishes, parrotfishes etc, they were everywhere! So glad that Jane and David have made extra efforts to conserve the reef off IMR, no fishing is allowed. By the way, no problems if you can't swim or not a confident snorkeller, just throw some bread off the jetty and the fishes will come! The water is so crystal clear you could see right to the bottom and of course, the fish! Next to snorkelling, this was my favourite activity at IMR. Early each morning I would be the first one on the jetty, to say hello to my fishy friends and feed them bread. Cheesy this may seem but I had names for some of the regulars already! There's that big red bass (I called him Bohar, that is his species name anyway) that comes up from the deep and gobbles up the larger pieces. There's Quinkie, the orange wrasse, Squiggly, the orange-lined triggerfish, Bluey1 and 2, a pair of blue and yellow cleaner wrasse, the abudefdufs (yes, these are stripey ones, so plenty out there), and oodles of rudderfishes and mullets. My husband estimates 100s of species on this reef alone and each day he would add to the list. The best thing he says is that in Australia you would need to go on a boat for hours to see these fishes on the outer face of the GBR, but here at Island Magic, you simply swim off the jetty and within a few meters you're at the drop off! One day I didn't even have to swim much, I just sat on the reef edge and watched the 'fish show' in the deep! This is the reason why we will come back to IMR again and again. I am so glad we discovered this place. We have been to Vanuatu before and we have stayed at the other side of the bay in Pango. I have also written a glowing report of the reef off our accommodation there. But honestly, the one in front of Island Magic is so so much better! And it is sooo close!

Overall, Island Magic Resort is a perfect base for anyone who wants a comfortable, peaceful and utterly distracting holiday. Yes, the views are awesome but you can get that in other seaside resorts too. What sets this place apart though is its peaceful ambience, its self-catering option and of course, the excellent reef system in front. For a truly relaxing holiday, what more could you ask for?

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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13  Thank geckopoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We so enjoyed our beautiful relaxing week in October, in one bedroom waterfront location !

There was everything we needed, in the very clean, spacious well kept bungalow. Loved the peaceful spot which was exactly as advertised, with friendly, helpful staff. All were great ! David and Jane were lovely and always ready to help - nothing too much trouble.

Everything went so well, loved every minute. Highly recommended, excellent place to stay.

Room Tip: All the bungalows look great
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank rainforestmagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Magic Resort

Address: Devils Point Road | Mele Bay, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Phone Number:
Region: Vanuatu > Efate > Port Vila
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Port Vila
#10 Luxury Hotel in Port Vila
#17 Romantic Hotel in Port Vila
Price Range: $133 - $294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Island Magic Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury resort with self-contained apartment accommodation with ocean views, tropical gardens, guest bbq areas, swimming pool, and jetty to access spectacular snorkeling. Ideal for wedding and family groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Magic Hotel Port Vila
Island Magic Resort Vanuatu/Port Vila

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