Four of us have just returned from 8 days in Vanuatu staying at Surfside villas. We had a three bedroom villa right on the water and the ocean breeze, ceiling fans and airconditioning ensured we were cool and comfortable. Having self catering was a change for us, with access to Breakas, where we stayed previously, a great venue for meals and happy hour. It also gave us an opportunity to sample many of the restaurants down town. The private pool was spotlessly clean and housekeeping attended to each day. Highly recommended for a family holiday.
Before I booked this place, I read other reviews and some had me worried but there was no need, the bugs that someone complained about turned out to be particles from the authentic thatched roof that when it rains or is very windy will loosen some of the smaller pieces. I did think that the bathroom could have done with a bottle of bleach, but in saying that it is a tropical island and mould does grow quickly. Our room and private pool was cleaned thoroughly daily. I cannot fault any of the staff, they where all friendly and polite. Liz was awesome, she booked all our tours without a fuss and was very helpful with suggestions. We had a great bus driver from the village across the road "Ben" could not do enough for us, took us to Blue Lagoon and he waited while we swam and played in the most amazing coloured water I have ever seen. He then took us the to Turtle Bay, to show us the conservation program that they have to help keep them alive, and he was very knowledgable about the program and the history of Vanuatu.
We found it very convenient having a self contained apartment, BBQ, Fridge, Micro. The Breakas Beach Restaurant (no shoes required) is exceptional and only a few steps up the beach from Surfside.
Would we stay there again? YES most definitely
Whole place looks very tired. Our plane was delayed but we were unable to advise hotel as reception did not answer and there was no message bank. When we arrived at 10 pm the security person could not contact the manager quickly so we waited outside for 25 minutes! We were hungry and asked if we could have the breakfast pack for the next day which should have been in the room but was not. Security person went to get one but did not return. There was not even milk for a coffee, I borrowed some from a neighbor but then the kettle did not work. The air conditioner would not go and the ceiling fan made so much noise that we had to turn it down to be able to sleep. We didn't receive a transfer vehicle either way. The room we were put in had been poorly cleaned as there was sand everywhere. Also a used towel. So perhaps it had not been cleaned at all?
We booked to stay here as a last minute treat at the end of our 6 week trip to Oz, total cost was $3000 au for six nights including flights and transfers so not cheap!
All Surfside villas are right on the edge of the sea 3-4 metres from the water and have 4 rooms per villa (2 up 2 down) with cooking facilities in middle section but not side rooms. Some villas are divided into 3 seperate sections with 2 seperate downstairs rooms at each side (inter connecting doors are locked) and a central section with downstairs kitchen and 2 upstairs rooms, there is also a pool out back but this is only for use with the central section. We had one of the side rooms that are advertised as "Deluxe ocean view rooms" ocean view Yes, Deluxe No! The Good points: They are a good size, come with good size onsuite and outside shower, and you have a screened entrance porch with 2 loungers looking out accross the bay, sounds good so far! The bad points: beds are big, but very uncomfortable, fridge is old and rusty and did not shut properly, toaster old and worn out, had to keep holding lever down to make it work, kettle not the best as occasionally gave a small electric shock, ants were annoying but soon dealt with with insect spray we bought in town, as were cockroaches, but this is the tropics afterall.
Onsite facilities are very basic, they have a small shop that sells drinks, bread and biscuits and a few other small items, there is a local market nearby that sells mainly fruit and vege, but thats about it.
There is another resort right next door called "Breakers" you are free to use their resturant and bar but it is an adult only hotel with an age limit of 15 or above so no children, but be warned, drinks and food at breakers are VERY EXPENSIVE, we went once and were shocked at the price.
So in general, Surfide is ok but certainly not the best value for money, staff are very friendly and helpful and do their best, but I do think the room facilities need a desperate upgrade, location is quite a way outside main town so a car is a good idea to hire or use local taxi/bus (150vt per person into town) I have rated as 3 out of 5, would have given 4 if the in room facilities were replaced and the matresses were better.
Just back from holiday after staying at surfside. Amazing villa (saltwater villa), cleaned daily, the pool and patio were outstanding, the rooms clean and spacious, the views breathtaking (we saw pods of Dolphins) the water crystal clear, I definitely recommend staying here for your next holiday, my family didn't want to come home!!