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Hotel Santo(Luganville)
Free cancellation until 27/07
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US$106
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Reviews (369)
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Reviewed 29 December 2011

I stayed at Oyster Island at the beginning of Dec '11 with my family. We found the resort, full of happy friendly staff, and in a great location for all the activity's that Santo has on offer. We had wanted to dive whilst in Santo and organising transport into town (20mins) was all taken care of for us at a cost of $15aud oneway for the taxi.
I highly recommend the kayak up to the Blue hole, and for the more adventurous travelers the Millennium Caves day trip (3hours of walking/floating/climbing). Beautiful scenery, 30mins underground in a dark cave, bamboo bridges, climbing/crawling up/over and sometimes under large boulders. We had had a few days of afternoon down pours, so the resulting water level was quite high when passing through the cave.. adding to the extremeness of the adventure. Not recommended for Nana...
Thanks to all the team at Oyster for making our stay wonderful!

Room Tip: Mum and Dad had the DELUX room - whilst us girls where in the Bamboo bungalows. Although they had a hammock and an open air bathroom I thought the rooms where much of a muchness. Plus they had further to walk to the restaurant...
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Ashleigh F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2011

Had a great stay at Oyster Island. Location is exactly as it looks in the photos, very remote, no other properties for miles. At night you hear the waves crashing a few hundred yards away on the beach and the water in the bay lapping right under your deck-memorable.

Staff is warm, welcoming and always looking after you. I would say almost a 1:1 staff;guest ratio. Food is great, must have the Santo beef! Really excellent restaurant in its own right. Snorkeling is great and beaches are deserted and all yours.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank WorldTravelRod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2011

We recently had 12 glorious days/nights at Oyster Island Resort and cannot wait to go back one day! All the staff were very friendly and always happy to tend to every need and service was always provided with a smile. We found Mark, the (new) manager, to be a genuine "nice guy" - always interacting with the guests and ensuring everyone was happy....he's also not too bad with a psuedo microphone! Greg, the ever-efficient tour guide (terrible job he has!), did a great job at promoting all tours conducted from the island and/or from the mainland yet in no way did we ever feel "pressured" into doing a tour - the focus was always to keep us happy and comfortable for our stay. Your stay at Oyster Island can be as relaxed or as adventurous as you want it to be.

During our stay we did the waterfall tour, village tour, WWII land-based tour, snorkelling tour, kayaked to blue hole, hired a jeep for a day and went horse-riding at a near-by resort. We highly recommend any of these tours/activities but the highlights would be the village tour, waterfall tour and kayaking to the blue hole. Snorkelling was fantastic - a short walk or kayak to the other side of the island and you're on a reef within 15 metres of the beach. Water was crystal clear with plenty of fish and other sea-life to see.

We stayed in the Frangipani Bungalow (No 1) for the first 5 nights and Bamboo Bungalow (No 5) for the rest of our stay. The bed in Frangipani was a bit uncomfortable-could easily feel the springs (Mark was looking in to this) and was the bungalow was a little small compared to the Bamboo Bungalow but if you're only there for a short stay, it was comfortable enough and always clean. The Bamboo Bungalow was great - spacious, much more comfortable bed, an outdoor bathroom (keep the door closed to keep mozzies out of your room) and had a bigger deck/verandah. When we return, we'll definitely stay in one of the Bamboo Bungalows again.

We generally found the food at the restaurant to be great - as we stayed for 12 nights, on occasion we felt a little limited by the menu but the specials board changed often enough to keep us interested. We also found going to a nearby resort for a meal or two was a good idea and a nice change. Regarding cost of meals, we found prices to be on par with most average Australian restaurant prices.

All in all Oyster Island Resort is great value for money and a perfect location to explore Santo from. We can't wait to go back! Happy travels. :)

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Melissa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2011

My husband and I travelled to Oyster Island after staying overnight at Port Vila. We were told by Port Vila Hotel that you wouldn't travel to Santo unless you were diving. We weren't diving, so thought we might not have a lot to do at Santo. How wrong we were!

It was a magnificent holiday made all the more exciting by Oyster Island. We had great company in the staff and other guests that we met. A must is the half-day Mount Hope waterfall tour, which can be booked when you get there (staff are happy to organise as many or as few activities as you like and do not pressure you). We travelled through local villages on the back of Greg's ute, donned a life jacket and jumped (literally) into a river, culminating in a float to the magical waterfall. Unforgettable!

On another day, we travelled to Million Dollar Point for snorkelling (stunning), had lunch at Lonnoc Resort, followed by a swim and snorkel (not comparable to Million Dollar Point). We then continued on to Champagne Beach (which is comparable to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, without the stingers or threat of sharks). I would not recommend travelling there when a cruise ship pulls in - 2000+ people descend on this small patch of beach, so it's no longer yours alone. We were lucky on our day as there was us and another couple plus some locals cleaning for the soon to be arriving cruise ship the following day. This day cost us VT4500 each, as another couple travelled with us.

We also hired a double kayak for half a day and kayaked to the Blue Hole. There was construction on a bridge but the local workers downed tools to help guide us under their construction work. We were very thankful. We recommend mosquito repellant, especially if exploring up near the jungle area above the Blue Hole.

We wish we were there longer to explore the island more and the surrounding islands by kayak and snorkel. We were extremely disappointed to leave.

The food at the resort was great! Other reviewers have provided pretty accurate descriptions. The staff were always available and easy to talk to. Two members of staff even tried to find some aloe vera in the garden one night to treat my sunburn! Mark even kept the bar open a bit later for our last night to enjoy Frangelico. The atmosphere of Oyster Island Resort is hard to match. We stayed in room #7 (bamboo bungalow) and can't complain. The room was cleaned daily and has a good (open) shower, bed and bar fridge for any supplies.

We feel as though we would like to keep this place a secret but believe the staff will strive to maintain the island's unique atmosphere. We did not want to leave and found it hard to hand back the room key...! We threatened to barricade ourselves in our room just so we could miss our flight home! Port Vila was somewhat of a letdown after our fantastic stay at Oyster Island. Oyster Island - GREAT company, food, location, activities, accommodation, staff/friends. What more can we say?

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dankir1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

Really a bargain for what you get. We stayed in the lowest price bungalow but had the same view as the more expensive ones - we just had less space. Mark was an excellent host both arranging our transport to/from the airport, answering questions prior to arrival and making sure we had everything we needed. Greg handled all tour and diving arrangements and gave honest evaluations of each experience and value after considering what we wanted to do. Food was great! Staff excellent! You could easily stay a week here and just explore around the island without going any place else. However the cave and waterfall tours and blue holes are musts. Diving the Coolidge and Million Dollar Point requires transport into town which adds another $3000 Vatu roundtrip to each dive outing. Greg can arrange for diving around the island and it would be worth it to do it (we did not, we just snorkeled) - the reef is excellent on the windward side of the island. Easy to exchange money in Luganville (ATMs and banks), lots of taxis for transport and plenty of places to eat. If you are going to explore Santo and have a medium budget, it is worth staying at Oyster!!

Room Tip: Bungalows are arranged numerically along the same lagoon - 1 is closet to dining room, 12 or whatever is the farthest. More expensive ones have more room.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank steve c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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