Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu aerial view

A Secret Slice of Paradise

It is always a pleasure to welcome guests from far away shores and our new friend Ramsey Qubein was no exception.

Ramsey is a travel writer and hotel journalist for Business Traveler magazine and is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

He has traveled to 166 countries and lived in both Madrid and Paris. Ramsey is highly recognised as an expert in travel loyalty programs, business travel and the luxury travel segment. He flies more 350,000 miles per year and estimates he has circumnavigated the globe over 500 times.

He is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio programs in the US and enjoys participating on travel panels or round tables. In addition to writing, Ramsey is available for presentations on how to maximize loyalty program benefits, the best tips for booking travel, and other related topics.

Ramsey’s review of Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is fantastic as he describes the Resort as being ‘a secret slice of paradise’.

His verdict:

‘While the resort is lovely, it is the staff that makes the place shine. They are very proud of their nation and their resort.’

‘Overwater bungalows, an inviting open-air lobby, and excellent dining (including along the beach) make this a popular resort for families and conferences visiting the island.’

‘Its thatch roof and hilltop position overlooking the water below provide an immediate tropical feel, but then again, so does the traditionally dressed performer that welcomes arrivals with ceremonial music and seashell lei. Families are the main focus during the high season, and meeting and conference groups fill in the blanks well.’

‘As a Holiday Inn Resort, it proves to be an excellent example of the brand’s makeover to provide an amenity-rich environment with modern facilities and a value-focused price.’

‘Given the need to appeal to business functions, the resort made a concerted effort to beef up its wireless Internet. It is faster than my own home and works by the pools, on the beach, and all around the public areas without the need to log in and out. Conference space includes modern audiovisual equipment, and it is not uncommon to see white tents along the beach to host social gatherings.’

Enjoy the read: www.businesstravelerusa.com/news/hotel-check-holiday-inn-resort-vanuatu

Mothers Day Rob Mullaly

A Dream Mother’s Day Escape

Mother’s Day Escape At Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Life as a mum in my house is best described as a fast-paced, hectic bowl of love. Full of interesting questions, mess, giggles, fights, highs, lows, dirty clothes, clean clothes and all the rest. Then there’s my favourite part – ‘Uber-Mum’, which is where I play the role of a taxi driver from 3.30pm onwards during the week and various times on weekends. To add to the craziness in our house, I also operate my own business from home so I am the master of juggling.

Now, I’m not speaking for everyone, but this is a pretty good summary of my life as a Mum, and I think there are a lot of other Mums out there who ‘get’ what I’ve said. But, do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. But let me tell you, there are two days a year where I make the day all about ME. That’s my birthday and, the best one ever created, Mother’s Day!

Some may not care for the commercialism that is behind Mother’s Day, me however … I own it! I take that day off and use it to my sole benefit – proudly. My family knows it and they get it and yes that is just one of the other wonderful things that I love about them.

So, this then begs the question – how would I spend my ideal Mother’s Day? Well, I’ve had the perfect Mother’s Day (or perfect 24 hours), and would have it repeatedly … it goes something like this.

My dream night and day away at the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.

Check in at 2pm…

> I arrive in my gorgeous King Bedroom overlooking the lagoon and pool and resist the urge to unpack in an orderly manner. Instead, I don my togs and sarong and head straight for the pool.

2.30pm

> As I approach the Beach Pool area down by the lagoon, I spot my deck chair and make a beeline for it. Once I settle in, a very friendly waiter comes with a cocktail menu and I order up. Before long, it’s delivered to my little wooden cocktail table and I spend the afternoon snoozing, sipping and swimming. Uninterrupted. On my terms. No ‘Mum!’ to be heard.

4.30pm

> By this time, I’m feeling like it’s time for a refreshing shower. But first, I make my way to the lagoon-side massage cabana for a relaxing 30min massage. I then meander back to my room for a refreshing shower and a little rest. Because I can.

6.00pm

> What now? You guessed it, it’s cocktail time. The atmosphere on the Resort balcony, just outside the Lobby Bar, is superb. A cool breeze wafts off the lagoon and it is the perfect place to watch the transformation from day to dusk. I watch, enraptured, as I sip on my Mojito and nibble on my complimentary locally grown Tanna Farms peanuts – perfection.

7.00pm

> I wander down to the beach for dinner and enjoy fantastic, live cultural entertainment full of dancing and singing. It’s so much fun. I head to the impressive buffet – multiple times, and at my own pace. No one rushing me, no one wanting to go to bed or squabbling.

Aaah…. the serenity.

9.00pm

> Feeling relaxed and satisfied after my delicious meal I head back to the room and get in my comfy pants to watch some TV. By now my room has things spread from one end to the other and I just don’t care! This is my time and I’m not picking up after anyone, even myself!

6.00am

> Time check… pfft, I’m rolling over and going back to sleep.

8.00am

> Now that’s more like it. A leisurely rise and preparation for the day and I find myself at the breakfast buffet. I’ll take a latte thanks and yes, I’ll happily sit and graze while reading the paper for the next two hours.

10.00am

> I’m back at the pool, pretty much working on a re-run of the previous day’s activities, sans the cocktail. I know it’s cocktail o’clock somewhere in the world but even I have my boundaries. Let’s give it until at least midday and in the meantime, I’ll sip on a freshly cracked coconut.

Check-out is at 10am, but the Resort team kindly held my bags, so I could relax until pick up time at 1pm. I snuck in another massage before departure and while this time away was amazing, I was starting to look forward to seeing my monkey’s again – it was time to head back to the craziness.

If anyone out there is looking for a special gift for Mum this Mother’s Day, then let me tell you from someone who knows best, THIS is how mum wants to spend her Mother’s Day weekend.

Compiled by an anonymous guest blogger…

Image credit: Rob Mullaly

Wanderlust

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Review: The Best Family Resort In Efate

Opened in 2010, the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is a 4-star premier resort located just 2 kilometres from downtown Port Vila and 12 kilometres from Vanuatu‘s Bauerfield International Airport. The resort covers an area of 60 acres and sits on colourful, natural tropical gardens on the edge of the serene Erakor Lagoon.

 

 

Family Staying at Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort

Family Staying at Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort

It is a great place to base yourself whilst you explore all that Efate Island has to offer! We stayed there as a family of 5 and found that both the rooms, as well as the resort grounds, had everything that we could possibly need for our Vanuatu family holiday. We stayed in a few other resorts around Efate as well and found that Holiday Inn was our pick as one of the best Vanuatu resorts for families. Find more information about why we loved this resort so much in our Holiday Inn Vanuatu review below.

Our Holiday Inn Vanuatu Review of our Stay

Find below helpful information about our family stay at Holiday Inn Vanuatu to help you decide whether this is the right resort for your Vanuatu holiday.

The Welcome at Holiday Inn Vanuatu

The lobby is the ideal welcome when guests arrive. We thoroughly enjoyed our special native welcome via means of the shell horn. The kids received handmade headband and special shell necklaces were placed around our necks. We were given a delicious and refreshing coconut welcome drink, which we enjoyed in their tranquil bar area before checking in.

The Beautiful Room and Thoughtful Amenities

All of the rooms in the resort exudes a charming Melanesian ambiance that is reflected in the local materials and architecture used in its design.

Twin room interior at Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort

Twin room interior at Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort

To read the rest of the Wanderlust blog post, click here.

You can follow the Wanderlust Storytellers on Instagram and Facebook.

wedding

Pacific Romance ‘Inside Word’

Introducing the very talented and dedicated, Erinah Kalo – Wedding Coordinator at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.

Erinah was recently featured in the fabulous ‘Pacific Romance’ publication where she shared some of her tips for couples preparing for their Vanuatu wedding. If you have ever thought about having your wedding or vow renewal ceremony in Vanuatu, this Q&A will be most helpful.

If you have any further questions, get in touch with us and let’s talk it through.

Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort wedding planner

Holiday Inn Vanuatu Resort wedding planner

Bride on the water at her wedding

A Wedding Destination Like No Other

When it comes to wedding planning, there are no boxes for you to conform to at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. We embrace the planning of your wedding day like it was our own. Read all about what we have to offer below and learn about our fantastic ‘Tugeta Wedding Package’, which we can tailor to suit you and your partner, to ensure your island wedding dream comes to life!

Vanuatu’s pristine beaches and tropical landscape are the perfect locations for a romantic island wedding and Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu provides both larger and intimate wedding ideas with additional benefits ranging from food and beverage delights, beautiful set-up and a friendly personalised service that will make planning a wedding effortless.

Couples are encouraged to enjoy their special day and leave the planning to the Resort team that truly go above and beyond to ensure the bride and groom, and their guests, have a memorable and special experience.

The Resort team provides their expert service and recommendations for planning a wedding from far away and assist in all the details including the necessary paperwork, location, food and beverages choices, on-site and off-site activities and more.

The Resort Ceremony Cabana, with Erakor Lagoon as a backdrop, provides the perfect tropical setting and atmosphere of island romance for the exchanging of vows. From there, couples can celebrate their union with an intimate dinner, relaxed poolside party, or feel the sand between their toes with a beautiful Resort beach wedding reception under the swaying palms or marquee, where lunch, dinner or cocktails can be enjoyed.

The resort can also cater for a more formal affair, with the Erakor Ballroom catering for up to 160 dining guests.

Couples and guests can also relax at the Resort’s private Erongo Island where there are 10 Overwater Villas ideally located on a peaceful oasis and specially tailored menus and entertainment offerings can be arranged. The island can be booked for the happy couple, friends and family to enjoy exclusively.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu even caters to those seeking a traditional Vanuatu wedding experience, where a bride can be brought to their ceremony by traditional canoe with the sound of the Conch Shell blowing by our Resident Chief.

The combination of exceptional standards in food and beverages, the stunning location in the midst of lush tropical gardens and waterfront settings, outstanding event facilities and 138 superbly appointed accommodation rooms, guests will experience true Melanesian charm and hospitality.

To learn more about what we can provide for your upcoming wedding, read all about our Tugeta Wedding Package here.

You can also read all about our talented Wedding Co-Ordinator, Erinah, here.

romantic dinner holiday inn

Valentine’s Day Top 5

Feeling the pressure to create a Valentines Day experience that’s sure to impress? Or do you simply want to show that special person in your life that they deserve that something ‘extra special’ on what is recognised as the worlds day of love?

At Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, we want to take all the pressure out of your Valentines experience by creating memories that you and your loved one can hold on to forever.

If you’re looking for ways to spoil your sweetheart this Valentines Day, then we have many options to help you achieve just that.

We are also here to help you create a unique and bespoke experience. If you’re leaving your planning to the last minute, don’t despair, we’re here to help you plan the ultimate Valentine’s Day which is sure to make an impression on your loved one.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, ‘Valentine’s Day Top 5’

1. Romantic intimate dinner for two

Think private cabana on the beach, with the glassy Erakor lagoon as backdrop. Then add your own private host, a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and a delectable 5-course menu with share elements that are sure to take your taste buds on a culinary journey.

That’s how we do Valentines Day dinner at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.

To learn more about our exclusive romantic cabana dinner, click here.

NB: Bookings essential for this dinner

2. Stay the night, or stay longer

The Overwater Villa accommodation located on our very own private Erongo island is the perfect romantic option this Valentine’s Day.

The resort villas offer the perfect overwater accommodation for a unique and private romantic tropical getaway. Take in uninterrupted views from your private balcony, which also features direct access to the lagoon’s warm waters. And for that extra touch, ask about having your breakfast delivered by our resident chief one morning, on his traditional canoe.

Learn about our Overwater Villa accommodation here or get in touch with our Reservations Team to make a booking reservations.vanuatu@ihg.com

3. Picnic escorted by a Chief

Let us set up the perfect picnic spot in one of the more private areas of the Resort grounds and have our Chief escort you both to this secluded location where you can enjoy each other’s company and delicious fare created by chef.

Beside your picnic basket sits an ice bucket with your favourite chilled something, leaving you without a care in the world.

Get in touch with the Resort sales team on sales.vanuatu@ihg.com to book your exclusive picnic.

NB: Picnic packages are available for in-house guests only.

4. Lagoon side couples massage

For pure self-indulgence and romance, you can’t go past a couple’s massage in our lagoon-side massage cabana.

Let the magic hands of our talented masseuses ensure your romantic day is just perfect while you relax and unwind.

Sounds blissful right?

5. Namele Day Spa treatments

Not only can you enjoy superb accommodation and dining experiences at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, but you can also enjoy quality pampering at the Resort’s Namele Day Spa which offers a haven to rejuvenate and revitalise.

There is a variety of blissful massages and treatments available, from soothing relaxation rubs to facials, manicures, and pedicures that can be enjoyed in the Namele Day Spa location.

The Spa team at the Resort are trained to provide a personalised treatment targeting the needs of individual skin types and only use natural therapeutic products, including Vanuatu’s virgin coconut oil, to ensure a complete invigorating experience.

Emmeline 510x323

Emmeline – a life dedicated to Vanuatu Table Tennis

A Gold medal winner for her country and advocate for the sport, Emmeline Lulu, when not working in her role as Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, is proud to support the Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games athletes within her role as a member of the Vanuatu Table Tennis Federation.

Where do you call home, where were you born? Tell us a bit about your family.

Vanuatu is my home and I was born in Banks Island, Torba Province. My family is hugely supportive of me and my time spent playing table tennis, they play also! My brother, Ham Lulu, just won two Gold medals (including Vanuatu’s first Gold medal) at the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games and my sister, Anolyn Lulu, has also won two gold medals. I am extremely proud.

I still play table tennis and I am an active member of the Vanuatu Table Tennis Federation.

I started my sporting career in 1994 when I fell in love with playing the game at school – it’s such good fun.

What do you enjoy the most and the least?

The best part is representing my country abroad. Unfortunately, however, few Ni-Vanuatu know about Table Tennis and the success this country has within the sport.

What are your career highlights?

Winning the first Gold medal for the Vanuatu women’s team in 2003 at the Fiji Pacific Games. This result and my amazing experiences so far mean I will continue to support the sport for as long as possible. I want to be there to support the federation to ensure table tennis continues here in Vanuatu.

What are you looking forward to the most about the 2017 Pacific Mini Games?

We are the hosts and we are organising the competition. It is an amazing opportunity for all of us in Vanuatu – athletes, the community, participants, volunteers, children – everyone!

I thank Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu for supporting me and my participation with the games and allowing me as an individual to take time out of my position to be involved.

Ham 510x323

Ham – Vanuatu Table Tennis Champion

Ham Frexly Lulu, Vanuatu Table Tennis Champion – Offensive player, lover of the sport and his amazingly supportive family. When Ham isn’t slamming those balls across the table, he’s greeting guests in his role as Duty Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.

 

Where do you call home, where were you born? Tell us a bit about your family.

I call Vanuatu home. I was born on Gaua Island which is part of the Banks group.

My family is made up of myself, my two older sisters and of course my parents. My sisters are my motivation and my parents are my biggest fans!

Tell us about yourself.

I work as a receptionist at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu and I also do volunteer work in schools and communities around Port Vila as well as help NGO’s.

I began my Table Tennis career in 2000 when my sisters started, they introduced the sport to me. I am driven to become one of the best at the sport in the Pacific and Oceania. I thoroughly enjoy the travel that comes with the game at my level. I feel very lucky to see and experiences other cultures.

In addition to Table Tennis, I love to play soccer, basketball and tennis.

What do you enjoy about the sport the most?

Winning medals for me, my family, my country and its people.

What do you enjoy the least about the sport?

Not winning medal at a tournament.

What have been your career highlights and major achievements for Table Tennis?

I succeeded and won a gold medal in the men’s doubles in the Cook Islands in 2009. I have also won silver in the men’s doubles in the Oceania Championship in Australia in 2014. I will continue to play until I win GOLD!

Who is your coach and how do they motivate you?

I have many coaches that come from China and they have motivated me by providing me with outstanding training opportunities.

What do you feel your main strengths in your sport are?

My main strength is my team. Our team work and training/practice makes everything perfect.

What are you looking forward to the most about the Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games?

To fight hard and win medals for my own country, in my own country. Every moment of the Vanuatu games is amazing and I’m loving it! Vanu-pawa, never give up!

christmas

An island Christmas

Guest list, gift list, shopping list, cooking list, wrapping list, card list, drinks list, extras list … does this sound like the usual Christmas preparation at your place? Did we just say Christmas? At this time of year?

If so, we’re sorry, but not sorry.

Let’s face it. Christmas can be a time of stress and the reality is, it’s fast approaching. However, see all those things we mentioned in the opening paragraph? We want to take care of as much of that as we can for you!

We want you to travel with your family and friends and gift yourselves a stress-free Christmas with us, here in sunny Vanuatu, and get something more out of Christmas this year. Sounds tempting, right?

It’s time to break tradition and create new ones. It’s time to ensure every member of your family has a burden free, relaxing holiday over Christmas and to let us do all the work for you.

At Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, we’re already gearing up for our best festive season yet and we want you to be a part of it.

So in the festive spirit, here are our top six (6) reasons why you should book your Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Christmas escape now!

 

1/ The festive feast:

Over the Christmas and New Year period, Resort guests enjoy the perfect mix of island and festive feast tradition. Celebratory gatherings in Vanuatu are big social events that bring everyone together and the food is always amazing. Think South Pacific delights with the right mix of traditional ham and turkey on our carving station and delectable Christmas desserts.

We have other fun family friendly events pre and post Christmas too. You can enjoy our Tuesday night ‘South Pacific Dinner Night’ with a traditional cultural dance. Thursday evening is our amazing ‘Fire Night Dinner’ on the Resort Beach, where you will be treated to a spectacular fire dance performance. Relax, feel the sand between your toes and enjoy our Saturday ‘Night Under the Stars’ dinner event.

New Years Eve in the islands is also something quite special. Join us on the Resort Beach and wander the market food stalls each themed to bring cuisine from different parts of the world. At midnight join us in releasing your very own lantern to welcome the new year.

Various other themed dinners and events will be held throughout the festive season ensuring there is plenty of options, no one is ever bored or has to lift a finger!

 

2/ Remove the holiday hustle:

We have something for everyone at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. It’s the perfect place to bring yourself and the kids, or your entire tribe! But rather than drive around visiting rellies all day and getting all stressed out – rid yourself of the holiday hassle, sorry we meant hustle, and get them to come on your festive island break too. Extend the invitation to Nan, Pop, the cousins, aunts, uncles and inlaws – even your besties! Hosting your Christmas celebration with us means everyone experiences a relaxing, stress free break.

 

3/ Great accommodation options:

In addition to our beautiful Resort accommodation rooms, we have 10 stunning Overwater Villas on our own private Erongo island.

Looking for a perfect place for just two? We have secluded quiet zones at the Resort that make for an ideal romantic holiday escape.

 

4/ Activities that will even get Santa excited:

Think fishing tours, diving experiences, hiking, waterfalls, buggy rides, horse riding, blue holes, day-trips to a live volcano, OR spend lazy days and just flop and drop poolside at the Resort and make use of the extensive Resort facilities at our Activities Hub.

Our helpful Resort Hub team can create a holiday itinerary that ensures everyone gets the most out of the festive break.

 

5/ The kids – think Kids Club + they Stay and Eat for FREE!:

Let’s face it. Sometimes we all need a break and we’re not just talking a break from the kids but a break from mum and dad too! Our Resort Kids Club is the perfect place for your children to enjoy the company of others at the Resort. It’s a place where they make new friends, participate in cool activities and enjoy some good old fashioned kid fun.

Thats not forgetting about our wonderful ‘Kids Stay & Eat FREE’ program. Children aged 12 and below eat breakfast, lunch and dinner without any charge when they dine at any of our restaurants with an adult (excludes special events). Kids also stay for free when sharing their parents’ room.

Read more about the Kids Stay and Eat FREE here.

 

6/ Create new memories:

Make your Vanuatu Christmas a talking point for years to come. Step away from your regular Christmas traditions and create new memories with us. Our emphasis during this special time is ensuring you get to focus on family fun and togetherness and creating lifelong memories. Memories and quality family time are the best gift anyone can give.

Plan a special festive trip with us this year and book now or email sales.vanuatu@ihg.com

Destination Wedding

Great Destination Weddings Magazine, Real Wedding

Great destination weddings magazine cover

Soon to be married couple in Vanuatu Resort

Resort Vanuatu Weddings