Holidaying with children in Vanuatu doesn’t mean forsaking creature comforts or style. At these 10 resorts and holiday houses, every member of the family will have reason to smile.
For young families
Parents with young kids need look no further. A lagoon-facing retreat about 20 minutes’ drive from Port Vila, Aquana Beach Resort has an 18-strong team of nannies for its 16 bungalows. It’s a more informal affair than a standard kids’ club, with nannies eager to join you on your family adventures or whisk the young’uns away for activities such as basket weaving, hermit crab hunting and kayaking. Best of all, it’s an included service.
For luxury travellers
A private island in Mele Bay, about three minutes’ ferry ride from Port Vila, the upscale Iririki Island Resort & Spa enjoys stupendous views from its Deluxe Family Farés. Gaze at the Vila waterfront from your balcony or take a dip – the only question is, will you choose the infinity pool with a terrace overlooking the Coral Sea or the pool, gently cascading over four tiers, adjoining the kids’ club?
For absolute privacy
A family holiday getaway on 1.2 hectares with a private beach, Villa Champagne has a main house with four bedrooms as well as two self-contained two-bedroom cabanas. If you feel the need to drag yourself away from the pristine white sands or the enormous beach-facing swimming pool, the rental comes with a 12-seater van for your personal use.
For active families
The Warwick Le Lagon hotel is just five kilometres from Port Vila but the setting on the edge of pristine Erakor Lagoon feels far from Vanuatu’s version of the big smoke. The huge array of activities (there are three pools, two tennis courts, a pool table and bicycles) ought to keep the family occupied. If not, there’s the dedicated kids’ club with a cinema and cooking classes.
A tree house in the middle of the jungle? For a unique Vanuatu experience, you can’t beat La Maison du Banian, a spreading banyan tree turned into an open-walled shelter that can sleep four, complete with mosquito net-covered beds and a grill to cook over an open flame. In the morning, send the kids out to collect eggs for breakfast from the resident chickens. Doesn’t get more idyllic.
For explorers at heart
Hugging the beach on Tanna, one of the Vanuatu archipelago’s southernmost islands (where the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, is revered by some as a god), White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa is a great base from which to explore Mount Yasur, an active volcano that seethes dramatically at regular intervals. New two-room family bungalows and a dining room perched over the ocean provide more sedate attractions.
For laid-back families
Bright waterfront bungalows with open-plan sleeping areas are the entry point to Erakor Island Resort & Spa, a bijou place five minutes by ferry from downtown Port Vila. Each of the villas has a two-person hammock guaranteed to create intergenerational conflict of the nicest kind.
For diving enthusiasts
Love diving with a dash of history? Aore Island Resort on Espiritu Santo runs dive tours for families with older kids (the minimum diving age is 10, depending on your dive) to the nearby sunken World War II wreck of SS President Coolidge and Million Dollar Point, where the departing American servicemen dumped dozens of tanks and jeeps into the water. After your dive, retire to the waterfront restaurant with views across to the mainland.
For total isolation
Nestled in 60 hectares of tropical wilderness on Ratua, a private island off an island off an island, the 4.5-star Ratua Island Resort & Spa is half an hour by boat from Espiritu Santo Island, which is a 50-minute flight from Port Vila on Efate. It’s a universe of family-friendly activities where you can explore the eco resort on horseback or by mountain bike – or grab a kayak or paddleboard for a journey of a more aquatic nature.
For apartment living
The kitchen facilities in each of Nasama Resort’s apartments will appeal to self-catering families. Otherwise, the resort located on the south-western corner of Efate has every creature comfort, including a restaurant and bar, shared barbecue and adults’ and kids’ swimming pools. ￼