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Reviews (146)
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Reviewed 7 July 2012

We stayed at Coral Quays for a week in June (2 adults, 3 kids). We didn't do any diving and it was clear to us this is really the main focus of the resort's activities so our experiences need to be seen in that light. From what we could tell the divemaster (Michael) seemed like a nice guy other guests seemed happy with their diving experiences.

I would say the resort is OK to use as a base for day trips elsewhere in Santo or to use for diving excursions but if you spend your whole time there with kids you would get bored pretty quickly as there isn't that much else to do. The resort has a close relationship with Paradise Tours who are good for day trips to the various tourist attractions. It is certainly not walking distance to Luganville, you need to get a taxi (300 - 500 Vt).

The hostess Charmaine was friendly and helpful and the other staff were lovely. I didn't really get to talk to the other owner Phil altough he did at least say hi a couple of times which is probably all I expected from some of the other recent reviews - I don't think he is a natural extrovert.

After the recent reviews where guests indicated they had been robbed we were VERY careful to lock all our valuables in our suitcase and didn't have a problem (no one else did to our knowledge).

The gardens of the resort are lush and attractive.The rooms are basic but reasonably comfortable, ceiling fans were not too noisy and housekeeping was good. We had to take 2 rooms but what was strange was the inconsistency between them. We had a continuous hot water system and our girls had a hot water service that lasted about 1 min before going cold so they gave up and came to our room for showers. On the flip side they had a generous sized fridge while ours was microscopic.

The pool is OK alhough there are only 2 lounges and there is free Wi Fi but not a lot for kids to do in the evening. Feeding the fish off the end of the pier is fun and there are hermit crabs on the beach that are quite cute, The beach isn't really good for swimming (too many coral pieces) and while there are lots of fish and some coral off the end the water is very murky most of the time so snorkelling there can be very frustrating.

The food at Coral Quays appears to have been a controversial topic in other reviews. I would say that the quality of the food was generally OK to quite good (only the spaghetti bolagnese was poor) prices are Australian restuarant equivalent (which are pretty expensive versus other options in Luganville) and the serves are average in size - not overally generous. Continental breakfast was included and was sufficient unless you have a burning need for a cooked buffet (it's just not that sort of resort), nice having banana and paw paw jam.

We quickly realised it was going to cost a lot if we ate both dinner and lunch at CQR but we were kind of stuck for dinner as having 5 of us we would have needed to get 2 separate taxis (they can only take 4) into Luganville. That didn't sound like a relaxing option so I opted to go into Luganville myself and buy rolls, fillings and snacks store them in the fridge to make lunches. Most of the time we opted to take the lunch with us on our half day outings anyway so we didn't need to have lunch at the resort.


We considered doing both fishing and snorkelling tours with Coral Quays but we found Santo Dive and Fishing were much better value, in fact the half day light game fishing tour at 25000 Vt also included snorkelling on another island at the end (and could take all 5 of us with a nice tropical lunch on the beach included) vs a half day fishing trip with Coral Quays at 45000 Vt, nearly double the price, no lunch and they could only take 4 out. I'm not saying the CQR fishing would not be good, just that it was rather expensive and didn't suit our family size. We caught a nice 10 kg dogtooth tuna and to Charmaine's credit she allowed it to be cooked in the CQR restuarant (at a charge) for us - $15 for the tuna meal versus $20 normally. I reserve judgement as to whether this was good value or not (my kids were just happy to say they had eaten it and Charmaine could have refused) but I mention it anyway.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a continuous hot water system
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Fiji_Novice255100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2012

We had an air conditioned bungalow but didn't actually need the A/C.

Resort is clean and well appointed, staff are friendly and very helpful. Food is good and not exceedingly expensive. Pool was clean. The associated beach (across the road) was fairly mediocre - its facing the Segond Channel and has a lot of broken coral on the beach, not very interesting snorkeling.

The resort's dive tours were good, my thanks to Michael (dive instructor), Phil (manager and boat captain), and Ian (divemaster) who seemed to think the water was cold - 30m down without a wetsuit I disagreed, [would have been even better if my underwater strobe had been working properly but that is no reflection on the resort]. Hire equipment was very new and in good condition as a result. The dive boat was suitable although not sure how it would be with larger numbers, I had it almost to myself. Between-dive refreshments were tasty and refreshing. Dove on the USS Tucker, a coral reef, and the Million Dollar Point scrap heap - good visibility and lots to see.

We had the resort pretty much all to ourselves so very quite since its a little way out of town - frequent passing buses get you to and from town easily for about 150vt each however if there are 2 of you a taxi is usually just as cheap (be sure to ask the fare first as they vary). Would certainly have been happy to stay there longer.

On the down-side our stay was marred by the theft of some Australian money from my partner's wallet in our room while at breakfast. Charmaine the manageress did all she could to address the matter.

Room Tip: It seems if you travel just before the June peak you will have the place to yourselves so any room is good - can recommend bungalow 3
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TheOzIcedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We stayed her for 7 days. The staff were lovely and helpful, if a bit shy. The rooms are basic and clean, although in 7 days we didn't get a change of sheets and the supply of towels was strange, some days we got 2 towels, 2 facecloths - no bath mat others bath mat no hand towels. Breakfast was included in our price and it was very poor for what we paid, the dinners were average - on an island like this there should be more local fare on the menu not Asian food - if I had wanted that I would have gone to Asia. The owners - in 7 days we talked to Phil once - and there were only 3 other couples there at the same time, one of the couples had all their cameras and cash stolen out of their bungalow - Phil couldn't have cared less and didn't even let the other guests know. the pool was small, you couldn't relax around it as there was only 2 loungers the beach was small but the snorkling was good. It was completely over sold on the websites we looked at and wouldn't recommend it or go back

Room Tip: Don't go
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank justhiskiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2012

We have recently returned from 2 weeks in Vanuatu with the first week staying at the Coral Quays resort in Santo. Within 48hrs of our arrival we had all of our cameras stolen, and equipment, also cash clothing & various other items watch etc from our room.
We have insurance but thats not the point. We informed Phill the owner of the establishment & he was to say the least not really concerned about our loss. We spoke to the guides from Paradise tours the next day as they were the ones we were with the day before & had concerns that they may have had something to do with it as they had our cameras with them that day whilst we were on the Millenium Cave trip, I must point out quiet clearly here that I was wrong in my initial concerns about the guys at Paradise tours, they are outstanding & the cave trek is the best & the guys are fantastic, please do the Millenium tour with them. I spoke to Luke, the owner of Paradise Tours telling my initial concerns about the theft of our gear he was understanding & patient with us & I thank him & Daniel very much, I could not apologise enough to them.

As for Phil, the owner, well It was Luke who helped us with the police report, interpreting for us, taking us to the police station & just being soooo cool about it all. Phil just walked off & left us standing in the dark the night it happened, we didnt see him for days & when I did he waffled on about a reward he had offered for the return of our stuff, ( apparently he,s done it before then doesnt pay, which means the locals dont want to help him anymore) which of course means we wont get our stuff back.
When we left Phill didnt even have the common decency to come & see us or let us know what was going on, he apparently was more concerned whether we had paid our account or not, which we had.
I have since emailed him regarding my concerns but he seems to think he can bully me & suggested I wasnt mature enough to deal with the situation & I was expecting him to hold my hand, the guys just a selfish man. I have the email if anybody wants to see it.
I have the locals helping me even though we are now home, they know more than anybody & even though it was a local that stole our gear I have to say overall the people there are so nice we liked Santo. Coral Quays is a nice place till something goes wrong, Phill said the theft was the first, WRONG we found out it happens a lot, so he lied as well as showed his paying guests no respect nor did provide a proper duty of care. Im demanding a refund but we,ll see what happens. BE AWARE!!!!

Room Tip: no tv,s the rooms are o.k. nothing to rave on about. Dont bother with the place there,s better.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Bradley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

We Stayed at Coral Quays for 2 Weeks. What an amazing experience, did not want to leave but felt very realxed after our stay. The rooms are very clean and comfortable, serviced every day. The staff are just awesome, they can never do enough for you and always with a smile and friendly attitude. Charmaine and Phil are the perfect hosts which is hard to come by these days with a personal touch. Tours were very easy to organise with the Staff suggestions very welcome. Location is great, just a quick $5.00 AU into Luganville and taxis coming past frequently. Kava Bar located within walking distance with Ocean Views and well worth the visit (or two). The Diving offered by Coral Quays on the Reefs and USS Tucker are well worth experiencing with Michael (the Dive Master) especially for Novice Divers before tackling the Coolidge and other wreck dives. The Fishing with Michael & Jack is a great day out and they certainly make an effort for it to be an enjoyable experience, especially when you get the BIG one. All and All an amazing Holiday where you can just kick back and laze on the beach or by the pool with the most amazing gardens or get out and do all the diving, fishing, kayaking, snorkelling and tours that you want. Joe the Chef is certainly very funny and excellent at what he does...Cook.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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