5th October 2016
Following the damage caused by Cyclone Pam in March of 2015, many resorts were forced to close for repairs. While some patched up the damage, the Aussie owners of Iririki Island Resort decided to make the best of a bad situation and closed the resort down for over a year to completely rebuild the accommodation and facilities, along with some exciting new additions. Now, Iririki is back better than ever, shiny and new and with a world-first facility that has previously only been seen alongside the excesses of Las Vegas.
Forget the swim-up bars of other island holiday resorts (although they've got one of those too) Iririki Island Resort now boasts its own swim-up casino, where seasoned punters and game first-timers can test their luck at the blackjack table set in the shallows of the rippling turquoise water. As the sun warms your back and glints off the crystal clear waves lapping at your knees you'll realise that there's no such thing as losing. At this blackjack table, even when the cards aren't in your favour, you're winning.
Just a three minute ferry ride from Port Vila, Iririki Island Resort is a holiday village and relaxing oasis set on its own island. Part of the archipelago of 83 volcanic islands and atolls that make up Vanuatu, the country was recently named the fourth-happiest country in the world and is also the holiday home of mega stars such as Cate Blanchett. It's also the only place in the world with an underwater post office, where divers and snorkellers can post waterproof postcards at the Hideaway Island marine sanctuary.
There's no doubt about it, Vanuatu is a special place and it just got even more special thanks to the revamp of Iririrki Island Resort. The open-air terrace of the picturesque infinity pool looks out over the ocean while the big four-tier pool is conveniently close to the bar and cafes, gently serenaded by the sound of the cascading waterfall. There's a brand new spa where you can indulge in a massage with the fully qualified therapist or relax in an armchair for a mani or pedi overlooking pristine rainforest that meets the sparkling water beyond.
Although it's a great place to kick back and relax, Iririki Island Resort also offers plenty to see and do. Just a short stroll from the main restaurant, Snorkeller's Cove showcases brightly coloured fish, intricate coral formations and perhaps a glimpse of the resident dugong. There's also tours and attractions that can be arranged through guest services with everything from sunset cruises to turtle-feeding expeditions, village visits and adventures to the active volcano on offer. For thrillseekers there's jetboating, quad biking, abseiling and rainforest ziplining.
Back at the resort there is a daily program of activities available including table tennis, a games room and a whole host of water and beach sports including soccer, beach volleyball, paddle boarding, kayaking and even scuba diving instruction. The cultural activities should also not be missed. You can learn everything from the best way to pick a coconut to traditional dances and enjoy an authentic Melanesian feast. The owners of Iririki Island Resort are still celebrating their grand makeover, come celebrate with them.