If you want to get right off the beaten tourist track, then you should give Tanna Lodge a try, as this earthy, intimate, yet comfortable resort its located on volcano capped Tanna Island in Vanuatu, around 30 mins flying time from Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila.
Tanna Lodge offers what could be described as a quintessential Vanuatu island experience, with western comforts available, but above all, good local, happy smiling service, with the Lodge owned and run by Kiwi Hugh Lowe and his wife Stella and family.
Tanna Lodge offers 12 comfortable, individual, locally style and handcrafted “bungalows”, with high ceilings and thatched roofs, also with large spacious interiors, tiled floor, ceiling fans and those quirky, but very pleasant indoor/outdoor garden showers, and all have ensuite bathrooms.
Tanna Lodge is not ostentatious at all and do not expect the facilities or style of a large glitzy resort, but it is comfortable, providing the “real” Vanuatu, with good wholesome local food, with the restaurant and bar forming the heart of the property, along with an open terrace, overlooking the pool and tropical gardens and also through the trees, offering views of the volcanic beach and the contrasting blue ocean.
Oh, when I was there recently whales could be seen in the distance and I was told that often dolphins and turtles visit the beach.
Tanna Lodge is only 20 minutes drive from Tanna’s White Grass Airport, but let me warn you roads in Tanna are not surfaced or smooth, just varying versions of rough to really rough, with the latter requiring four wheel drive and when it rains……..well, I leave that to your imagination!
Tanna Lodge is a great location from which to explore Tanna though and to do that you definitely do need a driver, which the Lodge can supply and I suggest a visit to the amazing Yasur Volcano late in the afternoon, staying on into the evening to see the natural fireworks this amazing volcano throws out – probably the most accessible volcano in the world!
There are also local villages you can visit and they are just amazing – but be prepared as these are as if time has stood still for a thousand years and I also suggest a great local tour called Black Magic, where you will discover the history and customs of the amazing people of Tanna.
For us petrol heads, Tanna Lodge also has its very own fleet of really powerful and very strong quad bikes and a tour with them can be booked at the Lodge…….but, if lazing around is what you like then try the volcanic black sand beaches, with resort activities also including swimming, snorkelling, beach volleyball, the French connection through Petanque, and walking to the nearby villages and local townships of Isangel and Lenakel.
Don’t take it from me though, but hear what owner Hugh [left] had to say about Tana Lodge when I visited and stayed at Tana Lodge, by clicking on the video box below.
For more information on Tanna Lodge visit www.tannalodge.com
John Alwyn-Jones reporting on location from Tok Tok Vanuatu – brought to you by Air Vanuatu