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Lowelkas Cove, Tanna, Vanuatu

Our Thoughts on Friendly Beach
In our experience it is rare for travellers on pre-booked holidays to be able to include such a place. This is mainly because the systems of most village-run tourist ventures are not always up to speed for making and confirming bookings and providing reasonably timely services etc. The good folk at Poppy’s On the Lagoon in Port Vila, who are in partnership with the villages on whose land Friendly Beach is located, have put in place the necessary systems to enable us to include this terrific little resort in our itineraries.

So, what do you get that’s different when staying at Friendly Beach? First, the whole property is village built and run. That means that everything that is usually hand-made in a Tanna village is hand-made here. That includes the buildings, the mats on the floor, the four-poster futon-style bed frames (the mattress is a super-comfortable inner-sprung mattress), the veranda furniture, the restaurant and bar – everything except the modern conveniences such as the toilets, showers, etc. The bungalows are built in exactly the same way that the normal village houses are built, constructed from natural hand-crafted forest wood, bamboo and fibre, the thatched roof is real thatch which actually stops the rain from entering (no hidden long-run iron under this thatch!), the fales are all raised up a little to allow sea breezes to circulate and assist with cooling – everything is authentically Melanesian with modern comforts – are you starting to get the picture? Guests also really enjoy the unpretentiously friendly villagers who helped build and staff Friendly Beach. The experience of staying in such an environment adds immeasurably to the “Tanna Experience” and since the total renewal and upgrading it now appeals to a much wider market, but it’s also worth considering that this is a remote location which is entirely dependent on generators for electricity. When the generators are turned off around 10.00pm, that’s it as far as anything electrical is concerned. There’s no TV, phones or safes in the fares and no internet or international mobile phone reception. (How good is that for a get-away-from-it-all break!)  The bathrooms are great with a hot water shower, double vanity and a coral floor.  The restaurant food is very good - French cooking inspired meals provided on a set-menu basis. There is a bar too, but it’s not a bad idea to bring a bottle or two with you as well as some snack food nibbles.

Since the redevelopment of the whole resort during 2015, the whole place has been totally upgraded and now self-rates at 3½ Star which is a vast improvement over their previous grading. Friendly Beach is now providing a very rewarding and worthwhile experience to a much wider range of visitors. Most of the visitor accommodation on Tanna is located closer to the airport on the north-western side of Tanna Island which is a very good base for an extended stay on Tanna. However, to really experience the unique culture and the amazing volcano of this remarkable island, a stay of a few days at Friendly Beach is highly recommended.  Friendly Beach is on the southern side of Tanna, a 90-minute drive over the hills from the airport. Everyone visiting the Mt Yasur volcano, Tanna’s most famous attraction, must traverse this same road to experience the mighty Yasur, and like the airport transfers to and from Friendly Bungalows, on any given day the transfer vehicle may well be a 4WD twin-cab ute and some of your party could be sitting on the tray! We’ve done this trip “on the tray” and it certainly adds to the overall experience and enjoyment of Tanna. Friendly Beach is located only 6 kms away from Mt Yasur which is accessed from Friendly Beach by a 30-minute 4WD trip over the ash plain.

The resort is located right on a black sand (more like grey sand really) beach and the sounds of the ocean can be constantly heard. The water is crystal clear and safe for swimming. If the wind is blowing towards Friendly Beach from the direction of Yasur, there will be a film of grey ash evident. It’s not unpleasant, but we would like you to know that it could be about.

Friendly Beach happily accept 1 night bookings, but, in our experience, to really get to know Tanna, its unique people and sights, we recommend a 2 or 3 night stay – of course, longer is better, but if your trip to Tanna is a side trip as part of a 7-10 night holiday in Port Vila/Efate, a 2 or 3 night stay would be ideal.

Continental cooked breakfast for each guest is included in the room rate. Continental breakfast includes fresh seasonal fruit, cooked breakfast (ie, French toast, pancakes, omelette etc) and hot tea or coffee. A full meal plan including lunch and dinner is available to pre-purchase.

Included in the Accommodation rate at Friendly Beach:
 ● Cooked breakfast daily
 ● Meet and greet at Tanna Airport
 ● Cold refresher towel and Welcome drink on arrival
 ● Return airport transfers
 ● a 1½ hour Tanna 4WD Safari of Lenakel and
     cross Tanna Island by 4WD

The breakfast included in the rate is very good - fresh seasonal fruit, cooked breakfast (ie, French toast, pancakes, omelette etc) and hot tea or coffee. A full meal plan including lunch and dinner is available to pre-purchase.

What Friendly Beach Say About Themselves:
Each villa has an absolute beachfront location facing the reef protected and sheltered cove of the Pacific Ocean. The villas are spacious, all hand crafted with local materials, fallen timbers, coconut leaf roofs, lined with woven bamboo and timber shuttered lourvre windows. River stone and coral floor bathroom. Fully screened and secure, the villas are authentic in design and offer a real Tanna experience in a luxury setting. Electricity is supplied by a combination of solar and generator between the hours of approx. 5pm to 10pm daily and there is no internet available on this remote east coast of Tanna. The welcoming and hospitable resort managers live on site and staff are on hand to ensure all guests maximise their experience at Friendly Beach-whether it be relaxing on your day bed or hammock and gazing out to sea or making the most of the many day excursions available including tours to the magnificent Mount Yasur volcano.

Friendly Beach guests are met at the Tanna airport by our manager or staff and airport transfers are included in the nightly rate; this includes a full 1 hour tour across the island mountain range with breath taking views and information on the jungle and life on Tanna.

On arrival at Friendly Beach, time stands still and the outside world feels a long way away. The ocean is pristine, the food is delicious and cooked according to local produce availability- local beef, fresh fish (sometimes lobster) and local chicken and vegetables fresh from the gardens.

The resort is unique in its location and contact with the local communities in that it is very remote on the east coast yet has a touch of luxury and delicious food making it an oasis for the guests looking for a real Tanna experience in comfort. There is a restaurant and dining pavilion for guests, or room service if guests prefer to dine on their villa or on their balcony at no extra charge. On arrival, each guest is consulted on the nightly menu and emphasis is on preparing delicious food using local ingredients. Our home-made bread is a must. Our onsite managers can arrange day excursions and this includes tours to the Mount Yasur volcano, Port Resolution, the ancient cave on the Ash Plains, Yakel village where they filmed the movie “Tanna”, the blue cave, the black magic tours and a visit to the hot springs.

Friendly Beach is located 6km away from Mt Yasur volcano right on the quiet secluded black sand beach of Lowelkas Cove one of the most remote coasts of Tanna where there are no shops, no internet, and no electricity other than powered by our generator. Friendly Beach is on the east coast, the most convenient location with proximity to the volcano, ash plains, and historic Port Resolution so after returning from the volcano at night, it is only a half hour trip back to the restaurant dining room, your private fare and time to reflect on an amazing experience.

Friendly Beach is on a long stretch of private black sand beach yet only 30 minutes drive to the Mount Yasur volcano. The perfect location to explore or relax and enjoy Tanna.”

Note re Vanuatu Tourism Levy
In order to assist the development of tourism in Vanuatu, there is a Tourism Levy of 0.05% added to all nightly room charges.  This charge may either be added to the tariff and included in the prepaid accommodation cost, or in some cases, collected direct from guests at checkout.  The actual amount payable depends on room tariffs and ranges from around NZ$1.00 per night per room to around $5.00 per night per room for the more expensive properties.

Our Specials:
Bullet Special Honeymoon Package
Inclusions for Honeymooners staying a minimum of 4 nights with the compliments of Friendly Beach
  ● Welcome juice on arrival
  ● Romantic flowers in room
  ● Free bottle of sparkling wine on arrival
 - Honeymoon status to be established at time of booking
 - Proof of wedding may be requested at check-in.

Your Accommodation Options
The 3 new Fales are all the same in their beachfront location, their outlook and their facilities.

Beachfront Fares (Villas)

Contemporary and beautiful Melanesian inspired fare featuring local materials including thatched natangora (a pandanus-type palm) and woven coconut-frond roof, louvre timber windows and timber floor and doors. Absolute beach location, facing Pacific Ocean.  The room features a Queen Bed with a romantic overhead canopy with mosquito nett, a double bed-sized Day Bed and an ensuite coral-floor bathroom with double vanity. There is a nice veranda complete with a lazy hammock out front from which there is a beautiful view of the ocean.
Maximum Occupancy: 4 guests (Adults and/or children) plus a baby
Existing bedding: 1 Queen Bed (2 Single beds may be substituted), plus a double day bed. 
For 4 guests the bedding offered is 1 Queen Bed plus a Double Bed or 2 Single Beds.
Additional Bedding: A complimentary porta-cot for a baby may be added.

Getting to and from Friendly Beach, Tanna
Guests will be provided with airport transfers between Tanna Airport and Friendly Bungalows. The distance between the airport and Friendly Beach is only 30kms, but it takes around 90 minutes over a range of hills on a very basic road which is only suitable to transit by 4WD vehicle. It’s a fairly rugged transit, but very interesting and quite a lot of fun. This is the same road which guests staying on the airport-side of Tanna must take to view Mt Yasur volcano. Kindly note that there are no shops or self-catering facilities at or near Friendly Beach, so guests may wish to take their own sundry items such as snack food, insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, etc. There is a 20kg per person limit on the amount of luggage a guest may take on the cross-island airport transfers.

Note re Vanuatu Domestic Air Travel Tax 
Domestic flights between Port Vila, Santo and Tanna, as well as all other islands in Vanuatu attract a domestic tax of VT200 (approximately NZ$3.00) per person per sector.  Unfortunately, this tax cannot be prepaid, so is payable direct by travellers at domestic airports in Vanuatu.

Bullet Tours
We offer 2 optional tours which take in Mt Yasur Volcano, one during the day which includes a picnic lunch at Port Resolution, and the other, an evening volcano safari.  It is wise to pre-book one or both of these tours through Our Specialists as space is very limited.

Bullet Port Resolution & Mt Yasur Volcano Safari
Pick-up from Friendly Beach is between 8:30am and 9:00am.  Visit the volcanic ash plains, cross a river to view a previously inaccessible ancient cave, drive around the base of Mt Yasur and on to Port Resolution which is named after Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution which visited this site in 1774.  Enjoy the hot springs and a delicious picnic lunch.  There is time to swim and snorkel and visit the white sands and local village area.  Return to Friendly Beach by way of Shark Bay (when conditions allow) by around 3:00pm.

Bullet Etani Night Time Volcano Safari
The tour departs Friendly Beach at approximately 3pm. The tour’s first stop is the local Kastom (local) Village to enjoy the spectacle of local custom dancing and music. This can include up to 20 dancers in full costume and an explanation of the tribal traditions is provided.  Following the village visit, the tour heads for Mount Yasur and a 30-minute drive by 4WD over the ash plains up Mount Yasur where the vehicle stops near the top of the volcano and guests walk up the last 200 meters-or-so to the volcano rim. Watch the sunset from the top of the volcano, and then, depending on the level of volcanic activity watch the volcano erupt like fireworks into the night sky or gaze down into the crater to see the volcanic activity. Return to Friendly Beach in time for dinner.

Bullet NEW Wedding Package
A wonderful wedding option in a remote tropical paradise.  Our Specialist Wedding Planner has full details.

Kids’ Policy
Children are very welcome at Friendly Beach.
Friendly Beach has a flat rate nightly tariff which varies depending on the number of guests occupying a fare irrespective of whether occupants are adults or children.
Maximum 1 infant aged up to 2 years of age is accommodated per room.  A porta-cot is provided free of charge.
Kindly note that no infant car seats are available for cross-island transfers.

Check-in/Check Out
The hotel will make every effort to ensure your rooms are available at your time of check-in.  
Standard hotel check-in and check-out times are:
Check-in time: 2.00pm
Check-out time: 10.00am
Late Check-Out
A later check out may be available but may only be arranged directly with the resort on the day of departure.

Hotel Cancellation Policy
Bullet All cancellations must be made in writing
Bullet Cancellations made more than 21 days prior to 
     scheduled arrival do not incur a cancellation fee.
Bullet Cancellations made between 10 and 21 days prior to 
     scheduled arrival incur a cancellation fee equal to the 
     cost of staying 1 night at the rate booked.
Bullet Cancellations made between 1 and 9 days of 
     scheduled arrival incur a cancellation fee equal to 50% 
     of the cost of the booking made.
Bullet Cancellations made within 24 hours of scheduled arrival 
     and no-shows incur a cancellation fee equal to 100% of 
     the cost of the booking made.

The information on this page is correct as at 19 October 2018 and is based on our supplier contracts which are valid for stays to 31 March 2020.  All information shown is subject to change without notice.


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Resort Facilities
Bullet Restaurant
Bullet Bar
Bullet Ocean Front Resort
Bullet Continental Cooked Breakfast included in Tariff
Bullet Optional All Meals Included Tariff
Bullet Complimentary Return Airport Transfers
Bullet Closest Resort to Mt Yasur active volcano
Bullet Tours to volcano depart from Resort.

Bungalow Facilities
Bullet Beds with romantic mosquito netting canopy

Bullet Ensuite Bathrooms
Bullet Rain-Head Shower and Double Stone Vanities
Bullet Large Veranda with hammock
Bullet Gas Hot Water