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Iririki Resort Vanuatu - DON'T GO!!!

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#1 JP's Girl

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:17 PM

This is going to be long so I appologise in advance. Bascially here's a copy of the letter of complaint I sent to the general manager of Iririki when we got back from our honeymoon. Wish I had've been told some of this stuff BEFORE we booked!!! If anyone is considering Iririki for their honeymoon - think twice! It's not the delightful little, private, child free resort they market it to be!!


We booked our honeymoon with Iririki Resort on 29th March 2006 for 22 October to 30 October. Our deposit of 2 nights accommodation was paid at this time. Upon arrival at Iririki on 22 October we were kept waiting for half an hour before being told that our room was not ready for us yet and were asked by the manager to return in an hour’s time. This was not a very good first impression of your resort. However, we overlooked it as a ‘once off’ and returned an hour later and were shown to our room where most of the honeymoon package was set up and waiting for us. The flowers & fruit platter never arrived.

The room we were given was somewhat disappointing. The air conditioner was not working properly and was very loud, which meant we couldn’t sleep with it on due to the noise it made. There was a humming noise in our room constantly which we later worked out must have been from the generators on the island? There was also very loud music and noise coming from the main land every night which kept us awake until well after midnight. While we appreciate that the music is no fault of Iririki, it still made our first 3 nights at the resort very disappointing and unhappy.

We noticed immediately that there was no blind on the bathroom / shower window which made both of us, but particularly myself (being female), very uncomfortable, considering the walkways run behind all of the bungalows making it very open for anyone walking past to see you showering. On our first night at Iririki we took a walk around the island and saw a lady in one of the bungalows using the shower. She was very visible and we found it to be off-putting and embarrassing!

On Tuesday 24th October we arrived at The Watermark (restaurant) to have our complimentary breakfast only to be informed that the restaurant had been closed for “Tok Tok” (a travel agents conference we weren't told about) and would not be re-opening until approximately Saturday 28th October! We then took our breakfast at Michener’s (restaurant) instead.

We then went to reception to complain about the fact that there had been no notification that the restaurant would be closed during that time, which meant that if we wanted to stay on the island to eat we would be forced to pay the high prices at Michener’s or choose from the very limited selection of food on the room service menu. I’m sure that we were not the only guests at that time who complained about this. We told the manager of our concerns regarding our room, the noise and the fact that the restaurant was closed and asked what the price difference would be to move to one of the new units on the other side of the island, as we’d noticed how quiet is was over there compared to the bungalow side. He told us that it would be an extra $100 per night. We were not prepared to pay almost AU$500 a night to stay at your resort and told him this. We were asked by the manager to return later in the day to discuss the matter as it wasn’t a good time for him as everyone was busy setting up for “Tok Tok”. As a PAYING GUEST this really isn’t acceptable, however we agreed as we had a tour booked for that day.

When we returned to reception later that day to discuss the matter further we were told that upper management had left for the day, and were asked by the duty manager a to return at 9am on Wednesday 25th at which time we would all sit down and sort something out.

On Wednesday 25th we arrived at reception just after 9am and asked for the duty mangaer (remembering that he had invited us to meet him there at that time), and were told that he had been called away to a meeting and would only be 10 mins. So we sat and waited almost half an hour then decided that this was the final straw and we would leave the resort immediately. We asked the man at reception to have the duty manager call us when he returned as we’d be checking out today.

Within 10 mins of us returning to our bungalow, the manager did call, and discussed the matter with my husband. We told him that we’d be leaving today and he then informed us that we’d have to pay for an extra night if we did this. At no stage was this information presented to us when we booked and we did not sign anything agreeing to those conditions. The manager then told us that he’d spoken to the general manager who had said that if we wanted to stay we could move to one of the units at no extra charge per night. He came to our room and took us to see one of the units and we accepted the offer to move, on the basis that if we were still unhappy after one more night we would be checking out the following day at no extra charge.

When The Watermark restaurant re-opened the buffet that is usually at Michener’s had been moved there as “Tok Tok” was now using Michener’s instead. After 2 days of having the buffet for breakfast we were asked to pay for it as it’s only free when it’s in Michener’s restaurant! Why should the guests have to pay for the buffet just because the location changed? Iririki management moved the buffet, not the guests!

The following 2 nights were interrupted by loud parties in the units, which we called to complain about. We were told by the person at reception that lots of other people had also complained about the noise, however it was still another hour before anything appeared to be done about it.

The only 2 quiet nights we got at your resort were the Friday and Saturday.

We were presented with 2 Iririki champagne flutes as part of our honeymoon packaged (that we paid for). These glasses went missing after a few days and took us another 2 days and several phone calls to get back from housekeeping. Even then they weren’t the same glasses that we had originally been given.

The bathroom in the unit has some plumbing problems. Every day the water from the shower would come back up through the main drain in the bathroom floor and flood the room. Housekeeping may have noticed that our towels were always very wet – that was because we had to mop up the overflowing water after every shower!

One of the other Iririki disappointments was that although it’s marketed at honeymooners with the whole ‘no guests under 12’ spiel on your website, this is in fact incorrect as there were two very young children staying in the unit next to us. This was not a concern as they were very well behaved, however if you are going to advertise your resort as ‘child free’ then that’s what it should be. Also with the amount of day trippers bringing their children to the resort’s pool area and Watermark restaurant was overwhelming!! Your website says that your resort is “an exclusive, private island”. How can it be exclusive OR private if you allow day trippers?? Your website also says in several different places that it’s a “child free resort, no children under 12 years old”. Again, how can it be child free if the day trippers and their children are welcome, and you are allowing children to stay in the units?

The guest transport also leaves a lot to be desired. Several times we were passed by day trippers with their children heading to the new pool area in the guest buggies, while the actual paying guests were left to walk to their rooms on the other side of the island! This was insulting and unacceptable.

On Sunday 30th October at 10am we called for a buggy to take us to reception to check out. At 10:15am we called to see where the buggy was and were told that the boys were all busy and someone would be there soon. At 10:30am someone from reception called us to say that there was a problem with the buggies not working and that they’d be there as soon as possible. This was not the truth, as we had the unit door open while waiting the 30 mins for someone to arrive, and had seen no less than 4 buggies pass us in that time, all of them empty.

At that point we decided to walk to reception (from the units with 40kg of luggage!) as it was apparent that no one was coming to collect us. When we got to the top of the stairs to the walkway we saw that a few rooms down from us a buggy was sitting there empty, waiting for someone to come out of their room. We stood and watched this. The people came out of their rooms, spoke to the driver of the buggy, then went back into their room and shut the door, and the driver just sat there and waited for them, while we stood there watching him with all our luggage on the road. At no time did he ask us if he could take our bags or give us a lift. He just sat and waited for these other people!! We then walked to reception with our 40kg of luggage in our hands.

The package we originally booked included the Iririki Pass for AU$110. We never received this pass. Even when we moved rooms the manager himself noticed that we had not been given it and said that we’d have it immediately, and still it never arrived. On check out this pass was still included on our bill however. After discussion with the girl on the desk it was removed from the bill.

The treatment we received while at your resort was very disappointing and upsetting to say the least. We had been looking forward to staying at your resort for months, and even encouraged other friends to honeymoon with you (which they did, 2 weeks before us). No one person is to blame for anything that happened, however the way the resort is managed leaves a lot to be desired, and you need to sort out your marketing. Either you want the family atmosphere or you want the honeymooners. You can’t have a comfortable mix of both. Honeymooners do not go to a resort that is advertised as child free, only to be surrounded by children on a daily basis!!

We would appreciate contact from someone at Iririki in the Australian office to discuss our concerns, as we do not consider that our AU$3,144 (for accommodation only), 9 day stay was satisfactory in the least!!
To date we have had no response other than "i'll contact you in a few days after i've spoken to a few people". This was 2 weeks ago and a follow up email I sent has been ignored.
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#2 *Orchid*



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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:26 PM

OMG what a fiasco! So sorry you didn't have the relaxing honeymoon you were hoping for! The service you received is completely unacceptable!

#3 Shmeegle


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:27 PM

OMG that sucks so much. You poor thing sad.gif I can't believe how rude they were to you, especially with the restaurant thing. Its especially devastating because you shelled out a small fortune for it, and its your honeymoon which is a 'once in a lifetime' holiday! Or its meant to be, anyway! I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. I wonder if they're listed on those travel forums where you can give an honest review of the hotel? at least that would hopefully warn others away. Its not even that alll those things went wrong, its their attitude that was so appalling.
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#4 Raelene


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:32 PM

Did you book this yourself privately or go through a travel agent? If you used a travel agent make them aware of this as well (assuming that you haven't already)

I can only imagine how disappointed you must be with your honeymoon

#5 Jaime



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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:33 PM

Wow - how totally crappy. So sorry you had such a disappointing honeymoon. sad.gif

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#6 JP's Girl

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:38 PM

We booked privatley through their office in Victoria!
Even then emails 'got lost' and they wouldn't respond for days on end.
Should have got an indication of what to expect from the start! sad.gif
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#7 ***Jo***


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:57 PM

Wow - that is pretty awful. I am so sorry you had to put up with this!

Maybe take it up with a Complaints tribunal if they don't come back to you..or do they have a corporation that looks after their brand of hotels/resorts.

Let us know how you get on x
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#8 Raelene


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:05 PM

We were looking at Iririki for a family holiday but realised it wasn't targetted for families. The reason we looked at it was because it was on one of those holiday shows.... perhaps they need to be aware of the standard of service received by "every day people" as opposed to their staff and camera crews... Guess it depends on the response you receive from your complaint though

#9 BumbleBee


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:12 PM

Wow - that sounds awful - even more so for a honeymoon.
Hope you hear back soon, with a satisfactory answer.

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#10 BeeJay


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:33 PM

That's absolutely disgraceful.
If you'd like to share the email address you sent your complaint letter to I will gladly email them and say you wrote all this on an "Australian Bridal Website" and having been on the verge of booking at Iririki we have changed our mind!
If a dozen or so of us do that it should get their attention! laugh.gif

#11 SamIam


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Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:42 PM

That is so disappointing sad.gif

It's also apalling that you've recieved no response to the letter in 2 weeks. Make sure you let us know what the followup is.
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#12 Erasing the digi footprint

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:52 PM

Oh no- that sounds awful. I went to Vanuatu for a conference once (a travel agents one but I promise it wasn't Tok Tok!!) and I remember being apalled at the service at both Le Laggon and Iririki and thinking to myself "oh crap I have sent honeymooners here!!".

Hope you hear back some response soon

#13 treeish


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Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:12 AM

sad.gif sorry to hear about that twinnie - that is appalling to say the least!

28th October 2006

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#14 kils


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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:25 PM

Oh that sounds terrible!!!

I'm so sorry you had such an awful time, it's just disgraceful!
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#15 KEJ



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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:35 PM

I think perhaps part of the reason you haven't received a response yet is that your letter is very long for a complaint letter. I find when complaining about goods or services, things should be kept very short and concise, with the action you want taken (part refund, apology, whatever) clearly spelt out. The more emotional you make it sound, the less likely they are to take it seriously.

If you do email them again, I would recap the main points of your dissatisfaction (perhaps in bullet point form for ease of reading) and clearly state the action you want taken.
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