THERE are loads of clichés relating to getting away from the rat race and escaping the 9 to 5 madness.
And there are varying degrees as to how successful these so called escapes are in reality.
One such place where you really move into another lifestyle for the duration of your stay is Divi’s Tapas Bar and B&B near Mangalilu in North West Efate.
Their slogan – ‘where the jungle meets the reef’ could not be more apt for this boutique resort that is isolated yet does not feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.
Granted the phone reception is not always great but owners Darleen and Scott Proud can still indulge in Scott’s love of motor racing, watching it live on the big screen.
The Prouds have utilized the natural beauty of the surroundings at Divi’s, maintaining its integrity and adding touches of their own to create an oasis of joy and indulgence.
Many of their guests have remarked that they feel like they have been staying with friends rather than at a B&B or mini resort.
And that is just what the Prouds like to hear.
“There is no self-catering here, but we will spoil you and we work out breakfast, lunch and dinner and the times to suit the guest’s plans each day,’’ said Darleen.
“If you have dietary requirements like being vegetarian or need gluten free food, we will comply with your needs at each meal.
“Our aim is to make your stay with us as close to what you want as we possibly can do.
“If you want to lie on the deck or under a tree with the latest book then we will make that as comfortable as we can.
“This is the place to come when you want to relax, put your feet up and let someone else fuss over you.
“Watch the sun set into the Pacific while Scott makes you a cocktail … while you take in the beauty of Eretoka (Hat) Island at Divi’s onsite Tapas Bar. Yummy food made fresh for you whenever you are hungry. Perhaps indulge yourself and book in for a foot massage or pedicure in our oceanside Massage Cabana… with a cocktail.’’
Darleen said Divi’s is a beautiful tranquil sanctuary to ‘get away from it all’ in a World Heritage buffer zone.
“Immerse yourself in the culture with a Mangaliliu village walk, snorkel the reef, swim in the aqua blue water, or just relax after an invigorating pushbike ride.’’
She said there are boat rides to Hat Island, the Survivor TV series beach, day trips around Lelepa Island or a visit to Cascades waterfalls, one of Efate’s most popular excursions.
“We can put together packages for these trip and excursions or create one just to suit your needs,’’ she said.
As for the accommodation, the two Jungle Bungalows are simply stunning in their amazing setting.
They are less than 100 metres from the ocean and each Jungle Bungalow is fully enclosed in fly screens to protect you from those pesky mozzies. But the jungle surrounds are breathtaking.
Wake up surrounded by the lush green forest. Completely get away from the hustle and bustle of your every day. Forget what time it is… relax under the trees, explore the island, have an adventure. If you hear a thud in the night, it will most likely be a coconut falling from one of the nearby coconut palms.
The Beach Bungalow is a fresh, modern, luxe hideaway. It features a large bathroom – walk straight into the shower from your swim in the ocean just 25 metres away, then relax on the shady deck with your favourite drink, delivered to you from the Tapas Bar.
Soak up the serenity, let your worries drift away with the tide. After a luxurious night on the comfy bed, grab a coffee in the kitchenette and head down to the rock to watch the world come alive.
If you are looking for something unique for a big birthday or significant anniversary then Divi’s executive package may be just what you are looking for to make it a time you will never forget.
You will have all three rooms and most likely every night to yourselves. The Tapas Bar is open to the public Friday-Monday for Lunch and dinner, the rest of the time your group will have Divi’s exclusively.
The executive package includes seven nights’ accommodation, all meals, local beer and house wine (a licensed, fully stocked bar will also be available). Darleen and her staff will be there for you at all times to make sure you have the time of your life. They can cater for fussy tummies, just let them know a week before you arrive so they can have all you need on hand.
Spend your days swimming in the turquoise water and snorkelling on the reef, take a tour of the village with Savi and an adventurous hike up the cascades with Pako. Or perhaps you want to explore Hat Island or some of the remote beaches or check out Paul’s Rock (amazing dive spot and great for snorkelling too) – Ricky is available for boat tours.
There are also bush walks or a bike ride down to Survivor Beach (the show was filmed there in 2004). They also have a couple of stand-up paddle boards and a local outrigger if you are keen for a different perspective on the reef.
One way or another, Divi’s has something special for everyone in an unforgettable setting that will leave booking your next weekend away from Port Vila or your next holiday from overseas.