Moyyan, House by the Sea, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Very close to our accommodation in Espiritu Santo is a boutique resort, Moyyan, House by the Sea.  Owned and operated by Australians, I understand the word, ‘Moyyan’ is an Aboriginal word meaning, ‘Camp by the Sea’.

Entrance from the road

Entrance from the road

And nothing could be more true of Moyyan as it is certainly, within a few metres of the sea.  You couldn’t be any closer to the Pacific than sleeping in a beachfront fare and waking up to take the few short steps across the white sand to launch into the warm tropical waters of the turquoise-coloured sea.

Walking along the timber paths at Moyyan

Walking along the timber paths at Moyyan

Walking around Moyyan, I could tell it’s an enviable resort that’s light, airy and breezy as well as tranquil, restful and rejuvenating.   The architecture is sympathetic to the traditional style of Vanuatu but with its colour-bond roofs, stops short of the true thatched style that is very popular with holiday-makers visiting Vanuatu.

Moyyan Day Spa

Moyyan Day Spa

The traditional roofs of the people of Vanuatu are thatched and made from the leaves of the natangura tree.  These roofs are completely water-tight but are not long-lasting; needing to be replaced every 10 years or so which is why some resorts opt for a longer-lasting option.  But to me, staying in a natangura thatched room gives you more of that tropical island paradise feel.  Also worth considering is that by choosing to build thatched roofs, you’re supporting the local people who can be employed to make and build these roofs.

The tables haven't yet been set for dinner but the position is amazing

The position is amazing

There is an excellent restaurant at Moyyan where you sit out on the covered verandah right in front of the Pacific ocean and if you time it right, can watch the moon rise up over the ocean.  However, I wasn’t enthralled with the interior fit-out of the main room leading to the verandah.  The white furniture is more like walking into a dental surgery than at a South-Pacific tropical island resort.

Moyyan main house

Moyyan main house

But, there is no doubt Moyyan is situated on one of the best beaches in Santo and with the over-hanging trees that arch and bend towards the ocean; this is a very unique, relaxing and picturesque patch of paradise.

Moyyan bar

Moyyan bar

We became acquainted with Moyyan not only because of its proximity to our own accommodation, but because we somehow managed to holiday in Santo during two weeks of incredibly and unusually wet weather.  While this is the wet season, it normally doesn’t come down in bucket-loads until at least February, so we were told we were a little unlucky.

Tropical flowers outside the spa

Tropical flowers outside the spa

But when there’s no chance of generating a few tan lines by sitting on a reclining chair under the scorching summer sun, that isn’t to say there isn’t much to do.  Because Moyyan has a Day Spa and it is an excellent place to go for a couple of hours to help relax and unwind and be soothed and pummeled into an anxiety-free state.

Starting the treatment with a foot soak

Starting the treatment with a foot soak

Drew loves massages and made the trip across the sand several times for a full-body massage with Irene.  A one-hour massage costs AUS$60.00 which is good value and Drew found these massages to be not only relaxing but very therapeutic.

Time to relax

Time to relax

I booked in for a 60-minute Vanilla Bean Infused Sugar Scrub.  It was a full body exfoliation using Australian cane sugar with pure vanilla bean and almond oil rich in Vitamin E.  It had a heavenly scent and the scrub was massaged into my body which was not only relaxing but gave my skin a jolly good polish.

A scented bath

A scented bath

After the scrub I enjoyed a Body Bath Ritual which is normally 3000 vt (about AUS$35.00) but discounted to 2000 vt (about AUS$23.00) if you are also having the body scrub treatment.  The bathroom was peaceful and quiet and with low-lighting and lit with candles.  I slipped into the bath that contained essential oils of rose, geranium, lime rind, white grapefruit and French lavender.

After soaking in the bath I climbed back onto the treatment bed and had vanilla bean and cocoa rich moisturising cream rubbed into my skin.  My skin felt so soft and very much younger!  The combined treatments took a total of 90-minutes and cost 8,500 vt (or around AUS$100.00).

So relaxing

A good place to be on a wet day

I went back a few days later (yes, more rain) for a hair treatment.  An orange creme masque was painted onto my hair and then rinsed while more products were massaged into my hair.  I found that the treatment was more about putting products onto my hair rather than a head massage which was disappointing however, my hair smells and feels terrific.  The treatment cost 2,500 vt or around AUS$30.00.

Moyyan Day Spa is a day spa and not a beauty parlour.  They do not do waxing, tinting, manicures or pedicures so get your maintenance done before you arrive.  There are two treatment rooms and they’re designed for therapies that support rejuvenation, regeneration and vitality.

The spa uses Waterlily products that are made from natural botanical ingredients.  You can book in for massages, facials, foot, hand and hair treatments, salt and sugar body scrubs, baths and body wraps.

The pond surrounded by tropical gardens

The pond surrounded by tropical gardens

If you are coming to Espiritu Santo and would like to visit the Day Spa, you definitely need to book, and the worse the weather, the busier the Day Spa is.  The beauty therapist said to me that the wet weather was very good for business and so the Spa was almost totally booked out.

Moyyan Day Spa:  Sanma Province, Espiritu Santo Vanuatu

Ph:  +678 36160


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  1. You cannot even imagine how inviting this tropical paradise appears to me as I sit here with a fleece throw warming my lap, a heavy sweater pulled over flannel, foot slippers over socks, the furnace spewing heat and snow covering the ground outside on a day that began at minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit here in southern Minnesota.

    I would love to be where you are. Everything speaks warmth and pampering and relaxation. Thanks for taking me away if but for a few minutes.

  2. Sounds like a great way to while away the time on a rainy day. I think I’m enjoying your holiday almost as much as you are! Note – I did say almost.

  3. Oh my goodness…just listening to that spa experience was relaxing. And what a deal! In the states you would have paid well over $250 for that. Sorry about the rain, but it certainly sounds like you guys are enjoying yourselves nonetheless. That happened to us one year on Kuai. Luckily, they have a dry side and a wet side of the island. We would just drive to the dry side and get some sun.

  4. Sounds like my kind of place, Charlie. Not only because of all the amenities. I LOVE thatched roofs!!!

    Thanks for sharing…

  5. I could use a spa day. Mike and I used to do that every winter (before kids). We should start that little ritual again. It looks heavenly. Glad you are enjoying this beautiful getaway – even with all the rain.

  6. What a beautiful setting for gorgeous spa treatments. It sounds heavenly and is well priced. I love that pond and am glad you are feeling relaxed and pampered.

  7. Oh, so relaxing and beautiful – Charlie.

  8. Ooh now you’re talking!! I do adore spa treatments. Great value too!

  9. It sounds like you are making the most of the rainy weather – it’s a shame you have been hit with heavy showers, but at least you do have this spa close by for those rainy days!

  10. Looks like an incredible spa!! I could use a spa day right now!
    Melanie @

  11. Yep, you are speaking my lingo now Charlie. Daily spa treatments were a must every day of my travels, good to see you getting your relax and pamper on. PS: This didn’t hurt reading after my first day back at work. Nope, not at all! LOL!

  12. Waahhh I need the spa NOW!
    I can see myself hanging out there in a thatched roof hut. Yeah a real break it would be and I need it. I hope you enjoyed it for us all Charlie. =D

  13. I’ve never stayed in a place with a thatched roof. Now I won’t rest until I do! Well, at least I’m going to put it on my list of stuff to do. 😉 The spa sounds like a wonderful experience — lucky you!

  14. Oh wow – that sugar body scrub and bath ritual sound amazing Charlie! Glad to hear you got some major pampering in! And the views were not bad either!

  15. Sounds like a wonderful way to relax and pass the time when the weather is inclement. Hope it clears and you get some sun while you’re there!

  16. ‘Wet weather is good for business’ is not what I want to hear. Even without a photo I can tell you’re at least 7 years younger after all that sanding and polishing. They’re missing the point without a head massage. I have spa envy. 🙂

  17. What a shame about the weather Charlie, I hope Alfie isn’t going stir crazy with all the rain! I can think of much worse things to do on a miserable day than have a wonderful spa treatment, I bet you feel fantastic 🙂 xox

  18. Those prices are a steal for a day spa! Ours here are so expensive! It’s such a beautiful place and I could see myself relaxing even without going to the day spa. The colour of the water and all that greenery is therapy enough!

  19. Shame about the weather but at least you have found some compensation – sounds good.

  20. I love the way you make the best of the rainy weather! A vanilla scrub sounds divine!

  21. I know being on holiday should be relaxing enough, is it greedy I want a body ritual scrub too?

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Well at least the is is doing your body good.

  23. Oh how I would love that body treatment. My poor skin could certainly do with some love.

  24. I adore massages and spa treatments! You are so fortunate to have been in such close proximity to such a great place. The white décore in the restaurant is very South Beach (Miami, Florida).

  25. Woow Charlie, lucky you :). This sounds fun. I would like to get this vanilla scrub and to hop in that tub too. Enjoy your vacation dear.

  26. I’m feeling more relaxed just reading about this! It sounds delightful. Now, how do I rearrange my day to include a massage and a facial as soon as possible?

  27. A delicious body scrub and a gorgeous location. Oh, what a lovely holiday!

  28. I would just love this location, Charlie. From the thatched roof to the proximity to the sand–perfect! I agree with you that even though the roofs require replacement after a few years, there is something really quite wonderful about maintaining a traditional feature that employs local people. The spa services are really reasonably priced. This would definitely be a place I’d feel comfortable. 🙂

  29. OMG! Everything look so pretty…especially the pond…so soothing…thank you so much for the pictures…it was almost like a “virtual” vacation for my eyes…
    Enjoy your weekend Charlie 🙂

  30. I often splurge on massages when I travel. Definitely helps you unwind and relax while on holiday!

  31. All of your spa treatments sound amazing…and for such good prices too! THat is awesome!

  32. Amy Cockroft says:

    My parents own that resort! What a lovely review, thanks so much. I understand that people love the leaf roof. Just wanted to assure you that they are very supportive of local enterprises, including helping a local village set up their own prawn farm, paying school fees for the staff’s children and investing in the skills training of our staff. It’s a very special part of the world.

    • Hi Amy, so lovely to hear from you. Your parents have a wonderful piece of paradise and I’m so glad Santo wasn’t badly affected in the recent cyclone. It’s good to hear how much your parents are doing for the local people – very good of them.


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