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’.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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