Vanuatu has long been renowned as an unspoilt family holiday destination which has the added advantage of being imbued with a French exoticism along with its traditional rich and colourful Melanesian culture.

What it hasn’t been noted for is luxury. That’s all changed, with the upper end of the market catered to in discreet pockets of splendour around the islands but particularly on Efaté, the main island and home to the capital, Port Vila.

There are now some seriously indulgent experiences on offer both on the accommodation front and among our retailers. Port Vila enjoys a reputation as one of the regions best duty free ports and with the addition of a new jeweller it now offers even more top of the range genuine luxury brands to its existing line up.

Elysium on the main street at Ocean Walk is where you go for name-brand watches and other fine jewellery, along with Prouds, the long established premium duty free hub this is a fine addition to Vila’s shopping scene. Elysium specialises in some fine timepieces such as TAG, Longines, Rado, Gucci and Tissot along with gems from Swarovski, Karen Walker and much more.

If you’re looking for the best of island accommodation and hospitality with privacy and seclusion, a couple of the country’s best are to be found at The Havannah Resort and Villa 25.

The Havannah is to be found on, surprise! – Havannah Harbour on Efaté’s north coast. Set on a headland with a swathe of private white sand beach on the tip, this is the place to be if you want an adults-only romantic getaway with fine food, friendly service and the bonus of peace and tranquility. The facilities are top class with beautifully decorated spacious rooms, some with private plunge pools, along with an expansive cleverly designed communal pool, an imposing dining pavilion set below one of the country’s most spectacular domed natangura (thatched) roofs and food to match, and the essential spa. Indulgence at its best. (See: www.thehavannah.com for more).

If the idea of self-catering appeals, Villa 25 gives you the opportunity to shop in the local fresh produce market as well as stock up on French goodies from the local supermarkets, then Villa 25 is the perfect choice. In spite of the singular name this is actually a complex of three spacious, beautifully appointed two-bedroom villas set around a pool which is flanked by a lowana (gathering place) and out the front is your beach.

The complex is located at Dream Cove, one of the capital’s most exclusive addresses and set within a gated compound which is manicured and maintained to the highest standards. Villa 25 can be rented either as separate accommodation, or why not bring your friends and take over the entire complex for a wedding, party or anything really. And you don’t have to self cater, a private chef can be arranged. Lux indeed. For bookings: www.vanuatuaccommodation.vu