We originally chose this particular resort after a lot of research and checking of the internet and the hotel's website. We had spent 3 wonderful weeks staying in the Cook Islands, New Zealand and a week on one of Fiji's outer Islands (Matamanoa) and had the most fantastic time. We had planned to stay 3 nights at the First Landing Beach Resort as we thought it would be nice to spend our last few days on Nadi having a look around a bigger place, checking out the shops etc and just relaxing before the 2 long flights home.
This resort has its own beach and pool and I thought it would be just right. On the internet it looked beautiful and we decided to book a garden bure.
On arrival, the reception staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful and we were greeted with a lovely cold drink, but the walk through reception and to our bure was a let down - everywhere looked very neglected. Our garden bure that we had looked forward to was nothing more than a ply-wood shed in my opinion. Plain plywood walls, high ceiling with beams, but quite smallish and very, very dark and dank smelling. There was an enclosed verandah area covered on all sides with ripped mosquito/fly netting - the area was full of moths and bugs, so was hardly mozzie proof. The room was very dark and even on going round putting all the lights on - 3 small wall lights, 2 small bedside lights and one tiny table lamp - it was still too dark. I had to lean very close to my bedside lamp to be able to read!
The 2 white walls were dirty and stained with mozzie bodies and the floor was very dusty; the skirting boards with thick with grey dust!
There was a double bed and a single bed, 2 small bedside tables, 2 armchairs and a small desk area with chair. The air conditioning wasn't working when we arrived and we had to call an engineer to fix it. The air con only works when you are in the room and place your key in the slot, so every time you leave the room, you come back to stifling heat and have to wait for the air con to kick in and cool things down again.
There was a small wardrobe with 5 hangers! Tea/coffee making facilities and a few cupboards and drawers. An extremely dark corner area for suitcases - not that you'd be able to pack properly as it's almost pitch black!
The bathroom was fairly small with WC and walk in shower - nowhere to put anything at all in the shower apart from a wall mounted soap dish that was disgusting - it was filthy and had almost an inch of dried soap stuck underneath it - yeuk it was like candle wax! No hairdryer and not even a plug for the sink! No iron or ironing board. There were toilettries supplied with the usual shampoo, conditioner etc and lumps of possibly the worst smelling soap it has ever been my misfortune to use! It left your hands stinking like stale sweat - luckily I had my own.
I was feeling quite miserable by this time and really not happy about the accommodation at all. We had planned this 'holiday of a lifetime' really carefully for more than a year and this really was't what we'd had in mind. We decided to put up with it as it was only for 3 nights and to make the best of things and try to enjoy ourselves.
We came across the pool area and, again I was struck by how neglected it looked. The pool with covered with leaves floating on it and the bottom looked black and filthy, with tiles missing - not at all like the internet pictures! A few tired and broken looking sunbeds were scattered around this sad and neglected area. A manky pool table completed the scene.
We were really starving hungry and decided to to get a snack for lunch and walked down to the beach restaurant which was below some palm trees on the beach. I had to move tables as so much folliage was dropping on my head and would have ended up in my meal. A few tables, complete with those green plastic garden chairs completed the 'beach restaurant'. Our table was dirty and the cutlery wasn't clean, in fact my knife had large chunks of dried bird poo stuck to it - very old dried bird poo! The napkins seemed dusty and the side plates were rather grubby. So we ordered a plain bula burger and a cheese burger (mine being without cheese as I don't like it) - the order came back wrong and I had to send mine back. The waitress was very unfriendly despite it being her mistake. Thought I'd put a little salt on my fries but the salt had moulded itself into one solid lump and was unusable. The meal wasn't particularly nice, but we were very hungry so just ate what we could. Only 3 nights - we'd make the best of it.
A walk along the lovely beach would cheer us up a bit so off we went. Oh dear, more let down. The sand was more like car park gravel and the beach was covered with large rocks and rubble with lumps and holes everywhere. We walked further towards the waters edge and the water seemed very cloudy and murky - not really the sort of water you'd actually want to swim or snorkel in. There were a few broken and tatty looking beach chairs.
We went back to our room to unpack - the air con had been fixed by this time. Within 5 minutes of walking round the room barefoot, my husband's feet were black! I kept my flip-flops on.
The resort is an awful long way from anywhere, so a walk to local shops was out. But we did walk through the resort to the harbour area behind and found a really nice general store which sold all sorts of goodies and snacks - which kept us going. And the prices were a quarter of what they were in the hotel. We went there daily for large bottles of Fiji water and beers and stuff.
Just along from the harbour is the Vuda Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant and we went there for most of our meals - really nice and much better than our hotel.
The next day the pool had been cleared of all the leaves, so after breakfast we decided to try it out - the bottom was still dirty and many tiles were missing round the pool area. My swimming costume is covered in catches and will now need replacing - this is from sitting on the steps and on the side of the pool!
Breakfast - stodgy thick toast, cereals, very strong concentrated fruit juice, coffee, a small bit of fruit or pancakes - nothing very special. You could order a cooked breakfast if you wanted, which my husband did on the 2nd morning. Eggs, bacon and sausages. He said it wasn't very nice, the bacon was cooked to one hard lump and I tried a small chunk to discover that it tasted heavily of fish - obviously fried in the same oil.
We had to go in search of beach towels as the pool hut seemed to be deserted. 2 were sent to our rooms and we had to use them again the next day!
Showering was really, in our opinion, quite dangerous and a total nightmare. You could fiddle away with the taps for ages but it didn't help, the shower constantly ran either scalding/freezing/scalding/freezing and nothing in between. We were jumping in and out trying not to get burnt or frozen - very dangerous if you have young children. The floor of the shower was always wet and had half an inch of stale water left in it - very slippery.
Because of the grounds and the foliage everywhere, you really have to coat yourself from head to toe in insect repellent, which we both did constantly, especially early in the morning and around 4pm. Despite this, we were both bitten - the blighters even bite through your clothes!
In our time at this place, we only saw one woman go into the water on the beach and she came out almost immediately. Most people seemed to just be staying only 1 or 2 nights at the most before going home or having just arrived and the place wasn't crowded ever. We spent our days sitting by the pool or walking round the harbour just counting down the days till we could go home - ridiculous when you think this was supposed to be our luxury holiday!
I must say that some of the other guests we met were quite happy with the place. They were staying in much bigger garden villas with their own pools - and their showers were fine and their rooms were very tidy and apparently clean.
On our last day we had an evening flight and the reception had kindly arranged for a courtesy room for us. It was a very tiny garden bure at the back of the property, with a tiny double bed in a really small room; the shower door wasn't attached properly but we didn't care, the shower was really powerful and we both had the longest and best shower we'd had in 3 days! We actually felt clean and refreshed!
Our friends on the other hand, had been given a courtesy room of a garden bure - similar to the one we'd had to endure and they couldn't believe the difference from their original garden villa. They complained that it was really dark and dirty and were so pleased that they hadn't had to put up with it for the duration of their time there.
So, all in all, steer clear of the garden bures - they are awful. Personally, we would not recommend this resort. It's dirty, very neglected and miles from anywhere. Don't be fooled as we were by the internet site with the clever photos. I don't know what we would have done without the harbour to walk round, the general store and the Vuda Yacht Club!! The last 3 nights of our holiday was really ruined staying here and we'd had the most fantastic time everywhere else - such a shame we chose this place to end up in.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our first guests arrived 3,500 years ago and liked the place so much, they stayed ...According to local legend, the first Fijians arrived around 1500 BC, landing on the beach at First Landing. Today, you too can discover and enjoy this intimate, authentic Fijian resort, ideally located only 25 minutes away from Nadi and 35 minutes from Denarau Island, for your Fiji holiday. The resort has easy access to the nearby Mamanuca Islands, by boat from the resort’s new jetty or adjacent Vuda Yacht Marina daily. The resort is nestled amidst magnificent tropical gardens, majestic palms and massive rain trees, just 15 minutes by road from Nadi Airport, and blessed with one of the only white sand beaches in the Nadi area. The beach faces due west, giving breathtaking sunsets across the nearby islands. We are a small, owner-operated resort, featuring a range of accommodation options from Fijian style Bures to our two bedroom, luxurious, self-catering Royal Villa or Garden Villas, each situated in their own enclosed tropical garden with a full sized pool. We also have a lively bar and popular beachside restaurant. We pride ourselves on personal attention to our guests, and the genuine hospitality of our staff will ensure your stay is a memorable one. First Landing Beach Resort is the perfect location for a destination stay in Fiji, in combination with an outer island resort or cruise or a short stop-over in Fiji due to our location. Come and learn about the fascinating history, culture and natural heritage of this very special place.First Landing Beach Resort is famous for our true Bula Pride and Spirit. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Priceline, Tingo, Cheap Tickets, Despegar.com, HostelBookers, BookingOdigeoWL, Venere and Agoda so you can book your First Landing Beach Resort & Villas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- First Landing Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Lautoka
- First Landing Beach Resort And Villas
- 1st Landing Beach Resort & Villas
- First Landing Beach Hotel
- First Landing Beach Resort & Villas Fiji/Lautoka