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“Boutique hotel with stunnng sorrunds” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wananavu Beach Resort

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Wananavu Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Volvoli Rd, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 hotels in Rakiraki
Canberra, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Boutique hotel with stunnng sorrunds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

We stayed here for five nights in August 2012 in an ocean view bure and were lucky enough to book through a group discount site in Australia. What a picturesque resort!
We arrived by local bus (Coral Sun coaches) from Lautoka to Rakiraki and caught a taxi from Rakiraki ($20 Fijian).
The turquoise water at Wananavu was the best we saw in two and a half weeks in Fiji and the sunsets were incredible. We enjoyed the daily cocktail happy hour ($12 Fijian) and spent lots of time relaxing.
The staff are friendly but also give you lots of space. The resort is definitely pitching itself as a boutique experience. We must mention Sauriti on the front desk by name. She was amazing - so responsive, helpful and friendly.
There are no real negatives to mention.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

This place is a happy change from Fiji's larger resorts. It's small but there is plenty of space for everyone - no fighting for the sunloungers by the pool (at some resorts this is a competitive sport), no queuing at the buffet for dinner, no search for private, quiet corner. Fijians are delightful, friendly hosts and Wananavu's staff are its biggest asset. They learn your names from the first day and treat you like good friends the whole time.

The room: We upgraded to a beach front bure and were pleased we did. The room is well mosquito proofed, has air con (not really needed), good ventilation and ceiling fans. The king sized bed is comfortable and the room is attractive and well appointed. Bathroom is large with two basins and a wonderful shower that has one wall as a full size window opening onto a private garden area. Water pressure and temperature are fine. There's a pleasant deck and outdoor seating, and, as a nice touch, a foot washing bowl to rinse off the sand. The rooms are private and look out onto coconut palms and the sea, and islands beyond. There are lots of hammocks and sunloungers. The hammocks were upgraded while we were there. The bures are a bit of a walk from the main complex, but this was never an issue, plus you get to meet a variety of wildlife - geckos, frogs, skins, birds and butterflies - on the way. The mini bar was not too dear - we became hooked on the peanuts, which were the same price as in the supermarket.

Negatives about the room are that it has meagre supplies - 2 wine glasses, but no champagne glasses, good coffee for the plunger but no way to open the foil packs (requiring some deft work with the corkscrew). It needs a mirror above the coffee making area and an in-room safe, and better resort information provided in the rooms (e.g., the treatment list from the spa, the day's menu).

The grounds. The gardens are lovely. Lots of tropical plants (hibiscus, bougainvillea, as you would expect), and coconut palms. Everything is kept immaculate by a large team of gardeners who are constantly at work. The area down by the marina is particularly special - open and sandy with lots of palms.

Swimming. The resort has a medium free style pool with some big rocks and a waterfall. It's quite deep - nice for swimmers, but there is a shallow area too.The water is a good temperature and was never crowded. The sunloungers around the pool are comfortable, and there is unobtrusive poolside service. Towels are provided through the boutique. There is also a beach, which is best at high tide, and steps into the sea by the beachfront bures, plus swimming in the marina, as well as a snorkelling area a bit further out. The snorkelling is pretty good, and the gear is provided free (as are kayaks).

Food. Just the one restaurant - and nowhere else to go as this place is remote. The food is not bad at all. Unlike the big resorts, Wananavu does not do buffets (except for the traditional Fijian feast, which is excellent). Breakfast is simple but good. Their bacon is truly some of the best I've ever had, and the scrambled eggs are great. Often the fruit at breakfast was over ripe for our taste. Best value is had from the all day menu. The daily menu offered some interesting dishes, but could be pricey ($F40). It was disappointing that there wasn't a larger range of fresh local food, especially seafood, on offer. The marinated fish was always a good option. We found the curries distinctly lacking in any punch whatsoever - a disappointment, as we've had some spectacularly good Indian food in Fiji. The wait staff are brilliant. Our water glasses were kept topped up with ice-cold water - much appreciated. The packed picnic lunch for the beach picnic was enormous - much more than we would eat. Lunch and dinner at the restaurant were always accompanied by a Fijian band. We loved that.

Drinks. The tap water is okay to drink. If you want bottled water then you have to pay for it (other resorts provide a bottle a day). There's a good range of cocktails, well priced especially at happy hour. If you are very lucky, you may get coconut chips with chilli sauce with your drinks. My word they are good, but they only came out on one night.

Activities. For a small resort the range of activities is impressive. There's lots of diving, plus snorkelling (the trip out on the boat yields some wonderful snorkelling areas), cultural trips, picnics and so on.The fellow at the activity hut is fantastic. Don't miss his free talks - we especially enjoyed the one on the coconut. We visited the spa a few times and had excellent treatments and would definitely recommend them. Shopping at the boutique is rather limited, but then you're not at the beach to shop. I'd say it was adequate. Just. We went on the beach picnic. It was on an island where there was an abandoned lodge. Beware the mosquitoes there - legions! It was a slightly strange place to go, and not very 'deserted', although the snorkelling was awesome.

Other. Be warned. This place is long way from the airport at Nadi. Our transfer took 2.5 hours and the roads are rough. It is not a particularly comfortable trip but it is interesting to see so much of the countryside and people. Once you are at the resort the trip is soon forgotten, but do think about flight times. A morning flight may entail a ridiculously early wake up time. We arrived at the resort very late, but enroute the resort phoned our driver and took a dinner order so that some food was waiting in our room. That was a really nice touch.

As noted above, the staff are magical. They really make this place. While we were there the owners were visiting. Usually at these resorts the owners and managers make themselves known to the guests and want to find out more about them and their impressions, or tell them about the place. The entire time we were there, we were never approached by either management or owners. They kept to themselves, dined together in an exclusive wee bure (it looked really sweet, I would have liked the opportunity to eat in there) and spoke to only one or two guests, who must have looked much more interesting than us. We made several friends at the resort, and they had the same experience and were also unimpressed. I have to say that the unfriendliness of the management soured our experience somewhat. And that is a great shame, because Wananavu is a special place. It is quiet but not boring (unless that's what you want), there's plenty of space and privacy to your own thing, some great activities, and it has the flavour, as they say, of the real Fiji. I would definitely consider returning.

Room Tip: Beach front bures are cool, quiet and private, but I also heard that the honeymoon bures are to die...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012 via mobile

I was lucky enough to get married at Wananavu. We had 57 guests which meant we had exclusive access to the resort. I had high expectations for this week... They were drastically exceeded!!!! The staff worked until the last person went to bed. Out of the 6 nights we were there, 3 nights we went to bed after 4am. The Fijians took me spear fishing upon my request, we caught barracuda and spanish! 1 hour befor my wedding I stained my wedding shirt. The staff cleaned it within 10 mins. The whole week was about me and my beautiful wife. I can go on and on. My advice is... You are crazy if you don't get married here!!!
Ben, a very happy husband!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here got a friends wedding!
We were up graded to a beach front buru and the room was just amazing !
The staff were just lovely with great memories and remembered our names !
The food was so yum and there is nothing I could fault.
Cocktails were a little too GOOD and also a good price.
The resort has a Fiji feel to it. With a little band playing and singing at lunch and dinner. They also have kava :-)
I had such a great week and I would reccomend for couples , family's and if your looking at getting married here I highly suggest it!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellensburg, Washington
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Wife and I stayed there 08 Sept to 16, 2012. Rooms (Bure), Staff, Meals, Service is top notch. Everyone is helpful and friendly. Had "Dive Package" including all meals. Prices and billing accurate. Most credit cards accepted. Recommend the airport transfer option unless car needed for personal reasons. Taxi available to Raki Raki. Dove with Reef Safari Diving/Dive Wananavu Jeremy and Kristen David (Owners/Instructors). Excellent Dive Package, equipment and dive masters/crews. Internet available in gift shop or account available. No phones/tv in rooms but tv in bar and phone in lobby. Highly recommend and will return in the near future.

Room Tip: all are excellent
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

When you enter Wananavu Beach Resort you are welcomed by genuine and warm smiles. Fijians smile with their hearts. And you think to yourself, this is so beautiful. Then you see the pristine waters and your bure, and you think, oh my goodness, can it get more wonderful than this? And it does get more wonderful with each passing moment.

Wananavu's unspoiled beauty seems to attract the nicest people. It's easy to meet and enjoy other Wananavu guests. Friends and family gather and the tropical days and nights are filled with lots of laughter. Fijian musicians enrich the already idyllic surroundings. It doesn't take long to fall in love with Wananavu. So on the very last night when the wait staff joins the musicians to sing their parting guests the traditional Fijian farewell song you'll feel as if you are saying 'farewell' to your dearest friends and favorite family members...and this would be true.

Sereti, Mariani, Eta, Tina, Mia,Taniela...everyone at Wananavu Beach Resort is exceptional in their hospitality, grace and kindness.

If you are looking for Fiji's untarnished beauty, you will find it here at Wananavu Beach Resort.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

Our family of four - 2 adults and 2 boys aged 9 & 4, have just had the best week of our lives at Wananavu. Both our boys cried when we left, such was the friendly service and attention given to them during our stay. We felt like 'a member of the Wananavu family' for the entire duration of our stay and were so sorry to leave. We will definitely be back! Our eldest was mesmerised by the music and was very taken with the 'band boys' - a special thanks to them for their friendliness and hospitality both at the resort and on the Narara waterslide tour - their home village. Our youngest managed to leave his toy dog at the Nadi airport and resort staff did all they could to locate him and unbelievably it was transported back to him! We were so appreciative of their efforts. It is a superbly run resort, all credit to Ben & Rachel, Wananavu bustles with energy and excitement for some whilst allowing others to relax and enjoy 'Fiji time' if they so desire. Such a great combination, well done guys. We can't sing their praises highly enough, well done everyone.

Room Tip: All bures are well positioned, regardless of their location - beach front, garden view etc.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Wananavu Beach Resort

Address: Volvoli Rd, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 hotels in Rakiraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wananavu Beach Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The real Fiji! Perfect for romance; fabulous for diving excellent for culture. 34 deluxe bures nestled along the beach and amongst tropical gardens. A real island experience with mainland convenience. Only just over 2 hours from Nadi International Airport. Great food, fantastic staff, unparalleled views, world class diving & snorkeling; amazing village tours and a perfect wedding venue. This is a true Fijian experience and is, as the name suggests, Wananavu! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wananavu Beach Hotel Rakiraki
Wananavu Beach Rakiraki
Wananavu Beach Resort Fiji/Rakiraki

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