In summary we had an amazing time here and will return. All the staff were friendly and laid back and everyone was “Bula” with a smile and always calling out to our kids by their names which was cool. A special thanks to Tui, Sarah and Luisa who took such great care of our kids at kidsclub and babysitiing ($4 an hour) when we had our "adult time". The staff work so incredibly hard and work 6 days on 1 day off and for those that wanted to go home to their families on the mainland they worked 24 days on with 4 days off. That's incredible. Total respect. I can't imagine the families they have to leave behind to help make our stay an "experience", which they do, and blardy well. Cleaning of our room everyday was quick, discreet and beautifully done. Vinaka Tawa, you are awesome and beautiful and Bula to your 6 Grandchildren!!!! And thank you to Joeli for the coconuts and interesting chats about your 34 years on the island!!
Rooms: If you can afford a beachfront bure, try to request bures 213-218 for the best locale. The bures on the other side of the island, near the airstrip, are not idyllic and I would be gutted if we got a Garden bure in this area. The pool side rooms weren’t overly private either and seemed a bit dated. We initially considered a pool side room. So stoked we didn’t!
If you can’t afford a beachfront bure you absolutely have to request a Garden Terrace unit in block 246-251 which is the last block before the Lomani Resort entrance. Although it is a fair walk from the main areas (with kids in tow) it was so lovely and quiet to come home to. We reckon we scored big-time with a unit in this block for our stay. This block is newer than the other Garden Terrace rooms and the layout is different. They are HUGE, we had a sneaky peak inside a beachfront bure and the GTR are at least twice the size. Walking in from the patio is a lounge room with air conditioner, a table and chairs and a big comfy corner lounge suite which could sleep two persons easily. Then through a door to a big room with two single beds and another large couch that would easily convert to another bed. Then through another door to a big bedroom with a comfy King sized bed and walk in wardrobe area, with a safe if required which you create your own pin number for. Off this was a good sized bathroom with a big powerful shower. There is a good hairdryer attached to the wall which was a nice surprise. There were 3 ceiling fans in the bedroom areas. Then there was yet another room beyond this which was the kitchenette area with a table and chairs and a bigger than standard “hotel” fridge which was just as well given all of our contraband!
The Lomani resort side of the beach is far superior and because most people stayed within the short distance to their rooms we were lucky to have the beach almost to ourselves some days. Given that the resort owner lives on this stretch of beach and where everyone goes to get married speaks volumes. Lomani resort is an “adults only” resort and we wandered through for a nosey and it did look lovely, the bures were gorgeous. Their beach was always really empty though which was weird. I guess when the kids aren’t around you never leave your bure….!
Speaking of contraband. Take as much Duty Free as you can as alcohol is ridiculously overpriced. The bar staff will happily give you a big bag of ice to take back to your room which was great to put the booze in and carry to the beach for an afternoon of relaxing. If you get time at Nadi before you leave for the island get a cab to the supermarket to stock up. We brought mixers to go with our duty free and a 24 pack Fiji Bitter beer (fantastic beer!). We managed to squash this amongst our luggage (with no fatalities;-)) Felt a bit like naughty teenagers haha!
Food: The thing with the food that makes it average as a lot of people have commented is the price I think. At $40(Fj)pp it just doesn’t live up to that price. If it were half that price the food would probably get more “fantastic!” comments. But it is certainly edible and absolutely fine. They have a different themed buffet every night in the main restaurant as well as a “Chef’s Special” option (a blackboard menu that changes daily). We ate there maybe three times and it was fine. I had the “Chef’s Special” one night which was fantastic and served to me at the table. I really felt like I was “dining” that night as the buffet has a bit of “feed ‘em and street ‘em” air about it. We ate at Ananda’s one night which was average.
TIP: Take a suitcase full of food. Kids don’t always like to eat at their “set times”. The best thing we did was take a toasted sandwich maker (HIGHLY recommend if you have kids), we also took plastic plates, knives, forks, can opener, coffee, 2 x 1kg blocks cheese (1 sharp knife to cut) cans spaghetti, baked beans, cream corn, instant noodles, crackers, chips, chocolate, biscuits, dried fruit. Oh and pegs and laundry powder.
TIP: If your kids won’t eat at the set times which ours didn’t, ask for takeaway containers and they would eventually eat their breakfast/lunch/dinner next to one of the pools or on the beach when they were ready.
There is a supermarket next to Anandas restaurant where we brought margarine, eggs (toastie sandwich maker cooks eggs fabulously!), bread (get there before 7:30am for the best cheese bread rolls ever!) and tomatoes.
So eating on the island can be done on the cheap if you think ahead. Maybe I’m sounding a bit Scrooge (!!) but too bad because if we had eaten dinner every night it would have cost us $800 for the two of us, just for food! Now c’mon, that is just ridiculous, even on holiday!!!
The snorkelling was pretty good around the pontoon on the Lomani side. It was sad seeing the dead coral but we did spot some new purpose growth areas which attracted some fantastic fish so hopefully this programme is successful. We kayaked out to the Sandbar to snorkel which took around 25mins or you can catch the boat for $15. Single kayaks are free and doubles are $10 p/h.
We went on the Island Hop which was great. Visited Treasure Island, Mana Island and Beachcomber. Really good seeing other options in the area but really it reiterated to us that Plantation was the best choice.
Another absolute must is the Sunset Cruise. It only runs on Tuesday nights. We didn’t really know what to expect but were stoked when a beautiful luxury catamaran docked to collect us and double bonus, a kiwi couple ran it! Yay, thanks to Dave, Judy and Sam this trip was an absolute highlight. Cost was $85pp which included drinks and nibbles and they were very generous with the vino and beers (could have been more nibbles to counteract the alcohol but oh well!) so you definitely get you money’s worth! The stunning sunset was incredible and the vibe was laid back and chilled. Perfect.
Last tip: even though you pretty much have to charge everything to your room, still take quite a bit of fijian cash if you have kids to pay for babysitters (they only take cash) , supermarket bits and bobs etc. If you exchange for cash over there on a credit card they only allow $100 per transaction with a 10% charge on top of that, not great!
Vinaka and I think the hubby is already planning our return trip next year...!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.