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“Heavenly” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   P. O. Box 610, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Heavenly”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed at this beautiful resort for 8 nights, and it was truly bliss. The room was so beautiful, with cleaners coming in each day and leaving a beautiful flower arrangement.
All staff on the island are super friendly and go the extra mile to help you. We found that when we tipped a staff member they bent over backwards for the rest of our stay to make us happy and comfortable.
Every night was a buffet dinner with a different theme. Was really neat to try so many different foods.
Snorkelling was a favourite of mine, free use of snorkels was a great bonus. Loads of activities available on the island.
We travelled here in June, which was a lovely 27-30 degrees.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The Fijian people are lovely as is the location. However this resort is run by an overseas company and they are not spending anything on the up keep of the resort. The condition of the resort is so bad if it was located in Australia it would be closed down immediately due to the numerous OHSC issues. Just to highlight one area for you, on our second day at the resort, I was walking on the beach balcony when a rotten board broke and I fell through the balcony badly spraining and bruising my foot. I ended up with a strapped ankle and on crutches for two days. I initially thought I had broken it as it was so painful. On the entire balcony area, there are nails poking out of the entire decking area. We had to make sure the kids wore shoes 100% of the time around the pool deck due to the poor condition. During our stay there, we witnessed 4 other people who were also hurt due to the poor maintenance issues. One poor boy received a 3mm gash to his foot, was on crutches from day 1 of his holiday for the entire time he stayed there and it looked like the foot was broken due to the swelling! His “accident” happened when he leant against a pole of the balcony. Unknown to him, the pole was not secure in the soil, as he lent against it causing it moved, he lost his balance and fell over and then the pole with the concrete base then rolled on top of his foot.
You may be wondering what did management say about the accident, the state of the balcony and the rotten boards. Absolutely nothing! When I asked for a letter, confirming that the accident took place on that date for my travel insurance (to be on the safe side upon our return) it took them 3 days to come through with it and only then did they give the letter very begrudgingly. When I travel overseas, I try to see the best in any area I go to but giving a favourable review of this resort is a struggle. Again the Fijian people are lovely but the people who own this property should be very ashamed of themselves for the lack of basic maintenance on the property. This resort has not had money spent on it for many, many years.

Room Tip: Make sure the kids wear shoes 100% of the time due to many nails poking out of all balcony areas. Th...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

MANA ISLAND FIJI
Recently returned from a week on Mana 18.1.13 – 25.1.13. I travelled with my 2 boys [14 & 11], 2 girlfriends and their kids of similar age [in total 3 women & 5 teenagers] we all left our husbands back in Sydney working… well someone had to pay for the holiday!!

Over all we had a fantastic holiday break!

Transfer:
We arrived at Nadi on an afternoon flight so had 2 choices.. to stay on the mainland for a night or to organise a private transfer and head straight to the island.. we chose to head straight to Mana. I had booked a water taxi [holds 8 quests] in advance and also a van to take us from the airport to the Marina through seafiji. Lovely genuine people .. Charlie drove us in an un aircoditioned van to the marina with a supermarket stop on the way [to pick up the essentials]
Nothing was too much trouble… Then Mick and Captain John took us on a bumpy adventure to Mana by speed boat.. this trip was an adventure in itself.. but fun!
The transfer cost us $930FJD for 8 of us.

Beaches:
The island itself is beautiful and it is a real bonus that it has both North & South beaches.. we found if one was not ideal due to wind [although we really had FABULOUS weather] or cloudy water than the other side would be fine.
We went snorkelling on both sides and found North beach better.. although one day it would be fabulous with an abundance of sea life and the next not so good but we are not avid snorkelers and were happy with what we saw. We were told that the snorkelling was FANTASTIC off the rocks at the west end of North beach & also quiet good at the east end with a family of reef sharks but we never got quiet that adventurous! We found the snorkelling gear that they provide good enough and would not bother packing my own.
I recommend catching the bula bus to sunset beach for an afternoon swim in absolutely amazing light! Oh and don’t forget to pack some snacks and a bottle or 2 of champers!

Water sports:
As already mentioned we enjoyed the free snorkelling, we also took out kayaks on south beach. The banana boat ride was a hit with our group although the boat itself was in need of repair and kept breaking down.. but once again they got it going in Fiji Time and the kids had a blast. The jet skis were out of order as was parasailing when we visited.

Pools:
There are 2 pools .. but not enough shade around them. I think I saw a handful of people use the main pool while I was there. The infinity pool was much busier [apparently adult only on paper but definitely a hit with the kids] There are 8-10 lounge chairs under a shade structure and that is it for shade! These chairs are usually reserved by rude guests early in the morning and then they often don’t appear till after lunch or even in one case by a family that went out on a tour for the day! We simply moved their things aside and sat there anyway.

Accommodation:
We stayed in what I would say was the pick of the island bures [101 & 102 they are interconnecting] Located in the heart of the resort with easy access to both beaches, pools and restaurant they are great value for money as they are the cheapest type of accom at the resort. The room itself was great, very spacious with a king bed [COMFY AS] and sofa bed and also a fold away single in our room, although this was not needed and housekeeping removed it for us.
The outdoor shower was sensational, just a great experience with stars above and smooth pebbles underfoot. The water temperature was very temperamental but to be honest I am only mentioning these tid bits to provide an overall review, I am extremely easy going and these things really don’t bother me at all.
There is a safe and ample storage space in the bures. The mini fridge did struggle to keep things really cold and the freezer did not freeze an ice cube in the week we were there in my bure but was a bit better in the next interconnecting room.
Just a note on ice cubes… all you have to do is ask for ice at the bar and they will fill a bag for you.. too easy!
Next time I would be interested in staying in the 400 block [ocean view bungalows] They are a little further from all the action but they have a deck that looks over north beach .. perfect spot to enjoy a “bounty rum & pineapple juice” although I would have to give up the outdoor shower and add around $100 more per night. But if I had young kids and needed to spend a fair amount of time in the room for nap time then this would be well worth it in my opinion.

Food:
This was the biggest let down.. although after a few days we got used to it and it wasn’t such an issue.
I would NOT pre purchase the food plan.. it is no dearer to do it once you arrive at the resort. The buffet was hit and miss and quiet expensive. Breakfast would be the pick of the bunch in my opinion but still nothing to right home about.
While my teenage son who is a bit of a health freak preferred to eat at the buffet as he could fill up on meats/fish and veg/salad etc. I preferred to eat a-la-cart from the café [these meals would not have filled him] The south beach restaurant was closed due to damage from TC Evan but the resort did start offering their menu on the North side deck while we were there, this was really the same menu as the café with a few added extras like fish & veg, steak & veg & chicken & veg. From the café the “rotti” wraps were nice for a light lunch, the burger and fish & chips were pretty good as was the fettuccini [only a small serve though].
I would have to add though that food seems to be something that not all guests agreed on.. half the people I spoke with seemed more then happy with the food choices.. really just depends on your expectations I suppose. I would highly recommend taking your own cereal, snacks, ect.
We had heard a lot about the back packers restaurant and went with an open mind and empty stomach only to be quiet disappointed… I wanted it to be great .. lovely location, great people but very average food.. I ordered prawns from the specials board and didn’t risk digesting them once I saw them, mushy & extremely undercooked.. so it ended up being plain boiled rice for me that night!
I think we got the thumbs up on 2 of our 8 meals that were ordered. If I was to try Backpackers again I would opt for a simple burger or stir fry.. just steer clear of the prawns.

Entertainment:
There seemed to be something going on each night to keep guests entertained. Although we didn’t always join in, we were quiet happy to chat and hang in our room after dinner.. that’s the beauty of travelling with great friends!

Staff:
Most of the staff were delightful, it does concern me that management no longer allow the staffs children to live on the island, I think it is a major mistake on managements behalf as most guests love interacting with the locals and when you talk to the staff about their own families the pain in their eyes is obvious. My kids were involved in a few footy matches with some of the local men after it was suggested to staff that they would love that .. just a shame they couldn’t play with other children.. seems like it would be a win.. win to have the kids there to me!
Happier staff … better resort!
BIG thankyou to Jude [The Jungle Man] he was a hit with our teenagers and a bigger then life character!!
It seemed that there were quiet a few trainee staff that were not of a Fijian background but of Asian decent and as lovely as they were, there is NOTHING like the TRUE FIJIAN hospitality. I certainly hope that they aren't planning on replacing anymore local Fijian staff after all they are still the BIGGEST draw card for the island [especially for the Australian & NZ guests.]

WiFi:
I had read on Tripadvisor that the weekly wifi card was only $50FJD .. it is actual $100 FJD and not accessible from most rooms. I needed it for work and found that it worked well in the most public areas but not in the Bure as I had been informed it would .. once again not an issue but handy to know.

Spa:
I had a great massage in the beautiful SPA.. left feeling very revived.

TC Evan:
The cyclone has affected Mana but not enough to stop me going. The south side was hit hard and the affects on the south side structures is still there. South beach restaurant is closed. 2 storey villas on south beach are still closed. The water sports deck it damaged but didn’t stop any of the action. The thatching on a lot of the resort needs replacing. The gardens as at mid January were all showing signs of regeneration and were quiet green.. this will improve with each day.

THINGS THAT NEED ATTENTION ASAP:
The decking is a major issue.. once again I got used to it after 24 hours but I feel I need to mention it here as if I had younger children I would be constantly worries of the stepping on a protruding nail or getting a whopping splinter or injury from split, broken or unstable decking boards.
I have read that they are addressing this issue and we did see workers replacing some broken boards here and there but I think it needs a total overhaul to make it safe.

So in summary:
note: i would NOT stay here if i was looking for a quiet romantic holiday or honeymoon [look for an adult only resort]

Pros:
Beautiful people, beautiful island, relaxing tropical holiday, comfy beds, value for money accommodation, good snorkelling on great beaches

Cons:
Food could be better, the resort is quiet rundown in places but to be honest if you don’t let the little things bother you & the management spends some money on maintenance you will have a FABULOUS holiday on MANA!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

This was our first time visiting Mana Island Resort and it will be our last. Currently it would struggle to meet a three-star rating and some areas of the resort are in dire need of urgent maintenance, and this isn’t all due to cyclone damage as some staff would have you believe.

Unfortunately the owners have failed to keep up with current decent hotel standards and the lack of maintenance was evident everywhere. It needs an urgent injection of capital or it will lose guests and do a major disservice to the Fijians who work there and rely on tourism for an income.

This is a real shame as this is a stunning location and the snorkelling on north beach was fantastic - teeming with fish and some beautifully coloured coral dotted around the reef. (I was absolutely mesmerised by one beautiful blue fish - still trying to identify it correctly.)

There are a few other positives as outlined below but overall the negatives outweigh these and in all conscience I couldn't recommend anyone spend their money to stay here until it improves. I don’t have a problem with facilities being slightly older per se; it’s more an issue that not everything is clean, safe and well-maintained. I do have a problem when you can see money you spend as a tourist is not being poured into upgrading accommodation and facilities.

Some of the main concerns are as follows
1) The decks are in an atrocious state. You don’t have to be a builder or engineer to see that the decks around the pools and outside bar and dining areas are a safety hazard. They haven’t been properly maintained and are showing signs of widespread rot with uneven boards and nails sticking up. My husband saw a woman injured near North Beach boat bure after her foot went the deck.

2) Other public areas need a makeover, including the large bure which houses the Mamanuca Restaurant. It looks tired and shabby with chipped tiles and broken and dusty shutters. The nearby public toilets are very ordinary and the deck of the South Beach boat bure is in poor condition. Obviously there is some cyclone damage about, particularly to the 600-block and around the South Beach Restaurant, but if things aren’t well-maintained, this also makes them more susceptible to cyclonic conditions.

3) There aren't enough umbrellas or shade around the pool areas. One of the pools is very unappealing with a sea of concrete around it which is baking hot.

4) The lack of care and maintenance was evident in many other small ways. Our kids didn't use the kids club but at a glance the outside play equipment badly needs a repaint and some shade overhead. The flagpoles on the jetty where most people arrive need to be repainted and the flags are thin and fraying. Even the fairly new and attractive day spa has these lovely timber walkways which are already drying out and cracking due to lack of maintenance.

5) When we first checked in to our island bure, it stunk badly of cigarette smoke and had a wasp nest near the front door. The interior walls were grubby and in need of repainting. Outside the gardens were dry and not very appealing (possibly due to recent cyclone and/or lack of nurturing or rain). Immediately we decided to inquire about upgrading but nothing was available because of an influx of guests from other resorts closed due to cyclone damage. With hindsight, we would have preferred to be in one of the oceanfront rooms facing North Beach (while we didn’t see inside these, we heard positive comments about them.) However, we were then given another island bure which was comfortable, clean and thankfully didn’t smell.

6) We heard some feedback from other guests who were frustrated that there weren't enough snorkels and flippers available for loan and if you didn't get in early, you missed out. Fortunately we took our own masks and snorkels and were lucky enough to get flippers when we needed them. We also met people who attended a function for returning guests and they were unimpressed that the general manager only came for a quick photo with smiling visitors and disappeared without mingling and chatting with those present.

However, overall we still managed to have a good time and it's certainly not all doom and gloom.

As mentioned, the location is clearly stunning, the snorkelling was great, staff were generally friendly and the buffet food was surprisingly good (better than the Outrigger Resort buffet in terms of taste, finesse and variety). Contrary to some other recent reviews, we actually enjoyed the food after arriving with very low expectations and can happily report that we didn't suffer gastro at all in Fiji. The kids' buffet selection was healthy and varied nightly. The lovo buffet was well cooked with tender meat and tasty local vegetable dishes (and having eaten elsewhere in the Cook Islands and Fiji, I felt I had something to compare it to). Some of the dessert options were really impressive for a buffet standard - tiny little passionfruit tarts and delicate serves of watermelon and passionfruit jelly. And the real surprise was the bakery items - the bread and pastries were light, fluffy and tasty. They obviously have a good baker on staff.

But on balance, we wouldn’t return or recommend Mana Island Resort to others. Far better to spend money where the owners respect and care about their paying guests by looking after their investment and their people.

Room Tip: Worth paying more to stay in one of the newer bures facing north beach. They have verandahs where yo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Went here for a 5 night getaway with my boyfriend in April 2012. A few nerves leading up to the trip given that a cyclone had been through a fortnight before, but no issues on arrival.

Room was clean, nice, outdoor shower added character. Two beautiful beaches to choose from, and a lovely pool area. Great snorkelling just off the beach. Very very friendly people and good service. Crab races were a laugh! Easy access to boat day trips and other islands.

Food was close to Australian prices and little variety. Breakfast was good. Eating area decorations a little tired but still nice.

One of the cheaper island resorts in the Mamanuca group. Larger than most of the other island resorts, though certainly far smaller (and with nicer beaches and atmosphere) than those resorts in Denarau. Wide variety of guests including both couples and young families.

Tips:
bring your own snorkelling gear as they seem to run out quite early in the day. Also would recommend buying some cheaper snacks on the mainland and bringing them with you.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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USA
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We have stayed on Mana for the last four years, brings groups each year with us between 10-25. We have come in slow times and busy times. The vast majority are an absolute delight, however most of the staff that are not native Fijians are typically the opposite. They have jacked our rates every year more and more, and the quality has dropped each year. The island bure showers do not work, the water goes from scalding hot to ice cold without touching the knobs. There are flies EVERYWHERE in the dining areas, it feels like an infestation. Most of our group lost its appetite after sitting while waiting FOREVER for drinks. The food is average at best.
The positives, are the rooms are pretty nice and the snorkeling is amazing. And, the native staff are phenomenal. However, I believe there is new ownership and they are going to take this place into the ground. We are so disappointed, as this was one of our favorite places in the world, and we see its fate. We always overlooked some of the service issues and the occasion cranky employee, but give how that is getting worse and worse, and the price increasing, we cannot justify our stay any longer. We are going to the other islands or staying on the resorts on the main island. Farewell Mana... We'd stay away

Room Tip: avoid the island bure, showers look amazing, but when the hot water turns on with no warning and mel...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

It's terrible that extremely poor management and maintenance has marred our experience of what is a very beautiful island. Indifferent/disengaged staff, facilities poorly maintained with dry rot everywhere, a pool area straight out of the 70s and the worst buffet meals ever (we referred to the food venue as "the trough") have combined to make our experience solidly in the 2 star category.
Extremely overpriced for what you get. Could not in good conscience recommended anyone stay/eat there. They have celebrated their 40th anniversary and it's obvious that none of the tired facilities have been updated since then. We predict that it will be a backpackers within 10 years unless they get serious and maintain/upgrade the place!
If you consider going, go only on a day trip (without a food package) and see Aqua Trek about a guided snorkeling trip (Yuki was excellent - very enthusiastic and friendly). Ratu Kinis (nearby backpackers) has excellent meals and great service.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mana Island Resort

Address: P. O. Box 610, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Mana Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mana Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 160
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Also Known As:
Mana Island Hotel Mana Island

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