We went to Mana on the recommendation of several unconnected friends who had both recommended it. We were looking for somewhere hot to escape a NZ winter, which was clean and tidy and was suitable for our kids aged 3 and 6. We spent 8 days there at the end of July / early august.. We had an ocean view bure and a meal plan.
Just before I left I started reading reviews here and almost had a panic attack over the number of negative reviews and thought we were in for a miserable time and chosen the wrong resort. We had an absolutely fantastic time and loved the resort. So I dont know why our experience was so different to them, but it couldnt have been more different - the staff were fantastic (with a couple of grumpy exceptions), the food was fine (I was expecting it to be horrible) and while abit older and in need of a general clean up and repaint the facilities were also fine.
Mana island itself (like many of the off shore Fijian island) is simply stunning.
In some more detail:
Arrival - we arrived late in the evening and we were met at the wharf and warmly welcomed and taken for a late dinner and then shown to our room in a golf buggy.
Room - we had an ocean view bure in the 500 series. It was clean and tidy with a fantastic view. Others have commented these bures were to far from the main resort. Again I cant understand these negative comments - it was only a 200m walk to the centre of the resort and it wasnt a problem and we did it 1/2 a dozen times a day and the children coped fine. It was services daily and the air con worked well and wasnt overly noisy. We visted several other bures and a hotel style room - all were clean and tidy. Wireless broadband was avaiable ($50F for the week) with a good connection speed.
Food - this has been an ongoing complaint on reviews here. It must have improved or my family and I dont have very good taste !! It was fine. It wasnt 5 star resturant quality by any means, but it was fresh, there was variety and there was a good selection. We had a full meal plan as part of our package and if we hadnt had that I probably would have found some of the prices would have been too high for what the food was. Breakfast was the usual lots of fresh fruit, cereal and bacon/eggs/hashbrowns. You could have eggs cooked to order and there was freshly made waffles, pancakes and juice. Lunch was probably the poorest of the meal sittings. But there was still plenty of fresh fruit, salads and the option for a made to order stir fry. Dinners were themed and there was plenty of variety. Although after 7 days we were starting to get a bit bored.
My main complaint about the food would be the desserts in the buffet - they consisted of fruit, uninspired cakes and chocolate sauce. No ice cream, nothing exciting at all. But that was our only disappointment with the food. Lots of fresh fruit and salads and some interesting and tasty dishes. I like to think I have a reasonably palate, so perhaps the food quality has improved recently? But we enjoyed it. As others have said, the South Beach resturant had a slightly higher quality (only just though) the downside was some big waits for orders and small portion size.
Spa - my wife and I had several massages, facials and other treatments and they were well priced and delivered.
Grounds - the grounds were clean and tidy and the groundsmen had obviously been very busy recently.
Gamesroom / land sports - the games room was comical to say the least and a let down - but that said we werent there to play pingpong anyway.
Watersports - the only grumpy staff we encountered were at the water sports - I dont know why - but they were always brisk and generally unhelpful. But there were the only ones. All the other staff were just lovely and helpful and friendly. The snorkling is great - not red sea or solomon island great - but still fun with lots of fish to look at. Kids had a great time.
Kids club - there are 3 sessions - 10-12/2-4/7-9 - our kids went to a 4-5 sessions over the days we were there and the staff were great and the kids had a great time. It was run in a very relaxed fijian way, but the staff were attentive and we felt comfortable leaving the kids in their care.
Over all we had a great time. We would recommend it to anyone wanting a family holiday.
I would also recommend it to small groups of family or friends. It probably isnt ideal for couples as there are lots of kids and it seemed to me to be more suitable to families than couples - but that said there were lots of couples there. I travel alot for business and have a pretty high standard for accomodation and food and Mana was fine. If you are expecting a ***** star resort you will be disappointed, but its a solid *** to **** and we had a great time.
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- Also Known As:
- Mana Island Hotel Mana Island