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“We had an absolutely fantastic time and loved the resort.” 4 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
Hawkes Bay
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“We had an absolutely fantastic time and loved the resort.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

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.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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Gibraltar
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2009

I would like to agree with all the comments made by previous reviewers about food, (quality) dated and in need of massive repair etc....its all true. However there is one point I would like to make to everyone. The Staff Appreciation Box at Reception where you are supposed to put all your tips at the end of your visit, is the biggest ripoff of all. Do NOT PUT YOUR MONEY FOR STAFF in here. The Management take it and then will "give" the staff a dinner or some such other insult. Take plenty of Fijian coins with you and when you get good service from the Fijians - which you will all the time - give them a tip there and then!! The Japanese have the attitude that they provide the Resort therefore they should get the tips. Not sure how the rest of the world feels about this, but all over the world, tips go to the person who give the service and in the case of Mana Island, it is not the Japanese. Of course the best thing you can do is not go there, but then that will hurt the poor Fijians, so I am not sure what the answer to this one is?
The decent Fijians are being far too compliant in the face of something that is clearly wrong and doing their country a great diservice. Perhaps its time we contacted Bainarama? He might be able to sort it!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
vancouver
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

First off, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to write a review of this resort. This was my first trip to Fiji, and the many positive reviews influenced my decision to choose Mana Island Resort over the other island resorts in the Mamanucas chain.

Just back from 9 nights at Mana with my 2 older children (20 yr old son and 17 yr old daughter) in late July, after having spent 4 nights at the Radisson on Denarau Island on the mainland just outside of Nadi. The Radisson is a newer property, with many of the services and overall quality expected of a 4+ star hotel. Was a good starting point for us and provided an opportunity to shop in Nadi and do some day trips. The various Denarau hotels are higher end, but do not offer the great beaches and turquoise water that we traveled from Canada to to experience.

We went to Mana on the South Sea Cruises catamaran from Denarau. Very scenic 1.5 hr trip with a few passenger stops at other islands along the way. Arrived at Mana to a warm musical song welcome. Once all the new arrivals got off the boat and dock, we were led to the main lounge where the registration process and hotel services were explained. Once registered, we were led to our rooms, with the baggage already there.

I must admit that, following the Radisson stay, first impressions of the Mana Resort are that it is dated (20 plus years old) and the grounds are certainly not kept up to the manicured standards of the Denarau hotels. Having said this, the resort is consistent with the many traveler photos that accompany the reviews here, so I was not surprised. We stayed in an Ocean Front Suite (600 room series) which was very large on 2 floors with 2 full bathrooms, and approx. 25 metres from the South Beach water. The suite was clean with 2 double beds, bathroom and patio and the 2nd floor; and living area, sofa bed, bathroom, fridge and patio on the main floor. Apparently this block of suites is the most recently constructed accommodation.

HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR STAY:
1. The beauty of the island and its beaches:
Lots of coconut palms, 3 uncrowded, long beaches of white sand and wonderful warm and clear turquoise water. This is primarily what we came for, and we were not dissapointed. Staff rake the North and South Beach of sea grass on a daily basis.

2. Amazing Snorkeling:
The underwater life experience is truly amazing. Snorkeling gear is abundant and free of charge. Spent hours snorkeling every day. Bring along pieces of bread/buns from the restaurants to feed the fish of every size, shape and colour. If you are comfortable in the water, this is heaven. Favourite location was on the North Beach, swimming west around the rocky point towards Sunset Beach. Best to do this at higher tides. Also some great, easy access spots on South Beach, especially around the shallower reef near the main dock. Best to do this area at lower tides, as the boat traffic is much less. If you aren't comfortable in the water, then be sure to take the Under Sea Adventure tour for $25 F per adult. This 45 min glass windowed boat ride will give you a taste of what snorkelers experience.

3. South Beach Restaurant Food:
In spite of all of the negative comments in other reviews about the food, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the a la carte menu food at the South Beach Restaurant. This restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner. A reasonable selection of menu items, with some lunch variation and rotating daily specials. As long as you stay away from the lobster choices, most entrees are priced from $18 - $25 F and are good value. Fish and Chips or Pizza are good lunch choices, and the dinner Chicken items were always excellent. Although there is no room service, take away is available for all menu items. While meal preparation can be somewhat slow, staff service was generally above average. In my opinion, unless you are a really big eater who enjoys multiple helpings and desserts, the South Beach Restaurant far exceeds the value of the expensive buffets ($30 F Breakfast; $26 F Lunch and $57 F Dinner).

4. Wi Fi Internet:
This was a must for the teenagers to stay in touch with their friends in the real world. They had their own lap top, but there are several computers available in the communication centre. Various internet access options at a reasonable price.

5. Happy Hour:
All 3 bars have Happy Hour from 5-6 pm every night. At $3 F for a beer and $10 F for a mixed cocktail, this is a 50% pre-dinner saving not to be missed.

NOT QUITE UP TO EXPECTATIONS:
1. The Grounds
Generally neat, but definitely not manicured, the grounds and landscaping are sub par. Dirt and sand roads (with minimal concrete pathways in front of some units) connect the resort accommodations and amenities. Although the beaches are maintained daily, some of the areas could do with a more regular litter pick up.

2. North Beach Buffet Restaurant
Ate the dinner buffet on 3 of our 9 nights. As noted above, unless you are a really big eater, or get a great advance price on a meal package, the buffets aren't good value for the money, especially for children. Every evening has a menu theme night - Lovo, Oriental, Curry, etc. Lovo is worth a try. Plan to watch the meat being removed from the cooking area adjacent to the restaurant at 5:30 pm.

SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE YOUR STAY BETTER:
1. South Beach Restaurant Dinner Reservations:
Reservations are limited, so don't wait. You can make reservations for any night of your stay upon check-in.

2. Dinner Buffet Savings:
Save $7 F per person ($50 vs. $57) on the dinner buffet by booking one night in advance.

3. Bring Liquor to Island with you:
Although the little boutique store sells a variety of snacks, water, milk, juice and sodas, it doesn't sell any alcohol drinks. Other than happy hour, the drinks can add up in a hurry. Save yourself a bundle by bringing your own duty free.

4. Ants:
As clean as our room was, the small ants are permanent residents and appear to come out of nowhere. Don't leave any opened food or snacks on the counters, even for an hour, or you will be throwing it away.

5. Laundry:
The guest laundry facilities include 3 washers and 1 dryer, between 2 locations. I thought I would be smart and do our laundry in the late evening. A mistake, as staff use these washers/dryer for some of the resort laundry at night.

6. The Look Out
Take the time to go up to the look out. A beautiful vantage point.

7. Meke Night
Although much of the nightly entertainiment is uninspiring, be sure to take in the Meke night performance. A moving display of traditional song and dance by the staff. A cultural experience not to be missed.

8. Day Room upon Departure:
Check out time is an early 10 am. Our flight didn't leave until 5:30 pm. Was able to negotiate a day room rate of $100 F until our departure. Great to be able to use the room, fridge and showers during a full day of beach time.

9. Fly off the Island to Nadi:
There are several short (15 min) direct flights to Nadi daily from the Mana air strip to Nadi. Was able to book flights in advance of our visit for much less than the boat trip to the mainland. The link to Air Pacific Sun flights is on the Mana web site.

Hope that this info helps to make your stay a little more enjoyable.
Arrive with reasonable expectations, accept that this is an older resort, be tolerant of "Fiji Time" and you will likely have a fun and memorable trip!

Best Wishes

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
geelong
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

We recently spent 4 nights on Mana Island in an oceanview suite (with upstairs and downstair areas).

The island itself is beautiful with fantastic snorkelling and wonderful beach areas. Our accommodation was quite nice - as I would expect at paying $300 Aus a night with no breakfast included !! The cleaning left a little bit to be desired. One day it wasnt done until 4.30pm which was a bit of a pain and to start with the bathrooms were "so so" as far as cleanliness went.

Food - very ordinary. We ate buffet breakfasts every day which were adequate and filling.
We had a buffet dinner one night which we soon decided we would not do again. Southbeach restaurant had beautiful pizza but the seafood and chicken curries we had were really poor. Chicken curry - a quarter of chicken served with a HUGE amount of rice and a tiny container of a bland curry sauce to pour over it. Very disappointing. We travel a lot and were not expecting gourmet food on the island but it really left a lot to be desired.
Eat at the backpackers - beautiful food and fresh and presented so much better than the food at mana island resort.

Water actiivities - great. Lots of snorkelling gear all in good condition, kayaks and you could pay for jetskis - banana boats etc.

Games room - pathetic. The floor was always very dirty. 2 table tennis tables with nearly broken bats and balls quite hard to come across. Also a pool table and some scungy old chairs. Very ordinary !!!!

The kids club was being refurbished and as we had a 13yo i cant make comment on that.

Bingo each night at 5pm happy hour was good fun and the happy hour cocktails were great.

Overall we did enjoy our stay on Mana. The island itself makes up for the downfalls.

Management need to sort out the food! They need to do some maintenance around the resort.

Also the swimming pools were pretty ordinary - we didnt bother to use them as the beach was so beautiful

Would we go back to mana - probably not but we will definitely go back to another island in that area

I just felt it was expensive for what we got

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

Had high expectations for this place from the photos and brochures but was soon dissapointed.
Every aspect of this resort is lacking the food is dull and expensive lucky we had a meal plan. The amentities were in a sad state for most of our stay the pools were not cleaned there was a dead crab sitting in one of them for about 5 days along with lots of leaves, it was listed as having a tennis court although that was covered in black mould and we were told we couldnt use it rather than they clean it! the massages and water activities are all pricey and there is no tv or movie room for when its raining, we played table tennis, scrabble and read books to keep ourselves sane when it was, I'm just grateful i didnt have my young daughter with me as i don't know how we could of kept her entertained.
The activities rarely actually happened often nobody turned up at the meeting places although we did see the thrilling cocunut icecream course.
Like other people have stated in their reviews it feels like you are at a bad school camp young people should stay away from this place or people in general!
The bure we had was ok i was fine with that but we met some australians who had a place by the pool which was much nicer so if you do get stuck here try and move to one of those rooms.
Overall the island is beautiful sadly its management is terrible, i didnt want to write such a negative review as i prefer to be positive and some of the native fijians were really great people but this place needs a lot of improvement and to be honest i was happiest when on my flight home.

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Camden
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2009

We have just come back from our yearly sometimes twice yearly 10 day trip to beautiful Fiji. We spent four days on Mana island & felt compelled to let anyone considering going there to let them know that the food there is absolutely terrible!
I have stayed in many places with my young family in various locations & resorts in Fiji & have to say that Mana's food is by far the worst. The Fijian Staff are embarrassed about it & are ashamed of the standard. This is also reflected in the general standard of service offerred. I spent two nights having a few fiji Golds with the staff after hours & they shared this sentiment about the food with me. The Japanese owners or Managers? seem unpreturbed by the overwelming sentiment shared by all the guests we spoke to about the food. Apparantly thet have been getting complaints for three years & nothing has changed. We are not fussy eaters but my children found nothing appealing oe appetizing about the buffet at all. In fact they ate bread rolls for most of the time. Unfortunately boiled transparent cucumbers floating in brown water served warm just didnt do it for us at Breakfast nor did the rest of the pathetic buffet food offerred. The other restaurant on the south beach was okay for a pizza but the service was so slow it was unbearable & our expectations of service on the islands aren't high!!! Unfortunately we didnt stumble upon the backpackets hostel until the second last day of our Mana experience. I have to say that the chilli mud crab was by far the best feed I had in four days & the burgers & fish for lunch were woofed down by the kids. Thank god for the pack packers!!!
If you do end up going you must check out the very private "Sunset Beach" the water is unbeliveable & the six private residences there enjoy one of the best views I've ever seen. Half their luck! Pitty they have such crap resort food to choose from, this would take the edge off any multi million dollar price tag for a view.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

We visited in the Australian school holidays. This could be a plus if you have children, but a real minus for a couple as the place was over run with kids.
We wanted to do 7 activities, but were only able to do 2 - Fijian language and cooking. One of these was because of the weather, but the other 4? Just poor organisation.
Part of the charm of Fiji is the warm welcome of the people. This place is just too big. There's only so many times you can say Bula (Fijian for hello) and mean it.
But one of the plusses is that there is a beach on both the north and south sides of the resort. So if it's windy on North beach, South beach is calm and vice versa.
The main dining area is on the north side, and the main water activities are on the south. We stayed in a garden view room which meant we were never too far from where we wanted to go. Also, the garden rooms have been recently upgraded and are very pleasant with king sized beds and an outdoor shower.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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