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“"Beautiful island resort ruined by poor management and feral cats"” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Viwa Island Resort

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Viwa Island Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Viwa Island | Viwa Island, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 15 Hotels in Yasawa Islands
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“"Beautiful island resort ruined by poor management and feral cats"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Where do I start? I arrived at Waya Island (Octopus Resort) after getting off the Yasawa Flyer at 11am. I was left at Octopus Resort for 4 hours. The Viwa Island transfer boat finally arrived at 3.15pm, with nil explanation offered for the delayed pick-up. I later found out the boat wasn't being used and was in perfect working order. Great way to start off a holiday, NOT!!!!
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Arrived at the island shortly after 4pm and was amazed at the beauty of the island. Crystal clear blue waters surrounded by coral reefs. The island looked amazing on approach. I checked in and was happy with the quality of the bure. The staff were friendly and very welcoming.
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A day later I organised a game fishing trip which was approved face to face with management. Three days later at 9.30pm shortly after finishing my dinner, the resort manager (who wasn't on the island at the time) cancelled the fishing trip. When queried why, staff told me no reason was given.
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One thing I found particularly disgusting about the resort was the amount of feral cats that frequented it. These cats run riot in and out of the bures, around the bar and within the restaurant area and surrounds. The cats are fed regularly near guests and within the vicinity of the restaurant. At one stage during my stay I observed one of the feral cats jump onto the bar. Drinks continued to be served whilst the cat walked on the bar, with resort staff not appearing concerned. I later found out most of the cats are the manager's pets, which might explain why the staff don't shoo them away!
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I went snorkeling at the resort, once by myself and another via an organised boat ride. Both times I was thoroughly disappointed. There are plenty of small reef fish inside the shallow lagoon, however the coral is well below average. It was plain and boring and lacked serious colour. Most of it actually appeared to be dead. After this experience I chose not to snorkel any more.

At the completion of my 4 night stay I was told that my transfer boat was leaving at 11am the following day. I questioned staff why it was leaving at 11am rather then 2pm, as all guests prior to my departure had left at 2pm. Staff could not offer a reason, stating it was a management decision.

If you want to visit an island run by management who can't communicate and who don't have genuine or valid reasons for decisions made, then this is the island for you. There are many other beautiful islands in Fiji that I have stayed on that do not have any of these issues eg. Treasure, Castaway or Mana Islands.

I highly recommend you think wisely before choosing this resort.

Room Tip: A bure that doesn't have cats in it is preferred.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gai K, Director of Sales at Viwa Island Resort, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
I am terribly sorry that you and your mother both posted separated comments on Trip advisor regarding your disappointment of your stay with us here at Viwa Island resort. Viwa Island resort would like to apologise for having multiple boat issues during your stay which may be the reason why you were so disappointed with the resort and missing your fishing trip. During your stay we had 3 boats out of the water and we were operating the resort on one vessel, which at the time of your arrival was not running 100% mechanically. In fact during your stay with us, you and other guests staying at the resort did observe our only boat leaving the island to be serviced and have new parts fitted two days after you had arrived.
At Viwa the safety of our guests comes first. As we rely on our boats for many guests activities, including the transfer of guests to and from the island we need to ensure that all our vessels are running at a level that both the skipper and management are happy with before our any activities take place, transfers are run or before we put guests on board. Once again we apologise if you had been let down due to these factors.
Procedures are put into place and discussed with guests when checking into the resort about booking outer island excursions, fishing and diving trips, we require 24 hours notice and this will be confirmed to you the afternoon before you anticipate the activity to take place. On 3 occasions you tried to book fishing trip with our band staff at 8pm at night or later, and not through the right channels and on 2 occasions the resort had arranged for these fishing trips to take place. Once again we are sorry if your third request could not be followed through with due to our recent boat problems..
Most of our guests have been very understand towards our lack of vessels, I am quite distressed that you never bought this issue up with management whilst you were staying on the resort.
Both yours and your mothers report on trip advisor, make mention of feral cats. There are cats at Viwa however these are far from feral. These cats are well looked after and are pets of both the staff and management of the resort and the local vet makes regular trips to the island to ensure all cats are healthy and cared for in the best possible way. These cats never enter bures in fact they are scared of the many guests that come to our island and keep out of guests way including the bar and restaurant area, they are feed regularly and this is not in the vicinity of the guests eating areas as you have stated.
Once again we do apologise for any distress our lack of boats may have caused you during your stay here with us, perhaps next time you could try booking your fishing trips with the front office and avoid the disappointment you have endured this time.
We do hope that one day we will see you and your family return back for a third time to Viwa when all our vessels are operating so you can enjoy the fishing that Viwa is well recognised for.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    117
    33
    24
    11
    1
See reviews for
7
154
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Our trip to Viwa was one of the most unique resort experiences that we have ever had. It is a lovely resort and we really enjoyed the 5 nights that we stayed there. Viwa only has 11 bures, and they weren't full while we were there so there were only 14-16 total guests on any given day. Being at a resort with that few people was a totally new experience for us. It was really nice getting to know the other guests and the wonderful staff (Wesi, Charlie, Tanya just to name a few), who did a great job of giving each guest special attention. The daily activities were fun and provided a lot of options for how to spend your day if you were up for something other than lounging at the beach. The walks to the village are not to be missed. The food and Chef Caroline were fantastic and every meal was a treat. We especially liked the cooking lesson for kukoda and can't wait to make it for ourselves at home.

As far as the rooms go, we were in bure 8 and it was very comfortable. Bugs definitely get in, especially into the open bathroom, but i would think that is a given on any of the island resorts. They give you a big can of bug spray and the staff does a great job of cleaning the rooms daily. Some of the common areas and furniture do show a bit of wear from the elements, but overall they have very nice rooms and facilities.

All in all, we had an amazing time on Viwa and would definitely like to go back in the future. It is a really special little resort and not to be missed.

  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Well...I normally don't write reviews, but for Viwa, I feel like I have to write something about it so as everyone would know how amazing the place is.

My husband and I spent three nights in Viwa for honeymoon. First of all, the service was really good, better than you can possibly expected. Especially Charlie (the most capable man we've ever seen), Tanya, Wesi, Caroline, Michelle... you name it.

The acticities on the island were so exciting, we did fishing, history hike, village school visit, cooking lessons and other interesting things. Everyday you can wake up and anticipate more exciting things.

The food there was gorgeous. Caroline actually paid huge efforts to make everyone satisfied. It would never let you down. Even as Chinese, we enjoyed so much of the western style food here.

The rooms were cozy and comfortable, they actually do housekeeping twice a day. Every time when you walk back to the room, it was always clean and tidy.

I would like to especially mention the village school visit. The kids there were so fantastic! They like to sing and dance and talk to you. Everyone was so nice there and kept say "bula!" to us. if you decide to go there, don't forget bringing something like pens and notebooks for the kids.

Anyway, Viwa is such and amazing place! Can't wait to come back soon.

  • Stayed August 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

Travelling with my wife and two teenage girls, we all had a carefree and relaxing time. After having stayed at many resorts in the Manamuccas and Yassawas this resort did not let us down.

Again it was the delightful fijian people, Manasa, Charlie, Wesi and Napolini, to name a few. The food was as expected from the pre trip review on the net. The fillet of fish requested was great and fresh out of the ocean that afternoon. A big hello to Caroline and the wonderful kitchen and restaurant staff who produced fabulous meals and were always happy to give us anything we needed, especially an extra hot cup of tea, in a mug.

Our two girls kept busy all day long with various free outings and fun activities which they enjoyed so much that they are adamant that they are going back as soon as possible. The staff went out of thier way to do things for us such as taking us to church on Sunday because we missed going at the original time or because we were leaving early on the morning they normally take visitors to the village school, so a special trip was organised so we could go before we left.

We had booked this trip for April but due to the flooding in Nadi and then the cyclone we decided to postpone our trip till July. This was all transferred for us without any problem or financial loss. Thank you to the proprietors for being so accommodating.

And thank you to all those on Viwa who gave us such a wonderful time on thier island.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nz
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

We recently returned from 15 nights in Fiji ,our 5th visit,including the blue lagoon cruise last year. This time we stayed at three different locations,all 4 to 5 star ,Viwa island was outstanding in all aspects and we miss it and the lovely staff very much already. I have read the previous post which prompted me to add our comments,while we are all entitled to our own personal views, our experience was the absolute opposite and we believe we truly found paradise! We rate Viwa no 1 in Fiji and look forward to returning next winter

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

We arrived at Viwa having spent 3 amazing nights at Nanuya Island Resort (now they know how to give you an amazing experience!) On arriving we were told that they didn't know we were coming and so we were left waiting while everyone apologised and run around trying to accommodate us. That's fine, these things happen, but the thing is, you can't help noticing other things when you are let down. We went for a walk around the resort and noticed that there was a lot of litter on the beach, the pool was dirty, the grounds around the beach looked unloved and generally the place looked a bit tired. It definitely got us wondering about how luxury the resort was as we definitely payed a luxury price. When we finally got our room we were the last one along the beach and we had a lovely view of a barbed wire fence next to it. How romantic we though!!

Don't get me wrong, the rooms themselves, are lovely and the view stunning, It really is a paradise island, but there is just an underlying feeling that they have stopped making an effort.

The main issue for us was the prices of food and diving. There was at least a 20% mark up on all food and drink compared to the other sorts and there was absolutely no difference in quality. Diving was $100 more for a 2 tank dive, with nothing particularly different about the reef diving.

All in all I think the owners are being greedy as they are the only resort on the island. They mark up the prices because they can...no other reason. The staff said to us when we asked that lots of people find the resort doesn't live up to expectation and that comments have been deleted off this site (I don't know if that is possible) because they don't want the negative feedback, even though it is warranted. It's a real shame because the Fijian staff are lovely, they really try, but with an Australian owner that seems to no longer care ( she never once came to talk to us, choosing to hide behind the front of house staff), I fear for the survival of the resort.

Oh yeah, be careful at check out, we got stung with a$320 transfer back to octopus to catch the flyer, when in fact it was included in our package. They wouldn't let us leave without paying. Charming.

Stay at Nanuya, you won't regret it.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gai K, Director of Sales at Viwa Island Resort, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
I am disappointed to hear that Viwa did not live up to your expectations. You did only spend 2 nights at Viwa and you did not arrive until around 4.30 pm the first day so you actually only had 1 day to experience the resort. This did not give you much opportunity to experience many of our activities and I understand the weather wasn't at its best so you did not experience the best of Viwa and what it has to offer. I would like to clarify a few points. We were expecting your arrival that day. What we weren't sure about was your mode of arrival. When we questioned this with your agent we were told you were arriving by 'own arrangements'. Your agent had not booked you on the inter-island transfer to take you from the Yasawa Flyer to Viwa. This is why you were asked to pay for the inter-island transfer. The price paid was for a return transfer for 2 people, not one way. And I am sure if you check with your agent you will find it has not been paid for in your package.

I am also a bit confused with your comments on diving. When we checked with Nanuya we were advised that they have closed their dive shop. Therefore I don't know how you came up with the price difference. I can assure you, without any hesitation, that our dive rates are very competitive with other resorts. Also, as you did not dive while you were at Viwa, I am not sure on what basis you would make the comment that there was 'nothing particularly different about the reef diving'.

I was also surprised to hear your comments regarding the food. We have so many glowing comments from our guests about how wonderful the food is at Viwa. You can see from the other comments on Trip Advisor that the food is highly rated and again I am not sure what prices you are comparing with but our meal prices are lower than most mainland resorts and we have the added expense of getting it out to a remote island. I can also assure you 100% that no comment has ever been removed from the Trip Advisor site. We ask all guests to complete a questionnaire on their departure, as we did with you, and at the time you were at the resort all other guests gave Viwa a rating of 'Excellent'.

We have a year round maintenance program of painting and re-thatching, daily gardening and clearing the beach of any debris so I am surprised at your comment that we have stopped making an effort. That is certainly not the case. Also the owner was not on the island when you arrived, which is perhaps the reason why she did not approach you and talk to you during your stay. Perhaps Viwa was just not the right choice for you and with such a short stay it is difficult to get the true feel of a place. I do hope you did enjoy the complimentary fruit basket sent by the Resort Manager to celebrate your engagement. Perhaps you might like to come and visit us again for a longer stay which would allow you to experience the true Viwa which many of our guests keep returning for. Gai Keniry, Director of Sales & Marketing
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Big Bear Lake, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

Only 3 years in operation so everything is in great shape, and designed with great care for the guests satisfaction. Favorite features: spacious bure with 2ceiling fans, A/C(we did not use it), pillow top king bed, bar, sofa, comfy chair and great ocean front porch. The daily schedule of activities were so much fun & a good way to get to know fellow guests. Staff were genuine in friendly service. Boat snorkeling along the reef wall w crystal clear visibility. Romantic dinner atmosphere w candles, live music, white tablecloths. Could hear the ocean waves all night for a great sleep.

  • Stayed May 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Viwa Island Resort

Address: Viwa Island | Viwa Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Yasawa Islands
#4 Luxury Hotel in Yasawa Islands
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Yasawa Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Viwa Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate boutique resort for adults only with 11 deluxe beachfront bures set on a beautiful white sandy beach ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Viwa Island Hotel Yasawa Islands
Viwa Island Resort Fiji/Yasawa Islands

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