We arrived at the Sonaisali on December 20. The hotel was at about 20% occupancy and yet we still had to wait over 4 hours to get our room. When we did arrive in our room I asked about drinking the water and was informed by the porter that he would not recommend drinking it. Luckily we had some water with us, because none was made available in our room. There was a lack of towels (2 towels for 4 people, no wash or hand cloths). The staff was very friendly, but unable to help with even minor requests. The pool was supposed to be ready on Monday (4 days after our arrival) but was not ever ready during our stay. The A/C did not work, so we moved rooms to another A/C that also did not work, and which blew the fuses every 6-10 minutes. The hotel changed the price of internet, and if you did buy it for 24 hours, it mostly did not work. There was no telephone available to contact our next hotel to inquire about early check-in and transfer. The breakfast was flaccid and bland. I asked the waitress and the front desk about getting water, and about the safety of the drinking water and again was told they did not recommend it. When I asked the manager he informed me that the water was completely safe to drink, which left me wondering if it was a money making scheme. The pool was empty except for silty water, which we were not able to swim in. To compensate the resort did offer complementary trips into Nadi and Denerau, and snorkeling excursions. We were able to take advantage of all. On the day of the snorkeling excursion we were about 30 minutes out to sea when the steering cable broke. Apparantly it had broken on the previous day, but no one had bothered to let the crew know. So, it took us about 2 hours to get to the site, and then about 3 1/2 hours to get back. The food on the snorkeling excursion was fabulous. Actually, the lunch on the snorkleing trip was the only good part of our stay at Sonaisali. Oh yes, one night we had a rat in our room eating our peanuts. It was able to get in because the sliders did not completely close, so it, and other things came right it. Also, a funny aside- the sliders have a chain latch, but as the doors slide both ways you can open it easily from the outside. Lastly the beach was decimated and the gardens destroyed.
While I do understand that the resort was hit by the cyclone, they should have had the sense to close it until it could be brought up to par. Additionally, I feel that the resort deliberately misled us with their FB update (see it in photos below). I hope that the Sonaisali and the area are able to make a complete recovery, but I will not be visiting again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 25 minutes from Nadi Airport. Award winning traditional accommodation comprises 123 rooms/bures. Two world-class restaurants with cuisine inspired by the best of European, Indian, Fijian and Asian Influences. 4 Bars, Large lagoon style pool with swim up bar, horseriding, tennis, volleyball, water sports, surf tours, shopping tours, snorkelling trips, dolphin watching trips, jet skis, sunset cruises, Spa Centre, free Kids Club, games room. Green Globe 21 certified. Perfect for Weddings and Honeymoons. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji Hotel Sonaisali Island
- Hotel Sonaisali Island
- Sonaisali Island Hotel Fiji
- Fiji Sonaisali Island Resort