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“Happy and dissappointed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji

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Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Sonaisali Island Coral Coast | P.O.BOX 2544, Viti Levu, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Coffs Harbour, Australia
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Happy and dissappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

8th August 2013 - 15th August 2013
we really enjoyed our time at Sonaisali Island we had been looking forward to this trip for 6 months. Had no problem with flight or transfer to Island, we were greeted with a very friendly Bula found it very relaxing and enjoyable. The Fijian staff are so friendly and happy to you all the time.
The Bura we had was in an ideal spot although we had no hot water the toilet would not flush the fridge did not work the bathroom was very mouldy and dirty. The biggest downside to our stay was the food, the buffet and the al carte menu were the same day in day out hot food was always cold and took forever to come my daughter and I are both Coeliac and need gluten free food. This appeared to be in very short supply and the staff knowledge was very limited or non existant. Especially after we organised with the travel agent that the resort could prvovide gluten free food.
After one day on the Island I became very ill and on the last day found out that they were actually putiing gluten in my meals not happy at all!!!! My daughter also was ill!!!!
The day crusie to Mana Island was good and we had no trouble in connections with travel.
Dan took us on the Jungle cruise and was a wealth of knowledge and very interesting to listen to about the history of the Islands. Vinaka Dan. Internet was not accessable at the bura's ony at the resort part and had to be used within two hours and expensive.

Room Tip: Take your own gluten free food and check your details before leaving reception desk as they did not...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Bula Karina,

We were delighted to hear that overall, you “really enjoyed” your stay at our Resort and that you found it an “extremely relaxing and enjoyable” experience.

Our “friendly and happy Fijian” staff clearly contributed to a great holiday, as did your “ideal” Bure accommodation.

The best explanation we can provide in relation to your refrigerator not working is that it had been turned off for defrosting – and not switched back on again prior to your bure being reoccupied. Subsequent inspection of the appliance revealed it be fully operational. We sincerely regret this oversight.

The bure hot water service also functioned normally. Hot water takes a few minutes to activate and this should have been properly explained to you. We will endeavour to ensure that Guests are made fully aware of this in the future and we thank you for bringing the matter to our attention. Your toilet cistern has undergone routine maintenance.

Chef has advised that he was aware of your dietary requirements and that gluten free options were made available to you, including pasta (gluten free meals are asterisked on all Menus). He also advised, however, that he was unable to bake the breads and pizza you specifically requested. Our sincere apologies for that these were not available.

Internet coverage extends throughout the Resort’s Central Complex, including Rall Restaurants and Pool Bar. Coverage has also recently been extended to the Suva Wing accommodation block. A variety of options are available, with charges applicable as follows:
Day Pass Fj$24 AUD$13.75
5 Day Pass Fj$120 AUD$68
7 Day Pass Fj$140 AUD$80
Minimum Purchase: 2Hrs Fj$15 AUD$8.60

We thank you for your generous praise in relation to Jungle Cruise escort Dan. I’ll personally ensure the well-deserved accolade is passed along. Vinaka.

Thank you Karina for taking the time and effort to post your invaluable feedback.

Tropical regards from all of us.
Jan McGrath
Executive Director.
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1,215 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (304)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kurrajong, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

This was my 5th trip to Fiji and Sonaisali. As always the service was great, the Fijian staff are wonderful, the welcome was amazing. It gets better each time. I will be going back next April. There can be a few improvements in the restaurant like I said in my last review, the food is slow to get to the table, the food is a bit pricey and the range of choices is not great. The Wi-Fi is a bit pricey, however compared to the visit before the range and speed has improved a lot. Sereana, Duri, Tupou and Leii have great service as always.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms closer to the main complex otherwise you have quite a bit of walking
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Hi Caelan,

Many thanks for taking the time to post your review – always great to hear from you.

Very pleased to learn that you found Sonaisali service to be “great” and that we once again delivered an “amazing” Welcome to yourself and family. We continue our Food & Beverage initiatives and are thrilled to know that you will be returning once again in April to be able to judge the results.

Pleased also that you noticed the improvement in WiFi coverage and speed across the island.

A huge Bula Vinaka from all of your Sonaisali friends, including Sereana and Duri.

Look forward to Welcoming you back to Paradise Caelan.

Tropical regards,
Jan
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Christchurch, New Zealand
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

My husband and I went for a quiet getaway for a wedding anniversary celebration and for me to recover after an illness. Arrived at dark and was welcomed by drinks and serenaded by young guy on guitar was brilliant. Friendly porter took us to our lovely Ocean view Bure in the newer end of resort All looked good in the subdued lighting.
Was up woken at 4am by someone giving a speech full tit on pa system it lasted for around an hour. (turned out to be village preacher doing his thing!) managed to get back to sleep with earplugs and pillow over heads around 6am only to be woken by baby crying in adjoining bure, nodded off to be woken again by crying baby's siblings running around bure yelling. Stumbled out for breakfast around 8-30am. Good selection of breakfast food. On return Had good look at Bure wasn't all that clean light switches were really dirty so I cleaned them as couldn't stand it! Tiles were dirty around doorways as well with mould on bathroom ceiling.Next night the same thing happened and the following night Day three complained to customer care guy and was told couldn't move us as fully booked but would let us know when they could. Went back to Bure and found a cockroach! Another sleepless night so went back and saw another person a lady who had better attitude Got moved to older end of resort it was slightly quieter but still had to use earplugs due to noisy neighbouring Air con. We had no Air con looked underneath bure and unit looked totally ceased with rust. Found ants in basin and fleas in bed and 2 more cockroaches. Apparently Resort was flooded in Dec 2012 that could explain quite a lot. Spa pool didn't work apparently it was under maintenance never saw any repairers the 6 days we were there! Some of free water activity were broken. Found Food over priced and not that great if you're a vegetarian or gluten free diet.
Massage at Frangipani Spa was great tho. but expensive
Listed Activities didn't always happen, Went on horse trek and river cruise not worth the time to do, all day cruise should have been cancelled as weather was too rough to snorkel and getting out and back was a challenge for the crew whom tried their hardest to make the most of it! Sunset cruise was high point even tho there was no sunset young activities guy great on the guitar entertaining guest in absence of sunset. No Doctor on site as listed. Business centre had only one PC in it and didn't always work. Taxi rank did not existed had to wait up to 1 hr to get taxi during the day when ordered.
Would not recommend or go back. It has so much potential but is not a 4 Star resort Feel a bit ripped off and totally let down as had been looking forward to get away to Fiji after waiting so long to save up to go especially after being ill.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Bula Debbie,

Thank you for taking the time to post you review. All Guest feedback is invaluable in helping to improve upon our performance and we thank you for your contribution in this instance. We would also like to take the opportunity to qualify some of your comments.

The "speech" you referred to was a barely audible religious service conducted many kilometres away on the mainland. At your request, your accommodation was moved to the opposite end of our 2.5km island the following day, to ensure you maintained a maximum separation from the direction of the sound. It is most unfortunate that you were subsequently disturbed by our younger Guests in the busy school holiday period.

The Resort is subjected to a rigorous Pest Control management programme, essential in our tropical conditions, and it is sincerely regretted if you encountered any insect, including winged variety, which had not as yet succumbed to the process.

Your spa Bure 071 was not reported as being out of service at any period during your stay, as was the case with your air conditioning unit not logged for maintenance. At no stage during your many conversations with Customer Care did you mention either of these complaints. I find it alarming, furthermore, that any Guest at the Resort would crawl under a Bure in order to access mechanical services restricted to qualified engineering staff only.

You have been very generous in praise in relation to both the standard of cuisine and service in the Resort's Plantation Fine Dining Restaurant and standard of breakfast, although we note that you considered the Resort cuisine "expensive."

We regret that you were unable to enjoy some of the Resort's most relaxing and popular Activities, including joining our horse-back ride through the Resort's lush 110acre landscape and beaches, nor the lagoon, mangrove estuary cruise.

We are encouraged though, to learn that you did benefit from time well spent in our delightful Frangipani Day Spa.


We do not "list" a doctor as being "on site". The Resort doctor is on-call only.


The mainland taxi base is operated independently of the Resort and I am, therefore, unable,to comment on an arrangement you may have made with this company.

We regret that you have both been of ill health and that you did not enjoy your time at our Resort.

From all of us, our very best wishes for your continued recovery.

Kind regards,

Jan McGrath
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Travelers are raving about these Sonaisali Island hotels

Lautoka, Western, Fiji
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Thank you wonderful Sonaisali staff for providing the perfect place for our long weekend break.

Your Resort location is very convenient.

We really enjoyed being able to go on and off the island whenever we liked to Nadi and Port Denarau.

Sonaisali staff are very welcoming, nothing too much trouble and always smiling and happy.

We enjoyed all the food outlets, but especially Plantation Fine Dining.

It’s what we had come for, after hearing so many rave reports, and we were not disappointed.

We’ve never had a restaurant experience to equal the food or service. Saula, Melyn and the rest of the Plantation staff are simply amazing.

The best weekend we’ve ever had, lovely spacious bure, Sunday brunch around the huge pool, heavenly village choir at evening, then happily home on Monday.

Can’t wait to come back.

Sonaisali ticks every box.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Bula Cavu,

So pleased to hear that Sonaisali “ticked every box” during your recent weekend break.

The Resort’s unique location, featuring 24-hour, complimentary 3-minute mainland access (with secure parking), adds a “Best of Both World’s” dimension for Guests wanting to experience an island atmosphere but with the added dimension of Port Denarau and Nadi Town just a short distance away.

Our wonderful staff are indeed very welcoming and go out of their way to please our Guests. Vinaka.

Thrilled to receive your confirmation that the Resort’s Plantation Fine Dining Restaurant once again lived up to its “rave reports” and will ensure that your compliments are passed along to Saula and his team.

We are especially grateful for your mention of the “heavenly village choir” and will ensure that they too are recognised for their contribution to this Resort’s overall authentic Fijian ambience .

Delighted that you experienced “the best weekend [you’ve] ever had” with Sunday brunch around our delightful pool, before “happily home on Monday”.

We look forward to Welcoming you back for many more relaxing weekend breaks in the future.

Loloma
Jan McGrath
Executive Director
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Perth, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Recently travelled to Fiji for four nights with my boyfriend for a quick getaway. decided to stay at Sonaisali as most of the islands were booked out. very happy with the beachfront spa bure, very relaxing and good for the money. few things to point out. food was pretty bad especially in the restaurant, however the steaks from the pool bar were the way to go. Do Not order the fish..........worst ive ever tried. buffet breakfast was good (included in the room) but the restaurant needs to pick up their game. Most of the staff were amazing especially Kuva however some of the staffs attitude and customer service was extremely rude and not necessary at times. overall we did enjoy our stay but the food was definitely a let down.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Bula Kim,

Many thanks for taking the time to post your overall positive review of your 4-day Sonaisali get-away.

Delighted to learn that you were very happy with your Beachfront Spa Bure accommodation which you found “very relaxing and good value for money”. Disappointed to learn though that you did not enjoy all food outlets, with the notable exception of the Poolside Grill.

Mixed reviews also for our normally highly praised staff. We are extremely apologetic if any staff member did not accord you our normally very hospitable Welcome. Please let me assure you, Customer Service is constantly under review at our Resort and that feedback such as yours provides an invaluable measure in assessing our performance in this regard.

We thank you for your contribution and hope that we will have an opportunity to Welcome you back to Sonaisali at some time in the future.

Kind regards,
Jan McGrath
Executive Director
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Suva Central
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

If anyone is looking for an ideal quiet place for a workshop - Sonaisali is the best venue.
The scenery compliments it all. The bure's are so clean and bed so comfortable. The staff are so friendly and helpful making the organizers work easier. Sonaisali is an excellent and ideal place for a workshop!
To top it off - the food is soooooo delicious!

Vinaka Sonaisali for the great service!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Bula Titiana,

Very glad to know that your group found your recent Workshop at our Resort so rewarding and enjoyable.

Vinaka from all of the hardworking Sonaisali team for your very kind comments in relation to the high standard of Housekeeping and facilities. I will ensure your compliments regarding our “delicious” cuisine and great service are passed along to Adrian and his Food & Beverage team.

Our beautifully tranquil island setting is a truly unique venue for an event such as yours and we look forward to hosting your group again in the not-too-distant future.

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback; your contribution is very much appreciated by all of us.

Kind regards,

Jan McGrath
Executive Director
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Hastings, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

This place has such potential, and some nice moments. It is a beautiful setting, and a lovely pool. I read a lot of the reviews, and unfortunately many of the negative ones are completely spot on. However, most of what other people complained about, we couldn't have cared less about, the meals are slow, it is quite pricey, and there is a slightly negative vibe about the whole place, but its alright for the price.

In our case, none of that actually would have mattered .... we were going to make the most of things, because we had no option - our father is dying (this was our last time to visit him with the grandkids etc) as and he lives in Fiji, and this was one of the only places available in the exact time we could coordinate three separate travel arrangements, and three different schedules etc. As I mentioned above, the basic complaint stuff, probably would not have mattered except it was ruined from the get go, when we were informed on arrival that our booking for five people did not include five beds. For two hours we debated this, and had to spend over an hour on the phone with the agent to sort it out. In my book, if a hotel accepts a booking for five people, it makes sure there are five beds, it doesn't ask the client to upgrade on arrival, or pay for a trundle bed. Four Star? I have never in my life experienced such a bizarre customer service, Unfortunately, we then spent the rest of the time suspicious of being ripped off, the reason is because there can be no question that a hotel should not accept a booking for five, and claim it costs more on arrival unless it is an attempt to rip people off, late at night, when they have no where else to go and are completely captured. I thought long and hard about this as it is quite a statement to make, but there is no other reasonable explanation, and will address that in letters to the tourism bureau of fiji, the hotel management, and the agent. However in our view, a decent 4 star hotel doesn't accept bookings for 5 with beds for 4, and then leave people to fight it our for two hours in the lobby, it takes it on the chin and fixes it with the agent whom they accepted the booking with.

about three of the staff were simply lovely, and there were moments of fiji spirit, I reckon if you have other options, take them, you can do better for you dollar.

Room Tip: Dont bother - go to another resort.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
SIRGM, Executive Director at Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
Bula Neenish

Extremely sorry to learn that you were visiting Fiji in distressing circumstances, and we are apologetic that we inadvertently added to your situation with a bedding configuration issue.

Some clarification however, is required in relation to the exact circumstances surrounding your booking. Your room catergory booked accommodates 2 adults and 2 adult children with an additional child (under 12yrs) requiring an additional trundle bed at additional cost per night.

Resort staff personally spoke with your Travel Agent on the evening you arrived, in order to expedite your reservation, with the resort that you were given a complimentary upgrade to our highest room category, 2 bedroom Family Bure accommodation at no additional charge, as per your guest ledger account.

The service you received together with an extraordinarily generous upgrade, were exemplary.

Kind regards
Jan McGrath
Executive Director
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Additional Information about Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji

Address: Sonaisali Island Coral Coast | P.O.BOX 2544, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Sonaisali Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sonaisali Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji 4*
Number of rooms: 123
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

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