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“first and last time to this 'resort'” 2 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
1 review
“first and last time to this 'resort'”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2009

We had 4 days at sonasali and that more than enough!!!!

When we arrived it took at least 10 minutes before someone decided to acknowledge us waiting at reception, once we were assigned rooms we started the walk (which was more like a half marathon, it was at least a 10 minute walk as we were right down the end). With the resort appearing to be as empty as it looked and a lot of the beach front bures empty we were left wondering as to why we were put in a room about as far away from the pool, restaurant etc that you could possible be. The room was average, our aircon wasn't working... in fact it appears to just be a plastic shell on the wall with no insides, our front door also wouldn't lock and the shower head kept dropping so it did nothing but point directly down.

We eventually decided to head down to the overpriced restaurant, and shared a pizza, you would have expected for the price we paid they could have at least made their own pizza bases. Drinks were also expensive and were almost double at what we had paid at other places in Fiji. The restaurant staff were some of the unfriendliest I have ever struck in Fiji and it was often hard to get any sort of acknowledgement from them, 'Bula' and 'Vinaka' seemed to be foreign words to them.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (292)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

It was our first time in Fiji and Sonaisali was just a nice little island, not far from Nadi airport. We were there only for the Easter long weekend (4 nights) so didn't want to be far away and this was just perfect. Staffs were extremely friendly and helpful - the welcome was fantastic with fruit cocktail & big smiles. On arrival, our oceanview bure initially had a bit of leakage problem in the bathroom which was a bit annoying. However, the staff was very quick to rectify the situation and after analysing the problem, we were moved to a fresh new bure which was great. The bure was extremely spacious although I was expecting a bigger better bed (being a king size), but apart from that, everything was so nice especially with an outdoor spa in the balcony! The resort was peaceful and yet quite exclusive - fantastic for romantic getaway. The pool was a huge plus! The beach was unfortunately merky brown water unlike the Aussie beaches, but it was still nice having a bure by the beach and listening to the waves with daily sunsets.

An area of big improvement would be the food - our first night's buffet was badly overpriced and awful quality! Overall, Sonaisali was a wonderful destination.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2009

The deck around the pool is dangerous, with rotting wood and exposed nails. We had organised transfers to and from the airport and none came. This is awful when you're up at 6am to get an international flight. Not recommended.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Sonaisali Island hotels

1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2009

The only two good things in the resort were the Kids Club and friendly staff.

The girls looking after the kids at the kids club were really nice with the kids and full of energy to keep the kids busy and excited throughout the day, everyday. That was the one thing that our kids missed from the whole trip.

Everything else is bad. Bed sheets were stained, toilet tissue was in scare supply, complimentary tea/coffee were outdated, TV was faulty, inside surface of the pool was sharp and dangerous, food was crap and over priced, restaurant service was poor, napkins/serviettes were scare, activities were a farce, guest safety was low priority, management team were not friendly, law were flouted. These are the few that I experienced during my stay at this resort. I have validated my comments with details of my experience below for anyone who is interested and wishes to read on.

I did write to the MD (Managing Director) of Sonaisali detailing my experience and provided him an opportunity to tell his side of the story. He acknowledged the receipt of my mail (after my reminder mail) but, as expected, a few weeks into this I am still waiting to hear his side of the story. If anyone is interested in my correspondence with the MD please contact me and I will provide it to you.

The staffs were very friendly, but they were over worked and seemed to be reined in by the management to offer limited or poor service. Almost all of them were sympathetic but seemed unable to help. However, a few gave us tips on how to save money and get better service. Even our taxi driver to and from the airport were sympathetic towards us the moment we mentioned 'Sonaisali resort', and offered a few tips and advice to make our holiday enjoyable, the theme of the advice being 'stay away from the resort as much as possible'.

Speaking of the staff, special mention should be made about the restaurant manager and another manger (I should admit, I did not confirm what manager he was, but the way he went about, he is surely part of the top management)- both treat the guests with disdain, unless ofcourse you are the 'lucky" few (very few) (whom we saw while at the resort) whom they treat nicely. I am not sure how you could be one of those "lucky" ones, but it does not seem to be race, colour, religion, etc, etc as all of us were treated with the same degree of disdain.

And while at the resort, our family was very close to be wiped out from this world by a woman (I believe her to be part of the management herself as she seemed to have the same attitude) riding a quad-bike at full speed across the walkway from the bures to the main building, inches away from us, on her trip to the resort kitchen. It was impossible for here to see the people she would have run over, had they been a couple of steps ahead, with all the shrubs and trees surrounding the walkway. The speed at which she was going can be justified only if she was a doctor and someone in the kitchen was having a heart attack (which I checked and I was told there were no resident doctors). The only other reason I could come up with for this emergency, judging by the quality of the food served out of that kitchen, is that the chef was revolting against the management and preparing tasty food. Whatever it was, shows how "considerate" they are as a management team in the welfare of the guests.

Mention of food brings back memories, most of them bad and none of them good. The items on the menu were limited and half of them weren't available. We soon figured out that we could order the same item day in, day out and we could have different taste, ingredients and presentation every time, irrespective of what the menu mentioned. I even had a vanilla ice cream base desert, that looked and tasted like chocolate.

Again the staffs were over worked and the items were in short supply. Serviettes were in short supply and water was hard to get, at one point we were even told they have run out of water. But rule of 'demand and supply' seemed to work there - the limited supply of food was very highly priced. The plates provided were not clean either.

It would be an injustice (to the potential guests) if I did not mention about the rooms. We stayed in the Beachfront spa bure, which was very spacious and good view of the ocean. The positives stop there. The sheets were stained, which was replaced when requested, with different stains. Well, the sheets were replaced, but they had stains in them as well. The complimentary coffee, sugar and cream should be treated with respect as they would be very senior to you (in terms of age), unless of course you are a senior citizen.

The TV in the room was very entertaining, though the programs were not, turning itself into colour or black & white mode on its own.

Toilet tissue is an item Sonaisali seems to value much and is highly rationed. It would be a good idea to carry some if Sonaisali is your destination. In all my travelling life, this the first time a hotel room did not have additional toilet tissues in the room. We noticed the toilet tissue was almost over and called the reception for more. And after a long anxious wait 2 rolls were delivered. We were told we were "lucky" as some other rooms had only one delivered. (Hope I don't get the staff into trouble mentioning '2' rolls in this review).

The other most valued item is the pool towels. You are charged $30 per person for pool towels as soon as you check in, and in spite of that if you ask for a pool towel you are given the same look you could expect from a bank teller if you produce a ransom note. And that too could run out, depending on the time of day.

The pool is very good to view and swim, as long as you do not go very close to the centre island. I had scraped of a good length of my arm when I came too close to this island, which was very rough and sharp. Wonder why they do not ask us to sign a waiver, like they do for all other activities, excusing them of any care. The pool bar is a great experience though highly priced.

The activities are a farce as well. Even though we were warned, we paid for the ‘Fire Walking Cultural Performance & Kava Ceremony’ but saw only fire walking. We paid for a trip to Nadi town and ended up spending a long time in a broken down vehicle. We wanted to do horse riding, but Horses do not work on public holidays.

Once again, I should mention that the staff are really, really friendly and helpful (no sarcasm intended). A few of them could be seen slogging from early morning till late night, yet smiling.

Finally, I was charged a surcharge for paying by credit card. I was told this surcharge is illegal in Fiji, which I brought to the attention of the staff there, but yet again they were sympathetic but seemed helpless. Look likes those poor souls are forced to condone this illegal process to keep their job.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
auckland, new zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

Mum and I had a great time at Sonaisali. Would have been a great place for kids (not that we missed them), great food, meet heaps of people in the super freindly atmosphere, lay by the pool all day long (no need for a beach here) and close to the mainland so we took off up the Lautoka markets.
Really wonderful location, bures and general set up. Zero bar is great for unforgettable (yet I don't recall that much) night out - try the snorkelling :)

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2009

It was a horrible experience. The sea water was ugly brown. We had to walk from the dock to the reception. Food and room rates were cheap however this came at a big cost. The hotel room was in bad need of maintenance, there was no toilet paper in the room, the coffee in the room had fungi in it, and we were very lucky to actually get a room that had the air conditioner in good condition. Other rooms were not so lucky.
The restaurant staff were neighter friendly nor quick in their service, it took at most 45 mins for food to arrive once ordered, all tables were not laid with forks and knifes and no tissue papers unless asked. The swimming pool (and theres only 1) was full of all guests and as the sea was full of brown muddy water, all guests were swimming in the pool. We had to pay $10 for non-alcoholic fruit punch, the staff charged us $10 without even informing us. When checking out, we had to carry our own luggage all the way to the dock to get to our car. My advice, its worth paying extra for a better resort.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

The water around the Island is more like a dirty swamp and not very inviting to swim in, muddy brown describes it the best.
We were there to get married however during our ceremony our Bure was cleared of anything that they could lay their hands on, including the first ever ring that I had bought for my wife many years previous. The owners were totaly uninterested and the best part was when I booked a mini cruise to what I must call, the reall Fiji. The only dowside was that we had to return to the Island for the last few days of our holiday.

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.

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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
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*
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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