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“Worst Hotel South of the North Pole!” 1 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
A TripAdvisor Member
“Worst Hotel South of the North Pole!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2006

This place is the pits.. By rights I should still be staying there now as I write this however I have returned home 4 days early despite the accommodation and food being pre-paid... what does that tell you!!
I will try and be brief of the happenings on our awful stay however there is a lot to cover even in the short time we were there!

-Our bure leaked for three days (terrible weather during our three night stay) they did not rectify the problem, other than trying to upsell us at an extra cost to a higher room category dispite huge availabiltiy of rooms!
-Food is disgusting, and severely overpriced! Birds are a huge problem in the restaurant,on more than one occassion I saw the birds eating out of the uncovered breadroll basket prior to giving to guests. When I mentioned this to the waiter I was virtually ignored... To cap this off I bird "pooped" on me whilst having my lunch... Have they not heard of Bird Flu??
-Wait staff haggle you into buying drinks, and when we didnt order you either got ignored or had the menu thrown at you...
-Pool is dirty, as is the room and the resort in general
-Fine Dinning restaurant is rubbish, for those who have been to ports of call at the Sheraton, then this is the long lost destitute cousin of that fantastic restaurant..
-Our "Ocean View Bure" was about 100 metres from the murky, disgusting "beach" which is actually resembles the Atlantic Wall than an idyllic Fijian beach. You could barely see the ocean as the ocean front bures are infront of you.. Book them if you must stay here..
-When we raised our issues with the Resort Manager the response was fairly dissapointing and claiming that they have a no refunds policy.. What this says to me and should to you also is that they do not care about guest satisfaction, so before you commit to booking shop around....learn from our mistake

Overall they pretend to be something that they absolutely are not, their claims at luxury and fine dinning etc are simply not true. my humble advice would be stay elsewhere as there is plenty of choice, such as the Sheraton, Sofitel, Warwick, Fijian and many more... This was the worst three days of my life, and I say that without a word of embelishment... dont spoil your opinion of Fiji by staying here!!

Stayed January 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2006

After having read many of the reviews on this hotel, I was both astounded by the polarisation of views (it seems you either love it or hate it) and worried by the negative sentiments expresssed by many. However I was determined to keep an open mind and hopefully can give a fair assessment of it having just come back from a 5 night stay.
Firstly overall impression was that the resort is very pretty and the rooms good. Ours was an oceanview hotel room and we didn't actually see inside the bures but they look good from the outside. Major dis-satisfaction was the cost of food and drink, which I thought was over the top ($10 for a beer - $15-20 for a cocktail, $28-35 main course in the cheap restaurant. We didn't dare try the expensive one.) However happy hour every night (6-7pm) where drinks are less 30%, and the availability of a snack food menu at the bar eases the pain somewhat, especially when you eat there every meal.
There is a lack of diversity in the menu offerings and the room service menu is probably the best one for variety, but as Nadi is a fair taxi ride ($30 return) and availability of decent alternative restaurants is limited we quickly became bored and disenchanted with eating every night at the resort. Standard of the food was generally ok to good though. Breakfasts are the highlight and are FREE.
We stayed at the resort after having completed a 7n Captain Cook cruise on the reef escape and found the difference in staff attitude very marked. Generally at the Sonasali they seemed dis-interested and surly by comparison with the CC crew who were fabulous but overall you'd have to say they passed (just).
Free activities are good (and the hobie cats aren't old at all) but a lot of time things seem to be "broken" and not available. Many of the paid activities are booked out and you usually need to get in quickly on arrival to ensure you get to do any of them. They have a habit of cancelling them at the drop of a hat so don't leave it or you will miss out.
We didn't try the cruises but did go hand line fishing. We didn't catch anything (which is usually the way) but the cruise was good. Also horseriding is worth a try and quite cheap.
Plenty of wedddings on and everyone generally seems happy with the outcome.
The pool is the highlight of the place, but a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be, and there is a distinct lack of deck chairs etc around its edge. I wouldn't want to be there if the hotel was full. My kids swam in it constantly and loved it (and didn't come out in any sores as a previous review mentioned!!) but it tends to be the only thing to do most of the time.
All in all the resort is ok but I wouldn't stay too long as it gets a bit boring otherwise. I probably woudn't go back but then again I rarely would anyway, preferring to try somewhere new if I return to a destination. If you do go, try and make sure you get a cheap deal (ours included a $200 resort credit which helped reduce the overall cost of meals and drinks) and plan to eat out a few times (ask the cab drivers for some good suggestions).

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2006

We stayed here for 9 long painful nights. When we arrived we had to wait 3 hours in the hot sun for our room.
The first night we stayed i went to use the bathroom and was greeted by a big black spider which was the size in my palm. We also had to share our room with massive cockroaches and lizards.
The beach was disgusting and not like the one shown on their web site,we had to spend hundreds each day going to the outer islands to swim.Our 7 year old son broke out in sores all over his face and body after swimming in the swimming pool. The hobbie cats are old and very dangerous we tipped one and had to wait for them to send someone out.
The food was over priced and utter crap buffet was Fj44 pp,one aussie guy got sick from it

Save your money and your life and go somewhere else.
Please email for 20 other problems with this over priced dump. adrianlee@clear.net.nz

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sonaisali Island hotels

A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2006

After reading previous reviews on this website, I was getting a bit worried where our friends had chosen to celebrate their wedding. However, I was impressed with the whole resort and previously being a travel agent, I can highly recommend this property to others who want a relaxing holiday.

The rooms were excellent, we had a beachfront hotel room and it was fine.

Our friends got married on New Years Eve and the wedding was beautiful - I now also want to have a Fijian wedding. The warriers were spunky and the flower girls were so cute. The amount of effort the staff went to in esuring the day was succesful was just amazing. There was a huge party on New Years Eve and the food was just magnificent. The staff even did a cake dance when they brought the wedding cake over to our friends and the whole resort joined in and were taking photos of the cake!

The food was the highlight of the holiday. It was just beautiful. Every meal was perfect and just enough. We didn't choose the meal vouchers - I suppose if you can eat a 2 course lunch and a 3 course tea then it is great value. It worked out a bit cheaper just paying for each meal as the breakfast was included every day. It can also be handy to buy the vouchers before you go so you aren't up for a huge bill at the end. The drinks were beautiful - the Choc Attack cocktail was my favourite. The staff at the pool bar were so friendly and the "Bar Captain" didn't mind us calling him Captain the whole trip.

There were 14 of us at the wedding and everyone had positive experiences. The only negative was the showers but everyone experienced poor water pressure. Our snorkelling trip had to be cancelled on the second last day as one of the boats had broken down but we still had a good time just lounging by the pool.

I also had time for a facial and Ruth was excellent and also put in a free eyebrow wax!

I can highly recommend this resort for anyone wanting a relaxing holiday with excellent food and friendly service. P.S. We can't stop saying Bula and Vinaka!

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2005

Bula. We have just got back from our wedding at the Sonaisali Island Resort and had a fabulous time. Our beachfront bure was in an ideal romantic location and had everything we needed. The food was delicious and we found the food vouchers great value for money. We went on a few excursions with the tour company Rosie, and also found them good value for money. The staff and Fijian people in general were very friendly and we found out alot of very interesting things about their culture and history. The pool was clean and the beach was relaxing to lie on. Our wedding day was also very relaxing and the staff saw to everything we needed. I had an amazing hairdesser who made my hair look great and we also had some lovely pictures taken by the photographer. It certainly was a day to rememember. (I must say, if I read some of the more negative reviews before I booked my holiday, then I probably would have chosen another resort, so I'm very glad I didn't).

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Westminster, CA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
197 helpful votes 197 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2005

If you can't afford a more upscale resort like Vomo, Matangi, or Jean-Micheal Costeau then this is the place for you. It's not quite perfect, but it's relaxing, beautiful, somewhat upscale, and the food is okay but not outstanding. There is a nice little private restaurant that serves 3-course meals that would be a fancy dinner at least one night for couples. The beach around the corner is stunning but the one right in front of the hotel is black rock as others have said. The pool is nice but not super huge, and they do have a pool bar thankfully although I was mildly uncomfortable sunbathing in full view of everyone eating at the restaurant. The pool has a nice ocean view and the bures are all quite spacious, clean, and accomidating. They do a ton of weedings, usually more than 1 a day, so it's a good place to go on a budget but you do get lost in the shuffle slightly from time to time. They have a great sunset view and they are close to the big island if you need to do any shopping. I wouldn't stay there the whole time, I'd combine them with another island (Malolo if you can afford it), but as long as you know what you're getting going in, it's a great value.

  • Stayed December 2005, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, Australia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2005

After staying there for 5 nights I was glad to come home.

Yes the staff are friendly, the rooms are clean, but the food was not to my standard (potato was like a rock, and one would think you were staying in a 5 star hotel with boutique food servings). The service was good and we never had to wait to long for anything.

The beauty salon was wonderful and the staff were great (Ruth was the best at knowing the treatments).

I would recommend that if staying there you have a few books for those who choose to relax, or be prepared to spend a fortune on activites as the resort activites are not cheap.

Overall, if I won a million dollars and was looking for a place to unwind and relax then this is the place. The website is informative and shows the resort as what it is but be early to reserve chairs by the pool with umberallas as there are not many.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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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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