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“Beautiful resort, great diving and good food”

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Mantaray Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
121 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort, great diving and good food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2014

Stayed here in March 2014 and had a great time, only stayed the one night but managed to get in some snorkelling with mantarays and two dives - seeing my first sharks :) really friendly staff, great food and good diving! Only negative is the dorm room - bottom bunks and super squashed and don't get much of the air from the fan. Would recommend getting a private bure, otherwise great stay - most people dive here so lots of chit chat about what we all saw and good social atmosphere. Love jack the goat too :)

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank SunSeaSharks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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567 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2014

We spent 4 nights here during our time in the Yasawas and really enjoyed our stay. Staff are really friendly and there is plenty to do. We stayed in the jungle bure which I recommend if you can afford it. They are the only rooms with an en-suite and hot water but it was worth it for us as we had a lot of rain one of the days and would have hated going outside every time we wanted the toilet or shower. Also, the hot shower was great to have, especially on the cool, wet day! Toilets are also long drops in the jungle burrs - this took a little getting used to but it is no problem. The room itself is slightly more spacious than treehouse bures with a small table, wardrobe, bean bag inside as well as tea and coffee. Our housekeeping lady was absolutely wonderful and resolved the small issues we had instantly.

The house reef was brilliant for snorkelling. It cannot be accessed at all during low tide so find out timings when planning your day. We saw endless fish on the reef - large and small - and also a couple of stingrays! We went for a manta ray swim and it was the most amazing experience we have ever had! We did not see any on our first swim and the currents were pretty high so they told us to come back the next morning without any further charge. We saw lots the next morning and had the most amazing experience swimming with them - we had over an hour in the water and the guides made sure you were able to see as many as possible. From speaking to others, the manta ray swim is by far the best from this resort so if that is on your list, I recommend staying here.

I also went on a dive which I enjoyed but strangely was more expensive than the pricier resorts in the Yasawas. This resort is without a doubt the cheapest to do certification but not so much for the dives when already certified. Did not see anything spectacular but it was fun.

There were plenty of other activities happening in the resort throughout the day which anyone can get involved in. Unfortunately they are largely confined to the outdoors so it was pretty dull on the day where we just had consistent rain.

While we generally did not go hungry, we felt the meal plans were far too expensive for what we received. The portion sizes were large but we just don't eat that much and the quality was not good enough to justify the price. My husband had the same dish twice for lunch and found it to be much worse the second time compared to the first so there was no consistency. Breakfast was basic cereal and toast, and fruit variety was extremely limited. I am vegetarian and we found that if the appetiser or entree contained meat, they would not attempt to make a substitute but just serve me salad leaves. The only night we were left without full stomachs was the buffet meal which was absolutely terrible. The soup was average at best and the rest of the meal was a disappointment. There was just one curry that was vegetarian with no substitutes for the meat and fish dishes. That one curry was too salty and didn't have much other flavour. Dessert was just the same limited fruit they serve at breakfast.

The dining experience did feel more like a school canteen than anything else which again would have been no problem if meals were cheaper but we didn't feel there was any value here.

Drinks were strangely more expensive than the nicer resorts on the Yasawas so we tended to stick to water. Bar staff were lovely though.

Wifi was available but there was an extra cost which was pretty high.

Overall we had a lovely stay which was worth it because of the manta experience. Personally, I don't think it is good value for money when it is not manta season (unless you are going for PADI certification. )

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank innocent26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2014

Had an excellent time at the manta ray, would definitely recommend doing your open water diving here if you haven't got it! the instructors are amazing!! We stayed in a bure which is still part of the dormitory accommodation you just have your own little room. For dormitory accommodation id have to say it was pretty good as far as cleanliness goes! If your not into dormitories i would recommend the jungle bure! My parents stayed in this and it was excellent. highlights would have to be diving and the mantaray swim! Only down fall with sleeping in the bure was they were very close to the bar so it can get noisy late at night. All the food there was amazing especially lunch and dinner!

Room Tip: If you want a quieter/larger room with your own bathroom definitely go for the Jungle bure - its wor...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sinead H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2014 via mobile

Swimming with Manta rays will be on rod the greatest experiences of my life. For just 35 FJD they take a group of you out on a boat and you can be out there for an hour or more just watching the Manta Rays. We missed them the first time but we went the next day in the morning before breakfast and saw about 5. The hotel even refunded the first trip when we didn't see any which was very good of them. Food was really good, nice variety, 3 course meal for dinner was welcoming after snorkelling, diving, volley balling and everything else we did during the day. The staff were really friendly and the dorms were pretty nice too. 5 out of 5 definitely would go again!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank jamiegibbons91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2014 via mobile

Wow what a place! This tiny resort is hidden amongst the trees, set back from the beach and is like a little village. We stayed in the 32 bed dorm but it was great because the dorm is divided into small clusters of 4 beds. The dorm is open air but the fans keep you cool and the mosquito nets keep you safe from the bugs (and the resort cat who came for a cuddle one night which I didn't mind at all). The staff here are brilliant, in the evenings they played games with us which brought the whole resort together especially the evening it rained and then let us play card games and have a causal drink after they went to bed. They also did activities with us drubbing the day like making coconut rings & palm leaf bracelets! The selling points of this place is 1) the reef is amazing and literally just off the beach so at low tide you can't got snorkelling but that's to protect you and the reef, the fish come right up to the beach as well 2) swimming with the MantaRays. Unfortunately though we went during MantaRay season the first time we went out to see them the current was very strong and I couldn't cope with it but my boyfriend went out the following morning (it's before breakfast so up early!) and got some great footage of 3 MantaRays - well worth the $35! The food is so good, you order from a menu, the table service is really good and the staff come and rally you up for games in the evening and check that everyone is happy. THE only thing I didn't like was that there is only cold showers which I knew before hand but that's why I would only do 2 days on the island - it'll be more then enough unless you go to do the scuba diving courses. Overall a really awesome stay!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Houps17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2014

I was due to stay at Manta Ray for four nights but ended up extending my stay to nearly two weeks.

I absolutely loved it here. I have done a lot of travelling and I have to say this is by far one of the best places I've stayed. Although there was limited availability, the girls on reception did everything they could to ensure I could stay. I originally booked the treehouse bure and by the end of the trip I managed to stay in every different room they had, from the dorm to the jungle bures.

The dorms are great. Although they sleep 30 odd people the room is split into sections of just two bunk beds making it feel more private. All beds are comfy and come with a mosquito net which definitely helps! The treehouse bures are simple double or twin rooms with your own porch. Really comfy and right next to the beach and bar. Both the dorms and treehouse bures have use of the shared toilets and cold showers, both of which are kept very clean. The jungle bures are great for those who want to spend a little more, be a bit more private, and have their own ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers. I loved all of them and would happily stay in any of them again.

The food here is brilliant too. By far the best I had when in the yasawas. Great choice for breakfast - fresh fruit, cereal, eggs. Lunch menu has about 10 options to choose from - the lemon peppered fish is amazing! Dinner is four courses - soup, entree, your choice of main, and desert and always really tasty.

The one thing this place has over anywhere else is the staff. They are all lovely and so helpful! Not only that but they're such a good laugh too. Rae, Gabbie and Jimmy behind the bar absolutely made it for me. I have never laughed so much and will definitely keep in touch with them. The girls up at reception are amazing as are the guys in the restaurent.

The diving here is second to none too. Atu and Joe in the dive shop are brilliant. I ended up doing both my open water and advanced diving here and absolutely loved it. They made it really fun whilst also making you feel completely at ease so you could really enjoy the experience.

Snorkelling with the Manta Rays here is incredible too. I went on two trips and both times saw the Manta Rays. It was amazing!!!

I also want to say a huge thanks to Ryan who runs Manta Ray. Really great guy and helped me sort out extending my trip with no stress at all.

I really can't recommend this place enough.

Thanks again to everyone at Manta Ray! I'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura_k2810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2014

Stayed on Mantaray Island for three nights over the recent Easter weekend. Ultimately, cannot complain about too much on the Island. My friend and I stayed in one of the bures just behind the bar area, which should be noted is open until 1am some nights and could be noisy (although when on holidays I don't particularly mind!). I was unaware that the resort would be, in the main, a backpackers haven which was fine as met some great people during my three days there. All accommodation aside from the Jungle Bures have shared bathrooms and due to lack of plumbing, toilets are 'long drops' - which could be challenging for some (as was for me for the first 24 hours!). Despite this, the room was comfortable, especially when most of your time is spent in the water or out in a hammock. I too was very hesitant upon arrival as to the compulsory meal package, which does seem like a general rule amongst the resorts and is quite expensive especially when general crowd are backpackers. Catering however, involves a buffet breakfast, 12 option menu for lunch (fish was amazing!) and almost four courses at dinner. All in all, the food was the best I had across my visit to Fiji!

I didn't partake in a lot of the activities the resort has to offer. My friend went along and was able to swim with a manta ray on our first morning there. There were a lot of daily activities listed on the notice board every day, however some may be unawares (as not advertised) that aside from the expense of travelling and staying at an island resort, the activities are also an added extra. I travelled along to a neighbouring village on Good Friday which was a great experience. I suspect that in Fiji, added extras are not complimentary such as towels which I cost an extra $5 to hire at the resort. This was not an issue by any means however!

Staff were pleasant and helpful. Big shout out to Gabby at the beach bar who so kindly climbed a coconut tree for us on our first day and provided us with fresh coconut water! Also to the catering girls who have the most fabulous memories and are so kind and accommodating to guests' needs! All in all, it was a relaxing first three days to my Fijian holiday on Mantaray Island. However I probably would not recommend to families or couples looking for quiet or romantic holidays as this resort is catered for the young, solo traveller and backpacker.

Would I visit Mantaray Island again? Probably not, but it was a great experience and I had three marvellous days doing no more than laying in a hammock.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sheds29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mantaray Island Resort

Property: Mantaray Island Resort
Address: Nanuya, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Nanuya
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Nanuya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Mantaray Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 29
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Also Known As:
Mantaray Island Hotel Nanuya

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