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“Trashy hell!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mantaray Island Resort

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Mantaray Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Trashy hell!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2010

If you like:

The sound of construction works outside your Bure
The smell of raw sewerage at the dinner table
The songs 'I'm a Barbie Girl' and 'Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting'
Doing the 'Limbo'
Cockroaches the size of mice(!) in your bedroom
Huge portions of cold, poor quality food
Constant reminders that if you are caught with duty free drinks they will be confiscated(!)
Western owned, money spinner type resorts

then you will love this place!

We stayed in a jungle Bure which was decorated to a high standard. They looked lovely and were well equipped with soaps etc in the bathroom. This however was the only nice thing about Manta ray Island other than of course snorkelling with the Manta Rays.

Some of the staff were exceptionally friendly, others were rude. It is compulsory to sign the disclaimer on arrival which basically says the resort is not responsible for anything at all. If you choose not to agree to the terms there is no boat back until the next day!

Construction works went on for the entire 3 day stay despite being told that it was only the day we arrived. The beach is stony and you can only snorkel/swim at high tide. There is another beach over the back of the Island which takes less than 5 minutes to walk to, this is a great spot for watching the sunset and would recommend heading there for some peace. The beach bar on the main resort pumps out cheesy 90's pop music all day, annoyingly the bar staff seem to like the song Barbie Girl and choose to repeat it over and over again.

The food menu looks great with plenty of variety, however it is mostly large, cold portions of poor quality food. Other people have commented on how good the food was here so maybe we were just unlucky with it being cold at every meal. The composting toilets are close to the dining area resulting in an overwhelming smell of raw sewerage at times whilst eating.

We were reminded every day that if we were caught with duty free drinks they would be confiscated, this felt patronising and got annoying.

Our plan had been to dive whilst there, however when we saw the equipment which looked shabby and worn we were not sure. Our minds were made up when we realised there was just one girl taking out as many people that they could cram on the boat. We are fairly new to diving and did not feel comfortable being taken out in large groups with just one leader. They don't seem to care about your safety with diving as there is a sign outside the dive centre saying 'Can't swim?? Doesn't matter - come and learn to dive today'. They have waived themselves of all responsibility in the disclaimer by stating that if there is any sickness or injury through diving they basically don't have to help and may not get you to the main land until the following day.

To summarise, this place is not as relaxing or nearly as beautiful as some of the other islands. If you're a couple looking for a romantic experience this is definitely not the place for you. It's probably great for singles who want to party and meet other people and don't care so much for peace or relaxation.

Snorkelling with the Manta Rays was a great experience, but there are other places that do the trips for free. I would definitely not stay here for more than one night if that's your sole intention for visiting Manta Ray Island resort.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Gazelle111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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English first
Nottingham
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2010

My wife and I stayed at Manta Ray Island resort mid July 2010. We had one of the Jungle Bures (the poshest rooms). En suite with a long drop composting toilet (totally odourless, if not slightly freaky!). Not cheap at all, but I think most places in the Yasawas are similar. We also stayed at Blue Lagoon and that was very similar.

The coral was fantastic for snorkelling. We've have done lots of snorkelling and this is as good as it gets. The food was plentiful, varied and perfectly good.

The manta rays were the highlight. Everyday they were in the channel nearby and the boat would take you out to swim with them for an hour or so. This cost 25FJD (£10ish) and is the best £10 you'll ever spend.

The only downside was the boat-driver-guide from the nearby Barefoot resort. Unfortunately he thought it was acceptable to keep trying to touch the manta rays, which made them scoot off and will make them wary of humans. Once the guests saw him do it, they started doing it themselves. Very disappointing to see. Very disappointing to see them being so disrespectful and setting such a bad example.

Photo diary and videos here http://hpjw.co.uk/honeymoon/fiji/fiji.html

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Haighster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2010

My partner and I stayed 2 nigts in the standard bure with shared facilities. The facilities were basic, just a cold shower with not a big pressure composting toilets and the bure had - apart from the double bed - no other furniture. The greatest thing on this island/resort is that the coral reef is just right there, just make a step in the sea and you can admire the colours. When I compare the reef there with the one in Blue Lagoon we also visited, the Manta Ray resort has much more to offer. The reaf is colourful with lots of fish. The drinking water from the tap was fine. You can hire a kayak for free there, so we made most of that. The compulsory meal package - 61 FJD per person per day - was a bit too expensive for what they were serving us, but they give you lots of it, so we certainly were not hungry. The staff was friendly. We were lucky enough to swim with the manta rays - 25 FJD per person. The experience was excellent! I do not like overcrowded places and compared to other places we have visited, the Manta Ray resort was alright in that regard, not quiet but not excessively over-crowded (unlike Octopus resort which was just a bit too much!). Out of the places we have visited in Yasawa Group and on mailand Fiji, I would not mind to go back - for the nice snorkelling and kayaking and reading a book in a hammock.

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank OpickaTerezka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grafton NSW Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2010

Upon arriving and being shown to our bure, tucked away in the trees, we headed for the beach bar. Staff were welcoming, helpful and friendly - we really felt comfortable right from the start which is not always the case. Our bure was very simple, clean and consisted of bed and side tables with a balcony, it didn't lock but I'm not sure that any did. The showers were in a shared block, cold water however this wasn't a problem. Toilets were also in a block separate from the bure's. They were clean and didn't smell at all. We missed the manta rays but enjoyed snorkelling off the beach and loved the food!! Such variety (18 different dishes for lunch from fish, club sandwiches to pizza) after some other resorts we had stayed at. The drinks were reasonable and the other travellers were keen to chat so we made lots of friends. I retired early and was not at all disturbed by those who chose to stay on and party as the dining room/bar is high on the hill and removed from the bure's.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank neecy8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2010

This is a well run and organised place which is super clean. The food is good and you get a lot of choice for lunch and dinner and very big portions. We stayed in one of the bures on the beach which was really nice and clean.
The downside to this place is the beach bar plays loud music all day long so its not a quiet, romantic place. Also, you are summoned to meals by a big drum. There are a lot of young backpackers here who lie about drinking booze.
Its is close to the mantarays but they charge you for trip - the next island place, Barefoot Lodge, is closer to the mantarays and they do free trips.
Is a good resort but its not a traditional Fijian resort

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stevenleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, NZ
Level Contributor
58 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2010

Looking back at our trip to Fiji, our stay at Mantaray was probably more interesting than anywhere else. There was a whale in the channel directly outside the resort and they provided free boatrides to look and swim with the whale. We were also lucky enough to swim with the Mantarays in a separate channel about a 5 minute boat ride away (best time is July-August at high tide). The coral reef outside the resort is also teeming with sealife, and it comes so close to shore that swimming at low tide is not possible.

The tree-house bure is small but functional. Some of them lock, some don't. One good thing is they close the beachside bar at 7pm and the bar in the main bure is far enough from the treehouse bures that you can't hear the noise if you have had enough of drinking for the night. There is only cold water in the shared showers and they somehow attract wasps to the shower heads. The water is generated from desalination of the seawater so is pretty hightech.

Food was plentiful but variable in quality.

Overall an enjoyable stay with plenty of memories.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KiwiMikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2010

We are in our 50's and 60's and our first impression of Mantaray was not a good one. We get off the boat, led to the picnic tables in front of the beach bar to try and hear the orientation (music was blasting from the bar), and sign release forms. The release forms absolve the resort of any injuries, stolen items, etc. Also, watching the staff throwing our luggage on the beach and kicking it was just a wee bit off putting!

We understood the release forms and the luggage kicking the first night. The Jungle Bures do not have any locks, but we soon got used to it, and nothing was stolen. I felt that the groundsmen were always watching out for that kind of thing. We were staying in Jungle Bure 1 which is the closest Jungle Bure to the rest of the resort. We went to bed listening to the music blaring from the Main Dining Room. No big deal, we just put in earplugs. Then from around 2-5 a.m. we listened to very drunk people, screaming, yelling, and running all over the beach and up and down the stairs. So we could understand why the resort needs the release forms. As far as the tossing and kicking luggage, if the staff have to deal with the party people all the time, I would probably do the same thing!

You will do just fine as long as you have a good pair of earplugs.

Now to the important stuff. Food was good, well-prepared and presented, lots of it, and plenty of variety. For dinner there was a starter or appetizer, then main dish, and dessert. There were around 6 of us older folks and we would sit together at meal times to talk (if we could hear each other). We even sat with some of the younger people and they were very polite and interesting. You have to sign for every drink (soft drink or alcohol) and pay for them when you check out. Beer was FJD 4.50 and wine was FJD 6.00.

The snorkeling is superb, just superb. Entry is super easy. You do have to wait for high tide to snorkel (otherwise it is too shallow), just ask at the dive shop each day for the high tide time. If we go again I would try to schedule our stay for high tide from say 10:00 a.m. on. The beach is lovely, but there was a surprising amount of trash. If you have a Jungle Bure they come with 2 loungers and a shade umbrella made out of woven leaves.

The Jungle Bures have a private bathroom and shower. Compost toilets did not smell. Water is desalinated and safe to drink. Bure was kept clean with daily maid service. Bed was very comfortable. We were quite content in our little Jungle Bure.

The Manta Ray snorkeling trips are well worth the cost. Snorkeling with the Manta Rays is a once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed. When Manta Rays are sighted in the channel, the staff pound the log drum, which means go to the boats with your snorkeling gear! The first day we were snorkeling and we heard the drum while in the water.

There is a stiff climb up to dining room, steps can be slippery. The compost toilets in the shared dorm bathrooms did smell, probably from so much use. Staff were friendly and helpful as long as you are nice to them! Some of the guests can be rather rude and condescending. The bure guests are definitely out numbered … most of the guests stay in the dorms.

But the snorkeling outweighs the negatives, we would return. We have more photos on Picasa:

http://picasaweb.google.com/SueWilliams61981/MantarayIslandResortYasawaIslandsFijiSept200902#

If you have any questions you can email me at sue_williams3@hotmail.com.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue W
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 Balavau Island, 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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