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“Unfortunate experience”

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Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel
Ranked #5 of 25 Hotels in Nadi
Maitland, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unfortunate experience”
Reviewed June 19, 2012

Tips when staying at Smugglers Cove:
1. When booking accommodation with Smugglers Cove MAKE SURE YOU ARE SENT A QUOTE!! I was not and the booking ended up being wrong. I was charged for a no-show and had to be placed at extremely basic budget accommodation - FOR THE SAME PRICE! until a room was available.
2. Do not make any enquiries with reception if you are in a rush (or just don't want to waste at least an hour of your time!) - my experience with the reception staff at Smugglers was not pleasant - they did not apologise for their wrongdoing with my booking and took an extreme amount of time to organise anything.
3. Go with low expectations - the shower in the private room I stayed in was mouldy, the beach was unswimable (caused by only two days rain!) and none of the front of house staff made me or my guests feel welcome so we took our drinking and eating business elsewhere during our stay (Port Denarue is a sweet place to eat and drink).
4. Smugglers have their own contracted "taxi's" to drive guests around. These cars are not metered and therefore charge MUCH MORE than metered cabs. Some of the cars breakdown mid-journey also! Just something to consider when budgeting for your stay at Smugglers. Use metered taxi's whenever you can.

Smugglers Cove do have some lovely facilities but my experience there was unwelcoming and unpleasant, very unfortunate after spending a month volunteering in the East with no negative experiences with the lovely and accommodating Fijian people. I hope other people's stay at Smugglers is much nicer than mine!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank aimcal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, July 31, 2012
Ni Sa Bula,

Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor. We sincerely & duly apologise for the terrible experiences you highlighted whilst staying at Smugglers Cove.

We thank you also for your feedback which has allowed us to thoroughly investigate, identify & work on areas which has been greatly lacking to conduct much needed training especially to be more thorough in complying with procedures already in place. As advised, we greatly regret that we haven't been able to get your contact details to follow-up with e-mail confirmation following your phone booking due to the abrupt halt with line problems thus resulted in booking the wrong date which was why you were re-located to our smaller resort due to no availability when you arrived. As explained, the difference with the prices highlighted was due to the special direct rate quoted over the phone for 2 pax however you were charged for the rate of 3pax when you all checked in & later extend the same special after transferring you three again to compensate for the moving.

In regards to the bathrooms, as pointed out with previous comments, this is actually the black aluminium rubber around the edges which came with those type of build-in bathrooms paint comes off after some scrubbing. Unfortunately we get the complaints because this is easily perceived as such until you feel it texture. We did some trial runs with paints, etc but eventually had to change the entire build-in system ourselves in response to you our valued guests comments to ensure your stay is as comfortable as it can be. We have finished work on this however we regret that this has caused you among other issues highlighted much discomfort.

In response to the hired cars, we contracted Immams Travel as they operate 24hours and have reliable & available service. We DO NOT enforce our guests to use them if they have their own means of transport or arrangements. We have discussed this thoroughly with the owners the concerns raised and contrary to what they advised, they are not only used by Smugglers but also the nearby hotels. We have had previous serious cases with our guests losing items, getting wrong information & overcharging not mentioning the amount of time waiting for public taxis. Immams Cars also pay a liability risks & easily referred to in case of emergency & largely for our guests' safety. Their hired rates are posted on our notice boards & no overcharges should be made if they do take a job for Smugglers Cove. You however have the choice. We are also monitoring them closely since your incident.

Thank you again for bringing this to our attention and we are able to re-look into our services & briefings among other issues. Our first impression as in Front Office staffs should be top on the list of priorities for further training - we have appointed someone who is currently attending to these needs. We sincerely hope you will consider returning here to Smugglers Cove if you somehow find yourself in the western side again but most important to experience the Smugglers Cove spirit.

Vinaka & our sincere regards.
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The Catlins, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2012

The room was okay, but the bathroom was really mouldy. BUT on sunday night straight accross the road at bamboo cafe there is a Lovo Lovo - traditional ground cooked meal - sort of like a kiwi hangi but even better :) You have to go pre pay it for $15 in the afternoon and sign up. Go quick because they fill up fast. Then go watch the guys making the food if you want, it is interesting (just walk around the back of the building). Then come back and grab your meal at half seven and have some kava and enjoy a mean feed! Then whip back over to Smugglers where on sunday they have a fire dancing demonstration, girls be prepared to get a little excited....

Room Tip: get one away from the street
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Slightly_Wst_of_Sane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Many thanks for taking the time to put your review further to your stay at Smugglers Cove.

We are pleased to announce that current maintenance work has been undergoing for the past 3 weeks to make changes to the mouldy-like outlook/presumption you get seeing the bathroom floor when the paint comes off. That's actually the black aluminium rubber around the edges which came with those type of build-in bathrooms when the paint comes off after some scrubbing. We did some trial runs with paints, etc, but eventually had to change the entire build-in system. We have scheduled & have been working on this for the past 3 weeks and almost finished all the rooms - we regret if this has caused you discomfort during your stay.

We will re-look at our food pricing but unfortunately Smugglers Cove entertains all types of diners & guests looking for pizza, pasta, to "fine dining" so we have had to get a common ground & reasonable price for all concerned - we have had many good feedbacks on the quality & big quantity provided from our Ghosthip Grill restaurant. We are glad you got to experience some other dishes especially our traditional Fijian food with our neighbour. We however do provide alternative specials for those on a lesser budget with the same standard as Smugglers Cove at our sister resort Horizon Backpackers just next to us @ FJD$10-FJD$15.00/person with daily specials and even buffets @ FJD$18-$20.00 on Sundays when the demand is there with different themes.

Of course our famous nightly entertainment with polynesian entertainment ends with the whole fire-dancing routine is the peak for not only Sundays but on Wednesdays as well. We have daily programs with LIVE bands & "kava" nights on other nights to entertain our diners & guests daily.

Thank you again for your review & we hope to have the another opportunity to accommodate you in the future. Vianaka & kind regards.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2012

To be fair, I probably stayed at a terrible time - right after the flooding in Nadi at the beginning of April. When I arrived on the 3rd of April, I had already sacrificed the previous night because my flight was cancelled in Seoul. Not that the reception even cared to mention that...Upon arriving, the place was in absolute chaos and I had to wait almost an hour to receive a locker key and a bed in the dormitory. During this time, I checked the patio and pool area which are a lot smaller in real life than pictured. The weather was okay but nothing spectacular and a little while later, the storm blinds and doors were shut and loudly banging as yet another storm came through.
The lack of air circulation and ventilation was rather excruciating, add a lot of disgruntled and restless young adults (who had been trapped there for more days than expected since so many flights had been cancelled) and you have a perfect storm. The food wasn't bad, though overpriced. The dormitory was absolutely miserable - again, a lack of air circulation made it very stuffy and it smelled pretty rank in there. The showers, well, there was no running water so I couldn't shower during my one night stay. The bathroom was usually disgusting, except for the hour or so after it had been cleaned. I left the very next day knowing that I would never come back. Perhaps it's unfair to expect much from a hotel that was struggling after the floods but I think they could have done a better job in many aspects.

Room Tip: Just don't stay in the main dormitory if you can help it.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank AyakaFaithS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Bula Ayaka, thank you for your review following your stay at Smugglers Cove. We indeed regret that your stay was very uncomfortable and thank you for your acknowledgment of the disastrous bad weather conditions that may have contributed at the time of your stay.

Due to the harsh conditions caused by the devastating winds & swift rising waters/floods, our power authority had no choice but to turn off our main power supply to ensure the safety & wellbeing of the general public. All roads going to airport have been blocked causing the delayed departures & overbookings at not only at Smugglers Cove but most hotels at that time to accommodate emergency bookings at this time of crisis. Most of our staffs couldn't come in to work as well & the rest that were able to come in prior to the rising waters camped at our smaller property making do with whatever beds were available not able to return to their families - we commend them for their sacrifice enabling our services to continue and host you our guests at that time.

We had our own generator but unfortunately could not cater well for air-conditions in the rooms. Our main water lines have been blocked as well & we had to prioritise & put more power & water in the restaurant area to keep the food supply going as all the shops & supermarkets were closed.

We sincerely regret that the situation had caused you so much discomfort and if we had the resources or the manpower at that time yes it could have been different as you pointed out. We are currently taking measures to improve on our rooms & to have available resources to cater in times of crises. Smugglers Cove is a budget accommodation provider that takes pride in taking continuous steps to upgrade & improve continually. We provide modern facilities at cheaper rates than those of our bigger counterparts & always delving to keep up with current demand of the independent & budget traveler to maintain quality & high standard for our category. We were recognised for our efforts & awarded the Tourism Excellence award for the best budget accommodation 2011. We sincerely hope that you will give us another chance if you return to Fiji to prove our stand & objective in providing quality accommodation & our Fijian Smugglers Cove spirit.

Vinaka & our sincere regards.
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Travelers are raving about these Nadi hotels

chc
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2012

we were 3 families (2+1,2+2, 2+3+ infant) smugglers cater not just for backpackers wanting to share dorms but families as well. They have some very good family rooms (large family room with kitchen as well as interconnecting rooms). We also really enjoyed food, entertainment, the fact that we could use swimming pool until 10pm. Staff went extra mile to accommodate us with breakfast in the morning outside of normal hours. We enjoyed our stay and would come back any time.

Room Tip: email Rossie she will sort you out
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Dear Hana, thank you for taking the time to put your review on Trip Advisor following your stay at Smugglers Cove. We are always grateful to hear & see that we are progressing in our hospitality service in keeping you our valued guests happy. We have ventured & upgraded from the basic backpacker facility to provided modern & quality products to the family & independent market and it has been rewarding to see the many positive feedback from our guests & agents alike. Again we will pass on your positive comments to our staffs for their extra mile services they continue to provide. This is always received with glee & joy and continues to motivate them to portray in their positive attitudes daily - they for sure make the difference and create the positive Fijian Time & Smugglers Cove atmosphere "the place to be.." Vinaka Vakalevu Hana & hope to see you & the family back @ Smugglers Cove soon.
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Manchester
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012

I stayed in an 8-bed female only dorm but there were only 4 guests in it. It is very clean, spacious, quiet and has air conditioning. There are 2 ensuite bathrooms which are also clean but the shower was not always hot. Each bed has its own personal light so the main room light doesn't have to be on when people are trying to sleep. The staff are friendly, the food in the restaraunt is expensive but nice. We got breakfast included in the price of the dorm which was nice. The pool was nice but the beach was not - maybe because we arrived just after Nadi had experienced a cyclone and floods. It is a good place to stay for 1/2nights before or after island hopping in Fiji.

Room Tip: Choose and 8-bed dorm rather than the 36-bed dorm!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 02kel02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Many thanks for your review on our 8-bed Girls Dorm. We had put a lot of work in this room category to provide & ensure more privacy for the girls especially and has been very successful with the many positive feedback we received form past stayers. Our breakfast is complimentary with the rates and provides basic common continentals food items most of our budget stayers are looking for. Ala cart menu is also open for those wanting a hot meal but we are always happy to hear people enjoying our free breakfast. We are ideally situated on the only picnic spot, Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi and have pick-up & drop-offs provided from most main boat providers so Smugglers Cove is used widely as the hub for island hoppers for first & last stay in Fiji. Thank you again & we hope to meet you again sometime in the future. Vinaka Vakalevu.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

I stayed here twice - before going to the Yasawas and when returning. I was on a budget, so I stayed in the dorm. At check-in they give you a towel and the key to your bedside locker, which is helpful.
This is a high-traffic place and can get quite noisy and dirty quickly. The dorm is air-conditioned, which is also lovely, but it's also right beside the bar and restaurant. It is incredibly loud at night, especially when people start getting drunk. Ear plugs are a life-saver, as the bus for Port Denaru comes at 7:15 a.m.
The pool is nice and refreshing especially after lying in one of the hammocks or on one of the loungers for a few hours. The ocean is fairly mirky and unappealing, though the water is quite warm. I didn't go swimming in the ocean here. Not many do.
At some point a local came and offered me a coconut drink. Always figure out the price first. But it was cheap and a cool experience. He hacked the top of the green coconut off right in front of me and popped a straw in. When I finished, he cracked it open and had me eat the young fruit inside. Pretty tasty.
The staff are friendly and will usually help you with your further bookings. But you do start getting an understanding of Fiji-time here. No one moves very quickly and there is no urgency to anything.
When I got back from the Yasawas, it was after major flooding from a huge storm. Parts of Nadi were still under water. Smugglers had a generator and were operating minimally, though they were serving beer! :o) Internet was down, water kept going off and staff were getting barraged by guests. And another cyclone was on its way. The staff kept everything under control. They tried to help all the guests they could - even though none of the inconvenience caused by the storm was their fault.
The staff are great, the dorm cramped, tiny and loud - but overall, a cheap place to start out from, but glad I didn't spend my whole vacation here.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank nearlyintrepid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Thank you for sharing your comments further to your stay at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort. We are glad that you raised this issue with the high traffic, noise & constant cleaning needed. We had specifically assigned a housekeeping attendant daily to this lobby & public areas some time back just to ensure our floors & public areas are kept spotless as we saw how busy this time was and has worked wonders. This was a full time task and we will ensure that this is kept up - we regret that this did not happen whilst you were with us as half of our staffs were trapped in the flood not able to make it to work during this time thus no attendant was specifically assigned to these areas. We however were very grateful to the staffs that stayed back at the hotel & made yours & other guests' stay as comfortable as they could considering the facilities and the water situation then. We have passed on your kind comments apart from others and have thanked them for their great contribution.
Also due to the high traffic & the noise around this time of the evening, we have added a new building with more private dorms, i.e. 4-beds mixed & 8-beds girls dorm only for more privacy & options for those that opt to move away from the big pirates dorm. We do hope to see you sometime in the future to experience our other dorm options. Thanks again & Vinaka Vakalevu.
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Nelson Bay, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2012

We had an issue when we first arrived as when we booked we were told that the room had ocean views,which it did but very limited.We found this a bit deceiving by the booking agency.At an extra amount we were ofered the front beach rooms which we accepted.The best experience of this place was the great cheap food and fabulous service from all the staff. They had different activities throughout the day and had shows on most nights.Would visit there again.

Room Tip: ask for the front ocean rooms otherwise your stuck behind other rooms with limited ocean views
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank shassa031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
floviti, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, April 22, 2012
Thank you Shassa for taking the time to put your review about Smugglers Cove Beach Resort. We have no control over agencies and their adverts but we will take extra effort to relay a proper & correct description with our partners to attempt to control our room descriptions to be more comprehensible. We have put in a lot of effort and work in our rooms and services and we are thrilled to read of your enjoyment of the food, ocean front rooms & the services delivered from our staffs. Daily night programs are scheduled to entertain and provide an extra activity for you our guests & diners for enjoyment and we are glad that this has been very successful and it is now common knowledge attracting a lot of diners regularly to make new friends and meet new people from all over the world. We will take you up on your word & look forward to seeing you again at Smugglers Cove sometime in the future. Vinaka Vakalevu.
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Additional Information about Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel

Property: Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel
Address: 13 Wasawasa Road | Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi Bay, Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Nadi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Nadi
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Nadi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Smugglers Cove is a newly built 3 1/2 star rated beachfront resort centrally located on renowned Wailoaloa Beach at Nadi Bay & a comfortable 15 minutes drive from Nadi International Airport, Port Denarau Marina & Nadi Town. The popular Ghost Ship Bar & Grill offers great local & international fare at reasonable prices along with stunning sunsets and ocean views from the beachfront deck dining area. If you are looking for suitable Nadi accommodation that has a fun, inter-cultural atmosphere along with clean comfortable rooms and Free High Speed Wi-Fi Smugglers Cove really is the place to be....... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smugglers Cove Beach Resort And Hotel
Smugglers Cove Beach Hotel Nadi
Smugglers Cove Beach Nadi
Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel Fiji/Nadi

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