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“One of the best places to stay in Fiji”

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MacDonalds Nananu Beach Cottages
Reviewed June 12, 2013

After visiting Fiji for 30 years I finally made it to McDonalds Nananu Beach Cottages. I wonder why it took me so long. This is the best place to stay if you look for peace, great beach, good snorkelling and a tidy and clean self-contained cottage. If you don't want to cook there is always the restaurant or a pizza waiting for you. The place is popular with expats from Suva and Nadi and like minded people who look for something different. If you stay for longer you can always hop on one of the new airconditioned busses to Suva or Nadi and come back in the evening. Shopping is easy in Rakiraki with a colourful market and some supermarkets. Your host will arrange the boat (15 minutes trip) and the taxi (5 minutes).
On the other side of the island is a very long beach perfect for a long walk or jog with a small resorts who caters for divers and kite surfers.
I highly recommend this place.

Room Tip: If you travel on your own or with a partner the garden cottages are perfectly fine. You are only 20...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank JoannaMunich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 29 of 39 reviews

Reviewed May 17, 2013

We loved our time at McDonalds - the perfect place to get away with the family if you're looking for something simple and aren't so much into the crowds of other islands.

Nananu-i-Ra is very quiet, at least at this time of year. The people there were mainly expats. We have two kids, 5 and 7, and we spent most of our time snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, and sleeping. We recommend taking snorkels, goggles, and flippers for the whole family - we had to buy some over at Safari Lodge, on the other side of the island, though only 5 mins walk away. (We also recommend taking reef shoes or Tevas or something, to protect the little ones' feet from coral.) Once the kids mastered the gear, they were off. Even the 5 year old, who is only just learning to swim, was right out over the deep water. The fish are amazing off the end of the wharf. The coral is better on the other side of the island - but both places are good for their own reasons. Another Kiwi staying told us that the snorkelling is better on islands like Castaway, but for us - we're not exactly seasoned snorkelers - well, it was great. I was blown away.

The accommodation is simple but good and very reasonably priced, particularly as it's self-catering (though you can buy food at the restaurants too). We were in cottage 1, right on the beach. Nights were gorgeous, listening to the waves to go to sleep. Filo looked after us very well while the owner, Maxine, was away, and Maxine was great too.

If coming from Nadi, we recommend having Maxine organise a taxi driver so they know to take you to a good vege market. Ours only took us to a supermarket, and my partner had to pay for the boat to go back to the mainland for veges. (Fortunately, Maxine only charged half the normal rate.) The boat ride takes about 20 mins. It's a very small boat with an outboard motor. We asked for life jackets for the kids (coming from NZ and all, with a different level of safety consciousness), even though I'm sure the kids would have been fine without. They had to wear oversized ones on the way over, but on the way back we grabbed the kiddies ones that they had for kayaks.

Take a big water bag if you want hot showers at the end of the day - ie, one that you can leave in the sun to heat up. We didn't need them, but the kids liked having a warm one.

We also recommend taking quite a few books for the kids if you have avid readers like our big girl, who got through hers in the first few days.

We loved Fiji generally and would definitely go back to McDonalds. Next time, we'd probably hire a car for 4 or 5 days and go right around the island and maybe into the highlands, before returning to Nananu-i-Ra.

If you need a place to stay in Nadi, Smuggler's Cove is great. Away from the over-development of Denerau but still right on the beach. The kids loved the pool.

Room Tip: Go for cottage 1 if you can
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Lowcosthols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed 4 nights on Nananui I Ra island as a family group. It was our second visit, the first being a golden wedding celebration for parents 13 years earlier which had been a highlight of that trip.
I am pleased to say Maxine MacDonald has kept the low key friendly character of the place that so appealed to us on the previous visit. It has the comfortable feel of the family house at the beach. Not the new one with aircon, designer kitchen, movie room, jacuzzi and garaging for the SUV but the one right by the beach with mismatched furniture, linoleum on the floor, gran's old fridge and ancient Boys Own annuals among the old board games on the bookshelf.

MacDonalds is small. Two beach front bures and two larger units in the garden. A scattering of beach chairs and tables and the dining area, bar and shop in the middle. The accomodation was clean and tidy but basic. Our bure had two bedrooms, living are with kitchenette - gas cooker and full size fridge and a good range of plates glasses and cutlery. There is a separate room with shower and toilet although the wall does not run all the way up to the high pitched ceiling so privacy is visual only. We pushed the single beds together to make a double. Slept well each night

Maxine had arranged a van to pick our party up from Nausori airport and drive us along the Kings Road to Ellington Wharf near RakiRaki on the northern tip of the main island Viti Levu. We stopped at Nausori market to buy fresh fruit and snacks like nuts and bujha mix for when we were on the island. We had taken the meal and accommodation package of bed breakfast lunch and dinner so only need to take nibbles and tea bags and coffee with us.

The trip from the mainland takes about 25 minutes in an open boat. No problems. Greeted by Maxine on the beach at the island and shown to our units. Then nothing to do except fill the time until lunch. And then fill the time until dinner. Etc. The four days went by very quickly. Many books read. Many hands of cards played. Walks around the point, across to back beach and to the resort that is being renovated on the other side of the island. A lot of swimming and snorkeling and going out in the kayaks which are available at no cost on request.

The meal package worked well for us. It is reasonably priced and we did not have to worry about what we would be having to eat as they made the decisions for us. We had told them in advance that we had a vegetarian and a gluten and dairy free person in our party and they adjusted the menu accordingly.

Do not plan for late nights and parties on the island. The lights go out when the generator is turned off at 10.00pm. They do supply lanterns but if you want to read after lights out take your own headlamp.

MacDonalds is plain and honest. What you see is what you get. Great location right on the beach. Good swimming and snorkeling and a 75 meter jetty to stroll along right on the doorstep. Literally. Friendly and helpful staff. Very uncrowded.

MacDonalds is not a resort with all the bells and whistles. It's pricing reflects that so don't go there if you are looking for five star facilities. There are plenty of other places in Fiji where you can get those. Go to MacDonalds if you want to put the clock back to the way it used to be. Just sun, golden sand, blue water, coconut palms and "Fiji Time". Maybe get to windsurfing on back beach next time.

Oh. And we also took our own supply of wine and rum and coca cola with us to wash the sunset pre dinner nibbles down. They have Fiji Beer which may or may not be cold but the drinks list is otherwise fairly
limited.

Room Tip: The beachfront units will get more breeze but also get more noise from the waves on the beach
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Moggy38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

We stayed at MacDonalds cottages for 4 nights at the end of our 2 week trip to Fiji - we intend to return next year - need I say more? The island is just lovely, with great snorkelling just off the jetty in front of MacDonalds, and an excellent coral reef off 'back beach' - just over the other side of the island - a couple of minutes walk. Also good diving and fishing (we went with Safari Lodge who are based on back beach - caught a 20kilo giant trevally!). MacDonalds provides very clean and tidy self contained accommodation - proper full size fridge/freezer, all cutlery,plates, pots/pans etc and a 2 gas burner hob, with a gas grill. This means you can cut down on costs if you purchase food on the mainland (nearest town, with good shops and market is RakiRaki - about 10 minute taxi ride - $F15). If you dont want to cook, most of the accommodation providers have restaurants and a small amount of produce/snacks - but be warned, it will cost more than on the mainland. We stayed in one of the twin rooms, which was plenty big enough for our needs. All the staff were friendly and helpful. This was most definately the best value accommodation we found during our 2 weeks in Fiji and we will no doubt return many times as many of the other guests we spoke to have been doing for many years.

Room Tip: I could not fault any of the rooms. Beach front bures are bigger, but twin rooms plenty for 2 people...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sebdino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

If you know what to expect here you will love Nananu. Macdonalds cottages are basic but comfortable. The electricity goes off from about 10pm-8am and then again during the day and there's only cold water in the shower. Neither of these things is a big deal though, although keeping food cold enough in the fridge is a challenge. Other than that the location is wonderful, it's quiet, beautiful and completely non-resortish. Food in the cafe is pretty good although having to order dinner before 2pm is a challenge if you're off doing things during the day. We Scuba dived and fished each day through Safari Lodge on the other side of the island (100 meter walk!) who were brilliant, we also ate with them a few times.There was a certain inflexibility regarding checkout and the boat back to the mainland so we organised a boat through Warren at Safari. If you want to be left alone to your own devices in a great location Macdonalds is very good for the price, don't expect five star service or facilities, but it's clean and adequate.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank IanG12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We took the three hour bus trip up from Nadi and purchased groceries along the way. A fifteen minute boat ride boat us to the jetty at MacDonalds. What a gorgeous spot! We stayed in one of the beach front cottages which had two bedrooms, small sitting area, kitchenette and bathroom. We made our own breakfast and lunch then had dinner at the restaurant where there was a choice of five or six different meals (all very tasty). The snorkeling was excellent both out in the bay (beautiful coral and lots of fish) and also on the other side of the island. We ended up staying an extra two days because we enjoyed our stay so much. The only downside was the power went out at 10 pm which was fine when the breeze was blowing through the cabin at night but a couple of nights an operational ceiling fan would have been nice. If you're looking for a peaceful, serene spot this is it. There are no roads, no souvenir shops, no hustle and bustle - it was just what we needed.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank OnTheGoLJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2011

we stayed at stoney creek resort, see review, then macdonalds cottages sent us a van, we stopped en route for basic groceries but these are also avail on the island. after a 3 hour fascinating bus trip along the coast seeing villages, you catch a boat trip for 15mins to get to the island. its cheap, cheerful, clean and comfy, friendly and well managed. the food is fantastic. the snorkelling is very good, there's kayaks and kite and windsurfing ( some experience needed), fishing, walks, sunsets, views, very quiet and relaxing and very real fiji along the way. very family freindly , we loved it, so did our canadian mates, our kids are young teens, but well suited to younger kids.

Room Tip: the room near the cafe maybe noisier until say 9.30 when power goes off, the superior room is wonder...
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank sharonmum255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about MacDonalds Nananu Beach Cottages

Address: Main Street | Nananu-i-ra Island, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Rakiraki
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
MacDonalds Nananu Beach Cottages Fiji/Rakiraki

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