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“Absolute Paradise”

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Wananavu Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Certificate of Excellence
Issaquah, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Absolute Paradise”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights in early November. A driver was waiting for us at the Fiji airport with a sign that had my name on it. His name was Sai and he was quite friendly. We knew that it was a 2 hour drive to the resort from the airport based on earlier TripAdvisor reviews, but Sai made the trip seem much shorter. He pointed out many places of interest along the way, such as the Sugar Mill and local schools and churches. We were immediately given a free upgrade to an Ocean-View bure at check-in. The room was spacious and immaculately clean. There was a small refrigerator with a stocked mini-bar. Our bathroom included his and her sinks along with a glass wall shower (don't worry, nobody can see in from outside.) The staff at Wananavu was extremely friendly and welcoming - everyone introduced themselves and asked for our names, although nobody addressed us by name afterwards. The food is good and reasonably priced. The $12.00 FJD cocktail hour from 5:30pm to 6:30pm is an especially good deal. Look out for the STRONG Mai Tais! (NOTE TO MANAGEMENT: Your welcome booklet in the rooms state that cocktail hour drinks are $10.50 FJD - please fix this.) The resort pool and beach area was great. We did 2 extra activities: The first was a beach picnic on a secluded island for $50.00 FJD each. We were the only 2 people there and it was fantastic (save for a few locals in a small house that didn't bother us.) We snorkeled and had a great time. The amount of food was also quite generous. The second activity was a Nakorokula Village tour for $50.00 FJD each - also highly recommended. Several village members performed local dances and invited us to join in - fun! Then it was off to the local village for shopping. All in all a great time.

We felt that two Wananavu staff members deserve special recognition:
1) Taniela - His service in the restaurant/bar area was exceptional.
2) Bosiri - He was an excellent guide for our beach picnic and village tour.

To conclude, Wananavu is an amazing place. Fijian hospitality simply cannot be beat. Book your stay now!

Room Tip: Walk past the dive shop & tennis courts on the beach to find the club point. This is a secluded...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1 Thank JD_Who6614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Wananavu is set in a beautiful place. It is small and therefore feels very exclusive. They have activities everyday for dive trips, snorkeling, picnicking at other islands, etc. This is a place to relax. Food is average and expensive, but here aren't any easy options. Truly a place to relax and enjoy the surrounds. One negative, there isn't much of a beach.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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1 Thank Larry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingen, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Spent 5 nights in late October. Our first to this resort. We were picked up from our Nadi hotel by a mini van, rather cramped but fortunately only 4 of us in it so could sort of spread out. The trip up to Wananavu took about 3 hours. What an interesting trip.. The road was shocking in parts but repairs are being undertaken. To the north animals were grazing along the road and didn't want to move to let us pass.
Between Lautoka and Ba it is very lush with a lot of cane fields.
From Ba to Tavua the vegetation on the hills becomes less and after Tavua the hills are bald and the sugar cane gives way to cattle and goat grazing, the scenery from Tavua to RakiRaki is amazing with the most picture perfect views to the many offshore islands set in aquamarine sea.
We passed through many villages along the way where happy smiling faces waved to us. It is so very different to the southern part of Fiji, very rural and quiet.
We turn off the main road onto a rough side road which winds up a hill to Wananavu and the view is WOW!!
We are warmly greeted and given a welcome drink before being taken to our bure. This is a duplex and good use is made of the space as it is not large there is a balcony out front with table and chairs and that amazing view across to Nananu- i- ra island. Thought a sunlounge on the deck would have been nice as the chairs were hard and not good to relax on. The common wall between the adjoining bures was thin and our neighbours were noisy.
We arrived in time for lunch and the food was very good and for every meal thereafter . The dining deck area is fantastic with extensive views over the water to the islands. The staff simply wonderful nothing was too much trouble. The day spa wow, kept you going back for more pampering. Lovely pool where we spent most of our time as swimming off the beach was not to good. We did discover that if you walked around to the far side of the marina breakwater and out to the point there are steps down to the water and a pretty coral reef to snorkel but it too is tide dependent.
We went on the beach picnic to Nananu i ra island and really enjoyed snorkeling the reef with an abundance of soft coral and some hard coral I had never seen before. We were suprised at how nice Bethams and Macdonalds cottages were and right on the beach very different to photos. We walked across to the long white beach on the other side of the island, only a few minutes walk, it was very windy but we had a quick dip anyway. Hubby went diving and was impressed, very good dive sites lots to see. The onsite PADI operation is well run and they use nitrox so was good that he had bothered to take the nitrox course a few years ago.
Wananavu is a clean, well run resort, with great food, nice boutique, wonderful day spa and the most friendly helpful staff. The location fantastic.The Meke was great fun!
I would have liked a sunlounge on the bure deck, and been able to swim in the ocean and maybe more soundproofed walls in the bure and you do have to pay for your excursions but even with these negatives it is still an excellent property. For us it was about as big as we are comfortable with.
Thank you to all who made our stay so enjoyable.

Room Tip: All rooms have great view but we would go for a beachfront next time.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

From the start of planning the trip thru to the end, Wananavu was amazing. The management, resort staff and dive staff were excellent. They made sure that we had everything we needed.
The resort is beautiful and the diving was amazing.
We were made to feel like family and I consider myself part of the Wananavu Family!

Sandy Shaw
Instructor/Manager, Hoboken Dive Center

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Crazyauntsandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012 via mobile

My partner and I stayed at Wananavu for 5 nights recently. We thoroughly enjoyed certain elements about the place, while others could maybe be attended to a bit more or passed on to a (potential) guests in bit more of a detail.
Bures were lovely. We stayed in Ocean View bure and were considering upgrading into Beach Front, glad we didn't. They are exactly the same apart from ours was a small bit higher up in a second row. They all had AC which we never used and were all really well insect proofed. Perfect bathroom etc.
The resort grounds were beautifully maintained. My massage in the spa was extremely enjoyable.
Food- I didn't have anything I wouldn't have liked- more expensive dinner menu was fine and all day menu with curry (Fijian not Indian style) always a safe option. Happy hour sunset cocktails for $12FJD. All staff we encountered were real nice and helpful- special mention to the younger receptionist and boat staff.
The resort seemed to be occupied by US divers or OZ wedding parties who somehow seemed to get more attention than others.
Now the negatives- there is no beach in the resort and I found the pool small for everyone to share when resort was full (ish) The beach in front of Beachfront Bures is fine at high tide and not very nice at all at low tide. The beach pictures on the website are somewhat a small bit misleading.
You are absolutely remote from everywhere and if you don't have a car you can not go and 'explore' ie go for dinner to a different restaurant or for a beer elsewhere on your own. There is no shop or anything else around or close by.
The last thing which may be easier to address would perhaps be the management. I found it quite strange that whilst they are working hard to portrait as a boutique resort it has no such feel as you only seem to get the boutique experience if you are getting married or are part of a wedding party. Whilst the staff were nice, polite and friendly the management couple did not make themselves known to other guests. I understand that they don't have to, but 'hi, how was your day' or 'are you guys enjoying your dinner' would have gone long way - considering there is only about 10 tables maximum in the restaurant it wouldn't have taken more than 20 minutes to speak to everyone. I think it would've been quite a nice touch.
Ending on a positive note the beach picnic was excellent, lots of food supplied in Eski bag, as well as beach chairs and table, snorkels, and lovely white sandy beach at nearby island- the whole works. This trips made our stay at Wananavu and made me rate it 4 star instead of 3.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank 0nHoliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wash, DC
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We spent almost two weeks in Fiji, at Wananavu Resort (Raki Raki on Viti
Levu, Bligh Waters) and Garden Island (Taveuni). Our trip was primarily a diving trip, and that is what drove our choice of hotels, locations, etc.

Diving at both locations was excellent. However, the dive operations were
on dramatically different levels, with Dive Wananavu excellent in just
about every way and Garden Island with some serious issues (I have reviewed
them separately).

We chose Wananavu Resort due to land-based access to the Bligh Waters as
well as the beachfront bure accommodations offered.

The resort itself is beautiful and well-maintained. We stayed in a
beachfront bure, which was simply furnished but had everything we needed.
Our front door opened directly onto the beach and we spent hours relaxing
on our porch and in the beach hammocks. No need for AC as we slept every
night with screen windows and doors open to the breeze. Our biggest (and
probably only) complaint with the room was that the walls are very thin.
Each bure contains two units and you can everything next door...

The resort has a nice pool but we never used it as we preferred our porch
and the beach. The grounds are immaculate, with tropical plants, garden
paths and a beach that is cleaned and raked every morning before sunrise.

The food was pretty good overall, not spectacular, but that's not why you
came to Fiji, anyway. They do a pretty good job considering the relatively
remote location. Not surprisingly, the seafood is pretty reliable. The
"lovo" buffet was a big disappointment, especially since there
are no other options that night.

Service in the restaurant/bar is generally good, although somewhat
inconsistent. We had the sense that the longer-tenured, more experienced
staff was pretty sharp but others seemed a bit out of their element. At the
same time, the staff is incredibly friendly and really went out of their
way to make us feel welcome. This was also our experience on Taveuni.

The resort offers many activities, day trips, etc. although we did not take
advantage as we were diving. We did use the spa and enjoyed it. Very
friendly and relaxing.

One tip: Stop at a grocery store well before you get to the resort to pick
up water, beer, etc as there is nothing near the resort and you will pay 3x
once you are there (although prices are still pretty reasonable by US hotel

The diving in the Bligh Waters was excellent. Beautiful coral formations,
abundant small and medium-sized fish and plenty of colorful nudis, sea
lettuce, etc. Sharks on every dive, both white tips and a couple nice gray
reef sharks. No turtles, rays or any real pelagics. We had the opportunity
to sample Sailstone reef (closest to resort), Wheatfields (between resort
and the passage) and Vatu I Ra Passage. I preferred the sites at the
passage and Wheatfields to those on Sailstone, again based on a small
sample size. The density, variety and health of the hard corals the Passage
blew me away.

A very nice surprise on our 2nd day of diving was the siting of two whales
during our surface interval. The captain did his best to get us close to
them so we could snorkel but they were moving too fast. Still an awesome

Viz and current varied significantly from site to site, viz ranged 30-40 ft
up to about 75. Water temp 76 deg, wore 3mm full suit plus hooded vest. The
wind can pick up quickly as this is offshore diving.

If I had to compare to Rainbow Reef on Taveuni, I would say the coral
formations in the Bligh were more dramatic, but perhaps a bit less
colorful. Seemed to be more hard corals in the Bligh and more colorful soft
corals in Somosomo at Taveuni. Of course this is based on a total of 17
dives, so take it for what it is worth.

Dive Wananavu is a first-class operation, and I cannot say enough about how
well we were treated. Managers Jeremy and Kristen went out of their way to
put together three wonderful days of diving for us, despite the fact that
we were literally the only divers at the resort (most of the place was
occupied by a non-diving wedding party during our visit). We had the entire
boat to ourselves on two out of three days and there was no drop-off in
service as I have experienced at other locations when boats are not full. I
had asked to visit the Vatu passage, and they put together a fantastic
3-tank dive on our last day to make this happen, despite the fact that it
probably wasn't ideal for them (incidentally, the other divers on our boat
were taking a Discover Scuba class. At the Vatu I Ra? Wow. I mean, who does
that? What a cool experience for them).

They operate a new, 33-ft. aluminum dive boat. Very comfortable, outfitted
with everything you need, including a marine head and all relevant safety
equipment (life vests, marine radio, GPS, oxygen, SMBs in the BCDs, etc).
Briefings were thorough, professional and informative without being
overwhelming. Rental gear appeared brand new and was of high-quality,
including air-integrated computer.

Truly a full service operation, with gear waiting for us on the boat,
rinsed, set-up, etc. Crew was always helpful without being intrusive. My
girlfriend, a newly-certified diver, appreciated their help and attention
and this also allowed me to relax and focus on diving and having a good

The DMs and captains were very good. Personable and professional and
generally fun to be around. I split my time diving with mangers and other
DMs; the local DMs are somewhat newly certified and do seem a bit green;
over time they will on doubt become more comfortable leading and pointing
out critters, etc.

In short, Dive Wananavu is top-notch, fantastic operation that I recommend
without reservation. This may sound like a marketing pitch, but we really
did have a great time. The combination of the dive op with the resort was

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
2 Thank dcJ34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Wanavau beach resort is a beautiful resort that has everything you need. The staff are extremely friendly all the way from the front desk to the cleaning staff.
The trip from Nadi was three hours but worth it. We had exclusive use of the resort and sharing guests were given their own bures.
We attended a beautiful wedding over five days.
The beach barbecue and wedding entertainment were highlights.
I highly recommend this resort if you want a Holiday in paradise.
Thanks to Rachel and the entire staff!

Room Tip: It is worth choosing a room with a view. Beachfront bures would be the best but we had an ocean view...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JanetSyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wananavu Beach Resort

Property: Wananavu Beach Resort
Address: Volvoli Rd, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wananavu Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The real Fiji! Perfect for romance; fabulous for diving excellent for culture. 34 deluxe bures nestled along the beach and amongst tropical gardens. A real island experience with mainland convenience. Located 85 scenic coastline miles from Nadi International Airport. Great food, fantastic staff, unparalleled views, world class diving & snorkeling; amazing village tours and a perfect wedding venue. This is a true Fijian experience and is, as the name suggests, Wananavu, translated loosely as Awesome! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wananavu Beach Hotel Rakiraki
Wananavu Beach Rakiraki
Wananavu Beach Resort Fiji/Rakiraki

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