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“Wananavu Wedding Wonder”

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Wananavu Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wananavu Wedding Wonder”
Reviewed August 8, 2013

After a late flight arrival we arrived at Wananavu just as the sun was about to rise. We were helped with our bags to the beautiful honeymoon bure where we dumped our bags grabbed a beer and watched the sun come up together. It was the perfect start to a perfect 5 days. The staff were incredible and the location beautiful. I would happily recommend it to all, and we've promised to go back again soon.

Room Tip: Beach front or Ocean View are worth the extra.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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2 Thank UKBoots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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575 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 6, 2013

If you are wanting an authentic fijian experience that delivers a complete getaway in every sense but with activities like world class diving excellent fishing or bare back horse riding on the beach then Wananavu is where should go.Just amazing.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dpjmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We stayed at Wananavu after getting a great rate through wotif for 5 nights. When I booked I noted that the week prior to us staying was fully booked out and the week after we left was fully booked yet the week we were staying seemed to have lots of availability in all room types. From the tripadvisor reviews and the great rate we decided to take the plunge foregoing the traditional "Denarau Island" resorts.

Once the plane landed and we finally cleared customs were were VERY happy to escape the screaming children (right now feeling very smug that we were going away from all the "kids club" type resorts). Our driver was lovely and we were tired but happy to hear his life story as we traveled the 2 1/4 hr journey to Wananavu. As others have described the roads are terrible, typical for a poor country and the driver had to navigate people/horses/cows/potholes and still managed to get us there within the 2 1/4 hours. If it had been raining or we were travelling in a larger vehicle it would definitely take much longer. The road back was a lot more interesting during daylight and I really found it an experience to see the 'real' Fiji.. have your camera close is all I'll say...having a massive busload of Fijian children literally hanging out the window to get a glimpse of you is quite an experience.

We were a little disappointed when we arrived as there was a wedding in full swing (by this time it was 10pm). Noone was there to greet us and we had to hunt down the receptionist who eventually apologized for our unusual arrival conditions...no biggie. We were taken to our Bure by the security guard and delivered the dinner (chicken sandwiches and fries..only option available at our late arrival) we had previously organised promptly. The wedding fireworks were lovely to watch from our balcony and we were exhausted so we went straight to sleep.

The Bure: We had bure 21 with Ocean view. When we woke up in the morning and surveyed our surroundings we realized we were in paradise! Amazing views, decent sized bure, not luxury but somewhere 4 star-ish. No phones, no tv...perfect.

We were early to breakfast and were not greeted on arrival, we found a spot to sit that had not been set...it seemed the staff were getting confused between who was there for the 30 or so wedding group, and who was not with them. It was obvious then that the 'wedding group' got far more attention than those not part of it...when the kids started coming in making all manner of noise and the loud wedding group started up I began to think uh.oh...maybe this wasn't such a great idea. We decided to leave the pool for another day and get a "hot rocks" couples massage. The massage was certainly a mixed bag, there is no "couples" room so we were in two separate rooms and whilst mine was AMAZING, probably the best hot rocks massage I've ever had by the Wai Spa lady (who seems to be the one in charge and was there each day I think her name is Aseana..sorry if I got that wrong) my husbands massage was TERRIBLE. On discussing them afterwards I found out he had a very different experience to me, the therapist missed most of the steps, spend 40 minutes on one leg and ignored everything else, she LEFT for about 10 minutes half way through, and spent 10 minutes scratching his head...it was so incredibly weird. It did make for a good laugh though! We wanted to swim and read our books but the wedding guest kids had taken over the pool (parents nowhere to be found), so we went back to our Bure and relaxed before getting ready for dinner..we were anticipating great things for the "Lovo" night. When the "Lovo" night that evening was a very disappointing buffet you had to get yourself (trying to move around the kids!) I had started to think maybe we should just pack our bags, cut our losses and go back to Denarau Island to the Westin (where my sister had stayed with her husband a few weeks prior and loved it). All was saved by the lovely staff member Taniela who told us that the 'wedding group' were leaving the next day so we decided to suck it up and looked forward to the next day.....well....SOOOOOOoooo glad we did!

Once the wedding group left the next day (early) we suddenly realised we were in this amazing resort. We now were given pride of place in a table overlooking the ocean whenever we came to the restaurant (the 1st night there we had been relegated to a side area as the good spots were taken up by the large wedding group tables). We got to know the gorgeous staff, the band, we were treated like royalty with cocktails brought to us poolside by the lovely Ma. We went on the picnic day out to the private island on one day (amazing), had the lovely Alvin make us "chicken palau" especially, the amazing band (especially Jack & Tiko) played all our favorite songs and we drank Kava together which was fun ....the whole trip turned from average to amazing and we had a fabulous time for the remaining 4 days and were very sad to leave. I even went back to Wai spa for a massage and facial..again probably the best I've ever had!

The only downside for the rest of the 4 nights was that the mattress was terribly hard...I inquired about getting a topper for the mattress as my back pain had started to flare up to the point where I was having to get up and walk around the room 3-4 times per night...none was available so I would suggest the resort invest in a few toppers as an option just for those people who need a softer mattress. Also the food when ordered from the menu is delicious, however the offerings for the lovo night (bear in mind here i detest buffets...I don't like paying to get up to get my own food...just feels so cheap and nasty to me) was decidedly average....I would prefer to see a few lovo pit cooked specials on the normal daily menu and served as per every other night with the entertainment which was also good.

All in all, when it's quiet (for a few hours in the middle of the trip we were literally the only guests!) Wanananvu is an idyllic utopian paradise. If you're there during the same time as a large wedding group I am afraid you might be disappointed. I would return if I was guaranteed no wedding groups (or kids), if the spa staff were all at the same experience level (Asana's level is top notch), and if there was an upgrade or the option for a softer topper for the mattresses.

Room Tip: The Ocean View was lovely and away for the restaurant which meant it was very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SezzieM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Although more and more people are starting to find this place it is still an amazing place. When you get into Ra and see the red dirt you it never fails to get the heart pumping...even after dodging traffic and huge pot holes. Over the top of the mountain and then slowly into the reception area. It si postcard stuff located on the water. Staff are always nice pool and beach are great. Food is above average but it is not quite utopia since the "Grays" have left but what a gift they left us. I still ove it

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jane A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Very peaceful and idyllic siting away from the hustle and bustle of other better known resorts but the service is excellent from the staff. One of the most picturesque places anywhere in the world with great peace.

Only things that could improve the place are alacarte menu for vegetarians which were promised to us when we booked but not delivered AND the road to and from the resort needs to be improved greatly.

Room Tip: beach front cottage
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sydney_AustraliaKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

we arrived in Fiji the day after Tropical Cyclone Trevor. Rakiraki was the first and hardest hit and when we landed there were no phones, electricity or water in most of the country. We were unable to call ahead to the Resort to make sure it was still standing. FJD200 paid for a taxi from the airport, which harrowingly navigated fallen power lines, trees blocking the road etc. The driver cheerfully assured us we'd find the Resort in darkness and without water, if it was still standing at all and if we could actually get through on the roads.

It was tricky to find the Resort (I guess most of the signs had been destroyed), but a local ended up jumping in the cab and directed us there. We were extremely relieved to arrive and find the Resort had a generator and its own desalination system.

We purchased this accom as a package and found it to be great value. The Garden View Bure we stayed in was roomy, clean and had its own balcony for lounging on and reading books and drinking duty free.

The pool took a few days to get back to its sparkling best, but was refreshing. A small beach a short stroll away also fantastic. Plenty to do (or not do) as well - Kayaking, snorkelling, etc. Part of our package was a lunch on a romantic, deserted Island, which was a highlight.

Phone came back on on our third day and the Resort offered the phone line so I could let family in Australia know we'd arrived safely free of charge. Internet was off for the duration of our stay, but I was able to purchase a dongle in nearby Rakiraki which did the job.

Best value cocktails at any of the four places we stayed in Fiji.

Staff deserve a special mention. Despite the fact that many of them had no knowledge of how their families had fared during the storm, they still treated our comfort and contentment as a priority. I'm glad to say that once the phone lines came back on, everyone was able to contact their families and confirm all was well.

Would love to return and see Wananavu in all its glory. The gardens, pool and beach naturally had been damaged by the cyclone, but we could see that it is normally very lovely.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Anitamorgan13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littlestone-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

This hotel was recommended to us by our Travel Agent in the UK & we're glad we went. As it was our 10th anniversary, we decided to go for a oceanview honeymoon bure which was superbly positioned on the hillside just above the main resort, with a one minute walk down hill to reception & the restaurant.

The honeymoon bure is more of a bungalow with bedroom, separate lounge area, indoor & outdoor showers, dressing area & WC. There is a large decked patio area with 7m x 5m private plunge pool, covered seating area with table & chairs, a couple of sun loungers & another table & chairs. A very peaceful & relaxing place to stay

Food was excellent - we went full board & choice of food was more than enough for our week's stay. Staff were also friendly & helpful

We would definitely recommend this resport & will return, but would definitely upgrade to the same room, as the standard oceanview bure's are semi-detached with no plunge pool - there is a good sized swimming pool at the resort however

We also dived with Dive Wananavu while staying at the resort who we would recommend & have reviewed separately

Room Tip: Definitely an oceanview honeymoon bure
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jason_and_Suzanne
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
Amenities:
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 #1 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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