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“Wananavu + Ra Divers + FIJI = No Homesickness :)”

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Wananavu Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Certificate of Excellence
Queenstown
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wananavu + Ra Divers + FIJI = No Homesickness :)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2010

Hey guys this is my first review, I've used trip advisor throughout my travels and travel experiences. I was just a payer in this trip; meaning it was all organised as part of a wedding party, so there was plenty of us and being from New Zealand we were after a good time; that we had.

The hotel and beaches where amazing, the staff and service where exceptional. I had to check with the grooms father when we got home as to whom our diving company was as I was sure it was Ra Divers but we had such a conflicting experience to a pervious post I had to double check.

It's one of the things I've learnt through my travel, two different people or groups can experience such different experiences in the same cafe, resort or attraction. I work for a pretty influential property developer in Queenstown and travel with him frequently. I have become very aware of what good service is and what is not! Perhaps the previous comments on Ra Divers are accurate of October, but I'm telling you as of the 15th of December when we embarked on our adventures with them things where much different.

Having spent plenty of time at the hotel pool and with 5 days till the big event (wedding), it was put on the table to go dive/ or in some of our cases learn to dive. I’d never actually got around to diving; one of those things you always mean too but just keep putting it off. My Dad’s a qualified diver and spends a bit of time each year in Milford diving for crays and the likes. So off 5 of us set to complete a learn to dive course. I’m good with water so that was an advantage for me I think; however even if I hadn’t been the staff at every level had the upmost respect for the different levels of comfort and experience in our group. We did the four day course and then the qualified divers in our group came and joined us for one of the most amazing experience of my life. (The wedding was an okay too)
In terms of the names of the locations I’m a bit hazy; I’m one of those good with faces kind of people. I know that we went to 3 different locations and went diving at night which was such an amazing experience. In terms of gear having no previous dive experience I had nothing to compare it to; however no members in our group commented on it being anything but perfect. I can speak for my father having been a farmer his whole life up until 4 years ago if gear or machinery is not up to scratch or not safe...Fiji and all its nearby islands would have heard about it. In terms of the owners unless the dive company has changed hands in the past 2 months we experienced conflicting experiences to the previous post. Like stated above I’m not good with names, but I am good with literature and having the same surname as Wendy from the Peter Pan Play I’ll never forget the memories, experiences and bloody great times the Darling Family from Ra Divers provided my family and friends with!
I’d heard numerous conflicting experiences from trips and weddings in Fiji, some good...some not so But I take my hat off Wananavu Beach Resort; there facilities, there cultural awareness, service and some of the friendliest and most amazing staff I have experienced anywhere in the world.
I am happy to be contacted or to pass on details of other members of our group to verify this experience; again thank Wananavu, Ra Divers and FIJI!!!

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jen-dip
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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (197)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2009

The primary complaint I would lodge with Wananavu is with RA Divers, who were unprofessional, unprepared, unsafe, and outright customer unfriendly. They definitely fall into the "unacceptable" and "unsafe" category, which would lead all of us to strongly caution others against using their services in the future. If I had read these trip reports prior to the trip, I would have cancelled it outright. Here are the details:
1) Lax / Unsafe Dive Guides: While diving on Monday, our two least experienced divers were worried that their air was running low, being unfamiliar with the bar system vs. pounds of pressure on the rented regs. They (and I) showed the dive guide their computers numerous times, and were always met with relaxed nod and the forefinger-thumb circle "okay" sign. They followed him closely throughout the dive, but by the time he signaled them to go up,
they were both nearly out of air and ended up panicking on the surface, which was extremely choppy that day. Another guide on the boat did hear them calling for help up by the bow and dove in to help them get in the boat. In 23 years of diving, I have NEVER seen a dive guide reassure inexperienced divers that all was "okay" in terms of their air pressure, then letting them finally surface alone without adequate air, even in calm seas. It turned out okay, but could have been a fatal mistake. One of the other comments below gives an example wherein an experienced diver
nearly drowned because his tank wasn't changed, and the DM wasn't watching the group.

2) Unprepared: Each person sent in their own forms indicating what equipment they had (or didn't have), with only two of us having our own wetsuits and BCs. Somehow, the boat captain was told that we all had our own equipment including wetsuits and BCs and dive computers, etc., so he was completely confused and unable to meet our needs when we arrived for the first dive. He said that he would try to scrounge up some equipment from here and there at the last moment, but that there was a very real chance that many of us would not be able to dive on that trip. Not
a great way to start the orientation... Some people just gave up on that first dive, and others used the odds
and ends that he did manage to borrow or find. We were told at the 2pm orientation that there would always be water and towels on the boat. For the first dive at 3 pm, no towels or water. We explained that first day that our absolute priority was to dive in the Bligh Passage as many days as possible, and do at least one night dive, perhaps two. Bob said he understood, and that he'd try to make it all work, despite the equipment shortage. Sadly we got neither Bligh or night dives. The third comment below confirms that Bligh's dive quality matches that of the best in the
world, which the inner reefs do not. No comparison.
3) Cancellations: On the first Dive, Saturday afternoon after the orientation, we told them emphatically that we wanted to do a night dive Monday evening. They said they would put it on the schedule for 6 people, but to call the next day to confirm the exact number of people. We called at 2:30 pm, and one of the owners said, "Don't call us, we'll call you to confirm", and hung up. Getting no confirmation by 4:00, we called again to confirm 6 people, and were told, again, not to call in with our confirmation, but to wait for their call. Still, we had notified them 3
times by them, and been assured by Bob the ship captain that he'd be there, so got all our equipment ready and headed down to the dock to wait for the 5:30 boat. At 5:15, they called to say it was cancelled, with no explanation. On the boat the next morning, Bob said he'd been gotten the whole boat ready with equipment, but the owners told him we had not called to confirm, so to cancel the trip. He said he was disappointed, but not surprised (it had happened before). There was never an apology, or an explanation. We tried to set up night dives several other times, RA was never able to get one scheduled for us during the entire week.

4) Inadequate boats: We watched the "big boat" go out with other dives for the first three full days of diving, where they were able to enjoy our #1 diving target, Bligh. We are restricted to dives inside the reef, which were generally nice, but so filled with silt/particulate matter that they were basically just okay vs. spectacular. Beginning on the fourth day, we were able to get on the "big boat", but were told that Bligh was too rough. So, we never got to see our primary dive sight/area, because of a lack of proper capacity to get us to the site. That would be like reserving 5 days of golf at Pebble Beach, and instead being shuttled to a local B/C community course.

5) Inadequate equipment: The condition of many of the BCs and wetsuits was deplorable. Regulators leaked, BCs leaked, and the general condition was shabbier than I've seen in over 270 dives. Forcing customers to cancel $90 2-tank dives because the dive operator won't invest in additional $120 wet-suits that lasts for years is not in keeping
with the expectations of a top dive location. For comparison, when Lisa and I did the Shark Dive in Pacific Harbor on Friday, that dive group had plenty of equipment for all the divers on board, all of it in good condition.
As one example of their inventory, they had another 16 wetsuits still hanging in the shop, after outfitting everyone on board, to ensure complete options for all customers. Thanks again to Rachael for helping us to book that Shark Dive trip.

6) Rude interactions: Except for the incident in #5, we were generally impressed with the quality of the dive guys on the boats, but the owners were flat out rude and seemingly uninterested in our experience or satisfaction. Prior to the night-dive debacle I described in #2 above, another couple called the owners to schedule a night dive for Saturday
night, and the owners said, "Don't call us, we'll call you", and hung up on them. When they called back, there was no answer. The owners never did call them back to try and schedule another night dive. The person in our party who tried repeatedly to make our night dive reservation was also treated with extraordinary indifference and a rude attitude.
The unacceptable performance of RA divers is a trip-killer for any serious diver expecting to fully enjoy the potential for world class diving there. We know of at least one dive shop planning their annual dive trip there next year, and at this point, we'd have to tell them it would be a serious mistake unless RA can fully document a significant turnaround in attitude and performance.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Diveman9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dinuba, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2009

This place is great, beautiful, relaxing, the staff is amazing at remembering your name and they are SO friendly, I actually cried when I said good bye to them (a first for me). The bures are very comfortable, clean and beautiful. The food is good and Beato the new food and beverage manager is doing a great job. The new chef is excellent too. We went diving and had a great experience with Ra Divers.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SierraSally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
241 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2009

This resort is absolutely beautiful! The staff members are the most accommodating people in this world! There is an abundance of activities, ranging from board games, to snorkeling, to SCUBA diving, at the resort. The food is wonderful! Not only would I visit again and again, but I would recommend it to everyone! It is also a perfect location for a very intimate wedding setting!

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank WPLandry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2009

I got married in Wananavu, and it far exceeded all my expectations! The staff were amazing, and I felt like family by the time I left. They accommodated all our requests, no matter how large or small. From the minute you arrive, you can feel all your worries melting away; and when you leave, you will be planning your return.
Also, I highly recommend the excursions with them. We did the bamboo rafting trip, and it was an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank as5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2009

In the Fijian language, Wananavu means wonderful. Our experience there was nothing short of that. Situated on a hill overlooking the blue waters of the Southern Pacific ocean, our Oceanview Honeymoon Bure was everything it was promised. Keleni, Beato, and the entire Wananavu team made us feel more like treasured family than holiday visitors.

We traveled with 21 of our closest friends and family for our wedding at nearby St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Church (also known as Church of the Black Christ). Everything was arranged by the amazing staff at Wananavu, and I couldn't imagine a more perfect day. I would highly recommend this for anyone searching for a Catholic destination wedding. We are counting the days until we can rejoin our friends in Fiji

  • Stayed October 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TexasTravelGirl09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strathmore, CA
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

First trip to Fiji and did we ever get spoiled here! Beautiful setting, super-friendly, gracious & accommodating staff. Bures nicely appointed - loved all the wood - felt private without being off the beaten path. Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bajaflower
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 #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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