The zero to five star system is a bit unfair...5 stars tend to indicate perfection, & perfection is usually indicative of highly sanitized surroundings & solemn head bowing service. I prefer to know that my room is not regularly spritzed with carcinogens & that the staff are there because they want to be. Volivoli fits my requirements perfectly. The rooms are clean, there are geckos controlling the occasional errant insect, & the vistas from the patios are stunning. Volivoli arranged for pickup from Nadi, the drive took 2-3 hours & our driver Pravin bonded quickly with myself & my 11 year old daughter, with whom I was on holiday. We arrived after the restaurant had closed, but Pravin called ahead & arranged to have a meal ready for us. My 20 year old son was at the resort already, having flown in earlier in the day from Australia. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff by our first names, no "Sirs" or "Madams" here, the staff are your friends & that's that! Our meal was welcome & well presented - again, not the formality & silver service challenge (wrong fork sir!) of 5 star &, therefore, perfect for the occasion.
When we woke the following day we relaxed by the very beautiful & in this case definitely 5 star pool. Breakfast was good, the choices reasonable & the prices fair. The restaurant is clean & has a relaxed beachside atmosphere. The bar appeared well stocked & the kitchens were clean. This is also the location of the office where you may book various activities. My son & I are both divers & Fiji is to scuba what the Swiss Alps are to skiing. We took my daughter on a Discover Scuba Diving trip with Ra Divers. The manager(?) Pola is a very professional leader. Fun, but not foolhardy, he watched us closely throughout the training sessions & dives. Ra divers have a fleet of well equipped modern boats as well as a large staff & newer, well maintained dive equipment. On our second day, my son & I took 3 breathtaking dive in the Bligh Channel. The disney-like coral grottoes & abundance of candy coloured fish have to be seen to be believed. The water temperature, according to by computer ranged from 82 deg F to 84 deg F (around 28deg C)!! While we explored our undersea surroundings, my daughter accepted an invitation from our taxi driver to visit his family for the day, such is the friendliness of the locals. Needless to say, she had a very enjoyable day too!
The rooms seem to break down into 4 categories. There are the Studio vales, which are the highest standard, these would be great for couple with larger wallets who want space & privacy, for families or for people with mobility issues (since they are closest to the restaurant, pool & beach). They consist of a large detached open plan space with one big bed, maybe King sized, plus couches also for sleeping, A/C, bathroom & full kitchen. The next level is the Vale Balavu, which is where we stayed. This is a series of attached rooms which have a pair of doulble (Queen sized) beds, A/C, bathroom, kettle & small fridge. There is a patio overlooking the ocean with wall that extend halfway out along the patio to offer privacy as required along with the opportunity to converse with the neighbours. These room are geographically the highest on the hill, so may not suit someone with a physical disability. Below these rooms (in altitude & price) is the lodge. This building has 4 rooms which each sleep 3 people (1 double bed, 1 single) there are 2 bathrooms & one central shared kitchen no A/C but does have fans. I could see this as being perfect for a couple of families that would want to holiday together. Finally comes the dormitories. I'm 49, & if I were around 25-30 years younger & single, this is where I'd stay! The dorms are clean have shared baths, kitchen facilities, bunks with a big communal patio. It would be a lot of fun & is extremely reasonably priced.
Volivoli has a lovely beach, it is described as white sand, & I do remember it as such on a previous visit. This time it seemed more golden, possibly due to recent floods that devastated some areas of Viti Levu. Still, sand is sand & the beach is stunning, with large shady trees, mangroves to the side, Ra Divers fleet of boats on the water & the surrounding Islands framing the whole view. You can obtain snorkelling gear & check out the coral by the beach. It's not anywhere near the quality of the reefs further out, of course, but a good primer!
Over all I'd have to say that Volivoli met or exceeded my high expectations. The staff (including the owners) are what make it special. Thanks to everyone including Jennifer, Sheba, Pola, Solo, Sasha, Pravin, Steve & Nick & apologies to anyone I haven't mentioned.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Volivoli Beach Resort is a dedicated SSI and PADI dive Resort on Viti Levu, Fiji. It is owned and operated by the Darling family, 16 year veterans of the area. Dive facilities are world class and on site. All accommodations have ocean views. Nearby Bligh Waters are renowned for an amazing display of fish, pelagic creatures and soft corals. Guests enjoy snorkelling, kayaking, beach volleyball, fishing, village culture and sunset cruises. The Darling philosophy is simple - “We spend time talking to our guests, whether on a dive trip or over a cold beer,” says Nick, “This helps us fine tune the Volivoli experience.” ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Volivoli Beach Hotel Rakiraki
- Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji Rakiraki