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“Why 4 stars are better than 5” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji

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Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Certificate of Excellence
Hopkins Landing, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Why 4 stars are better than 5”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

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.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Matthew E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, May 27, 2012
Bula Vinaka,

Thank you for your review. We are very happy that you all enjoyed your stay with us. As we are a family owned and operated resort to hear you make comment that you felt more like friends than guests makes us all very happy. With out our wonderful staff none of this would be possible. I wil be passing on your kind comments to the team.

W are looking forward to welcoming you home again soon.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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406 reviews from our community

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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 (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2012

My partner and I recently stayed a week in one of the studio vales at Volivoli Beach Resort. The studio vales offered spectacular views of the pacific, were spacious, very clean, of great design, air conditioned, and had fridge and kitchen, allowing you to cook your own food. However, after tasting the food at the GORGEOUS and relaxed bar and restaurant beside the pool, we chose not to cook our own meals. VoliVoli offered the BEST food I have ever eaten on a Pacific Island (and to be fair, in most NZ restaurants), for a very reasonable price. Even the soups were scrumptious . . . and you have to try the kokonda (raw fish dish) even those who don't particularly like fish, will likely fall in love with it. The chefs passion for tasty quality food is evident, and the staff are very friendly, and efficient. In the evenings, a band plays anything from traditional fijian songs, to old classics, and are brilliant in what they do.
I spent some time talking with Steve and Nic (brothers) who manage the resort (their parents own it). They, are clearly passionate about the place, and are open to feedback from visitors, continually looking at ways to improve the resort (though I could not identify anything that needed to be improved). I found then to be really great, genuine, guys, who work well together, to ensure a great stay for visitors.
My partner is passionate about water sports, and enjoyed three days of fishing with Nic, and one of diving. He and the others caught quite a few monstrous GTs, and a spanish mackeral was also caught during a trip, which was kept, and cooked up for us by the kitchen staff. My partner was ecstatic with the fishing, and reported the diving was some of the best he's experienced. The boats are in excellent condition, and take the divers out to sites the livaboard also frequents. Again, the staff were friendly, and obviously passionate about their work.
I, on the other hand, don't fish or dive, however did plenty of snorkelling, including catching a ride on the dive boat to do this. The reefs are amazing, the coral healthy, and colourful, and marine life abundant. We also paid a small fee to be taken by boat to a beach further up the coast. We had an entire vast white sand beach to ourselves, and spent the day snorkelling, swimming, exploring, and had a packed lunch made by the kitchen for the trip.
I also had one of the best massages (two hours long) on our vale deck while my partner was fishing, and again, at a very reasonable price.
On a final note, talk to Sonny (staff) about his village tours and walks. He is a very humble man, who is passionate about his culture, the land, and the people. Nic and Steve support Sonny's ventures, and tours can be booked through the resort. We booked a tour, and Sonny took us to a very traditional village, a walk to a local waterfall, the markets, and even a guided tour around Rakiraki hospital (due to my interest being a nurse). Sonny provided great narrative about Fiji's history, and also gave me a one on one lesson in Fijian at my request later in the week (no charge).
Overall, sublime location and facilities, superb fishing/diving/snorkelling , passionate owners/management, friendly staff, and scumptious food, all at a reasonable cost.
Will definitely visit again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kimberley b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, May 27, 2012
Bula Vinaka,

Thank you for your kind comments. W take feedback very seriously both positive and negative. I will be sure to pass on your comments to our fantastic staff.

I am looking froward to your partner and I can hit the water again in search of a monster. You will be very happy to hear that we are hoping to have our spa open before the end of the year!!

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

We loved Volivoli. The rooms were great and there are plently of options to suit different needs. The Vales are ideal for couples and families, and the views stunning. The staff were wonderful. Ra Divers are a very professional and fun outfit.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tongnaipan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Largo, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2012

I've had the pleasure of visiting Volivoli twice now. Both times I was beyond impressed. The diving is absolutely INCREDIBLE. Their boats are new, fast, and well maintained. They are able to take you out to the same sites that the livaboards dive. They're pristine and incredible. Not to mention the beautiful "house reef" you can dive or snorkel from shore.

The hotel itself is beautiful with some of the most spectacular views you've seen. Great sunset pictures too! I'd definitely recommend the Vale's, which gives you a full kitchen, however, all of their rooms are great. I believe they all offer a to-die-for view, even the backpackers "dorms."

The food is excellent, but don't expect a 5-star dining experience... that's not what they're all about there. However, the view from the main bure definitely overcomes the fact that you have to walk up to get your meal when your name is called. And don't forget to save room for some kava & games after dinner.

The entire property is simply gorgeous and you can always find your own piece of private space somewhere to relax. If you go, hopefully you get to meet the owners, the wonderful Darling family. (Yes, Darling is their last name). But I'm sure you'll see them around, since they're always there & live on property to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Room Tip: They're all great, but the vales definitely give you that feeling of having your own home away f...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank diver3213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
96 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

I was lucky enough to be upgraded from a lodge room to a suite room, which was very spacious for a single traveller, with two big beds. However, this meant that I got a bathroom on my own instead of sharing, which was definitely welcome.

The room, even though it was among the most expensive of the choices offered, was quite basic. However, view from the balcony was beautiful with the ocean view. Too bad they don't have bures/bungalows. The studio was in a bigger building right next to other rooms.

The hotel/resort is nice and cosy with good restaurant/common area, very nice pool and bar. Although I wish they would have cleared a space down at the beach for relaxing, swimming and sun bathing there.

But the main reason for coming here was to dive. The dive center, Ra diving, was very good and the dives great, even though we didn't go all the way out to the Passage.

Incredibly friendly and service minded staff!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heidi3030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nadi, Fiji
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

Was very impressed when I stayed in the fully self-contained "Vale" (Fijian for house) with friends. Nicely designed, well furnished and landscaped, with magnificent views and it was great swimming in clear, warm water just below the Vale. Able to cook basic meals in the Vale or eat in their restaurant. Will be returning to Voli Voli and would certainly recommend it as a great place to stay/relax for 4-5 days. Not a diver but understand the diving is excellent.

Room Tip: Recommend the "Vales" and for older people, one closer to Reception.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank denarau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
229 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2012

This place is all about diving. If you have only a few (2-3) days in Fiji and your priority is diving, this is one of those places you might prefer. Normal Fijian prices for diving (about 185 FJD for 2 tanks, gear&boat included) and (honestly) stunning dive sites. Public transport reaches Rakiraki in 4 hours from Nadi and 6 from Suva. When you arrive to Rakiraki you need to hire a taxi for $15 one way, no shuttle provided by Volivoli. Dorms are ok (4 bunks plus the wardrobes), which are basic and clean, food is ok (average-good quality and good price(15-25 FJD/meal)). This is NOT a Fiji experience, it is owned by an Australian/New Zealand well known family and the 3 days I was there, the guests were about 35 americans, one Kiwi and myself. This is not a place to do some walks around, it is all about hanging out in the pool, eating or having some drinks when not diving, because there is really NOTHING else going on and NOWHERE else to get from there unless driving or sailing. Staff were not as friendly as in the other places I visited during my 40 days travel around Fiji, but just doing their work (which is fair enough, but not the friendly Fiji you find in other locations)

Room Tip: If travelling alone, with friends, or as a couple (on a tight budget), dorms are ok to stay here ($3...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DiegoUG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji

Property: Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji
Address: Volivoli Road, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji 4*
Number of rooms: 28
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

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