Kenia Resort, Ono Island, Kadavu Island group. This was our experience on 16 August 2010:
We were talked into paying a deposit of AU$450 to the owners of this resort, Alioune and Kelera (Lela) Fall, that is on Ono Island and part of the Kadavu Island group. However it seems that the resort is operating illegally. According to the Police in Vunisea, the owners of the surrounding resorts and a family member of Lela's that we subsequently met, their oprating licence has been revoked and they have had visits from the police with orders to stop operating.
When we arrived at the resort on 16 August 2010, we found that only one cabin (or bure) was still in operation, with another semi habitibal. It seems that after many years of neglect, the final demise of this resort was dealt by the huricane 6 months earlier in March 2010. However, in the ensuing 6 month almost no attempt has been made to repair the resort. All but this one bure was in tatters, with no attempt to restore any facilities or fix the other bures. Please see photos attached.
Our bure was substandard and not really what one would expect from a "resort". There was no enclosed dining room left, and no other facilities to speak of.
No drinks but well water were available, the Fijian style meals never varied, but was ok. We were served food in what looked like the families' personal crockery, mismatched, chipped etc. Certainly not, quote, "the same as some blackpoole hotels" as the website claims.
In my opinion the standard would be just below classic backpacker style - but the price is not, at Fijian $280 per night, food included.
We were forced to stay 2 of the planned 10 days, until we could get place at other surrounding resorts. No refund was forthcoming - I am still trying to do this but it has resulted in protracted emailing and ever moving refund dates.
It seems the method Alioune (or Aliun) employs is to negotiate a deposit to be paid, have the tourists arrive, and then not return the deposit when they have to leave to find an operating resort. elsewhere. He is never at the resort, but is based on the main island, leaving his wife Lela to deal with angry customers as best she can.
We were informed by a family member of Lela Fall, and others, that the police have shut the operation down on several occasions before. According to them the money that Alioune gets from unsuspecting tourist are being used by him on the main island - what is certain is that none of the money makes its way back to the resort for repairs, stock or equipment.
Some of the false claims made by the reresort's website includes: "Activities include, kayaking, Kite surfing, trekking, snorkeling and diving!" - there are no equipment and no such activities available, "Presently, we have three new bures with four old ones, and others under consideration for future developments." - none of which is true (please se photos of blown out bures). The resort's site is: http://www.keniafijiresort.com
On the way out of Kadavu, I laid a complaint with the Vunisea Police, and while I was with the officer, they pointed out a Japanese traveller walking the street in the port, who was stuck in the local boardinghouse, and who did not get his transport to the resort. He apparently was stuck in Vunisea port for three days, before returning that afternoon to Suva and back to Japan - another victim of this operation.
We would not have minded staying and thereby helping to fund the rebuild the resort after the typhoon's severe damage, but there has been no attempt do repairs or rehabilitate the resort, even 6 months after the event. We just felt ripped off, but an uncaring owner that is operating illegally and clandestinely. We saved for 4 years to afford our trip to Fiji, and felt we were not treated fairly.
Please feel free to contact me for details.
Arne and Nelda
- Also Known As:
- Kenia Resort Fiji/Kadavu Island