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“Antique Hotel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ovalau Island
Orange, Australia
Level Contributor
266 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
“Antique Hotel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

This hostel itself is like a museum with antique furniture. Their old collected items and pictures are also displayed in the hotel. The building is old, but clean. Staff were very nice. I stayed there in the evening when a cyclone hit Fiji. All the restaurants and shops in town were closed, but they provided me with lunch and dinner, although they usually provide only breakfast. I was so glad.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank misocutlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    11
    14
    7
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    5
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Basel
Level Contributor
110 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

though a little thread-bare and would deserve a make-over. However shower was ok, everything working. The house is old with a long history, so it is worth to wander through the rooms. Levuka is a nice historical town and worth visiting.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Chatouli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wanganui, New Zealand
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

The Royal Hotel is a Levuka Icon. Years ago we stayed in the honeymoon suite which had single beds each with their own mosquito nets. This visit we stayed in a modern bure with insect screens and fans in the revamped gardens with palm trees and swimming pool. The old world charm remains and is a reminder of the days of colonial settlement. The rooms were comfortable, well equiped and we liked the balconies out front where we could sit and catch a breeze and with room enough for all seven family members to gather.

Room Tip: I would choose one of the bures in the garden. They are more modern than the renovated and little b...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrownDragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

Levuka,the old capital of Fiji and the major town on the island of Ovalau is not for people taking a seven night mid winter break in a tropical paradise. It is hard to get to and the trip has it's excitements whether going by the Patterson Brothers ferry service or by tiny plane from Nausori to Bureta airstrip on the island. It is a step back in time to the colonial era to a town which to my personal knowledge has changed little from when I was at school there nearly 50 years. Even the shop names - such as Gulabdas and Sons store and Vithalbai's Lomaiviti photo studio - had not changed but perhaps this was because they had not been painted.

My family group were returning to Ovalau to make a visit to the Levuka Public School. We were booked to take the bus and ferry service from Suva on the Saturday but found when we went to pick up the tickets that the sailing had been deferred. Lomaiviti was playing rugby in Suva so the boat would go on the Sunday instead. It used to take the best part of six hours to get from Suva to Levuka with a windy bus ride followed by a seasickness inducing launch trip. The service is much improved with better roads, better bus which is a roll on roll off to a big boat although the boat no longer arrives at the town wharf but at a jetty on the other side of the island requiring a road shuttle of the best part of an hour to get to town.

We had booked to stay at the Royal Hotel which was "the" hotel in town when we lived there. Dating back to the 1870's it is a time capsule. Old and creaky.
We were staying in the garden lodges. Spacious and quite well appointed with double bed, en suite and very nice verandah for sitting on with a drink in one hand and a book in the other. We ignored the sign that said we could not bring our own liquor into the unit. The Hotel bar has a range limited to beer and even then our party managed to exhaust their cold supplies on both nights we stayed. Six stubbies total( not each) the first night and three quart bottles the second night.

Breakfast is served for one hour in the morning. Two toast, two eggs, one tea and some fruit. No other meals available so we used the restaurants in town which fed us very well.

Service is so minimalist it is almost non existent. But it is there. Wi fi is available but would not always connect. Checkout was straightforward although I was surprised to find the bills made up with everything properly recorded in the light of what had felt like fairly haphazard service till then.

We flew back to the mainland rather than ake the 4.00am ferry start. A bit of nervousness waiting - and waiting - and waiting for our airport transport to arrive. Booked for 7.15 it finally arrived about ten to eight. No one seemed worried. The driver always gets the people there. And that was right. Out to the tiny plane at the tiny airstrip at Bureta and the 20 minute flight to the mainland.

Levuka hasn't changed much. It was a cowboy town in the 1800's and that feeling is still there. The 870's schoolbuliding is still held up by big steel guy ropes against the hurricanes but there is now some steel helping out. The Royal is a relic. A real living museum piece. Not areplica like the Raffles Long Bar in Singapore or a renovated and restored boutique operation where the ancient rooms have modern plumbing and discreet mini bar. It is as it was. But older and more tired. But it works in the same way Levuka does. An old place that is somehow surviving but not thriving in the modern world.

For those who have a bit of time and a spirit of adventure a side trip to Levuka is worthwhile. Not for those wanting to lounge round the pool sipping from ice cold glasses full of mysterious fruits and liquers and waiting for the floor show.

Room Tip: The garden lodges nearest the hotel are quieter than the ones by the road which are also just across...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Moggy38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
109 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

Flying from Nasori (Suva) in a 8 seater (this includes co pilot and pilot) at 8am. Sunny day for a change. Other passangers looked terrified when seeing the size of the plane. Fabulous flight service, movies meals ha no, just views that are wonderful. Different blues of water and reefs galore. Then the sudden descent to a tiny airstrip. Fun to say the least. Out to a small shed. Bus or taxi to town? One worker,' Your transport will be here soon'. A 4 wheel drive with tray arrived. Bags on back and off we go. 30 mins approx. Mostly gravel road on waters edge. Look out for anything coming the other...waaaay. Driver almost lost it on one bend sliding quickly towards the short drop to the sea. On arrival at hotel my fellow travellers looked shaken. What an exciting honeymoon for them. Town only one main street and one sided as sea on other side. Buidings so old you could be excused in thinking that at any moment someone would come crashing out onto the street with a gun or a horseman would come galloping down on you guns a blazing.

Hotels main building still lost in the past. Old pictures, furnature and coverings from times gone. Upstairs, rooms off long wood panel corridor, creaky and beds with mozzy nets. To view the building, if not a guest for $2. Dinning area for breakfast only. NO other meals availible. You need to go to town just around the corner. Breakfast is now included for all accom types. Standard Two fried eggs, two pieces of toast, one piece of butter a small amount of jam and ONE cup of tea. YUM.
As power out to rooms in main building I was ushered to a cottage by the pool. More
expensive at $85 fjd. Spacious and no creaks. Path to it and around the pool all loose stone and full of glass pieces. The manager said they could have concreated the paths but decided on stones and the truck delivered the stones with the glass in it. "Well get someone to pick it out, someone will get a horrid cut". Got a blank look for my comment. He just could not see the problem. Look out parents for your children and yourselves. Cottage, surrounding view lush with hills behind. Salt Pool in front with glass walk to its refreshing waters. Inside cottage-Couch, chairs,fridge, kettle with cord too short that it has to sit on a cardboard box to reach plug. Table and chairs inside and out. Ceiling fan /one speed,aircon not used. Screened windows. Bathroom shower with only tepid water at most. On wall a piece of local art. Stiching at four corners that can scare people who suffer from arachnids.Other than that no other bug problems.See pic. Room spacious and could spend more time here if the Tuna factory at the other end of town did not smell like it does. The stench lodged into the back of my nose and got nastier as time moved on.
Church Clock BOINGS on the hour and half hour. Broke down, horray. Ladies sell fruits and vege on waterfront. Three main restaurants, All basic but sufficient. No other choice. Sea water not enviting, even a long wall out of town to village areas could not tempt as rubbish washed up all over. Some road areas have been sealed in past but have started braking up so in someones wisdom large stone has been placed for grip and resulting in remainder of seal being ripped apart. Walking is dangerous as vehicles plow past sending stones at legs. Only surviving club 'Ovalau Club'. Expats night on tuesday for a chat.Again building old old old and pictures worth the visit. This old capitol of Fiji is worth the visit and staying in one of the cottages at the Royal is fine for its price. I left to visit Caqalai and Leleuvia Islands. Reviewing soon.

Room Tip: Try a cottage
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Waikatosflyingkiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2012

I stayed here in 2010 for 4 weeks whilst working at the local hospital. It is a family owned and run hotel that is part of the history of Levuka. Yes the rooms are basic, the walls and floor creaky, and there is a lack of modern facilities, however the colonial history in this place is fantastic. The old photographs on the walls, and antique furnishings hark back to a time of south sea traders and scoundrels. I formed a great affection for the place. Levuka is not "picture postcard" Fiji, it is the real, working Fiji, with it's own unique story.

The breakfasts were fine, go for local fruit (banana and pappaya), toast and boiled egg. I always ate out for dinner, don't think they do evening meals. The wifi (surprising for such an old hotel - but courtesy of the owner's son) was fairly reliable. Didn't bother with the pool. My friend stayed in the garden accommodation, and it seemed OK, but for ultimate value and atmosphere you have to stay in the main building.

This is not a typical hotel, it is unique and full of character. I would definitely return.

Room Tip: Book a room in the main building, don't expect hot water consistently!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ajf1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viti Levu, Fiji
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

This is our 2nd visit to Levuka and the Royal Hotel. We went with friends for the Easter break who hadn't been there before and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. All up there was 10 of us including 4 kids so we all opted for the self-contained cottages. These were basic but comfortable especially for the price and the pool was just right for us. The Royal Hotel has a great ambiance and the history of this hotel and Levuka is brilliant. We think it is a must for people to see. It is really a walk back in time.
We all found the staff very friendly and helpful and the township and its people lovely. One negative was the bus and boat trip over - this took a lot longer than it should have and if we go again we will consider flying there.

Room Tip: Oceanview cottages are great for a couple or a family of 3 with large balconies and good size living...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tracey A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Royal Hotel

Property: Royal Hotel
Address: Langham Street, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Lomaiviti Islands > Ovalau Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ovalau Island
Number of rooms: 105
Also Known As:
Royal Hotel Ovalau Island
Royal Hotel Fiji/Ovalau Island

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