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“Expext an old heritage hotel...”
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ovalau Island
Luzern - Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Expext an old heritage hotel...”
Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

... and nothing more or less! You will get it and be satisfied - even happy as I am.
Some negative comments are not fair comparing this place to high-end ones. It's low key and the price is ok. Problems with insects are dealt with. Community rooms are charming (the commenter who didn't see them should eventually withdraw his comment:-))
Enjoy colonial-time charm, get inspired and be happy!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Professor J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Really kind of loved the Royal Hotel in all it's faded glory, but sadly had to flee the cottage we rented because of bedbugs. This may have just been the cottage Winnifred, and we observed the bugs in room 1 and 2. Our children were asleep by the time we found them, and we observed both adult and nymph stages of the bedbugs. I did an exhaustive hunt for them and researched on web what they look like and am absolutely positive they are bed bugs.
Not all beds seemed affected, but once discovered not much sleep was had. We moved our sleeping kids to the only room that seemed clean and decided to leave on the next 4am bus (the only one each day) which leaves just around the corner. We didn't inform staff at that time but are emailing them to inform. I am aware this is a big deal but really hope they sort it out, probably need to burn the beds and bedding that were old indeed. They had a flash tv and a database full of cool movies that we enjoyed but would rather have had a good nights sleep. If it wasn't for the bedbugs would probably recommend as good quirky value for money.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pizzicata13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Ovalau Island hotels

London
Level Contributor
48 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Old colonial hotels with their fading glory can be fascinating and atmospheric -- the Byron in Aleppo, the Victoria in Cairo (reviewed some years ago), Galle Face in Colombo and the Imperatrice in Martinique, to name a few. The Royal tries to lay claim to this legacy but completely misses the point. In all the above hotels the shortcomings of the individual rooms are more than made up for by the conviviality of the common areas and the graciousness of service. None of this at the Royal. There are no common areas and no service to speak of as the hotel management (i) charges non-guests 2 dollars simply to walk in through its doors and (ii) seems to hire as few staff as possible and works those it hires to the bone.

Reading the glowing reviews of service here I can only credit the natural graciousness and hospitality of the Fijian people. In my stay here, I only saw one harried employee at a time who was supposed to act in multiple capacities: receptionist, waiter/waitress, porter, bartender/barista. All this is a pity as Levuka would benefit hugely if the Royal were to start serving the local community, rather than rip them off 2 dollars at a time as consumers. A decent restaurant on the premises which makes use of the lovely dining room would probably make more money for the managers than their existing policy. Perhaps they should look up the word "outsourcing".

As for the rooms, apart from the nice enclosed balconies and their rattan furniture, any connection with the past is long gone. The bed and bedlinen seemed straight out of a third rate furniture store and the so-called mosquito net was full of holes and suspicious aromas and stains.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank ssjlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
98 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We came to the ancient capital of Fiji, looking forward to staying in Fiji's oldest hotel from the colonial age, to get a sense of the past time. The hotel building looks boring and anonymous from the outside, but it doesn't disappoint inside. All the big salons and rooms downstairs make you imagine beachcombers and French and English sailors and diplomats sipping whisky and smoking cigars in tropical hats. The rooms upstairs are also old style, with sinks in the main bedroom, and the outer rooms have been transformed from balconies to salons with bathrooms.

The bathrooms are basic, but ok, with warm water. The rooms have no air-con, but fans and mosquito nets. The beds are also OK and clean.

The hotel also has bures (bungalows) beside the main building, where one also can find the hotel pool (quite well maintained) and a small gym (which was extremely basic and closed).

It's a very charming place with a lot of personality, in a basic way. It's just a pity that the staff is not better. We had booked a double room several weeks in advance, but when we came we were first given a room with two single beds. We thought that perhaps was the double room, but after 30 minutes the manager came up and asked if we had booked, and moved us to a much bigger room with bigger salon and a double bed. Hello? When we came down the next day for breakfast we asked if it was possible to do some activities. We were told that we could rent mountain bikes and go around the island, and take day trips to some other islands. We decided to do that. However, when we had prepared to do biking the next day we were told that the bikes were broken and had not been fixed. Hello?? When we tried to do a day trip to other islands we tried in vain to get confirmation from a lady we called, who didn't pick up or didn't reply, and who was too lazy to return our calls. Then, in the morning, she suddenly knocked on the door and said we could leave with another group in 30 minutes time. It turned out to be 1.5 hours before we actually left, and the whole organizationing of the trip to Caqalai was ridiculously bad, without the staff/crew being able to communicating to us about what was going on, what was the plan, etc. We ended up being dumped on the abandoned island for 45 minutes without drinks and food in scorching sun, not knowing when we would be picked up again. It all turned out alright afterwards, but we were amazed by how one can treat paying guests that way. A basic course in service management is highly recommended!

In addition, Levuka is a small and boring town where several things mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide have been closed during the last years. There are only two decent restaurants in town to choose between, and the generator in the town close to the tuna factory destroys any sense of peace and tranquility in the centre. There is no mini-bar or refrigerator or water boiler in the room, so we ended up buying non-perishable food and a thermos for hot water for coffee and tea making.

But the hotel, that is, the building, was charming.

Room Tip: Ask for the double room, the first room in the corridor, if you want more space. It has more space a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Heidi3030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, Australia
Level Contributor
266 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank misocutlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel
Level Contributor
110 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
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
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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
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank BrownDragon
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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