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“Great location, absolutely beautiful, food..hmmm not so good....”

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Plantation Island Resort
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great location, absolutely beautiful, food..hmmm not so good....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

Stayed with our 3 boys aged 11, 6 and 4 years old. Great place to take kids. Resort is located between Lomani (no kids allowed) and musket cove (more upmarket than Plantation). Plantation island resort is a 3 star resort but to be honest it doesn't really matter because the location is beautiful...they have a range of accommodation but tend to put people with kids on one side. It is a little tired (a little run down) but doesn't really matter because the sunset and beaches are beautiful. Best advice: don't do a meal plan there....take your own breakfast or buy it from either of the two supermarkets nearby. The buffet becomes an ordeal and you just can't take anymore....not the best food at all....you can easily walk to Musket cove and buy a BBQ pack (includes meat/chicken/fish salad and garlic bread) from The Trader shop and walk up to the little bar at the dock to cook your meal and have a drink while watching the sun set...fantastic. You can also order pizza at the Traders shop if you don't fancy cooking (it's ok pizza). Dick's place is nice to eat at. Didn't try Lomani's. There is also an a la carte restaurant at Plantation at the back of the main area which is nice to get away from people. The staff at Plantation are lovely and really like kids, you really get the feeling they genuinely like them which is so nice. We had a terraced room at the back of the resort which was spacious and clean and fine for 5 of us. It was a bit of a hike to the main part which meant you don't want to forget anything if heading for the pool...take all your gear ie. snorkelling, life jackets, reef shoes .

Room Tip: I would recommend a non terraced room but the terraced rooms are more modern, close to the beach but...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LiselAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

Absolutely LOVED Plantation!! Had read reviews, so made up my mind to not go with any expectations...I cannot tell you how much we LOVED it!
Most beautiful destination, and cannot speak highly enough of everyone who worked at the resort, especially Mareia and also everyone at Coconut Club. Also Leah...thankyou for helping ushave the most amazing experience.
Went with out family and met lovely people. Hoping to be back next year or the year after :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dellychoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

Firstly I must say that we have travelled to Fiji for the last 25 years or so. In being fair we have grown up kids now and had visited PIR twice approx 10 years ago when our children where 8-11 years of age approx. I was fortunate enough to be asked to re visit PIR/Lomani as a guest along with my husband after spending 8 beautiful days in the Yasawas at a Adults only resort. I work in the Travel Industry. I was overwelmed at the HUGE changes this place has undergone!!! Disappointing I think is a reasonable word. PIR has lost the personal touches and has grown so big that all staff are really unsure of whats going on. The food was unedible...we only had breakfast there once and refused to eat there again. As I said before we where guests and I was trying to grasp the concept of what this island is all about. Our room at PIR was OK, yes clean and sufficient. Some staff really had no idea while others did try very hard. I was fortunate enough to dine at Lomani and this was lovely. I guess from my point is that because we are now at a different time in our lives I would NOT recommend PIR for couples or even parents with teenage kids. Definetly a place for Mum n Dad with babies/toddlers and prob under 10yrs. If you are wanting heaps of kids..yes some uncontrolable/screaming and carrying on then I would say go for it. I am trying to write a honest review as I think it is important that when travelling and we have expectations of a place that we write from personal experience. As I said we are in a different phrase of our lives and I did appreciate being asked to visit as a guest which we where grateful.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trhfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

Location:
We stayed for four nights with two little boys, ages 3 and 4. We chose this place because we wanted an island experience where we were on the water, with a quieter feeling than the mainland, but cheaper than places like Castaway. Location was wonderful. It was, indeed, quieter, but still very very kid friendly, which was quite important. We had a beachfront bure, which was great with a separate sleeping area for kids and a door we could shut between us - a few bugs and not the most luxurious, but generally fine and literally steps from the beach. Beach was never crowded while we were there, but people would stake out and "claim" the hammocks and loungers by the beach, so we couldn't count on them. Beach was nice, water was stunning, with light snorkeling off the beach. Location was, again, really great.

Facilities:
While the website says a few things are free, they ended up charging - like kids club shirts, non motorized double kayaks, snorkeling gear and fins. This was more annoying than costly. Kids pool was great, small pool for toddlers to stand in, little tiny slide, bigger twirly slide and lots of space. We never used the adult pool, but we did see some kids in it. There was a playground for kids, but it had no shade and was very dated. Kids thought it was okay for a while. Pool tables for a small fee. Fuz Ball and table tennis for free. Kayaks were nice to get, but you could only check out for an hour at a time, so we couldn't do as much as we wanted. Bars and dining areas were really nice, right on the beach. The location was wonderful.

Activities:
I can't really talk about these because all of our activities were booked for our last two days and cancelled because I was sick. Kayaking was nice though. Kids had a couple of activities every day and a movie at night.

Kids:
Kids Club was adequate. It was a small indoor area which the toddlers liked but tired of after a couple of hours. The playground was okay, but kind of boring too. We had a babysitter a few times and while they always smiled and were nice, none of the people we dealt with had that "love of kids" that we had heard so much about with Fijians. My kids got bored when being babysat for more than 2 hours, and the sitter didn't seem all that excited to do things with them. Kids dinner was okay for them, but dinnertime was great because all the kids would play on the beach after they ate, and there was a lantern lighting which they loved. At my boys ages, they were fine. They had fun, got a little bored, and didn't need much to enjoy themselves. But kids a little older, I would think may get bored quickly.

Food: Terrible. They always had fresh fruit, which was good. And some bread of some sort, which was usually okay. In general, it was either overcooked, undercooked, greasy, hard, or just boring (lots of toast and dry cereal for my kids). There was hardly any fish, and a lot of "American" style food. I'm American. The food was bad. We also got sick with GI issues the last 2 days. I dont know if it was the food or the water, but I was in really bad shape. My husband was not as bad and thank goodness the kids were okay.

Service: Let me start by saying we are not people who need 4 star service - even 3 star service. We are happy with cleanliness, our requests being met politely, and a few smiles. We are happy to be without room service, wait staff or special touches if we can just get towels when we call for them, figure out how to get our food, and be treated nicely. The service here was lacking. First off, hardly anyone smiled at us. They weren't rude (for the most part), but not exactly pleasant either. Sometimes we didn't get eye contact either. Room service, while inconsistent, was adequate. If you wanted something like an extra towel, expect to go get it yourself from the desk, it will take a while, and only during normal hours.
Other than the quality, it seemed they simply didn't all know how things worked. We "paid" for our meals with our vouchers a different way almost every time. Sometimes the waiter takes it. Sometimes you give it to someone as you enter. Sometimes, you give it to the person at the buffet. Sometimes you seat yourself. Sometimes you need a reservation. Sometimes you ask three different people for something and get three different answers. Kind of frustrating. And they definitely didn't like any special circumstances. Asking for kids to eat first and us eat later confused them. When one of our meal tickets was marked wrong, it confused them. Any stray from the norm was confusing.

In Closing:
We decided, while we really liked the kid friendliness and the location, next time it would be worth it to us to spend more, like the food, not get sick, and get a little more Fijian friendliness and service. It was perfectly adequate service, bad food, but wonderful location and will do just fine for an island experience. The price was a bit much considering how bad the food was, I think. I would have been happy to stay another day or two simply to have the beach for that much longer. I wasn't running for the hills. But, we wont be going back there if we can help it.

Room Tip: Beachfront Bure was great, steps from water.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Leah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tarro NSW
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

We stayed at plantation in August with our two children it was our first trip to Fiji and after reading reviews we kept an open mind. We also had eight nights at naviti after PIR. We loved every minute of it, the people the food the accommodation! I think some people are too hard to please, if anything we were embarrassed by rude tourists and out of control kids. We ate buffet every day, iam vegetarian and had no problems with the food on offer! We stayed in the beachfront bure and it was excellent, ten steps from the beach and kept clean everyday by our lovely house keeper! My daughter got her hair braided, we had massages and my children aged ten and nine took part in the nightly activities, we mostly swam in the beach, my kids loved the snorkeling and so did I! These people are beautiful and if you give them respect they will give it back quite easily, their cocktails are just to die for! We will be back, Thankyou do much PIR for making our stay wonderful!! We miss you already!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rutherglen, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012

A friend and I recently went to Fiji for our 30th birthdays. We were quite disappointed with the island, the view was beautiful but we found the majority of the staff members to be unfriendly and their attitude seemed to be that they couldn't be bothered, it was as if they were thinking "oh great, more tourists". Apart from 2 lovely male staff members who made a big point of remembering our names and being very friendly, there wasn't a lot of effort made to make us feel welcome. This is very much a kid friendly resort, and we felt as though we were frowned upon as we didn't have children with us. At one stage another holidaymaker even dared to come up to us at the bar one day when we were having a beer at 11am, saying "Not a good look girls, its not even lunchtime". Put a bit of a dampener on my 30th birthday.
Food was very nice, and the activities ie snorkelling, village tours, dolphin sighting were plentiful.
After coming from another fabulous friendly resort where the staff bent over backwards to be friendly, accommodating and fun, we didn't enjoy our stay at Plantation Island, and would not return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tam_1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012

We are just back from a week at Plantation Island. I went with my husband and my 3 year old daughter. We went with a garden view bure. Our bure and its location were fabulous. The bure's are nicer here than at Mana island. Our garden view bure also had an uninterupted ocean view, so we had no complaints there. The beach was as beautiful as we were expecting also.

What completely lets this resort down is the food and the staff. The main restaurant is just an absolute debacle. You have go book in the morning, you then have to queue up to get seated when you arrive, you then have to wait at your table for a drinks waiter and a dinner waiter (two different people who are dressed the same so you can't tell them apart, but they can't take each others orders). Once you finally get a dinner waiter, you then get a docket which means you can go queue up to get a plate for the buffet. We went to this restaurant three times, once we gave up and went to Anandas and the other two times we had to get through our meal vouchers, so we got up from our table to hunt down a dinner waiter so we could give them our room number so we could go get a plate and start eating. Seriously, not sure why we couldn't just give our room number to the person with the buffet plates or the man that seats us rather than all that mucking around? And the food was fairly terrible to say the least. Much worse than Mana Island. The staff all said Bula to you as you walked around the resort and were nice to my daughter, but try ordering from them at a bar or asking one a question and they play a game of how to avoid eye contact and not be available for the longest.

The kids club was also pretty average - too many kids and only 2 actual activities a day, most of which are sitting inside activities plus they would turn a movie on. I expected a lot more, breaking into little groups and going crab hunting or having running races, but it is a lot more just a room where your kids can run riot. As my daughter was under 3 I stayed with her, but don't expect your 4 year old to have an eye kept on them - they could easily wonder off and no one would notice.

The "snack bar" is up at the "a la carte" restaurant - some random building in the gardens. The snack bar has toasted sandwiches, pies and "pizza's" and that's about it. I didn't see a pizza but as it is the same price as a toastie, I don't hold much hope for it.

Kids dinner is an absolute zoo. You all have to sit in a penned off area and it is chaos and someone tries to play a guitar over top of the noise. My 3 year old is a little fussy, but nothing too bad, and she actually ate their food a grand total of 3 times out of 6 nights.

Overall I think we are just used to smaller slightly more upmarket resorts. The bure's are indeed really nice and the resort is nice, just don't expect drinks by the pool that's for sure. The fact that you have to hire a lounger cushion and carry it around with you says it all for me. In saying all this, value for money Plantation is actually really good - if you are just looking for somewhere clean with beautiful beaches where you are left to your own devices that doesn't break the bank, then this is for you. Don't go with the hotel rooms though! I didn't see inside, but the actual rooms are right in the middle of all the noise and looked very 1970s at best!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kels17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Plantation Island Resort

Property: Plantation Island Resort
Address: Plantation Island | PO Box 9176, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Malolo Lailai Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Malolo Lailai Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Plantation Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the 553 acre island of Malolo Lailai, part of the Mamanuca Group of Islands, Plantation is surrounded by 23 acres of tropical gardens, coconut palms and white sandy beaches that front a beautiful sheltered lagoon. Plantation offers several accommodation options to suit most budgets, and is great value for families, students and fun loving couples. Most of the activities are complimentary including the 'Coconut Kids Club'. Come experience the friendly Fijian hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Plantation Island Hotel Malolo Lailai Island
Plantation Island Malolo Lailai
Island Plantation Resort
Plantation Island Resort Fiji/Malolo Lailai Island

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