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“Great for kids while on a budget”

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Plantation Island Resort
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Plantation gave us the holiday we really needed and left us sad to leave. My son, partner and myself stayed there for 6 nights end of Sept 2012. It allowed us to have a Fiji Island experience on a tight budget and Plantation Island Resort is perfectly acceptable for a 3 star resort. Malolo Lailai has three resorts so you can enjoy other places to visit/eat and explore and the western beach and Musket Cove lagoon are really beautiful places to swim. Tips - take quite a bit of cash with you and visit Musket Cove. We had most of our meals at Dicks Place it was by far the best restaurant on the island and made the best cocktails. There is also a great little 'Island Bar' at the marina at Musket Cove, which has a relaxed environment and very cheap drinks. 'The Trader' supermarket/cafe at Musket has fantastic sausage rolls (according to my other half) sandwiches, pizza and make great coffee so a great way to save on meals. You can buy a bbq pack and cook it on the bbq pits on the Island bar if you really want to be club casual. We went to the buffet on Plantation Island a few times because we had complimentary vouchers and the food was quite good, much nicer than 'Anandas' restaurant and actually nicer than the 3 course meal we had at Lomani's Flame Tree restaurant (neighbouring adult only resort), which was a real let down. So back to Plantation - our poolside room was adequate, a bit run down but we knew it was a 3 star and it was nice to have it serviced daily and have airconditioning albeit a little noisy. The bed was super comfortable and it was great sitting outside enjoying our duty free while our son slept! At times some staff seemed to be a little 'over it' although some of them were genuine and warm so a mixture there. There is a kids club, which was great - our son being 3 I felt was a little young to be left on his own so we hired a nanny (Ana) for the 2 days that we had him there. Ana is a really lovely lady! The let down for me was while there was a great place for kids to hang out and a baby sitting service there was no adults area to mix and have a drink with the other parents. Most people had kids so it would have been great to have an adults bar/area. Boat trips - we went on 3: dophin safari, day island hop and sand bar coral visit. All great. Snorkeling around the resorts is a little limited but a quick trip to the sand bar and you're at a tropical reef that you can stand up on if you wish to have a breather. A little eye opener was a walk down the runway to the otherside of the Island. Wow, I have never seen so many plastic bottles washed up on a beach. It made me so sad!
So a summary - don't buy into the buffet if you want to explore there are plenty of other places to eat - as mentioned if you want an incredible cocktail or 3 head straight to Musket Cove.
Take cash - you don't need loads (we had $500 fjd for 6 days) but you'll need it for babysitters, the supermarkets and it makes it easier when visiting other resorts either on the island or on day trips.
Save money by eating at 'The Trader' there are also supermarket supplies at 'The Trader' and besides Anandas restaurant. Just check the prices, some brands of potato chips are $14fjd!
Other than that it was amazing - very 3 star but our bill reflected this. Being creative with choices it cost us around $1000 NZ for 6 nights expenses, which included the boat trips and a fabulous lunch on Mana Island, lots of food and plenty of cocktails. A holiday I will never forget.

Room Tip: Ocean front Bures did look a great spot
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank 354amanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 6, 2012

My family includes 2 boys aged 15 and 13 and a 10 year old girl and they were all catered for perfectly at Plantation. We stayed in a one bedroom garden terrace, which boasted a huge parents room and a lounge room with 3 single beds and a couch for 5. The bathroom was fully tiled and everything very clean and well maintained. Some others were not so lucky when their rooms flooded after a downpour dumped 80 mm of rain in 2 hours, but we were not effected. The boys loved snorkelling, off the pontoon at the southern end of the beach is best. There are reefs 20 metres north and 50 metres west of the Pontoon. We took our own gear which was unnecessary as for F$10 you can hire everything for the duration of your stay. It does not have to be returned each day as other reviews have said was the case previously. Even in school holidays there was enough good quality stuff in stock. What they ran out of is beach towels, but the rain probably caused that problem. Towels are $10 deposit and you can change them every second day. Something else they ran out of were golf clubs, which was a small pain after walking 30 mins around to the course, but the next day there were plenty when we tried again. The food was good and when a 15 yo and 13 yo can eat all they want for $F20, its great value. The meal deals offer no extra value so we paid as we went. ( sign for everything, billed to the room) You can easily save money by buying milk and cereal at the supermarket for breakfasts ( take a few plastic bowls) and get cheese rolls, two minute noodles, cold meats, tinned fish etc for lunches, plus loads of snacks all available from the supermarket. prices are good as long as you accept the generic Fiji brand. eg if you want doritios you pay $12 a pack, pringles $7, but the local brand of the same stuff is F$3. We did the full buffet breakfast 2 days in 6, which at F$28 for adults and $F14 for kids is fine, who needs bacon and eggs, sausages, pancakes, muffins every day?. Black Coral is now also the snack restaurant for lunches. Toasted sandwich for $F8.50.
Sports were good, canoes are free for an hour, banana boat ride was a bit tame for F$30, para- sailing was a treat F$115. We did the sandbar snorkelling and the Dolphin safari. Saw no dolphins, but excellent snorkelling at magic Island and a lovely boat trip anyway, past Cloudbreak surf spot. All the Staff were fabulous. A gardener would open coconuts for us on request, a waiter would walk us to another restaurant when we didn't know the way, everyone smiled and said hello, Bula, every time you looked at them. Others have complained about a voucher system being in place. They must have changed that as you now charge everything as you go and can pay cash in the supermarket, boutique, resort shop and reception.
You can't drink the water, but no need to lug you own, as they provide 1 ltr bottles of filtered water on arrival and these can be refilled in the bars, or coffee shack free. Still water is available at subsidised prices for those who need it. No one got sick and only the weather was a downer, but it didn't stop us doing anything. The water was warm and beautifully clear. Our 10 yo was in the kids club, morning, noon and night doing wonderful activities like making a boat from coconuts, basket weaving, t shirt painting and learning Fijian dancing for the show. A great family holiday.

Room Tip: Anything at the southern end is good, away from the main resort area and they are doing a lot of wor...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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7  Thank Terry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We have been to Plantation Island 3 times in the last 3 years. On two of these trips we came down with vomiting and diarrhoea.

We visited Plantation Island in August 2009. This is when our entire block of accommodation (rooms 353, 354, 355, 356) all came down with vomiting and diarrhoea – both adults and children. We wondered if it was something to do with the cleaners. Our daughter was 4 years old and we were up all night with her before having to fly home the next day. It was very rough!

We returned to Plantation Island in April 2011 and had no trouble.

On this last visit in September 2012 a number of children who ate from the children’s dinner buffet on Friday 28th September got vomiting and diarrhoea. Another very long night getting up and down to a sick child before - again - having to fly home the next day. Some adults who ate at the adult dinner buffet that night got diarrhoea which made the situation even worse.

The property itself is fantastic for families and really enjoyable - that's why we returned three times! However I believe you should be able to visit a resort, comply with all health issues (such as don't drink the water!), and not get sick from what is probably just a lack of cleanliness (both in the room cleaning and the food preparation).

But, at this stage, we would not consider returning to Plantation Island. The risk of getting sick is too great and having such an illness ruins the holiday.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Sarie_and_Darren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

Well our family has just had the most wonderful 10 day holiday at Plantation Island. After reading so many mixed reviews, I was a little worried. But honestly, I just can't believe any body could write a bad thing about that place. It was perfect and we would go back tomorrow if possible!! Just thought I would offer some tips for any one thinking of travelling to Plantation!
Firstly, the staff are amazing. So kind, friendly and welcoming. They were absolutely wonderful with our kids. I just do not understand previous reviews stating anything otherwise. My daughter adored Bale on guitar, Sulu in the hair salon, Richie from kids club, Ravin from Reception, they were all awesome!!

Food - We travelled with another family. We looked into the food options and decided to go with daily included buffet breakfast only. I am so glad we did as the food plan is for all meals in the main restaurant which are all buffet style. This is fine and the food is lovely, but there are many other places to eat in the resort, which means you can't go to if you have already paid for all meals at the buffet. In saying that, you could get $40 credit towards your meal at The Black Coral Restuarant. This was my Favourite place to eat. There is an al-a-cart menu and the food is amazing!!!! We also got baby sitters one night ($4 per child per hour Fiji dollar) and went to the Flame Teee Restuarant at Lomani, very enjoyable. We did also book a BBQ pack to cook at the Musket Cove yacht club bbq's, but unfortunately it rained that day, so we cancelled it.
We hardly ever needed lunch, we filled up at brekky and took heaps of food like saladas and cruskits from home. Also there is a Supermarket about 5m walk away where you could buy fresh bread etc. I brought good old Vegemite from home and made the kids lunch most days. They just were not hungry enough for a full meal. We also bought heaps of snacks like Shapes, Chips, Lollies from home. Came in handy for a quick afternoon snack!!!
We also bought wine duty free at Sydney Airport. You can take 4L of wine into Fiji, so my friend and I took 6 bottles each. It was handy for at night when the kids were asleep and we didn't want to go to the bar. Oh, I took plastic wine glasses, glad I did!!!

Bring beach towels!!! I decided to pack ours, so glad I did. Every time I went to get beach towels they had none in stock. I did get some on our last day as I didn't want wet towels in our luggage and it cost $FD10 per towel to hire! Easier to use your own.

There is a great laundry. You have to buy tokens at reception. Each token is $FD5 and you need 1 token for the washer and 1 for the dryer. You can buy small packets of washing powder there.

Take medical supplies from home such as band aids, Panadol, Buscopan, gastro stop, Hydralite. Our friends all got a 24 hour gastro bug and so did my daughter and hubby. We only drank bottled water. Not sure if this is common? My friend bought Hydralite zooper dooper icy poles, which she froze once we arrived. These were a godsend for our sick kids as they couldn't keep any food down. We eventually took them to the medical centre next to reception. The nurses were so lovely and kind. She gave the 5 y olds a nausea suppository and they improved very quickly. It seemed very well stocked with antibiotics and other medicines. Handy to know!

We had a garden 2 bedroom bure. It was lovely and very spacious. I followed the advice of another reviewer suggesting to request a bure on the 200 side of the island. I emailed the resort prior to departing and was very happy to be allocated a bure next to our friends on the 200 side. This side is lovely, a much prettier beach, bure's nicely spaced out.

Things you must do!!!
1. Shell Village Tour. This tour takes about. 30 min boat ride to Shell Village. You get a tour of the local school, the village and finishes with a big row of about 40 stalls of locals selling jewellery, craft, souvenirs etc. this was the only time we used any of our Fiji Dollars!!
2. The Dolphin Cruse. Amazing!!! Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed, but we got lucky and saw over 30 dolphins right next to the boat. You then go to a beautiful reef for snorkeling!! My kids are 5,7 & 9 and all loved it. We just took my 5 yo floatie and she happily swam in the flat sea whilst the boys snorkelled.
3.Parasailing. So much fun!!!! $Fd180 fir tandem or $FD110 for single. The view
was spectacular. You are winched out and in straight to the boat deck. So easy.
I did it tandem with my
4. Snorkeling. The resort hires snorkel sets for $FD10 per set for your entire stay. Very handy!!
We would go back in a heart beat, loved it!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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9  Thank DiseyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Decided to travel to Plantation Island for a 10 day holiday at the last minute. Friends of ours and their 2 kids were already heading there for their holidays so we decided to join them. Had stayed at nearby Castaway Island 7 years prior and enjoyed the experience so much we hoped this would be similar. Plantation Island though is much cheaper and more family oriented than Castaway, so we had to adjust our expectations significantly. We stayed in a 1 bedroom garden terrace room on the westerly side of the island. This side of the island is definitely the nicer side of the island, with the gardens neatly manicured and the quieter beaches. The garden terrace rooms are spacious and reasonably well maintained, though you are in a block of 4 so you need to have good neighbors. Unfortunately, we had a small child staying next to us who woke us most mornings from 6.30am with his running inside and out of the room yelling and crying at the top of his voice - not a relaxing way to start a day for a couple with no kids looking for a quiet getaway. Daily activities are offered on the island. I took a short boat trip out to the sand bar snorkelling tour in the afternoon for $15FJD. Easy snorkeling over the duration of an hour with lots of different fish to see. Although the coral is fairly dead and lacks colour, would recommend this tour to all who stay on the island. I also did the 1.5 hour trip out to Lana Reef, located near the sand bar which cost $30FJD. Although this offered glimpses of blue star fish, giant clams and better coral, the fish types were not as diverse or voluminous as at the sand bar. I also took a 4 hour game fishing trip out past Malolo, Castaway and Mana islands which was terrific despite us only catching 2 trevalley. Cost $150FJD. Other activities include banana boat rides, parasailing, kayaking, sailing, knee boarding, diving and island hopping (visiting other islands by boat such as Beachcomber, Castaway and Treasure islands). Best snorkeling we found off the island itself was on a small reef adjacent to the pontoon off the beach to the west of the jetty halfway between the jetty and Lomani resort which adjoins Plantation. Easy to swim to and offers a reasonable diversity of fish but again coral is largely dead. Lomani resort is an adults only (16 years and over) resort adjacent to Plantation island resort. It has a beautiful pool which adults staying at Plantation Island can use. Guests at Plantation Island can also dine at the Lomani resort restaurant, Flame Tree. Average main meal costs around $35-$40FJD. The worst thing about Plantation as other reviewers have noted is the food. We chose not to purchase a meal package on the basis of other reviews we had read. Proved a very wise choice. The themed buffet dinners are very ordinary - although the best nights were probably the curry night, roast carvery night and the mongolian BBQ nights. Cost $40FJD. Breakfasts were also ordinary. You would think it would be difficult to go wring with breakfast, but somehow they don't seem to get this right either, with processed bacon offered every second day and fruit options limited to banana, paw paw, pineapple, watermelon and tinned fruit salad while we were there. Suggest you bypass the powdery scrambled eggs and choose the eggs freshly fried by the cook in front of you. Cost $26FJD. Buffet option was available at lunch also but found this too much food to contend with in one day. There is only one snack bar option available for lunch though and this is located adjacent to the Black Coral restaurant which is located back from the beach slightly. Lunch options were limited to Chicken pies (which were curry in flavor and had strange pastry), hot dogs (which contained strange looking white sausages), toasted sandwiches (the best of a bad lot in my opinion) and pizza (do not go near this - was the sloppiest, flavorless pizza I have ever tasted). Cost $8.50FJD. The Black Coral Restaurant offers a la carte dining at dinner or lunch, and you can order take away off their menus also. Average price main $20-$40FJD. Dined at this restaurant once. Although the food was slightly better found the place had no atmosphere or view. Other dining options were limited to Anandas restaurant which was around 10-15 min walk easterly towards Musket Cove or Flame Tree at the Lomani resort. Ananda's appeared to offer a la carte dining with similar offerings and prices to the Black Coral restaurant but at least was located on the beach as is Flame Tree. Lomani resort has the best swimming pool of the 3 on offer - Plantation island's 2 swimming pools are smaller and geared to kids. Plantation Island offers a resort shop, 2 supermarkets, souvenir shop, coffee shop, kids club, massage salon, hairdressers and laundry where you can do your own washing - tokens are $2FJD each for washer and dryer and washing powder can also be purchased. Enjoyed our stay but would have enjoyed it more had the food been much better. Seriously needs to improve it's dining experience for it's patrons. Fijian service staff are always friendly and make you feel at home. Rooms have good beds and all have air conditioning which makes it easy to sleep at night.

Room Tip: If you can afford it and they are available choose a beachfront bure on the western side of the reso...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank klewi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

My husband, two year old son and I have just spent 5 nights at Plantation Island Resort. We had a great time and were sad to leave. On previous trips to Fiji we have stayed at Mana Island Resort and while it is probably deserving of it's slightly better star rating, we found the staff at Plantation MUCH friendlier. In fact the top factor that makes this resort a place we would come back to is the staff. All of the staff seemed to just adore kids and I was very impressed that they all bothered to learn our sons name - calling out to him, giving him high fives and playing peek a boo. Top marks! Also the location is beautiful and did not disappoint. Every day we took our son to stand on the jetty where he could see a large blue starfish, parrot fish, bright blue fish and schools of others swimming around semi alive coral in the clear water. This was better than paying top dollar in Thailand to be taken to a so called reef that was all dead with no fish at all! We also hired kayaks and easily paddled around. The water is warm and clear.
To balance this rave review the resort is definitely the lower side of 3 star. Essentially this is a mantainance issue - it is tired and in need of a bit of TLC. Broken tiles, slippery mosaics, shoddy repair jobs, some broken chairs. Our ground floor hotel room which was pretty basic and had seen better days (the bures looked nicer) - but I've definitely stayed in worse!. HOWEVER, having read one or two not so good reviews on this website I was pleasantly surprised about the food. We had a buffet menu plan and everything on offer was delicious - even for two year old. I am gluten and dairy intolerant and there was still yummy things to eat - even gluten free bread if you ask. A Summer Slush drink from the coffee hut is a must!! Overall a great time! VANAKA

Room Tip: 200 series garden bures or 300 series beachfront bures seemed the nicest. Don't get a 200 serie...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lynette P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

We were looking for some rest and relaxation after I had beaten a vry a serious illness. The staff were advised of this and our room could not have Ben further awAy from the central hub of the place. The rooms are very average and for that mAtter uncomfortable. Staff are less than courteous and at times very rude. Activities while they were many were had at set times and not available to all. The food was to say the least a very poor experience and given some allergies we have was very limited for our kids. Something we looked forward to was a bitter dissappointment

Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
Thank neilbidgood
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

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: $146 - $544 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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