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Plantation Island Resort
Reviewed October 11, 2008

Oct 12th 2008
Arrived home 2 days ago after spending a week on plantation island with husband and 16 yr old.
Although not a modern, flash resort, it had everything we needed to make it an enjoyable, fun, relaxing holiday.
Stayed in studio garden bure No 319 which was serviced daily and located in a good spot not far from the pool/beach/dining area.
Bought the 3 meals a day vouchers, but was a bit too much. Next time would go for breakfast and dinner vouchers, then buy something from the snack bar for lunch.
Mocktails are Fiji$5.00, soft drinks $3.50 and at lunch and dinner we ordered a big jug of iced water for free.
Plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. Go with an open mind and don't expect everything to be done immediately and you'll have a really great holiday. Looking forward to going again next year

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank libs50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 10, 2008

We have just arrived back from 14 days at Plantation Island Resort. This was in fact our second time at the resort, the first being two years ago. We chose to return to Plantation for a couple of reasons - our last trip was OK - we were with a large group (24 of us in total) and the kids (we had 3 then - ages 9, 5 and 1) had a great time wth their cousins. This time we had an extra, and no cousins - our 4 kids being now 11, 7, 3 and 20 months. We chose Plantation because it had a Kids Club, we knew the beaches and pools were good and the food was OK.
For us, though, it was the idea that we could get a break for a few hours each day with the kids going to the Kids Club - the advertising said that we needed to provide a baby sitter for each of the 2 little ones, and we were happy with this - we duly arranged to meet the baby sitters the day after we arrived and we booked them for the 3 hours from 9 am - 12 noon each day. Our thinking was that this would give us a chance to have breakfast and spend a bit of time on our own and then we'd have the afternoons with the kids. The older 2 went to the Kids Club a couple of times but met up with a few other kids of their age and didn't bother going back.

I guess we should have been alerted more on the 4th morning when we went to check if the 2 in the Kids Club with their baby sitters were OK and we found one of the baby sitters sound asleep - at 10 am in the morning. But the kids were OK and the little guy was having a great time climbing around the play area.

But it turned to custard after this. The following day we were swimming in one of the pools with the two older boys when a fellow guest arrived with our 20 month old in her arms and our 3 year old holding her hand. She had found them climbing up the steps to the water slide in the pool next to the one we were in. No sign of any baby sitters! We were shocked to the core - very thankful that the one adult guest at the other pool recognised the kids and also had seen us swimming at the next pool. But, where on earth were the 2 baby sitters?

We thanked the guest many times, then bundled up the kids and went back to the kids club to see where the baby sitters were. That's when our holiday really lost it's appeal. One of the baby sitters was sound asleep (again!) and the other didn'r even know the kids had gone! In fact, she blamed our 7 year old "they went with the middle one" she assured me - despite the fact that he was with us at the pool! But for the lovely guest who hauled our 2 little ones off the water slide steps, we could have so easily had the worst possible happen. It was simply inexcusable to 1) pay for baby sitting that was non-existent and 2) for the resort to advertise a "safe" environment for kids when a 3 yr old and a 20 month old can simply walk out a door of a kids club, wander throught the restaurant and start climbing the steps to a pool water slide .

We spent some time with the manager of the resort, and various other "head of babysitting" and "public relations manager". The PR guy seemed genuine, the baby sitting head blamed the locals for being "lazy" - I had to point out that he employed them and any fault lay with him. The manager said all the expected things - but what we really wanted was assurance that the 2 baby sitters we had would not be left in charge of any one's kids again. They simply couldn't be trusted. We didn't get this assurance and my wife was sure that she saw one of them heading to a bure for baby sitting a couple of nights later.

For us our holiday was ruined. We didn't trust any of their baby sitters to look after our kids during the day again. I'm sure that there are some good baby sitters there - we saw a couple of youngish women who seemed to be doing a great job with their charges - maybe we just got unlucky with the two we got.

However, they are the reason we will never ever go to the resort again with kids needing baby sitting, nor would we recommend anyone else with young kids go there - you just can't trust the baby sitters to look after your loved ones and keep them safe.

We felt so let down, in fact, still do. If you have kids under the age of 7, don't go!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank rmccrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2008

Just returned from Plantation after spending 7 nights on this beautiful island.
It was one of the best holidays my family has ever had, I have 3 teenage boys who spend the whole time snorkeling, playing golf, kayaking, and fishing. My wife and I were content to lie on the beach and watch the world go by.

Beach and Water.
The beach is unbelievable, water is crystal clear and full of life, big Golden Trevally's and other assorted reef fish patrol the shallows and often come through in schools looking for the thousands of bait fish 2 metres from beach.
Reef's are located within 500m from beach and well worth the small swim out, we snorkeled a different one each day, whilst coral may not be as colorful as it used to be, it is still an amazing experience and the abundance of fish, moray eels, rays, sea snakes makes it even better. Wife would not snorkel but they have glass bottom kayaks and that was perfect for her.

Food.
I have read on this site where other people have bagged the food but i loved it, the mistake i made was to take the meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, next time i would only do breakfast and dinner, plenty of beautiful fresh fruit every meal and lots of choices, it was very busy when we went and sometimes you had to wait for them to refill the bain marees but just be patient, too many people wanted to complain that they had to wait 10 minutes but just chill out have another drink.

Drinks.
Drinks were $5.50 for beer and $6.10 for spirits, cocktails were $15.00, my wife ended up buying the fruit smoothes for $5.00 and putting a shot of vodka in them $4.50 and she loved them and they were much cheaper.

Accom.
Our room was upstairs overlooking the beach, it was good and was cleaned every day, the only time we spent in it was to sleep so we weren’t too fussy. Was a little noisy in the morning when the little kids were going to breakfast but apart from that it was fine.
We made the mistake of not taking any shampoos or conditioners thinking there would be some in the rooms so make sure you pack your own. Mossie spray too while your at it.
The shops at the resort have them so it was no big deal.
Next time i would take my own beach towels, they do hand them out but several times they ran out and we were forced to wait a few hours to get one.

Account.
Make sure you check your bill every day, there were several days when we had items on our account that were not ours, we explained that to the staff and they happily removed it from our bill.
Staff.
Staff were great, some are a little quiet but if you take the time to chat with them they will respond in kind. Susana in the dinning room and Louisa were great and i enjoyed having a laugh with them every meal.
Michael and Ritchie were also good value and we spend several nights sharing Kava with them and the other staff until the wee small hours of the morning, they were very generous and were happy to do whatever they could to make sure we had a good holiday.

We didn't get a chance to play tennis, putt putt, lawn bowl and we didn't once swim in the pools, (beach was too good).

Overall i would thoroughly recommend Plantation Island for a great relaxing holiday, it may not be the most modern of resorts but it has everything i needed to totally relax.

Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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8  Thank Gav40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2008

Just got back from a seven night stay with our three children ages 14, 11 and 8. Was a bit nervous after reading some of the reviews but were pleasantly surprised.

Stayed in a 2 bedroom garden bure - had requested the 200's but were placed in 303/304 (2 interconnecting rooms, each with a queen bed and two twin beds). The location was nice - close to pools and beach - we could sit on one of our two patios and look out at the ocean. Room was tidied each day but not as thoroughly cleaned as I would have liked. The glasses and mugs we used were just rinsed, not replaced. Bring your own shampoo and hairdryer as these are not provided. I tried for 3 days to get a hairdryer from reception and one finally became available on the 4th day. You cannot drink the tap water - a cooler with drinking water was provided but we found it tasted bad. We brought bottled water and stuck with that - no tummy issues, thankfully

We purchased the breakfast/dinner meal plan. The breakfast buffet had fresh fruit, baked goods and toast and you could order hot eggs with meat. Decent but got boring after a few days. The dinner buffets were generally good but again, could have used more variety. Our kids ate during the earlier kids setting from 5-6:30. Made lots of friends and enjoyed their meals which were generally of good variety and always had veggies as well. We sent the kids off to the evening activity each night in hopes of having a quiet dinner - it seems many parents chose to eat later with their kids. I don't have an issue with this except when the kids are running between tables screaming, grabbing onto tiki torches and swinging on them and tired mothers yelling at their kids. We tried eating later but the pickings at the buffet were slim once 8:30 came around. We ate at Ananda's one night but found the food to be mediocre. Overall, dinner and drink service is fair. Would order drinks for the kids just after they sat down and often, they would be almost done with dessert when they arrived. Wait staff was not overly friendly

The kids had a blast! The beach was beautiful. At low tide, they could walk out pretty far. They kayaked every day and we did the snorkeling, line fishing, shell village and banana boat ride. They made friends the first day and we didn't see them unless they needed something. We felt very safe with them walking around the resort. Michael and Richard from activities were great!

Had a few rash issues with the kids - the resort nurse, Sereana, was amazing!! Very knowledgeable and compassionate. My kids went back to see her for a visit and to say goodbye to her when we left

Overall, despite the few food and service issues, we would highly recommend this resort for families. The kids will have plenty to do. Take advantage of the earlier kids meal and send them off for the evening. Our kids made lots of new friends.

I would probably not recommend this resort for couples without kids. When we travel without kids in tow, we choose adult only resorts as they are quieter.

Thanks to the staff for a great vacation

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank AKD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2008

My husband, 18 month old son and I have just returned from 7 nights at Plantation Island Resort.

It was a great break and a perfect resort for families. I read alot of reviews, good and bad about Plantation but knowing it was a 3 star resort, that is what we expected. I must say that if you are expecting a 4 or 5 star resort, it ain't that.

We stayed in Studio Garden Bure 316 which was set in gardens but had a view of the lagoon from our patio. We got the beachfront location without paying the beachfront price. The Studio Garden Bures near us were all set back in gardens but had views of the beach. We had orginally booked a hotel room but upgraded at the last minute. When we saw the hotel rooms I was glad we did upgrade as the Bures are very roomy, tidy and alot newer than the hotel rooms. Plenty of room for us and our son.

We ended up taking our own portocot, which came in handy. The cot they had put in our room was not as high on the sides and was broken in places. We also took our own stroller which we used everyday. Sounds like alot of stuff to take but it wasn't that much of a hassle and was worth it.

We got a good price for our holiday and the meal plans were included at a good price. We had a meal plan to cover all meals but next time we would miss the Lunch meal plan.

Some dinner buffets were pretty bland but others were good. On a meal plan you could dine at Ananda's near the airstrip, which was quieter and the food was a bit nicer. You could also order the chef's 3 course special for dinner which was cooked fresh when ordered. Not like the buffet I guess.. They had different entertainment nightly which was good. They have a duo that sing and play guitar during dinner too. They were good although they used the same play list nightly.. we would hear the same songs every night/day. It made us laugh!

Some parts of the resort look a bit run down but the beautiful location and beaches make up for it. To us that is what Fiji is about, not how flash the resort is.

You can do as little or as much as you want. There are plenty of activities and watersports to do, some free and some with a cost. My husband went handline fishing twice over the week, which only cost $6.00. Not much luck with the fish but he was happy to be out on the water for an hour. He also went game fishing which cost $101FJ, for 3 hours.

We went on a Shell Village tour to an island nearby and also went on a 3 island hop another day and got to see other resorts. There are plenty of free watersports, such as snorkelling and kayakying. We didn't go on a snorkelling trip because we had our son, but we just took turns from the beach. The snorkelling off the beach was fantastic! There are so many activities for older kids. You don't see them all day! You can put young ones under 4 in the creche but you pay for a babysitter. We didn't do that as we wanted to spend the time with our boy. I took him into the creche a couple of times to play with the toys and other kids. He had fun!

There are 3 pools to use and just a note the tiles around them are very slippery. Our boy had a few stacks, so we just made him wear his crocs all the time, even in the pool.. that helped alot!

I got the deluxe pedicure at the beauty salon and that was nice and relaxing. You can also get massages at Plantation or at Lomani Resort nearby.

We also ended up using a babysitter to look after our 18 month old son at night. Meri our babysitter stayed in our room 4 out of the 7 nights. Once our son was put to bed we would then go out for our dinner. I was a bit funny about leaving him at first but the locals are so lovely and caring towards children. Plus he is such a good sleeper and once put to bed doesn't wake till morning. Meri works in the Craft Workshop during the day. We were only gone for 2 - 2.5 hours most nights, which works out to $6-$9FJ for her. We always paid her more as they are so underpaid and overworked.

We enjoyed our stay and were very relaxed when we left. The resort is big enough to not feel too crowded although towards the end of our stay it got very busy... school holidays starting I guess. The staff were very friendly and they just love kids. They were constantly kissing, hugging, squeezing our son.. he loved the attention!

We will go back to Plantation again, especially when our kids are older.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank Anita1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2008

Just had 3 nights at Plantation Island with our 4 and 7 year olds. Nice island although it does have a caravan park feel to it. If you like RSL food and loads of kids and noice then this is the place for you.

Staff very friendly but don't expect quick service. Food very ordinary and wine expensive.

I would recommend this place for large groups on a budget or families with kids who want to run around in a group with thier mates.

Couples i would suggest somewhere else.

For the money, not a bad place with a great beach. I would splash out next time on a 4 or 5 star place.

Simon - Sydney

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank the_walsh_family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2008

Before we went here, we read many bad reviews on this place. Due to the price range, we decided to go anyway. We found that on some of the other similar priced resorts, they had bad feed back as well.

We took the Malolo Cat ferry over to the island. We were greeted with shell necklaces, singers and musicians. Check in was a breeze. They take you to the eating area where you get a complementary drink and they get you situated with your keys. Don't worry about your luggage, because they are taking it to your rooms for check in.

We booked a hotel room, but we think we were bumped up to a bure. The actual hotel area didn't look that great, but was a central location. The room where we stayed was large with areas for several to sleep. We paid the cheepest amount and it was more than sufficient. We travel a lot and the rooms are clean and nice. We were room 245.

I found the staff to be very friendly. "Bula!" [hello] was used all the time when you were greeted. But, be aware of cultural terms. If your coming from the Americas, you might not get what you want if you don't use the proper words. For example, we asked for a pitcher of water. We never got it and later found out we should have asked for a jug of water.

The water sports are a must do. Most things are free, but if you want a little something extra, for little money you can do it. You must snorkle the reefs. They are great. There are some you can go to off the beach and they regularly take people in the boat to a farther place for free.

I found this vacation to have a bit of activities and rest time. You could sit in a hammock all day, or go kayaking or swimming all day. You set how busy you want to be.

Even though we don't have children, I thought it was quite the family place. We would walk by the children and they looked like they were having so much fun! They also had a separate dinner time for the kids which is nice for the older adults.

Keep in mind that you are not to drink the water. They do provide you with Fiji water though. Also, they have an activity chalk board that comes in handy. It will tell you through the day what they have to offer.

If you are looking for a wild night life, I would say this resort is NOT for you. People hang out at the bar, but its not wild. I am not even sure they had any disco's really. They had minor stuff and it gets quiet early because there are many with children.

YOu must visit the grocery store for home made bread. We ate that for breakfast daily. We only bought one meal per day and bought things at the grocery store for other meals. If you are from Australia, NZ or somewhere in the Pacific, it probably won't be expensive to you. We live in Australia now, but lived in North America before. By NA standards, it was expensive. Most real dinners were about 30/each. People did do the meal tickets, but they were expensive as well. Food was average.

Also, everything is pretty close together. Don't worry about being too far away. Our room didn't face the beach, but it took us not even a minute to get to the beach.

Oh, and I don't want to spoil it, but look for some Fijian entertainment. Its really great! There was not a lot when I was there for a week, but it was good!

BEST PART OF THE RESORT WAS THE VIEW AND BEACH! This was breath taking. It was surreal and unbelievable! Walking the beach at night, looking at the stars, snorkling during the day, kayaking etc was the best part of the vacation!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank heathluvsing
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
Phone Number:
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: $140 - $404 (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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