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“Great stay, great hotel!”

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Plantation Island Resort
Reviewed April 18, 2009

We arrived at Plantation Island resort late tuesday afternoon and was greated by a lovely staff member. She gave us a quick tour of the resort and settled us into our rooms. We had pre purchased our breakfast and dinner before arrival with the travel agent. This was a great idea as mains for dinner costed around $25FJ. Breakfast consisted of a buffet or a choice of a hot breakfast, e.g. eggs, pancakes. Upon arrival we were also told that we had been given a $300 food and beveridge voucher that would be taken off our bill at the end of our stay. This was a great bonus!! We used this for extra food, really just lunch as the meals are of a substantial size, drinks and cocktails. I was very impressed with the food as Im not really adventures and stick to simple foods with lots of taste. For lunch you have choices of sandwiches, burgers, pasta and curry. And for dinner either the buffet or a main - i would recommend the main as it is fresh and hot and def more value for money.

There are many activities to do on the island that can be booked at the boad shed. These include free fishing and snorkling. Book early to aviod selling out!! For $10 - $17 you can do all other watersports such as knee boarding, water skiing, ski biscuit, banana ride etc. There are also free kayaks you can hire for an unlimited amount of time.There is also 2 other snorkling trips you can go on that are quite cheap as well. We only went on one and the free one. I would def recommend the free one! It still takes you out to the reef and is great. Also for young kids or the more inexperienced swimmer this is a better option as there is a sand bank and is shallower.

The staff are all really friendly and nice and will do anything to ensure you have a plesant stay. I found them to be genuine and just lovely people. It was my birthday on the sat night. The band singing to me is def one of the most memorable parts of my stay.

The trp came to an end so quickly and on monday morning was time to check out. After so much fun there and a great experience it was so sad that this had to happen and was horrible to leave on a bad note. We were told that as it was the easter period the $300 voucher that they had told us will be taken off the room for extra food and drinks didnt apply. 2 days after we had gotton there my partner and I went back to reception to check that we had heard correctly and this was matter of fact as we had not been given anything in writing to clarify it. Once again they had reassured us that we had been given the free credit and it would simply be taken off our bill at the end of our stay. They proceeded to show us the documentation that showed us that easter was a blackout period and it didnt apply but after being told twice that we were entilted to it we had a case. Basically the lady at reception asked if we could identify the staff who told us this and after saying yes they took the money off our bill as promised. They proceeded to tell us that this would be taken off the 2 staff members wage who had told us this. We had heard that the staff members only make $100FJ a week and felt really bad for them. Im not sure if this was a tactic to get us to pay the money out of sympathy or if it was legit.

Overall it was a great holiday and I would still go back again. The staff members are lovely and make you feel very welcome. If you end up going there and they tell you about this $300 voucher I would ask them to put it down on paper for you. The resort is all about trust which is a great thing but at the same time you really need to safe guard yourself to prevent an uncomfortable departure.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank zagameister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 18, 2009

Just returned from our third visit to P.I.R. and must admit to being somewhat disappointed.
The island is still physically beautiful - crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, brilliant coloured fish - but compared to our previous visits in 2006 and 2008 the Resort is not as good.
This visit we stayed in a Studio Bure, having previously stayed in 2 br Bures. Only the 2 br Bures are freestanding - the Studio and even the top-price Beachfront Bures are semi-detatched. Don't know about the other Bures but we could hear every word of conversation from the people in the adjacent bure. Our bure needed maintenance, including removal of some offensive graffiti from our bathroom door. We reported this at the start of our 5 day stay, but nothing happened.
It's good to read that other reviewers found the staff friendly and helpful. I don't consider my family to be demanding guests, but the most common answer to our questions/ enquiries re services and activities was "No". I considered having a beauty treatment or massage. The sign said "Enquiries and Bookings at Reception" yet no one could give me details of what was on offer.
There are 3 pools, but with two beautiful beaches why swim in chlorine?! Even at low tide one can swim at the part of the beach near the floating pontoon. The only "waves" are those caused by the occasional passing boat, so it's great for small children to splash in the shallows and some pretty fish can been seen close to shore or a short swim/snorkel away.
We stayed at P.I.R the same time last year (Aust and NZ school holidays) and this year the occupancy level was noticeably low. So was the staffing level. Lengthy waits to be seated at mealtimes, for food and drink orders to be taken, meals to be brought and table to be cleared (frequently not at all during the meal). Prices had gone up and selections were not as extensive. Simple requests for eg water or sauce went unanswered. Ananda's Restaurant was closed ("Not busy") so the only resort dining options were the main restaurant or at Lomani. As in the past, we purchased some meal vouchers (this time for 3 adults) , then did the maths and realised we were no better off than pay-as-you-go. If you have kids under 15, it may still be a good deal.
Some activities were not offered, or at a reduced frequency to what was advertised. Two or three staff restaurant/bar staff were quite efficient. Albert and his team at the Dive Bure were great.
Re the Malolo Cat transfers. Don't have your travel agent automatically book these plus transfers to/from Port Denerau. Leeward Island Services, who run the Malolo Cat, provide transfers to/from Nadi airport and hotels as part of the ticket cost. The Malolo Cat is not the only way to get to the island. Pacific Sun (part of Air Pacific) have 3 flights daily from Nadi Airport. Depending on one's arrival time at Nadi Aiport, it may be more convenient to fly to the island (Malololailai) than travel to Port Denerau for the ferry. If you get the cheapest airfare it's considerably cheaper than the ferry. We paid FJ$29pp to fly (10 mins) compared to FJ$55pp for the 50+min ferry. Bet your travel agent didn't tell you about that one!
We did an Island Hop one day (speedboat to 5 other islands) and were very impressed by one particular resort. Will be considering that one for our next Fiji visit.
Our latest experience at P.I.R. was disappointing, as our previous visits were fantastic. Please, P.I.R., lift your game. You have a lot to offer. I realise the world economy is impacting on all businesses. So give us value for our money and we'll come spend it!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Louise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2009

Our family of 4 + extended family of 7 all had 12 nights here staying in the Garden Bures/cottages, the rooms were large and nicely decorated and 20mts from the waters edge. The staff were all so friendly. The kids had the time of their lives with all the kids club activities and watersports. 3 nice pools, the kids one with the slippery dip was the most popular. Every night comes with different entertainment. The free little boat trip out to the sand cay for snorkling was amazing, we did it everyday. Amazing sealife. (we never had trouble getting a spot in the boat, but in busy periods would book first thing in the morning) I think it goes twice a day. You can also see beautiful fish etc just off the beach. The food was very nice at the hotel , we didnt have our meals included, which was good as we ate at Lomani Resort twice(adults only) and I think it's Muscot Cove. Maybe works out a little dearer but nice to have more options.
We went on a couple of boat trips to various Islands and villages which was great.
Will definately be going back in the future. We all loved it and would recommend it for a wonderful family holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank travellin-with-boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2009

We absolutely fell in love with Plantation Island. And will definately be returning same time next year!
We travelled with a 6 year old and a 7 month old.

We flew in to Nadi, (and arrived at around 3.30 local time), then got a direct transfer to Denarau marina on the courtesy bus. (This takes about an hour...) When we got to Denarau, we had a little wait so we got some cold drinks and had a quick look around. Some good souvenier shops here, although expect to pay the same price just about anywhere in fiji. So if you see something, just get it because you probably almost definately wont find it cheaper anywhere else or at all.

We got the Malolo Cat transfer, (please note that there is a F$35 return charge for surfboards.) It wasnt the nicest of boats, but we got there safe! The staff are lovely and extremely helpful!>

We got to Plantation Island at about 5.30 local time which was just on dusk. And when we got onto the wharf we could see the MOST amazingly clear water with gorgous tropical fish and blue star fish everywhere. (This is the stuff i dreamed of!) We were greated with traditional singing and shell necklaces (i love that part!) The island is huge! So much bigger than i anticipated. But it is good when you have kids, because there is always something new to explore!

The island actually has 3 resorts, although because their so spread out, you dont really notice. Also 3 supermarket style shops. 1 at plantation, next to the Boat Shop, that actually has the cheapest Fiji Beer for $4.50 for the Fiji Gold and $5.50 for the Fiji Bitter. Bundaberg Rum Cans and Vodka UDLS are also available from here for $6.00 a can. You can drink these pretty much anywhere on the island/resort too. Also, the takeaway next to the mini mart here, makes the best fish burgers! Or try the toasted sandwiches! Yum!
Another is near the Airstrip, (Anadas), and the other is at Musket Cove.
You can actually order meat from Musket Cove Shop, and cook them in the BBQS there. Packs are around $20. We didnt get enough time to do this but are so looking forward to doing it next time.

The rooms were amazing! We actually got a free room upgrade to the Deluxe Garden Room Villa. This was huge and so much better than i'd anticipated. We had prearranged a cot and this was already set up in our room. It had a seperate main bedroom, and 2 single beds in the lounge area. A Bar fridge and a safe also. The bathroom was huge and everything was extremely clean.

The grounds are so beautifully maintained. They work so hard to make sure that everything is trimed raked and perfect for the time everyone gets up. (You pretty much dont see any other guests until 7.30-8.00am local time!) They have so many frangipani trees, its awesome!

The people are amazing, always so so happy. Constantly greeting with the traditional "Bula", and "Vinaka"! They have always got a huge smile and all wear beautiful flowers in their ear! It definately sets the tropical island theme! If you need anything including babysiting (which is $3.00 an hour!), you cannot go wrong at Plantation. Especially if you see Teresia or Kay in reception, they couldnt help us enough. And we definately felt very safe leaving our baby with these beautiful ladies. They are so amazing with kids! Everyone would stop to kiss our little girl or high 5 our 6 year old son!

Kids club was excellent. They had 2 kids play areas and a jumping castle, and indoor slide equipment. They would have daily assigned activities for the kids. Including basket weaving, t shirt painting, fish feeding, snorkelling, table tennis, mini golf and much more... At night they also had a kids program followed by a movie on the big screen in the kids club.

The food was beautiful. We actually just brought the bfast/dinner plan daily on the island and then would go to the snack bar for lunch (expect to pay up to $10 for lunch per person)> We were a bit naughty and had pancakes everyday for breakfast! They were beaitiful, while my husband had eggs benadict most days! So you can either order a la carte or buffet on the meal plans/vouchers. The bfast buffet had a yummy range of goodies including cereals, fruits, toast, bacon, eggs and pastries each day. We didnt think that they tasted any different than at home in aus.
Lunch we either had a fish burger or a toasted sandwich also extremely good. (And a cheaper option than getting a 3 meal day plan.)
Dinner was on a voucher, so again you can get either a la carte or buffet. Initially i just had buffet, the red meat did taste a bit different, but not horrible by any standards.
The chicken was good too, but neither were as good as the fish!!! OMG it was amazing, so DEFINATELY try the Walu Steak and the Ika Ne Malolo! SOOOOO GOOOD!!!
Also try the desert. Yummmo! The coconut icecream is the best we have ever had! You must try it!

The water here is better than amazing! It is so clean and clear and the fish and star fish are just amazing! It really is a tropical paradise dream! Exactly like it says on the post cards!
For surfing, you can see small john at the boat shed. He takes you out everyday, weather permitting, for F$40 per person. We surfed Desperations and Wilkes. We missed Cloudbreak (as you can ONLY surf this on a saturday) because of a big storm. But will time it better next time! remember to take all the essentials like a water, munchies, a hat, wax, zinc, and sunscreen, as it gets sensationally hot out there. You go for about 3-4 hours, depending on the surf.

The pools are pretty cool, especially the slide pool, but the ocean wins hands down!

Do bring your own insect repellent and sunscreen, as they are extremely expensive over there. Also take some gastro pills, just in case as you cant drink the water. They do provide drinking water in your rooms, and you can buy it pretty cheap, so we were all fine:)

Make sure you get the LOVO on the thursday night, and stay up for the traditional Meke dance which is around 9pm. Every night from 9pm they have an adult program, along witha range of organised activities throughout the day.... Most of these are free.
We also did the Shell Village Tour, this was basically a place to buy soveniers. Do take more than less money with you. Mostly necklaces, bracelets and carvings. The necklaces start off at $10 per piece. Carvings are from $20. Definately worth a look. Also, there is a second stop on the tour that is strickly carvings that they make on site. Just a few more necklaces and wieved goods. Keep some money for here as theres sure to be something that you want!

I was so happy here. We all were. And have read the reviews and initially had some reservations about coming. But it turned out to be the best family holiday that ive ever had and DEFINATELY cant wait to come back... Perfect for everyone!

We also went onto Treasure Island for 5 days after Plantation, and although the food was 5 star (although very expensive at $95 per day/per adult) and the new pool was amazing, i felt that it failed in so many other areas, as it definately wasnt as nice... The grounds wernt that well maintained, the people wernt as friendly as plantation, where everyone remembers your name, and the water not as nice (because its a coral atoll, there is coral chuncks all over the sand and the water was SO salty i didnt even snorkel.) Pretty dissapointed! And the rooms were TINY> No privacy at all. And it was much more expensive... All the free stuff costs! Drinks are $6.00 for a local beer, $11 for a VB! $10.50 for a local spirit, too outragous for imported spirit, $4.80 for a soft drink 330ml, and $4.60 for 1.5lts of water. They do not provide any others means of water, and it does add up. I think Treasure is better for retirees, but doesnt really cater well for families as theres really nothing to do but sit in the pool or eat.... Message me for more info. I was so looking forward to Treasure, and not that much Plantation, and what a turn around that was!

Hope this is detailed enough. I am happy to respond to personal questions.

Have a great trip!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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10  Thank JanaJade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2009

If you want an easy, fairly cheap Fiji Island getaway, this is a great place. Our family, 2 children 7 and 11 stayed here in June 2008. The location is protected, so swimming straight off the beach is easy. There are some fish and coral to be seen directly in front of the resort, but the best snorkling/diving is a boat trip away. While we were there, they offered free snorking trips out to the nearest reef. This was great fun for all the family. The staff are friendly and the rooms clean. Some of the resort could do with some attention. The dive shop in particular needs some new equipment. Very definitely a family resort, NOT for single couples and honeymooners. The restaurant can be a bit of a circus.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank sjw156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We booked Plantation Island on the strength of the reviews on this forum so thought I would do the same. We have 2 kids - 2 and 3. The island is perfect for kids - there are no waves so they can safely swim in the water and there are 3 pools at the resort. One has a kid's slide (even though it's a bit tired looking!). The resort itself is looking a bit tired but it really doesn't matter - you are there to relax and you know it's 3.5 star.

The rooms were spacious but the cots they provide are like something from the 70's! My 2 year old fell out of his and hit his head on the tile floor -we put him in the single bed after this! You can't fold them down and they don't fit in the bedroom doors so they have to sleep in the lounge. Probably a good idea to take your own portacot.

We opted for the breakfast package which we paid for when we booked through Qantas holidays. We didn't eat lunch as you can just eat at the snack bar or the food off the menu in the restaurant is pretty good - burgers, toasted sangers etc. We also ordered off the menu for dinner as we just aren't into buffets but I can see the value of them if your kids are older. Mine just don't eat that much! There were lots of families making the most of these buffets and I'm sure it's good value and less hassle for them. There is a mini-mart and a bigger supermarket on the island for other items (nice applies from NZ at Anandas supermarket) and you can buy UHT milk etc from either. You charge everything to your room (except at the supermarket where you need to pay in cash). There is also a great trade-store at Muskat Cove resort which is only about a 10 minute walk from Plantation Island resort. They have a great pool and it's fun to spend the day there for a change of scenery. It's much quieter there.

We ate twice at Lomani's restaurant which is also on the island and is an adults only resort. We got the kid's babysat for $3 an hour - they just hang out in the kid's club which is for 4 yrs and over. Younger kids can play in there but they either need a babysitter or you can go with them.

I would take some coat hangers for the rooms if you want to hang your clothes up. I also took pegs as each Bure has a washing line outside - a necessity! I also took some UHT Big M's and some vegemite for the kids but you can get this stuff there. If you like Light Milk it is not that easy to get. It's heavy all the way! You can buy nappies there but they're pretty crap so I would take enough for your trip.

The people are lovely - they love the kids and are super friendly.

It was a really relaxing holiday - there is enough to do but also there is nothing to do if that's what you choose. Probably not a place for couples - it's pretty loud with all the kids staying there but certainly a great family holiday.

Anyone got any questions then feel free to drop me a line.
Carla

3  Thank woollers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2009

Shocking overall RUNNY TUMMY EVERY DAY and staff were unmotivated.
Would definitely not go here again-even if they offered it to me for free.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank DadFromSydney
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: $140 - $405 (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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