Having been to the caribbean several times, Fiji was a really great change for us. I read everything I could find on Plantation before leaving, so I think we were all pleasantly surprised when we actually got there. I found myself wondering how people could trash the place so harshly.
We took the Malolo Cat early in the morning, and the ride was beautiful. Since we had just flown 6 hours from NYC, then 11 hours from LAX, I'm so glad we decided to end the long journey with a boat than a another flight. We arrived at the resort so early, so we were not welcomed with the band as I had hoped, but Johnnie was there with shell lei's and a huge smile. Check in was quick and easy. We were offered a two bedroom bure for a few hours until our rooms were ready. We, and our friend's had studio garden bure's, and my parents had a beachfront bure. When we realized the resort was less than half occupied due to low season, I asked upon getting to our room, if we could get something closer to my parents (217) With no hassle we, and our friends were moved to 241 and 242. These are studio garden bure's, but these two particularly are exactly on the beach, just like the beachfront ones, and steps to 217. Sure the rooms are basic, but very clean and surprisingly spacious.
We were celebrating a retirement, a 40th anniversary and a 1st anniversary, when we got to our rooms, we were welcome with fruit baskets, champagne and sarongs. A nice touch, I later found out was requested by our travel agent.
The beach was so beautiful and the water incredibly warm. Plenty of hammocks for everyone, but it really seemed like we were the only ones there, our own island most times. We just loved the privacy of this, having never been to a resort so quiet. I can't imagine being there when it's crowded, I quite enjoyed the serenity. The first week the tide was in early in the day and stayed in until late afternoon, which made for fabulous, long days of swimming. The last few days the tide was out during these hours, so we went to the pool. I'm not sure if it was weather related (as cyclone warning was in affect during low tide days) or just naturally the cycle, but for us our days spent in the ocean were our favorite. The kiddie pool was perfect for our toddler, however with the ocean being so calm, clear and warm, she loved it there. We noticed the tide at Musket Cove seemed to be out everyday all day, leaving guests to the pool or a good walk for an ocean swim. Loamani seemed to experience the same tide as the 200 side of Plantation, with the 300 side being somewhere in the middle. Definitely the 200 side is a better beach, hands down.
The food was okay, it certainly got boring quickly. but if you eat anywhere for 12 days in a row, I'm sure this would happen. We bought bread, meat and cheese for lunches, not needing a large meal mid day. We tried dinner at Annanda's, but were not impressed, yet another couple quite liked it. Musket Cove was great one night, as was Lomani. We all tended to order off the menus at Plantation over the buffet for the second week.
The cocktails were very good, but a bit pricey. We had brought in some duty free, and mixed our own drinks most of the time. They didn't seem to mind when we brought our own drinks to dinner, or champagne occasionally for breakfast mimosas.
The staff were all so friendly. They seemed to know our toddler immediately by name, and all came to say hi to her every time we came near the restaurant, or anywhere near any staff. They absolutely adore children, it is so obvious and so beautifully warm and kind. We never used the sitter service or the kids club, our daughter was too young and her grandparents being there, they wanted every second they could with her.
We did the dolphin safari, sadly there were no dolphins that day. Yet, another couple said the day prior they saw many, even babies swimming right up to the boat. So I guess you take your chances there, it was still a great boat ride and followed by good snorkeling. The trip to Shell Village was very nice, and a little heartbreaking at the same time. They are so poor, and I wish we had brought more things for them. We knew before heading to Fiji, we were planning to give away some clothes and toys, but we didn't bring enough to Shell Village. However, a lot of the staff live there, so we ultimately got things to them in the end. I suggest saving some items for the wood carving village, which is the second stop on this tour, because they seem to have even less than those at Shell Village. The free snorkeling was great, lots to see. However the snorkeling right off the beach is good too. We didn't do Sunflower Reef, only because we were told by others the free one is better. Line fishing was apparently fun, (I didn't go myself, others in our group did) but no one caught anything, except the guide. The Island Hop was great. We went towards the end our trip, so it was nice to get to other resorts by then, just to see something new, snorkel, do some light shopping. We had planned the sunset cruise early in the trip for our last night..sadly the weather was too rough to take it, I wish we had done it early instead. We went to church on Sunday, they take you up to the top of the island, beautiful views. The service was mostly in Fijian, the singing was beautiful. The basket weaving class was fun, easier than it looks.
The nightly entertainment was okay. The band really great, Mr.Plantation Island was hilarious, the Polynesian and Fijian nights were fantastic. The rest a little tired... but we were tired too after our long days in the sun, so turned in by 9 or 10 most nights anyways.
Would I return to Plantation? Absolutely, it was an incredible trip that we will never forget. Beautiful memories made in a beautiful place. Thank you Plantation Island Resort!
- 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