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“Fabulous Fijian Experience”

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Plantation Island Resort
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous Fijian Experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2011

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!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank searchingnirvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2011

We have only just arrived home from our 4th fantastic holiday at Plantation over Christmas / new year and my husband and I are going back in March for 10 nights for my 50th birthday. We can't get enough of the place! If you want the best holiday of your life and enjoy having a good, fun time Plantation is the place for you. I don't know what is wrong with some of these people, they must go on holidays to whinge.
Imagine this....... dining barefoot with your feet in the sand 3 metres from the water whilst watching the most beautiful sunset in the world. Free snorkelling, free handline fishing, entertainment every night.
Sometimes, yes, shock horror I have had to wait for a beach towel but hey, if thats the worst thing that happens while I'm on holidays I'm laughing. You have to remember you are in Fiji and you are on an island, don't we go on holidays to find things different from home, isn't that what makes it a holiday.
Many of the staff are our friends and we look forward to seeing them greet us on the jetty when we arrive, if you say Bula when you see them and ask their name and introduce yourself you will be rewarded with that big fijian smile and friends for a lifetime.
If you read the negative reviews and believe them you will be sorry. We have taken many friends and family to plantation and everyone has had a fantastic time and wants to go back.
So if you want to see the REAL Fiji get yourself to Plantation, start practising your best Bula, relax and enjoy Fiji time!!

  • Stayed December 2010
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Helpful?
3 Thank caljo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2011

Look, for us, Plantation Island was wonderful, everyone is different and their expectations are different.

We wanted a holiday to relax and enjoy time with the kids being a very busy family from Australia and that is what we got. The Staff were adorable, happy faces & greetings with big hugs and a lot of mutual emotions when we left. The Service Staff are sooooooo lovely, the bar were a little different, not as embracing, but we didnt have much to do with them. I work at a 5 Star Casino and I am big on Customer Service and I felt Plantation Island did all they could for us to make us feel welcome and enjoy our stay.

The Breakfast I too wasnt a big fan of', but I am hugely fussy (even at home), but my hubby & kids loved it. Only suggestions for meals are a little more variety for kids meals. Adult meals were EXCELLENT with lots of variety and theme night food like Mongolian & Indian food nights just awesome !!!!

Location is gorgeous, Bures great, weather was beautiful, very very relaxing place with plenty to do if you wanted to keep busy. We didnt use the pools but saw families having a great time in them. We are heading back next year- it has sealed a place in our hearts.
Thanking Elena, Matt, Thomas, Nancy, Milly, Maria, Mary, Joey, Jim, Fu & Richie for their wonderful hospitality towards us.

ps: My Father-in-law looked at our a portion of our photos (I took over 800) and asked if there were any other people on the island, because apart from meal times we were able to have our own private time in the water while others did the same not too far from us. We both work with people so that was the objective for US, having our piece of private Fiji without going to a secluded island. But for those who want to mingle there is plenty of opportunity to do that.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank rjisydean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shellharbour, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2011

Bula, we [ me ,my husband our four children, my mum and stepdad as well as my 2 older brothers 10 of us in total] have just returned from spending 10 beautiful nights on plantation island resort.As i had booked this holiday for all of us and being our first holiday in a very long time ,i was very worried and concerned after reading some of the reviews on this sight. So i went in with an open mind and my fingers crossed not knowing what to expect.
We arrived on the island with a lovely warm greeting and then all shown to our bure's.We stayed in a studio garden bure which was very spacious , clean and comfortable and about 10ft from the picture perfect clear blue water . we were in paradise.We opted for the meal plan[ buffet style] and found that the food was nice as well we also tried the two other restaraunts on the resort which were really nice for a change .My children really enjoyed the meals.The swimming and snorkelling were fantastic as was the shell village tour our days consisted of swimming ,snorkelling, lazing around the beautiful sea or splashing around in one of the three pools or in one of the many beachside hammocks,and yacht trips .The yacht "take a break" trip we went on was a real highlight as we went to some beautiful snorkelling locations and also came across some dolphins playing nearby.The staff on the island were very warm and friendly and absouletly adored our children, we definetly have made some beautiful new friends and are already savind for a trip back next year. We are a down to earth family and you have to remember this is a 3 star resort and is a great place and have no hesitations of recomending this resort. A quick note to those who have given very bad reviews about this resort, these people work long and hard for little money and if you treat them with disrepect you will get the same in return ( relax , take it easy ,you are on holidays)
Vinarka PIR Hope to see you soon.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank 123marni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2011

We have just returned from a week at Plantation Island. We were mindful of the many poor reviews before our visit - they certainly made us open minded as to what to expect. Thankfully we were not disappointed and had a lovely, relaxing week.

Sure, Plantation Island is not 5 star luxury but this certainly didn't ruin our trip. We found the staff lovely - they gave our two children (4 years and 15 months old) so much attention and many staff addressed them by name after the first day. Our room was spacious and cleaned daily. The food was fine - we didn't go hungry nor did we ever feel like we were waiting too long to be served. Eating dinner on the restaurant deck area (with children being babysat at the Kids Club) in the evening was a highlight of each day - the sunset is just beautiful over the beach. There was plenty to do and the days passed quickly. The beach is really gorgeous - crystal blue water, clean sand and very safe for young kids to paddle about in.

We chatted to many people staying at the resort and everyone seemed to be having a good time - it is nice to see familes relaxing and having a great time together. No one mentioned any negative comments about the resort to us.

If you want a relaxing family holiday in a beautiful location and are not after perfection then don't overlook Plantation Island. We certainly would not have any hesitation going back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank saflinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2011

This is the first statement we are writing ever, just because we were so disappointed.

To start with the goodies: our room was clean and the gardens seem to be maintained. Just to reflect on previous statements, we did not expect a five star accommodation, but this should be a 3 star, and I can just repeat: a lot of backpackers offer better accommodation than this.

Staff was not smiling at all, part of the café/restaurant has been taken over by staff (watching TV - no guest would ever sit there), the food was, especially the breakfast: U N E A T A B L E. The comment of a young couple from Australia just beside us, and we fully agree. We ordered cafe Latte during breakfast, it took a while to tell us the machine is inop and they would organize it from the bar. Got it in a take -away cup with no sugar and no spoon. This is just to mention few issues how it works in this "Resort".

We were told in the first minutes after arrival not to drink tap water, an hour later I asked at the bar for water for our little and what did they serve: tap water!

The main pool was closed for maintenance, and dear management, even a 3 star "resort" cannot close a pool. Close the resort for maintenance if needed. The kids pool is shabby and you really donot want to stay in. The pool towels, we were told we shall use them for 2 days or so until they are dirty: word by word.?? We as guests would like to decide when we return them!

We also could feel the "bad vibes" described in another statement, and the brekafast was the decision making point: we left Plantation after one night and the breakfast, had a walk to the nearby Musket Cove resort (10 mins to walk) and stayed there for the rest of our time. This is a 4 star Resort with friendly staff and real nice rooms - we had a real good time there.

No refunds from Plantation, we had to pay twice.

Dear Plantation management, you were mentioning that your Resort is very attractively priced: We just paid around 35 NZD per night more at the Musket Cove resort in comparison to Plantation, and there is a whole world of difference between the 2 resorts.

If someone wish to have an enjoyable stay in Fiji, donot go for Plantation!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Benicoleudo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PIR-management, Director of Sales at Plantation Island Resort, responded to this review, February 10, 2011
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us at Plantation Island Resort. We value your opinion and have passed your comments on to the relevant departments to help improve the guest experience.

I would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few issues raised in your review. With regards to the water, we do advise guests not to drink from the taps as it is desalinated water. We do however have freshwater taps installed at some outlets which are hooked up to freshwater (rainwater) tanks that are fitted with UV filters. These freshwater taps can be found at the bar, the "coco hut" coffee shop and the kitchen. We also sell bottled water at all bars and food outlets.

The renovation of the children's swimming pool was necessary as we found a large crack in the tile, and it was not safe to keep it open. We closed the pool for a maximum of 4 days at which time the other two swimming pools were fully operational.

The television was turned on because of the Wellington 7's. A lot of our guests are from New Zealand, and this particular rugby tournament is of great interest. Unfortunately 7's rugby (or any rugby for that matter) is a national obsession here in Fiji. I have passed your feedback on to the manager to see if we can relocate the television to prevent staff from being distracted by major sporting events.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further feedback regarding your stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devonport, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2011

My husband and I travelled to Fiji at the end of July with friends, and after completing a marvellous cruise finished our holiday with 7 wonderful days at Plantation Island. I have never met more friendly people than those at this Resort.
Jone at reception was fantastic and assisted us with all and any enquiries, the guys in the booking shed for water activities were wonderful. My husband met, and a began a great friendship with Jacora who was working on the fishing trips and the snorkelling trips were amazing and great fun.
We stayed in a garden Bure and couldn't complain about the accommodation. Ok so it's not 5 star - wasn't expecting it to be but it was comfortable and clean. The ladies who came in on a daily basis to clean the bure did a great job and I couldn't speak more highly of them.
We tried all the different venues on the island for our meals and found Anandas really nice - entertainment was different but fun & good. But really, in general the food at all the food premises was good and we had no problems. We were careful about not drinking the water and had our drinks without ice as a precaution against tummy bugs and had no problems.
The location is AMAZING - the water is gorgeous both in colour and temperature. The snorkelling is great fun and a wonderful collection of fish (didn't see any snakes thank goodness). The trip to the village was intriguing and I bought some wonderful bits and pieces. And the massages - oh am I looking forward to that again.
Are we going again - you bet. My husband who has never wanted to travel overseas EVER wanted to go back as soon we had left. We are now looking at heading back in August this year and cant wait.
For all those with such negative comments - look for your 5 star accommodation. Give me Plantation Island anytime.
Oh and Hannah - your staff are wonderful. Never let anyone tell you anything different.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tassie_7310
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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