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“First experience in Fiji”

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Musket Cove Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 21, 2013

We stayed at Musket Cove for 9 nights in June travelling with a group of friends all with babies and toddlers. The staff at this resort are wonderful with children, nothing is ever a problem and they are genuinely loving towards the children and understanding of the parents.

Being a group of 13 adults and 6 children, we were always made to feel welcome and accommodated in every way. We stayed in a two bedroom villa very close to the main restaurant and swimming pool area so it was very convenient for us to go back and forward to our villa. The Villa was well appointed and spacious however starting to look tired. The cleaning could have been more thorough especially with mopping floors which with small children crawling around on was obviously dirty.

The restaurant had good quality food for an island resort offering daily specials as well as a la carte options. They also had various nights where you could select your own ingredients for a stir fry and on one night they had a suckling pig on the spit which was excellent. They always have some live music in the restaurant which creates a nice atmosphere. There is a coffee shack on the island serving real coffee (not brewed coffee) and Johnny was always cheerful and charismatic. You can buy BBQ packs from here and cook your meals at the communal BBQ area where there is a good bar for drinks.

The best place to buy supplies is the small supermarket on the other side of the airstrip just outside the resort called "Anandas". The local supermarket was struck by lightning and burnt down in April 2013.

Activities include snorkelling, kayaking, sailing catamarans, deep sea fishing, skydiving, and scuba diving and golf. The equipment at the resort needs to be updated as it is generally in poor condition. The kayaks and catamarans had leaks in them and they all had something broken or not working right. If they had better equipment then they would get a lot more use. On a resort where guests are looking for activities it isn't acceptable to have such old and outdated equipment not in proper working order. Overall a very nice place for an island holiday with family and friends, but I wouldn't rush back before checking out other options in Fiji.

Room Tip: We stayed at Villa 31 which is opposite the main restaurant and pool. Whilst this was convenient wi...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank bonanzabugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keeler11, General Manager at Musket Cove Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2013

Bula and thanks for your feedback. I remember your party well and it is nice to hear you enjoyed your stay. Your group did have a lot of toddlers scampering around. And as anyone could imagine, did take a lot of extra effort.
To be honest, this year due to closuer of some neighbouring resorts we have accepted more families than normal. Which is not our norm.
Because we are a large property we must consider the comfort of all guests. Our usual policy is to restrict the number of families and our beach and Armstrong Island burrs are strictly couples only.
Your right about watersports equipment. My apologies. New equipment has been ordered and damaged repaired.
Our temporary airconditioned 150sq metre Trader store at the Marina has now reopened. With a full range of snacks, deli, fruit and vege, drinks, ice creams etc.
Vinaka
Garry

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492 - 498 of 760 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for five days in mid-June 2013. It was our first time in Fiji so I really didn't know what to expect. But it didn't take long to realise Musket Cove was a real gem. We visited several other resorts for short visits or meals (including Plantation Island, Lomani, Mana and Castaway) and from what we saw (without spending the night elsewhere) none could compare.

It's just the right size - smaller than most resorts, but big enough to have a bit of variety in food choices and plenty of activities if you got tired of relaxing on the beach. Plus it's a slow stroll to Plantation (15 min) and Lomani (30 min) for even more meal options. The meals were not quite as good as the one dinner we had a Lomani, but reasonably priced and the special meal nights (curry night and stir fry night) were highlights (just go easy on the chili in the stir-fry unless you like it really hot). The breakfast buffet was excellent but be aware there's an extra cost for hot breakfast vs. just continental (we had breakfast included, which included the hot options).

The resort is situated on a particularly scenic part of the cove, which is huge, clean, gentle and shallow enough to wade across at high tide. You do have to be mindful of low tide, when the cove is too shallow to enjoy, but there's always the pool. There's a little bit of reef at the outer edge of the cove you can snorkel to, but better coral is to be found on the day trips.

We did lots of day trips because I love snorkeling - the free sandbar trip is lovely. The island hopper is OK, lots of snorkeling, but the day is a bit long and the lunch at Mana was awful (do NOT bother with the buffet! I heard the a la carte restaurant was fine). Be aware that the dolphin tour can be hit or miss depending on the weather and the whim of the dolphins, which are wild, I'm told there's a 70% chance of seeing them. We lucked out and got close enough the dolphins swam across our bow, plus we had two snorkeling stops.

I had a massage which was lovely and reasonably priced considering you're at a resort.

We stayed in a lagoon bure which was not quite what we'd imagined - it's a tiny shallow 'lagoon' you can't swim in, although we enjoyed seeing the crabs and fish below our porch every day. The bures themselves are lovely and comfortable, the air conditioning works pretty well which we needed a few nights. Part of the reason we chose the lagoon bure is because children under 5 can't stay in them which means you don't have to worry about screaming babies for neighbours.

Speaking of children, we didn't have any but there were quite a few families with young kids. However they don't have a kid's club so if you have older, active kids then Plantation may be a better choice for you.

We loved our stay so much we didn't want to leave.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Alexa_Melbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keeler11, General Manager at Musket Cove Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Bula and thankyou for your feedback. Great to hear you enjoyed your visit.
Our ambition is to constantly improve our guest experience and your comments are valued.
As you experienced, visiting the islands gives our guests a great barefoot island experience.
We are constantly upgrading our dining options and we have some great plans moving forward. Your comment re breakfast is taken on board and will be addressed.
Due to the closuer of some neighbouring islands. We have assisted by accepting some of their bookings. Therefore more kids than we'd usually accept, my apologies.
Great to hear you enjoyed your spa treatment. I'll pass on your comments.
Value for money is what we endeavour to deliver in all aspects of our resort. And together with valuable feedback we will continue to improve. Vinaka Garry.

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Reviewed June 15, 2013

We have recently returned from Musket Cove. We stayed 4 nights in a beach front bure. It was beautiful ( apart from the strong smell of sulphur and the large hole being dug into the septic outside our bedroom, and the strong oder that came from the shower)The housemaid was so sweet. The main restaurant was nicely presented but there is a serious problem with the staff - they are unhappy and unfriendly. We were with a group and none of us felt welcome at the restaurant bar. You could ask for something as simple a glass of water and be ignored and in one case huffed at. The food in most cases was really good but the unhappy staff took the pleasure away.Kids meals were strictly to be had within the kids meal hours.The island bar was great and bbq at $30 (cook your own) great value and fun. Take cash with you because you will not get it there - they have eftpos. The best shop is half way between Musket and Plantation as the Musket shop burnt down. The best place for value and service to eat is Ananadas which is a short walk from Musket or a 2 minute bike ride (hire them at Musket for $20 daily) Musket is a beautiful place. Beach not good unless tide in. Great facilities but no phone or room service(not really a concern unless you need something). Hopefully the new restaurant/bar managers will be able to sort out the service as I'm sure this has been and will be a great place to go. Bula is an absent word unless you instigate it. In the restaurant/bar it is not a given though. Currently I would not return.

Room Tip: lagoon and beach front great. Lagoon more up to date
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Anna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keeler11, General Manager at Musket Cove Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Bula. I am so sorry to hear about some of your experiences. As the General Manager it disturbs me to hear you didn't feel welcome by some of our team. This is totally uncharacteristic and has been taken incredibly seriously. I watch our staff every day and it's wonderful to see their friendly and warm interaction with guests with the true Bula spirit.
Plans for our new Trader mini mart and Coffee Cove have recently been locked away. Which will give yet another great dimension to Musket Cove. We are also going to upgrade our Barefoot Island bar by installing cook your own gas BBQ's.
Again, thank you for taking the time to comment. Everything is taken on board and will be addressed. Vinaka Garry

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Reviewed June 4, 2013

We just had 4 nights here 28th May to1st June and unfortunately arrived in Pouring Rain and left in Pouring Rain. So had 2 days fine but cool. Wasnt the Holiday We had Planned. We had An Armstrong Villa happy with room but a little far to walk when you have bad weather. Didnt find staff that helpful either or friendly. A nice resort in the fine weather. Was great to walk down to Anandas and eat as well and To Plantation also. If i went again would have A Beachfront Bure so handy to everything or a LagoonBure. Everything was clean but getting old in Places. Food was ok and we had our own Breakfast Food in Room too cook which was great. Would reccommend Hotel but we have just had another 4 nights on the Mainland At Port Denerau which have enjoyed more as not so isolated. Being on an island is great but you are there only and if its raining not much to do as no Tv signal and no shopping etc.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank BoatieYeppoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keeler11, General Manager at Musket Cove Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Bula, my name is Garry Snodgrass and am the newly appointed General Manager of Musket cove.
Great to read that overall you enjoyed your stay back in May.
Unfortunately wet weather has a tendency to dampen an island experience.
Thanks very much for your feedback. We constantly strive to improve and your comments are most defintiely taken on board and shared with the team.
All rooms are currently in the throws of upgrading and enhancing our guest experience.
However the one point that surprised me was unfriendliness of staff. For this I am sorry. We have always prided ourselves on the warmth of our team.

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Reviewed June 4, 2013

I think I counted 25 steps from our bure to the beach, the beach that we woke up to a view of from our bed in our timeshare bure. That’s 25 ‘short’ steps by the way, if you’re of super model stature you’d probably make it in 18 or so. I have nothing bad to say about the timeshares but please don’t take the fact that I've awarded it a rating of five as meaning that it is 5 star accommodation. Here on Trip Advisor they qualify ratings ranging from poor through to excellent, for us this stay was definitely excellent!

This is a difficult review to do as many things have changed in the short time since we stayed. The Island Bar is now back up and functioning (it wasn't when we were there) and the Trader Store, very sadly, burnt to the ground exactly a week after we left. We stayed over Easter and Musket Cove (the resort itself) was extremely busy, too busy for us, we tended to visit the Trader and make our purchases and then rush back to our little piece of quiet sanctuary.

The reason for my ‘excellent’ rating could possibly be seen as biased in some ways. I've come to the conclusion that I’m not much of a snorkeler, which is not to say that this activity (along with other water sports activities) is not on offer and for a very reasonable fj$35.00 pp at the time of this review, for the entire week. It’s just that I've decided I’m a passionate lover of simply being immersed in tropical waters. All day if possible! And I have certain criteria that need to be met for maximum enjoyment…

Non coral bottom,

Good depth but not too deep,

Sheltered,

Not crowded,

Warm (the water was so warm it was almost hot at times in the shallows),

And I need a feeling of safety that no big scary monster of the deep is gonna suddenly lurch up and eat me!!!

-Check to all the above, right out front of our bure… lucky, lucky me!

Of course it is tidal, most of the islands in the Mamanuca group are but that’s okay, there is a perfectly nice pool within the Timeshare property to use if you need a swim in-between the tides or there is a lovely big pool in front of the main part of the actual Musket Cove resort not too much further on if that is your thing. Or… stroll a bit further down the beach and visit Plantation Island Resort for better all tide swimming (we didn't but maybe that info is helpful to someone reading this).

And the staff. I have to add this bit because the staff tending to the Timeshares were special! They were efficient, but that’s not the point I really want to make, they were real and lovely, approachable and interactive! We had a private coconut milk making lesson from which I made my own kokoda (fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice and then mixed with coconut milk). I also made a pretty good chicken curry with the remainder. And where did the fish come from? Ahhh, not telling but I will say that we had a fantastic afternoon one day when a bag of fish and a lobster ’appeared’ in front of our bure. These are the sort of things that make special memories of any holiday and they can’t simply be ‘bought’ for money, they are cherished moments when you really feel you are taking part in the day to day Fijian life and culture and gaining a bit of insight.

If you’re headed to Malolo Lailai and staying in the Timeshares I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. We’ll return, next year if at all possible, and two weeks would be preferable if we can swing it. Loved it, loved everything about it and came home looking like a native of some place tropical - tanned, relaxed and with very happy memories.

Not much more you could ask for from a weeks holiday I think.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Dianz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

After 5 days in a resort on the mainland, we wanted to experience an island for the 2nd part of our holiday & unfortunately this, which was supposed to be the highlight of the holiday, was a complete disappointment.

Missing from this Resort is the ability to either swim or snorkel in the ocean off the shore of the resort - the water is murky from construction, & there isn't any snorkelling off the coast here anyway due to the tide movements. The resort does offer daily boat charters to snorkel spots, but this was useless for us as a family with a 15 month old, we needed somewhere with beach access so my husband & I could take turns.

The door to our bure had a wide (5cm) gap in it, allowing Mosquitos in while we, and our 15 month old, were sleeping.

The restaurant only serves kids meals up until 7 pm, & only serves adults meals from 7 pm, which meant, because they don't do room service, we couldn't eat with our little boy, nor could we eat at all before 7:30-8 most nights given it took that long for meals to come out.

The trader shop (& one of the reasons we chose muscat cove, so we could self cater) that we had read positive reviews about has burnt down, & in its place a small tin shed that caters only for drinks, snacks, ice creams. No bread rolls or chicken or any of the lunch provisions we'd read about.

Wifi was down almost the whole time we were there, so we couldn't even look for somewhere else to go to!

The staff were friendly enough & the room was clean, but other than that, it was not the island paradise we'd dreamed of.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Shannon7979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stayed in an ocean front bure (B13) which was very peaceful and relaxing. Our bure was footsteps away from the white sandy beach and adjacent to the pool and restaurant which we found very convenient, despite reading previous reviews about the noise from the pool and restaurant we didn’t find this to be a problem. We hired bikes for $20 FJD per bike for the day and rode to the other resorts and to the other side of the island via the airport which was a great way to see the island. At low tide they do free snorkelling trips to the sandbar which are worth doing as the sandbar is simply stunning. There was plenty of marine life and coral to look at but there were sea lice due to a storm and their bites can be irritating to the skin. We also did the afternoon delight trip to Castaway Island with four other people where we got to have a look around the resort, had a cocktail in the bar (not included in the price) and the boat took us out to the Castaway wall to do some snorkelling which was a beautiful experience. The boat stayed with us which was reassuring for those who are not as confident snorkelling and the two Fijian boat men were very pleasant and accommodating to our small group.
We ordered BBQ packs a couple of times from the container café to cook at the island bar, we had the sirloin steak which came with a generous salad, garlic bread and baked potatoes for $30 FJD pp which was very good value. You cook your own food on the wood fired BBQ’s at the island bar and all the utensils and condiments are provided free. The beer and wine were reasonable at around $5 FJD for a beer and $6-8 FJD for wine. It was very pleasant dining alfresco on a balmy evening next to the water and mixing with fellow tourists, the yachties and the locals. We dined in the restaurant twice, one night being the pig on the spit which was worthwhile and we got to watch it being cooked on the rotisserie by the pool during the day. The a-la-carte meal was nice but pretty basic; we had the freshly caught Marlin which was served with salad and fries. We had the full breakfast buffet daily which was included in our package but there were not many variations so it did become a bit monotonous after 5 days.
Overall we enjoyed our experience at Musket Cove; we found it private, peaceful and thoroughly relaxing. We would highly recommend this resort to anyone seeking a rejuvenating holiday in the sun. The beachfront bure is a must.

Room Tip: Definitely recommend a beachfront bure.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jandk4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Musket Cove Island Resort

Address: Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Malolo Lailai Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Malolo Lailai Island
Price Range: $292 - $602 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Musket Cove Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Musket Cove you'll find the pace of life smooth and unhurried. The resort consists of 55 bures and villas scattered along the beachfront and throughout our tropical landscaped gardens. All rooms are spacious with separate living rooms and quality inclusions. What sets Musket apart is space, with 400 acres of rolling hills and palm fringed beaches to explore there is never a sense of crowding. Muskets world class marina offers a vast selection of water-sports and activities. Or for those wanting to relax, our dedicated Makare Day Spa is a true haven of tranquillity. Musket offers several gourmet-dining options headed by renowned chef Peter Becker and over 150 warm and friendly Fijian staff ready to welcome you to our island home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Musket Cove Island Hotel Malolo Lailai Island
Hotel Musket Cove Island
Musket Cove Island Resort Fiji/Malolo Lailai Island

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