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“Best Holiday at Mana”
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Auckland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Best Holiday at Mana”
Reviewed November 12, 2007

We have just returned from 6 nights at mana resort. It was our honeymoon but we also took our kids aged 14mths and 4yrs.
We stayed in an ocean front suite, which was a great room, very large and the newest of the rooms at mana. 2 big bathrooms were good as being right on the beach alot of sand gets trudged in, particularly when it was 30-35 degrees most days and you spend most of your time in the water swimming or at the pool.
We are camping Kiwis and spend alot of time outdoors and have a caravan at a beach in NZ we use most weekends, so we really love the outdoors and the outdoor style dining/bbq style food avaliable at Mana. There are lots of moans and groans about the food at mana, but we found it pretty good overall, not five star for sure but very good overall, we ate at the buffet for all our meals (easier with kids) and they have different themes most nights.
Overall a good selection of food with great fresh fruits (melons, pineapple etc) which is good.
If there are any gripes to be had it really is only small stuff, but didnt really worry us, having lived in the cooks islands for a year I know that Pacific people work in pacific time and at their own pace, yes at times the service was slow, and the same cocktale ordered 3 times was diffrent each time is all part of the fun.
There are some improvemetns they could make, but who wants a 5 star Dull holiday in the middle of the pacific?
The best part of mana is the people, if you have kids dont worry, use the Kids club its fantastic, use the babysitters ($5 FJD per hour) gave us plenty of time to ourselves and they are great with the kids, we had the same babysitter everytime (thanks Andy you made our trip even more special) and she even took the kids to a church service in the local villiage which our 4 yr old loved, we dont go to church ourselves but she loved the singing.
Overall MANA is magic, great beaches, wonderful views, good food and overall a magical relaxing place to holiday. We would recommend this place to our friends and we will return ourselves. Leaves the Mainland Fiji destinations for dead.
Grant & Yvonne, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND.

  • Liked — Oceanfront, good aircond
  • Disliked — the stairs with kids
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank CliffoAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2007

I just returned from 9 days stay at the Mana Island Resort (October, 2007). I rely on trip reports for making decisions about vacations so I offer my impression for other people that do the same thing. I have traveled the South Pacific a few times and I have developed what I believe to be a reasonable expectation of the area. I’ll just address what seems to be a major issue in other reports I have read about the Mana Island Resort – the food. Let me just say one thing: remember where you are and why you are there. I traveled to Fiji and specifically Mana Island for the wonderful beaches and good diving (and it was good). I did not go there for the food. I do not go to 5-star restaurants at home and complain because there is no beach – so I don’t go to the beach and complain because there are no 5-star restaurants. Now, having said that I will say further that I felt the food at Mana was mediocre at best. I took into account that the resort
is rather remote and must import just about everything it serves. Couple that with the fact that they have a very limited customer base (their guests are about the only people on the island) and it doesn’t take long to understand the challenges that would face food service in
such a place. I found the nightly buffet to be perfectly adequate, it wasn’t going to win any awards but I was never hungry (it was approximately $30 US dollars per person). Eating out under the stars and listening to the 4-man entertainment group was more than enough to make the nights memorable for me. The daily breakfast is included with your room. There was a reasonable variety but I’ll admit it was basically the same thing every day. I ate one time at the restaurant and had a lamb dish that was out of this world. My travel companion had lobster that was somewhat disappointing. Again, considering where we were, we found our expectations were not out of line. One suggestion to the resort – since you are not an all inclusive and you charge for meal service you might want to invest some effort in stepping up the quality to reduce the complaints. Otherwise, become an
all-inclusive and build the food price into your room rates – that will set the right expectations.

On to other things - the beaches. I loved the beaches at Mana. The horizon is filled with other islands which made for great pictures. Both the south beach and the north beach have reef systems that are close to shore and make for nice snorkeling. The tide goes out on the north beach by noon so snorkeling and swimming is best in the morning.
You can easily snorkel and swim in the afternoon on the south beach.
Take some bread while snorkeling to feed the fish – they love it and its fun to have them swimming all around you. Be prepared that the fish are used to this, even without offerings they will swim right up close to you looking for handouts. One thing that was disappointing to
see was the number of Crown of Thorns on the reef. Although beautiful,
these destructive animals actually eat the reef. I’m not a conservationist but I would suggest the resort explore the viability of harvesting these animals in order to protect the reef. Both beaches
were very calm and comfortable for swimming. You probably want reef shoes here since there can be things in the water like rocks and shells in some places. Not enough to make it uncomfortable but enough to taunt my tender Midwestern feet on occasion.

We stayed in an ocean front bure. There are two groups of ocean front bures, each situated in a half-circle on the north beach. I would only
consider the two end units as true “ocean front”. There was a good deal of vegetation in front of the rest of the bures and they were actually far enough from the beach to make me question their “ocean front” status. That’s being spoiled though since I’ve stayed in overwater and true ocean front bungalows. The advantage the ocean front bures do have over the garden ones is the relative closeness to the beach but also some of the garden bures shared a common wall with a second unit. All the ocean front bures are free standing so you have
better privacy. The bure was very comfortable with plenty of air conditioning and hot water. I did notice that the honeymoon bures are not on a very good section of beach, especially at low tide. Getting to a good beach is not much effort so it may not be a big deal.

Every evening at 5:00 they have happy hour at the pool bar where you can play bingo. This was fun so don’t miss it. It’s a good chance to meet & talk with other guests. Happy hour beers dropped from $5.50 Fiji (about $4.00 US) to $3.85 Fiji (about $2.80). You have two choices, Fiji Gold and Fiji Bitter – both were very good, much like Bud and Bud Light really. Mixed drinks were fine, I heard no complaints other than they were a little expensive ranging from $9.00 to $12.00 Fiji. Bottled water is readily available at the gift shop for around $5.00 Fiji for a large bottle.

Some people complained about the resort catering to the Asian traveler. I saw no evidence of this at all other than the fact they went to the trouble to include some Asian food selections at the buffet. I thought this was considerate and actually a chance for me to try some new things.

The resort itself is sprawled over a large area. You’ll walk a little bit to get around to all their offerings and activities. This was actually nice since you can find quiet spots easily.

The resort is extremely casual. Casual resort wear was fine for dinner. Most people at the buffet were in t-shirts actually. I wore khaki shorts and a golf shirt to the restaurant and was one of the better dressed people there. I only had lunch at the south beach restaurant (that’s the one with the nice picture on their website with tables on the beach). The lunch was very good and they will even deliver it in to-go containers if you wish to eat on the beach.

The only annoying thing was the fact that you had to sign a ticket for every single drink and food item you order. Everything is charged to your room. The bartenders would offer to “hold a ticket open” only to find that it was closed while you were enjoying your drink and a copy of the ticket wasn’t available for you. I had to pay particular attention to insist that I get a copy of every ticket. This seemed to annoy the bartenders but not to the extent that it was any problem. I wonder if maybe they thought I didn’t trust them. At any rate, my checkout bill at the end of my stay was exactly right so maybe I worried too much about it.

We did a two-tank dive with the resort dive shop. Diving in Fiji is popular and we were not let down. We had two very nice dives and the staff are professional and friendly.

Transportation was very easy. The ferry boat ride from Nadi was really
enjoyable (took about 90 minutes). They stop at a few resorts on the way so it’s a nice chance to see the other options. The boat had sun decks and an air conditioned interior with a small food/drink bar.

The best thing about Fiji, and it resonated at Mana Island, was the people – they were such incredibly nice people. Like anywhere else, treat them with a warm smile and a hearty BULA and they will return the favor ten-fold.

I rate destinations on whether or not I’d return. I would definitely return to Fiji but would probably try one of the other resorts. That is not a comment on Mana – I highly recommend Mana, I just saw so many
other options that I’d want to try a new one on a return visit.

I welcome emails if you have any questions I’ve not answered – I’ll answer what I can.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank MikeInOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2007

It was with some reservation that I booked our holiday at Mana Island. I say reservation because I had read the other reviews written on the island and they all said that the island was lovely but the food was substandard. From what I could gather this resort offered everything we needed for our 18 month old and our five year old. I was expecting the WORST for the food, and figured any improvement upon that would be a bonus.

Well.....the island (as everyone says) is gorgeous, the beaches lovely, the water warm and really inviting. We stayed in both a ocean view room and the ocean front suite. Both suited our situation and to be honest we could of been just as happy staying in the ocean view room (which was closer to the nicer beach) as what we were in the ocean front suite. The ocean front suite was nicer, was double story, so it gave you a little bit of freedom when the children were sleeping. Both were air conditioned.

The food....well it was not BAD, but it was average. Dont' expect anything 5 star gourmet. this is not a a 5 star resort. But it was edible, sometimes even enjoyable. BUT I am a pretty harsh food critic (otherwise known as a foodie) so I do enjoy gooooood food.

BUT having said that everything else made up for the lack for gourmet food. The island was lovely, the resort a little tired but still fine. The fijians were fantastic with our kids, our children loved them. We had a fantastic lady called ETTA who babysat our children for $5 an hour and both children loved her and she took fantastic care of them. We got our first rest in five years!! The kids club was a bargin at a once off cost of $20.00 and the activities were interesting and keep the children busy.

All in all we had a great holiday (the best we could imagine with children). We will be back to Mana Island and know what to expect A GREAT REST, A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND AND FOOD THAT IS FINE.

Oh and don't pack too much, they have free washing machines and dryers (all you have to do is purchase soap powder, or better yet take your own).

Have a great holiday!!

Oh and we did do a day trip to plantation, castaway, malolo.....would not really recommend any of these. Castaway was pretty, but much too small and densely set. The rooms ast castaway were so close to each other that I dread to think was secrets you would know about everyone by the end of the stay. . I think mana island was the best value and best beaches.

  • Liked — Value for money.
  • Disliked — Food could be better, and the music of the nightly entertainment.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank MsHolidayMania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2007

After reading the previous review we became worried as we were due to fly to Mana the next weekend. I couldnt disagree more than the last negative comment. My husband and I went for R&R and we got that plus so much more. We didnt go away for fine dining we went for snorkelling, clean blue water and lots of relaxation. Mana exceeded all expectations. We were thrilled with everything. Note if its fine dining youre after I suggest one of the resorts on Denarau Island.If its crystal clear water, a bure on the sand, peace and tranquility then Mana is more your style. We were lucky this was not the school holidays so we had the island almost to ourselves.

  • Liked — On the beach, clean ( room service every morning ) , comfortable , quiet
  • Disliked — Choice of food
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank windsurfer21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2007

We spent nine nights in Fiji two at Raffles and seven nights at Mana. We are from Auckland. We booked several months ahead. I had researched it on the internet but chickened out and let a travel agent do the booking. It was my second time to Mana, but I wanted my husband and older daughter to come. There were 5 of us including children aged 17, 13 and 8. Because of that we had to get two bures and got the island bures which are the cheapest. However for 100.00 more we could have got one of the split level mezzanine new units on the South Beach! So I was annoyed that the agent did not suggest that. The island bures are plain and I did find the old tiled shower a bit depressing. But anyway we did have two rooms and island bures are in the middle so it is easy to go to either beach. Last year I was in a beachfront bure and that was a bit of a hike although that is a nicer bure but you can hear your neighbours unless you get a stand alone bure.
The breakfasts are included great fruit, bacon, a hard-working omelette maker. Also miso soup and tofu and salad at breakfast.BBq lunch a bit mediocre 20.00 and adult. Buffet meals at night Japanese (looked great) and lovo. $42.
The meals at Mamanuca were a bit odd. The fried rice was not as we know it (not fried and no soy sauce!) My husbands curry dish was quite bland but there were not many Indians on the staff. I wish we could have just gotten a burger. The fish dish at 22.00 was good always fresh and quite varied. Actually we had a burger for lunch at the South Head a massive patty. All kids under 12 and under seem to eat free at the buffet whether the parents were eating there or not. There was a kid's corner at dinner time.
My family thought the snorkelling was better than at Plantation and Treasure Islands. I thought the staff were nice. My 8 yo eventually went to the kids club and did not do as much water or outdoor stuff as last year. It must be hard for them to judge how many are coming. The activities are listed on a board daily so if they have a water activity and your child is only three you cant expect one on one supervision for the cost of 20.00 for the stay!
One comment from others was there wasn't much for teens which other places do have. But there are tennis courts a pool table, table tennis, kayaks. My kids were ok but I can see it might be awkward having maybe a a child too old for kids club and bit shy to just join in with others.
Bingo was fun (kids can join in and win) and the music in the evenings was of a high standard. There were planned activities for adults during the day.
Wine is expensive we brought ours from NZ. At Denarau Port there is a new supermarket where you can buy beers for 2.80 each. They were $5.20 at the resort 3.65 at happy hour. I brought some food from NZ pot of noodles, smoked salmon,smoked mussels, feta cheese and camembert and crackers and containers to keep them fresh. Up and gos for the early morning flight. Customs wouldn't let me bring in a smoked chicken (sealed), salami and luncheon sausage.
The island is apparently owned by a japanese company and so there was at least 30-40 % japanese others were mostly NZ, Aus and some European German, Spanish, French. So that was a nice mix.
I got to stay at the Sofitel last year (due to an overbooking). It was like being at a Hilton type resort, very flash but it didnt feel like Fiji.
It did rain for two days separately and solidly but most of the time it was warm and sunny. The beaches are beautiful and it is laid back. I am keen to go back again.

  • Liked — location, plain and comfortable
  • Disliked — bathroom
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank fabfiveAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greymouth
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2007

let me begin this review by introducing myself as a restaurant owner of 20 years and a very widely travelled person from backpackers to 5 star resorts the world over
the previous reviews concerned me about mana island and i should have listened as I have found this review system to be so accurate and helpful as I used it to plan my 3 month trip in 7 countries.
Ill start with the bad and move to the great.
THE FOOD IS TERRIBLE. I own a gourmet restaurant in new zealand and say to you honestly that if you are a kiwi who likes avergae BBQs, tinned baked beans, hamburgers, custard, chinese food, fried eggs, greasy bacon, white toast and rolls then you will love mana island...stop reading this review and hop on your flight now
If you are from anywhere else in the world and appreciate good food and dine out in good restaurants do not go. ...it will spoil your holiday. as a chef it was yukky to watch leftover food reappear in the next meal taking on a different sloppy form. The buffet setting was dirty and mana resort had a very old, tired feeling to it. After a few days we couldnt look at the buffets and had sore bellies but there were no other descent options. The fine dining experience was a joke and the food was much worse than the buffet choice. The alacarte restaurant on the buffet side was probably te best but still frightening at times. i wont go on about it anymore...if you have specific questions write to me
How do I know that it is not like this everywhere. I payed good money to do a daytrip to castaway which had amazing fine food and very clkean surroundings and i stayed at the westin which had an incredible breakfast buffet and made us wish that we had spent our time there
I stayed at mana because it had a cheap deal and i got what i payed for. I slept in a beachfront bure on the north beach. bures were very spacious and nicely done up ...aircon was good and the view spectacular..the bed was huge but the mattress was old and terrible and we wokeup with backaches everyday...asked them about 4 times to change it but nothing ever happened
the cleaner stole $50 from our room and another friend had expensive sandals stolen from his balcony
The beaches are magnificent and weather great
the coral is very disappointing if youve ever snorkelled elsewhere in the world like oz or sinia
the service was good overall but the workers just dont seem happy to me
The whole place needs a total overhaul and first impressions the grounds felt like a scool camp but for adults
entertanment was good if you like someone singing bluebayou and killing me solftly every night
the kids club was the best thing from all. I have a 2 year old so I attende all the sessions with him.just make sure they have 2 staff on because sometimes theyre understaffed and 1 night 1 teacher took about 15 little kids to the beach in near pitch black...proved to be very dangerous
pools are really nice
My 2 yrold son loved everything about mana resort and has never eaten more in his life so that kept us happy.
highy recommend the flight over...10 mins
castaway was gorgious but very claustrophobic...feels tiny compared to mana...everyone seemed happy there

the westin on the mainland was incredible after the week at mana and a good recovery night...incredible food...ok service and an outstanding pool and wonderful nightime entertainment.
next time we would stay there and do daytrips to the islands although I dont think there will be a next time because for the prices you pay in fiji you get much more superior resorts, food ,service etc in asia

  • Liked — big bures
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank evmaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckalnd
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2007

We have just returned from 10 nights on Mana Island. The beaches are the highlight of Mana. Whenever one is windy, the other is sheltered. We stayed in a beachfront bure, which is a reasonable size, with 2 doubles. Bathroom could do with a tidy up but ok. My kids loved the kids club and they seem to do some fun activities . The most popular session is the 7pm-9pm session, allowing kids to eat free from buffet and then drop them at kids club allowing adults to eat in another restaurant.
The Buffets are average, at F$42 p.p, and different theme nights all seem to be a bit alike. A cheaper, better value and we thought better food was at the a la carte restaurant. There is one other restaurant that offers set 3 course menus , priced from f$48-100. We didnt eat there for dinner. I think lunches are the big problem , and recommend taking quite a bit of your own food/snacks/booze. There is a shop with very basics.
We had a good holiday there, the beaches and snorkelling are excellent and staff friendly. However if the likes of Sheraton , Sofitel etc are your favourites, I doubt Mana would appeal, its more simple and laid back, no room service , tvs etc.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Ellwook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mana Island Resort

Property: Mana Island Resort
Address: P. O. Box 610, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Mana Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mana Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 160
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mana Island Hotel Mana Island

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