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“The biggest let down”
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Reviewed January 19, 2013

Where do we start? This resort has the biggest sell and the smallest delivery. Oversold to the max. Review below is based on comparing with Fiji vacations every year for past 6 years.
Our pick up from the airstrip after the Island Hopper Transfer was via a converted truck with very little resemblance of the Bula Buses of the Mainland. We travelled along a broken down road with no maintenence for many years past what appeared to be dump sites various yards.
After checking in we then realized the resort is no where near what is sold off the brochures.
We booked 2 rooms. A Ocean view room for our 2 boys which was adequate but run down and a Beach Bure for us 2 parents which was great. (Sleeps only 2). Very large and well kept although there were signs of its age.
Our Air con did not cool adequately and just blew "Cool" air so at times it was close to the outside high temp. After 3 days of Mana staff trying to fix this, they did not succeed.
Pools:
small, no segregation of adult and childrens so there was no quiet time by the pool.
No shelter from the sun except a small roof covering about 8 deck chairs which were "book" from day start to finish. No umbrellas or any other shelter so it was not a surprise to see that there were not many people lazing by the pools.
All decking is painted brown which attracts the heat and any concrete has black pepple imbedded which again means barefeet is a no no. Many nails protrude which is a definite hazard to bare feet.
Drinks from the bar are expensive for what they are and the bar staff obviously do not have any training in cocktail making. I assume the mixing errors are just handed down to the newby and so on.

Restaurant: now it really gets ripe.
My wife is Celiac which means she can have no trace of Gluten in her food or she becomes extremely ill. This is not an uncommon complaint but to varying degrees. We were told that the South Beach Restaurant will be the best choice as the menu could cater for her dietry needs. Apon our arrival, we were advised that the South Beach Restaurant was closed due to the recent cylcone. This meant all meals were to be had in the worn out buffet restaurant with some of the lowest grade food presentation I have ever seen. It was more like a trough house than a buffet. most of the time, any good choice was cleaned out ealy in the pice and not quickly replenished.
My wife consulted with the head Chef daily to see what she could eat but a ould not help in feeling he did not have much of a clue when it cam e to glutem free foods.
There was the A La Carte but this was from a pool bure and mainly consisted of burgers, wraps or sandwiches, all at over the top prices. They would not make a salad fro my wife so we asked for a chicken sandwhich without the bread. This we were told could not be done so we had to take our issue direct to the kitchen just so my wife could eat something.
Beaches Great, everthing else, not.

Room Tip: Beach Bure for a couple Ocean View apartments
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Cyril M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 19, 2013

My husband, myself and our friends have just returned from 6 nights on Mana. We had been to Castaway 16 years ago and had great memories so it was going to be a challenge to see if Mana could match our stay on Castaway. I am happy to say that we found Mana to be a great experience. The food was great and plentiful with different theme nights over the 6 days we stayed. A tip would be to purchase the food package before you go as it works out cheaper than paying for every meal. The staff were very friendly and could not do enough to help you. While most of south beach facilities are still closed after the cyclone the resort was not crowded and we could always find a private spot on he beach. The water is amazing with fish swimming past you as you sit in a foot of water! The snorkelling was also great with an abundance of fish not far from shore. This was our idea of paradise.... no phone, no TV, no internet. At the end of the 6 days no one wanted to leave... we will definitely be returning. If you are after complete rest and relaxation or enjoy diving or snorkelling this resort is perfect. Vinaka Mana.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Jacky M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

I have just returned from 6 nights at Mana resort with my daughter and granddaughter. We will not be back which is a shame as the location is picture perfect and the water is clean clear and warm perfect for what I look for in a beach holiday. BUT the facilities are extremely run down and unsafe with all decking around pools loose with nails protruding everywhere. The staff are friendly with alot of Bula (Fiji greeting) which gets a little tiresome when service is very slow and nothing is done well. Just to explain this, not one table setting was correct at any meal, we had to go and find a desert spoon to eat cereal or a tea spoon for coffee or fork, servitte on and on we did not have one relaxing meal. We were not informed that the a-la-cart restaurant had been damaged by the cyclone and all meals where in the main non airconitioned restaurant at $30 each lunch and $65 each dinner, the food was shocking the salad buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner was a bowl of iceberg lettuce a bowl of quartered tomato a bowl of grated carrot and sometimes one of cucumber. Now come on this is rediculous how long has this resort been operating its bad the themed dinner nights did not improve, we lived on fruit and vegetable curry for $65 each night. They serve very small amounts to you from the buffet I tried the Europian buffet night for a change and was served half a sausage a quarter piece of a thin forequarter chop and a tiny piece of fish which I had to ask for and Wait for him to select which tiny pieces to give me, mind you at the end of all meals the staff plate up and you do feel alot like Oliver. (please sir can I have some more) We gave up on ordering cocktails after three attempts of receiving dark rum used instead of white rum making them bitter and undrinkable at $17 each, they do not know how to mix them or really do anything sorry but Bula does not make up for the fact that it feels like the staff all live on the island in their satellite bure's and do what they want, sad. Our room was basic but comfortable close to the beach air con was good no TV no radio no satellite on our block of rooms. I did enjoy the beach each day and wanted to enjoy myself and not to complain I run a accommodation facility and know how things can go wrong on occasions but to have somewhere so beautiful and stuff it up when it can all be fixed is bad management. My advise is less Bula please, I understand why the staff are happy!!! but isn't hospitality about pleasing the guest with good food and service and offering facilities that are value for money. Happy staff does not guarantee happy guests and stop trying to sell us on a smile only, we are not fools, quality food, service and facilities where what I was lead to believe I was paying for. What are you doing with the money I ask? teeth whitening !!

Room Tip: We stayed in a ocean view room on the bottom on a corner. the location is the best on the resort bu...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Rhonda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

we stayed at mana for 5 nights over the new year, i couldnt have imagined a better place to spend it. this was our first time in fiji so we stayed 5 nights at sonaisali ( never again ) 5 nights at mana and 5 at the hideaway ( also never ever again ). we found the resort to have damage from evan but it didnt bother us in any way our room although wasnt very flash should have went for something a little modern. we went with buffet breakfast and dinner which was well worth it! best food in fiji!! we had to buy our lunch which was also amazing the burgers are yum!!!!! staff were amazing we made so many great friends and met alot of other people on holidays all shows and activities are interactive with everyone so dont be scared to join in! service was always on the ball drinks and food took max 5 mins to recieve bar staff were also great!
banana boat is a MUST do! jet skis were not working which was a bit of a let down but other watersports to do. The snorkeling day trip is also a must !

all in all we are coming back this year, i would recommend mana to familys couples and all inbetween! we had an amazing time, amazing beaches, amazing staff, we LOVED it!

Room Tip: go for something a bit modern other than the bures (:
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank sunshine072012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

My partner and I just came back from a 1 week holiday at Mana Island resort. This was our 3rd trip to Fiji, we often like to stay away from the mainland as the reefs are more easily accessible.
We were very fortunate to have booked this resort as due to the cyclone in dec many resorts in the mamanucas were damaged and closed. The cyclone affected the south part of the resort so we weren't able to enjoy the a-la-carte restaurant on south beach.

We stayed in a standard garden bure. I felt that the resort matched a 3-4 star island resort in Fiji. To be fair, the resort is run down if you compare it with bigger chain hotels that are 4 stars. But this doesn't really bother us because you hardly spend anytime in the room anyway.
The thing that stood out for me in the room was the outdoor shower which I thought gave the room a nice island touch.

Food wise, it was very limited whilst we were there. There were only really 2 options - buffet or sandwiches,burgers. We didn't really like the dinner buffet, it wasn't worth the 65FJD. We had the lunch buffet on most days which was 30FJD and there was equally as much food as at night. Breakfast is 35FJD, it's ok. We ate most of our meals at the nearby backpackers - Ratu Kini, they serve a-la-carte dishes ranging from about 20-30 FJD approx and is filling. Only problem is the wait.

A tip would be to get food from the mainland and bring it over to Mana as they do jack up the prices for drinks and snacks (about 5FJD for a can of coke). There isn't much in terms of snacks during the in between meal times on the island.

The reef at Mana is superb, this was the main reason why we wanted to stay at this resort. We have stayed at Plantation Island as well, the reef here is definitely better.
Outside north beach the reef is very nice with a drop off at about 50m from the beach we saw quite a few big things including reef sharks, barracudas and a blue spotted stingray and the usual patrolling triton trigger fish (they bite and chase you!). There is also very nice snorkeling at sunset beach which you can walk to from the resort and it takes about 20min but swimming there from north beach takes about 10 mins. The coral is brighter and denser there.

If you are considering to do a bit of diving, you have the choice of aquatrek at this resort or the ratu kini dive center. We chose the latter as they offer a cheaper price for the advance open water course. The diving was great - would recommend plantation pinnacle, barrel head, salamada wreck.

The staff are usually very attentive and helpful. They greet you when they walk pass which is wonderful.

Overall we enjoyed our stay at Mana Island, would recommend all snorkeling and diving enthusiasts to visit.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank mcha33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Last week we went to Mana Island Fiji which we booked through flight centre. Now previous to us leaving there was a cyclone that hit this area and so I give the following feedback based on non-cyclone damage.

The resort says it is a 4 star resort but it was last judged in this category in August 2008. I think it is stretching 3 star with its current standard.

The Pro’s
1. The locals are awesome and very polite people and 98% live on the island

2. If you stay in the ocean front rooms you are 10m from walking into the ocean and another 10m to great coral snorkelling

3. Diving is ok but I rate Heron Island, Cairns and the ribbons off Cooktown in Aust better

The con's
1. The island accommodation is so run down it looks like it has had no work done since the mid 80's

2. Food was woeful as there was only one restaurant open and will be like this well into this year we were told. Everything is cooked to an inch of "maximum well done" and the head chef if there was one was un-imaginative

3. Cost of everything was so over the top that it stopped people from buying 2 or 3 beers. Beers where $16Fiji, a coke was $5.50Fiji and get this Soda water was $8.50 a 330ml bottle. And all drinks are made in Suva..

4.If you get into Port Denarau late afternoon and miss the big Cat boats DO NOT let the people organise smaller taxis stay in Port hotel overnight and head out the next day. We ended up in a 5m half cabin fishing boat with 90L of leaking fuel doing 25knots over 1.5m swells and rain gails. My 2 young girls were scared to death and I kept asking them to turn around but they insisted the island was only 10min.. yeah right 55min later.... Once we checked in we found the A/C not working and rang Maintenance, becuase it was raining they could not fix the unit and we ended up sleeping in a 30'c unit with no Air Movement. Hence to say first thing in the morning I was ready to pack up and ask for a refund.. They fixed the A/C around lunch time the next day.. That cooled the mood down :-)

5. Don't expect any fresh fruit and most of what you do get is very limited, pineapple, bitter apples, paw paw and green bananas

6. The wooden decking that is around the pool and dinning area is rotten and nails are sticking up around the place. If you have kids they have to wear things to be safe. ours did the whole time.

I will not be spending the money returning to this island until there is a major refurb and I hear there is better food. If you are thinking of going I suggest looking at other options. See attached pictures

Once again the locals were awsome and I feel sorry that the owner is screwing them over by letting the place get run down

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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6  Thank Jeff N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We stayed on Mana for 7 nights with my 3 children (5 years, 4 years and 6 months) and my parents in law. This was our 6th trip to Fiji in the last 5 years and the first resort that I think I would think twice about staying at.

I'll write this up in dot points to be succinct -

THE BAD -

- Resort is very tired. We stayed in an Island Bure and it was very old and looked very tired. The outdoor shower novelty wore off after a few days and we didn't have any hot water until day 6 - we were told on day 6 they could move us to another room - why bother since we were leaving the next day and we'd just endured the whole week already! Broken floor boards in rooms, battered doors etc The resort needs a really good overhaul

- Food. The food was average at best. Quality lacking in comparison to other resorts we have stayed at. 3 our of 4 adults travelling also had tummy upsets. Drinks also very expensive and cocktails poorly made. Unable to drink the water also meant buying bottled water which was expensive

- STRAY CATS AND DOGS... this really got on my nerves. Most meals times we would sit down only to find a stray cat or 3 under the table, climbing up tree's etc, staff couldn't care less and ignore them. Just makes me wonder how clean things are when you have stray animals at a restaurant.

- slow service. My kids had a milkshake most days at lunchtime, we could wait anywhere up to 25 mins for this!!!!! I'm ok with Fiji time, but there reaches a point where it gets annoying. The cafe that makes coffee also is due to open at 11am and on a few occasions was still not open by 12pm.

- Activities extra. FJ$40 for 30 min on a paddle board. Snorkelling gear is included but everything else is at cost. Not so in many other resorts.

THE GOOD-

- The view. You can't beat it. North Beach is just beautiful. Could sit and look out at that water all day. Sunset beach was lovely.

- The Snorkelling - Fantastic, straight off the beach. As good if not better than Castaway, which I thought I could never beat!

- Kids club - although you have to pay FJ$25 per child. They get a Tshirt, which was a hit with my kids, they did some great activities - Mele dance, movie night, games on the beach etc and the staff were lovely. Good playground area with swings etc. Didn't use the Mei Mei baby room but heard from other guests that it was also very good.

- Great to walk around and explore - look outs, other beaches, the back packers etc

Overall I think if the resort would invest a bit in the upgrade of the rooms, the food quality and variety and get rid of the pests, it would be a really lovely place to stay. My kids had a ball. We enjoyed ourselves but it did take most of the week for the place to "grow on us"

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank explorer79
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

Address: P. O. Box 610, Fiji
Phone Number:
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: $131 - $285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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