We planned a Mana trip after consistently good reviews and wasn't dissapointed. Arriving from a very cold and wintery Melbourne shortly after visiting Mt Buller with heavy snowfalls, coming to Mana in the warm pacific was always going to be welcoming for 5 nights. We arrived via a small plane interconnect which was well worth it as it was only 10 min and you bypassed the long trip via the catamaran. A very well spaced island with accomodation spread out so you didn't see many people. We booked the ocean view rooms which had great views from the balcony. The room was adequate, spacious and rustic. (had a bar fridge and plenty of cupboards). We were located close to the main restaurant which was handy as we had a toddler. Place mainly filled with Aussies, Kiwis and Japanese tourists. Staff were very friendly and they greet you with 'Bula'. Beaches were fantastic, esp at low tide. Great for swimming, snorkelling. Kids have a lot of fun. Fish a plenty. Babysitting very handy at $5 fiji/hour. We used this to good effect when we took the Seaspray trip (very recommended) or wanted to do some extended snorkelling, esp on the sandbank where the coral is better than the great barrier reef. Make sure you get enough drinking water to bring along and your own beer/wine/snacks etc as resort prices quite high and there is no real general store. Though I would recommend that the resort had a proper one, they would do well from it. The only thing they have is a boutique which sells very basic items. Everything operates on Fiji time, except some of the Japanese tourists who always seem to be hurrying somewhere. No problems for us from Oz or the Kiwis as Fiji time really equates mostly to our own laid back time. So don't expect anything instantly unless its a life or death emergency, like running out of beer etc. Just great! I loved the relaxed atmosphere. Food was more than adequate, We didn't take the meal plan as we didnt want to be locked in and normally have light lunches anyway. The theme nights at the buffet are fine, can probably do with more themed varieties. Maybe replace the repeated Mongolian night with Italian? There is a good spread of food inc lots of salad and fruits. The Lovo night was our favourite and a standout where the food was cooked in the ground bbq style and so tender. Otherwise you can do a la carte as well, we tried the lobster one night and it was huge, well worth the money. If your here for a shortish stay as we did then one can put up with the resort style food. But over time can be a bit tedious im sure. But I managed to surprise my wife one night and took her to the backpackers cafe (no resort tourists in sight!)where we had a nice crumbed chicken meal and she really enjoyed it as it was a change from the usual crowd. Our young 'un loved every minute doing her first overseas trip, made no complaints and got to play in lots of sun, sea and sand. We as a couple found just being on a remote south pacific island just very very enchanting. Vinaka!
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