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“Does not warrant the bad reviews”
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
1,215 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 399 helpful votes
“Does not warrant the bad reviews”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We booked in here on the basis it was a kid friendly island at a good price. We were very sceptical reading the bad reviews on here, but truthfully it is a great place to get away from everything.

We were very lucky to get an upgrade from an Island Bure to an Oceanview. These were much newer looking, good size and right on North Beach. In saying this our 3 families were all located in the 500 block which is a good walk to reception and then even further to Southbeach restaurant. Was a bit annoying if we had to go back and forth to the room.

But Mana Resort itself was good. There are 2 pools, one an adults pool. These were probably the disappointing part, a little small and really not well made out. I could imagine they would be cramped and packed during the busier times. There are always some form of activities, dancing or singing going on, or just snorkel at any of the beaches, we found Southbeach much better than North. We made use of the tennis courts which could do with a resurface, the girls went for a 2hr pamper which they said was heaven! We took a trip to Sunset beach which although small was nice to catch a sunset. The lookouts are also good to take in another look over the islands.

The food was good at Southbeach restaurant. Would say most meals were all pretty good, breakfast was also here which was ok but after a few days really lacked variety. The option of any cooked eggs did help. The dinner buffet was closed in its usual spot so was also moved to Southbeach but inside a small cramped room. We only dined there once as it was nothing great. We did venture down to the backpackers for lunch, which was cheaper and good. Definitely not spectacular and found service to be very rude. Did have a curry mud crab which was pretty good though.

Was very disappointed with Sea Fiji (control all paid activities). 1st attempt was handline fishing, we booked the day before. Turned up to the news it was cancelled due to boat not working. If they told us earlier fair enough, but still keen to go we ventured into the backpackers but all their boats were out. One guy from Sea Fiji finally got us on a boat but was the little dinghy, then we gad to go to another boat to pickup bait and lines. What a mission. Very unorganised. Then the next day we had a boat booked for island hopping. We did receive a call just before we were suppose to go saying they will be about 30 minutes late (ended up nearly 1 hr). Because of all this if we ever returned or had advice I would just go down to the backpackers, all their bookings are cheaper and seem to do the same thing.

One highlight for us was visiting Mana school. Its just behind the backpackers and best to visit at 10:15am or 12pm when they have their breaks. We were greeted with many smiling students and a friendly head teacher. They sung a song and took us around the school, then we played some rugby. We did take a few bags of school goods which they really appreciated. This was a great experience and would highly recommend to at least make a visit and a donation if you can.

Out of the 2 islands we stayed at we would have to say Mana has more going for it over Plantation resort. Cleaner newer rooms, better breakfast and better beach. With the lookouts, school, backpackers and being a bit bigger it probably has a bit more to do if you are someone who is not so much the sitting around the pool person.

So just neglect the few minor issues and im sure you will have a great warm sunny stay!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank szkut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Gladstone, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

The island itself is gorgeous, white beaches & beautiful clear water. We enjoyed snorkeling right off the beach outside our bure. The beachfront bure was very large & well appointed, but the wc needed a deep cleaning. The service was hit & miss as was the food. I've never seen such disinterested faces on so many staff. Over all I was a bit disappointed for the price we paid.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DTatom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emu Plains, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 16, 2014

My husband and I have just returned from a week on Mana island. Our objective was to go some place for our anniversary and do nothing as we have both had a very busy year. We were able to do that on Mana. It is one of the older resorts and is looking a bit rough around the edges but it is going through a revamp but ofcourse that is happening at Fiji time.
The GEM of Mana island is it's STAFF. They were always very friendly and easy to make conversation with. It never felt like a "do you want fries with that" Hello. All staff apear to love what they do and that makes such a big differance.
Yes the adults only pool was smaller than the childrens pool but it was never crowded. Our anniversary dinner at the South Beach resturant was just beautiful and we had a cake and the most beautiful table setting . The food was lovely.
i you want to go were people care if your having a good time or not you must visit MANA island.

Room Tip: if you want a breeze and quiet space get a room on the North side of the resort preferably beach sid...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanette O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We just returned from a week in total paradise at Mana Island. I visited the island 25 years ago as a kid and returned there as an adult taking my own kids (and rest of my family).

The resort is just what we were after and don't let the food reviews put you off staying - amazing easy snorkelling off the north beach with the kind of corals and fish you want to see, easily accessible - we even managed to show our 4 year old the delights of snorkelling and my father who has Parkinsons still managed to get out there.

Snorkelling equip can be hired free, although the quality of the masks/snorkels isn't brilliant - if you're a diver/snorkeller pack your own fins and mask - it's worth taking the space in your bag.

The other beauty of Mana is that even if the winds are up and it's a little rough/choppy on one side of the island, quite often the other side is still calm and good for swimming to the pontoon and jumping off and snorkelling.. failing that there is a pool which is a little average for a resort that size, but it has a sectioned off area in the middle for little kids which made it popular with my 2 and 4 year old who spent hours jumping in and out wearing life jackets (you can also borrow these from the hire people). You are supposed to return hire snorkels/masks at 4.30 each day, but we ended up asking nicely and kept a life jacket for the duration of our visit, which made swimming in the sea/snorkelling easier for our 4 year old. We brought a lifejacket we had for our 4 year old.

We had an interconnecting bure, shared with family. Rooms were much much better than I expected. Simple, but really lovely. Beds were comfy, aircon worked well, rooms were quiet and I slept well which often doesn't happen when I travel. Our room was a garden bure (room 103).

I recommend bringing travel cutlery and maybe a bowl/plate if you don't purchase full board, as the one thing the room lacks is that kind of thing. Water on the island is desalinated and is drinkable and not too bad tasting.

Being gin drinkers we purchased tonic at the marina - not a lot of tonic to be had on the island - leave the resort and head to the general store at the dive resort just outside the resort along north beach. They have tonic, biscuits, and cheap beer - they also have fresh bread in the afternoon for 1.70.

Still if you have a family buy up at the marina before you depart for Mana - we bought biscuits, cheese, weetbix, milk and tonic and it lasted for lunches most days. Even better than that, don't be discouraged by the need to declare food bought into the country at customs - it IS worth bringing snacks for kids from home (my sister in law brought about 40 muesli bars, expresso coffee bags, vegetarian friendly food options like nutmeat).

Resort food - lots has been said about resort food, and I almost feel guilty saying anything bad, as we got chatting to the man we presumed was the head chef and he was really nice.
Food was fine, but like the rest of our Fiji trip, it wasn't anything to rave about.
We purchased the half board option, which I would definitely recommend.

Breakfast - bacon/ham was super fatty and not that appealing, but I assume it was probably the case in most of the island resorts. Fresh fruit was amazing - beautiful pineapple/passionfruit/pawpaw etc. Standard toast options, average pastries, pancakes to keep the kids happy. Sitting on the terrace watching the sea was just gorgeous. Coffee at breakfast was dripulator style served in pots at random intervals to tables. Coffee strength ranged from ok to 'did they really add coffee to that water'. We did start asking for it strong and that occasionally happened and we had a giggle with the staff about our need for super strong coffee.

Dinner - slightly odd collection of dishes apparently according to a theme each night, but really it seemed pretty random. Food was nice, but not amazing. Kids were happy with sushi every night, combined with a bit of pasta, fish etc. Dishes included fiji style curries (not very spicy), roasted meats (usually dry but ok), rice, pasta etc.

Food was fine for the meat eaters, but we had vegetarians in our group - staff were lovely and tried to be accommodating but there was still meat in dishes that we were told were vegetarian. My sister in law also found on a number of occassions there was no dishes that she could eat as a vegetarian which was disappointing, but they did eventually bring out (at no extra charge) something she and her kids could eat.

Staff - the staff of Mana didn't seem as happy as they once were, there seemed to be a bit of cost cutting going on, but they were still friendly and generally approachable, with everyone saying Bula as you passed them. Staff work something like 12 days on 2 days off and can no longer live on the island with their families like they once did - for a very family oriented culture we felt deeply for the staff who had often left small children at home with relatives so they could survive financially.

Our aging parents and my father who struggles to walk were beautifully taken care of by the ladies at the spa (they had a massage each day of their visit which wasn't amazingly cheap at the Mana Spa, you can get cheaper on the island, but apparently it was good). Annie, the masseuse, even came out to wave goodbye to my parents as we left and gave them a huge hug. Epi at the south beach bar could mix a great cocktail and talk your ear off. He was great company and he mixed a good mojito (17 Fiji dollars).

Getting around - getting around the island was easy for most of us (the north beach restaurant was closed during our visit, but south beach was open). It's a short walk between north and south beach. Getting around for my father who has limited mobility wasn't always easy, and it would be a challenge on sand in a wheelchair, but we did see another guest in a motorized chair. You would contend with a lip for the door way into the shower, lack of ramps, lots of bumpy roads and steps, and it would be hard to use the beach or pool. Walking with limited mobility my father did ok.

Babysitting/kids club - activities were basic, but our kids enjoyed them. Our 4 year old attended kids club with no issues (he could attend the three 2 hour sessions per day for a $25 Fijian registration cost). We had some issues with our 2 1/2 year old - kids club is from ages 3 and up, but our 2 1/2 year old could attend with a baby sitter. This was generally fine (it did need to be pre-arranged) and some free baby sitting was included each day - I did get somewhat annoyed as it sounded like there was 5 hours of free baby sitting each day, but you could only get 2 free hours of babysitting at the kids club, and even then the baby sitter didn't just look after our 2 year old but kind of looked after the pack of kids. If you have a kid prone to wandering off I would also potentially reconsider using the service as kids could wander off if they really wanted to.. still ours enjoyed the kids club - frog hunting, crab hunting, frog/crab racing, palm weaving, movies etc.

Glass bottom submersible tour was great for our 2 year old (70 Fijian for famiy of 2 adults/2 kids) and we were lucky enough to see a turtle on this trip and 2 shy reef sharks. Sit mid or back of the boat if you go.

Our kids hardly touched the toys/books/games/ipad movies we brought with us, but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our trip. Happy kids = happy holidays.

All in all, a perfect piece of paradise that my family loved - I think we will very likely go back. I would highly recommend visiting.

Room Tip: I don't like your chances of being able to choose a room - I wouldn't try specifying a room...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Pungentia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

My wife and I have just returned back to OZ completely sad as we had to leave an island paradise, mana Island!!! ,8 incredible days of sleeping , snorkelling in crystal clear water,glorious food and more snorkelling,we were absolutely spoiled rotten by island staff, all the way from the guys at the bar, the beautiful ladies at the dining areas, the glorious chefs with their big smiles and wonderful food and the wonderful people that cleaned our rooms + the great guys at the sports bure + the guys at the local pier signing as they welcome/goodbye us. I can only highly recommend the island to the other travellers because as soon as you step off the boat and into this paradise you are greated by so many wonderful people like soko, if i had to rate the 8 days at mana out of ten - I would give them an eleven - we will return back to island in the near future for a bit more of paradise --- Mana you were wonderful to us - Bill and Sonia ...... Vinaka

Room Tip: Bring an underwater camera, a must for the snorkelling and smile and take it easy ... this is your t...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank william m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014

My partner and I stayed here for four nights in March 2014. Let's start with the good! The island itself is paradise, with shallow-water reefs surrounding and white sand beaches. The pool was good, as was the view from the pool. The wild life and views were just unbeatable. A wide range of activities are on offer, including snorkelling and diving.

All this was let down by a number of rude staff. This came as a surprise as most reviews say how wonderful the staff were and we came here from a resort where the staff were very friendly.

On arrival we went to the only restaurant (the other one was closed, although this wasn't advertised) and after my partner signed for the cheque the very surly waiter came back and thrust the cheque back at him, demanding 'Is this your real name?' Everything must be signed against your room and as this was in my name we realised he was accusing us of pretending to be guests. Not a good start to your tropical island getaway! During the four nights a number of other staff were also rude. I won't detail all of these occasions but the one which spring to mind is staff demanding to know our room number just in passing as we walked along the footpath as if again we were pretending to be guests. We tried to order room service one night and our pizzas were delivery 45 minutes apart.

We stayed in a luxury beach front bure which was okay although our electricity stopped working a number of times and we had to deal with abrupt staff who seemed annoyed we complained. Also, although the bures are reasonably comfortably our other complaint is how many maintenance staff are around ALL THE TIME. Four nights and every morning we work up to sweeping leaves for an hour outside while loudly talking to other staff or some kind of power tool in use. About 7.30am one morning we woke up to someone literally trying to chip away the concrete steps leading to our porch with a hoe. I have no idea what he was trying to do! He moved our drying shoes and clothes out the way to do this and we have 'Please do not disturb' sign on the door. It seemed in general like they had too many staff members to know what to do with.

The food was poor and very expensive for what's on offer. I don't eat meat which made it a little more difficult (which I expect) but my partner also struggled to find food he liked. I would recommend avoiding the buffet. $65 Fijian dollars per person a night and we couldn't even get water for the table.

All in all, disappointing considering the natural beauty of the area!

Room Tip: Some rooms are very close to the pool which plays music for most of the day. Check where your room i...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mccafferty000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2014

we went on a tour to mana island not much of a resort didnt really like it at all it was a pretty boring tour the guide was that good we had a full day there but left the island at half day and went back staff wernt very friendly it was a waste of a tour

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ronald C
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
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Also Known As:
Mana Island Hotel Mana Island

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