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“Some good, some very bad”
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Perth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Some good, some very bad”
Reviewed November 25, 2008

My new wife and I went to Fiji after travelling around the world, for a relaxing getaway before heading home.

There were some good aspects to the hotel, but some very bad things that just ruined the whole experience for us. The worst of which being the theft of our property by some of the staff at the resort, but I will get to that.

First some bad, we arrived early, and had to wait for our room to be ready, but wasn't too bad as we were able to lounge around one of the pools and have a drink or two while we waited. Once we got to our room though, we found we had two double beds instead of the kings sized bed I thought we would have. Not ideal for our honeymoon. When I approached the reception in regards to this, I was told that there was nothing they could do, that is what we paid for, and to get a room with a bigger bed we would have to pay an extra $70 a night. We made do, pushing the beds together, and I guess that was our fault somewhat for booking the wrong room.

Other than that, we stayed in one of the Ocean View bures, which was very clean, and well presented. The air con was great given the very humid conditions outside.

Because we were on an island, the choices for food and meals were very limited. Breakfast was included with our room, and was a very good buffet with anyting and everything you could want for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner you had the choice of two restaurants or a buffet. we decided to stick with the buffet as this was the cheaper option. It was $22 for lunch, each, and $44 for dinner, each. There was a differant meal each night, and were very nice meals.

Other than that, there were no other food options, other than a small shop that should some chips, chocolates etc. If you wanted a snack or something to eat between meals, as we often did, there was nothing available.

The service was very laid back, and at times non-existant. The Fiji people are very laid back, and if you want a drink, you had to go to the bar yourself and get it. I am not lazy, but when I am paying good money to relax, I was expecting a little more.

The people and staff though were very friendly, and easy to get along with.

While we were there, there were not many people on the island with us, which meant that nearly none of the activities would run. They were always posted on the board in the morning, and my wife and I would turn up to find nobody there, not even a member of staff, which was a little disappointing.

Now, to the part that absolutely ruined our trip. On the day of our departure, we were told to leave our bags outside our room for the baggage porters to collect and take down to the pier. We did as instructed, having four bags. We had two large bags, which were locked, thank goodness, and two smaller bags, which we had no locks for.

We saw the staff attend at the bure to collect our bags, and assumed they would be safe. We went down to the pier when it was time to board the boat, and checked to make sure our bags were there to be loaded. From that time on, our bags were always in our sight, with the only time they were not being prior to getting to the pier when they were in the custody of the resort staff.

When we arrived at our next hotel, we discovered that items were missing from our bags. It was only small items that were taken, but things we had collected on our travels, clothing, hats, a pair of shoes and some expensive hand made chocolate.

The most disappointing aspect of this was the reponse we received from the resort. I forwarded an email via the website in regards to the theft, and when I received no response in the following few days, I ended up ringing the reosrt and speaking to management, who advised me she was aware of the issue. I was told to send an email directly to this person and she would have a response for me in 48hrs. After 48hrs, I sent another email via the website as I had still not received a response, and was told to send another email to this same person.

It has been nearly a week, and I am still waiting for a reply to my complaint.

So all in all, we did have a relaxing and enjoyable time on the island, apart from a few of the things detailed here, but if you are going to visit this resort, I suggest you lock your bags.

  • Liked — It was clean, and cool
  • Disliked — Small beds
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Qwerty10842
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2008

This isn’t one of those tropical island resorts you can walk around in a few minutes: it’s small, but still quite a lot bigger than its neighbours so you can have some good walks along its excellent beaches.

The island is quite beautiful, with much greenery. The resort seemed to be popular with young Japanese couples (quite a few come to get married in the island chapel) and Australian & NZ families. There were quite a few children there and there was a busy kids’ club. However, overall, the place was tranquil and peaceful.

Our beach front bure was very large – on two floors, with a bedroom view of the ocean. It was furnished OK and well kept by the room maid – for whom nothing was too much trouble. It was relatively expensive, but worth it.

The restaurants were just about OK. There was well-presented food in the south beach fixed price restaurant in the evenings, but the buffet meals in the other restaurant were uninspiring. The breakfast buffet was as you’d get in ten thousand other hotels – very ordinary.

The hotel seems to have some rigid systems. The restaurant staff, friendly though most are, clearly want you off the premises as quickly as possible. We were told that our requested 8pm dinner booking was ‘far too late’. I can understand the staff wanting to finish work asap, but who is the restaurant for – staff or customers? It was quite irritating that we were expected to eat very early.

We were also turned down for a late check out as the hotel was ‘fully-booked.’ We had been told by other staff members that it certainly wasn’t, and indeed we could see that our room was unmade and unoccupied late in the afternoon. Again, we felt they just didn’t want the bother.

Being on an island they have a captive market, so don’t expect things to be cheap. Some items were too expensive, like bottled water. The tap water is fine if you boil it then cool it in the fridge. They also charge quite a bit for wi-fi access, which was a bit mean considering the cost of the room.

We wandered off to the backpackers’ bar quite a few times for the much better value drinks and occasionally lively atmosphere. We also had a few snacks there, which were OK. We were pleased we bought a bottle of gin at the airport, but the hotel seems to have anticipated this and charges a lot for a tiny bottle of tonic!

The snorkeling on the south beach was a revelation. It was one of the best we’ve ever experienced. There are some interesting dives to be enjoyed, too. The one with the sharks was great.

There’s a lot of singing going on at Mana, particularly for guests arriving and departing. We left with a smile on our faces as a crowd of staff sang and waved as the boat pulled away from the jetty.

  • Liked — Beautiful location & beaches
  • Disliked — Restaurants shut at 9pm
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Cardiff2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 9, 2008

Just got back from 4 days on Mana Island with my boyfriend, and we loved it!! The weather was perfect every day. So heres what we thought...

ACCOMODATION:
Stayed in Island Bure, and it was great, cleaned every day - nothing went missing. The outdoor showers are awesome, really something different. Beds were comfy. Probably wouldn't have more than 3 adults in one, 2 adults and 2 small children would be ok too

FOOD:
Didn't go the meal plan, and the food was FANTASTIC!! Breakfast buffets got a little repetitive but there was a lot of selection - omlettes, bacon, french toast, beautiful fresh fruit and so on. We didn't need lunch and did the buffet dinners - we had europen, lovo and mongolian. We thought the food was great. Better than restaurants here on the Gold Coast.
Ate lunch at the south beach restaurant once and we thought that was pretty average. Buffet 100 times better

Drinks, I drank cocktails and him local beer. Cocktails were the same prices as home and one day we went to the pool and I took some vodka in my water bottle and ordered mocktails and ta da - made my own :-) cheaper and stronger!!

STAFF:
The staff were very lovely, the only thing I found was some of the females were a bit abrupt towards me and looked like I was troubling them. Two of the other couples we met, the girls both said they found the same thing. The males were always happy to help. In general though, all were pretty friendly

BEACHES:
Did some water sports - donut ride and fishing trip. Also snorkelling just around the island, lots of colourful fish but unfortunatly the coral is really dead, compared to my last trip to fiji 13 yrs ago when coral was still pretty. Did hear that the snorkelling trip to a sandbank 45 mins away still has some pretty coral.
Watersport prices were fair, although the jetski wa way to expensive
We preferred the south beach - better snorkelling and more atmosphere. North beach was ok but I didn't think it was as pretty, not many fish or coral and the water seemed more salty...?
Didn't make it to sunset beach.

Fantastic holiday, we will be back!!!!

  • Liked — Beaches, accomodation, everything!!!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank CaitlinGoldCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
2 reviews
Reviewed October 30, 2008

Stayed six nights on Mana Island in an island Bure. The standard of the accomodation was not too bad, and they are cleaned daily. (Although cockroaches come out at night!)...

We have a two year old son, and he slept on a pull out couch. They offered babysitting for FIJI$5.00 per hour, so we decided to take them up on this. When the babysitter was 1/2 an hour late bringing our child back, we went over to the child care centre, and found our child, and the babysitter ASLEEP on pull out mats. She did not hear us come in, and I had to call out a couple of times to wake her up. So obviously if our son had woken he would have just walked straight out, and off to the beach if he wished! We were highly concerned over this. After this experience we do not recommend their babysitting.

Another very disappointing part of our holiday was the variety and price of the food offered. Towards the end of our time there, we all got sick with diahorrea.

On a positive note the beaches were beautiful, and the snorkelling on the North Beach was great. Six nights on the island was too long for us as a family. If you were a couple without kids maybe 6 nights would be suitable.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
Thank cande123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
195 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2008

Spent 7 nights on Mana. It wasn’t my first or even third choice but availability elsewhere was very limited and Mana had vacancies. The good things first - I’m a snorkelling fanatic and the fish were plentiful and various and because there are both north and south beaches one can swim on one side when the other is too windy. I probably liked Sunset beach best - no sunshades or drinks but hardly any people either so worth the 15 minute walk - at the end of the airstrip (shame about the rubbish washed up above the high tide line though). Found plenty underwater to keep me occupied for 3 hours a day.
The room (an island bure, in the middle of the “settlement”) wasn’t much to look at from outside but was actually much better than expected, with sitting area, outside table and chairs, open air shower (brilliant for drying clothes on the line in there). Amenities were good; shampoo and hair conditioner, nice thick towels, anti-mosquito tablets and repellent spray, telephone, in-room safe, iron and board, fridge, tea/coffee making (no TV in room, but who needs it on holiday?). Room had air-con and ceiling fan but mostly slept with screened windows open. Most rooms have wifi internet access (at a price, but cheaper than in Nadi) and there’s a “swap library” for paperbacks in the communications centre.
There seemed to be a full programme of activities for children (but there were still plenty of them around, particularly on the south beach). I didn’t go to any of the evening entertainments (which started at 9pm) or daytime adult activities (apart from the kava-drinking, out of curiosity).
Now the less good - service was generally friendly but often lacking altogether. Beach towels were supposed to be changed in room late afternoon - but mine never were - had to keep taking them to reception in mornings and wait for replacements. In restaurant buffet area plate clearing was usually slow and often not asked if I wanted a drink. Standard of buffets was variable - but often seafood items ran out and weren’t replaced promptly - maybe it was better early on but I don’t eat until 8pm and it often felt like poor value for money. Breakfast was alright (full breakfast included in room rate) but pretty monotonous and not all that much choice. A la carte restaurant service was a bit better but limited menu for people who don’t eat meat (at least I eat fish - a vegetarian would have real trouble unless they requested special food), South Beach restaurant had better food and service (more expensive too) but still very limited choice of fish. I heard from other people as I was leaving that the food was better and cheaper at the backpacker place (which I never found, though I wasn’t looking for it, which at least means it was unobtrusive). As other people have observed - the drinks are expensive, so glad I took my own duty free and bought large bottles water and soft drinks from the little shop. Often drinks bills arrived to be signed for with no indication of the price (so find out beforehand or risk a hefty shock at check-out). Also beach (at least north beach) wasn’t cleaned every day (cigarette ends still in ashtray from day before), often had to drag a sunbed to a vacant shade (after families had collected them together).
All in all - lovely setting, even if middle of island looks a bit scruffy, good beaches, great snorkelling and reasonable accommodation (though I wouldn’t have fancied the hotel-style blocks which I think housed all the families with children). If they could improve the service and the food it would be the complete package.

  • Liked — Comfortable room with plenty of amenities, good beaches and snorkelling
  • Disliked — Service and food
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank KK06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2008

Mana is just stunning. A truly magical place. Wonderful for couples and for families with young or older children.

Here's a quick summary for those of you considering the Mana Island.

I highly recommend that you go!

We have a 4 year old and a 6 month old who both had a great time.

Kids Club is AMAZING with fantastic activities. The teachers are absolutely wonderful with the children. Also, the nannies are incredible and adore babies. Joshua (our 6 month old) was smothered in kisses and cuddles and was very happy to be left with a nanny for a few hours - now and then -so we could enjoy some relaxing time away from the kids.

We booked and stayed in an Island Bure which was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. It's definitely good value in comparison to the other accommodation. The bathroom was a good size and I loved the outdoor shower. The bedroom area was also big enough to sleep the family without feeling cramped. We stayed in room 105 which in opposite the tennis courts and not surrounded by other bures which was a bonus. It's also close to everything...

When we first arrived at the Island however, we were given an upgrade to an Ocean Front Bure (515). This was not good for several reasons. 1) It was too far away from the rest of the complex and with kids you don't want to walk 3-4 minutes to get to the pool and Kids Club is even further (hence why we originally booked the island bure which is central) 2) It was VERY rundown, old and extremely dirty. We slept 1 night in that room but asked to be moved to the island bure the next morning - which as a huge relief!!

At the North Beach at the main restaurant, the food is absolutely fine and some of it rather nice - even though I'm not into buffets. There's plenty of fruit and salad for lunch and dinner, as well as fresh fish and meet. Don't expect fine dining though!

They rotate various themed nights - *Mongolian BBQ* - you choose the meat, noodles, veggies and sauce and they cook it for you on the BBQ - *Lovo* - Fiji cuisine - and the Kokoda is lovely - *Curry * - this is the best night but ironically my husband got food poisoning from the seafood curry. Stay away from shellfish!!! - *Asian* - average...Can't remember the other theme, sorry...

At the South Beach we had a 3 course meal ($50) which for a Fijian Island was quite good. They really tried with the presentation and service and the food was OK. It was a nice change from the buffet! Also, we ate lunch at the SOuth Beach a couple of times which was nice. The pizza's are great as well as the fish and chips!

Food at the backpackers is average, apart from the Kokoda which is really good and the seafood chowder. The settling over the water at high tide is stunning but we found that there were too many flies though...

The Kids buffet is not great but Ella ate from the main buffet which was fine...

So, don't worry about the food - it's not terrible!

The beaches are AMAZING and the snorkeling is fantastic. The water is crystal clear and warm...Great visibility.

The water sport facilities are also very good and we went kayaking on our last day, which I highly recommend.

We met some lovely people on our holiday and Ella has made some great friends. I heard no one complaining about anything when we were there and everyone I know (or have met) that has been to Mana loved it. I haven't been to the other islands but from what I've been told Mana has the best beaches and is the best value for money.

Before we headed back to New Zealand we broke the journey and stayed one night at the Sofitel which is a lovely 5 star resort in Denerau. However, I still preferred Mana!

For what it's worth we will be going back next year with family and I HIGHLY recommend Mana for a truly magic island holiday.

  • Liked — Island Bures are newly refurbished with fab outdoor shower!!
  • Disliked — The Oceanfront Bures are very tired and need refurbished
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank TinyTelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2008

Oh YES!! Just what we needed. Last minute booking. Our garden bure was just beautiful. Showering under the stars. (mind the falling coconuts) comfy bed and fijian decor. Fabulous beaches, snorkelling amid the most fabulous tropical fish and discovering new beaches. And the SUNSET!!
BUT.. The food. Very ordinary and EXPENSIVE. Must be hard for the families. They really need an international chef and lots more variety. Especially more seafood. I mean we are in the middle of the Pacific..
The staff just so helpful and lovely.
Veenaka. We will go back.

  • Liked — Caters for all budgets
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank liveAustralia
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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