Before I begin, let me just say that we support all of the positive reviews on Tripadvisor, HOWEVER if you are looking for a resort that is really quiet and has few or no children, then Castaway is NOT for you – so stop reading now and look elsewhere! This was our first holiday with our son (8 months old) so we were one of the guilty couples with a noisy child. But if we’d been there as a couple only I would have to say we would’ve been pretty disappointed because as others have mentioned, there are kids EVERYWHERE.
We arrived at Castaway for 4 days after 1 night at the Sheraton Denarau and 5 nights at Mana Island Resort. The resort itself is very well presented, and our first impressions were wow, this seems like a really nice, friendly place. It had such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We went straight to the Sundowner Bar for registration/check-in and were given welcome cocktails which were cold and tasty. We were then personally escorted to our Beachfront Bure (number 9) which was clean and also well presented. The rooms are very basic, with no phone, TV or clock radio. Just a king sized bed (which was great) a day bed, small table & chairs, small bar fridge and bathroom with shower only – basically all the essentials you will need for a relaxing holiday.
I won’t rave on about the place because others have already summed it up fairly well. I will just reiterate what others have said, in that the service was always friendly, the rooms were clean and spacious, the views were lovely, the beaches great, the food delicious, and yes, the pool is ok but full of very noisy children all the time. I really think Castaway has attracted the family crowd, and even though they say they cater for everyone, I personally would disagree with this. Sure, they make couples more than welcome, and they do try to put limits on the children such as the adults only happy hour in the bar every night and earlier dining times and areas for children, however they still go out of their way to make children and families feel most welcome. We saw a few couples during our stay who were clearly uncomfortable being surrounded by so many kids all day, and I must say I felt sorry for them, because until recently we were a childless couple so know how they felt!
One thing that wasn't great was the number of birds hanging around the restaurant, just waiting for someone to leave their table so they can swoop on the leftovers. I have a thing about birds hanging around meal areas because they carry disease, so this grossed me out a bit. The staff did their best to chase them away, but really there isn't much that can be done when meals are served in such an open area. The food however was delicious and we never felt bored with the menu. Admittedly we were only there for 4 days so after a week I would imagine it could get boring. There are daily specials though and we always found these to be great. We took a meal plan through our travel agent where we paid $108 pp for the ENTIRE stay and could eat anything and everything – fantastic value! This deal and price is valid for any length of stay, so the longer you stay, the better value the meal. I believe this is a special they only have going during their low season though (ie, rainy/cyclone season Nov through to April). So we enjoyed buffet breakfasts, choice of buffet lunch or order anything and as much from the menu as we liked (or grab some delicious pizzas from the Sundowner Bar), and buffet dinner or again choose something from menu. The choices were not limited to certain items either, so it was a great deal. As I said, we booked this through our travel agent – Castaway does give you the option of taking their meal deal when you check in, however this deal is not as good value as the one we got, so make sure you look into it when you’re booking your holiday. The resort also has its own desalination plant so you’ll always have fresh, top quality water which is reassuring.
I had a massage in Bure Lomani and Betty my therapist was great! For $85FJ I got a 1 hour full body massage, money very well spent. We didn’t bother with any other activities or water sports, but there was never a shortage of fun if you were looking for it.
The Beachfront Bures were great, but to be honest most of the Ocean view bures were not that much further back than the Beachfronts, so if you want to save a few dollars go for those instead. The beaches were very tidy and inviting, and we felt they were better than those on Mana. I thought I’d read somewhere on this site that the beaches at Mana were better than Castaway, but I’d have to say we totally disagreed with that. Admittedly Castaway staff have a much smaller area to keep tidy, as Mana’s beaches are quite extensive, so its probably unfair to compare the two in that respect.
Cocktails were quite pricey at $16FJ, but what do you expect on a tropical island resort. The prices of items in the boutique were outrageous, again you must expect this on an island, but some were just plain ridiculous. If you’re traveling with small children/babies, make sure you come prepared!! A pack of 80 Johnson’s baby wipes in the boutique cost $19.95FJ!!! Totally insane! I didn’t even look at the prices of other items because I was too scared, but needless to say, just make sure you have plenty of everything.
Because we’d come straight from Mana, it was really hard not to compare the two resorts. I realize this is unfair considering Castaway is a 4 star resort and much more expensive than Mana, but I would have to say if you can afford it, go to Castaway and don’t even bother with Mana. We really enjoyed our time here, and would definitely return in the future if we have the chance to go back to Fiji. The staff are so friendly, they really love your kids, the views and surroundings are great, and the food is so yummy. Go and enjoy yourself, but just be mindful of all the kids!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Castaway Island, Fiji provides a unique South Pacific experience - a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Fiji's most popular island resort has guests returning year after year to experience the magic that is "Castaway". The island's 174 acres are covered with lush tropical vegetation, and surrounded by white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Castaway Island Fiji Hotel Qalito Island
- Castaway Island Fiji Qalito
- Castaway Island Resort
- Fiji Castaway Resort
- Castaway Fiji Hotel Island
- Castaway Island Fiji Castaway Island (Qalito)