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“Some of the staff here really make your stay”

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Castaway Island Fiji
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Some of the staff here really make your stay”
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Despite booking a year in advance and requesting a bure in a specific area, we were disappointed to be placed at the polar opposite of what we had asked for. There is obviously no consideration given to requests and this should be pointed out immediately when you ask. We were told that there might be a chance of moving so we didn't unpack for nearly 2 days. We never got moved. It didn't spoil our holiday but they should be straight with people making such requests. It was like they just weren't able to say no. I appreciate allocations are tricky but just shoot straight! When I asked for another single bed (our main bed was extremely uncomfortable), Pau, Reservations Manager was quite rude and grumpy. I believe this is his normal disposition but it's rather in contrast to most of the staff.

Some of the food and beverage staff were absolutely exceptional and so friendly. The water sports staff and dive staff were great also and very professional. Some of these people are so beautiful, generous and friendly. There is a real feeling of camaraderie about the place that is infectious. The cultural events that were organised were also fantastic. I do believe it's these people that keep customers coming back year after year.

The food was absolutely exceptional and the vegetarian and vegan menu was quite extensive that I never got bored during our 9 night stay. I had to pre-order meals which took the spontaneity out of meal times but the food was great. They seemed to run out of some wines as if the demand wasn't planned and I remember this happened last year.

The pizzas let the culinary experience down a bit. Stick to the main restaurant. One of the chefs here was pretty grumpy and palmed my son off with a pizza that had been rejected by another child (he went up to order on his own). Pizzas were really salty and on our last lunch there was mould on the calzone dough.

I also wouldn't bother with the dolphin safari again. That was our third trip and still no dolphins. I should have known as I know a little of dolphins and a noisy speedboat isn't the best way to see them. Still, the ride was fun but expensive. If you really want to see dolphins, don't do it that way.

I was a bit taken aback also by the cruel way some of the kids club staff treated crabs in front of the kids. My son was very upset one night because a kids club guy was pulling the claws off a couple of big crabs and flinging them into a bucket. I heard later that the crabs were eaten which is fair enough but some of the 10/11/12 year olds saw this example as permission to carry out some torture of their own. When my son's friend filmed this (keep an eye out on Youtube), they were shouted at to leave by staff because they weren't 'checked in' to kids club. I have to say that while I accept cultures are different, this barbaric behaviour towards helpless creatures by kids in their charge should not have been tolerated. I was quite angry at this and feel it's worth mentioning.

Overall, we did have a great trip to Castaway Island. There is so much to do and the atmosphere and location are almost perfect. It's a very well oiled machine, no doubt about it. They really do look after their staff and their executive chef is a wonderful man and a great asset to them particularly when it comes to the quality of the food and marketing their product. They are also very genuinely involved in the local community which is a credit to the owner and management.

However, the fact that we were left with a bit of a feeling that what we wanted (the accommodation) didn't matter, and coupled with the fact that it is a fairly expensive resort, we would certainly look to going somewhere different.

I will miss some of the awesome staff.

Room Tip: choose a beach front bure - our 'ocean view' was on the path to the staff village and it got...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Dragonflymummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

We went with another family and had the family bure, perfect for when the girls wanted to have their hair braided or the kids wanted to hang out and watch a movie after dinner. I downloaded loads of movies onto an Ipad and took that as there are no TV's in the rooms. If the boys wanted to watch a game the much obliging staff were happy to set it up in the bar in the main restaurant for them (and enjoyed watching Fiji play Samoa before the Wallabies game!).
The buffer meal system is perfect for the kids and recommend purchasing the meal package as it means you can eat pizza, buffet and al a carte if you wish. There only extra is coffee or alcoholic drinks which are reasonably priced. The staff make this resort. Do not expect 5 star service or accommodation. What you will find is a safe, small, family friendly resort where you really get to know the staff. Service was pretty good too for Fiji. Much better than the super-expensive Intercontinental on the mainland. I took every medication known to man as it is very remote and I am paranoid about this with children but we didn't have an incident. It was nice to know there was a nurse at the resort 24/7 irrespective. We did a tour around on the speed boat (that had transported Prince Charles no less when he visited) and it did seem to have the nicest beach too. We were also impressed to see Tom Hank's paddle from the move "Castaway" there as he and the crew were apparently in residence there during filming. The island it was shot on is a boat ride away and visible in the distance.

Small issues that could be easily addressed:
The sunbeds are jammed against each other on the north beach where our bure was. On top of this there were hammocks and benches. People sat outside our bures on these for hours as they were roomless having already checked out. Was a little intrusive as they had young children but this was a minor issue that could be remedied if they spread the seating out around the point of the island (the nicest part) outside the main dining areas.
Would have been nice to have some sort of beach service for drinks/food too but again, no biggie.
The major issue was the lack of any partition between the toilet and the room- an no extractor fan. I won't elaborate- you can figure that one out.
The other concern was the day trippers we worked out were visiting by their wrist bands. They would arrive and come and colonise the sun bed right next to you as you were in the shade of a sun hut and had been all morning. You would therefore have to listen to their every conversation as you tried to read your book etc. This also raised security issues for both families as you did feel the need to lock your bure door even though you were only a few metres away...just in case.
Overall, fantastic family experience as the kids adored it.

Room Tip: The rooms on the south side are quieter but you will get the wind. People sat right outside our room...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank MrsDSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong, Victoria AUSTRALIA
Level Contributor
48 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2012

My husband and I recently returned from a six night stay at Castaway Island. This was a return trip celebrating our anniversary. From the moment you arrive, the Castaway staff go above and beyond. A freindly welcome song is accompanied by wide smiles and a big BULA welcome to the island. Guests are given a drink while room details and meal plans are worked out, and luggage is transported to your room.

We chose to stay in a beachfront bure. The bures are smaller but comfortable and offer privacy. With the resort area being quite small, any bure would be close to everything, although those near the pool could be a little noisier.

We chose to do the meal plan and were never disappointed in the choice and quality of the food. The Meke night which includes a Managers Welcome event was a highlight. Daily activities were planned and we were never short of things to do. Our stay coincided with the Volcom Fiji Pro surfing event and we took advantage of an organised champagne trip out to watch the action on the island's sppedboat Teivovo. Irava and Atu made sure we had a good time on this trip, and also made sure our glasses were never empty. Other extra activities we participated in were snorkeling trips to the outer reef, parasailing and a night snorkel. We also participated in the free activities of kayaking around the island, bushwalking, a talk on native foods and the Fijian diet (which was great!), snorkeling, crab and frog races, a bonfire night to watch the partial lunar eclipse and a 'surprise' game, which was quite amusing.

On the day of our anniversary staff found out we were celebrating a special event and surprised us with a special candlelit table with flowers, an enormous chocolate cake, and the band serenaded us with an anniversary song - the words of which were given to us in little scrolls. It was amazing, and a lovely extra gesture.

But of all the things we enjoyed about Castaway, the accommodation, the food, the cocktails, the activities.. the absolute number one thing we loved best was the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. Special mention needs to go to Pau, the Reservations Manager, for allowing my husband to use his computer when a pressing work issue arose, Dan, who was the loveliest guy who went out of his way to assist us in any way possible and taught us about the local rugby matches, Ratu, who kept us amused with his quick wit and huge smile and arranged the surprise anniversary celebration, Kat, who makes the most amazing cocktails, and Liku and Salote for their professionalism in their roles.

We have already enquired about booking a return trip next year and can't wait to return. Vinaka Castaway for the wonderful break.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank Blackwater165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

After visiting the Fiji Mamanuca Islands now for the 4th time we finally found a resort that was overall the best for families, in particular with younger children. Over the last four visits to Fiji staying under different circumstances each time (first with my father and sister, then later with my husband (then boyfriend), then with my one year old and 3 year old with extended family, and this time with my husband, now 3 year old and 5 year old).

I have now stayed or visited all the islands on the Mamanuca group each visit staying no less than 14 nights all up at the various resorts over the 4 visits. I would like to make the following helpful comments to make for those struggling, like I was, to make the right decision of where to stay (Treasure, Plantation, Mana, Musket Cove, Amanuca, Matamanoa, Bounty, Beachcomber etc) and should I spend the extra cash to stay at the various resorts, and will it be worth it. So here is the low down:

The most comparable resort to the standard of Castaway is definately Mololo. Both are just wonderful and perfect for families and they each have their own advantages and disadvantges for want of a better word. It depends on your interests, your needs and priorities for your holiday.

Castaway overall has the best food in terms of variety, quality, great fijian inspired dishes, and also an excellent choice of food overall for the kids (this was a bit of a hit and miss issue with Malolo). The al acarte choice at night time was always consistently good. The buffet meals breakfast lunch and dinner were always overall good. The full meal package is the only way to go, even if you do not eat three meals a day, I still think it is by far the best value option. I cannot imagine what the bills are for those that do not take this option, even if you only ate two meals a day.

The service at both islands is just heartfelt and lovely, bright and enthusiastic and you were always made to feel welcome and special, particulalrly the children.

The two new pools and surrounds at Castaway are just beautiful. The kids loved the kids pool and the snack bar attached to it, it was perfect in terms of making life easy as a parent to either have a cocktail or coffee, snack or ice cream while watching the kids. The temperature of the water was also bearable (unlike Malolo's pools, very very cold).

The adults pool at Castaway was also perfect and just far enough away from the noisy kids pool. Another very important point was the pools around Castaway have plenty of seating opportunities unlike Malolo, which severley lacked seating and relaxing space by the pool. A real pain as a parent watching kids in the kids pool and there was often no where to sit coz there was only about 8 seats all up.This was the case at Malolo for both the adults and the kids pool.

What I like about Castaway and Mololo is the very intimate and personalised service they offer. The accomodation at both islands was great. Castaway's bures were very fijian in style and had all that you needed. Personally I think it was worth the extra for the beach bures. I would have been dissapointed if I was in an island bure only beacuse I could not see the water. Bures 25, 33, and 37 would be the pick of the bunch. Some peoples comments have said that this side of the island is too windy. But as we discovered that depends purely on which direction the wind is blowing. Sometimes this side was windy and sometimes the other side. The advantage of the side with Bures 25, 33, 37 etc is that you have more or less an unobstructed view of the water, whereas with the other side there is so much tree foilage that it is hard to see the water from your beach front bure, it is also a lot busier. The tree foilage is pretty but it does obstruct the view. So it depends on what your after.

All the accomodation on Mololo is just beautiful. You cannot go wrong. The standard of room clean each day is excellent. Most bures all have tree foilage in front of the bures. But it is beautiful and well manicured.

The kids club at Castaway is good with lovely staff, but nowhere near as good as Mololo islands in terms of activity choice. Kids club at Malolo is brilliant. They do some fantastic excursions, and also the Club house itself, is new with a great layout, lots for the kids to do, comfy seating and a huge LCD TV screen for movies later in the evening. Their outside play are within the Kids club is excellent. The babysitters were also excellent overall.

While the food at Mololo Island was a bit hit and miss at times and not a great variety for kids, with very little fijian inspired dishes, the good points are that the beach bar was always quite good, with a wonderful outlook, and the Tree Tops restuarant for adults only, was outstanding and beautifully and romantically located.

The music entertainment at both island was great. Mostly fijian in style at Castaway, so a little more authentic, but the quality of the singers and musicians at Mololo was excellent, but more contemporary in style.

The only dissapointment for Castaway is it's Massages. Unlike Mololo they do not offer a spa service. For those with the priority of wanting international standard of massages with a good spa menu, Mololo is excellent. Castaway needs improvement in that area.

If you get bored at these islands within the first three days, then you were either expecting too much of a small island paradise or were not tired and stressed enough before you left for your holiday. Fiji island holidays really are for those in need of a really relaxing holiday. It cannot be compared with activitites of staying in stay Thailand, Bali, Hawaii. If you want more variety and things to do other than watersports, eating, cocktails, relaxing, warm water, crystal clear water, and stunning sunsets, then I would not recommend it.

Treasure Island is OK. Great newish pool with a beautiful outlook. Beautiful serenaders at meal times. The bures are just ok, nothing compared to Castaway and Mololo, the service is quite good, Kids club average, food has gone down hill over the years compared to how it used to be, but it is OK. Storms have destroyed the beach a bit over the years (once you could could pretty much walk all the way around on sand. Not anymore). Overall it is a nice island but a bit shabby in parts and definately is only 3 stars. Quite rustic. Nice and intimate though. However, it is probably the next best option for families if you cannot justify or do not have the budget for Castaway or Mololo.

Mana Island was a real dissapointment this year and I would not go back by choice. The food is flyblown, the main kids pool area was really shabby and daggy, lots of pollution at times, from the tractors and trucks working the island, all pool furniture needs replacing, the decks need sanding and painting, the resturant tables outside need replacing, the roofs of the resturants and bures need rethatching, the main pool area now looks lost in the 70's. It reall could do with a refurb. However, the island itself is stunning with lovely beaches and beautiful sunsets and clear waters. The Spa and spa menu is excellent. It is a very big resort and has lost the personal intimate feeling. The kids club is quite good and kids see more of the island than most of the adults. The accomodation is average is not worth its 4 stars. The oceanfront townhouses are huge, contain all you need but could do with some TLC. After going to Castaway and Mololo, going back again would not be an option. It may be more exepnsive but you get a lot more value for your money.Very Rustic indeed.

Plantation island. Is very similar to a 70's school camp. It should be rated 2 stars. The food mess hall looks like a food poisoning bout waiting to happen. A very huge resort with a lack of personalisation and shabby to boot. The outlook and setting however is beautiful. Some aspects just plain filthy. Going here would be a real dissapointment for anyones budget. Al la rustica at its finest.Very no frills.

Musket cove has a stunning setting, lacking in personalistion, a bit better than Plantation. You can walk from one resort to the other. Food OK. Friendly people.

Amanuca, not much better than Plantation. Stunning position. Kids club is apauling, many filthy looking communal areas, pool is OK with a stunning outlook also, but very 70's ish in style. Grounds very average.

For the romantics without families, and those that can justify the expense, Tokoriki and Liku Liku are just beautiful. The pools of Tokoriki and Likuliku Islands are by far the best. Cannot really fault them compared with the other resorts. Very polished in every aspect, service, bures, manicured grounds, stunning setting, food etc. If the budget does not allow, Castaway and Mololo would still be the pick of the bunch over Matamanoa. If snorkelling is your highest priority then you cannot beat Matamanoa for their reef its spectacular, but it is a let down in other areas compared in its service, food and friendliness. The bures are quite nice and spacious.

Hope this is helpful to those struggling with a decision.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
81 Thank Veztar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jaipur, India
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012

This is the Best Island Resort, I have ever stayed. Best location, pleasant weather, Great food, unlimited Water activities and many more .....
Above all ... Most courteous staff ..... you think of some help, and they are ready to extend their hands.
Your Day start with lots n lots of BULA !!! and ends with Vinaka !!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank agrawalsourabh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

I stayed with my sister in a bure- note that the walls are really only partitions including the bathroom/toilet wall. We loved it- the pools are lovely, the snorkelling is fantastic and the staff are amazingly helpful. We used the meal plan and just paid for drinks and activities (outer reef snorkelling, banana boat rides, night snorkelling are extra). I am not sure why anyone would go to a resort and expect to find out about the local culture- you can visit the local villages if you like there is a boat that goes daily. I am also not sure how you could be bored- sure the island is small- you can walk around it in an hour at low tide, or kayak around it at high tide in 40minutes- but there is plenty to do.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank saucymorsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broadbeach, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Its beautiful the staff all smile on cue the island is spottless, but after years of backpacking and globe trotting I've realised there is no point going overseas if you don't gain any insight into the culture your visiting. Castaway could have been any where and after 3 days my partner and I felt bored even though my 3 year old had a fabulous time.Nice family break but expensive for a sanitized glam resort.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank helen i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castaway Island Fiji

Property: Castaway Island Fiji
Address: Castaway Island | Mamanuca Island group, Fiji Islands, 1111, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Castaway Island (Qalito)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Castaway Island (Qalito)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Castaway Island Fiji 4*
Number of rooms: 63
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 
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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)

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