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.
- 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)