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“It grows on you”

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Yasawa Island Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Yasawa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 5, 2011

Nice place and the trip got better as time went by. The airline had us waiting nearly two hours at an airport with nothing there and no communication as to when our scheduled flight might leave. The small island hopper looked dubious but after a scary landing and extremely rough and dirty mini van ride on a dirt track for 10 mins, we finally arrived to a lovely reception area. Sweet welcome song and newly renovated main building. The bures however (we had a deluxe) need some major work. Not enough eater pressure for decent shower, we didn't use out door shower. Rooms are dark, windows old, few insects about but it's more of a natural type of island. Grass at front of bures needs manicuring and get rid of bindies. Trees full of coconuts hold up the hammocks, we laid our kids on one outside our room, looked up and quickly whisked them off! Kids loved the hermit crabs on the beach, perfect water and white sand. The swimming pool is completely useless, it is freezing cold, really needs heating. No one could swim in it. Food was great most of the time. Couple of lunches were pretty much just a burger, I don't eat bread and so there wasn't much of an alternative. Spa needs some work, look down at the massage table and the legs are rusted from sitting outside on balcony opposite beach...easily fixed with timber legged massage table. Staff are lovely, but they are so scared of management they can't deal with any change or requests that sway even a bit from the menu etc. We had a high chair requirement, we sat at one table one day, when they had sat us there again another day I asked to move to another four seat table, clearly this was a problem, they wanted us to stay at the same table for every meal but the sun was in all our faces...sorry but we were gone before most others came to the restaurant because we had little ones that ate early. Also kids meals were only available after 630pm...tell that to a 14 month old who eats at 5pm. Overall it was a nice place, but I was glad to leave, the paths between main building and bures needs fixing, pool heating, decent wine list, a bit more gardening, lighten up the rooms, fix the louvres and flyscreens up a bit, pest control for those few roaming cockroaches etc would improve things. Bures are large though...intent connection was terrible, only at main restaurant and very slow....depends what you want on holidays. I would choose vomo island over yasawa, it's closer, more modern rooms, though yasawa has nicer water, but ocean slightly rougher.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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11  Thank StylishLittleFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YasawaResort, Owner at Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2011

Bula

Thank you for taking the time to review the resort after your stay. I also was happy to read your guest comment form that you left on island and noted that you had a great time, intend to come back and rated the staff, management and service as excellent and asked to be kept on our database.

The resort is not slick, sexy and modern we would describe it as romantic and unpretentious.The island is a natural beauty and we like to try to keep the resort as much in balance with the local environment as possible, hence we have not tried to manicure the resort but kept it in its beautiful natural state. Being in a very warm and tropical environment we have never had a guest express the need for a heated pool but note your comments.

Thank you again for your feedback - we look forward to welcoming you back.

James McCann
Owner

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Reviewed August 1, 2011

Having read the mixed reviews, I felt compelled to contribute our views.
Yasawa is a remarkable and beautiful island and the Fijians delightful. My friends and I spent the last week in July relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet, the great food and the friendly and helpful staff.
There are, however, a few issues that need to be addressed and we were fortunate to have the company of Erin McCann, Co-owner at dinner one night. She discussed how she plans to implement some changes to the management and serv ices at the resort which she believes will delight future clients. We were very impressed with her ideas and look forward to returning to Yasawa to experience an even better holiday than we had this time.
It is obvious that Erin and her husband James are passionate and fully committed to ensuring that Yasawa becomes a favourite resort for visitors to Fiji. I wish them every success for the future and look forward to our return.

Ally Cat

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank 10allycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Our recent stay at the Yasawa Island resort left us with mixed feelings.

Accommodation: We stayed in a deluxe Bure with our two children and it was very comfortable but needed a spruce up. The bedding in our Bure was good and comfortable.

Housekeeping: The bure was serviced daily although there were a few days where our towels were not replaced and we were left to "drip dry". There was supposed to be a constant supply of cookies in the room but they were not supplied until I asked for them.

Staff: Wonderful, friendly staff, especially Bale, Wati and her husband and Joseteki.

Kids Club activities: Fairly non-existent almost and if a few children didn't want to do the arranged activity then there was no back-up activity or care. Definitely not a resort to go to if you feel like having your kids in kids club for some of the day so you can relax or have some time with your partner without concern for what your kids are doing. Of particular concern, is he lack of supervision for younger children with the beach and pool nearby.

Food: Mmmmmm not good! Our thoughts are that if you are paying top dollar for a resort the food should be above average but it was not. Our local cafe serves up better food than we received for most of our meals. Breakfast is quite good but lunch and dinner were average....apart from the desserts which were usually great. The children's meals were not good either - too much fried food. We ended up ordering from the adults menu for them. We have stayed a several resorts in Fiji with outstanding food and this does not measure up when it comes to the food and for us a big part of the enjoyment of the holiday is about the food.

Beach and Pool: Stunning beach and wonderful location. The pool was small but adequate.

Trips: The activities and trips were quite limited and not overly memorable. The main boat was out of action for the entire trip so any water transit was relatively slow and of limited comfort. Snorkelling off the island was ok but without the main dive boat in action many people at the resort were commenting that the best sites were out of reach.

Overall: We would not go back until we knew that the management had changed and/or had made some serious changes. This is a real shame because the island is stunning as are the Fijian people but it was not worth the money in comparison to some other 5 star resorts in Fiji.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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16  Thank ScoobyMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YasawaResort, Owner at Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2011

Bula - As an owner it is always disappointing to see negative guest comments
from clients. However the past 3 negative guest comments are from guests who all stayed at the resort at the same time and became quite friendly during their stay. These postings are not a true representation of events at the resort during their vacation with us.

We are always keen to get positive constructive comments from guests and encourage guest feedback from every single client who stays with us. However, posting guest comments for reasons to inflict undeserved harm are really not what trip advisor is all about.

I am happy to be contacted directly by anyone seeking any further information on the resort and any further clarification about these trip advisor comments.

James McCann - Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

I find it hard to comprehend the recent negative reviews refer to the same efficient management, friendly happy staff, plentiful tasty food and comfortable resort that we left so reluctantly three days ago! Our experiences can only be described as positive with the management doing their upmost to ensure our stay was memorable (including Brett meeting us at 6am for fishing) and Coco wringing recipes from the chef on our behalf!
Our family have travelled extensively in Fiji visiting 15 different and varied locations over a period of many years. In Fiji we do not expect nor seek the same chrome and marble opulence we frequent in places such as Dubai.
We do however expect a high level of comfort, great food, clean well appointed accommodation, natural gorgeous beach surroundings and happy, friendly and relaxed Fijian people staffing any establishment we visit.
This is our second trip to Yasawa Island Resort in the last few months. While I cannot comment on its previous reputation nor the quality guests experienced several years ago I can without hesitation say it ticked all the boxes as far as our requirements go.
Each accommodation (Bure) is spacious and rustic with a good level of privacy, out door shower, hammock, spacious decks for lazy afternoons and set back slightly from the beach affording some protection should the wind get up. Our bed was comfortable – in fact so much so we peeled back the sheets to find the manufacturer (Sleepyhead Posturepedic). Each day generous amounts of Pure Fiji is replenished along with sachets of quality plunger coffee and chef’s freshly baked biscuits.
Generally we have been disappointed with the quality and price of food available throughout Fiji. In honesty we have visited only two resorts which we consider consistently high enough in standard. Yasawa Island Resort and Spa is one of them. This small isolated boutique resort has a commitment to supply only fresh well-cooked and not overly processed meals to guests. There is a varied and more than adequate selection available for each meal (two or three choices per course) with the chef taking full advantage of locally caught fresh fish, crayfish, fruits and vegetables. On several occasions our teenage son requested additions to his meals and in each instance they obliged with a smile. Should you require (and I can not imagine anyone would!) an additional meal there is an all day in room menu and if not wanting to dine in the restaurant there are many locations for private dining or an in room meal. Don’t go to Yasawa Island Resort and Spa if you aim to lose weight. Chef’s desserts are exceptional and I hold him responsible for several kilos of weight gain in each member of our family!
Yasawa has many optional off resort activities included and water equipment such as kayaks are available to guests. We personally do not snorkel but as the waters immediately surrounding the resort are protected all guests we spoke to were impressed with the quality and variation in marine life and coral. Several trips to alternative locations for snorkelling were also organized. The Blue Lagoon Caves are well worth a visit and with 11 uninhabited beaches at the Resorts disposal we would highly recommend at least one private picnic during any stay. The waters around Yasawa are one of the few Fijian locations we have visited recently that does not appear to be over fished. On the two occasions we went fishing with the resort we had great catches and there is nothing more picture perfect than a Fijian sunrise or sunset!
Yasawa Island Resort and Spa is quite isolated and although we personally consider this part of the locations charm and attraction it may not appeal to everyone. If you have an expectation of a “five star hotel experience” perhaps Denarau on the mainland or one of the more expensive alternative resorts would better suit your requirements.
If you are seeking an unspoilt environment in which you can do as much or as little as you want, if you enjoy a sunset on a beach without another person in sight and if you want total relaxation without the hustle and bustle of a large touristy location this quality resort is well worth a look.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank GrantGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

I have never written a review before so as a regular international traveler from the UK something has moved me to do so.

I visited Yasawa Resort 10 years ago and returned with my family with high expectations from our previous visit.

The arrival at the pretty airport was great and all seemed fine until we arrived at the hotel.
The welcome song was carried out by several staff who we remembered but unlike last time they seemed rather edgy and bewildered. They have a lovely nature but it seems that the new management have difficulty in motivating them without creating a fear culture which pervaded throughout our holiday.

Consequently the service element is now very questionable as the staff are unguided and dis-organised. I see from another review that 'all you have to do is ask' to receive the old Yasawa experience - well I don't expect to have to ask to get good food and service in what is purported to be a 5 star resort which of course it is no longer.

On complaining about the food which was mediocre with for example little shell fish, I was invited by the manageress/co-owner to meet with the 'executive' chef who would 'appreciate' the feedback - frankly, I don't go on holiday to train hotel staff when I am already giving feedback to the owner! There were only thee options for main courses on the dinner menu each day and one evening one was unavailable at 7.40 pm!

Fiji time is endearing but I would rather not wait 45 minutes for the cheese plate when I would like to be on the glorious beach - which by the way it is - a wonderful west facing sheltered beach but the free watersports consisted of a broken Hobycat, and a catermaran which looked like it had crash landed some time after the second world war and sat amongst some forlorn 'peek- a- boo' glass bottomed canoes.

The light tackle fishing which you pay for was excellent - my son and I caught some lovely mackrel and trevelley which go back to the village or you can get the kitchen to cook them - a high spot!

In CONCLUSION - Having read other reviews from competing resorts it is clearly difficult to run a business with the vagaries of Fiji including having to transport everything to the islands by air but this resort needs to do a lot better to reclaim its former standards which is not beyond its reach - you can't mess up the location which is superb but the management will do well to manage its staff more gently and treat its guests better - [ They managed to reduce one guest to tears and the manager's husband would have rather thrown himself into the shrubs to avoid saying hello to the guests whereas the local garden staff will call Bula Bula if you go within 50 yards of them!]
So I wish them luck - it has not been long since they took the resort over following a fire but at this point I left the resort feeling depressed from our earlier memories and very sorry for the lovely village and its people who rely on the resort for their well-being - I hope that the staff will realise that they hold the key for the future of the business and its success - all is not lost.

Room Tip: Our Bure was as good as before and could probably do with a brush up as nothing has been done for a...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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22  Thank robert_hannington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

we came back from yasawa feeling like we had seen the real fiji and had a real family holiday. the family bures were great- they each had their own beach hut with outdoor shower , complete with hammock and the best beach view ever! , the chef even baked choc chip cookies for the kids, the beach and water was spectacular! the cuisine was amazing! we didnt have one bad meal, the kids meals were great and abundant, and the staff so attentive. Yasawa is amazing and only those who visit get to experience a slice of yasawa magic. There is so much to do, or so little if you wish. The kids were entertained by toni and the crew. My wife had a lovely facial at the spa and me a massage, BLISS! the snorkelilng is world class and if you keen you can be dropped off on a deserted beach for a romantic picnic. The staff were just so fabulous with us and the family, the beach amazing , the food even better, what more do you want for a family holiday, we will be back!!!

Room Tip: all rooms have great ocean outlooks, beach outside honeymoon beach was world class!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank msandco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

After researching into the Yasawa Island Resort through the website and other promotional material produced by the resort we decided it looked like the holiday we wanted. We paid a high rate during our stay and felt as though we got a 2 star holiday.

We found the co-owners who live onsite and manage the resort to be unapproachable and not very skilled in the management of a boutique resort. On numerous occasions the co-owners were rude to their staff in front of us and gave the vibe that they believed themselves to be superior to the Fijian workers. It was obvious that the staff were scared of them and did not have much respect for them. When at a resort you do not want to feel guilty about the local staff you want to feel like you are supporting an organisation that is of benefit to them and their village. Unfortunately this is not the case at Yasawa. The staff do not seem relaxed or happy.

The co-owners were also rude to us and did not deal with issues raised adequately. Basic customer service was lacking.

The food was terrible over our 6 day stay we had 2 meals that we enjoyed. The food is what you would get in a below average cafe.

The bures are in desperate need of a lift. Yes management acknowledges this but we heard of no definite plans to fix this. In our bure the hot water would run out after about 2 minutes. The beds were uncomfortable. Previous places that we have stayed in fiji had lovely light filled bures however these were dark and depressing.

The snorkeling is good but there are better places away from the island - unfortunately there are no organised day trips to these places.   

The fijian staff are nice and kind. You can tell they are not happy with their jobs though. Some lack the basic training required for their positions. One night we waited over an hour for our meals to arrive. We understand "fiji time" and are very accepting of it when on holiday but we thought this was a bit extreme.  

The good point is that the beach is beautiful. The Island is stunning but unfortunately our negative experience with the resort detracted from this.

We did not hear many positive comments from guests while we were there. We thought we paid a lot of money for a 2 star holiday. The positive reviews on here raise alarm bells - either they are friends of the owners or they are not sure what is required and expected of a 5 star resort. Because of our experience we can not recommend the Yasawa Island Resort to anyone.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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27  Thank AJPJFP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yasawa Island Resort and Spa

Address: PO Box 9779, Nadi Airport, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Yasawa Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Yasawa Island
Price Range: $890 - $2,198 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Yasawa Island Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is an exclusive retreat on one of the most remote and unspoiled islands of Fiji. Just 18 luxury bungalows are hidden among luscious tropical greenery, each only a few steps from a pristine, silky white-sand beach. Celebrated for its pristine location, Yasawa Island Resort & Spa has offered guests from around the globe unique, authentic and enriching travel experiences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yasawa Island Hotel Yasawa Island
Yasawa Island Resort And Spa Yasawa Islands, Fiji

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