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“Not awful, but very flawed”

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Paradise Cove Resort
Certificate of Excellence
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Not awful, but very flawed”
Reviewed November 19, 2013

I can’t say our time at Paradise Cove Island Resort was bad, because it wasn’t. But there were so many little and medium scale issues that it would be hard to recommend the resort to others. What follows will sound largely negative as it’s human nature to focus on the poor experiences while spending less time addressing the positive. I think our experience was influenced by what an amazing time we had just had at another resort (click on my name to see that review) and perhaps this resort just wasn’t for us. With all of the options in the Yasawa’s for resorts (including 3-4 within a 15 minute boat ride) I can definitely say we would never go back here…so how could I recommend to others that they visit? I’ll try to bullet point our takeaways and if you want some elaboration you can read below. This resort seems to lack greatly from leadership (ie management) and training.

The good
*great facilities, room, pool, reef (start at the dive center and head south), island aesthetics, short hiking trail…all were wonderful (one caveat, below).
*the staff on excursions (hike, snorkeling) were great
*modernized in availability of TV, wifi, ipads available, air conditioning
*Seemed to be a great place to bring kids (don’t have any though)
*cleanliness seemed great
*The food that was available was typically very good.

The Bad
*Almost all staff involved with meals/service (there was one woman and one guy that were great, by day 3 we were crossing our fingers to not get certain people).
*Being proactive to deal with issues as they arise
*Having enough beachfront lounges (more than half “reserved” for the beachfront bures). *Having enough seating period for beachfront/pool deck
*Grounds keeping noise (with beautiful landscaping comes non-stop high RPM motor noises…all the time)
*Staff attentiveness
*Getting a straight answer out of people about how much things might cost
*The Activities schedule having the correct information (times, tides) so you can actually do some planning.
*Feeling of worry regarding theft
*Stuff missing from room (admittedly this may be our fault, but can’t shake the feeling it was not)
*The options for food at mealtime (Dinner is sort of a nightmare if you’re a bit picky). They need to allow for the extended permanent lunch menu to be accessible at dinnertime and not just lunch. How do you have nearly 20 items at lunch and only ever 3 at dinner?

We really loved the room, it was beautiful and the bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom was pretty spectacular. It was nice having access to a TV for the afternoons or in case of rain and their selection of movies and TV shows was extensive (though we did experience several hiccups in the system, freezing in the middle of watching shows; and not all of them could be fast forwarded back to where you lost it). The air conditioner was nice as well; allowing you for some privacy by closing the shutters and not needing to depend on circulation through the windows. The dining area and pool were very nice as was the bar (though there were several times when it looked like no one was at the bar during operation times). It was nice having access to wireless and they had an iPad mini check-out program that allowed you to borrow a mini for free ($100 deposit charged to a card that would be removed once the mini was returned in one piece). The activity booth seemed a little disorganized depending on who was working the counter when you showed up, but the staff during the snorkeling excursions and hikes were great. Very nice, very helpful and actually interested in directly engaging with the guests. The head gardener was probably the best staff interaction we had (I think his name was Samu?); he was one of the staff members not from Soso village, but I had trouble with the name village he was from, he took us on the hike one of the mornings and did a great job. The landscaping was really nice throughout as well; he must do great work. In your room and walking around the grounds everything was usually quite pleasant. Our biggest issue was probably that we had to constantly ask and double-check things that you would think would just be handled…as well as a general feeling that at any moment something could be stolen.

I’m going to start generalizing unfairly to several of the staff. There were definitely some staff who were very nice and engaging, but I’d put the number between 25-30%. In general (as I mentioned above) the excursion staff were great, but the rooming staff and wait staff (especially at dinner) were a bit of a mess.

Cell phone use among the staff was ubiquitous, and more importantly, seemed to take precedence to handling guests at inopportune moments. The most striking example was our arrival. As we shuttled from the Flyer to the island, a host of staff were singing and dancing on the beach ready to welcome us finishing with a hearty “BULA”, quite nice. We hit the beach and by the time we had maneuvered getting off the boat (30 seconds?) the crowd had vanished; we did see them from behind as they all began checking their text messages. One gentlemen did stay behind to introduce himself and park us on the couch for check in…and was then replaced by another person who gave us a quick intro to the facilities. We were shocked at the number of staff on their phones when we got there, however, we didn’t notice it nearly as much after our arrival. Maybe they rounded up staff who were off-shift for the greeting dance? It just looked bad to put all that effort into welcoming someone to your island and then ignoring them seconds later. The staff were very friendly and engaging…with each other. My wife did a jewelry making activity and the three staff women basically spoke to each other in Fijian the whole time and kind of ignored my wife (note: this is more for kids, they’re not showing you Fijian jewelry making. They’re handing you fishing line and tiny shells that were probably shipped in and saying “make a bracelet”). When we arrived our fridge was locked…I’m not sure if they were supposed to bring us a key or if it was supposed to have been unlocked when we got there, but on the second morning when we asked for it to be unlocked they gave us a key and we discovered the water that they provided was in the fridge. The introduction book said there were “games” and an umbrella in every room. We had neither. In speaking to the front desk apparently the “assortment of games” meant there should have been a deck of cards. They also brought us an umbrella, but we were worried that they weren’t there when we arrived. Little issues, nothing big, but we were constantly asking for stuff that according to their booklet should have been available (they never did bring cards to the room).

We left the fridge key and an SD card on our bed at lunch one day. When we came back both were gone. We don’t know if it got swept up and tossed (unlikely) if it got rolled in the sheets and laundered (seems likely) or if someone got a new 32 GB SD card we were using for our cameras. We do know for sure it was no longer in the room. Our fault for leaving it out…but hard to imagine it wasn’t noticed. You’ll note that the introduction booklet strongly suggests putting everything that will fit into the safe, there is a locking mechanism on the inside of the door to the bathroom, the fridge has a locking mechanism, and it’s strongly suggested you don’t log into any accounts while using their wireless. Very reassuring.

They didn’t replace our towels one day (when we left them on the floor to indicate needing a replacement). Our foot bath to avoid bringing in sand wouldn’t stay filled and they never refilled it after the morning fill. We mentioned this on the first day when we returned in the afternoon and asked the office how we can fill it. Their response was “maintenance comes around and refills”. No, they do not. They never came after we reported to the office (around 1 PM that afternoon) and never refilled any other day during the day. Surely someone would have noticed and said “hey, maybe these guests would like to not track a ton of sand into their bure”, but that didn’t happen. Big deal? Not really, but if you’re going to have that option available then take care of it. If there were no foot baths available we wouldn’t have cared, but having it there and constantly seeing it empty was annoying. I even tried to mess with the drain valve to tighten it and put some leaves in to stopper the drain. No luck.

The timing for trip activities was inaccurate. We signed up for 9:30 AM snorkels two days in row. The actual trips took place at 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Unfortunately my wife was going to try discover SCUBA at 2:30 PM and couldn’t due to the 2:00 PM snorkel trip. It’s hard to make those plans when there is a time posted in large black letters on the sign-up sheet that you fill out at the scuba center and it doesn’t take place at that time. It makes sense, they want to take you at mid-high tide so you don’t destroy their reef, but then why doesn’t the sign-in sheet reflect that? Why even have it listed at 9:30 AM? We may have even been able to ask to have the discover SCUBA change time, maybe they could have done it…but there just seemed to be a lot of personal leg-work with trying to do anything at this resort. We just wanted to sign up for a scheduled event and have it actually fit into that schedule; doesn’t seem like too much to ask. One morning we were preparing for the 9:30 snorkel when we noticed the time wasn’t posted on the chalk board. We walked to the dive shop and they didn’t know either. They had to call someone to get the 2:00 PM time; how does the activity center no know the activity time the day of the activity? Especially at 9:00 AM When the trip was originally posted as 9:30 AM. We were brought to the same reef two days in a row, they should have coordinated that better and allowed guests to experience a new reef.

The lounging issues. There were I think 10 little shaded lounging huts (could have been 12?) along the beach front. 5 of them are reserved for the beach front bures that are quite large. That leaves 5-6 of them for the rest of the guests (I don’t know how many total bures are actually at this resort, but I do know the numbering system reaches the 40s). Each shade can have 2 lounges underneath. There are also several hammocks that are suitable if you’re 5 feet or shorter. When we got there two of the shaded areas had no lounges; we did ask on the second day and the staff brought two down for us. But, why aren’t they just there? It seems it’s because they’re usually up on the pool deck for use by guests at the pool, in other words they don’t have enough lounge seating for symmetrical aesthetics at both the pool and beach simultaneously. It was frustrating how many beachfront were reserved for the expensive bures and it lead to guests coming out at 7:00 AM putting some sandals and towels on the lounges at the beach to claim them, disappearing until 11:00 or after lunch and then finally using them in the afternoon. While the rest of you are forced to use the seating around the pool, ask staff to drag more down or just lay on the coral heavy sand. I’m not big on laying in the sun, if I’m at the beach I’m in the water…but it bothered my wife a lot. If she had wanted to lounge at a pool we’d have gone to FL, not spent thousands on Fiji.

The dinner issues. The biggest issue at this resort is, hands down, dinner. First a quick note, whatever you do don’t ask any questions of your servers. They won’t know the answer and leave to ask someone; it’ll take a while for them to come back to you. When you get the answer you have no time to digest it to make a decision. If you pause for a second to reconsider your options with the new information you’ll find that the staff will just sort of wander off…and may not come back for quite some time (typically because they’ve probably found another staff member to chat with, or, more rarely they’re taking an order at another table). The most interesting experience was having a staff member turn and walk away while I was in the middle of ordering…no clue what was going on. Dinner typically took 30 minutes to order if you weren’t the first one or two tables seated. The worst night was lambshank night that took an hour 45 minutes to get our meal after ordering(and we weren’t the last served. 4 tables seated before us were served after), the following night was the quickest; I’m guessing the guests let the management have it after that crazy night. Dinner typically has three options, fish, non-fish meat, and vegetarian. You have to ask to find out about the vegetarian and the server will never (and I mean never 4 dinners 4 lunches, never knew what the veggie option was) know what the dish is. My wife and I don’t eat fish (makes me ill, she just doesn’t care for it) so we had two options. My wife also doesn’t eat lamb so the meat option was out two nights as well. The veggie option those two nights were mushroom risotto (surprise she doesn’t eat mushroom) and stuffed cabbage (another surprise she doesn’t eat cabbage). She made the mistake of trying to order off the extended lunch menu (which is still given to you with the dinner options), shock to us; that food is only available for lunch. They have a (at least 10 but I think longer) list of options for lunch plus 2-3 specials each day, while dinner has three options only…that’s it…if you’re at all picky dinner is going to be a problem for you. The second night when she also didn’t care for the 3 dinner options she asked to be served just the vegetable sides from the dishes instead and to just have the leave the meat off, seemed a reasonable option right? They brought her a plate with about a pound of mashed potatoes in the middle of it…and that was it. There was no salt in the potatoes, no butter served, no gravy with it…it was a pile of potato and after waiting for so long for the meals to come out my wife didn’t want to try and ask for some sort of gravy (like the one that was being served with the meat meals) and just picked at plain, bland potato for about 10 minutes before she gave up. The appetizer was almost always fish (3 of 4 nights), so, if you don’t do fish you can ask for a fruit tray instead, which they will bring to you instead if you ask the right staff member…or they’ll say no and you have to point out that someone else did that and you should be allowed as well (and hope someone else actually did order fruit). Breakfast was better than an American hotel continental in that they have baked beans, an omelet bar and usually some sort of croissant wrapped meat (fish or lamb sausage), but the omelets options weren’t extensive. Again if you don’t do fish and lamb the breakfast accessories outside of eggs might be a disappointment. Lunch was the only meal that was consistently doable. We only had a couple of oddities at lunch. My wife ordered the veggie burger twice (mainly to try the tamarind sauce). The first time the “burger” came out and was literally sautéed mixed vegetables (peppers “capsicum”, eggplant, onions and string beans), the second time it was an actual veggie patty. No clue why we got two different things from the same order. Both were good, just odd. She got the vegetarian pizza at lunch one day (the chicken pizza came with pineapple) and they told her it was capsicum and onions. It came out and also had mushrooms on it she had to pick off of the pizza. Again, be careful ordering the veggie options, the server won’t know what it is. I know it sounds picky, and I bug her about her picky eating regularly, but we had just spent 4 nights on a different island and had absolutely no problems finding food from the menu without special ordering. She doesn’t eat fish or lamb at all and rarely eats beef or non-barbequed pork, but loves chicken. There just weren’t many chicken options at any meal (one dinner of 4 had a chicken option).

All of these issues weren’t really major, but they added up to a rather exhausting experience where we had to constantly be on our toes to make sure we were actually getting what we paid for instead of the experience being more relaxing.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
18 Thank blindedbyscience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nw00dy, General Manager at Paradise Cove Resort, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Thank you for your very detail and comprehensive review. We do appreciate the time it must have taken you.

We do have to apologize for the spotty service you received in the restaurant, we are presently training quite a few new staff from the village, they have never had a job before and this has effected some parts of the service, we have quickly provided them with a trainee badge to make it more obvious they are learning their job. Sun loungers had never been an issue from opening, and we have been a lot busier, it became apparent that with less families at this time of year, and more couples it became an issue, as less people chose to sit by the pool and more on the beach, more loungers have been ordered and will arrive shortly. Unfortunately at this time of year we have to spray at dusk to minimize the mosquito population which is more prevalent in the summer, this noise is kept to a minimum but is a required process.

Activities are operated depending on the weather and the tides for guest safety so the times do change based on this.

We launched with a two choice dinner menu plus vegetarian option, with the focus of quality with a newly trained team, simplicity, we will change to a 5 choice dinner menu, and multiple entree's in the next two weeks, this has been under production for the last month, and unfortunately was not in place during your stay yet. The lunch menu is larger as people drift in at different times and the order flow is easier to manage, at dinner many more people all sit at one time.

We thank you for pointing out the things that were great and the things that were not so great, most of which is a training issue, and is a constant focus with our very new team.
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2013

This is Fiji.....

We spent a wonderful 7 days Honeymoon at Paradise Cove Resort after visiting Fiji and staying at the Intercontinental Resort Natadola (on the main island) 3 years ago. We found the food at PCR to be of the same standard as the Intercontinental though without 3 restaurants to choose from, and despite the remote location. No great loss here with the meal selection awesome, and the meals package meant no "can we afford that" thoughts.

The staff were friendly, helpful, and prompt - organising a fishing trip for the next day within 15 minutes, at 7:30pm at night! PCR offered a good variety of reasonably priced activities both on and off the island to suit active and chilled tastes.

The outdoor shower/bathroom was an experience - yes we got wet when it rained, but you do get wet in the shower anyway, and with 29 degrees the average temperature, we didn't see a problem with a natural shower or two. The beachfront bure was great for capturing the breezes, even during 30 knots on one occasion - it didn't creak, groan, rattle, leak or do anything expected of a remote island resort.

As Aussies we are spoilt for reefs and green zones so were a little sad to see so few big fish in the snorkelling areas but we are realistic enough to understand the subsistence economy that feeds the local villages.

We felt that the facilities are as good as the Intercontinental without the concrete paths, golf buggies and need to feel dressed up to go to dinner. The evening meke was great to enjoy and listen as the music washes over the resort as you fall to sleep. And it was great to see the staff (almost) drop everything when the drum called to welcome or farewell guests.

We will be back!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank dwdrapper1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gympie
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013

This is my first trip to Paradise Cove and it was amazing. The accommodation is brand new and appropriate for your needs in my opinion, great shower, beds, air con and fan and storage for your clothes etc. When the rains come later in the year the garden will take off in no time. The food was the best I've ever had, anywhere, true fine dining for which you would pay a fortune for anywhere else.
The dive shop organises snorkelling trips that take you to very good spots quite close. The area in front of the resort is ok and is easily accessed. There are a lot of organised activities so no one will be left out.
The bar/pool area is very impressive with happy hour every afternoon.
Staff were fabulous, but this is no surprise as we are talking about Fiji here.
We were lucky enough to swim with the Manta Rays nearby which was a fabulous experience, and if you dont want to be in the water with them, you can easily see them from the boat.
I could go on and on, like catching sweetlip and having the chef cook them up for dinner.
I would highly recommend PC for your Fiji destination.

Room Tip: Our room was'nt near to the water but was still great, quiet and a very short walk to the beach.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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4 Thank Dianekinkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stayed in a beachfront bure - totally gorgeous - accommodation 10/10. Huge wraparound veranda and lovely large outside lounge complete with a tap to wash off the sand. Inside to a sunken lounge with TV, and very comfortable bed - incredible thatched ceiling. Outside bathroom was incredible, beautiful and HUGE, which led on to second bedroom for the kids. Parents with young children may need to take a baby monitor.Great housekeeping staff who kept the place immaculate every day. We had a hammock and sun loungers out the front, and as there were not many beachfront bures it was fairly private and peaceful. As others have mentioned snorkelling is average out the front, but snorkelling trips around the island were great fun. The resort faces another island, where the resort is currently building so you can see a construction site - it would be a much prettier vista if it looked out towards a deserted tropical island instead!

There is a kids club and when we arrived were given a list of all the activities on offer. The staff were lovely. However, activities were not done more often than they were, and rather the kids watched movies or played the wii instead, so didn't use it much due to this. Kids meals were great, kids dine with adults breakfast and lunch, and they have an early dinner together (one choice only but a great, healthy meal). After dinner the kids club will take and look after the kids (another movie) so adults can have a kid free dinner - huge win!

The food was pretty good, breakfast needs some improving and items added such as bircher muesli and a wider range of hot foods. Lunch was by far the best meal of the day which a large range of yummy options including healthy ones. The restaurant staff, Joe, Mere and team were awesome, as soon as you sit down you are looked after very well and meals come out very quickly - super fast in fact! Also huge shout out to everyone's favourite - Sunia from the bar - Legend!

Activities : LOVED the talk by local fisherman Tomasi, it was great to hear some stories about local fishing and village life on the islands, and really liked the hike up the mountain with gardener Sam. Snorkelling trip to Octopus was fantastic - such a beautiful reef. Sadly many activities were cancelled due to weather and not rescheduled while we were there. Especially upset to miss the village to a local island - as this was a determining factor in choosing this resort. The owners who are on site and generally in/around the restaurant, really need to talk to the guests and adjust the activities to the guests and the weather at the time rather than a standard weekly schedule, than just cancel and guests who are there for one week miss out completely.

We had incredibly windy 7 days and nowhere in the resort could you escape the wind. This was frustrating as the other side of the island was sheltered and we wanted to snorkel and spend time over there, but despite walking attempts (no track down over the other side but cliffs) and not being able to take the kayaks out due to rough water - we couldn't reach the calm and sheltered water on that side of the island and instead sheltered inside our bure more and took to watching a few movies just to escape the never ending wind (unthinkable to waste time watching TV in Fiji - luckily they had some great adults and kids movies available!), so some additional daily activities, even just getting the boats to drop guests off in sheltered spots during bad weather - would have made a huge difference to our time on the island.

Tim the manager is fantastic, as were all the housekeeping, activities and restaurant staff. I hope the resort owners reward them for their hard work as they are an outstanding asset to this resort.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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6 Thank Jeanie1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We had a two week romantic holiday booked - Paradise Cove for 6 nights, and 5 nights at Yasawa Island Resort and Spa and the two offered very different experiences. This is my 3rd time to Fiji and my husbands 1st.

Mostly, its all fabulous with only a few areas in need of tweaking.

Firstly, fabulous staff! So friendly and warm. Shout out to Sunia! Loved that guy! AND he laughed at all our jokes! This resort plans to eventually be a 40 room resort (currently 18 rooms), so with the amount of staff they have (16 chefs in the kitchen!) you really feel waited on hand and foot. Will be interesting to see how it will go when they are operating at full capacity.

Gorgeous rooms. Everything of course is brand new so it feels very luxurious. It is pretty amazing to be able to sit on the beach and surf the internet as wifi is provided through the resort. We stayed in both a garden suite (1 night) and a beachfront (5 nights) and they are identical in terms of layout and design, though it was nice to have an umbrella and sun loungers reserved for us whilst in the beachfront right outside our bure. Outdoor showers just make the tropical experience complete, we loved showering while looking up at the blue sky!

The location is to die for - the water is so brilliant blue when the sun shines on it, its almost unbelievable! The beach is great for almost all-tide swimming…it does tend to get quite rocky when the tide is out, but there are breaks in the reef down the north side of the beach if you need to get wet when its very low tide. Otherwise we used the pool which is lovely. Snorkeling is ok, nothing to write home about. We found it best to snorkel at a lower tide and swim out from the very south end of the beach and slightly around the rocky point. Some lovely coral there and a lot of fish. Or jump on one of the various snorkel trips on offer.

Food was good. Lunch options were extensive! They had a menu of about 12 options as well as 2 Chefs specials that changed each day. Dinner was 2 course and always delicious. Breakfast however, left a little to be desired…mostly continental with an egg/omlette bar and two specials each day that ranged from pancakes to hash browns to sausages. It would have been nice however to see easily prepared things like baked beans and sausages as a option every day rather than as a special treat.

Activities were great and there was enough on offer, but as there is a lot of families with young babies/children visiting this resort at this stage, activities weren't really frequented and the atmosphere was generally pretty sleepy. The Fijian Cooking Class for example was only attended by 2 people - my husband and I! Snorkeling trips were usually popular with the adults, but that was about it.

Massages on offer were good - we had one nearly every day, however they only do them in the privacy of your room and sometimes I felt very awkward when they had to come into our room and do the big setup of the tables etc. It will be a lot nicer for everyone when they have bure dedicated to spa treatments. This is in the plans further down the track I hear.

Overall, I can't think of a single thing that would stop me coming back to Paradise Cove again - APART FROM THE WIND. This was the biggest and most frustrating thing about this resort. Paradise faces into the prevailing easterly and apart from our first beautiful still day, the other 5 days at Paradise were very, very windy. Gale-force strength in the afternoons and at night. At one point we wore earplugs to bed because listening to the howling wind day and night was getting very tiresome. Sitting comfortably on the beach wasn't really an option most days so we spent a lot of sunny days sheltering from the wind in our bure or on our porch. I thought maybe this was a windy time all over the islands but I was wrong - we took a snorkeling trip one afternoon to Octopus resort (which faces westerly) and the sea in their cove was calm and flat and not a breath of wind on the beach - beautiful and peaceful! After finishing our snorkel, a slow boat ride out into huge rough seas took us back to our beach at Paradise and back into the eye of the hurricane hahaha. Please be aware that Paradise is predisposed to being a VERY windy spot. Maybe this doesn't bother you, but I was very disappointed and feel sad for the resort this is something they will never be able to improve. Such a shame as when it is calm, sunny and still, this place truly is paradise.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank OllyMox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nw00dy, Owner at Paradise Cove Resort, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review of the resort. I would like to point out that this year for some unknown reason September and October have been very windy months for Fiji, which has made it quite blustery, the majority of Fiji was effected, including Octopus. Octopus does benefit from high mountains behind the resort so is the least windy overall of our three hotels. We have had for the last 12 days in a row, beautiful calm days and have the same forecast for the next 7 days, its unfortunately the luck of the draw for weather sometimes, and unfortunately, there was a long extended period of southerly weather, which also effected New Zealand and Australia substantively as well.
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Russell Bay of Islands New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2013

Jane and I are confirmed Yasawa lovers and have stayed at seven different resorts over past 10 years. We stayed at Blue Lagoon two years ago and based on our great experience there and the fact that Paradise Cove was owned and managed by same operators we booked well before the resort had even opened. Subsequent Trip Adviser reports seemed to back up our decision.
Positives were, fabulous Bures, great food and almost brand new kayaks and stand up paddle boards and the friendly Island staff measured up to the best we have experienced at any of the Yasawa Resorts.
Snorkeling at the resort would probably satisfy the first time visitors to Islands with plenty of fish to see and all tide access. We took our own gear but the resort hire gear looked to be first class.
The free snorkeling trips were all booked up for next 5 or 6 days when we arrived and if we were not staying the 12 nights would have missed out on this bonus.
The booking system could do with some refinement as on our first trip some four people, who had not booked, were taken even though it meant we needed to change to a bigger boat.
Management were a bit distant or disinterested unlike those we have met at other resorts. We did meet Brianna on arrival as we had been rather let down by their ‘system’ as we had specifically booked to go out on the Yasawa Flyer rather than the resort Rib as Jane was still in recovery from a hip replacement. We had confirmation that we would be picked up from Raffles and had a phone number to call if driver did not arrive.10 minutes after non arrival the hotel receptionist called the number and said driver was on his way. 20 minutes later and time running short to get to Flyer we called again and told driver, Dan, was on his way. The Octopus resort van then arrived to pick up those going out on the resort Rib [ rigid inflatable] but there was no room for us and we had now missed the Flyer. A call to the resort said they would get us out there today. Half an hour later, Dan, came back in the Octopus van and took us to the damned Rib where the other guests had to wait for us. A rather nerve racking trip ensued for Jane!!
There was a bottle of bubbles and a plate of fruit with a note of apology.
Incidentally Dan showed us his pick up sheet and we were not on it!
First week was school holidays and we expected some children but not the number there and speaking to parents, the resort ‘kids club’ was a reason they chose PCR.
Week two and the children were gone but we counted at least 7 under two year olds one of which contracted croup and had to be flown back to the mainland.Hand wash added to bathroom toiletries by staff next morning.
The resort beach is rather covered in sharp coral residue [ the reef is largely dead] and reef walkers were a good idea.
The bures, pool and bar area appeared to cater for an adult profile as the pool had no signs indicating depth of pool and as the bottom was a bowl some 2 meters deep in the middle, would have thought this would have been a legal requirement.
The resort faces the wrong way for sunset viewing and late afternoon saw fresh winds develop most days making a quiet sit on the beach, after a magnificent dinner, rather tiresome. The Island staff did tell us it was rather usual and not just at this time of year.
There does seem to be a bit of a whinge going on here but the resort does need to develop some character or feel as it did seem to be sadly lacking and management seemed rather passionless. We give the resort 7 out of 10 for the quality fit out, food and friendly Island staff but feel they can do better with the general organisation.
Just an aside here, Fiji resorts generally don’t give quite enough importance to maintenance, or preventative maintenance, and it was sad to see that after just a few months in business three of the poolside umbrellas had broken ribs and some of the clears, dropped to stop wind at the bar, had broken bungee attachment loops. Even in Fiji this could have been easily sorted I would have thought.
Probably back to Blue Lagoon or Nanuya next year or even back to Botaira as they appeared to have an improved bar/restaurant complex since we last visited.

Room Tip: single bedroom beachfront bure, whilst fabulous, is rather close to the bar and listening to an Auss...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Russellite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nw00dy, General Manager at Paradise Cove Resort, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the property, your feedback is much appreciated.

We do apologize for the confusion surrounding your arrival, Dan and the resort transfer company are not tasked with delivering guest who are booked on the Yasawa Flyer, guests booked on this vessel are supposed to catch the SSC provided bus to the flyer, the error was with a new reservations person in NZ who did not understand this process, again we are sorry that there was no process for catching this error, there is one now. And every effort was made to get you both safely to the island.

The hand wash in the bathroom was not in response to the child's illness which is unrelated to the resort or its operation, it has been standard procedure since opening in all public areas.

We are very passionate about Fiji, and guest who stay with us at all our hotels, come to Fiji to meet and interact with the local staff not foreign management, we are here to facilitate the smooth running of the hotel and resolve problems, make sure the right service levels are achieved, and act as an interface between cultures.

Thank you for your kind comments in relation to the nice rooms, friendly well trained staff, great food, quality fit out, great kayaks and paddle boards, quality dive and snorkeling equipment.

All three of our hotels Octopus, Blue Lagoon and Paradise are child friendly, and during the school holidays there are generally more children, outside of these times not so many.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013

Lots of little teething problems. But - Food excellent, location awesome. Bar selection poor. Coffee micky mouse and very expensive. Cocktails very average different with each barman and missing ingredients and alcohol. Beer list odd. Despite 65 boutique brewers in NZ , over a hundred in the USA and two in OZ not one on list. Wine list workable. Activities ok but many not run. Kids club - staff uninterested in kids and lazy leaving kids to own devices and playing with wii themselves. Cleaners outstanding, local staff very freindly and helpful. If you have a bad back, DoNOT go by the free boat. If it is a tiny bit rough it is too small and poundy and slow. If they ever sort out the bar, coffee boat and kids things this would be a stunning place.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank oceanlift
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nw00dy, General Manager at Paradise Cove Resort, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the resort.

We are very focused on locally sourced food and beverages for the hotel, the food is excellent, and is almost all exclusively locally sourced, the reason we don't have many foreign beers is also because we choose to stock locally made Fiji beers, we have four of the most popular imported beers. Same with our coffee, it s Fiji coffee and at $2 AUD for a long black and $3.50 AUD for a latte i wouldn't consider this excessively expensive for a coffee on a remote island. Our wine list is all imported as Fiji does not produce wine. Activities that require movement by boat are weather dependent and unfortunately for 12 days in October the whole of Fiji was effected by strong winds and rain, this effected the availability of some of the water based activities. The kids club has a large range of indoor and outdoor daily scheduled activities as well, the weather did have some impact on the ability to do outdoor activities, which resulted in the kids spending a lot more time in the club building at this time.

We do agree that a couple of our bar tenders need more training on cocktail making, and we continue to actively train our newer staff members to improve their abilities in this area.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradise Cove Resort

Property: Paradise Cove Resort
Address: Naukacuvu Island, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Naukacuvu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Naukacuvu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Island Resort in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji. White sandy all tide beach, stunning sunsets, beach and pool bar. ... more   less 
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