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Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa
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Reviewed January 23, 2008

I was so excited about staying at the resort in November 2007, with my husband and 18 month old baby. I somewhat regret the choice.

The great aspects of it are the size of the resort - you won't get bored wandering around, the staff are the friendliest bunch of people and treat you wonderfully, the pool is the best I've seen in the pacific and the beach is fantastic too. Breakfast was fabulous every single day.

The downside of it is as follows. excluding breakfast, the food is horrendous and mega pricey for what it is. All kids foods are deepfried and come with a portion of chips. Substandard and pricey adults meal meant I experienced undercook chicken, my husband had undercooked fish. Every meal, including dessert included a hair or two. They're charging top prices for absolutely poor quality of food. Bring as much duty free as you can (don't purchase at nadi as its too expensive compared to your departure point).

We were in room 129 (lagoon family room). Our bed smelt terrible, and every guest that checked in to the room beside us moved rooms because the bed smelt too. The glasses in our room were only rinsed in water everyday, not taken away and replaced with clean ones (there was a milk ring left on it everyday).

Bizarrely enough, there are only 6 or 7 umbrellas to sit under around the entire pool and beach area. This meant that there was a mad rush for the prime shade spots for all the families. A real shame too as the poolside is fantastic.

I can't comment on the kids club as my baby was too young, but reports from the other families made it sound amazing. I did see a couple of kids wander off which made me wonder how often there is a headcount on the young ones.

All up I think its overpriced, we spent near on 4k nzd once the food and wine was included to our accommodation bill. We stayed 8 nights.

Check your bill at the end of your stay as I did hear from an Australian couple that they were charged for things that they shouldn't have.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Mustseetheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2008

In early January we (mum,dad, 16 & 12 yr old) stayed at the Shangri-la for 8 nights. Having stayed on Matamanoa (2 adults) and at The Naviti (all 4) before, we thought we would try the Shangri-la after hearing so many good reports about it.

After previous experience we had pre-booked private transport from the airport to our resort at AUD$78 each way. This meant we arrived about one hour earlier than those booked on the coach and meant that we did not have to wait for those very important people who think that the whole bus load of weary travellers can wait while they shop before coming to the bus.

After reading many reviews, we had booked an Ocean View Family Room (ground floor). My sister, husband and 10 month old baby had an Ocean View Executive Suite on the first floor just nearby. They had a huge ensuite with a sliding door to close off the bedroom plus a 2nd bathroom. Tried to upgrade but the only available exec.suite was down in the lagoon wing ... no thank you. Small bar fridge in each room, king size beds, kids had singles, in room safe, room service 24 hrs.

We chose the full breakfast option for all of us and ate at the Takali Restaurant (closest to Ocean Wing) which was much quieter and smaller than the main buffet restaurant. Breakfast consisted of a vaiety of cereals, pastries, breads, fruit, yogurt, pancakes, bacon (actually ham), sauteed potatoes, sausages, backed beans, stir fried vegies, fried rice, eggs - scrambled, fried, boiled, poached and omlettes. Dont expect great coffee - the Coral Cafe sells capuccino etc but they are nothing to write home about because of the UHT milk, but you can get your caffeine hit. From memory 2 coffees cost FJ$10.98 inlcuding tax which is just over AUD$8 at the current exchange rate.

Eating a late breakfast meant we really only needed at light snack in the afternoon. Sandwiches, pies etc available at the adults pool bar. Lagoon (family) pool kiosk had 'take away' type options and icecreams. Coral Cafe was good value with wedges $7, fries $6, wraps $12, caesar salads etc. The little general store has water, soft drink, chips etc at reasonable prices or you can take a local taxi into Sigatoka and go to the supermarket for snack items.

Dinner at Coral Cafe was magnificent - catch of the day, steaks, pasta etc. plus salad bar, desert bar for FJ $34 + tax which is AU$29. Good Value. The Takali Restaurant had an asian inspired menu with mains around FJ$22 - $28 (AU$18 - $23 inc tax). The kids (and some adults) enjoyed the beautiful gelato from the vendor near the shops (FJ$4). The Beach Bar did both lunch & dinner and was pretty reasonably priced but some of our meals were overdone - a bit cheaper than the other options - prepare for mozzies tho !

Fine dining at the Kalevu (?) restaurant was very impressive. By far the best meal and presentation - magnificent steak ! pork fillet, lamb - expemplary service - 3 piece band and dancefloor. in a word - wonderful ! BUT a word of warning - dont think that you can just arrive and get a table - even if it looks empty !!! - you MUST book !

Wines on the whole were a little more expensive than you would pay at home but ... you are in a resort. If you have your 'duty free' drinks on your balcony/patio before dinner you dont mind paying a little more for your wine. Fiji beers are reasonaby priced at $5 in the restaurants.

The kids games room was a hit - ping pong tables are free - other games are $1 or $2. There is also a tv room for the under 12s which shows appropriate movies each night. The hotel movies are apparently about FJ$20 to purchase.

Tennis is free - but you have to rent the racquets FJ$20 for 2. Golf was FJ$24 each for nine holes, club hire $9 each and a few $ for balls and tees. We were also provided with a caddy. (They are paid next to nothing so a tip is appreciated but not expected.) Sailing, kyaks are free. Snorkeling costs about FJ$23 for adults and $14 but whilst we were there the boat couldn't go out because of poor visability. We did take our own masks/snorkles and just went in off the beach. Whilst there wasn't any coral, we saw lots of fish, kelp etc and 12 yr old enjoyed it alot. Also very safe, not deep - we even watched him from our patio. Diving was available as they went out to deeper waters I guess.

The Chi Spa is brand new and very elegant ! and it would want to be - it is extremely overpriced - FJ$120 - $200 for a massage ! On the advice of many reviewers we went across the causeway and visited Antie Viri in the 'grey hut'. Auntie Viri worked at the resort for many years and started the beach massage service there. She has a simple set up for massage, hair braiding and manicure/pedicure which is less than half the price of the beach massage hut at the resort. FJ$50 for a full hour as compared with FJ$34 for 15 minutes. Be aware that the staff at the resort are on minimum wages no matter what you pay ! Hair braiding is so much cheaper and imagine $30 for a manicure as opposed to $80 ! Support the local villagers !


Taking the extra five minutes to walk to the end of the causeway will get you a local taxi for FJ$20 to Sigatoka return with a side trip through a local village whist getting it from the front lobby will cost $60. If you want to, you can walk around the resort in 20 minutes.

We took a local taxi (Eddie) to Natadola Beach - which is beautiful and gave him FJ$60 which he said gave us a whole day ! He took us there, and had a nap in the car under the trees and said he would take us back whenever we were ready - no hurry ! Fiji time. After lunch at the Yatule resort (VERY basic) and a horse ride along the beach for the 12 year old - $15 cash - we enjoyed the crystal clear aqua waters and then took a tour through a local village, picked up some soft drink & chips then back to the resort.

The resort is 'charge to room' for almost everything. Keep an eye on your daily account via the tv. A caution - watch out for Mun - a very perisistent salesman who approaches people at the poolside to try to get you to buy/pay for "firewalking show' etc. On the quiet we were told by staff to go directly to the 'restaurant reservations desk' to book anything rather than agree to purchase anything poolside.

We ate at every restaurant except the evening buffet. At $48.50 + tax (AU$42) per head we thought it a bit overpriced for those of us who would generally just have a main meal. If you have a group of big eaters who can do the 'all you can eat' justice - go for it.

As far as the previous reviewers who complained about the amount of walking i would say that unless you are elderly or have mobility issues it is not an issue. There is no great rush to get anywhere. There were many people with strollers for their toddlers and I understand these are available from the resort for a small fee. Wandering along the winding paths under coconut palms and looking out to a magnificent evening sunset was a lovely few minutes on the way to dinner. '

For those with young children babysitters are available through the reception. These local women are seen playing with the children or gathering in the childrens TV room with toddlers. They have a minimum of 3 hours at FJ$8 per hour - the sitter takes a signed docket to reception to collect her pay - which is much less. My sister gave a generous cash tip to Kitty and requested the same sitter each day for 3 hrs in the afternoon and then several hours in the evening to take care of baby. Talking to our 'neighbour' with a 6 & 18 month old they ensured their sitter was rewarded in a similar fashion and ended up having her every day.

Take a trip down to the shell market on the island - much cheaper than going into the shops or sigatoka - and very nice freshwater pearls etc. Swimming beach too.

To sum up, we had a great holiday, would recommend the resort to anyone with kids. The Ocean Wing is further from the activities for the kids and the beach. Whilst we had pre-paid breakfast, and drank duty free pre-dinner, we certainly didn't skiimp - enjoyed golf a few times, tennis, massages, had bottled wine with dinner each night etc and came away having paid an additonal FJ$2000 - which is under AU$1500 for 4 people over 8 nights.

BULA !

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
39  Thank fijitravel08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2008

I went to the Fiji with a group of 3 couples, one couple who had a toddler, so that was partly the reason for choosing this resort initially and I found that 10 days was just a bit too long (there is only so much relaxing i can do).

Overall the resort is beautiful. We stayed in Lagoon view Rooms and they were lovely, however as per other reviews, if you have either of your doors open for more than a couple of seconds, the tiles become moist and slippery and you need to have a towel on the floor in the hallway.

The other issue was that the food is a bit overpriced (even taking in the money conversion) the cheapest thing on the lunch menu was a hotdog and chips for F$11. And it wasn't even that nice.
Breakfast was included, so i tried to fill up on the brekky menu.

Two of the restaurants were closed when we were there, so we mainly ate at the main restaurant (can't remember the name sorry) or at the restaurant near the adult pool.

A few nights in, someone advised us of Gecko's which is located outside the entrance to the resort. This was a better quality meal for the money. There is also a free fijian show put on there too. They also have a couple of market type stalls there with souvernirs.

We also made a trip to the nearby town Sigatoka, however my warning about this is to stay away from the Indians in the markets. They were very pushy and manage to seperate you from whoever you are with, to try and sell you their jewellery items etc. I only made it up the 1st aisle and straight away wanted to get out and it took me a good 15mins to get away from there.

We bought some noodles, chips etc from the supermarket to have back at the resort for if we wanted a snack. Note there is no cutlery in the rooms.

Overall - beautiful place. Maid service was great, but the price of food was a turn off for me. Generally the customer service was good, but not exceptional.

If i was to go back to Fiji, I will try staying at one of the island resorts.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank aussie_blueheeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2008

My family(3Adults 2 Children) spent 8 nights at the Shangri La Resort for our Wedding held at the Seaside Chapel November 2. We had a party of 64 guests fly in to celebrate with us our special day. I have been emailing with Cindy(co-ordinator) for a year regarding
our requirements etc. She has been nothing but the best especially upon our arrival. You dont really get much feedback from her leading up to your day, but, in the end it was just the best. The food was fantastic, we chose a Dinner Buffet and put a bar tab on for our family/friends. Hired the sound system $200, took our own cds and my brother was our dj for the night.
My bouquet was provided as part of the package and i did the diy thing and took artificial flowers for my bridal girls to wear. My brother in law played for us in the Chapel while my matron of honor and sister in laws sang me down, with my son walkin me in. We took our choc favors, bubbles and gave them to Cindy, who arranged everything for set/up. She goes that extra mile to make sure your day goes smoothly/hassle free. I have loaded some photos on the site for your viewing.

The resort itself, we stayed in the Lagoon Family Room on the ground floor, which really suited us as our lil boy could run freely on the grass with easy access to the pools and beach.
The room was spacious, king bed and x2 divans, great air con, only downfall was we had no utensils ie...spoons,forks etc provided(for our nibbles at night) maybe it was just our room.

The resort does look old and run down as some may say, but that did'nt mind us at all. We were just happy to be there and to share the experience with all our family/guests. The kids loved it, especially the kids club, the kids discos at the Marlin Bar and the all day swimming. The resort also offers free activities and the staff are just soooo friendly.

Food....was expensive. We mainly dined at the Beach Bar & Grill and went to Geckos Restaurant across the road where we also had some of our family/friends stay for our Wedding. Food was better there but depending on how busy it is, you could be waiting up to 40mins for your food. They also provide a free show as well. Buffet breakfast was good, same foods every mng with a lil change of some meals. We went to Takali and Marlin Bar for this. I think this is what we miss the most, meeting up with the family at breakfast every morning before starting the day.
We did'nt take any food over to fiji but will definately be doin this on our next trip this year for our 1st Year Anniversary. You really need it for the younger ones.

After breakfast we would either relax at the pools, beach, bike ride or shopping.
The resort provides you with taxi service. We went to Sigatoka did some shopping there for the room, and got gifts,souvenirs for family back home. The ladies at the markets are really pushy and seperate you if you are in a group, so try and stick together.

There is also a money machine in the lobby.
The resort takes credit card details from you on check in, but advised not to charge anything on there, and we just paid our room a/c at the end of every day so we can keep track of what we are spending.

Also try the Lovo & Meke Firedancing Night here. It is $70 pp for buffet dinner and show, we really enjoyed this, but think the cost was a bit much. Late evenings we would meet up at Marlin Bar for Daiquiries and chat bout the day. The dj played some good music up there and also provide a band. They open til 1am but on our Wedding Nite we took the party here and they stayed open til after 2.30am.

We braided our hair from the lovely ladies by the pool, tried the massage, and the Chi-Spa for our facial and pedicure.

Overall, our stay here was great, absolutely love this place. It's not how it looks but it's the ppl and the service they provide you. This is also a family resort so alot of families and kiddies in the Lagoon area where all the main activities are. If you are a couple and want a quiet stay, it might be best to stay in the Ocean View but can be some distance of a walk.

We are planning our trip back here in November this year and cant wait. We love this place and very very hotttt.

I have posted some pics up of our Wedding on the site.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
13  Thank djfats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2008

This was our seventh holiday to the Fijian, so we knew about the lack of maintenance and slow service etc but what we diden't expect was the money grabing attitude the management has adopted.

There is a lot to do at the resort but you soon tire of the high priced food offered and start looking for restaurants off the resort. The Fijian management seem to go to great lengths to keep you on the resort which is distasteful. The staff will tell you that they are not allowed by management to help you book any activity off the resort. Some unofficially gave us a phone number to ring but we couldnt call, because the internal phones were not working for the length of our stay.

For instance, there is a reasonable restaurant across the road from the Fijian about a ten minuite walk. This is ok in the dry but in the rain with children, it is difficult. This restaurant provides a bus to return you back to the resort but they are not permitted to pick you up.

We stayed in the lagoon wing which was reasonable and if you had a first or second floor room the hallway in the room was always wet and slippery. This is due to the poorly insulated air conditioning unit in the room below which cooled the concrete and caused condensation. We had to keep a towel permantly on the floor.

We will definately go back to Fiji because we love the people but we would definately not go back to the Shangri-la Fijian resort.

Regards,
Joe Grima
Australia

Stayed: January 2008
8  Thank pioneerintl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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