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Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

Sydney, Australia
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14 posts
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Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

we have decide to take a family holiday in June for my 50th and Fiji was suggested as an ideal getaway!

we have 2 children - 6 and 8 - and would like a family friendly resort, with kids club and food appropriate for kids. if the kids are happy - we will have a great holiday, If the wife is Happy too - I will be in Paradise!

we dont have a huge budget, but becasue it will be my birthday we dont really want to go bargain basement! - looking at a maximum of $5,000 including flights and meals.

I would like:

beautiful beaches,

great snorkelling,

hobi cats, or dinghies available,

waterskiing (realise it would be extra)

A pool if possible (but not esential)

Air Con and TV (for the kids)

massage and spa (for the wife)

diving ( while the kids are looked after)

I must have:

Friendly staff,

clean and safe accomodation

friendly staff

Transport from the airport to where we are staying and back whenever we land and in time for our flight - eg no hanging around the airport for 5 hours!

no more than another 3 hours (prefer 2 hours) transfer time to resort

This is a wish list and I realise I must be practical with regards to the budget, and would love any and all suggestions, links to further information; personal recommendation on where to book and advice on who to book with!

many thanks in advance

Siggy

Waitakere City, New...
Destination Expert
for Mamanuca Islands
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2,543 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

Hi Siggy, welcom to the forums, here's some initial places to begin your search, I'll list them in order of expense starting at the lower end.

http://www.plantationisland.com/

http://www.manafiji.com/

http://www.castawayfiji.com/

These are all island resorts situated in the group know as the Mamanuca Islands. Transfer to them is via ferry leaving from Port Denarau (approx 20 minute taxi ride from Nandi airport at a cost of Fj$30). Here's the schedule for the ferry:

http://www.ssc.com.fj/irc_timetable.aspx

I wouldn't get too hung up on the AC since you're thinking of June especially out on the islands were there is more breeze and less humidity. Ditch the idea of TV but consider taking a portable DVD player and a few DVDs if you think the kids will need additional entertainment. All the above islands have good/great snorkeling, pools, kids club so they should be well entertained. They also have watersports (check to see what is inclusive) and spas (best to book any treatments early). Not sure about water sking but we see the para-sailing boat every day when we were on Malolo Lailai recently (same island as Plantation and Musket Cove along with Lomani, Lomani is adults only, nice place to go for a meal while having the kids babysat).

The pick of these resorts would probably be Castaway but it may be over your budget. Mana would be next with Plantation coming third (it's a little bit full on but families seem to like it). I think your biggest problem is going to be getting a booking this late so I would suggest contacting all three of them ASAP along with any others suggested from other posters.

Sydney, Australia
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14 posts
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2. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

many thanks for your quick reply - I have been looking at some sites and a lot of places are already booked up :(

I thought that there must be something on in June, but it appears that it is just popular!

Would you recommend getting the meal plans if available or just buy as we go?

Waitakere City, New...
Destination Expert
for Mamanuca Islands
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2,543 posts
23 reviews
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3. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

Sorry, should have added that Plantation is serviced by the Malolo Lailai cat so doesn't appear on the ferry schedule link I've included however it's an easy one hour journey each way and the ferry crosses back and forth on four runs a day so it's pretty easy to make the link. Also it is pretty straight forward to book directly with resorts in Fiji or alternatively you could check out whether there are any better deals available by going to the reviews page for the resort you're interested in and hitting the yellow "Show Prices" button.

Wamberal, Australia
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61 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

We have stayed at Plantation Island 4 times. Kids love it and we enjoy it too. Plenty to do on the island, great beaches, 3 pools, mini supermarket for snacks and drinks.

Garden bures are great plenty of room, last time we stayed in a beachfront bure which was beautiful being pretty much on the beach.

Staff are fantastic.

melbourne
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46 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

I think this may depend what site u are looking on. Travelonline seems to have vacancies on mana, always the best prices I find.

Sydney, Australia
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14 posts
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6. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

does the site travelonline hold the best deals? If it says that it has availability, can i take it that it does indeed have availablility?

Have many people here used the travelonline booking site?

thanks

melbourne
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46 posts
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7. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

I use it all the time. If it says its available it is. I have never found cheaper for fiji, except maybe a coupon deal but you never know when they are going to pop up. Get a quote online and you will get an email quote and can follow up with the sender or book online. You can add in flights as well. Sometimes booking via air pacific is also quite reasonable. In my experience Expedia, wotif, hotels.com etc are generally more expensive (I always do across compare). You can often get good returnee deals at some places but that assumes you have stayed there before. Even then it's not always that good, the returnee deal I was quoted for treasure was half the rack rate but still no cheaper than travel online.com.

Hobart, Australia
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39 posts
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8. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

Hi, I have recently booked with travel online to travel in June & I can't fault them, when you book you receive a travel consultant & you deal with that same person when ever you have an enquiry. When you get a quote online you will then need to get the consultant to check for availability as it is just a quote.

I booked two different resorts with them & then we decided to change one of the resorts, this was done without any problems or questions just a $25 fee for changing which I thought was very acceptable considering the changes that needed to be made. I also knew with our private car transfers all our luggage wouldn't fit so they are organising a 4wd to transport us, no extra charge & no questions asked. Great prices as well, highly recommended.

Sydney, Australia
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5 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

I believe that availability through travel online is only confirmed after you have booked.

I found this out when I was trying to book for mana island for June. I was really disappointed to be told by the agent that the type of accommodation I wanted wasn't available. They pointed me to a small print disclaimer on the form towards the bottom - suggest you check the fine print when you run a quote.

Sydney, Australia
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14 posts
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10. Re: Some suggestions please for a Family holiday......

Re 806lulu:

this is the reason I asked, as I have got some reasonable quotes through them, however when I go to get a comparison quote the accommodation is not actually available!

I am really after the whole 'hut on the beach, walk out to white sands and warm waters' experience! the resorts that are left seem to be on the main island with brown beaches and silty waters!!!!