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Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Certificate of Excellence
Worcester
Level Contributor
38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great resort”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We stayed here as part of the FeeJee bus experience and it was our favourite place. The ONLY draw back for us was that drinks/food were expensive. Although the portions are big and I'd highly recommend the stir fry! The dorms were clean and each has its own bathrooms. The mattresses are pretty thin but when we mentioned this they let us all have extra mattresses to make the beds way more comfy! The pool is lovely as is the little beach with hammocks. A hidden little paradise.

Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank nayohmyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 24 November 2013
Bula Vinaka

Thank you for your review of Volivoli Beach Resort. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. It seems you must have been one of the last ever guests to stay with us from Feejee experience as we no longer offer services to that tour company and have closed our dorm rooms indefinitely.

Once again thank you for your stay and I hope that you may return one day.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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Halifax
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110 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

Review written during our stay in July 2013; submitted November 2013

THE GOOD

Volivoli resort is replete with comfort. We stayed in a new block of lodge rooms. Our room was bright, spacious, extraordinarily clean and comfortable. The spacious room is equipped with two double beds; shared bedside table; a desk/table with two chairs; and two wood built-in luggage racks. There is a large wooden wall unit with a large number of hangers; four drawers, one of which locks; a mini bar fridge that they very kindly supply with milk and a jug of cold water; and, tea/coffee-making supplies and facilities. The bathroom is large and modern with two sinks in a large wooden vanity; a large walk-in shower; and a modern low-flow toilet. The room has double doors that open to a private deck that overlooks the sea from the top of the hill on which the building is perched. There are custom blinds on the windows that ensure black-out conditions at night for a good sleep.

The staff are personable and provide excellent service in the restaurant/bar, and the room is kept clean to a very high standard. There is a large tank of rainwater available at the end of the shared corridor for unlimited drinking water. And we very much appreciated the free use of a cold water washing machine and dry lines at the back of our building - a wonderful luxury for long-term travelers.

They have a nice pool that was cleaned every morning we were there.

There is a nice sand spit on the point that offers a small beach area with some shaded areas for non-divers to spend the afternoon protected from the sun. There are a few large string hammocks and some of the same chaise longues available.

THE MEDIOCRE

The pool is surrounded by worn-out chaise longues and manky-looking cushions, with no sun-shade. Guests who require some shade try to pull the longues into the shadow of the planter boxes but as the sun moves around, eventually have to leave to their rooms or the sand spit to find shade.

The restaurant menu is large but we found that - after a week - it offers few options for healthy eating. One can eat only so many sides of the same steamed veges and garden salad of primarily iceberg lettuce before being put off of these choices. Although we recognize that many travelers only want to eat the familiar, we found burgers and fries to be over-represented on the menu. And many of the non-burger options were also fried. There were certainly exceptions (like the various fish and seafood options) but on the whole, we would have hoped for a few more healthful options. There are three salads listed as main dishes - a caeser salad and two others that both include crisp potato bites as one of the ingredients.

The food is competently made but not particularly tasty. I'm not a foodie by any means and can generally find something on any menu to please me, but after a week it was a struggle; I don't think I would have enjoyed having to eat from the menu any longer than this. That said, the prices are pretty reasonable especially in light of the fact that we are 'captive diners' with no other nearby options (e.g., Fiji Bitter stubby is $7.50FJ; caesar salad is $25FJ; BLT sandwich with fries is $15FJ; tenderloin steak with two sides is $38FJ).

THE BAD

We were disgruntled to discover that dive gear we left in the hands of the Ra Dive shop on-site at Volivoli went missing. We recognize that any gear we leave is at our own risk, and we accept that risk. But we do so with the expectation that all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure security of guests' belongings; we don't believe that every reasonable effort was made to secure our gear. Instead, we left it with staff who placed it in an open room where people are at liberty to come and go as they please, despite a sign instructing that 'staff only' are allowed inside. We didn't lose any expensive gear - it was just a pair of $80NZD dive booties that disappeared from within the dive shop; however, the same day, another diver in our group had his rash shirt go missing from the shop. And when we mentioned the 'disappearance" to the desk staff, we learned that these were not isolated incidents.

Booties are a trifling item when compared to the overall cost of our dive kit; but it is nevertheless an unfortunate inconvenience to complete the rest of a holiday missing items that we left in good faith with Ra divers. I suspect that dive gear will remain fairly safe because it is of limited appeal to people who have no reason to take it; but anything that could be used more broadly (e.g., fins, mask, rash shirts, booties, dive lights, knives…) should probably not be left at the shop until they have convincingly addressed this security issue.

We've traveled the world and dived in many countries; this is the first time we've had gear go missing when left at a dive shop.

Getting to Volivoli turned out to be quite expensive and awkward if you're traveling one direction and not in the full circle (we were traveling Suva to Nadi). We ended up booking a taxi to take us from Beqa to Volivoli via Suvai; Club Oceanus arranged this for us and it cost us $250FJ for the 4-hour drive through Suva to Volivoli. We needed to get from Volivoli to Nadi at departure and had the option of a $15FJ taxi ride to Rakiraki and a $30FJ/person bus ride to Nadi or a ~$190FJ taxi. Before booking at Volivoli, inquire about ground transportation options as these may add significantly to the cost of your travel and may incline you to other options.

A WORD ABOUT THE DIVING

Volivoli may be a very good choice for vacationers with limited holiday time or those who want a bit of luxury. But for people traveling great distances around the world expressly for the diving, this is not the place I would recommend (hint: see my review on Dolphin Bay Divers).

Although many people seem to love the diving at Volivoli, perhaps we've been spoiled by too many great experiences to find the diving particularly noteworthy. In fairness, we had a number of very windy days and so the dives sites chosen were all within 15-20 minutes of the resort; on the one day (of five) that we went further out, about an hour boat ride, the diving was better (but still not world-class).

Unfortunately, the crew weren't receptive to requests for sites and so we were not able to visit any more of the more distant sites during our visit - even on the calm days. The lack of flexibility in choice of dive sites was shocking.

Based on the 10 dives we did at Volivoli, we were frankly a bit puzzled about why Volivoli is such a destination for divers. Perhaps if one primarily dives in cold, low-visibility water, Volivoli offers a refreshing change of pace. But there is MUCH better diving in Fiji along the Rainbow Reef.

We would not return to Volivoli for the diving.

CAUTIONS

The dive crew provided excellent briefings on about half of the dives; on the other half, they offered little information unless explicitly requested. They provided reasonable assistance on the boat, but did not 'baby' the divers (e.g., you'll put on your own gear and turn on your own air, but they'll change out tanks and will assist you to the ladder and up with your gear). They generally will not ask you for information about your air consumption during your dive; you will need to monitor your gauges and swim up to grab the divemaster to get his attention when you reach half-tank of air. This is not an unreasonable expectation but is likely a different level of attentiveness than divers might have come to expect based on their experiences elsewhere. We are very experienced divers and so had no problem with their 'hands off' approach but caution new divers to pay attention and don't expect the same level of care you might receive elsewhere.

Be aware also, that there were times when all the crew entered the water, leaving no one on the boat in case of emergency. And there were times when they switched dive masters (and computers) between dives so divers using rental gear should NOT rely on the profile set by the dive masters; abide by your tables or use your own computer. I cannot stress this enough. Do not assume that the divemasters have your best interests or safety in mind; you must be a competent and confident diver who makes your own independent choices about safety.

During the week that we visited, divers had little or no say in which dive sites we visited - even on calm days. This is very unusual for most dive operations and likely reflects the fact that Ra Divers have a 'captive audience'. Especially when combined with missing gear, questionable dive practices (changing divemasters between the 1st and 2nd dives), this left us feeling cold.

BOTTOM LINE

For many people, the expanses of poured concrete, upscale rooms, familiar food will be very comforting. The majority of guests clearly enjoy Volivoli. For us, it was not a good match to our expectations or tastes. Aside from the poor dive operation, our dislike of Volivoli was a reflection of the mismatch between it and our preferences and not any fundamental problem with the resort itself.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank IntentToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 6 November 2013
Bula vinaka,

Thank you for your review, I am extremely concerned with your review would very much like to follow this up personally. Can you please send me a private email to nick@volivoli.com so that I can get some more details on how this was handled.

I am shocked that you did not enjoy the diving. We do have world class diving in our areas and the Bligh waters are internationally recognised as having some of the best diving in fiji.

I have concerns with the way you described my dive master underwater and once again shocked as this is completely out of character, would you mind emailing me the details of who you dived with privately. Our company policy is to have 2 crew on the boat at all dimes while divers are in the water and we work on a maximum ratio of 7-1 divers to dive master.

My apologies that you did not enjoy your time at Volivoli or your experience underwater.

I look forward to receiving your private mail as I want to follow all of your issues up quickly.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
138 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

On your first ride out to Volivoli, especially if you venture out in evening, you may wonder when and if you will ever find this resort. You will, and by the morning sunrise when you awake in paradise, you will be glad that you made the trek out to the road less traveled. The room we stayed in was spacious with a kitchenette and a lovely deck. The beach here is on the smaller side, compared to Natadola, but beautiful nonetheless. The kids will enjoy digging for sand dollars, and the snorkeling and scuba diving in these waters is especially beautiful. If your accommodations has a kitchen you can drive into RakiRaki town (just a 15 minutes down the road) and pick up the few essentials that you may need, otherwise the restaurant on site serves a decent breakfast and lunch...dinner can be either fabulous or not so great. The views and sunsets are always spectacular.

Room Tip: Request a larger room with the view of the beach and boats. You want to take advantage of the breath...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 12Safari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 6 November 2013
Bula vinaka,

Thank you very much for your review of Volivoli beach resort.

I am very glad that you enjoyed your trip out to the resort and we look forward to your return one day.

Thank you once again for your review.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

My wife and I stayed at Volivoli Beach Resort for 12 days of diving. The Darling family made us feel so welcome and it was enjoyable getting to know them and having a beer. The domestic staff could not do enough for you. They were always smiling and helpful and nothing was a trouble to them. We enjoyed their friendly smiles and chats. The accommodation was great and the food good. The rooms were clean and very comfortable. The view was excellent over the water. We were there to dive and dive we did. I cannot describe how superb it was under the water.Absolutely mind boggling and beautiful. Great colour and abundance of small and large creatures. The dive staff treated us like family and we had so much fun with them but a special thanks to Bob the Dive master who looked after us under the water and made the dives special for my wife and I. Nothing was too much trouble for this great crew. Great Place, Great People and Great Diving. We have already booked to go back next year.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bylos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 28 October 2013
Bula Vinaka,

Thank you very much for your kind review of Volivoli Beach Resort and Ra Divers our in house dive operation.

To fully understand how mind blowing this underwater wonderland you really need to be here and experience it first and to have you already booked in for next year is fantastic!

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
521 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

I came here with my two adult sons to experience the diving and the resort itself was an added bonus. Volivoli Beach resort could best be described as a boutique resort, catering mainly for divers but welcoming all. The resort itself has some great accommodation, with terrific views over Bligh Passage. It is well constructed, using quality materials and maintained to a high standard. Volivoli is about a 2-3 hour drive from both Nadi & Suva, which I think helps create a quiet environment. The rooms we had were spacious and had everything you'd normally find in a quality hotel room. (except a TV but why would you ruin a holiday?). The resort is set on a hillside so there are views from everywhere. Centrally located are the bar & dining area, adjacent to a large pool. Wifi is available for a reasonable cost but for some reason you can only access it in the central bar/dining area.

The diving with Ra Divers was outstanding. Even though the weather wasn't great, there was always somewhere sheltered. Our two favorite dives were Replay & Mellow Yellow, both located in a protected marine sanctuary. They were a long way out but with an abundance of sea life. The crew were terrific and a bundle of laughs.

Finally, if Fiji is looking for a new export industry they would do well by exporting their hospitality. The staff at Volivoli are outstanding examples. Don't forget to donate to the staff Xmas fund.

Will I visit Volivoli again? Yes indeed.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael2810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 28 October 2013
Bula Vinaka Michael,

Thank you very much for your review of Volivoli Beach Resort.

As I have mentioned before and continue to stress none of this would be possible without our wonderful staff, Their friendly faces are after all the reason travelers come to Fiji.

I must apologize for the Internet not working in your rooms, We are currently working on new hardware to boost the internet into each room with individual routers in each room its self. I hope to have this completed within the next few weeks.

I hope to see you back again some day and once again thank you.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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Seattle
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2013

We were here for a mere 3 days. It was at the tail end of our vacation after staying in another part of FIJI. The Villas were something else. Shiny and new with upper end materials. They have a open concept living/kitchen/bedroom area and a covered porch over looking the ocean. The views were phenomenal. They even had a washing machine which was much welcomed after a week away from home. My only real complaint was that the bed was a bit soft for my taste. The weather on this side of the island is dryer and hotter than at Beqa Lagoon. So the air conditioning was also very nice to have. They have a very nice pool (with a swim up bar I really liked). The dining area was also quite lovely. The food was plentiful. However the menu was rather limited and not especially creative. But we discovered that the kitchen was willing to cook on request items. I thought this was very gracious of them. Drinks were reasonably priced and the frozen slushy drinks were delicious.

The dive operation was very professional and well organized. The diving was very pretty, after all this is Fiji. Lots of soft coral and colorful fish.

This is an up and coming resort. The are obviously putting significant cash into this based on the recent development around the place and the on going construction. While we were there, they were working on a Spa over looking the ocean. I did not notice any noise at all so I think this was mostly going on during the day while we were out diving.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank suzie_1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 20 October 2013
Bula Vinaka Suzie,

Thank you very much for your review of Volivoli Beach Resort, I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. I wake up to that view you mention and it never gets old!

We do have our Ocean View Spa under construction which will be completed in a couple of weeks. We do try to work on this mostly as guests are out diving but do apologize for any noise you may have experienced.

I hope that you are able to return again soon for more than a few days.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

This resort is in a beautiful place in fiji but I do recommend getting a 4wd as the drive out there has a very rough gravel road, although the 3 hour drive is worth it.
The thing that makes this place as great as it is, is the wonderful staff.

I do not reccomend spending the extra money on the snorkling trip as they take you out with the divers as they have a lack of boats and then you are stuck out there for 4 hours, the snorlking of the sand spit is awsome so no need to pay for it.

although we had the beach to ourselves everyday which was lovely there was really nothing to do which was very dissapointing as the only reason i booked this place was because it said it had bonfires on the beach and kava ceremonies every night along with Banana boats, sea buscuits and jetskiing and wind surfing all of which were not available. They have now only just updated the website which im assuming was because we mentioned its false advertising.

the pool bar was never open, again dissapointing.The food was very hit and miss.
the rooms were lovely,all with great views.

there was no real entertainment at nights and some good music really would have livened this place up.

all in all I wouldnt really reccomend this place unless you are going for the diving.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anneka S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FijiDiver_9, Owner at Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji, responded to this review, 9 October 2013
Bula Vinaka,

Thank you for your review of Volivoli Beach Resort.

We always welcome feedback both positive and negative as the negative feedback is what we need to improve.

First of all I do apologize for not having updated the website regarding the water sports. As I mentioned to you while you were here a the resort unfortunately I had to remove the water sports operators who were outsourced due to unreliability. This is still no excuse the website should have been updated straight away.

The pool bar opens daily from 3pm daily however in the near future we will have this operating from a much earlier time of 10am.

I am very surprised to hear about your snorkeling experience as that is not how the trips are to be operated. Our outer reef snorkeling trip departs daily from the beach at 10am and is a maximum of 2 hours. I will personally follow this up.

In regards to the music and lack of atmosphere, We had many other guests at the resort over the same period as you, they were all very happy with the relaxed atmosphere with nightly live fijian music. Unfortunately I think that a bigger resort would have suited your needs better with louder modern english music much like any other pub in NZ, For our guests who are looking for a nice relaxed truly Fijian holiday experience Volivoli is the best choice.

I do thank you for your comments on our wonderful staff and will pass on your comments to them.

Kind regards

Nick Darling
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Additional Information about Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji

Property: Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji
Address: Volivoli Road, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Volivoli Beach Resort is a dedicated SSI and PADI dive Resort on Viti Levu, Fiji. It is owned and operated by the Darling family, 16 year veterans of the area. Dive facilities are world class and on site. All accommodations have ocean views. Nearby Bligh Waters are renowned for an amazing display of fish, pelagic creatures and soft corals. Guests enjoy snorkelling, kayaking, beach volleyball, fishing, village culture and sunset cruises. The Darling philosophy is simple - “We spend time talking to our guests, whether on a dive trip or over a cold beer,” says Nick, “This helps us fine tune the Volivoli experience.” ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Volivoli Beach Hotel Rakiraki
Volivoli Beach Resort Fiji Rakiraki

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