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“Terrific Fiji escape despite the food”

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Plantation Island Resort
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Terrific Fiji escape despite the food”
Reviewed 3 October 2012

Decided to travel to Plantation Island for a 10 day holiday at the last minute. Friends of ours and their 2 kids were already heading there for their holidays so we decided to join them. Had stayed at nearby Castaway Island 7 years prior and enjoyed the experience so much we hoped this would be similar. Plantation Island though is much cheaper and more family oriented than Castaway, so we had to adjust our expectations significantly. We stayed in a 1 bedroom garden terrace room on the westerly side of the island. This side of the island is definitely the nicer side of the island, with the gardens neatly manicured and the quieter beaches. The garden terrace rooms are spacious and reasonably well maintained, though you are in a block of 4 so you need to have good neighbors. Unfortunately, we had a small child staying next to us who woke us most mornings from 6.30am with his running inside and out of the room yelling and crying at the top of his voice - not a relaxing way to start a day for a couple with no kids looking for a quiet getaway. Daily activities are offered on the island. I took a short boat trip out to the sand bar snorkelling tour in the afternoon for $15FJD. Easy snorkeling over the duration of an hour with lots of different fish to see. Although the coral is fairly dead and lacks colour, would recommend this tour to all who stay on the island. I also did the 1.5 hour trip out to Lana Reef, located near the sand bar which cost $30FJD. Although this offered glimpses of blue star fish, giant clams and better coral, the fish types were not as diverse or voluminous as at the sand bar. I also took a 4 hour game fishing trip out past Malolo, Castaway and Mana islands which was terrific despite us only catching 2 trevalley. Cost $150FJD. Other activities include banana boat rides, parasailing, kayaking, sailing, knee boarding, diving and island hopping (visiting other islands by boat such as Beachcomber, Castaway and Treasure islands). Best snorkeling we found off the island itself was on a small reef adjacent to the pontoon off the beach to the west of the jetty halfway between the jetty and Lomani resort which adjoins Plantation. Easy to swim to and offers a reasonable diversity of fish but again coral is largely dead. Lomani resort is an adults only (16 years and over) resort adjacent to Plantation island resort. It has a beautiful pool which adults staying at Plantation Island can use. Guests at Plantation Island can also dine at the Lomani resort restaurant, Flame Tree. Average main meal costs around $35-$40FJD. The worst thing about Plantation as other reviewers have noted is the food. We chose not to purchase a meal package on the basis of other reviews we had read. Proved a very wise choice. The themed buffet dinners are very ordinary - although the best nights were probably the curry night, roast carvery night and the mongolian BBQ nights. Cost $40FJD. Breakfasts were also ordinary. You would think it would be difficult to go wring with breakfast, but somehow they don't seem to get this right either, with processed bacon offered every second day and fruit options limited to banana, paw paw, pineapple, watermelon and tinned fruit salad while we were there. Suggest you bypass the powdery scrambled eggs and choose the eggs freshly fried by the cook in front of you. Cost $26FJD. Buffet option was available at lunch also but found this too much food to contend with in one day. There is only one snack bar option available for lunch though and this is located adjacent to the Black Coral restaurant which is located back from the beach slightly. Lunch options were limited to Chicken pies (which were curry in flavor and had strange pastry), hot dogs (which contained strange looking white sausages), toasted sandwiches (the best of a bad lot in my opinion) and pizza (do not go near this - was the sloppiest, flavorless pizza I have ever tasted). Cost $8.50FJD. The Black Coral Restaurant offers a la carte dining at dinner or lunch, and you can order take away off their menus also. Average price main $20-$40FJD. Dined at this restaurant once. Although the food was slightly better found the place had no atmosphere or view. Other dining options were limited to Anandas restaurant which was around 10-15 min walk easterly towards Musket Cove or Flame Tree at the Lomani resort. Ananda's appeared to offer a la carte dining with similar offerings and prices to the Black Coral restaurant but at least was located on the beach as is Flame Tree. Lomani resort has the best swimming pool of the 3 on offer - Plantation island's 2 swimming pools are smaller and geared to kids. Plantation Island offers a resort shop, 2 supermarkets, souvenir shop, coffee shop, kids club, massage salon, hairdressers and laundry where you can do your own washing - tokens are $2FJD each for washer and dryer and washing powder can also be purchased. Enjoyed our stay but would have enjoyed it more had the food been much better. Seriously needs to improve it's dining experience for it's patrons. Fijian service staff are always friendly and make you feel at home. Rooms have good beds and all have air conditioning which makes it easy to sleep at night.

Room Tip: If you can afford it and they are available choose a beachfront bure on the western side of the reso...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank klewi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2012

My husband, two year old son and I have just spent 5 nights at Plantation Island Resort. We had a great time and were sad to leave. On previous trips to Fiji we have stayed at Mana Island Resort and while it is probably deserving of it's slightly better star rating, we found the staff at Plantation MUCH friendlier. In fact the top factor that makes this resort a place we would come back to is the staff. All of the staff seemed to just adore kids and I was very impressed that they all bothered to learn our sons name - calling out to him, giving him high fives and playing peek a boo. Top marks! Also the location is beautiful and did not disappoint. Every day we took our son to stand on the jetty where he could see a large blue starfish, parrot fish, bright blue fish and schools of others swimming around semi alive coral in the clear water. This was better than paying top dollar in Thailand to be taken to a so called reef that was all dead with no fish at all! We also hired kayaks and easily paddled around. The water is warm and clear.
To balance this rave review the resort is definitely the lower side of 3 star. Essentially this is a mantainance issue - it is tired and in need of a bit of TLC. Broken tiles, slippery mosaics, shoddy repair jobs, some broken chairs. Our ground floor hotel room which was pretty basic and had seen better days (the bures looked nicer) - but I've definitely stayed in worse!. HOWEVER, having read one or two not so good reviews on this website I was pleasantly surprised about the food. We had a buffet menu plan and everything on offer was delicious - even for two year old. I am gluten and dairy intolerant and there was still yummy things to eat - even gluten free bread if you ask. A Summer Slush drink from the coffee hut is a must!! Overall a great time! VANAKA

Room Tip: 200 series garden bures or 300 series beachfront bures seemed the nicest. Don't get a 200 serie...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lynette P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2012

We were looking for some rest and relaxation after I had beaten a vry a serious illness. The staff were advised of this and our room could not have Ben further awAy from the central hub of the place. The rooms are very average and for that mAtter uncomfortable. Staff are less than courteous and at times very rude. Activities while they were many were had at set times and not available to all. The food was to say the least a very poor experience and given some allergies we have was very limited for our kids. Something we looked forward to was a bitter dissappointment

Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank neilbidgood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2012

We have just spent 6 nights at Plantation Island Resort. This is our second visit here. What a great location this is! We had a beach front bure which was roomy, had all we needed and serviced to a high standard each day. There is some great snorkelling off the beach and the sand bank snorkelling trip was stunning and very reasonably priced. We arrived by helicopter as we wished to get straight out to the island and in the water. It was very disappointing to find ourselves not being met. We carried our bags most of the way from the airstrip to the check in before a porter turned up, apologising for being late! Secondly, litter stayed outside our bure for the duration of our stay. Thirdly, we went to pick up clean beach towels the morning we were beach hopping to find there were no clean towels available. We chose not to eat at Plantation. The food at Dick's, Musket Cove is great, as is the atmosphere and service. The Flame Tree restaurant at Lomani is also very good. As we had been to Plantation previously, we knew that it really is a 3 star resort, but it is all we could book at the last minute. We had a relaxing time there, enjoyed the beachfront bure, snorkelling at Plantation Resort and at surrounding islands. Would we visit again...probably not.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank anne836
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albury, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2012

Stayed here in April. Lots of remodelling to rooms and resort, but not disrupting to our holiday.

After reading lots of reviews I was ready for a very dated room (no high expectations) but was plesantly surprised. We stayed in a studio bure. It was really nice 311 I think right near the ocean.

We had the most relaxing holiday ever. The kids loved the kids club, staff were excellent!!!!

Room Tip: 311 studio bure beach front without the price.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tracey2468
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2012

On our trip to Fiji, we had booked four different hotels. This was by far the worst. We booked the pool side room, and not only were greeted by an extremely rude member of staff who sat down in the room and did not know the names of the restaurants around us, or gave us any information, the room was also appalling. Management claimed that they had been 'newly refurbished', which was a complete lie, there was a dirty hand print on the wall, part of the mirror was broken and the whole room was dirty. We paid the same at all the other hotels we had stayed at and got a LOT nicer for our money. I have never had to complain at a hotel before, but we had to here. There were diggers and tape just all around the resort, and the supermarket was half collapsed with rubble in, only half of it was open.
After complaining to management, and discussing the issue for three hours, we were upgraded to Lomani, which was amazing. An incredible resort. All i can say in regards to Plantation though, is you can get a lot more for your money at some of the other hotels such as Naviti. This was not at all what we expected and thoroughly disappointing.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank hannah k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2012

Great relaxing holiday. Very friendly people, love babies, if you take you baby you will loose them, thye love to kiss and cuddle them, but a very sweet with them our room was nice and big and kept clean. Food is not so great for what you pay, but its all you can get, Musket Cove next door have nice food nice restaurant you can go to. I had a massage and it was the worst I have had its was suppose to be 30 mins I only got 20 min and nothing too it, would not recommend. Great place for families especially with little kids not so much to do for the mature 12yrs +

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kaye I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Plantation Island Resort

Property: Plantation Island Resort
Address: Plantation Island | PO Box 9176, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Malolo Lailai Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Malolo Lailai Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Plantation Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the 553 acre island of Malolo Lailai, part of the Mamanuca Group of Islands, Plantation is surrounded by 23 acres of tropical gardens, coconut palms and white sandy beaches that front a beautiful sheltered lagoon. Plantation offers several accommodation options to suit most budgets, and is great value for families, students and fun loving couples. Most of the activities are complimentary including the 'Coconut Kids Club'. Come experience the friendly Fijian hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Plantation Island Hotel Malolo Lailai Island
Plantation Island Malolo Lailai
Island Plantation Resort
Plantation Island Resort Fiji/Malolo Lailai Island

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