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“Our Wedding in Paradise!”

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Plantation Island Resort
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

My husband and I spent 8 nights at beautiful Plantation in April this Year. This was our 5th visit to the Island having our first visit back in 2010. This visit was for our Wedding and we couldn’t have chosen a better place to say “I do”. We had 35 guests at our Wedding, all of whom stayed at Plantation in various room types and everyone loved it! We were lucky enough to have our Wedding at the ”Wedding Hut” down the Lomani end of the beach and it was the most stunning backdrop overlooking the crystal clear water. This time we decided to stay in a beachfront bure and it was fantastic. The bathroom was huge and newly renovated, you could comfortably sleep 5 people in the room, however, there are no doors between the sleeping areas so not a lot of privacy. Yes as others have mentioned the dining options have recently changed while they renovate the main beachfront restaurant. We had a half board meal plan (along with the majority of our guests), so we chose to eat from the Buffet most nights, however we did also use our meal plans to eat at Anandas twice while we were there just for a change of scenery. We had a few picky eaters in our group including my brother who is Anaphylactic to most nuts, however we never had any trouble finding a meal that everyone liked.

They have recently put a lot of work into rebuilding the reefs around the island and already there is a big difference in the amount of fish swimming around and the amount of coral, so very good snorkelling straight off the beach! There were no children in our group (youngest 14) so I cannot comment on the kids club or activities for kids.

We never found the staff to be unhappy, they would always be laughing and joking with us and everyone in a group has formed a bond with many different members of staff. They get treated so rudely by so many guests expecting 5 star service, forgetting it’s a 3 star Resort. The staff work so incredibly hard and don’t get the thanks they deserve!

We love Plantation, and along with at least half of our Wedding Guests will be returning in the coming years!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank need2travel_1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 June 2014

My first trip away with our now 2 year old, after visits to Malaysia and Vietnam as a couple, left us wishing that we had stayed in Australia and gone to Queensland. The two things that stood our was the food and safety. The food was terrible. Breakfast was fine, but lunch was the same menu each day and nothing that I could write positively about. Dinner was a different buffet each night and for $50FJD just terrible. The last night we went to Muscat Cove and for about the same price, we ate amazing food. If you go there, just eat at Muscat Cove. On safety there was a note about loose tiles in the pool in posts a few months back. Not fixed, young girls gets 5 stitches in foot. To have a high chair arrive in the state that they did (every time), was almost sickening.

The village tour was heartening, but then hearing the pay rate of the staff (while knowing what the resort charges) is just sad.

Its 2 weeks I wish I could have back and make a better decision for my family

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Graeme A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Had a lovely stay at Plantation Island Resort (PIR). The beaches are fantastic and the snorkelling was great. A short trip on the boat takes you to an even better reef to explore. There is a water slide and jumping castle at the main beach which the kids loved. We stayed on the Lomani side of the resort and were in one of the newer bures which was beautiful. Plenty of space for our family of five.
The resort is a bit run down and the kids pool is quite small and the slide is a bit dangerous.
Staff on the most part were friendly but at times had difficulty finding someone in the restaurant to help seat us and order drinks.
The kids club needs renovating. It is a tiny dark room and my kids were not happy to stay in there. The outdoor kids activities were fantastic though and the kids loved the crab hunting, making coconut boats etc.

Room Tip: We stayed on the Lomani side of the resort and were in one of the newer bures which was beautiful. P...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Victoria D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

Every time I read bad reviews about this place I thought people were winging and had no idea how to enjoy themselves .. Until now.

This was our 4th time and we knew that the food here was not exactly fine dining- but the location always compensated for this- plus we could always go for a walk to musket cove -


FOOD
Well the food is even worse now- not exaggerating when I say jail food must be better.. breakfast was ok- cold cereal, eggs, something they are calling bacon that tastes and looks gross..

Lunch is the same menu everyday with 6 different items - steak which is sooo chewy it's unedible,
Fish that's really dry and unseasoned, cheeseburger which my kids would not eat (and they are not fussy) and a couple other things that were equally disappointing.. We tried ALL dishes and did not fine one that we could stomach..
Dinner - we arrived to plantation at 4pm on the Friday even though we flied 6.30am- between flying, waiting at the airport, catching a taxi and then the Malolo cat (boat) with 8 kids under 10 you could say were starving and tired.. We got the keys and went to our bure- settled in and then walked to the restaurant for our dinner- was around 5pm by then.
We get there and the staff tell is that we can't have dinner as all tables are booked!! And that we must book early as tables book out by lunch! Frustrated- they suggest that we walk to the hot food bar instead - we do that with 8 hungry kids in towe only to be told that it's closed..
We had no choice but to feed the kids packet chips,
Musli bars and le snacks .. Wish I knew on that day that this was the first of many more disappointing days..

The other nights at dinner were horrendous.. Staff take AGGGGES to serve you.. Even a jug if water for the kids could take 15 min... The buffet food was WAYY below average.. Not only that but you have to like up in this loong que with empty plate in hand that felt like you were in some kind of camp waiting for left lovers..
$50 (Fijian) per person and all we did was rearrange the food on our plates .. It was unedible..
And every night we went as we had no other choice - dicks place had nicer food and so does lomanis but they are both adults only.. Kids buffet was awful too.. Always the same- hot chips with pizza or hot chips with sausage roll or hot chips with spaghetti bol (which had mince that was almost black in colour)

And salad? What salad? There was none!

So every night we paid $50 each and we ate hot chips.. And bread.. And bread .. And hot chips.. I think I ingested more patato and grains in those 10 days then I did in my whole life! That was the only thing that tasted ok..

SERVICE
I have a distant memory of friendly Fijians always smiling and making me feel so far away from the hustle and bustle of home.. It seems they are gone.
This time no body seemed happy at all- in fact it was all a bit depressing..we hesitated to ask for anything as it always seemed they were really under the pump- you could see it in their tense faces and the way they walked.. The way they reacted when you asked for something and the way they talk to each other in Fijian .. I swear it seemed they were talking about us..

ROOMS


Dont expect anything fancy here - it is 3 star but it was all a bit bothersome.. Walk to reception to change towels ..walk to reception to get tokens for washing machine (reception ALWAYS soo busy it could take 20 min) walk to reception to buy drinking water (a few years ago they supplied each bure with a big thermo jug full of water which they used to refill daily- no more!!- u must BUY ur water now and it costs $6 for 500ml x by 7 daily and you can see how they get you in your final bill)
Walk to reception to ask for pegs which they tell you to buy- I wasted a whole day just trying to organise our washing.. And machines were always taken and if you don't wait for one to finish cycle(1.5 hrs) someone else takes it - and if you don't take out your clothes when your cycle finishes - someone will take them out and put them on the dirty bench)

Oh ! Now you have to go to reception to ask for a bag to take your clothes back to the room.. Another half hr wait...

There are no bowls/plates or cutlery in rooms.. So the breakfast items we brought from the small supermarket at musket cove was a but tricky.. We ended up asking for some at the restaurant- anther half hour wait...

I must mention that there is a foul sewage smell around this island daily.. It seems this is normal as no one except us were bothered by this- and try not to use the bathroom adjacent to the buffet bar- the smell in there will turn u off your food..

Kids club

Activities were ok but very dark and dirty inside..

OVERALL
Disappointing! It was such a hassle to do anything.. Not much relaxing at all- 5 of the 8 kids with us got a vomiting bug to top it all off..
The best day we had was when we visited other islands like castaway.. Honestly I was kicking myself with regret for going to plantation..





Stayed: May 2014
10  Thank Grace_h82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Ok - I read all the reviews of Plantation Island before I arrived and I had an open mind on what to expect. But then I was reminded that I am paying over $200 AUD bucks a night - surely it can't be that bad - I think all reviews should keep in mind what the price of the accommodation is.
We were staying here because a friend was getting married here.

We had spent 4 nights previously at a Yasawa resort about 20 minutes away by seaplane which was amazing - but there were almost no children there - and having a 2 yo I also thought Plantation Island would be great - it's renowned for its child activities.

Booking - We booked online through a third party booking provider (their prices were 30% cheaper than going direct through the resort - I would suggest you do the same)
We received a follow-up email from the resort asking about our transfers. All good. Having read the reviews on the food on this website - we didn't want to be locked into any meal plans which made sense - the food turned out to be terrible - see below.

Arrival - We arrived via seaplane from our earlier resort - it saved us 6 hours in transit and was worth it - the view was amazing.
But our greeting on arrival of the plane was non-existent - perhaps you need to arrive via a large Catamaran to get one - this was different to the other resort we stayed at.
We were then marched from the beach through the resort to reception and provided with our room keys etc.

Our room was a garden terrace towards Lomani resort - it actually looked brand new - but unlike rooms of similar prices at other hotels there were almost no amenities. It is the first time I have ever paid over 200 bucks for a room and not been provided a television - or even a basic ipod dock would have been useful. But there was nothing provided not even shampoo and conditioner (I suggest you take your own if you intend on swimming whilst on holiday). But who needs a TV when there is so many activities I hear you suggest .... exactly.

Having read the reviews on the food options at Plantation when we arrived we quickly set out finding the alternative dining and drinking options on the island - for the same and mostly less money there were better options to be had a Dicks Place (the Fijian ladies there are lovely and the food is amazing compared to Plantation) and don't miss the Island Bar - in Musket Cove Resort. Well worth the extra walk for the view.

Activities
There are 2 or 3 pools at Plantation, the larger pool is quiet and away from the noise of the beach and dining area. The beach area is nice especially at sunset, limited shade during the day. The floatation tower is popular - some of our part say it is the best thing about the resort. If you are wanting to snorkel - bring your own - almost every snorkel available for hire at the resort has had the teeth holds chewed off which makes it near impossible to use with any confidence should you wish to put your head underwater.
KIDS CLUB
Kids club is great - no complaints. The baby sitter they arranged was perfect. Our daughter loved spending time with her. I can see this being a major drawcard with the resort.

Some negatives..
Under appreciated and over worked staff
This was the second resort in Fiji we had stayed at so in terms of what to expect I can only compare with the service we received elsewhere. That being said you could tell the staff were under pressure. I am not sure why there were so few staff members and why they are worked so hard but there was never enough staff to cope with the demand for services. We spoke with our cleaning lady who explained that she is paid $3FJ an hour and that she hasn't had a pay rise in 12-14 years!!. This to me is very disappointing. Something is wrong if the resort feels the need to charge over $400FJ a night for what is a very basic room and only pay their staff less than $3FJ an hour to clean it. No wonder the staff seem uninterested and unhappy to be there. I think the management of this resort need to do better - the money paid by guests is going somewhere and it should be shared with the staff to make everyone's experience more enjoyable. I get the feeling the owners don't care - and this does not make me want to return. None of the staff acted like they wanted to be there - and at the wages they are paid no wonder.

Worst Neighbours in a Family Holiday Resort Ever
We were unlucky with the room we were given - as we were situated next to the one of the rudest neighbours we have ever come across in our 2.5 years of travelling with a child.
Having a 2yo is hard enough without neighbours who on the first night actually opened the door to our room to find out what was going on when our daughter was upset about going to bed.
On our second last night when our daughter woke up very early in the morning and wouldn't go back to sleep - our neighbour actually bashed on our door and yelled through the door at my wife. I have never heard of such behaviour before.

WILD DOGS!!
My wife decided to go jogging one morning near the resort golf course. Running down one of the tracks she was attacked by three vicious wild dogs. Now these were not the domestic dog who got off the leash kind you see in parks sometimes - but wild dogs - unhandled by humans defending whatever it is they were living on - food scrap garbage apparently. We have a large dog at home so my wife knows how to handle herself with dogs i.e not to run, and stand your ground and make a loud noises - but it was lucky that it was just her and not our 2yo with her who often goes in the pram with her. I have no idea how a resort that caters for families can possibly think any chance of wild dog attacks is acceptable. Luckily my wife only had slight scratches and they did not draw blood but the episode ruined what was left of our holiday. We informed the front desk of the nightmare that my wife had just gone through - and were told oh yes there are wild dogs - we have tried to get rid of them. Where did you find them we will send someone out with spears to kill them! No offer of a refund or discount of the trauma my wife just went through on their resort. There were no signs anywhere warning you of the chance of wild dog attacks of any kind. If you stay there - try and find a sign - you wont be able to.

FOOD
Don't bother eating here - some of the worst buffet food you will find. The selection is diverse but consider that you are paying around $30 AUD for a buffet and what you could find at the restaurant a short walk (DICKS) away with no chance of food poisoning and it is a no brainer. Trust me one of your party will get food poisoning if you decide to eat here. Numerous members of our party ended up with some type of food borne illness including children. Again avoid the food. We ate here only because our child enjoyed spending time with other guests children who had mistakenly bought one of the meal plans. Also be careful what they charge you - the waiter will tell you a price to get you to sit down there - then the receipt will come and they will say the front desk will amend the price for you as the computer printed it wrong - then when you get to the front desk to check out and query the price they will say no this is the correct price. By then it is 3 days later and almost impossible to chase up.

I would go on with complaints but even writing this review brings back memories of one of the worst holidays in memory.

Room Tip: For your own safety find one that is as far away from Plantation Island as possible. It is not hard...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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9  Thank HolidayPete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

This was our second time to Plantation Island (the previous time was 8 years ago) and whilst some things were new (e.g. coffee and juice bar, the 'water park') or upgraded (some rooms, the snack bar), many things were of the same basic standard (e.g. all three pools, the kids club etc).

Plantation has a great location in terms of the beach, with the sparkling (and very warm) water offering very good snorkelling for beginners. We probably saw 50 different species of fish over the course of the week we stayed there. We brought our own masks and snorkels and hired flippers (FJD5 for the week). The sand bar snorkelling trip (FJD15 per adult) was excellent, as was the afternoon trip to Honeymoon Island and Castaway (FJD69 per adult). The water park slide and bouncy pillow was a lot of fun for our two girls (aged 11 and 8), so if you have active kids who are confident swimmers Plantation is a great choice. We played putt-putt golf a few times but our girls didn't like the look of the kids' club (more suited to 4-7 year olds) and only went for one session of tie-dying a t-shirt.

In terms of the food on offer, the thought we had was "You go to Plantation to eat; you go to Musket Cove to dine." The breakfast at Plantation (FJD30 for adults) was very basic and not very appetising, so after the first morning we stocked up with cereal and milk from Ananda's Mini Mart and had breakfast in our room (using bowls and spoons we had brought with us). The 3 buffet dinners (FJD40 per adult) we had at the restaurant (curry, BBQ & Fijian) were not too bad and offered enough choice at a decent quality. However the lunch options were limited and the snack bar had poor quality food with dodgy hygiene, so sometimes we bought bread rolls (plus butter and cheese) from the mini mart, along with some snacks and fruit. Other times we walked across to Musket Cove and had many fabulous meals (both lunch and dinner), which were really nice. I would highly recommend a trip to Musket Cove to sample their restaurant.

One point about the meal plans which was very confusing: we did not pay for the meal plans, nor were we on a "kids eat free" deal, so after each meal at Plantation we were presented with a bill which had a cost for the kids' meal (e.g. FJD20 for dinner; FJD15 for breakfast). When we checked out the kids' meals did not appear on our final bill, even though they were on all the dockets from each meal.

The garden bure room we had was of a good size and location (20 metres to the beach), but as it had not been renovated it was very old and tired. One thing to consider is that there are no windows (only shutters), so to keep the bugs out (and the cool air in when you have the air con going), you have to keep the shutters closed and can't look out. If you are considering staying at Plantation then have a good think about the room type and compare prices against other resorts. If you are happy to compromise on the appearance of a room to save money (but still have all the benefits of the location), then Plantation is still worth considering. Just be aware that your expectations of the quality of the room may be too high when you work out that you are paying to stay at a relatively cheap resort.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Kirradom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

July 2013 was the furthest back the review would let me go but I actually went with my family in October 2011.

This island resort is beautiful and fantastic for families, there's plenty to do for everyone and as anywhere in Fiji, the locals are just beautiful, friendly people!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank shepppy
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

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: £100 - £307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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