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“A Couple at a Family Resort - We would definately go back!”

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Plantation Island Resort
Reviewed 3 April 2010

7 day stay, March 20 - 27, 2010. I was a little apprehensive about booking our much needed holiday at a family oriented resort, however, It had been recommended to us by friends and the deal I was able to secure was definately favourable financially. The Resort was only half full and the weather (even with the Cyclone) was great. There was some rain at night and a few showers here or there, but generally it was awsome. Many of the other reviews complain about the staff. Yes they are a bit jaded and they are probably sick to death of saying Bula every 2 seconds. Many of them are living away from their families and work 18 - 24 days on and 5 off. We have it easy!

It all started with our arrival on the Malolo Cat, this is where we met our first two lovely families from Sydney and their 6 Kids. The Island introduction was thorough to say the least, it dragged on a bit as we were all keen to get to our rooms and then get in the pool. I chose the Poolside Room as they looked quite central to everything. They are very spacious, have 2 bathrooms, which is always a bonus and a separate entry with a lounge, table & Chairs. I think the accommodation choice and position is definately important at this resort. If you are at either end, it is abit of a hike if you forget something.

We didn't do the meal plan, as many reviews had stated there were multiple places to eat and facilities to buy fresh food, and also with all the activities we planned to do, we would actually miss out on quite a few of them. We ate a couple of times at the main restaurant, but mostly prefered to eat at Anandas near the airport, where we met our 3rd lovely family over dinner (a couple from brisbane with a 9mth old)

If you need a little break away from the child noise, you can try the Flame Tree Restaurant (Lomani Adults Only Resort, same owner as Plantation), s short walk down the beach. We had a very quiet and enjoyable evening here. The food and cocktails were wonderful and the setting is amazing. There is also a nice Restaurant at Muscat Cove called Dicks Place and a cool bar off the jetty if you feel like an afternoon beverage.

We took advantage of the free activities, doing two free snorkeling trips, free fishing and used the kayaks and wind Surfers. My partner also did some Water Skiing and Wakeboarding, (where we met our 4th land fith ovely families, 2 couples from Terrigal with a gorgeous 2yo's).
We did a day trip to Treasure Island to see some friends, which was great, also an island hop to Malolo, Castaway and Mana with our new found adopted families. The Shell village tour was ok, however the highlight for the families was getting a tour of the school and talking to the Headmaster who was an inspiration. Some of the families took over some Footballs and Jerseys for the kids. They are desperately in need of books also, so if you have some you dont need any more, throw a few in the suitcase for the village children.

This Island is great to just go for a stroll and have a chat (where we met our 6th Lovely Family ( A couple from Brisbane with 2 older teenage boys) or you can find a secluded place and just soak up the rays and the beautiful outlook. I think one of the smaller islands would have been nice... but I think I would have got bored after a while.

Granted, this Island would not suit everyone, yes the accommodation is a little dated and the bathrooms are in need if a re-grout and a bit of bleech, but I have to say after visiting many of the others, ours grew on us and I began to like it more and more every day. All the activities and trips costs much less from Plantation that the others... ie Shell Village Tour from Plantation was $11 FJD, From Castaway Island it was $45.00 FJD. There are no tv's in the room so I took a laptop full of movies to catch up on.

We met some truly lovely people most of whom we are in contact with already. Our holiday would not have been as enjoyable without them and their wonderful children who kept us constanly entertained. I would definately not be put off this Island if you are a couple, just choose your time wisely and go out of peak or holiday periods and enjoy it. If you are a family, book now! The week after we left, the Island was expecting 240 children over the Easter period. Glad we missed that though!

If I was to give any advice to those travelling to Plantation:
* There were quite a lot of sea lice close to shore and i was bitten constantly, If we went
off sure snorkeling, etc there wasn't a problem.
* Definately take some Pegs for hanging up towels and swimmers outside your room
* Get your deck chair mats early and keep them in your room for the duration.
* Book early (like the day you arrive) if you want a massage.. they book out quickly..
* Jacks at Port Denarau, Nadi or the Airport have all the things and more that the shell
village has, so if you forget a few gifts or trinkets, wait till the trip home.
* Pack less, you wont use it all.
+ Buy your snack food from the Muscat Cove Shop, they have BBQ Chickens,
homemade Pies and Sausage Rolls, bread, drinks etc
* Visit the little Gallery up the hill from the Airstrip.
* Take something better than Aeroguard.. I think the mozzies have built up immunity.
* Take a Pool Floatie
* Dont take heaps of cash.. you can seem to charge everything to your room. ( get a
printout before you check out though, it can be a bit of a shock...
* Take your own Snorkel and Flippers
* Take your own towel, sometimes they run out...

Cheers and Enjoy the setting.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Philly73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 April 2010

This is a great place to stay especially for those with Primary school children. We only spotted a handful of teenagers. We did not have our children with us. Our teenagers would have enjoyed Beachcomber Island! It seemed like the happening place for young ones!
We found that because Plantation Island Resort is spread over 100 acres, it was easy to get away from other guests. Lots of walks to do. Take advantage of the free snorkelling which is only a 5 minute boat ride out to the reef. Take the underwater camera. Great for kids. Grab a life jacket from the resort for the kids. This makes it easier for the parents. And take food to attract the fish. The 4 or 5 island Day Hopping Trip was about A$35.00 for 5 1/2 hrs and well worth it. Great to explore the other islands and resorts. The Shell Village trip (less than 2 hours) is fun and if you go on a week day, you can see the local school. They make you extremely welcome. Just ask someone to point you in the right direction.
We are NOT fussy eaters but the food at Plantation was ordinary. The Buffets at $38 Fijian dollars wasn't worth it really. Eating off the menu was a bit nicer. Your meal plan may allow you to eat at Ananda's Restaurant which is part of Plantation, at the end of the resort. The menu there was extensive and the food delicious. Some families who had been there before said the food had really gone downhill. Not a lot of variety.
With regards to the low tide, the water did go right out but you could go digging for Clams, ask a local how to find them. You could almost walk out to the Pontoons but the water was deep there. Not really a problem. A few hours later and the tide would be right back in again.
Make sure you walk down to the airstrip and then walk through to the other side of the island. Also, near airstrip, there is a Gallery up on a hill with a book exchange if you run out of reading material!
There are several other resorts on the island. You are not on Plantation Island, you are on Malolo Lai Lai Island! Other resorts were Lomani, Muscat Cove, Malolo Lai Lai Lagoon Resort Club plus several private homes. At low tide it appeared that you could walk over to Malolo Levu island which is a lot bigger and has several resorts on it plus the Shell Village and school.
You can wander through all the resorts. Everyone very friendly.
Take a handline to fish off the beach! We took our catch to the Chefs who cooked them up and served them with salad and chips for about A$15.00.
We were upgraded from a Garden Hotel room which is right in the middle of the action to a Class C Bure which was beautiful and huge. It was down the very end near Lomani Resort. Very quiet and this suited us. Room very adequate. Plenty of lines for all bures to hang washing. Take some pegs. Hotel provides pool towels which you pay a refundable deposit for.
A wonderful holiday and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Staff lovely.
Can also recommend the massage! Half an hour for about A$21.00.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Kiwi1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2010

Plantation Island was the best place I have ever been too :).

Yes Accomidation is very basic, but the staff are so lovely they made our trip! We have still kept in contact with some of these staff members (thats how much we got along)!!

It was quiet, not too busy, they came and cleaned our room every day :).

The best part of my stay was meeting all the friendly Fijian's :D and drinking Kava with them.

I miss Plantation Island Resort already and i only left a few weeeks ago, I am currently in the process of booking another trip there :D!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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5  Thank Auzzie06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2010

HI all you out there bagging Plantaion Island. Dont go to a 3 star hotel if you expect 5 star amenities!!

The Island was wonderful, we went with 3 teenagers (2 boys, 15,13 and 1 girl 13) we all shed tears when we left. The accomodation was perfect, who cares if there is a tile missing here or there on the inside of the room when you are on a tropical Island-do you go to Fiji to sit inside a room all day??? The staff were beautiful and the more you joined in the more welcome they made you.

For those people who were also there during the cyclone (as we were) that said everything was cancelled is rubbish. It was very well organised, we felt very safe and they always kept us well informed of the cyclone activity. We even went out on the reef snorkelling trip on one of the cyclone days and it was fantastic!! Some people dont realise that sometimes you have to make the effort to join in-they wont come knocking at your door asking what you would like to do today! There is an activities board updated everyday with water/land/kids club schedule for the whole day so its up to you how much you join in - or just go and do your own thing snorkelling etc.

The food was great, and some that have called the buffet "slop" should maybe stay home and eat McDonalds....you could eat from the buffet, mainly curries and stirfries or you could choose from the menu that always western style food to choose from. Our kids never had a problem finding something to eat. The water they provided in the rooms was fine for drinking, and all the water they used in the kitchen to wash salad and vegies (and the ice at the bar) was also filtered water brought in from the mainland so no need to worry.

The resort was spotless, there was always an army of people working and cleaning the place - the pools were crystal clear and was the ocean. The snorkelling was fantastic-although I would reccomend bringing your own gear because if you borrow it, it has to back by 5pm which is a bit early.

One thing that totally encaptured us was how welcome the kids were in the resort. They could stay in the bar area until 1am in the morning if they wanted and were never told - you cant be in this area, or no kids after 9pm - they were as welcome as the adults. They could join in the adult activities and were really treated as equals - very refreshing!

We cant wait to go back to Plantation Island and highly reccomend it to anyone. Remember - a holiday is as good as YOU make it!

Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
12  Thank pjwhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2010

We had a great stay, out 2 year old loved it. The actual Island itself was beautiful, a bit run down but the pool & ocean swimming were awesome.
The staff we found very lazy, each meal time you had to wait for the staff to come to you & flag someone down after 20 mins. This wasn't enjoyable for kids.
The attitude of most of the staff was "couldn't be bothered". This was tiring after 6 days. We missed our helicopter ride due to this matter by staff.
The accommodation however was excellent, we had a 2BR Family bure which was faultless except no Air Conditioner (there was 1 but it had no effect)! The bure was spacious & very quiet.
Kids club ok, but very hot inside.
Food- terrible, same slop day in & out. We couldn't face another buffet after 4 days.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank Aussie Family t... C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2010

Just returned from 1 week. Took husband, son, daughter-in-law and nearly 2 year old grand-daughter. Totally suited us as a family. Accommodation fine and great to have unit cleaned and supplied with fresh linen and towels every day. Diving was great - pools lovely - food very good. Staff excellent. Had excellent massage. Plenty to do. Will certainly return. Also had 1 night at the Weston which was great start to holiday. Very good value.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank RustyGoldCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2010

We stayed at Plantation Island from 20th Feb 2010 to 25th Feb 2010. We have 3 children aged 11, 10 & 2.
We also went with friends who have 4 children aged up to 14 yrs. We stayed at Raffles Gateway the first night in Fiji. This is a very pretty resort with a great pool & slide for the kids. The poolside rooms are better than the other rooms as we had the poolside room on the first night and a upstairs room on our return from plantation. The Malolo cat is a nice big boat and the 50minute ride to plantation was breathtaking, so the time went very quickly. The 2 year old just slept most of the way. On arrival at Plantation we were in awe at how beautiful the water & beach was. We were greeted at the jetty by staff singing the traditional welcome song & all received shell necklaces. We had reached paradise! We were explained how things worked and taken to our motel room. It was a bit of a walk but the room was huge & fabulous. More than enough room for the 5 of us & beautifully decorated with beachy colours, paintings and furniture. We had an air-con & 4 ceiling fans.All worked great. There is a room divider, for mums & dads who would like a little privacy.......Our 2yr old won't sleep in a cot so we pushed the 2 big single couches together and made a bed for her that way. She slept better there then she does at home! The room is made up daily with new towels and drinking water is available in a supplied jug. We only used this for boiling the kettle to make tea & coffee, and we did also boil extra water and refil some water bottles to keep in the fridge ( which we rarely used). We brought some softdrinks (cheap) and bottled water from anarkas supermarket and left them in the fridge also.It is not a big fridge but it was adequate for what we needed. Take a few pegs as there is a line outside your room to hang wet swimmers & towels etc. We had the all u can eat meal plan. We found that was enough but next time we would skip the breakfast & just buy cereal & milk from the supermarket as we felt we had to hurry in the morning to get to breakfast in time.(Remember there's a time difference, so really you are waking up very early). Theres enough on the lunch menu to choose a different one everyday and dinner is always different. The atmospere at meal times is terrific with the singing & beach flames burning & even with a 2 yr old I was able to relax. She loved the freedom of the place also. It is so safe, the staff are beautiful & friendly. Both my daughters had some braids put in their hair. Well worth the money as they didn't have to worry about knotty hair all week, plus it looked great. I didn't want to take them out for awhile after we got home! There is a few pools.We spent most of our time in the one with the baby pool attached near the bar! That catered for everyone. There is also pool tables there for the older kids. The kids club we only used mainly at night after they had eaten. There is a seperate meal time for the children & they eat first then go off to kids club, which is great for the adults to sit & relax together. The kids done crab racing, limbo in the sunset,paddle boat races, t-shirt painting, movies, talent quest & more. You have to sign your kids in & out for safety reasons, & pick them up at 9pm. It caters for ages 4 and up but as we had so many in our group the 2yr old was watched by the older ones.There is fijian babysitters who charge $3 hr.Well worth the time alone & they really love kids there. There is also a playground for the little ones.We went handline fishing for free, snorkelling (free), golf tounament where my husband won a sulu, karoke for adults & a 'mr plantation' competition for the men & dads. A lot of fun. I also had a 30mins massage - well worth the money! We walked up to the gallery which has a lot of homemade trinkets and souveniers. The view is stunning & we also had a look at one of the other resorts on the island. We a;lso went on the shell villiage tour where the local villiages make handmade jewellery & things. This is also worth a look. It was a very quiet time for the resorts which was great for us. No waiting for anything! There was also no problems with mosquitos either, which we were expecting but so glad about.
The only things we would do differently next time will be the no breakfast deal & get a room closer to the front of the resort. Maybe a beach front one! Oh & stay at least 2 weeks!
I would HIGHLY recommend this resort if you want a fun, relaxed holiday with kids. I was so relaxed I thought it was Tuesday for 3 days!!! Its very hard to leave & we will return one day!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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8  Thank choonga
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: £113 - £263 (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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