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.
- 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