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“Bula! Travelling tips for staying at Mana”
Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Myself any my boyfriend had the pleasure of staying on this beautiful island for a week in late October and we will definitely be coming back however next time we will be more prepared.

We stayed in one of the island bures and found it clean, comfy and cool :-) I read a lot of negative reviews before coming here on holiday and believe that most of the reviews were over the top.

I would recommend the following tips to anyone going to Mana:

1. May to July apparently is the best time to visit Mana, during our stay in October it rained 4 out of 7 days which can be a pain especially when you come from Auckland. October on-wards is when they start to enter their rain/cyclone season.

2. I have read this time and again to avoid the north beach buffet and I agree the food is expensive and poor quality, I am not one to usually complain but I hardly touched the food in this buffet.
Instead it is cheaper to have breakfast at the backpackers which is located on the south beach and then to have lunch and dinner at the South Beach Restaurant which has the better quality food on the island not to mention cheaper than the North Beach Buffet, but be warned you have to book reservations for dinner as it is popular and can get fully booked!

3. Bring entertainment in case of rainy days, I was thankful i bought a laptop.

4. You do not need to pre-purchase snorkeling gear, there is free snorkelling gear, kayaks, catamarans etc from the water-sports shack, located on the south beach.
However I will advise the Jet-Skis are expensive, it is $95 for 15 minutes and 9/10 times you have to have a guide with you on it.

5.Purchase as much alcohol and mixers as you can at duty free before coming to Mana, the bars on the island can rack up a huuuuge bill before you know how much you have spent.

6. Visit sunset beach during a sunset on Mana, you will not regret it, however the resort says its a 20 minute walk, I would allow 40 minutes in the heat.

7. The Sea Spray Day Cruise is not one to be missed, this was the highlight of our trip! They provide morning and afternoon tea (cakes and biscuits) and a BBQ lunch which was really yummy! You will also be provided free alcohol and soft drinks as much as you please. You also get to visit the island where they filmed Castaway and snorkel in the bay as well as visiting a Fijian village for a Kava ceremony.

8. To avoid blistering your skin with a second degree burn like I did, use sun cream even if it is over-cast i know this is obvious but you can still burn even when it is raining.

9. The island provides many day activities and adventures out, if you find nothing at reception, head over to the backpackers, they do a series of scuba diving trips and days out.

10. I visited the spa on the island but found it pretty average for pricey massage, will be avoiding this on my next trip.

11. The resort advise they provide free golf buggies for those farther out on the island, this is untrue it is only for the honeymoon bures.

12. You will probably encounter a few un-friendly staff but the majority are helpful and friendly so don't be put off.

13. I realllly regret not buying an under-water camera for the trip, the snorkeling is absolutely amazing on Mana. I would definitely recommend the afternoon snorkeling trip which you can book through the water-sports shack however be warned sometimes there are reef sharks but they scare easily and no bigger than your arm.

14. The staff will attempt to charge everything to your room, we found it was easier to stay on top of our money by paying for everything there and then.

15. You do not need to stay over night in Nadi if you are planning to come to Mana, we timed it so that when we landed in Nadi we got straight on the sea spray resort connections ferry, however if you are wanting to spend some time in a city we would recommend Denarau.

16. If you can, with note to buying alcohol before arriving, try and buy as many snacks as you can for the room before landing in Mana, for example a packet of pringles at the shop on Mana it costs $8.50 (you can tell most of our money went on food and drink)

17. For you smokers out there, the cigarettes on the island which can be purchased at the bars are rather cheap.

Hope this helps! :-)

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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39  Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 October 2013

The Fijian people are some of the warmest and most beautiful in the world, with their hospitality, genuine welcome, and friendliness to all......Those on Mana Island are absolutely no exception to this, and remain the chief reason we keep returning to Fiji. There are other places in the world with beaches and sunshine, but it’s the Fijian people who keep us coming back. Special mention goes to Zack who sings like an angel and captivated us all with his humour, and to Epi on South Beach. The ladies servicing our room in the 300 Block were just the loveliest people. This was our 3rd stay on Mana (plus we sent my sister and her husband there for their honeymoon 7 years ago), and like a previous reviewer, can attest to a spectrum of changes - some good, some less so - over the past 18 years. Mana is one of the larger resorts, and before booking your accommodation, you should bear this in mind: Your perception/experience there will very likely be coloured by the type of accommodation you stay in. A 4-Star rating for this Resort overall is probably somewhat generous – there will certainly be 4-Star accommodation options in the mix, however the accommodation probably more accurately *ranges* from 2.5 to 4 Star. Dining options, likewise, probably range from 3 to 4 Star, but more on that later (including pricing). The 100-Block Island Bures are being progressively renovated, and while tight space-wise, still offer air-con, an outdoor shower, and the most cost-conscious option. We stayed in the Ocean View 300 Block (upstairs) on North Beach, and for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children 9 and 12 years), this was completely adequate for a fly-and-flop holiday. Kids don't mind sharing a bed, and it's located close to the pool, snorkel bure, and Mamanuca Restaurant on the North Beach. We stayed in this Block 6 years ago, and at that time, it was well-kept and appealing. That said, we were a little disappointed upon our arrival last week: The 300 Block is now quite tired, and desperately in need of rejuvenation (apparently happening next year), and it’s apparent that the Resort operators are just keeping this ticking over until that time. Our beds were mismatched (one sat on a dirty stained base with wheels that didn't fit the mattress, so drooped at the end), the bathroom was a festival of shower mould and poor tiling with intermittent hot water supply (a mixer tap in the shower would have been nice too instead of leaky taps, but hot showers would have been better!), ceiling fan didn't work, broken glass on the deck from a previously shattered glass pane on the door worked its way into my sons foot, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the cigarette butts left sitting in the gardens and on the beach outside the 300 Block were seed pods from some tropical plant, they were that plentiful. Nice to hear about other parties receiving an upgrade or room swap (which probably would have been appropriate given our little room issues and the rough old bird downstairs bleating nastily about normal kid noises – yes, we spoke to Reception about all of this), but sadly this wasn’t the case for us. Shame…..keep families like us happy, and we’ll loyally return to spend our pennies with you rather than elsewhere. Not to worry. Breakfast Buffet is FJD$35 a head, with a reasonable selection on offer, though after 9 days somewhat repetitious (it didn’t really change). A themed Dinner Buffet is also served nightly at the same restaurant (the very tired Mamanuca Restaurant on North Beach), and we all agreed that the food wasn’t quite as nice as it was on our last visit 6 years ago….think school camp, but with nicer tablecloths and a pricetag per head of FJD$65. Children 12 years and under eat “free” from all Buffets with a paying adult, however we still found it more cost-effective (even with drinks factored in) to dine as a family at the South Beach Restaurant. Food at South Beach is several notches up in terms of quality, and more closely approximates the 4-Star setting you are expecting. Providing you’re not after the Lobster Platter, sizeable, tasty, and attractively presented mains average around FJD$32, with AUD$ and NZD$ equivalents listed on the menu. A-la-carte Children’s menu meals are FJD$15 and $20, well presented, and sizeable for a child. Cocktails across the Resort are all FJD$17……purchase from the pool bar, and you’ll receive a rather pricey slushy or milkshake – seemingly alcohol-free – served without ceremony or garnish in a crazed plastic receptacle. Order at the South Beach Restaurant, and it’s the Real McCoy, with the bells and whistles plus an octane rating, for the same price. Beside the pool, there’s a homely little shack selling good value tasty wraps and sandwiches (FJD$10-13) that are really all the family need for lunch, plus they have a high turnover so the food is fresh. An icecream shack (quality NZ Natural icecream) sits beside the pool too, and while pricey, remember you ARE sitting on an island miles from anywhere in 30 degrees! If you’re a little more adventurous, wander down to the two local Backpackers’ places past the jetty on South Beach. There, you’ll be rewarded with cheaper drinks, a livelier social set, and some comparable dining for less $$……okay, not flash, but fun. If seafood is what you’re after, walk past the first Backpackers and onto the second further along the path: There you’ll find Ravi who will prepare a range of arguably the BEST seafood dishes on Mana Island. Ravi prepared what was probably the freshest, most delicious Crab Curry I have ever had, and have to say everything at the Resort for dinner paled by comparison afterwards! Anyway, back to Mana Island Resort……best snorkelling is to be found at North Beach at the drop-off (50m from shore). Fish are beautiful and plentiful, and free snorkelling sets are clean and in good order, so unless you really want to, don't bother bringing your own. No probs with supply of these, as we cunningly planned our travel outside of School Holiday madness. Hobie Cats on South Beach are new, free, and stacks of fun. Had thought that *all* non-motorised watersports were free, so was surprised to discover the stand-up paddleboard from the same watersports bure would have cost a hefty FJD$40 for 30 mins……must have a little motor concealed in there. Take a walk to Sunset Beach, and climb to the 3 lookout points for some great island vistas. The climbs are a great adventure for the family (how do those hermit crabs get up there?), though we were a little surprised by the amount of genuine garbage along the roadside (likely left by tourists) that we encountered along the way. We visited the Village school (Years 1-8), and donated a sizeable pile of stationery and school books from our own school in NZ which were gratefully received by truly gorgeous children. A Villager told us the best time to visit was 10am, so we made it so. Several staff around the Resort told us that there are some significant renovations planned for the next year or so, and I suspect that the ageing family pool area and Mamanuca Restaurant are probably on the list (judging by the finger-pointing folk standing with plans in hand). Will we be back? …….maybe, after these upgrades are complete. Mana Island Resort, as it stands, really is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel that has the potential – with some much-needed investment from it’s owners – to be one of the best Resorts in Fiji. It’s blessed with size, beaches, and natural beauty that some of the smaller island resorts don’t quite have. I found myself brimming with ideas on how to make this Resort better…..but then, that’s not my job, and I doubt anyone really looks at those pink Feedback forms (so didn’t waste my beach-time on departure day completing it). Vinaka.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank Mumsbolognese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

This was our return trip to Mana Island Resort for our 20th wedding anniversary, having had a belated honeymoon there over 18 years ago. The resort has certainly expanded since then, plenty for the better and some less so. I put a video on my youtube channel of the bure if it helps.
We had a week there and with a busy life at the moment went with every intention of just relaxing which we could easily do. We were in a honeymoon bure, one of just 7 that are tucked well away from the rest of the resort and which are guarded by security to make sure only residents of these bure's and there invited friends have access to this secluded area of the island. Being set away from the main resort was taken care off by being given your own golf buggy to get back and forth to the restaurants, bars and shop.
With the resort getting bigger there are a few more families than I remember from before but there are enough areas around the island to get away, on top of the honeymoon bure complex if you want your own space, although planning your meal times to be a bit quieter is advisable. Also if the wind picks up remember that you can go to the beaches on the other side of the island and usually find a place out of the worst of it.
With great staff that took time to learn who you are and look after you for the week we would recommend going to anyone.

Room Tip: Use the whole island if its blowing, it may be best to go to one of the other beaches as it will get...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kylepaulelmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We stayed on mana in October and also got married while we were there , we LOVED it! I would recommend mana island to anyone!
Beaches are beautiful and it is a great place for families! We Got upgraded from an ocean view bure to an oceanfront suit and I'm glad we did as the ocean view bures are tight if you have more than two kids ( we have 3) if you can afford it I would stay in the oceanfront suites , if you have more than two kids the extra room is worth it !
the people are so lovely and friendly and the nannys are great!
I was nervous about the buffet because of other reviews but I don't know what people complain about as we enjoyed it ,there's something for everyone and it's nice food,if you get sick of it you can always go to the backpackers as the food is nice there and cheaper as well :)
If anyone is considering a wedding on mana I would say DO IT! You get a beautiful wedding and holiday in one! The wedding was great , food was nice and it was all set up wonderfully! Everyone said how great it was !i wouldn't go anywhere else in fiji!
the only bad thing about it was that we didn't stay for longer!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
Thank Ayla M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013 via mobile

Wonderful full day on MANA ISLAND.The day was perfect from the cruise out with South SEA CRUISES arriving to this perfect location.We had a great day swimming,snorkeling,heaps of FIJI BITTERS and Bounty Rum.We headed to the other side of the Island where there was a huge deck,pool and great bar.The lunch was a huge selection of grill,pizza and salads which we all enjoyed.Good times were enjoyed by all:):):)

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank otanghunters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We booked this as our last island visit on our honeymoon. We would NEVER go back or wish this place on any couple trying to have a romantic getaway. This place is great for families who want a place that is kid friendly, offers a buffet, and cheap accommodations. We got there and they gave us an "upgrade" into a disgusting room that someone could not have paid me to stay in! They have pretty much no options for restaurants except a buffet that reminded me of summer camp and an ok restaurant that requires reservations and parents let their children run wild in. The beaches were nice and there are a lot of activities. Be prepared to pay am arm and a leg for activities where other islands that we stayed at things were much cheaper. The staff are not super friendly. You can tell they are over worked and sick of it. The island huts ate decent but even with there prices being reasonable I still didn't want to stick around. If you can't afford the other beautiful islands in the mamanucuas go check out the yasawas instead.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Maylea21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

It has been 2 weeks since our return from a 7 day holiday at Mana Island (our first trip to Fiji!) and we can still not stop talking about this fantastic place. We went there in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary and booked an Ocean View Bure. On arrival we were told that they have upgraded us to a Honeymoon Bure! We were so blessed and were completely blown away by this. The Honeymoon Bure was fantastic and the people cleaning and looking after us were absolutely phenomenal. The room was always clean an neat and staff were always following up to ensure we do not need anything.

We had full board and enjoyed buffet style breakfast, lunch and themed dinners at the North side restaurant each day. The food was beautiful and there was so much choice that we could never complain about being hungry in fact we ate way to much!!

Happy hour at the poolside bar was another highlight everyday with very friendly staff and great service. We only used the "adults only" pool and found it to be nice and quiet to enjoy some relaxing time in the sun. Snorkelling on the Northern side of the island was magnificent - you see different things every time you go in. We also did some snorkelling on Sunset beach. Kayaking on the South side was another thing that we should have done more of - water is so nice and clear it is unbelievable.

The thing we will remember most is the wonderful staff on the island, from the welcoming song when we arrived at the jetty, the friendly "Bula's!!!" from morning till late and the fact that they always made time to talk and help with anything.........and it was not only a few of them but absolutely everybody. Thank you so much for sharing your friendly culture with us.

We were so impressed with the hospitality of the staff and the beautiful piece of paradise that we have already booked again to take our two teenage children there next year............can not wait!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nina O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mana Island Resort

Address: P. O. Box 610, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Mana Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Price Range: £99 - £240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mana Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 160
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Also Known As:
Mana Island Hotel Mana Island

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