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Review of Mana Island Resort

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Mana Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Reviewed 4 February 2014

We returned to Mana in early January for a two week stay after a two year absence. The great things remain great and the not so good remain not so good but overall the resort continues to deliver a value for money experience with some advantages that not many other island resorts in fiji deliver at the same price.

The great:
The coral off North Beach is in the best condition I can remember for some time. Quite stunning in fact. Anybody who wastes money to do a snorkeling trip is mad, it dosent get better than whats in front of you.
The beaches are still stunning. Not crowded and the water clear with abundant fish life. One snorkel on north beach we saw a large trevalley, two sharks, a lobster, a stingray and a huge turtle in the space of 30 minutes.
No wind!. Mana is ringed by beaches and therefore one side is always sheltered from the wind
The horizon pool. Cool in 35 degrees heat, and no children with the new rules. Clean... no little children and accidents...
The hobykats, kayaks and motorised watersports.Now run by sea fiji as opposed to sth seas cruises. Staff not quite as friendly but service better and all "toys" in great condition which is a change!
Epis pool bar south beach. Hes a legend
The rooms. Mana has multiple price points across around 5 accomodation classes. All represent good value I think and the island bures in particular provide cheap quality accomodation if thats your thing
The grounds. In great nick
The staff: As friendly as always. High bula count!
Meke show, crab racing and polynesion night all remain if you are a first tome visitor to mana
The guests. A a larger resort children and teenagers will meet great new friends
The dive operation. Very professional/

The average:
Snorkeling gear in short supply for some reason.As a result people tend to hang onto it rather than returning each day.
Some buildings a bit tired now inside and out.Dosent worry me but others may differ
The "round" pool. In the wet season heat really needs more shade for children.
Table tennis bats are poor, ran out of balls, days to replace.. no excuse really. Why on earth they dont order a few hundred at a time i dont know!
The paddle board. Charging for this is dumb when non motorised water sports are free. The reason is that its owned by sea fiji as opposed to the resort. Still a poor option given non motorised is marketed as free.

The food and drinks...
Beer price ok for a resort. $8 fijian for a beer is not unreasonable when converted to nz or aussie dollars. Premium beers are a bit steep given what you can buy them for at the market in nadi. $14 for a vonu is ridciulous. Cocktails are a bargain at $17 fijian or say $13 kiwi. Low priced wine is about $5 to much to qualify as a good deal. Happy hour isnt quite happy enough! only a dollar or two off.
Breakfast was fine although the perenniel issues remain. Why dont they fry the bacon with the eggs at the egg area rather than serving it soggy in the buffet trays. Tip, ask them to fry it..Fruit great, cereal and toast fine, cordial fine, could possibly offer a pay extra fresh fruit juice option. Baked beans, suasages etc all what you would expect for breakfast. Ad of course the omelletes are great
Buffet lunch is so so however the pizza cave is a great addition and the pizza at the buffet was really good.
Buffet dinner is average. not so much in what they serve but how they serve it. ie the meat more often than not overcooked, same with the fish etc.
South Beach a la carte I thought was the best its been for many years. The only criticism would be a lack of consistency across portion sizes. ie three people ordering the same dish would get very different quantities.

The backpackers
Mana has several. Both run kitchens. the food here is pretty good as well. its marginally cheaper than south beach for most dishes, you get slightly bigger quantities and consistency. On the down side you dont get the ambience of South Beach restaurant. Whilst not directly comparable I think South Beach and the backpackers both do a good job and are value for money in there own way.

The news:
Mana is about to undergo a bit of a transformation. Watch out for a new pool which will be the biggest in Fiji. There will be disruption during building which I suspect will start about October this year
A new North Beach building. Watch out for a modern upgrade with upmarket restaurant and food to match....
More chinese guests. A big developing market for fiji. I miss the Japanese at Mana. Always entertaining watching them walk in their high heels on the decks with obvious results...

As per the reviews here most will enjoy Mana. Foodies might be slightly disappointed however it ain't that bad!

Enjoy

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank ziggystar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 February 2014

I went to Mana for my birthday with friends. After two and half hours of boat ride we reached the Island at 2.30pm and it took another half an hour before we manage to get to our villa. Villa was very clean, overlooking the tranquil beauty of the sea. Great spot for snorkeling. Dinner was ok. The bar closed by 11pm and we were told to go to the backpacker's in the village. Had to check out at 10am. It was then we saw a broad with a sign saying "THE BEST TIME FOR ALL WATER ACTIVITIES ARE AFTER 10AM). So one definitely has to go there for two days to enjoy the island and the activities fully.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Shirleyprasad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

The staff at Mana Island Resort were exceptional. Always there to help, and very happy staff - always smiling

The boat ride to the Island was enjoyable. This is a place to relax and unwind, do not expect busy - rush -rush.

The Firedancing Night was excellent entertainment!

South Beach was to windy for us, but just walk across (5mins) to the North Beach and the perfect island get away. Perfect snorkling and lovely sand. The beach's had shady permanent thached umbrella's & loungers.

We stayed in a Bure, so lovely with the stone outdoor shower, what a marvelous idea! Gave the Island experience that extra special memory, sadly my camera played up.

The Restaurant meals were very good. Good value for money.

Their Adults pool is like something from the movies!!! Thaching shade corner - with the side facing the Ocean going like a waterfall edge, where you stand in pool looking out - it seems like you are in the Ocean! You see the distant Islands.

Our daughter got married in the Chapel, First wedding for 2014!. It was perfect, the Choir sang beautifully - wonderful Chapel and views!.

Saving up for our next trip there!!!

Room Tip: I would pick a Beach Front Bure, next time to have the Ocean just out our verander!! The Ocean an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank islandgirlRarotonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We stayed in an island bure, with an outdoor shower. The outdoor shower was great. There is nothing quite like having a shower during a thunderstorm, with warm water on your front, cold rain on your back, and lightning flashing all around you! The room was smallish (for 2 adults and 2 kids), but pleasant.
The staff are good - while Funi and Eddie were excellent, as was our 5PM Bingo Host.
The buffet restaurant was tired, however there was always something different to eat. The quality was ok. The south beach a la carte restaurant had better quality food, though portion sizes were inconsistent.
We visited at the end of school holidays. Our first couple of days had high occupancy, while our last week had very low occupancy. Despite this lack of people, we had trouble getting snorkelling gear (the snorkelling is sensational!) most days.
In the powered water sports area, the banana boat was flat, the donut was broken, the walk-on-water ball was broken, and the boat broke down during wake boarding. However, the guys who took my daughter wake boarding for her first time were excellent - patient, understanding, and kept at it until she was able to stand up, giving her much longer than the time we paid for.
The kids pool has rough concrete around it, which is hard on the feet. The adults pool has plastic decking around it, which in the sun gets super-heated, and can’t be walked on with bare feet. Even with low occupancy, it was hard to get a pool lounge in the shade at the adults pool - there were only about 12 in the shade.
So why a "very good" rating?
It was a very relaxing holiday. The kids loved it. The parents loved it. The island is beautiful. The food is plentiful. The staff are good. Put up with the little things, and the place is great.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank MikeyM71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We went on a family holiday with extended family to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. My boys aged 11 and 6 enjoyed the snorkelling, Jet Ski and banana boat rides. Our 11 year old went hand line fishing with his uncle which he also enjoyed. With the beach and the pool they were kept well entertained.
The main pool is quite small but the adult’s pool was nice and relaxing when we could escape the children. A downside of the main pool is there is no sunshade over the pool and the pool was very cloudy most days. Also whilst we were there the main pool was closed to 11am on more than a couple of occasions.

We have stayed in various places in Fiji but this a first to an outer island. It is the staff that makes this resort. They are so friendly and go out of there way to ensure your stay is enjoyable. Special thanks to Esemelli from kids club who played cricket with our 6 year old every afternoon at 5pm. From administration Soko, Dylan misses your daily hugs. Lovely lady who went out of her way to ensure my father’s 80th birthday dinner was special. Thanks to the chef for the enjoyable cake and to all the staff.

The staff at South Restaurant are lovely, and the food was superb. They have room service for pizza and chips or will deliver wherever you are around the pool etc. This was great for our boys for lunch.

The buffet meals were ok from the main restaurant, definitely not of a high standard. With our previous visits to Fiji we have always thought the food was great. This is also the first time we have stayed somewhere that they did not have a kids menu. The kids under 12 eat free from the buffet only, not from South Restaurant.

We ate a few meals at the backpackers next door which was great value for money and everyone enjoyed their meals. Would highly recommend trying this out.

We took a water taxi from the port to Mana Island and return. This was a great experience and our boys enjoyed this.

We stayed in an Island Bure which had a great outdoor shower. The room was big enough for all 4 of us. Housekeeping was great, the room was very clean.

The Mana Spa is great; I went on two occasions and enjoyed my treatments. Staff were very welcoming. Would recommend this.

We were advised that they are going to renovate this resort, which is needed in some areas.

Overall we had a great relaxing holiday, would we return probably not. There are so many resorts in Fiji that are better value for money.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank familyoffour_2010_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2014

The location is beautiful, water dlear and the staff are friendly and accomodating - all that is expected in Fiji. However the resort itself is in terrible state and I was shocked to see some areas of the seating, decks and main buildings - they are broken, damaged, old, and at times unsafe. There is no sun protection around the pool and it is all concrete which means you simply can't let the kids walk in or around it during most of the day.
The availability of equipment is a real issue - no snorkels/masks available to hire most days even if you were there straight after breakfast, when you do get some they are damaged and old. We booked a snorkel trip twice and it didnt go ahead due to not meeting minimum numbers - very disappointing.
The deck chairs and tables in the pool area are literally falling apart and we would need to check each one individually before allowing our children to sit on one. The outside tables at the main restaraunt are tressel tables without even a cloth on them - awful.
Now the food. Where to begin. I almost cried when I walked the dinner buffet the first night - crippled by the thought of trying to feed a family of 5 in this way for 7 days - horriffic. Im shocked to see some (though not many) positive comments on the food on this site.
It was themed each night though I fear the laftovers from each night were rotated as it all looked, smelled and even tasted similar. There were a few exceptions that were edible though nothing was anywhere near enjoyable. The fifjian curries were safest as most were vegetarian and posed the least risk, Both my husband and I suffered food poising and upset stomachs after eating checken and fish so avoided it from then on. The kids wouldnt really eat anything as they are used to fresh vegetables and pasta and meats which were not avaible so we allowed then to eat pizza mostly which was the only thing we deemed safe most meals.
South Beach ala carte restaurant is better but only marginally. I ate chicken rice paper rolls and fish of the day and spent the night and next morning not being able to leave the bathroom - we didnt go back.
The North beach restaurant is not airconditioned and it is simply FULL of flies. Trying to eat breakfast with flies everywhere and the floors and tables were never truly clean. We ate outside every meal and although the tables and chairs out there were worse the air and flies were better.
The cocktails were great and I needed them to cope with the envronment!!!
We did day trips to get off the island and you are close to castaway which is great to visit and take the kids.
The Kids club was good and we took the kids there for a few sessions over our stay. They really enjoyed it.
I cant understand the few people we talked to on the island who had stayed there before and returned - clearly this resort meets some peoples expectations but for us it fell wildly short. For a $10000 holiday from Australia with our 3 children I expected a lot more.
We will not return and would not recommend

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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13  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

It was our second on Mana island. This time we travelled with our two kids aged 5 and 2. We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Bureay, for 7 nights.

Overall it was a great holiday. We were very lucky with the weather. Apart from a thunderstorm on Wednesday night that kept us locked into our room one night until the next morning, the rest of the week was beautiful. We enjoyed the water activities, did lots of sailing (free catamarans), snorkelling, wake board etc...never got bored one second.

We also used the kids club almost every night between 7pm and 9pm. My 5 year old was happy to go on a crab or frog hunt with the other kids and my 2 year old would either join or sleep at the mei mei or our room while my husband and I had dinner. It all worked together quite well.

Food was great at the South Beach restaurant. We had lots of seafood including a large lobster on the last night and it was excellent. The fish curry is also very good, and steaks are excellent too. No problem at all with the food at South Beach.

That said, the buffet food at North Beach wasn't good, low quality, especially the kids corner which was very limited and food looked terrible. We ended up serving the kids adults food which they loved.

The buffet food got much better after they moved the buffet to South Beach as the North beach restaurant is undergoing some renovations. Not sure why, but the quality was much better, actually the first night the food was really impressive! May the chef is different, I don;t know but we definitely noticed the difference.

Despite the fact that we were very carefull, both kids got a tummy bug. It only lasted 24h, but the symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea. My 2 year old got it the first morning, and my 5 year old on the last day. I don't think it was the food since my husband and I were fine. Maybe it was the juices and ice cubes, or we suspect the water in the swimming pool since they both got sick after they used the pool - during the rest of the week we only went to the beach and no one was sick...Anyway, it did not last long and the kids were fine after a few hours.

Mana definitely has the best beaches in the Mamanucas. They are picture perfect.

The bure was nice and very spacious for the four us but far from the main areas so we walked a lot and when it is 35 degrees and humid it can be a pain. We ended up taking everything we needed with us for the day, and would not return to the bure until the end of the afternoon.

I knew that when we booked the room but once we were there realised that it wasn;t the best option for a family with young kids. Last time (2011) we were staying in a island bure which is more central but smaller. Lots of young families were staying in the rooms on South Beach and that seemed to be a good option although they are not traditional fijian bures.

Overall, it was a great holiday, very relaxing. We disconnected from the rest of the world for a week and it felt very good. I would still recommend the resort to families.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Marcandflo
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 #2 of 2 Hotels in Mana Island
Price Range: £154 - £375 (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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