We have just returned from 2 and a half weeks at Mana with the only rain being on the last night. I have reviewed Mana on numerous occasions as it is a family favourite and we visit several times a year. For a change I’m not going to dwell on the amenities, beaches, snorkeling etc which reviews almost always speak highly of and I concur. With Fiji being windy the availability of white sandy beaches and great snorkeling on both sides is a feature that many resorts cant match.
So this review will focus on the food, the drinks and the prices. And I made a point of asking guests who have been to other resorts recently what they thought and also visited several again ( Tokariki, Castaway, Amanuca, Musket Cove, Plantation, Bounty and the Sofitel) on our travels over the two weeks. Now dont get me wrong its not perfect but its certainly enjoyable food and good value.
Firstly the prices here are actually cheaper than many of the other comparisons and for the life of me I can’t see how an Australian, Kiwi or American could think otherwise when VAT tax and the exchange rate is taken into account. Take the buffet dinner for example. $50 fijian if booked in advance. Take off the tax and the 20% for the exchange rate if you are a kiwi and that is around $35. On Steak and seafood or lovu night you get salmon, small lobster tails, great pork with the best crackling in the universe, beef , chicken, prawns, kokoda, scallops and a range of other dishes plus desert. How can anyone in their right mind say that is expensive? Its actually a bargain. Breakfast is in kiwi dollars not much more than $20. Bacon, sausages, tomatoes, eggs in any way you like, fresh waffles, acres of fresh fruit, pancakes, spaghetti, cereal, toast, yoghurt the list goes on. Expensive? Only if you have very bizarre expectations. Lunch options at South Beach include pizza for around $15 to $20 kiwi. Cheap for a resort. Fish and chips , hamburgers and chips around the same with a small salad. Meals at dinner South beach without boring you with details were again no more than NZ restaurant prices in kiwi dollars. And the steak was excellent as was the crumbed pork cutlet which was a huge meal. I took PDF copies of the menus if anyone wants them. (Any excuse for a beer at South Beach!). A full rate all day meal plan is around $70 kiwi. Again not much forwhat you get. $45 kiwi for breakfast and dinner. Bargain!
Which leads to alcohol. It’s also a bargain and Mana have done a fantastic job of making it affordable for kiwis and aussies who are there for 10 days or so. Net of VAT and the exchange rate a fiji bitter is around $4.75. Show me a resort in NZ where they are that cheap. Happy hour its half that. A cocktail at happy hour is $8 kiwi. Hello, that’s giving them away. A glass of bubbles normal price or chardonnay from memory was around $5.50 kiwi. The resort has made a massive effort to have affordable wines by the bottle at dinner considering the duty they pay. Lots of choices between $25 to $30 kiwi. Oyster Bay was $20 less than last year even after the devaluation they have experienced. How can you say that’s expensive? It’s not a campground bottlestore, it’s a resort. And judging by the number of very cheerful adults a night lots of guests were taking advantage of the reasonable drink prices! As an aside a bottlestore will be opening there next month.
Staff are the best. Highest bula count in fiji! Activities were well run, on time. Beaches magnificent, pools clean, grounds and landscaping the best I have seen at Mana over the years and rooms spotless. Night activities are varied and fun.
Mana is in good shape at the moment, the best for many years. Can’t wait to get back…
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