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“Something was missing and strict veggie diet was unnecessarily boring”

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Castaway Island Fiji
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Our 4th visit and one which was much anticipated.

A few of our favourite staff had moved on and although there were outstanding people there: Aku, Mosi, Seru, Imran, Chef Lance, David, Sammi, Poni, Jerry, Eric to mention only a few, I felt that the spirit and enthusiasm I'd felt previously was missing. We had a really relaxing and fun break don't get me wrong but a few of the staff seemed tired and some (Joana n) seemed downright rude and grumpy.

We did the meal plan but for me on a strict vegetarian diet, I don't feel I got my money's worth. The chef and supervisory staff were excellent and tried to accommodate me but many staff did not understand my requirements and at times I didn't have enough to eat and after a few days I was bored of the food. Pre-ordering was a hassle because after breakfast, the last thing I want to think of was what I'm going to eat for lunch and then I'd have the hassle of explaining certain things to staff who have no concept of a strict veggie diet. Regularly, I wouldn't get exactly what I'd ordered in any case and only once was an explanation given about why the meal varied from what I'd ordered. Also, because I had booked on certain activities, I would have to rush my food as it took a long time to arrive despite pre-ordering. The whole food thing was just too hard and my 1808 experience was quite disappointing.

The beach front bure was lovely but on a few days it wasn't cleaned until late afternoon meaning we had to vacate - not a major problem when the beach is lovely but on the 2 bad weather days it was inconvenient. Attention to detail was lacking too. I had to hunt down clothes pegs, toilet roll and tissues on a few occasions because they weren't replenished.

I love Castaway and some of the people but for $16K I don't expect to stress about food or relaxing. Now that it's changed hands to the Outrigger group, I'm doubtful as to whether I'd return. I feel almost disloyal writing this review but for 5 star prices I expect more :(

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
5  Thank Dragonflymummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Bula Dragonflymummy,
Thanks for taking the time to provide us with a review after your latest stay. We do take your comments very seriously and they have in fact already been addressed following the comment card you left with us on departure. At the time, the issues you experienced with housekeeping
were addressed with the Department. We apologise for the late cleaning of your bure and the lack of tissues/toilet paper being replenished. We do have standards to keep and these have been picked up. Our apologies for this occurring. With regards to your strict vegan diet, as you know we have an extensive vegetarian menu, however for vegans and other specific strict diets like coeliac, pre-ordering in required as the food needs to be prepared separately to ensure no dairy for example, comes into contact or is added during the prep stage in a very busy kitchen. Chef has since implemented additional measures to ensure the food and beverage attendants have a better understanding of the importance of special dietary requirements to some guests and the fulfillment of these orders in a timely fashion, particularly when dining with other guests who are not on that same diet. We are sorry you feel that the resort has changed under the Outrigger Resort ownership. The new owners are particularly dedicated to ensuring this does not happen and it is their desire to maintain the magic of Castaway as it has always been. We do hope you will return to your Fiji home away from home where we will do our utmost to ensure the experience is a more efficient in the areas you highlighted. Lolomas from the Castaway family.

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Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

We had a great family holiday at castaway island and have just returned a few days ago. We had beautiful weather for the first few days then it turned overcast and very windy for a bit. We had 5 small children on our trip who all had baby sitters and attended kids club every day. The babysitters were fantastic and had kids all asleep in bed of a night when we got home from dinner. My two kids were 2 young to go to kids club on there own so I hired a babysitter who took both kids to kids club. Baby sitters are very cheap! Our beach front bure was great, we had two rooms for sleeping which was great with the kids, we had a fridge and kettle but no tv, telephone or wifi in the room. They have wifi around the pools and resturants but it is quite slow, I found the best spot for Internet was by the kids pool! We had an Australian plug in out room which was great for charging cameras, phones and sterilizing baby bottles!!

The buffet was quite good but was nice to have the menu to order off if you get sick of the buffet. There is lots of water sports and snorkeling equipment available and beach volley ball and other beach games to participate in if that's your thing! I had a great time playing beach volley ball I also had a great full body massage at the day spa which was soooo nice but I found it a bit cold and windy as it's outside! I also had a head massage by the adults pool which was great too. The bar lady at the adults pool makes the best cocktails and is very friendly. I also loved the pizza restaurant up stairs, it's great to sit up there on a nice day as it has a great view. Great spot for a family holiday and great for children!

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank Kate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Bula Kate L,
Thanks for your review. Great to know you made good use of our gorgeous 'Maramas' the Castaway babysitters and the kids enjoyed their time on our barefoot paradise. Sounds like it enabled you to relax a bit more and still spend quality time with the family as well. Perfect! Fiji has just gone through its coldest few days on record, so whilst it was still swimming weather for the guests, it has been quite cool in comparison to normal temperatures at this time. Glad you enjoyed your massages nonetheless. There were some good tips in your review, so we appreciate you taking the time to share them and we hope now that you've found us, you will all come back and visit the Castaway family again.

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Reviewed 25 July 2014

Perfect couple getaway, romantic, quiet and helpful, friendly and very discreet staff! Lovely beach and facilities with an exciting bistro tide to get there...a must do stay in paradise! Fiji, the way the world should be!

Room Tip: All good, all are private and close to the water.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Waryonetwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2014

Thank you Waryonetwo for your review. We are glad you found Castaway Island to be an idyllic couples retreat. We hope we can welcome you back again. Regards the Castaway family.

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Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

We have just returned for a 10 night stay at Castaway in a beachfront bure with my family of 5. We were also traveling with another family of 5. This was our 9th visit to Fiji but 1st stay at this resort. I feel I have stayed at enough islands to accurately write a comparison review for this resort.

What we loved! - The beach was probably one of the nicest beaches we have been to in Fiji. The sand is white and powdery and the water was literally as warm as a bath and Chrystal clear blue. The staff were very mindful of ensuring the beach was well groomed and bits of seaweed etc removed daily. There were always enough loungers to accommodate all the guests as well.

The snorkeling was amazing. The inner reef was fantastic but the two outer reef trips we did were exceptional. We sure turtles, sting rays, massive fish and 5 black point sharks and 1 very large white one! Got the blood pumping.....

We found the food at a generally high standard for Fiji. Interestingly we disagree with the reviews about the Asian fusion restaurant. We ate here twice and did not enjoy the food nearly as much as ordering from the main menu. We never had a bad meal from this menu and found the smaller portion sizes perfect for not over indulging. We rarely ate from the buffet but our kids did and they always seemed to enjoy their meals and had plenty to choose from. My 3 year old daughter had spaghetti bog for lunch and dinner and would have had it for breakfast as well given the choice!

The bures were adequate. Little privacy between kids and parents and no living space to relax in not that you would want to anyway with the beautiful beach on your doorstep. They were clean and well kept.

The things we didn't like so much...

We sent an email twice before our visit requesting a beach bure on the north side of the beach. We also asked for our bure to be positioned next to our friends and their family that we were traveling with. Neither request was honored. I'm not sure why guests requests can't be accommodated. I think this is poor organization and management on the resorts behalf. Every other hotel in the world we have stayed at can where possible accommodate guest requests. This resort appears not even to consider them. After speaking with management we were moved to the north side half way through our stay. We were however at separate ends of the island to our friends.

I have to comment about the staff. We have experienced the warmest and most exceptional service and friendliness from staff at every other resort we have stayed at in fiji. We did NOT find this at Castaway at all! The staff were pleasant enough but by comparison didn't have that same cheerfulness and warm hospitality we have received at other islands. We almost felt they were a bit "over" it. They were full and it was busy. I get they turn over guests rapidly but even our kids commented on their general lack of enthusiasm.

The kids club. From memory they had 95 kids on the island when we were there. There was a lack of exciting activities on offer especially during the day. They need to review their programme and come up with some refreshed ideas of things they can do. Our 3 kids were very uninspired. They watched movies most nights and what was worse they were repetitive.

Next year we are booked in at Yasawa Island Resort. The last island for us to tick off before we venture further afield!

Stayed: July 2014
13  Thank MonMun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2014

Bula Monmun and thanks for the review.
We are sorry you didn't find our Castaway family to be as friendly as you'd have hoped. This does surprise us, however its a reminder to us when we are fully booked that despite our staff being busy, their persona is always on display and an absence of friendly engagement is noticed.
If we have the correct booking, remembering that the reviews on this site don't provide name and dates of stays, we did receive your request for bures near to each other from the NZ wholesaler, who booked the stay. At the time, we advised that we were unable to guarantee this but it was duly noted on the reservation and we would have fulfilled the request had two bures of your choice been vacant on the day you arrived. Also the two bures booked were different categories, making it more difficult to assign near each other. We have far fewer bures on the north beach side and several of them are small bures that can only accommodate 3 people, so would not have been suitable for your two families of 5 people. The July school holidays are our busiest two weeks of the year and fulfilling these requests in a resort of our size is certainly challenging. Our apologies that the request to be next to each other on this occasion was not able to be fulfilled. Your comments about the Kids Club activities is noted and we will review and work to improve this to provide a more comprehensive program. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to write this review and are pleased that overall you did have an enjoyable holiday at Castaway Island.

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

We have just returned after an amazing 6 nights on Castaway Island. We loved it ! My husband and I travelled with our 2 active boys aged 10 and 13. From the moment you step off the boat you feel at home and relaxed. We had a beach Bure on the South Beach . The Bure was spacious and spotless, and although that side of the Beach was prone to more wind I loved the privacy as the majority of people and activities are on the North Beach. We took advantage of the meal plan, which I would recommend as you could eat at any of the restaurants and I felt it was good value. The quality of the food was very good. The breakfast buffet was yummy, with plenty of variety. We ate from the al a carte , pizza or sushi cafe for lunches and al a carte for diviner most nights. We did have buffet 2 night as on a Wed and Sat they do a theme night so only buffet or the pizza restaurant available. I'm not a huge buffet fan at dinner as i like to relax and take my time so 2 nights was more than I would have liked to have been restricted too , but that's just my preference, not a reflection on food quality. The 1808 was an amazing experience but unfortunately due to 2 very windy nights we only got to eat there once. This restaurant is totally weather dependant because all the cooking is done outdoors, it is on the sand and has no walls or roof therefore it closes in bad weather.
The staff very friendly and courteous and the service was very good around the island in all areas.
We felt extremely safe on the Island and the boys were able to wander to the tennis courts, or table tennis or to play with the activities staff on the beach. The resort gas kayaks, paddle boards, catamarans and snorkelling equipment available for use. The snorkelling is amazing, some times we swam out but we also took a kayak out and tied it to a buoy and snorkelled from there so we get see a different part of the reef without a giant swim first.
I could go on and on but overall I can say we had a great experience. The kids loved it as there was plenty to do ( nothing involving a screen which was great ) we loved it as it was restful and relaxing and despite being school holidays and a full house it never seemed crowded or noisy.
Things to note : drinking water is fantastic ( they have there own desalination plant) and readily available at all the bars don't waste energy or money with bottled; take your own shampoo and conditioner as the resort only supplies a 2 in 1 that is in a refillable tub; if you buy a bottle of wine and don't finish it you can take it back to your room and bring it back next meal time; you can BYO wine at $ 20 Fiji corkage; kayaking around the Island takes 45- 60 minutes and is hard work at low tide as you have to go out further to avoid reef!!! ; free Wifi available at all restaurant/ bar areas and it is pretty reliable given you are miles from anywhere;
In summary we loved it , it has ruined us for anywhere else in Fiji as this was our 5 th trip to Fiji , our first to Castaway and the only place we will ever stay in Fiji again !!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Tmdl2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2014

Bula! Thanks so much for the very informative review. Great to know you've found your happy place - somewhere the entire family love and feel comfortable.

We hope it won't be too long before you come back and visit us again. In the meantime, lolomas from your Castaway family.

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Reviewed 19 July 2014

As usual, a wonderful place. Best island resort. Meal plan is a must.
Friendly staff, well maintained grounds.
We will be back.
Over the years we have stayed at a number of outer island resorts and mainland hotels. This one is the better choice by far for the island style of accommodation and amenities.
Hotels are a different style again so don't take on board reviews where castaway is compared to hotels.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cyril M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Cyril M, vinaka for your feedback. We feel very blessed to read that you have visited many resorts in Fiji and found Castaway to be up there with the best!

You are so right about the difference between a mainland hotel/resort and an island resort. Two completely different experiences. Certainly, due to operational costs, the islands are more expensive, however the all encompassing resort experience that you are purchasing when you choose an island resort is very different to a hotel room. This is something that tourists cannot really know until they've been and experienced the difference.

We do hope now that you have found us, you will join in the throngs of others and return to visit the Castaway family again. In the meantime sote tale (until we meet again)

Vinaka

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Reviewed 19 July 2014

We travelled with our two teenage daughters to Castaway for a wedding earlier this month. From the moment we arrived on the beach, we were well looked after. The welcome song, the welcome drink, & the beautiful welcome from the Castaway Family were all amazing. Our garden bure was lovely, large enough for the 4 of us and cleaned daily. Nitpicking faults, I'd have to say that being located next to the tennis court, with enthusiasts playing at 7am was annoying, and it was very dark inside, even during the middle of the day. First world problems though!!
The meal plan was definitely the way to go. Extensive choices for the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinners, and being able to eat of the al a carte menus for lunch and dinner was great. Kids can order pizzas anytime, and boy, did they take advantage of that. I enjoyed some of the most amazing food I've ever had while dining at Castaway.
My husband surfed at Cloudbreak, and with one of our daughters at Wilkes passage, and they both loved it. We paddled around the island on kayaks, used standup paddle boards, snorkelled, fished, lazed around, relaxed and generally had a fantastic holiday.
We spent a morning visiting Cloud 9, and that is well worth a visit. This little floating pontoon, located over a reef was another slice of heaven, and definitely worth a visit.
My youngest daughter unfortunately fell from a hammock on our 3rd last day at Castaway, and broke her collarbone. Mary (the nurse) and Daniel (Duty Manager) sprung into action and looked after every detail, the helicopter transfer to Nadi, the doctors appointment, the xrays, the chopper ride back, and were even at the helipad to welcome us back that afternoon. Thank you both so much for all your love and care.
The wedding itself was spectacular, but that is someone else's story to share. I'm just thrilled we were there to enjoy it with them.
Vinaka Castaway Family.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LisaCummins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karenmarvell, Director of Sales at Castaway Island Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded 20 July 2014

Bula Lisa, Vinaka vaka levu for taking the time to write your thoughts here on Trip Advisor, regarding your recent stay. The hammock incident was indeed unfortunate but we are very pleased that your daughter was well looked after and made to feel as comfortable as possible. Having the Nurses Clinic on island and the lovely Nurse Mere is so beneficial. Our Operations Manager, Daniel Roy is a huge asset to our Castaway family with his wealth of experience and caring, level headed attitude. The wedding was beautiful and it sounds like everyone enjoyed the celebrations of this gorgeous occasion. We hope we can welcome you back again for a more relaxed stay in the future. Again thanks for your comments. With warm regards from the Castaway family to yours.

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Additional Information about Castaway Island Fiji

Address: Castaway Island | Mamanuca Island group, Fiji Islands, 1111, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Castaway Island (Qalito)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Castaway Island (Qalito)
Price Range: £353 - £603 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Castaway Island Fiji 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castaway Island, Fiji provides a unique South Pacific experience - a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Fiji's most popular island resort has guests returning year after year to experience the magic that is "Castaway". The island's 174 acres are covered with lush tropical vegetation, and surrounded by white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castaway Island Fiji Hotel Qalito Island
Castaway Island Fiji Qalito
Castaway Island Resort
Fiji Castaway Resort
Castaway Fiji Hotel Island
Castaway Island Fiji Castaway Island (Qalito)

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