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“Yasawa Island Resort”

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Yasawa Island Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Yasawa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 November 2013

We recently spent 7 nights on YIR. From our first greeting our experience was most enjoyable. Our bure was spacious, comfortable and most satisfactory for our stay. The servicing was a little random, some days we didn't receive replacement for beach towels and we had to remind the staff to refill our mini-bar. But we have no problem with these minor matters. The staff were friendly, helpful and willing to fulfil any requests. I noted the comments about the bures being dated and management will need to ensure that the bures do not deteriorate and are kept at a standard that matches the other charming aspects of the resort.
Yes there are insects but this is an island resort, what else would we expect. We were charmed by the geckos.
The food was of a great standard, fresh, varied and tasty.
The actual island is beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the space, the 16 bures are spread out and one is very private in the surroundings.
The spa was a delightful experience.
Any number of activities are available, and we enjoyed the snorkelling trips and the beach picnic.
We would most definitely visit again. The Owners are not seeking to offer a highly sophisticated resort, if that is what you are wanting YIR will not be appropriate. But this is a stunning paradise with friendly Fijians who genuinely set out to please their guests. Just being in this environment was a blissful experience.

Room Tip: Any bure would be ideal because of the way they are spaced out and private.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 November 2013

I stayed at YIR with my husband recently and though it's not perfect 5 star luxury, this place really charmed the pants off us.

THE MINUSES: I REALLY wanted to give this resort 5 stars, but the rooms! Argh the rooms were my biggest complaint. They look immaculate in the photos - in real life they tidy, but extremely dated. The shower and bathroom area suffer the worst - very green, 90's looking and in dire need of a facelift. We were shocked to see things like lots of peeling paint, broken tiles, rusted door handles and broken window shutters throughout the room. We even had copious amounts of gobbed yellow glue smeared across an upturned clam shell which was tacked to the wall of the shower to act as a soap dish holder. In short, the decor is not classy. Speaking to the staff about this they admit there hasn't been a proper upgrade/update made to the rooms in 25 years.

This resort is renowned on TA for its bugs and the reports are mostly true to story. I have grown up going camping in the outdoors so they didn't faze me too much - they ARE noticeable though, so if you absolutely hate creepy-crawlies, you won't like staying here. We went to sleep every night with 3 geckos staring down at us on the roof and always woke up with a couple of centipedes and roaches dead all over the ground (mostly because we sprayed bug spray each night). The problem is compounded however by the fact that ALL the doors have 1 inch gaps under them allowing anything and everything to crawl in at night. We ended up using towels to block them off which helped a bit.

THE PLUSES: Absolutely everything else. Food is delicious - so good we made ourselves ill almost every night eating everything we could fit! Staff are incredible and extremely friendly and attentive, activities were well organized and well attended by guests. Diving was spectacular! They offer a free learners course so don't miss out! Massages at the spa were out of this world, set in a private bure that opens out onto the beach…being massaged to the sound of the waves was incredible.

My husband and I swore this would be a once-in-a-lifetime splash out coming to this resort…buuuttt….despite the dated rooms and the bugs AND the weather being terrible the entire week that we visited, we loved it so much we are already planning to return sometime in the next 5-10 years. We would be especially keen if the bure's were renovated. :) If you can afford it, don't hesitate to go here! In the meantime, we certainly will be saving our pennies.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank OllyMox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Had the most beautiful 5 days at the Yasawa Island Resort. It definitely lived up to the other review, so I will give a few tips so you can make the most of the experience!
-Go with an empty belly. The food is some of the best I have ever had, which was a surprise due to the remote location
-Take the spa package! I booked my massage for 8am every morning as a standing appointment, and it was a lovely way to start the day. It also meant I didn't have to leave activities in the middle of the day
-Do as many picnics as possible! Lovers beach 2 and Champagne beach were our pics

We had a standard room and it was just fabulous. You can't go wrong here, it really is paradise! (oh, and I must mention the staff- not one problem and they went over and above!)

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Elle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2013

I recently returned from my third trip to Yasawa Island Resort . I have read with interest the recent review of pocapisces.

Each time we have stayed at this resort we have stayed in the Lomalangi - the honeymoon bure , so I probably cannot comment on the remainder of the resort. The only other resort to compare this place to that I have stayed at is Turtle Island. Both resorts have their "plusses and minuses " . The beaches and coral at Turtle in front of the bures is better than at Yasawa , alcohol is included at Turtle , however dining is communal . Turtle no longer has prices on their website , however prices at Yasawa for a standard beachdront bure appear comparable with Liki Liki and Liki Liki includes alcohol.

If you want total seclusion with the best beach on the island , then spend the extra money and stay in the Lomalangi. It is a tropical island and you get traditional large bures.You can look at the Wakaya Club , Likiliku , Vatelele and yes , even Namale and they all offer traditional Fijian bures rather than a brick and concrete room. If that is what you are looking for , then do not expect it in Fiji.

Being a tropical island , you have to expect ants , mosquitoes and "Fiji time" . Thats the way it is , so expect it .

We could not have been happier with our recent stay. As I said above , it is our 3rd trip to the Lomalangi at Yasawa and it will not be our last. I suppose we know what to expect and are happy to pay knowing that. Some people may expect more and as to whether it represents value for money would entail a detailed comparison with other comparable resorts and what they offer.

We had no issues with anything on our recent trip , apart from the fact that the Lomalangi , even 6 months out , was booked out and we could not stay as long as we would have liked. The food was great , the service was even better. The only comment I would make is that having stayed in the Lomalangi , I would not return to Yasawa , unless I could stay in it. I dont think I would stay in a normal beachfront bure . That might sound a bit " precious" , however I make no apologies for that.

I could not fault our recent visit and a sincere thanks to all staff at yasawa for making our trip a most enjoyable one..

Room Tip: If you can afford the extra money , book the Lomalangi.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank McLee58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2013

DO NOT TRUST THE OWNER OF THIS RESORT!

We planned our Fiji honeymoon 7 months before our wedding – we were supposed to go to Yasawa Island Resort for approximately one week and Qamea Resort the other week. Exactly one week before our wedding/honeymoon, our travel agent informed us that Yasawa had an error in booking a wedding and we were no longer going to be able to stay at Yasawa that week. When we inquired further about the booking, Yasawa’s owner, James, said that someone had rented out the island for a wedding and that their travel agent booked the wrong dates with the island so they had to accommodate this wedding and that we would no longer be allowed to stay that week. That sounded fishy to me right off the bat (because if another travel agent messed up the dates, why should my wife and I have to pay for their mistake and rearrange our whole honeymoon ONE WEEK prior to heading to Fiji…and then that must mean Yasawa had a whole week now of empty bookings since the other travel agent had “ the wrong dates”?? something did not sound right..). While James did offer to pay for our stay at another resort, this was unacceptable one week prior to leaving for this vacation of a lifetime - we had 7 months of having our hearts set on Yasawa AND rebooking a whole other place was not something we wanted to have to deal with literally one week before our wedding. Luckily, with the help of our wonderful travel agent (Renee from Unforgettable Honeymoons), we wound up being able to flip flop our itinerary, but with the way flight times worked out, we actually wound up losing a half of a day by having to stick around on the mainland when we got there (after already traveling almost 20 hours) and then we had to travel in the middle of the day to switch between islands instead of the morning to get to Qamea, and on the last day of our honeymoon, we had to leave Qamea super early and stay all day on the mainland, so we did miss out on time at each resort due to this switch, which is very frustrating when you are spending THIS much money on a vacation, let alone a honeymoon.
We could not wait to get to Yasawa to talk to the owner and get this full story. Well when we got there, the owner wasn’t there, but what we did find out from the staff was that the person that rented out the island was the Prince of Qatar and there was NO wedding or anything! It was all made up! There was no mix up of dates - it was a last minute trip. So the wedding was a lie, putting a blame on a nonexistent travel agent that booked the wrong dates was also a lie - all a lie to get us off the island that week. So not to anyone's surprise, this was SOOO disappointing to know that our reservation for our honeymoon, that we had 7 months in advance, was paid for, and was the most money we’ve both ever spent on a vacation (spending over $1,000 per night at Yasawa), that they could just boot us at the drop of a hat. I understand this was a lot of money for the island probably to have the Prince of Qatar rent it out, but the owner handled the situation in the most unethical way possible - it is unbelievable. I’ve never heard of a business run that way. So to make up for this inconvenience (only after the travel agent asked us how he was going to compensate us for the inconvenience of the flight times), he offered us a spa package, in which we got a free one hour treatment every day – come to find out that some other people at the resort got this same spa credit for one reason or another (none were like us who’s reservation got cancelled for that one week) and not to mention, what kind of money is coming out of the owner’s pocket to let us have a free treatment everyday? He's already paying the staff to be there and given it was days before the Prince was coming, no one was coming onto the island so the spa was barely booked. He did also paid for a day room on the mainland, but only because he had to since our flight times were all messed up and we were stuck on the mainland for hours the day we arrived as well as the day we left. The first day room he put us up in was a backpackers hotel across the street from the airport – I am sure that did not cost him much at all. The resort we had a day room on the last day was at Sofitel, which was nice; but it gets worse...HIS STAFF HAD NO CLUE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO PICK US UP FROM THE AIRPORT! We confirmed with them before leaving Yasawa that someone would be there to pick us up from our flight coming back from Qamea the second week, and when we landed back in Nadi on our last day, there was absolutely no one was there to greet us like they said they would be. We walked around the airport for an hour and finally I asked the desk at Pacific Sun to please call the contact from Yasawa – they had no idea they were supposed to get us and take us to Sofitel. They came right away thankfully, although they were so confused and really had no idea they were supposed to drive us anywhere (i'm sure the hotel was too busy preparing for the Prince anyway). Anyway, when they dropped us off at Sofitel on the mainland, they said they would be back at 7pm to get us back to the airport with enough time for our international flight. They didn’t come back until a bit past 7:30 and we were about to get into a cab because we assumed they forgot about us again. They were late due to “traffic” which when we drove back, there was none!

All in all, Yasawa is definitely a beautiful resort and the staff there are amazing. Do not let this review make you think any less of the wonderful natives that work there. We did not let this ruin our honeymoon, but it definitely put a damper on it, which is a huge disappointment when you've paid so much money. This was just so unethical and awful to do to a couple one week before their honeymoon when they’ve had this booked for 7 months and fully paid for – I don’t care who is renting out the resort. We also asked for the owner to at least comp our drinks while we were at the resort and he wouldn’t even do that. Everyone I’ve spoken to has agreed that we should have gotten at least one night for free (oh yes, he did offer us a free 2 night stay in the future – which is totally convenient considering we live in NYC and could easily hop a flight to come for 2 nights…) This is just no way to treat your customers, especially when you charge over $1,000 per night to stay at your resort. This poor management is going to run the resort right into the ground.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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26  Thank Donald L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YasawaIslandResort, Owner at Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Bula

Thank you for your posting.

It seems that most of your frustration is based on the change of dates for your honeymoon rather than your stay at the resort and for that we are truly sorry.

However you do seem to have some vital facts incorrect or cast them in a tone that makes it seem like the resort and I begrudgingly tried to assist you or offer you compensation, which is totally incorrect.

I replied to your guest comment card, which you left immediately after your departure in August to apologize personally for the change of dates and to clarify some points you had raised that were based on incorrect information – that email remains unanswered.

I worked with your agent – who is very professional – prior to your arrival to try to come up with a solution for your stay with us. At no time was there ever a mention of a wedding group to the island all information provided to your agent was factual, honest and correct. The resort acted honourably in a situation that was challenging for us to deal with.

We did our best to accommodate your booking by assisting your agent to reverse the dates of your stay, pay any and all change fee’s, provided a pre arrival and post departure day room – (at an airport hotel - not at a backpackers hostel as stated), we provided a complimentary Ultimate Spa Bonus for two (these are not routinely provided free of charge to guests as you infer) and offered 2 free nights of accommodation. We also changed the normal departure of the return flight from the Island to Nadi so that you could connect to your flight to Taveuni. This was all arranged and agreed with your agent prior to your arrival.

I am surprised that your on-line comments do not seem to match the ones you wrote to us on your departure indicating that the resort lived up to your expectations, that you were happy with management and staff, the resort facilities and that the spa and housekeeping were all good. You also said you would like to return to the resort in the future and singled out individual staff members for praise.

A change like the one you experienced is not something that has happened in the past 3-years of our ownership of Yasawa. I apologize again that you were inconvenienced but we feel we dealt with it as best as we could in an open and honest way.

Vinaka,

James McCann - Owner

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Reviewed 28 October 2013

My wife and I recently spent a lovely week at Yasawa Island Resort (YIR), celebrating our 25th. It was idyllic, just what we were looking for: quiet; low key; slow pace; secluded; on a gorgeous stretch of beach with very pleasant tropical landscaping and a wonderful freshwater swimming pool.
Our deluxe Bure was spacious, clean, attractively decorated and perfectly situated on the beach, overlooking the ocean. The bures were well spaced apart from each other, too.
The staff, largely from the local village, we're beautiful people who treated us like family. They were attentive, responsive, friendly without being fawning, and eager to be be of help.
The food was excellent with a creative menu, lots of choices, well-sized portions and generous use of premium items (e.g., lobster in one form or another with several of the meals).
The cocktails, however, were not so good and we felt they also were overpriced.
The snorkeling right offshore is excellent with a healthy reef and abundant sea life. Access to scuba diving through YIR was highly personalized and the gear was excellent.
Would we return? Absolutely. In a heartbeat, but the airfare to and from the island is way over-priced for a twenty minute flight. This compromised what otherwise felt like a pretty close to perfect tropical holiday.
Finally, we look forward to returning some day (hopefully soon), and want to thank our most gracious hosts one more time: vinakavaka levu, Lucy, Layla, Manasa, Wati, Samy, Billy, Sulu, Lita and Atu.

Room Tip: Ask for a site map with the layout of the property.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PCdownunder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We stayed at Yasawa Island Resort & Spa in July of 2013 for our honeymoon. We were expecting a 5-star, exclusive, luxurious resort (per the website), but were deeply disappointed upon arrival. For the price point and the Yasawa Island Resort’s promises, we felt we were totally misguided. The Yasawa Islands were beautiful, unspoiled, and remote, but the actual resort was rundown and more of a 3-star property. They are clearly riding on the location as their selling point. We didn’t feel spoiled, but we did get the seclusion we were looking for.

We did a lot of due diligence and read many reviews to pick YIR, so was actually shocked upon arrival and spent the first couple of days rereading TripAdvisor and other reviews wondering how we so clearly chose wrong. Still not sure how YIR is reviewed as luxurious. For the price of ~$1000 US per night at a “5-star” resort, you expect a certain standard. If we were paying $6-700/night and the place was advertised as even a 4-star property, it would make more sense and I wouldn’t complain about some of these things. However, YIR promised to be an exclusive and luxurious resort, charged those rates, so we as guests came with certain expectations. Also, we came from another resort in Fiji where the property, amenities, and service were so much nicer, and even cost a little less. I only say this because we do understand the limited resources in Fiji and Fiji Time.

The actual property and main areas were nice, but not amazing, no wow factor. The advertised tennis court was under maintenance our entire stay. The service was subpar, even for Fiji Time, but the staff was lovely. My husband has food allergies which we let the resort know about ahead of time. So for meals he would ask for some modifications, but they usually messed up the order or didn’t understand what he was asking for. We didn’t bother sending anything back or asking again as it took long enough to get the food sometimes. Food was average, some meals were better than others, but the food wouldn’t be a reason to go back. Wifi was only available in the common areas and was spotty (we also thought we would have wifi in our bure).

We stayed in a deluxe beachfront bure at YIR which was not luxurious at all. I wanted to cry when they showed us to our bure. Yes, it was spacious, but it was lacking all of the qualities of a high-end resort:
• There was a shaded day bed in our front yard as promised. However, when I went to go read on ours, there were ants crawling all over the cushion. I flipped it over because I thought I would just brush them away, but there were ant eggs nesting on the frame. I called to the front desk to ask them to send someone to clean it up. They didn’t send someone. I had to call again the next couple of days. I think by the 3rd or 4th day they finally sprayed it down, but left the cushions in a disarray. We didn’t bother trying to use it after that.
• Beach towels were not replenished every day in our room. We had to get them from the pool stash. And even at the pool they would run out and we would have to wait a few hours for laundry. If YIR had advertised as eco-friendly, then I might understand, but we wouldn’t have stayed there.
• Air conditioning was a noisy wall unit by our bed that only cooled down the area in front of it. There was no air conditioning for the separate living area even though they advertised as having A/C.
• Room slippers were not provided at all. Being beach front, you track in sand no matter how careful you are and I expected to have this amenity.
• Our mini bar was not restocked. They would ask us in the mornings at breakfast what we would like, but they didn't always deliver. We mostly wanted water, but they often did not replenish the bottles. Or if you were in your room when they were doing the evening servicing, they didn’t come back to clean up when you went to dinner.
• Body wash wasn’t provided as an amenity. Just shampoo, conditioner and soap (again, not a big deal, but not 5-star resort service)
• There weren’t any pens or paper in the bure (again not a big deal by any means, but isn’t that a basic for a 5-star resort?)
• The water in one of our bathroom sinks didn’t drain very well
• The bugs: I was prepared for the bugs and mosquitos. What I didn’t understand was why the doors were not completely sealed off, nor were the windows. Everything just felt old and in need of a makeover. Per some suggestions from other reviewers, I sprayed the inside and outside of all of the doors before we went to sleep and this seemed to help with the bugs.

Also, most of the beach directly in front of the bures have coral formations a few feet out so you can’t just walk into “crystal clear waters”. This was a little disappointing as I had imagined stepping and swimming into beautiful blue waters directly out of our bure. The honeymoon bure does have clear water directly in front of it, but we didn’t want to pay 1.5 times more (we would have gone somewhere else in that case!).
The private beach excursions were amazing (champagne beach is the best) and we would highly recommend them! We aren’t divers or big activity people so lounging on a beach was perfect. The lunches they send with you are a blah sandwich, but that’s not the reason you are going on the private beach picnic.

So, I would recommend Yasawa Island Resort IF you are not looking for luxury accommodations, but are okay paying 5-star resort prices, and want seclusion. Going on the beach picnics you will see some beautiful beaches and get to see some of the island as they take you on their speed boats. I may seem like a picky and finicky traveler (which I am not), but when claims and promises don’t meet expectations, that is where I draw the line. It was our honeymoon and we wanted to be pampered, but we didn’t quite get that experience. I wish I had been better mentally prepared for what to expect at YIR. But, the seclusion and beaches helped soften the blow and all in all we had a lovely time.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank pocapisces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YasawaIslandResort, Owner at Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2013

Bula,

Thank you for your recent review. It was disappointing to hear that your time with us was not as you had hoped.

I believe our website and marketing materials we honestly reflect the resorts character, amenities and feel. Very occasionally we have clients that are seeking a much more urban 5-star environment for their holiday experience and quite simply that is not what we offer. We offer a stunning location with incredible staff, good food, large comfortable bures and an environment and feel that gives you a glimpse of the Fijian way of life.

These themes also are reflected in the many dozens of reviews on trip advisor and the hundreds of guests comment cards we receive at the resort. With over 35% return guests we know we are doing something right.

Once again we are truly sorry that your vacation with us was not as you had hoped.

Vinaka,

James McCann - Owner

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Additional Information about Yasawa Island Resort and Spa

Address: PO Box 9779, Nadi Airport, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Yasawa Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Yasawa Island
Price Range: £729 - £1,667 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Yasawa Island Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is an exclusive retreat on one of the most remote and unspoiled islands of Fiji. Just 18 luxury bungalows are hidden among luscious tropical greenery, each only a few steps from a pristine, silky white-sand beach. Celebrated for its pristine location, Yasawa Island Resort & Spa has offered guests from around the globe unique, authentic and enriching travel experiences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yasawa Island Hotel Yasawa Island
Yasawa Island Resort And Spa Fiji - Yasawa Islands

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