My second trip to Fiji occurred as a result of being part of a wedding party.
Upon returning to the land of Bula, we and most of the wedding crew stayed at the Shangri La as it was the location of the wedding.
The Shangri La is certainly a mixed bag when it comes to experience. Some of it will depend on your ability to accept Fiji Time as routine, whereas some of it seems to be a case of staff and services using Fiji Time as an acceptable excuse to simply not do things or failures in the basics of hospitality.
I cannot recommend for staying here if you want some peace and quiet. I imagine if you have children and get a good deal for you all to stay, it would appeal as there's so much for kids to do. If you can't look past gross mismanagement of services, inability to handle concerns, and some attitudes that are passed off as "Fijian" but are actually borderline rude, then shell out some extra dollars and stay elsewhere.
That said, Shangri La is a mid-priced resort, so the standards expected should be much better.
Shangri La is approximately one hour from the airport. There is no free service (or at least none offered to us) from Shangri La which is somewhat bizarre. On my previous visit I stayed at Warwick and was chauffeured to and from. Shangri La will charge you well over $100FJD when a local driver will do it for around $60FJD. Let this be your first lesson - Nothing comes free at Shangri La (and if you think its free, you've probably already paid for it).
Arrival at the resort island is greeted with lush manicured gardens and a golf course, and sweeping views of the ocean and islands beyond. The scenery is truly delightful.
Check in was pleasant, timely (though a non peak period) and soon enough we were whisked away to Room 903.
Room 903 -
Overall the room ticked the box. Air conditioning worked fine. Bed was king sized and comfortable. Television was made some time in the early 90's I think, but I didn't come here to watch television. The ground floor room opened to a garden area with wonderful ocean views... truly very nice.
I found it odd that the bar fridge was empty. We also did not have the stated provisioning of daily water. Whilst small, this is an unacceptable oversight and one I suspect is deliberately employed to only provide if noticed, otherwise it's just another cost saved for the owners.
After one turndown service we discovered blood on the "fresh" sheets. Unacceptable in hospitality.
The bathroom was so-so clean, but they really need a good, thorough going over.
Some parts of the Information Book had been ripped out or torn... surely they could at least ensure the visitor's information is re-stocked!
If you're after a quiet romantic getaway, I recommend getting away from this resort as it is not for you. This is absolutely targeted at families with children, and though there are some "adults only" areas, they are not entirely exclusive from the influence of children.
The main pool and beach area will be clustered with up to hundreds of men and women spread out to allow their kids to have a great time in the water while having a comfortable seat. If you want to be in amongst this, you'd better throw your towel down at the crack of dawn because the under cover chairs are a high prized commodity.
There's an Adults Only pool which is very comfortable and peaceful but somehow the resort has neglected to provide any shade other than what a tree or building provide, which is rather poor.
There's plenty of green ground and even play equipment for kids to use. Lots of activities, too. It truly would be a wonderful place for your children!
There is free Wifi but for the 21st century it has the poorest coverage I've had at a resort recently. There are only a handful of sections that have access to it, and your room won't be one of them. It does however have an ethernet socket, which you could use to deploy your own wireless signal in your room so that you dont have to visit the lobby or pool area to check your social media in the evenings.
For children, there's a recreation room with video games, table tennis, etc. Good for evening fun.
There are plenty of water sports available, too, however under the requirement to gouge you out of every cent, they all come at some sort of cost and maximum timeframes (ie. half an hour), after which you get slapped with "overdue" fees. I find this one of the most bizarre things... especially for basics like snorkel gear or a canoe.
It all adds up to the "three star" feeling.
Shangri La is one of those resorts where they don't want you to leave to eat, so they provide you with a number of differently named yet rather similarly experienced restaurants.
Breakfast is a mixed bag no matter which place you go to. The Adults-Only Golden Cowrie wins as it is more service-based (as in they do table service for egg orders... which come about 15 minutes later). Coffee is abysmal whether free or 8.50 a pop cappuccinos/lattes. The food itself outside the omelets is average. Bacon is very oily, hash browns are soggy and unpleasant, rubbery pancakes, old tasting french toast and that danish tasted like it was left out from the previous day. If it wasn't for the freshly cooked eggs, this would be a fail.
The main breakfast restaurants and the one by the "Adults Only pool" are both chaos at all times but it's catered for the many children to run amok. The one by the Adults Only pool had regular power outages which meant no toaster or eggs (electric portable stove). The Golden Cowrie is the way to go here if you are travelling without children.
Restaurants must be booked for dinner if you wish to eat between 6 and 8pm, otherwise after 8 we always found a table.
The Beach Bar & Grill is over priced, poorly cooked, flavourless food.
$125FJD for a seafood platter which consists of some heavily fried calamari, overcooked grilled fish, flavorless mussles, and charred to the point of brittle prawns.
$20FJD for a basic salad. $30+ if you want chicken added to it.
$35FJD for a burger.
These prices are extortionate and wouldn't be unbearable if the food was of a rather good quality. But it isn't. Everything tastes old or overcooked or oily. And the staff serving it to you (particularly at the Beach Bar & Grill) act like they don't care... dragging their feet around, never a smile, tired "vinaka"s offered because its part of their requirement...
If you opt for in-room dining, be prepared to wait over one hour for your order. This meant for us the unpleasant experience of cold pizza and inedible, stale fries.
We opted against the buffets and heard that unless you're a kid who loves to eat everything fried, it's horrible at $80FJD per person.
For drinks, it's around $25FJD for a weakly made cocktail which definitely does not have a full shot in it. The mocktails at almost half the price were much tastier.
Again, it's these little things that make a difference and Shangri La should be making the effort to wow its customers, rather than just suck families in with seemingly economical deals and then fail on the quality of food and service at comparatively big prices.
I've always found Fijian culture to consist of the friendliest of staff. People who love kids, and who though are relaxed and not as efficient in their ways as what you find in Asia, really do help you unwind and relax.
At Shangri La it's a mixed bag. Terrible service at the Beach Bar & Grill, but rather nice service at other restaurants. Warm and friendly check in and concierge, but management pushing any problems back at you as if you should expect them and deal with them yourself.
Overall I'd say that MOST of the resorts staff uphold that great Fijian cultural element. They are let down by some of their colleagues who don't and make it obvious. Maybe they aren't paid too well for the amount of hours and work they have to do (and they'd have long days handling parents, children and honeymooners at that).
We were here because we had the joy of being part of a friend's wedding at the Shangri La. Their wedding was lovely, and the day was wonderful. From the chapel to the reception, we will remember our trip warmly because of the occasion and some opportunities to unwind.
As a facility, Shangri La does not meet the expectations or even the statements it offers on its website.
You will need to overlook a lot and focus on days by the pool soaking up sun to truly unwind.
Food service could be substantially better, and there are some real issues to be addressed when sheets with bloodstains are used as "fresh" sheets.
The resort has become complacent, and it's reflective in many of the reviews. If you've got children and get a nicely priced package, it can be a win. For most other people I'd say look at all your options.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort is exclusively located on the beautiful 109-acre private Yanuca Island with its pure white sandy beach and crystal clear, coral rich seas of the exotic Fiji Islands. Only 45 minutes from Nadi International Airport, the island is connected from the mainland by a causeway.A traditional Fijian village is the inspiration behind the layout of the 442-room resort. Every guest room, suite and bure features a private balcony with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean or the resort’s lagoon. Unlimited wired broadband Internet access is complimentary in all rooms. The Resort offers a range of activities, including water sports, scuba diving and golf, and a popular Kid's Club. A wide range of dining options are available, from Pacific Rim fine dining to informal fun dining at the poolside. Cultural shows highlight Fijian lovo, meke and firewalking rituals, South Pacific and Fijian Fire dancers.CHI, The Spa is a secluded spa village set away from the main resort, and provides the privacy and luxury of the largest Spa villas in Fiji. Four Oceanview and two Rainforest treatment villas feature relaxation areas overlooking either the Pacific Ocean or an exotic rainforest, with private garden patios, outdoor bath tubs, herbal steam room and outdoor showers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Ebookers, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Shangri-La`s Fijian Hotel Yanuca Island
- Fiji Shangri La Resort
- Shangri La Fijian Resort
- Shangri Las Fijian Resort
- Shangri Las Fijian Hotel
- Fiji Shangri La Hotel
- Fiji La Shangri
- Fijian La Resort Shangri
- Fiji La Resort Shangri
- Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa Fiji/Yanuca Island