Plantation Island Resort is nestled on the 553 acre island of Malolo LaiLai, part of the Mamanuca Group of islands. Being just 16km offshore, it is an easy 10 min flight or 50 minute boat ride from the mainland. The best thing about it is the beach and, I love a good beach. Nothing disappoints me more than arriving at my sunny summer destination - and the beach is crap, as was my first experience in Fiji. The mainland hotels, although lovely with great facilities and fabulous pools, lack the kind of beach that, lets face it, you go to Fiji for. Otherwise, in my opinion, you may as well check into any Aussie hotel with a great pool and save on airfare.
On the left is the main beach area of an evening, on the right, dinner time on the beach
For my second trip to Fiji, I was determined to get off the mainland to find my island paradise. After trolling numerous travel sites, it became apparent that all the beautiful islands with great beaches (that appealed to me), were somewhat expensive and not within our budget for this holiday. Except one. Which made me wonder, what is wrong with it? But, it did have a great beach. I'll start by saying that the resort itself was a little "tired" and in need of upgrading and refurbishing (I believe this is currently being implemented), but I cannot fault the location, friendliness and service provided by local staff. Fiji time is fine by me, we went there to relax on the beach, read a book, and get tanned, in a stress free environment. And on that, it delivered.
Our beachfront buree was spacious, peaceful, comfortable and opposite our little slice of heaven
The rooms There is a variety of accommodation on offer however we stayed in a beachfront bure. Set away from the main area, they are still only a minute walk from the restaurants, bars and main resort. Although basic, it was spacious enough, comfortable and we were provided a portacot for my son. And barely 20 steps from our doorstep was this...
Take a few steps out of your bure and you end up here, hammock, sun lounges, beautiful beach and peace and quiet
I recommend the beachfront Bure's, they come in different configurations and sizes, are private and really give you that island feel. You can view accommodation options here.
Ours looked like this inside, but i read they are all in the process of being refurbished.
The Food There are several options for restaurants and I advise pre paying for a food package before arrival. This can be done via your travel agent and there are several options such as full board, half board, a la carte or a mix of all. You can do it for the entire trip, half the trip, whatever you like and it does work out more economical to do this. From my experience, the buffet food was ok, the a la carte was much better and there were also restaurants at the other resorts on the island that you could eat at for a change including one adults only one. Mix it up or do buffet all the way, up to you. But do it. All dining options can be viewed here.
Eat on the beach for a relaxed island style meal
The Resort Over the next 3 years the resort is being refurbished, the old hotel building has been knocked down and rebuilt and beachfront bures upgraded. Considering the island has been described as one of the most picturesque in the region, an upgrade of the resort will make it an even more appealing place for a family holiday.
For further information on the Plantation Island Resort including activities available, restaurant choices, tours and accommodation deals and current status of the renovations, please visit their website.