Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island
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TravelPod Member ReviewsSheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island
Has great potential but has a few areas for improvement
I wanted to write this review because we found the information so valueable when planning our trip.
Our family of 4 booked 10 days at Amunuca knowing full well that it was a new resort and some problems could be expected. My husband & I consider ourselves fairly tolerant and easily pleased. The discounted room rates & the few good reviews were the reason we went to Amunuca Resort, 4 people on holiday from the States can get pricey. We were not disappointed with Amunuca however we would choose another more established resort if given the opportunity to go again.
The hotel main area is very nice with open air seating & full views to the ocean. There is the best snorkeling right from the beach which was a must for us & our 11 year old son. Our 20 year old daughter was content to sit by the pool &/or go diving. We spent every day diving twice a day. Excellent dive rates which eventually worked out to be about $40 US per dive. Great value for diving & great value for the spa services. Definitely the two best values for your money at the resort. Andre (dive instructor) was very helpful & 3 of us were certified for diving during our stay. Diving around Amunuca was awesome! We did not have the problem on the beach with the seaweed. They would cover up the seaweed everyday if there was a bit on the beach & we never experienced the smell. Walked on the beach quite frequently without complaint. Our last night there was a very stormy night & in the morning the beach was covered in seaweed so we could see where it could be a problem but...we were leaving that day so we had no complaints.
We purchased the meal plan which I would not do again, nor suggest for other visitors. Your $75 FJD only provides breakfast & dinner , no lunch. You cannot exchange breakfast or dinner for something from the lunch menu so if you don't eat at those meal times, you end up paying out of pocket for lunch. There are surcharges for certain items on the menu over & above what's allowed on the "meal plan" We figured the cost for breakfast would have been $23 FJD out of pocket for breakfast & $29-$33 FJD for dinner to order the same that was offered on the meal plan. Which equals $56 tops, not the $75 we paid up front. It only worked out better with our 11 year old son who could order from the same menu but only cost $30 FJD up front. However he hardly has a discerning palate & could have faired better with grilled cheese or a pizza. You only received an entree & appetizer or dessert at dinner. No drinks or soda with your dinner so that ends up costing you also. The dinner food was beautifully prepared and most dishes enjoyable & hot. But as someone commented, don't wait until you are hungry to eat. Dinner time averaged 2 hours per night which began to get a bit tiresome by the 6th night there. The Fijian people were great, very friendly and we knew in most cases they were really trying. Some areas of concern seemed like they were basic training issues regarding service. Certain things in the dining room could have easily been rectified & we couldn't understand how either the hotel manager or restaurant manager couldn't come up with a better solution by the time we visited. Such as, they have empty water glasses set out on the tables however if you wanted water (which who doesn't in 88 degree humid weather?) the wait staff would pick up all the glasses & walk them down to the kitchen or bar to get you water. At times, they would get distracted or forget & it could take 15 minutes to get a glass of water. It would be easier & faster to have pitchers of ICE water sitting on the credenza's to fill the glasses immediately. Ice cubes were also at a premium there. We would suggest that they change the menu's every so often. I believe there was only 1 chicken dish on the dinner menu, mostly fish (which is understandable) Breakfast consisted primarily of egg dishes (poached, fried, scrambled) It would be fine for a short stay but for those of us who stayed longer, a little change would have been nice. I got to the point that I couldn't stomach another egg and would choose the fruit plate. The only other options were cereal.
The rooms were modestly decorated with beautiful hardwood floors. Plenty of storage space. The A/C in the room did nothing to cool the room, they told us they were having problems when we arrived. The air conditioners were cheap & didn't produce cold air. they were also poorly placed right in front of the sliding door. When it would rain, the A/C's would drip water everywhere, even when only on the fan setting. We needed to put towels down on the floor to soak up the condensation. Just a bit of an annoyance which I can also see doing damage to the rooms in no time if a traveler didn't take the time to soak up the water. Our room was nice & comfortable though would get warm without the AC and we would have been miserable at night if we hadn't taken someone else's advice & ordered the floor fan from the desk. Why they didn't drop ceiling fans in the rooms was beyond us? They would have done more good than the cheap Air Con's. One couple told us that their toilet would back up which I would consider unacceptable for the room rate. We had no such problem with our toilet, worked fine with all 4 of us for 10 days. The shower was fine, full spray & didn't run out of hot water with all of us showering one after another. Sad thing is the shower door is made of wood & is constantly hit by water, they will be water damaged & rot in no time at all. Maid service wasn't great, she would make the beds & sweep, sometimes she would give us fresh towels...sometimes she wouldn't. When we arrived, I noticed slight mildew in the drain of the sink. Some of these things again I would say are staff training issues & possibly culturally, the maid staff hasn't been made aware that slight mildew can be repulsive to travelers. Hit & miss on whether we had our coffee replenished also. Nothing insurmountable that a phone call or two to the front desk wouldn't fix, it's just you truly shouldn't have to make that phone call 5 out of 10 days you are there. Our room 203 had a great view from the porch and we weren't bothered at all about no front shade, we prefer the open airy arrangement. We would sleep with the sliding glass open so we could listen to the ocean. We had great sunsets on most of the nights and were delighted to sit on the porch, drink coffee & watch the bait balls jump & the birds dive in the morning. Fiji is heaven on earth! I miss it just thinking about it.
We would agree that the pool deck surface is dangerous...we saw quite a few kids take spills & an adult slipped also. They did lower the arc on the pool bridge to make it safer but the deck is still slippery. Pool towels would sometimes take a couple hours to get restocked. Again, an annoyance when you really wanted a nice fresh towel. The infinity pool is a nice setting with the ocean as the backdrop, however the pool is already showing signs of tile damage.
I've seen some nice things written about the general manager however the man never took the time to introduce himself to us. In our opinion, a family of four for that long of a stay isn't something that should be easily overlooked and it would have been nice had he taken the time to say hello, introduce himself and ask if there was anything we needed just as a courtesy but oh well.
We didn't have small children with us however it appeared as though the child care staff did an excellent job with the little ones. Fijian people are truly warm & welcoming and the children appeared to love them.
I've noted some of the problems that we thought the resort was experiencing however don't misunderstand...we did have a great time. I don't know that our great time was because of the resort or in spite of the resort. I know my husband made the comment that he would have been very upset had we been paying full price. The resort was good, has some problems, we know it could be great but needs some time, further training & adjustments. I don't know that I would feel comfortable recommending it to friends just yet. They need to correct their issues if they want repeat visitors. If you are easy going and they still offer the 1/2 price rate, stop over. However my best advice would be, don't plan on staying longer than 5 days. Be sure to break it up with another resort Remember however...we had no toilet issues while we were there. That is unacceptable. I hope this is helpful.
Wedding made in Heaven!
We were married at Amunuca on April 7. We stayed for 6 fabulous nights and fell in love with Fiji! This was our first trip and we cant wait to return to Amunuca!
This is a brand new resort...the rooms are amazing! The beds are big and comfy-just like the pics on the website! The Honeymoon Bures are amazing....the spa bath is such a bonus and they get a great breeze from the ocean!
Sample day at Amunuca: Wake up to the sounds of the Ocean. Have a relaxing breaky with smiling staff and a great view of the beach. Dip in the pool. Go snorkeling off the beach. Go for a Kayak. Laze around the beach in the calm warm water! Go back to the pool. Go down the waterslide a few times. Grab a drink at the swim up bar. Stay in the pool for hours!!! Go to the spa. Dinner. Drinks. Back to the pool for a late night swim!
The snorkeling is amazing...right off the beach - reefs and lots of fish...Blue starfish everywhere! There is a bit of seaweed on the beach, but those mornings there were people clearing it..it was never a problem...not anywhere near as bad as the other resort on the island (we kayaked over there)!!! Amunucas beach is great!
The chef is great and very friendly....the meals at the restaurant are so yummy...I recommend the Parm Crusted Chicken and the Tuna! The pizzas are also yum!
Our Wedding was perfect...we had a private area on the beach and it was the most beautiful sunset! The flowers were perfect and Leilani took care of everything! We even had a special dinner set up for us in a private area overlooking the beach! Kadeer (the Manager) took our pictures and they turned out better than expected! Everyone went out of their way to make our wedding and stay perfect...it was more than we ever expected!
The Spa is great...Julie is so nice and Pria & Pria are great...highly recommend the spa if you can tear yourself away from the water!
I will say that things do move a bit slower, but thats Fiji! After you get used to it, its refreshing to be on holiday on Fiji Time! If you dont want to be on Fiji time, dont go to Fiji!!
This is a newly opened resort and we went there with an open mind....the teething pains mentioned before....they are there, but didnt really bother us. The lack of A/C...we wouldnt have used it anyway..the breeze from the ocean and fan were more than enough. TVs are all working now, but we didnt even turn ours on the entire time! We got our toilet plunged once...and that was only when we first arrived.
We had such a wonderful time and met so many lovely people!! Thanks to everyone at Amunuca for making our wedding so perfect!
I have more pics. contact me if you are interested in viewing or have any questions concerning our stay! Deb :)
Very sad waste of holiday time and Money!
We are just back (April 2-8) although we checked out early and got a chopper out of there after 4 days!
Along with at least 5 other families/couples which we just met while complaining together in the pool, we left despite paying ahead for more nights decided it best just to "walk away."
1. Air Con - this does NOT work and there is no advice that it will in the near future. (It is a new system from China and no - one knows how to fix it!)
2. Toilets block at least twice a day
3. Slippery around pool - very dangerous
4. Slow bar staff - no chatty bar staff here!
5. No basic supply shop - all it has is suntan lotion and Tim Tams!
So there is no where to buy any water or soft drinks etc to put in the EMPTY mini bar. I tried to buy a bottle of juice from the bar, but changed my mind when advised that it would be FJ$42!!!
6. A few good staff - have come from the Sofitel - but all the Bulla spirit seems to have been beaten out of everyone!
7. The Spa - hot and pretty average standard - massage was like my 5 year old applying lotion on me and the manicure was like his paint work! The pedicure foot bath is not plumbed in - so no water - only a bucket!
The island is so beautiful and the chefs meals (dinner) are brilliant, but all the other inadequacies can not help.
When you are hot and tired from not sleeping everything just adds up.
We had a 6 month old baby with us, it was 30deg. in the room during the day - impos. to sleep.
Hopefully it will improve - it has great bones -but give it 12 months.
Huge learning curve
This was our first trip to Fiji and we booked a stay at the Amunuca Resort from their website. It was terrible getting them to respond to emails regarding initial concerns such as dietary needs, activities, etc. We were shuttled on a boat from Denaurau to the resort and then transferred to a smaller boat outside of the reef. The smaller boat took us to shore. We stayed in an island bure, which was actually a 4-plex with our door facing inward from the ocean. Our bure had 2 beds in it. Our friends stayed in the Loma suites, which were nicer, but still had issues such as water drainage from the shower, a wobbly tub, security flashlights at night, etc. I will only comment on our accommodations. Neither of the two air conditioners worked the entire week and it was very hot early in the week. Actually, sweltering hot. We were finally given a stand alone fan on our third evening after begging daily. We placed it between the two sleeping areas, but it was still miserable sleeping due to the heat. Two nights later, some guests were so disgusted with Amunuca, they checked out and went to another resort as soon as something was available there. They were kind enough to give us their fan for our bedroom, which had no windows. Finally, each bed had a fan. Linens are not changed out daily. I had some makeup on my towel to mark it. We used that towel for 4 days straight and had to keep requesting new towels. Sometimes, they would take towels and not replace any. The menu never changed. One person in our group does not eat seafood. Their choice of meal is a single chicken dish, a beef dish, pork belly (whatever that is) and duck something. He had to eat expensive pizza quite a bit. We ordered a hamburger one day and it was inedible. The meat was mystery meat and it had chopped up carrots, raisins, onions, and other stuff that looked like other meat in it. The meat wouldn't stay together so it was severely undercooked. Other days, the hamburger looked familar but we were too scared to try to order it again. We would always say "you can order anything you want, and you will get something". I agree with other comments that dinner took over 2 hours and you may or may not get your order as requested. During our stay, they just learned about restaraunt ordering (how to take orders from table numbers and seat numbers). The spa treatments and the Reef Safari are both excellent! Pool towels are not always available. Amunuca sends their laundry to be serviced on another island so you get whatever is available. For being a new place, I was surprised at the many issues such as the large number of tiles missing from the pool. Our toilet broke, which was surprising for a 2-month old resort. We fixed it ourselves, since the response wouldn't be anytime soon. They restructured the bridge over the pool while we were there. Also, they have a set time for movies but no one knows what movie is being shown. When we stopped in to see, there were teens playing their own DVDs in the theatre. Some days, we had to request that our room be made up.
I don't know why the Amunuca website has a section titled "What's On" under Be Surprised, since none of that entertainment is even a regular booking.
The main issue with this resort is the staff training. These are people that probably have never stayed in a hotel so they are unfamiliar with expectations and how the hospitality industry works. They are truly warm and wonderful but they are still learning about basics. Overall, in my opinion, it is a training issue. I'm sure it is frustrating for them to have to go from a construction job to mopping.
I must add that the reef right in front of the resort is spectacular! It is the best snorkeling compared to Mexico and the Carribean that I have seen.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
In short I would say conceived, designed, and managed by people that should know better.
I had the feeling that we should leave after being there literally 5 minutes. If it wasn't for meeting and hanging out with locals from the village on the island next door, I wish we had.
There resort is on an embankment about 5m above beach level. There is a large and spacious area along the front of the resort for outside dining and generally hanging out. The embankment itself has no trees on it, they have been mostly mown down lest they spoil the view. Consequently there is virtually no natural shade on the beach, and none at all after lunchtime So if you want shade, and you do, you must sit under an umbrella on tiles and not on the sand. In which case you may as well be on the Gold Coast here in Australia or any other overdeveloped and tacky location.
The area out the front of the restaurant/bar and around the pool is tiled and is very slippery when wet, which of course is all of the time around the pool, and most of the time every-where else as people get out of the pool and walk to their shady spot, ie umbrella. It will not be long before a child's fractured skull is followed by a lawsuit. I almost went over several times myself.
We were told that the air-con wasn't working, which was ok, until we found the 'bures' are in fact large villas divided into four. They have low ceilings, no ceiling fans, and in half the cases, like ours, only one door. In other words, they are not 'bures' at all, and no attempt has been made to allow any natural airflow or use the methods the Fijians have used over many thousands of years to stay cool. The only way to cool the rooms is with air-con. Even if it was working, I'm not a fan of the dry air they pump out. Worse still the problem is due to the use of pipes that are too small. Hence my comment about design.
There is no privacy. There was no curtain, only a mesh blind that you can pull down. At night with the blind down and the light on inside, you are on display to all that walk past your door. An absolute disgrace. I pulled a sheet off a bed and jammed it in the blind so I could read in bed at night and get up WITHOUT turning the light off.
The toilets blocked up. Continuously. Everyday the plumber was walking around with a plunger going to numerous bures. Both myself and my wife got sick. You can imagine the implications. After ours blocked up 4 times in one day we demanded to be moved, and were, to slightly better accommodation. We were told on the sly by a guy who works there that the reason they keep blocking was because they are using the wrong paper, which doesn't break down quickly enough. Why not change the paper and fix the problem? Because they have ordered a huge amount of this paper and will change it when they need to order more!!! I cannot conceive how any-one would stoop to treat paying guests this way.
During the first four nights, we had one hot meal, the rest being luke-warm or plain cold, with an average delivery time of over two hours. Perhaps this is why we got sick, but of course I can't be sure. ( I spent the day after we got back in hospital on a drip)
None of the local people are happy with their employer, and it shows. The greatest thing about Fiji is hanging out with happy Fijians; they are such a pleasure to be around.
All this, and they want $7 for a litre of water. And they pay their staff between $1.50 and $2.30 an hour. The resort manager is an unpleasant and shallow character (ok that may be my subjecftive view) but he definitely has no regard for the local Fijians, and makes a habit of belittling them in front of guests. I witnessed this several times.
The worst part is that as their business suffers from the complaints of people like me and others, so do the local people that they employ.
Disappointed...maybe it was bad luck
I will try to be extensive in my review as I really wanted to read reviews before going. This is my experience in mid March 2007, through MY expectations It is indeed subjective. I have traveled some and I guess tend to compare facilities to others I have been to in past. That said, it seemed like other guests with spoke with shared most of our views.
·Everything is new and in good shape
·The suites are quite roomy, the water pressure is very good, the jacuzzi in the suite is fun.
·The staff is very friendly and genuinely interested in you. Great people. The manager is nice and understanding. The housekeeping ladies are very nice and discreet.
·Food is good, not exceptional but good and well priced. A large pizza is about 25 FJD, freshly squeezed juices/beers 6FJD. Do not get the meal plan, there are a lot of adds on, it is not worth it. If you are a vegetarian like I am you are out of luck though! Their menu say you can special request things to the chef.
·The spa is a must. If you get their package for 200FJD for 6 treatments it turns out to be about USD$20 per one hour massage or facial, ect...The girls are very courteous. The facilities are not high end but well done and cute. They have a nice massage.
·They have a little "safari center" with free snorkeling gear and kayak available. They organize daily day trips to other islands which are between 50-150FJD pp (most of them 75FJD). We went to where they filmed "castaway" and we were the only ones there. There is some very pretty snorkeling there. My husband actually cracked open a few coconuts, it was fun!
·They have a very nice 40 seat theater playing several movies a day. Nice feature.
·They lobby/seating area and bar is pretty nice (as long as kids aren't loud!) They have comfortable sofas and soothing music
·SEAWEED/SMELL:Well, let's state the obvious: the seaweed! Prior to going, I read about this problem on a forum about Tokoriki Islands but disregarded it. We took the helicopter from the airport and landed on the Island. Their "landing" area is in the middle of the resort and is quite unattractive. They should try to pretty it up because it doesn't give the best first impression. Anyway, as we landed the smell was SO strong (kind of like dead fish) The beach was full of brown seaweed which they say they rake but only once the whole 7 days we were there did we have a clean beach. The manager told us they only have seaweed when there was a storm but as far as we were told there hasn't been one. I was so uncomfortable with the smell that I told my husband that if we hadn't pre paid I would have left. I will post photos. The whole time we were there, nobody used the beach. I will post photos which were taken late afternoon. The first one with the bulldozer is a view from the pool...Attractive!
· The ACs don't work. Ask for a fan, if it is not too hot it does the job
·SERVICE: The service is SOOOOOOO slow(once, diner took 2 hours, for 2 salads!Drinks take in general 15-20 minutes to get to you...even if there aren't many people around). The workers come from a village on the small island across and are not trained yet. Most of them come from very simple background where most people don't even have electricity. Considering, it must be quite difficult for them to understand "western request" such as a light bulb needing to be changed (don't expect that to be done). I think the service is a matter of time, there is simply a learning curve to all this.
·BREAKFAST: They don't have a breakfast buffet which I wish they had. They say that they rather provide freshly cooked food which sounds good but it isn't as plentiful and gets a little boring as it is the same menu everyday.
·CONSTRUCTION: They are still under construction (not too noisy though). I felt that should have been mentioned and I would have had different expectations. I thought I got 50% as an introductory rate but as I got there felt that I got it because you don't get it all. The biggest take back is that the "adult pool" is not done so the only pool is the "family pool" which is not deep and noisy. Since the beach was not nice I felt stuck. Landscaping is also something they are working on. If you go/have been to other resort you will see the difference.
·PRIVACY for couple: It seems like a good place for family but -as their website make it sound- I was expecting more privacy as a couple. The restaurants are all open so even though you are sitting in the "adult" part the noises are still there.
·PRIVACY in bure: The beachfront bure are not really on the beach. They are close to the beach but with no direct access as there are bushes and grass in between. You have to go through the lobby to access the beach. The bures are actually "shared) meaning that there are two suites per bure. It is pretty sound proof on the inside but you have a common balcony (divided by a rock wall) so it is no ultra private. Try not to get the 101 bure as your balcony is open with view on the lobby (not very private as people and staff walk by)
OVERALL I was expecting more from this resort after viewing their website and reviews. That said, if you are taking advantage to their 50% off introductory rate then it is still a good deal. I wish someone would have warned me about the seaweed -and smell- problem. Personally, considering that we spent $3000 in airfare alone I would have been willing to pay more and go to another resort (mainly because of the smell/beach) in order to have a more pleasant stay but that's me. It is not a bad choice if you are willing to take the chance. This is subjective, you might love it., if it weren't for the smell/seaweed problem I would go recommend it. This place would look and work much better in a few years. Basically, if you can afford it, go to Castaway :)
* go to dinner before you get too hungry as service is pretty slow (will probably be better if you go in a few months from now)
* Get everythnig you need with you as they have a tiny "Shop" but it has not much. It doesn't have postcards either so buy them at the airport 9they have postage and a mailbox at the airport too)
* Try not to get the 101 bure as your balcony is open with view on the lobby (not very private as people and staff walk by)
I Wish I Was Still There!!
I have just returned from an 8 night stay at Amunuca Island Resort. I went to the resort for my 21st birthday with 7 of my family members/friends.
We had the most amazing time and are already planning to go back next year.
The entire resort is so amazing. The main building is gorgeous as are the bures. The resort from the outside looks like traditional fijian huts but inside is very modern. The main building is all open and has spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
There is heaps of activities to do on the island and most are free such as tennis, snorkelling, coconut tasting, swimming, kayaking and bush walking (where you go to the top of the mountain and you can see the most amazing views of the entire resort),
The snorkelling is amazing and the best thing is you can do it any time of the day straight off the beach. I snorkelled almost every day and even saw a reef shark. The fish are so colourful and there is so much to look at.
The staff are the nicest people on earth. They are always smilling and will do anything to be of service. From the moment you arrive they are waiting on the beach singing a welcome song and when you leave they sing you a goodbye song which almost made me cry because I didn't want to leave. Even the resort manager came down to the beach to see us off.
The resort manager Kader is excellent at what he does. He is always around to help with anything at all and makes sure that all of his guests are comfortable and having the times of their lives.
The food is very tasty and they always catered to what we wanted. One night the chef even made us a very tasty coconut pies
If anyone is planning to go to Fiji I will strongly recommend you book with Amunuca as you won't find ANYWHERE better!!
I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!!
My husband and I have just returned from Amunuca Island Resort and I must say it was a tearfull departure.From the time we approached the Island with the band singing and the staff waiting to greet us to the time we left, our stay there was amazing.The management and staff on the Island are very freindly and truely professional.We stayed in one of the loloma suites, absolute beachfront and very private. The rooms are very spacious and the spa bath a must. Julie and the girls over at the spa and massage burea are a must do, and so cheap,I think I was there best customer.The food on the Island was some of the best that I have had at any resteraunt here in oz or abroard and the pizzas, you have to try the pizzas. The kids facilitys, pools and playground have had a great deal of thought put in to them and the main infinity pool and swim up bar where my husband spent a fair bit of time are truely amazing.There are all types of water activities and the snorkling is excelent.The aircon was not working while we were there but we did'nt care we just did a lot of moonlight swimming it was great.Overall, our short stay was fantastic and would recomend it to anyone.We are returning to Amunuca in 5 weeks with our 3 children for a 2 week stay and the time can,t go quick enough till we return I can't wait. Highly reccomended for all ages.
Worth the wait
My family & I have just returned from Fiji 05/02/07. We stayed at the Sofitel and were lucky enough to be one of the first guests to stay at the Amanuca Resort on Friday 2nd Feb 07 when "YES THEY ARE OPEN".
The resort is absolutely beautiful. The staff are just as releaved as we were that they were open.
We have 3 children (11,10.20mths) all 3 had a great time, from the slide into the pool, the playground, tennis courts to the snorkelling.
The rooms are extremely spacious for familys.
The resort is still in the getting up and running, teething period, but if I had to choose between staying at the Sofitel or Amanuca again, Amanuca would win hands down (My children would say the same).
The staff and management can not do enough for you.
If you are going with the frame of mind that it is a new resort then you will have a great time.
My husband went to the spa ( he had hurt his back) he said they they fixed his back and were very professional.
We can not wait to go back - we were very sad to leave. When we left the staff were all on the beach sing as we left - it was very moving
Thank you to the management and staff for a great holiday.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island
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