Hilton a real let down!! A review of Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Hilton
We stayed at The Hilton on Denarau Island, Nadi, Fiji last weekend (mid August 2006) and it was a really dissapointing experience! The hotel is still under construction, and there are extremely limited facilities. The hotel should be advising people this when they book, and at the very least offering heavily discounted rooms to compensate.
Major isuues included;
CONSTRUCTION visible and audible from most of the resort... you cannot escape it! We understood before we went that 'stage 1' was complete... and imagined one end would be fenced off and that we'd be reasonably unaffected... WRONG!!! The stages are divided lengthways, so stage 1 is a single row of buildings along the beachfront, and stage 2 backs onto it facing the other way towards the lagoon - so no matter where you go in stage 1 (the 'finished' part of the resort') you'd be no more than 30 metres or so away from construction (noisy excavators, workmen, etc)!!
VERY LIMITED FACILITIES - There is no gym, no spa, just 1 restaurant & a temporary cafe, temporary reception area, temporary shops... get the picture?
Minor Issues/Irritants included;
Advertised/promised "Luxury BMW transfer" didn't arrive "because they hadn't sorted out the registration on the vehicle/s yet"... instead our transfer was in a pretty trashed 15-20 year old mercedes, which picked us up approx 30 mins late.
MUD - due to poor drainage outside our room. Upon arrival we went for a stroll... and stepped straight outside our door into mud!
NO PRIVACY BLIND in lounge area of our room - the sofa is right by the large sliding glass door facing the ocean... great for the view but it would be nice to have the option of privacy if you want to relax in your robe etc.
NO COFFEE - Why on earth frustrate your guests by supplying a great espresso coffee machine in the rooms but no coffee? Apparently you are expected to visit the general store and purchase your own coffee if you wish to use the machine!! A starter pack at least would be reasonable I would have thought?!
POOR STANDARD OF FINISHING/WORKMANSHIP - the rooms are slick, nicely decorated and furnished but the standard of workmanship lets it down. Silicon work in the bathrooms is hilarious! and the water that pours from the shower into the main part of the bathroom is obviously a fault too.
FOOD & DRINK - The quality & selection of the food was very mediocre, food & drinks expensive, and the service in the restaurant poor. Upon arrival it took us about 4 attempts to explain that we wanted to see a snack menu (we saw a dinner menu, a cocktail menu and another dinner menu befoe getting the right one!), then a simple burger and rice paper rolls took over an hour to be delivered. My husband described the flat white he ordered as "the worst coffee I've ever tasted.
BARREN/UNDEVELOPED GROUNDS - the grounds are very barren looking. This is to be expected to a degree for a new resort, however The Sofitel next door (also new) is proof that a much better job of establishing the grounds could have been achieved. The resort is in desperate need of some shade, wind protection and better developed grounds would help achieve that as well improve the aesthetics.
NO ATMOSPHERE - The resort had a very barren/sanitised feel to it. There was little reference to the fact that we were in Fiji... no music, no palm trees to relax under, the beach is badly polluted...
ROOM RATE OVER THE TOP - we were told by the Hilton Reservations staff that we had a 'hot rate', however we discovered that actually at $800 we were only paying $50 less than full rack rate! We felt strongly that the nightly rate should have reflected the fact that so many of the resort facilties were not yet in place... Management should be offering heavily discounted 'opening specials' and being really upfront about the situation.
We talked to an Australian manager about our concerns... she was not willing to offer a discount or upgrade us, which we suggested would go some way towards satisfying us. The only constructive action she took to resolve our concerns was to look for a room with a blind in the lounge! Other than that she repeatedly told us "I respect you view"... she was apparently un-willing to concede that our other concerns were valid.
We spent the first night of our stay feeling 'gutted', then the following morning looking at alternatives on Denarau. We transferred to the Westin around midday and had a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable time for the balance of our weekend break... at around 1/2 the price per day of what we would have paid at The Hilton!