Never again! A review of Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Hilton
This was, without a doubt, the worst hotel experience we have ever had. After spending five weeks in wintery Australia, we were so looking forward to beautiful, warm Fiji at a brand new Hilton Beach Resort & Spa. What a shock to us when, upon arrival, we were told there was no spa; then to discover that the beach was unswimmable. It was quite a disappointment, to say the least. We were, however, told that the Sofitel next door had a spa. Well now, isn't that nice. Perhaps I should have stayed at the Sofitel? The only way to get a white sandy beach is to take a day cruise to an outer island, which we did. It was okay, but poor communication between staff and guests left many of us on the beach while the glass bottom boat sailed off, as well as the snorkling boat. Communication is definately a problem - if Fiji was any more laid back, the whole population would be asleep.
My husband is a Diamond VIP member, so we are usually upgraded, which we were here as well. The only catch is that we were upgraded to what we nicknamed "the demolition zone." This hotel is nowhere near done and should not be open to the public. Or if it is, the rooms should run no more than $50/night. It is ridiculous. Workmen EVERYWHERE - extension cords, power tools, hammers, etc., and security guards all over the place because, as we were told personally by one guard, the workmen are not to be trusted. Don't leave anything unguarded or out overnight - shoes, towels, swimsuits, etc., because they might not be there in the morning. This is crazy - knowing this and opening a facility up to the public? It just shouldn't be. So, our upgrade was basically worthless because the noise was so bad, we couldn't enjoy our own little pool at our villa and had to go to the main pools. We are not snobs, we have no problem with the main pools, but when your upgrade is supposedly enhanced with your own pool, what a shame to not be able to enjoy it. Plus, we were told that our upgrade negated all the other perks that come with being a Diamond member, so no vouchers, etc., which is something the Hilton has always done for us and anyone else who qualifies, for that matter.
Now, on to the rooms. Two words - UG LY! Pea soup green tiles on floor and bathroom, white cushions on entirely too much furniture for the size of the room (we are sure the cushions will not be white by September, when they are really supposed to be open). The connecting doors to the room next door had no locks, so there was access from both our side and theirs. Fortunately, the room wasn't rented, and my husband told the desk they'd better not rent it until it locked and had some sound stripping on it. Upon checkout, the doors still didn't lock. Small kitchenette, nice, but cabinets so high that in order to reach glasses, plates, etc., I had to push a chair over to be tall enough. The folks below us had the same problem and moved everything around, so I know it was not just us. The shower was not installed properly, so the water drained out onto the main bath area, and in some cases into the toilet area. We found this out on the Bula bus where all Hilton people recognized each other and sympathized with one another's plight! Our phone did not work. Upon check-in, I attempted to call the states to let the kids know we had arrived safely. No international call could be made. We let the front desk know and got the usual "oh, we'll get on that today." Six days later, upon check-out, we still could not make an international call. We were told the front desk would dial it for us, then put it to the room, but really, is it too much to ask to have the phone working so that I can make calls in privacy? My husband had a bit of work to do, but alas, the internet connection to the room was totally screwed up, and had he not run into a technician, that probably wouldn't have gotten fixed either. All in all, this place is absolutely not ready for guests. Oh yea, 10:15pm, we get a knock, knock on the door. Housekeeping for bed turndown service!! Now, I don't need this service, for sure, but again, it's something Hilton has always offered, so it is nice. But at 10:15pm?? We were already in bed!
We only got the turndown service twice - the other nights they just never showed up.
What more can I say? The food, marginal at best. Only buffet is offered, with the exception of bar food. And the buffet is very limited - perhaps four choices for an entree. And you're really up to the likes and dislikes of the chef. We would have liked the option of a few entrees to order what we wanted. The fish night was particularly bad. Once it hits the buffet counter, it stays, and the calimari was literally cold and the texture of rubber. Same with the clams/mussels that were in another entree - yuck. Like chewing on a rubber band. Thank goodness the Fiji dollar is good for Americans, because at $55 a pop for dinner and $32 for breakfast, we felt the prices to be too high. And drinks - awful, at $15/each as an average price. If we could have, we would have changed hotels. The other hotels on the island offered happy hours with light nibbles for all to enjoy. Not at the Hilton. As far as the staff goes, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.
We didn't care for the pools - yes, umbrellas, but smack dab in the sun all day, no palm trees to speak of. We really just didn't like the whole pool design, which is totally personal, I know.
Big, square olympic looking pools. Yuck.
The snack bar was atrociously expensive. You couldn't get a good deal in this place if you got on your knees and begged. Potato chips at $8/bag? Come on. Even though we could afford it, did we want to? No. And they have you over a barrel being on the island. They know you have no where else to go. We strolled through all the other hotels, and yes, their prices were high too, but not like this place.
I guess, all in all, we were disappointed with the whole Fiji experience. We absolutely love Hawaii (Kauai), but thought we'd take a break from the same old, same old, and try a different tropical experience. We're sorry we did. Hawaii is expensive too, but it has so much more to offer and it is so much more reliable, we'll go there from now on.
There's loads more to share, but I've gone too long already.
Suffice to say, we are composing a letter to the Hilton Diamond VIP Customer Service desk as I write this.
Good luck if you stay here...you'll need it.
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