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Mana Island

Thursday, June 25, 2009
When she was a little girl, Kelly Landry and the other children in her neighbourhood were green with envy when her next-door neighbours went to Fiji on a family holiday. Ever since then she has wanted the holiday they had and at last her dream came true.

Mana Island Resort, a 90-minute boat trip from Nadi, has everything you could want for a holiday: white sandy beaches, the crystal-clear waters of the Mamanuca Islands and fantastic weather just about all the time. The four-star 150-room resort has been looking after families for more than 30 years. It sprawls over 121 lush hectares and has three beaches (South, North and Sunset) and two pools. Mana means "magic" and that pretty much sums it up.

It's made up of six distinct little resorts, each with its own ambience and features to suit different needs: a romantic getaway, a solo break or a summer holiday for the whole family. Accommodation is made up of Honeymoon, Beach Front, Ocean Front, Ocean View and Island bures and Ocean Front suites. Seven secluded Honeymoon bures on the beach have a private open-air spa bath and valet service.

Most accommodation has been designed with families in mind. They have large lounges, connecting rooms and two bathrooms.

Parents can have a break while the children are having the time of their lives at the Tu Vonu Kids' Club. There's a brand-new playground where they make new friends and play all sorts of games under supervision of staff fully trained in childcare. It operates from 10am until 9pm and you can catch up with your littlies for lunch and dinner in the restaurant.

South Beach and Mamanuca restaurants offer magical delights, even to please the fussiest eaters. Chefs fuse Italian, French, Japanese and Pacific cuisines. Tuck into a huge American breakfast from 7am, lunch from noon to 4pm and dinner from 6.30pm to 10pm. Indulge in fine dining or casual bistro meals and enjoy cool drinks and cocktails as you relax in one of the resort's three bars. They also serve a mean coffee brewed from locally grown beans.

Activities are endless. The waters offer snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, diving, swimming and even encounters with sharks. On land you can discover Fijian culture and participate in basket weaving, woodcarving and ancient cooking methods. You can even learn the traditional dance known as meke. There's volleyball, treks to great vantage points and huge bingo afternoons!

The resort's beautiful Seaside Chapel is perfect for a romantic wedding. Cloistered in beautiful tropical gardens, the chapel blends Pacific and Western architecture, oozing with charm. The Chapel minister would administer your vows as you are accompanied by a Fijian warrior and serenaded by a Fijian choir.

Location

Mana Island, a 90-minute boat ride from Nadi in Fiji.

Cost

Creative Holidays has five-night packages including accommodation at Mana Island Resort and all meals for $763 per person. Up to two children under 11 years of age stay free in shared accommodation. Valid between October 16, 2009, and December 23, 2009.

Pacific Blue, international airline of Virgin Blue, has flights to Nadi.

One-way fares from:

  • Brisbane $269
  • Sydney $289
  • Canberra $339
  • Melbourne $349
  • Darwin $379
  • Adelaide $399
  • Perth $409
  • Hobart $429

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at June 25, 2009, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at June 25, 2009.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789
www.virginblue.com.au

Creative Holidays
www.creativeholidays.com

Mana Island Resort
PO Box 610
Lautoka
Fiji Islands
Ph: +679 665 0423
Fax: +679 665 0788
www.manafiji.com

Visas: Australian visitors to Fiji are issued a visa on arrival. They last one to three months.

Electricity: 240V at 50Hz using the same pins as Australia.

Time zone: GMT +12.

Currency: The Fiji dollar.

International dialling code: + 679.

User comments
We recently stayed at Mana Island Resort and had a fabulous time. The staff were amazing, so friendly and helpful. Our room, an oceanview bure was beautiful 10m to the beach, and cleaned daily, with fresh flowers in each room. Great range of activities, amazing snorkelling. Food was great, two restaurant choices, breakfast choice from cereal & toast to eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, danishes.. & more. Main meals a choice of a la carte or buffet style. We are returning in April & can't wait. (I don't know where delta stayed, as our experience was the opposite to their comments & we could not have asked for any better!!)
My family and I went to Mana Island for 2 nights and 3 days this time last year and were greatly dissappointed. The location is gorgeous all be it a little run down. But the food and service was a huge let down. You are paying for all your meals, but all they provide are VERY VERY basic, if that. One morning they said they didn't have milk for breakfast!! Then another guest requested it and got some milk??? Bad service. There is usually only toast and cereal for breakfast anyway. The first day we were given tinned fish sandwiches for lunch (they ran out of the 'other option') of which the bread was stale and there was hardly any tinned fish on it!! Dinner was lack lustre too. We complained about the food, politely, but they were very defensive and not hospitable at all! We felt poorly looked after. Also the lock on our cabin door was broken. On our departure we informed the manager (a large native Fijian man) of our experience and were blatantly abused by him and felt threatened.

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