Plantation Island Fiji
Plantation Island in 2016 is similar to the resort we visited 15 years earlier – the hotel rooms are gone, there a new pool, a kids water park in the lagoon, air cond in all the bures – but everything else is the same, and that’s a good thing.
The 2 bedroom bure we stayed in was very roomy, good for bigger families because it can sleep 6, with a separate room for the kids. There’s two split system air cond units, which have to work overtime in February, but combined with ceiling fans that are similar to having a helicopter in the room, they do the job.
Plantation Island gardens and 2 bedroom garden bures
We weren’t right on the beach but close enough. The beach bures are the go if you want absolute beachfront and well suited for a family of 4. Other options include the garden terraces, poolside rooms and studio garden bures. Personally I'd go for one the bures - more spacious and closer to everything.
We purchased a meal plan, just breakfast and dinner, and that worked out well. Having a lateish breakfast (you have up till 10 am) means that you don’t really need a big lunch and there are plenty of snack options available. For dinner you can eat in the main restaurant which usually has a theme buffet or you can head down to Anandas Restaurant & bar which serves dinner nightly. The food on the islands is usually limited compared to the mainland but all meals we had were fantastic and good value. There is also the Black Coral Restaurant which serves a la carte Pacific Rim cuisine (not open when we were there).
Fiji in February is a bit cheaper than usual and the resorts are not full but there are reasons for this. The heat and humidity is probably what you expect from a tropical getaway, but cooling off can be challenging. Two of the pools are almost un-swimmable because they get so hot (why they build shallow pools in the first place is beyond me). Even the ocean water is warm, you really need to get out onto the edge of the reef before you’d call the water cool.
And then there’s the threat of cyclones. We were lucky – one week later and Plantation was evacuated because of cyclone Winston. It’s a risk you take – its not just in February – anytime from November to March there is a chance but you would have to count yourself unlucky to be caught in the path of one.
Plantation kids pool and slide
But that’s enough negatives. Plantation is a beautiful island resort with some fantastic snorkelling straight off the beach. There are plenty of water sports available with kayaks and paddle boards free of charge and there’s an inflatable water park in the lagoon for the kids to play on. Banana boat rides and jet skis are available at a cost and there’s also daily snorkelling trips out to the sandbank, island hopping, fishing trips and trips to the nearby surf breaks. Grab some snorkels and flippers (we took our own - well worth doing) and head down off the beach outside Lomani Resort for some great snorkelling.
The village tour is well worth doing with a welcome ceremony where you get to share kava with the village elders, then you get to explore the village including the school. The villagers set up stalls along the beach to sell their wood carvings, shells and clothing, all at good prices compared to what you pay on the mainland.
The Coconut Kids Club is free and open daily with three sessions and has fun activities during the day and movie time at night. The creche and indoors activity centre is also available and babysitting is available at a low rate. You can also get a full time nanny to look after your kids. The Lairo Club is for teens and has plenty of activities daily to keep them occupied.
Plantation Island inflatable water park
Getting to Plantation is easy with the Malolo Cat departing Denarau four times a day. It's less than a one hour trip. You can also fly out on a sea plane or catch a speedboat, both options will obviously cost you more. Try to get an early flight so you don't need to stay overnight in Nadi.
A very relaxing and laid back island, with great food and activities. Fantastic option if you have kids with the kids club, inflatable water park and indoor activity centre. The spacious 2 bedroom garden bures sleep 6 - great option for bigger families, with plenty of other accommodation choices. Combine this with a couple of nights on the mainland for a truly memorable holiday.