We had a great day relaxing yesterday at Musket Cove and got to see a traditional island performance. Rooms here at Musket have TV's but no reception however DVD's are available for hire. The resort has two pools, both are salt water. Water activities are not included but available at a reasonable rate. Usually they have a convenience store but it has recently burnt down. They are planning on rebuilding this.
When the tide is out it is pretty average and not very good snorkling. The room we stayed in was a resort villa which reminded me of a kiwi batch. Not 100% polished but tidy inside and would suit most kiwi couples - Great for families with up to 3 children or two couples. We had a Jacuzzi which was fresh water and really good to cool down in. Can I just say at this point I had a bad case of diarrhoea, we think it may have been the seafood at Hilton as a number of people who had the seafood got sick including our tour leader Gia. Sorry if you are eating something while reading this report but it put me off my food too. They had pig on the spit and the yummiest welcome drinks - homemade lemonade! The Armstrong Villas are nice but quite far away from the restaurant and pool area. Beach front bures were nice. This room type would be what I would recommend selling at this resort.
We took the Sea Fiji speed boat to Castaway. My first impressions? - I was impressed! Free wifi in public areas only (not in rooms) All the room types are the same set up just different locations. 27 Island, 12 Ocean View and 27 Beach bures each feature one king size bed and most include two additional single beds in their configuration, with those bures comfortably sleeping four persons. For larger families, Castaway Five concept features bures configured with an additional full size single bed (or cot as required). Also there is a three bedroom Family Beach bure sleeps up to ten persons offering two king beds, six single beds and two bathrooms. There were talks of castaway being tired but since the cyclone they have been closed and you honestly wouldn't know one had been through. Everything is looking beautiful. I love that they have two pools for the families and another one for couples. The food here is in a league of its own with the head chef being a well know Australian Asian Chef. The cost? Very pricey but they are in a league of their own. They have a very high 60% return rate and have 80% occupancy 6 months ahead! They never have specials as this property always sells. I would we confident sending anyone here if they can afford it.
Next we were off to Matamanoa and I really noticed how nice the sand was here. Powder white sand and the only resort we checked out with an elevated view looking out to the beautiful ocean. This small boutique resort is a favourite. If you have honeymooners wanting to feel secluded or couples wanting an adults only resort than this place is perfect. I loved the tree top walk, a mix of the Coromandel and the Pacific. We had a 15 minute foot massage (which clients get) and I would recommend getting a pamper package of some sort. It was bliss; I loved hearing the waves crash below while we were up high in the treetops. Two room types: Extra special go the ocean front. But if cost is an issue the garden view are fine. One cool thing I like is if you are on honeymoon, they put your names on the door of your room. I loved the hammocks outside the beach front rooms. I liked how they had a little library and guitars available to play.
Next stop Mana Island resort. This island is quite big. It is great because if you are getting wind on one side then the other side is usually still. Snorkelling here is great. Best beach! Old side the rooms they look tired BUT never judge a book by its cover. Was really impressed with the beach front bure's, they are absolutely stunning and they have a Jacuzzi. The 400 block are stand alone and the 500 block are interconnecting. The interconnecting ones are great for families or alternatively you could put them where I stayed in the Ocean Front Suite. We didn't see any other room type. Luggage took ages to get to get to our room. It still was 40 minutes after our site inspection which was a little disappointing as we wanted to swim but had no swimmers. Ironically enough I left my togs outside my room. I think they will be well and truly dry now. There is a sand bar that you can go out to and some Australians said that it was better than Great Barrier Reef! The spa treatment area was well priced when compared with Sofitel. Over all I love Mana Island. The food was ok but not exceptional. They have great value for money with meal deals. The location of the main dining area by reception is a little dingy but they do offer alternatives outside and have two restaurants. The grounds and outside of the rooms are a little tired but forgivable with the inside and over all experience. They have mini bars here but very expensive. No complimentary water as they have their own treatment plant and you can drink the water from the tap. I would still stock up on the mainland if you want drinking water.