The setting is the saving grace for this well situated property as it is right on a great stretch of very safe beach. Pool and sauna are well appointed. As a very experienced traveler my biggest issue was with the inept office staff. Upon arrival a sullen and arrogant "Farishma" rebuffed my questions about the property with "it's all in the compendium". Over the next two weeks this employee demonstrated the poorest hospitality service I have ever experienced. The older, more tired, units closest to the beach have the A/C units programmed to be off during the hottest part of the day and can only be turned back on by paying an additional daily $10 FJD fee. This seems to exemplify the managaments efforts to nickle and dime visitors looking for a stress free experience. As another example, Mike the assistant manager continued to sell weekly internet ($80 FJD) access to new arrivals despite knowing from existing guests that the Australian server was down. (Free wifi is available at several locations in this area including Breezo's, a geat morning hangout, just across the street.) Farishma later booked a cultural tour for us. She then lied to the tour operator by telling them she had informed us that the customary lunch would not be served that day and that she had placed our receipt saying so, under our room door. I promptly went to the Fiji Palms office and asked to speak to the manager. The receipt Farishma claimed to have slid beneath our door was still in the receipt book and had not even been torn out yet. I explained to Mike, the Assistant Manager, that honest mistakes were more tolerable for a guest than a lack of integrity. Mike replied that Farishma was only 17 years old, new to the job and had already been the subject of numerous complaints from guests as well as local employees. On another morning Farishma pounded on the door until I got up from bed to confirm that I wanted a taxi hired...for the following day! I will save the reader from the long litany of the front office employee drama that transpired during the two weeks I was there but know that it was awful.
On a positive note the housekeeping, security and bar staff were professional and attentive. Pate was especially diligent about guest safety and security while Sam the newest barman exuded the best bula persona.
Other notes: The best massage in Fiji is at the rear of the Arts Village within walking distance (1 1/4 hour massage by up to three practioners simultaneously using great essential oils for $50 FJD!). Also situated in the Arts Village, the Baca Blues restauarant is by far the best culinary experience between Nadi and Suva. Unlike the Pearl and most other ocean view establishments that are banking on the gorgeous setting, Baca Blues wins hands down with a superior mix of cocktails, impeccable service (Yeah Barbara!), great value and food I now crave (the ribs!). We actually ended up going two nights in a row! Two activities worth noting are spending a day on Beqa Island and the Jewel of Fiji river tour.
Caution: the hard sell at Bavari Gifts, taxi drivers with an agenda, "swordsmen" asking your name then carving it on a wooden trinket that they pressure you into buying,
The average Fijian is wonderfully open, hospitable and kind. Please treat them well!
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- Also Known As:
- The Holiday Club Fiji Palms Beach Hotel Pacific Harbour
- ULTIQA At Fiji Palms Beach Resort Pacific Harbour