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“Rats, Cockroaches, Manta Rays!”
Review of Maravagi Resort

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Maravagi Resort
Palmerston North
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Rats, Cockroaches, Manta Rays!”
Reviewed 28 April 2012

First thing's first: This is not really a resort and you will be sorely disappointed if you're thinking this is a luxury stay! Having said that, we did really enjoy our stay here, partly through being aware of what previous reviewers had warned.

The boat trip to Maravagi is quite long, around 90 mins, in a small banana boat. If there is even a slight sea, you will get wet, but fortunately for us it was pretty calm both ways. The boat has no safety equipment so we opted to take some ourselves (lifejackets, PLB, phone). Arriving at the resort we were welcomed with leis and lime drink - quite nice - and discovered we were the only ones staying at the time.

Our accommodation was on the shore in run down huts with a cold shower and toilet in each. The room had three beds (one double) and a fan, but was not mosquito proof (beds have nets though). There were old lino floors with crazy colours, and as we discovered at night, a few cockroaches and what we presumed to be a rat (heard, not seen!) The wall between us and the adjoining hut was very thin - no privacy there! The bathroom is concrete floor and old painted walls, and our shower drain was blocked the first day, which they promptly cleared for us.

The shore was mostly rocks and old coral, and there was a very small beach to get in for snorkelling. A few loads of sand could go a long way to making this shore a lot nicer... The land behind our huts had been razed and looked like a wasteland - not sure why trees had to be burned down to make new accommodation, especially seeing as they haven't made a start yet.

We had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all were edible but not amazing. Lots of rice, chicken, fish, fruit, kinda home style stuff. The dining room was nice with island style weaving etc. We could choose when to eat and there were generally 3-4 options for each meal. We brought our own snacks, water, and alcohol, which they didn't mind us drinking. The food is plenty and there is a bar, so only drinking water is really recommended.

Some staff were talkative and friendly, and seemed to take on board suggestions for improvement. Others were very quiet and servant-like. We got a guide to take us to the other side of the island to see the villages there. This includes a walk through an ankle deep putrid swamp and around S$50 in kustom fees, so be prepared.

The most incredible part about this place has to be the diving. We reckon it was some of the best snorkelling you could ever find - acres of reef starting from literally the water's edge, 1-15 deep and leading into a deeper channel in between the island and the next one, all a marine protected area. All the tropical fish and coral are there, including reef sharks if you keep your eyes peeled. There are even Manta rays, which come in 4pm daily to the channel, 2 min boat ride from the resort! This was a pleasant surprise when we heard about it off-handedly from the staff. We did about 5 drifts past/under/over them with the boat picking us up and taking us back each time. They are truly incredible creatures and sometimes close enough to touch, although we didn't!

So, if you want an incredible spot for snorkelling and a chance to see manta rays (which they don't really advertise), AND if you don't mind roughing it a bit, you'll probably enjoy it here. I would rather check out other resorts around the Floridas first though! I didn't pay, so can't say much about value, though I hear it is not cheap.

Room Tip: Beach front huts seemed to be good, but the back ones might be newer (not sure). Others have said y...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank mpeacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John B, General Manager at Maravagi Resort, responded to this review, 1 October 2014
Hi mpeacey

Thank you for your review on our property. We apologize that we were not able to meet your expectations and thank you for pointing out that we're not a luxury property. We're currently working on ways to improve our service offering and inform and charge our customers correctly and reasonably so that they don't feel deceived or adjust their expectations before visiting the Islands to avoid misunderstanding.

I must also thank you for acknowledging the fact that we have some of the best snorkeling and diving spots, especially the Manta Rays.

Regards

John
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2012

We arrived from Honiara on a boat with no lifejackets or oars, and several holes in the bottom of the boat! On arrival we were shown to our "rooms" away from the other bungalows, it appeared to be staff quarters, tiny rooms with no bathroom or fans. When we pointed out we had paid for bungalows (one of them beachfront) we had to wait while they made up our rooms and we were then moved. We were 2 couples, one couple got a beachfront and the other got the back "swamp" bungalow. The beachfront bungalow adjoins another room, with paper thin walls and very little privacy from noise. Rooms are basic, with fans (power cuts out at midnight), mozzie nets, beds comfortable enough. "Cleaned" daily. Bathroom very basic and not clean. "Beachfront" is not pretty....no actual beach, just broken coral and rocks and RUBBISH. There seems to be no waste management practices here...cleaners were seen emptying our bins into the bushes. High tide swamps all of the back bungalows, have to almost swim to the dining room for breakfast. Strong smell of septic at certain times of the day. The food was plentiful and ok and the dining room is a nice area overlooking the water. Supplies are an issue here, they ran out of things on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. Toilet paper, soft drink, beer, bottled water! And we discovered they were selling us water bottles re-filled with tap water....a big no-no! A couple of really nice, friendly staff members but most aren't very friendly at all, one of our party was verbally abused one day for asking about the bottled water supplies! Very intimidating. The snorkelling is nice right outside the restaurant and further out into the bay. We ended up leaving after 3 days (supposed to be there for 7), our travel company assisted us to leave and have now stopped promoting Maravagi as a destination, until they get themselves better organised. Has the potential to be a really great place, just mismanaged at present and badly in need of some maintenance.

Room Tip: For a quieter time choose a back bungalow, but only if you want to wade through swampy water every t...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Cazoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Mangalonga Island hotels

Burnie, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

We stayed at Maravagi for a long weekend. We had been living in Malaita, and it was an easy trip over to Tulagi on the 360 Discovery where we were met by staff from Maravagi and taken in the OBM the rest of the way.
On arrival to Maravagi we were met with yummy cool drinks and beautiful flowers, and our bags were taken to our room, which was right at the front of the resort, less than 10m from the water. We had a room with 3 single beds, all with mosquito nets. The room and bathroom was pretty basic, but comfortable. Like other reviews, I'd recommend staying in the front bungalows if you can, as the back of the resort is underwater a bit at high tide.
The island is beautiful and the staff while we were there were fine. We didn't run out of anything, and our towels were replaced every day. The snorkelling is amazing, and we spent most of the time in the water. The food was fantastic while we were there, almost the best we had while we were in the Solomons.
We were warned early about where not to swim, snorkel or walk if we wanted to avoid being asked to pay a kustom fee.
We walked to the other side of the island into the village there, and were accompanied by two local guys who we gave 10 sol each for their time. It was great having them, as they helped us up the muddy bits, and could speak pidgin way better than us, so it was a lot easier to chat to people in the village. Definately worth the tiny extra price.

I would definately recommend Maravagi for anyone who is happy to stay in basic accommodation and who cares more about what they do and experience during their stay than what the room is like :)

Room Tip: Ask for a bungalow at the front of the resort
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2012

Alright, this review is predominantly for surfers but there are pertinent points that can apply to anyone seeking to stay at this resort. Firstly, although this resort is promoted as a surfing destination, it does not receive any consistent or quality swell to support this claim. Have a look at its location in relation to the islands of Santa Isabel and Malaita, and you will immediately release that the breaks in this area are blocked from most of the swell. We left the resort after 3 days and travelled to Malaita, where we surfed perfect 6ft turquoise barrels all day. The also resort wanted to charge us $50/hr for the boat to scope the breaks, which is more expensive than surfing anywhere else in the south pacific. When we tried to bargain down the price, we were abused by a racist European bloke claiming to be a brother of the owner and there to put "systems" in place.
Now for a some points about the resort itself. As a surfer, I am perfectly happy to "rough" it, sleeping in a board regularly. When you are paying good coin to stay in a resort, however, there are few things you expect. Firstly, some degree of customer service. When we arrived we were not pointed to our rooms, and kinda figured it out for ourselves. We enquired to the staff about the surf breaks, but no one really knew or gave the impression of caring.
Secondly, is the location of the resort itself on the island. The rear of the resort is actually a swamp, and is under a foot of briny dirty water during every high tide. Guests in the rear bungalows have to walk through this water when leaving/returning to their huts... unacceptable and a health hazard.
Third, is a level of professionalism. Drunken staff members boozing on Solbrew, yelling, and carrying on till 4am outside our hut is uncool. Staff members sleeping hangovers off on the dining room tables at 7am when we are arriving for breakfast is also uncool.
Fourth, is what happens when you walk 100m outside the resort. We were accosted by other locals who charged us $20 each to "walk on their beach", "surf their break", or snorkel on their reef.... this all happened within sight of the resort! The island and the surrounding reef is indeed gorgeous, but to get stung extra money every day to enjoy it is ridiculous.
Fifth, I believe that the resort is incredibly poorly managed or have a sneaky suspicion that goods intended for guests are being ripped off by the staff. Every day the resort ran out of the bare essentials, despite the boats going on "ressuply runs to Honiara every morning, and there only being 10 guests in the resort. The resort ran out of milk on 2 mornings, soft drink each day we were there (they only bought a single case despite 10 people staying there), toilet paper, and SolBrew. To run out of perishable items is occasionally understandable, but to run out of long live goods that can be stored in a cupboard is unacceptable.
Lastly, I was disgusted by the attempts of the resort manager to back pedal when we informed him we were leaving. He started to provide the service he should have given when we arrived, and when he found out we were going to Malaita he angrily exclaimed, "There are no waves in Malaita, I lived there 7 years and there are no waves". He also offered to show us some nearby surf breaks that he had previously not bothered to mention. It was a pathetic last minute attempt to recover some lost ground and by then we had had enough.
Needless to say, we left, and got perfect, insane waves in Malaita, and stayed in a local village for a fraction of the cost and with far superior hospitality. To anyone intending to stay here, DON'T.

Room Tip: Don't stay at the rear of the resort due to the high tide swamp flooding.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Andy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2011

Maravagi is a great place to unwind and chill out. A banana boat trip from the Honiara yacht club makes you feel like you're a world away. The rooms are basic, but comfortable. The room I stayed in had 3 single beds all with mosquito nets (no holes unlike other places) and the bathroom is again, basic but more then suitable with a cold water only shower (you don't need hot water), toilet and basin.

The main dining and common room is built over th water, with awesome views of the bay and reef outside. The food is very basic and a bit expensive, but has the home cooked feel and still very tasty. In terms of the location and the remoteness of the resort the food is excellent.

The surrounding areas of island are great to explore, and will keep you entertained for hours. The beach around is full of wildlife, including an abundance of hermit crabs. Make sure you see a sunset and sunrise over the water. Makes the whole trip worthwhile and one of the most beautiful I've seen.

If you like scuba or snorkelling is your vice, the reefs and surrounding are freat to venture around. I went snorkeling in the early mooring and saw more wildlife then the afternoon before, so that'd be my suggestion.

Overall, a great little resort and definitely worth the trip and sometimes bumpy (very very rarely) boat ride over.

The

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dusky007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maravagi Resort

Property: Maravagi Resort
Address: Ngela, Central Province, Mangalonga Island, Solomon Islands
Region: Solomon Islands > Mangalonga Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mangalonga Island
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maravagi island Resort A short distance from the main island of Guadalcanal across the Iron Bottom Sound (about 40 kilometers North/ 90 minutes OBM ride) of the Florida group of islands and on the north side of these islands chain is Mangalonga Island. Here you will find a wonderful and a true hideaway retreat. Its colorful coral reef and superb views of the sheltered bay with its deep water anchorage and the charming white sand beach across the island channel is known to be one of the islands paradises. The traditionally built bungalows have modern amenities of basic ceiling fans, mosquito nets and a private cold water bathroom. There are six bungalows which can accommodate up to 3 people each and are all beach fronts with amazing view across the bay except one dormitory style setup of 7 rooms. All are basic but clean and comfortable and electric power is also supplied by 3 phase generator. One motel is currently under construction along the ridge overlooking one of the surfing sites. The choices of food is yours with Island-style meals featuring fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables and are served in a separate dining hut built along the sea front... While at the resort you can enjoy a whole range of activities which include snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, bush walking, beach-combing, cultural entertainment, sightseeing trips, and surfing. Or you can just sit back and look out over the colorful coral reef at the resort sea front. The Maravagi Resort Reef is a superb place for hours of snorkeling and easy scuba diving. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Maravagi Hotel Mangalonga Island

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