mantaray beach resort - yasawa islands

View from the restaurant at Mantaray Resort

Today we don’t have to sit in the Yasawa flyer and watch a boat load of people getting off at Mantaray Island Resort. We have heard so much about Mantaray Island Resort, now we will see what it true and what is false.
The three hour ride on the Yasawa Flyer was long enough for me.  We could't wait to get off the boat and meet up with the happy, singing, welcoming party as we stepped onto the white sandy beach. As I stepped onto the beach I turned around to see if my better half was all right. When I turned back to the welcome party they were all walking up the beach, they had left us all stranded on the beach, we are off to a bad start already. Where now? We walked 100m up to the first building only to find it was the owner’s house, bugger. We walked another 50m to the second building only to find out is was the dive shop, double bugger, there it was only 10m to go. 

Yasawa Flyer
Reception, bar, waiting area with big screen TV.

The cool refreshing welcoming drink was served in a plastic disposable cup, yes it does save money?? As for the run down on the island, it was don’t do this and don’t do that, man this is getting scary, specially the part of No snorkelling, canoeing and walking on the coral at low tide. This was backed up by a rather large sign down by the water edge. What are we here for?  I am not here just to sit on the beach and get drunk, not at $8.50 a stubby when I can buy a stubby for $2.70 in Nadi. 

Welcome to Mantaray

So off we go to our jungle bure, but what we did not know is that we have been up graded to the beach villa. Ok this is a plus. The beach front villa was new and modem, with an splendid outstanding outdoor shower to top it all off. 

Beach front Villa
Bathroom in Beachfront Villa was totally awesome

We stepped off the Yasawa Flyer at 1130 am, by the time we settled into the Villa it was well into lunch time. We made our way up the hill to the dining hall, yes I did say up the hill.  If you have a slight problem with that new hip or knee replacement you had done six months ago, you might have to settle for meals on wheels. The lunch menu was on a board at the top of the stairs. This caused a major traffic jam, there was nowhere to move to get out of the way for additional people coming up the stairs let alone read the board. Then we found a table and waited and waited to have our lunch order taken.   My burger and chips was good, but Sandra gave up on the noodle salad. The guy next to me had the pick of the day with his chicken Schnitzel, it was crumbed in corn flakes not bread crumbs.  

Lunch on top of the hill

Lunch took way to long, we were so eager to get into the water to check out the fish life. For $95 FJD per day meal plan I would have liked a bigger serving and not have to go to the bar and spend more money on a Pizza or a hotdog. Good thinking on their part. Now we are only here for one night before moving on to Korovou Eco Tour Resort, so we must get a move on and do a room inspection of the tree huts, jungle bure and the dorm.

Tree House Bure (no bathroom)
Tree House

We started off with the tree hut. Most of the tree houses were at the back of the resort so there was no view of the beach.  There were 8 to 10 steps to climb to reach your room.  Once in your little room you could just swing a cat around without hitting the walls as you can see in the photo, but it was comfortable. The toilets and shower block could be a short two minute walk or if you are unlucky, a five minute walk, no problem for you younger people.  The communally shower block was a classic, cold water only. All the Island guests had to walk through the shower block to get to the restaurant ect. So while you are cleaning your teeth or walking out of the shower, people were trying to push past you, and I do mean pushing.

Give Way to ?

The beach front villa, what a different story. I would be very happy to live in this villa full time. I only had a problem with the raised floor between the lounge and the bedroom, I kept forgetting about the big step to go back down to the lounge and almost crashed into the lower level, especially at night.  We like to lie in bed with the curtains open and look out to the million dollar view, hence no lights are turned on and you cannot see the step. Ooh one more thing if you are thinking of going out to the front of your villa and lay on the beach couch and looking out to the beach and enjoying the peace and quiet, that will not happen, you can listen to your neighbors on both sides of you talking about what they are going to do tomorrow or uncle bob is a So & So.

View from Beachfront Villa
Stunning view from the Jungle Bure
Inside the Jungle Bure, very nice
Bathroom in the Jungle Bure

Your best choice when booking into Mantaray Island Resort is the Jungle bure. They are all down the quiet end of the resort, well spaced out, private, but again 8 to 10 steps to climb but what a good view you will have when sitting on the veranda looking out to sea with your glass of NZ chardonnay.  They look like a tree house but three times the size and with an en-suite, sorry no outdoor bathroom.  Should I mention the Jungle bures all have composting toilets? Still, my choice at Mantaray Island Resort is the Jungle bure.

Now to the exciting part of the day, the snorkelling. Is it worth the time or a complete waste of time?  By now it was high tide which made it very easy for us to walk from villa into the water. The first ten meters was boring but then we snorkeled into deeper water and found fish everywhere. The water was not that clear today because the wind was wiping up the waves which stirred up the sand, but the fish life was amazing from just ten meters off the beach, no need to pay $45 pp for a thirty minutes boat ride out to another reef. Over all the snorkelling was outstanding you will not be disappointed.

Pros and cons...

Boat Transfer:  A slow three hours on the Yasawa Flyer
Island: You cannot walk around the Island. But at low tide you can skip around the rocks 
Beach: Medium to course coral sand with a few pieces of chunky dead coral. They do not like you walking over the coral at low tide and they will stop you and tell you to walk down to the far end of the beach
Swimming pool: No 
Snorkelling: Very Good
Meals: Meal plan was expensive .Breaky and dinner was a la carte.  And the meals were small. Breakfast was very good. You can buy pizza and hotdogs at the bar $$. Fiji gold short neck $8.50
Activities, free: All I saw was the jewellry making all the other activities cost $$. Swimming with Manta's is cheap here are $45 FJD.
Water: It is drinkable by decel
Power: Generator runs all night.    
Downside: No snorkelling and kayaking at low tide. No morning and afternoon tea 
Value for money: Average 
Would we go again: Might?

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