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Mango Bay Resort 2.5

Sigatoka, Coral Coast, Viti Levu

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Rustic resort along a pretty beach
  • Outdoor pool overlooking the water
  • Breakfast included; meal plans also available
  • Daily happy hours and a sociable atmosphere 
  • Authentic bungalows with mosquito nets and private baths
  • Beachfront Bures have outdoor showers
  • Weekly events such as fishing and sunset booze cruises
  • Open-air space for yoga retreats
  • Volleyball, kayaks, games, and massage services
  • An easy boat ride to key surf spots 
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Some areas are a bit unattractive
  • Secluded environment may put off those seeking dining variation
  • Garden Villa guests can expect to hear neighbors
  • No air-conditioning

Bottom Line

The two-and-a-half-pearl Mango Bay Resort is a budget-friendly beachfront property tucked into the tropical rainforest without much nearby. Laid-back guests can choose from the 50 rooms that consist of bungalows with thatched roofs, mosquito nets, and private bathrooms, or dorms that have shared bathrooms. Features include the sandy beach, small outdoor pool, and free kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. In addition to daily activities such as kava ceremonies, diving, fishing, and other excursions can be arranged. The restaurant's menu changes often and a free but basic breakfast is included in room rates. Travelers looking for a less secluded setting should check out the Bedarra Beach Inn, which has contemporary rooms and a popular bar.

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Scene

Rustic setting, plus chill vibe with some social interaction

Tucked in a lush setting along the beach, the Mango Bay Resort has manicured grounds with beautiful plants, trees, and thatched-roof units. The value hotel claims to be Fiji’s first flashpacker resort (hence dorm rooms set behind the restaurant) but the owners are moving away from this hostel-style party reputation and hoping to attract more relax-minded adults. The spacious and isolated environment suits their new target audience well, particularly wedding groups that can customize their stay to include sunset booze cruises, private dinners, karaoke, and drinks served until the wee hours of the morning. However, the rustic rooms and lack of nearby dining outlets have been complaints from past guests.

Location

On a quiet and isolated section of Fiji’s Coral Coast, with nothing in walking distance

Blink and you'll miss the entrance to Mango Bay's 12-acre property, reached from the main road between Nadi and Suva. Newcomers will want to keep a close eye for the bright-red sign leading to a dirt road that bumps all the way downhill, finally settling at a parking lot next to a thatched-roof walkway. From Nadi International Airport, it's about a two-hour drive south to the hotel, where there is free parking. Alternatively, there is a shared shuttle service that connects to all the resorts on this part of the coast, or the hotel can arrange a private driver in advance. On-demand taxis are also available at the airport. Cheap public buses also travel on this route frequently, and a staff member will pick up guests at the top of the hill (there's a covered hut in case of rain). 

There are no restaurants or bars within walking distance, but guests can drive to other resorts in the area -- the closest being about a 10-minute drive away. Additionally, Kula Eco Park, golf courses, snorkeling and dive spots, as well as local markets and shops in the town of Sigatoka or in the other direction in the town of Pacific Harbour can both be reached in about 45 minutes by car.

Rooms

Authentic bungalows with Fijian artwork, though the beachfront units feel more private 

The resort's 50 rustic Beachfront Bures, Garden Villas, and dormitories, have thatched roofs, minimal wooden furniture, and mosquito nets over the beds. Room categories are located in different areas of the grounds, and neighboring room noise is most audible in the Garden Villas. The bungalows have private front porches, tile floors, and authentic Fijian wood furnishings mixed with colorful artwork and blankets. They are equipped with fans, kettles, and instant coffee/tea, but they lack air-conditioning, TVs, and mini-fridges. 

The Beachfront Bures have queen-size beds and are the best of the lot, not only for location, but also because of their outdoor showers dressed in bamboo and stone. Garden Villas come with either one double bed or two single beds, while the Family Bures have both in the same room. There's also a two-bedroom, two-bathroom option. For backpackers, dorms with shared bathroom facilities are available and located far from the other rooms, but owners are hoping to move away from this sect of travel.

Features

Small pool overlooking the beach, plus quality cultural and water-based activities

The rustic beachfront is the property highlight -- thanks to its long stretch of white sand shaded with palm trees. Swimming is possible during high tide, but like other resorts along the Coral Coast, when the tide is low, it’s not easy to swim. Guests can also take a dip in the small outdoor pool, which is adjacent to the restaurant and overlooks the ocean. A lawn between the pool and beach has a dozen or so white plastic loungers and there are a handful of hammocks as well. Free kayaks, snorkeling gear, and stand-up paddleboards are available, in addition to a beach volleyball net.

Mango Bay offers numerous activities such as local school visits, kava ceremonies, or shopping in Suva. Charters for game fishing are one of the resort standouts -- particularly popular is the five-hour trip that goes after several types of marlin, Spanish mackerel, sailfish, and skipjack tuna. Scuba diving is offered from local company SPAD, and they make treks to Beqa Lagoon and its famous uncaged shark diving area. Surfers can charter a resort boat for transportation to some of the area's best breaks. The weekly sunset cruise can turn into a booze cruise where the crew will offer beverages and then keep track of how much is consumed (to be charged later to the room).

A meeting space with indoor and outdoor areas is available. Wi-Fi is free and most reliable in the restaurant and bar area. 

Food

Free breakfast served at open-air restaurant

The open-air restaurant and bar has a fun, communal atmosphere that encourages guests to socialize. Continental breakfast is included with the rate and the spread consists of coffee, toast, fruit, and cereal (cooked breakfast will cost extra). The lunch and dinner menu is a la carte and choices change daily but tend to include pizza, sandwiches, fish, chicken, steak, and curries. Free filtered drinking water is available here as well. Happy hour starts every afternoon and specials change daily. The bar's closing hours depend on the number and preference of guests. Drinks are reasonably priced, or guests can come stocked with their own beer and wine and ask for a bucket and ice since the rooms don't have mini-fridges. 

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Address

Off Queens Highway Namatakula, Sigatoka, Coral Coast, Fiji

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