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4 - 9 of 694 reviews
Reviewed 9 January 2024

We chose the Volivoli Beach Resort based on past Undercurrent reviews, and Volivoli truly lived up to the term “Resort”. This place is very well laid out on a fantastic point of land with great island architecture, top notch construction quality and quite possibly the friendliest staff on this planet.

All rooms have an ocean view. We had two rooms; a premium for my wife and I with a front living area and mini-kitchen and a smaller room (regular ocean view room) for our two adult kids. The kids’ room actually slept 4 people in a double and two twin beds. Their family villas and luxury ocean front villas were all booked when we inquired.

The ideal room for a family of 4 would be their luxury ocean front villa. This would have penciled out a few thousand less than buying 2 rooms – and they have a private pool out front to boot! They book up early, so are hard to secure.

We chose the half meal plan for some reason. It included a continental breakfast plus an option from the grill too and a three course dinner each night. It turned out to be more food than we would have ordered on our own and ended up costing a lot more than we would have spent had we simply ordered ala carte.
Overall the food selection was good. About half of it didn’t quite agree with our palettes; but that’s not to say that it was bad, it just wasn’t what we were used to. One of my daughters has Celiac and is on a strict no-gluten menu. They assured us they understood and would have a full and appropriate selection for her. They were correct all but one day, where something she ate contained gluten and it affected her fairly severely, but with a short duration. She makes a very pleasant but clear point in every restaurant she’s in about her allergy and there is no ambiguity by the time she orders, so it appears some ingredients may have slipped past the chef once.

Overall Volivoli is a first-class resort, and if we weren’t all serious divers we would be anxious to go back.

As great as the resort is and as nice as the staff is, we still have to objectively discuss the diving’s shortcomings. RA Divers is their own on-site dive operation. It is very well staffed and they have 5 capable boats, from center console twin outboards up to ~ 32’ dedicated dive boats.

Upon arrival we met with some of their dive staff who raved about the diving we were going to see out at the Marine Park. They have approximately 80 dive sites to choose from. The marine park is in the famous Bligh Waters, between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and starts about 15 miles from shore. It takes about an hour to reach the park, depending on sea conditions. We were booked on their 27’ cat with twin 300HP outboards. It holds a maximum of 14 divers plus crew.

On our first day of diving we were told on the boat that because there were new groups of divers aboard we would be going to the local reefs just offshore of the resort, about 15 minutes away. And if everyone checked out OK, then tomorrow we could go to the marine park. Or, if the divers didn’t measure up, then the rest of the dives may have to stay local to accommodate them.

As soon as they announced the local reefs were today’s target, I watched the diver sitting across from me put his head down and exhale in defeat. I spoke to him afterwards and he told me the marine park diving the previous day had been fantastic; 80~100’ visibility and packed, healthy reefs with similar sea conditions to this day. Instead, what we experienced was 20~40’ visibility, hardly any fish life and nothing but rubble below 30’. The reef tops at 10’~15’ were very colorful and had dense hard corals. The multiple swim-throughs were packed with beautiful soft corals that Fiji is known for. Overall I was totally underwhelmed.

I was told their 27’ cat holds 14 divers max, but on day 1 they packed 15 of us on there. It was mayhem; people tripping over each other and complete chaos. They need to run a second boat instead of overloading the first one.

During the booking process and upon arrival, we indicated that we wanted to do at least 3 dives every day. Normally they only schedule 1 night dive per week, but they were flexible (since we are a family of 4, their minimum number needed) and got us down 3 nights. They have Fiji dancers and a BBQ 2 nights a week that precluded night diving on those nights.

On day 4 we did make it out to the marine park and we got to experience some of Fiji’s best diving; 50~80’ visibility, densely packed hard and soft corals and enough fish to stock most of the world’s aquariums. These offshore reefs experience strong predictable currents that bring in the predators, so we saw lots of pelagic predators hunting above, below and alongside us.

RA Divers’ boat staff are top notch watermen as well; clear briefings and good guides that found hidden animals. Dive times were pretty relaxed, with our dives lasting from 45 up to 80 minutes on some. They really only tried to get us out of the water at the 60 minute mark during the 3-tank days to keep us on schedule.

Out of our 7 consecutive diving days, we only made it out to the marine park 3 times. To me this is a blatant Bait & Switch operation. We were told by 3 different staff members that each time a new group showed up they had to stay at the local reefs to check them out. Obviously there are a wide variety of skill levels in international divers, and a local, tame check out dive is warranted and a good safety idea on day 1. But they need to run additional boats for either the new divers or the more experienced ones instead of cramming everyone on one boat.

This was my third dive trip to Fiji, with my previous diving being from the Nai’a back in ’07. Unfortunately the Nai’a was not available for us this time. In my opinion, the insistence on running as many divers as they can on one boat, to the local reefs is clearly a business decision by the owner so they can save fuel and minimize crew costs.

But their decision results in my subsequent business decision to never dive with Volivoli again. And to tell all my diving friends how you can be so close to Fiji’s best diving – but not actually get out to it each day.

Date of stay: December 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank tnugentatprmech
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Simon Volivoli, Marketing at Volivoli Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2024

Bula Tim and many thanks for you visit and subsequent post. It is great to read such positive feedback about the resort, and staff, albeit mixed in with some disappointment. I understand that you spoke to our Director a couple of times whilst you were onsite and he explained that regions/locations are subject to both weather conditions and safety and comfort for our guests and crew, and this is made each morning with the latest information by our experienced Captains.

We have 9 different regions which we dive, all in the Bligh Water, and all offer something exciting and different, it is true that we do not dive the same region day after day, we do mix it up, as mentioned above as our # 1 priority is guest and crew safety and comfort. Additionally as an environmental impact on sites, we do our very best to 'spread-the-load' where we can. The Marine Park is certainly no better than any of the other regions, it is just different. In reality we just as often get requests for other regions as much as we do for the Marine Park, again over 30-years of diving the Bligh Water has provided our crew with the best knowledge and skill to choose the optimum location for the local conditions. Simply diving the same handful of sites day after day in less than perfect conditions is not something that sits well with the greater diving community, going to a site, just for the sake of going to a site, and putting peoples safety at risk is not what a responsible operation is all about.

Unfortunately local knowledge cannot be learnt in just 7 or 8-days, this takes many years, and our team have been doing this for the majority of their lives. Never underestimate local knowledge.

We also note that on day # 2 as you state 15-divers, there were actually only 10-divers on board, including your family of 4. To add some fact to the story, out of the 7-days you dived with us the boat you were on had, 14, 10, 12, 11, 13, 6 and 13 divers (each of the boats you were on are in survey for 25 and 26-pax), we do though keep this to 16-divers maximum for guest comfort.

It is sad to hear that you will intentionally go out of your way to harm the livelihood of the people you so clearly state "RA Divers’ boat staff are top notch".

Once again we sincerely thank you for your feedback, and hope that the positives outweigh the negatives. Our team remain committed to provide the best possible service in the safest possible manner to all of our clients.

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Reviewed 30 December 2023 via mobile

A must visit place if you want to see why Fiji is called the soft coral capital in the world with a professional SSI dive center - RA Divers.

The hotel is located far north at the Bligh sea and I have never seen so many beautiful canyons, sea fans, soft corals and it was an amazing diving experience thanks to Simon, Pola and the RA Divers Team.

Date of stay: July 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Road26653256327
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Simon Volivoli, Marketing at Volivoli Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 January 2024

Vinaka vakalevu (thank you very much) for your 5-star review, and happy new year. On behalf of our entire team we appreciate not only your review and feedback, but your time spent with us. As you mentioned, we have an amazing 'underwater playground' right right on our doorstep, and the world's healthiest and most vibrant reef systems on the planet - that is our office. Thanks again, and we hope to see you back when the time suits. Stay safe.

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Reviewed 11 December 2023 via mobile

First off, the grounds of the resort are magnificent and transport you to a dream like location. The staff consistently exceeded expectations and knew our entire large groups name by day 2.
Diving is spectacular and some of the best in the world. The health and color are second to none.
Took a tour of the village on last day. We met the chief and saw many local arts and traditional performance. Had a kava ceremony and enjoyed the music. We visited a school that really impressed that they do so much with so little. You can tell Volivoli is tight with the local village. The entire week was wonderful with local food and friendly people. Look forward to going back soon.

Date of stay: October 2023
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank richardtN5445KX
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Simon Volivoli, Marketing at Volivoli Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2023

Bula vinaka Richard, we appreciated not only your review but of course your visit as well. All of our reviews are shared with our team, our 'extended family' - each and every time, our teams smiles gets bigger and bigger when we hear our hard work is so well received. You had a great fun group, lot's of sensational memories, great laughter, and of course new friends. We are all looking forward to hosting you and your clients, whenever the time is right.

Stay safe and have a fantastic holiday season.

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Reviewed 15 November 2023

Volivoli is an annual favourite destination for diving and for relaxing. The team of people at the resort and at the dive shop are the best, everything is taken care of.
The dives are fantastic, we spend a lot of time revisiting our favourite sites in the Bligh channel. The meals are well planned and curated, the rooms are spacious and beds are comfortable, the views are amazing.

Date of stay: April 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank afromauckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Simon Volivoli, Marketing at Volivoli Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2023

vinaka vakalevu afromauckland for your lovely review, our entire team genuinely appreciate your company, support and friendship.

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Reviewed 15 November 2023

This was a terrible experience. We felt like a number. It is like a Marriott. Could have been anywhere. Did not feel like Fiji. The dive boats were very crowded. We were packed in like sardines. 18 divers on a 3-tank dive day. 45 minutes to the reef. Bligh Waters Note: they have more boats and could have separated us out, but they did not want to use them. Another 3-tank dive day: we were excited because there were "only" 12 divers -but they just packed us into a smaller boat. They gave us no dive orientation. W brought our gear down, tried to talk with someone at the desk & our gear was gone. Someone put it on the boat without telling us. The accommodation: when we checked in, they did not know who we were. Tried to charge us for WiFi (it was included in our package). Asked us for a voucher -I suggested the simply look up our reservation. The first accommodation -no orientation. Just told us to find it. We got there -no electricity, limited water, almost no coffee. Had to trudge back to reception and wait until someone could fix things. They did within an hour or so. Our point: they should have checked the room and known who we were. It is a 2.5 hour cab ride from the airport. They knew when we were arriving. We moved to one of the four bungalows -it was wonderful. For an additional $500/night. Upon check out, they charge you 3.5% to use a credit card. If you have US dollars, they give you an unfavorable exchange rate. The restaurant. The food is good -but don't buy a meal plan. Better to pay-as-you-go. The portions are huge. We ended up splitting most dishes -but still had to pay for 2. *Before you go -carefully look at the overview of the place. We should have. There are many great places to dive in Fiji. This is not one of them.

Date of stay: November 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Holly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Simon Volivoli, Marketing at Volivoli Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2023

Bula Holly, firstly thank you so very much for your review, obviously we didn't live up to your expectations on this occasion. With that said, we still want to address each of your points, as well as take action to do better in the future. We noticed that you dived on our new 30-pax boat the 1st to days and had 18-divers onboard, the 2nd and 3rd dive day you were on one of our 25-pax boats with a total of 12 and 13-divers, including yourselves. Obviously everyone like as much room as possible, however it is not always practical to only run commercial vessels at 50%, not unlike airlines.

Dive and boat orientation schedules are 'normally' conducted by our Dive Shop Manager of the Dive Crew and guest equipment as a 'normal process' is both collected from guests villas and returned to their villas at the end of each persons final diving after being washed and dried. It appears that we may have 'dropped-the-ball' there with you, so apologies if that was the case. We should have certainly done better.

We have no idea how our Front Desk team 'did not know who you were on arrival' as you were clearly booked in and on record, as well as having WiFi included. Apologies again, we will be addressing this at our upcoming team meeting. All rooms and villas are, or at least are supposed to be 100% checked by Housekeeping prior to all incoming arrivals and on a daily basis, again this has now been added to next weeks staff meeting.

Finally in regards to the credit card fee charged by banks, this is just passed on as per normal business practice.

We are glad you enjoyed your Luxury Ocean Front villa and once again thank you for your feedback, it goes a long way to ensuring we are delivering best practice.

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