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RB L
Ottawa, Canada

Confortable rooms and unprofessional diving shop.

2.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
Very disappointing! Good room. Great staff and the food was exceptional! 10 out of 10 for the resort.

We would rate the dive shop - 5 if we could. Diving beyond poor and unprofessional. On our arrival we were told that the dive boat on that day lost its ladder! Two divers had to be wanked out of the water in rough seas.Two days later boat would not start on one of our dive! We could not get an answer about what day during our stay our purchased 3-tank dives would be offered. Dive briefing done over loud music. A few of the reasons we rate this dive shop as unprofessional .
Date of stay: April 2024
Room Tip: Bring your own pillow! The pillows are flat like pancakes!! LOL
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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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 review
Responded 3 weeks ago
Bula Raymond and Judith, firstly thank you very much for choosing to spend time with us during your Fiji vacation, and of course your 10 out of 10 rating for our resort, staff and food.

In answering your points relating to our onsite dive operation.

1) Yes we did have a welding crack in one of our ladders on one of our boats, and as you mentioned, you were not onboard, or even at the resort during this maintenance issue so thankfully you were not effected in any way. Thankfully we have 2 x ladders on our dive boats and everyone was completely safe and well looked after and in safe hands.

2) Yes you are correct we did have a slight issue between dives # 1 and # 2 where a crew member accidently knocked the battery isolation switch during dive # 1 when getting cleaning supplies to ensure the boat was in a very clean condition for divers returning to the boat after their dive. Thankfully our dive boats are fitted with 2 x 350HP engines so the short idle during the 1-hour surface interval didn't result in any down time, safety concerns or lack of service for guests or crew. Apologies for this of course, it is certainly not something we like to see happen, please understand though that our crew are only human and occasionally do make the odd mistake here and there, our SOP's have subsequently been updated due to this occurrence. Thankfully there was no risk to safety or service due to this small human error.

3) Our Dive Manager spoke with you every day and offered you a 3rd tank dive every afternoon, your reply on each day was you weren't keen to do this and advised this was due to 'Judith not feeling well' - you were fully aware we would provide you with 3 -dives each and every day.

4) Apologies for this, and yes you are 100% correct, the boat radio/must should absolutely be turned off during communication, especially during dive briefings. This was addressed at last month dive crew meeting, all Captains and Dive Crew are fully aware of this process. Once again apologies, this should never have happened.

Thank you again, all feedback is appreciated and certainly taken onboard.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 14 April 2024

Took a group of 20 people. Every single one of us would have to say that Volvoli is one of the best dive resorts we have ever been to. Amazing staff, food, and diving. I lead group trips all over the world and would have to say that Volivoli is #1. Can not wait to return!

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GotAir S
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 15 April 2024

gotairs thank you so very much for visiting us and trusting our team to showcase the very best that Fiji has to offer. Your entire group was brilliant, we were genuinely sad to see you depart however very much look forward to seeing you return, once you've been you become our extended family and our doors are always open.

Moce mada (see you next time)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2024

We drove up to this resort in high hopes of luxury because we paid over $400 a night to stay here. First impression was good because of the beautiful surroundings. Breakfast and dinner are included because there is nowhere to eat around this resort.
We arrived around 4:30 so it was just about time to have dinner. It was very hot and humid during our stay and the dining area was not air conditioned. Too hot to even eat. Food was OK.

Went to our room to find very meager surroundings, No TV. No phone to call reception.

We are not divers and we assume diving is the focus of this resort.

Room tip: I would say this resort is for divers only
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 666sandig
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 3 April 2024

Bula Sandi, thank you for your review and of course, yourself and Edward spending 2 nights with us early last month in an Ocean View room. Yes you are correct, both of our restaurants are not air-conditioned. they are fully open to the beautiful scenery over looking our lush gardens, swimming pool, beach and ocean. They do though have excellent ceiling fans for our clients to enjoy the comfort of the tropical breeze.

You are also correct we do not have TV's in our rooms, typically we find our clients, whom are on holiday enjoy socializing throughout the resort, enjoying many water and/or land based activities, lounging in hammocks or chair-in-the-air on the beach or around one of the swimming pools, relaxing at one of our 3-bars or enjoying some quiet times on your balcony or in the comfort of the lounge and library area.

Phones are something that are not in rooms either, hence why we have the direct WhatsApp setup to reception in your compendium.

We are a boutique resort, in a remote and historic part of Fiji, trying to ensure our clients experience the 'Real Fiji', as shown on our www where you booked.

Thank you once again and sorry we weren't the corporate high rise hotel chain you were expecting.

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Reviewed 17 February 2024

Spectacular diving and care. The attention to detail was superb. My son-in-law certified while there and his training was safe and efficient. We are experienced divers and thoroughly enjoyed Ra Divers. The myriad of sites made every dive unique and rewarding.
The resort is superb as well. The accommodations and food are outstanding. The Fiji people make this destination a "must do" ... we highly recommend and will repeat.

Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank DKAKdive
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 17 February 2024

Bula David - thank you so very much for your review, we loved hosting you all and always enjoy introducing new divers to our amazing underwater world. Wishing Carson a lifetime of underwater fun with you all. Stay safe, and our entire team is looking forward to your return when the time is right. Moce mada

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Reviewed 8 February 2024

We had a fantastic experience at Volivoli Resort and can't wait to visit them again! The staff are incredible! We received the warmest welcome, they knew our names and used them throughout our stay, provided exceptional service, and were the most genuine, kind, fun people to be around. We enjoyed the beach bbq, and especially the Meke at the beach with incredible storytelling, songs, and dancers. The rooms were clean, comfortable, and had amazing views, and the food was delicious! I highly recommend staying at Volivoli!

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
1  Thank amytap303
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 9 February 2024

Bula Amy thank you so very much for spending tie with us, and our entire team is delighted to hear that your stay was superb and their hard work and dedication was well received. It is always a delight to see the 'big bula smiles' everyone's faces when they hear such amazing feedback.

Safe travels, and we look forward to hosting you again when the time is right.

Moce mada

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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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