Plantation Island Resort with kids

Plantation Island Resort with kids - Coconuts on the beach

10 reasons why a visit to multi award-winning Plantation Island Resort with kids should be top of your family holiday hit parade.

In Fiji the sun is shining, the water sparkling, and the welcome as warm as ever. Our own island arrival to award-winning Plantation Island Resort was marked with song, the bestowing of delicate shell necklaces and a mellifluous chorus of “Bulas” by the famously friendly Fijian staff.

Coconuts at PLantation Island Resort

There were more treats in store when we spied our gorgeous beachfront bure, just steps from the shimmering, Tiffany blue waters of Malolo Lai Bay, where we were greeted with a trio of drinking coconuts served with hibiscus flowers and a wide smile. The kids grins were just as big as they raced off to soak it all in before our bags even hit the floor. And who can blame them? This place is a literal paradise.

With its five star location and service, at three and half star rates, Plantation Island Resort has always been a family favourite, raking in the accolades for family fun in Fiji. But rather than stagnating over the two years Fiji was closed to tourism, their passionate team put the pandemic induced paralysis to use, implementing improvements and upgrades across the entire resort, including opening a brand-new kids club, making the ever-popular resort bigger, brighter and better than ever.

Stunning Plantation Island Resort

Whether you’re toting tiny tots or tearaway teens, here’s why we think Plantation Island Resort is a Fijian fantasy come to life.


Plantation Island Resort is easy to reach


Hitching a ride back to Nadi from Plantation Island Resort

An island paradise, Plantation Island resort is located on Malolo Lai, 50 minutes from Nadi by boat or 10 minutes by air.  Malolo Cat’s modern high-speed catamarans transfer guests four times daily between Port Denarau Marina and the resort. Flying in late? Stop at sister hotel Fiji Gateway for the night, before boarding the first morning’s catamaran transfer to the island.

With a super early departure home, we skipped the cat and instead opted to head to the island’s own airstrip to fly directly to Nadi International Airport on a fixed wing plane, which added a whole extra level of fun for the kids. Helicopter transfers are another option for high-flyers.


There’s accommodation to suit every family


BFB waterfront exterior

© Plantation Island Resort

Plantation Island resort offers accommodation to suit most budgets, with options for families of all sizes. We were spoilt with a gorgeous beachfront bure fronting the turquoise lagoon. While it took us a while to tear our eyes away from the five-star view, and to drag our backsides off the deckchairs that had been perfectly placed on our patch of paradise to take a look inside, our bure interior was pretty impressive.

the beach is right outside our bure at Plantation Island Resort

Fresh and fully air conditioned, there was a spacious open lounge with two big couches leading into a main bedroom with a comfy queen size bed and large bathroom. The kids scored their own room with twin singles and cool plantation shutters. Little touches like a leafy welcome spelled out on my bed and hand-crafted palm leaf hats made us feel special, as did a trio of drinking coconuts served with hibiscus flowers and a wide smile.

In room there was Wi-Fi and a fridge to keep things chilled, and I was THRILLED by the complete lack of television screen. Because why would we want to stare at anything else but that glorious lagoon and its breathtaking sunsets?

Sunset on the beach at Planation Island Resort © Aleney de Winter

Families of four also have the option of a studio ocean bure, which while equally practical, is a more affordable option. Larger families can choose one of the two-bedroom garden bures that sleep up to six or an open plan studio garden studios bures. There are also garden terrace and poolside rooms that sleep up to five.

Or perhaps you’d prefer one of the 40 split-level design ocean view hotel rooms with views views of Malolo Lailai Bay. Opened in September 2019, these modern new rooms sleep four and are nestled in the islands new Tavola precinct which includes Tavola Restaurant & Bar and Plantation Island Resort’s newest and sexiest pool.

Sunrise at Planation Island

All rooms feature plenty of cupboard and storage space, but if you prefer to pack light or just need to freshen up the kids’ clothes there is a centrally located guest laundry. Me?  I decided to pass on anything that resembled housework.


There’s a great choice of dining


Dining in Style at Tavola - Planation ISland Resort

When you are ‘marooned’ on a tropical island, you might expect dining to be limited but Plantation Island nails mealtimes for every member of the family, from the foodies to the fussy eaters. The hub of the resort is Copra, which along with a seriously good buffet breakfast (can’t beat the spinach pakoras) serves up a casual lunch menu with options from nachos and burgers to our favourite Fijian speciality, kokoda (fresh fish ceviche served with lashings of creamy coconut milk).

By night the buffet is back with a different theme every night from a brilliant curry buffet to barbecue, Euro, Mediterranean, Singaporean, carvery, and Pacific themed nights, each offering options for every palate. Copra is also the spot to be for the evening entertainment and to get your cocktail (or mocktail) on at beachside Brighams Bar.

Black Coral Grill, conveniently located near the kids’ club, offers up a selection of sublime local flavours, plus meat and seafood, which you can cook to your liking on a hot volcanic stone at the table. This was a favourite for its elegant vibe and fabulous flavours.

Tavola's pool at Plantation ISland Resort

Tavola is Plantation Island Resort’s newest a-la-carte dining space, and it is gorgeous. Think open air Island vibes, wrapped around a spectacular infinity pool overlooking the lovely lagoon. The prettiest spot on the island to dine, Tavola is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Fijian Lamb Curry at Tavola Plantation Island Resort

We can’t go past its killer curries but there are also great burgers, pasta and pizza on offer, as well as a comprehensive kids’ menu. It’s also the location Cocohut & Coco Lailai where they serve up barista coffee, frappes and fresh coconuts. Yum.

Read more about in Raff’s extended review of all things edible at Plantation Island Resort here.


Plantation Island Resort is packed with activities


Plantation Island REsort with kids

Seven kilometres of white sandy beach, three pools – including a kids’ pool with a water slide, a floating waterpark for kids under 16 and snorkelling in the lagoon not enough to keep your kids occupied? Worry not because there is so much to do at Plantation Island Resort with kids, it’s almost impossible to fit it all in.

Hire a BUla BIke to explore Plantation Island Resort

You’ll find free non-motorised water sports (more on that later), extraordinary deep water snorkelling tours to the many surrounding reefs, and even a too-cool Underwater Museum just offshore… complete with a sunken golf cart and arches and underwater dining tables with plates and cutlery.

Back on dry land,  water, there’s tennis, a picturesque 9-hole course, guided sunrise walks, herbal medicine tours, cooking lessons and and ‘Bula Bikes’ the kids can pedal around the island. Kids and grown ups can also participate in fish house building and learn about the resort’s inspiring coral gardening program.

The kids building a fish house

If it’s indulgence rather than action you seek, there’s a day spa with an assortment of beauty and massage treatments, blissful beachside massages, and a hair salon where mum can get coiffed while the kids get their Fiji braids.

Kava ceremony at Plantation ISland Resort

Plus, there’s entertainment every evening in the lounge and\ various venues around the island. From talent quests and bingo to kid-friendly traditional kava ceremonies, Polynesian dance demonstrations and awesome fire dancers to live string bands and DJs… which do go quite nicely with a Plantation Colada or three.


The water sports are wild


Kayaking at Plantation Island Resort

With its long stretches of white sand and impossibly blue lagoon, a holiday at Planation Island resort is equal parts time spent in the water and time wishing you were in the water.  Thankfully, the utterly awesome Michael and the team at the activities boat shed are on hand to ensure kids, and their adults, end every day with salty skin and pruney fingers from hours in, and on, the water.

Plantation Island kaying

Plantation Island Resort has its very own inflatable water park, which is a magnet for kids and you’ll find an army of them clambering over it when the tides are high. Raff and Sugarpuff were no exception, climbing, sliding, bouncing and leaping off the inflatable fun park at every opportunity, while I watched on with envy from shore.

Custom designed to suit the lagoon’s depth, location and the specific requirements of Plantation Island Resort’s beachfront, the park is only open during high tides. Free for guests, there’s an age limit of five to 16 years. and adult supervision is required (from the water) for kids aged five to eight-years-old.

Paddleboarding at Plantation Island Resort

When they’re not slipping and sliding, there are free snorkelling gear (and life vests) in every size for exploring the calm, clear waters of the island’s dazzling lagoon, plus free use of kayaks and paddle boards,

Hobie Cat at Plantation Island Resort

Little (and big) sailors will also love the resort’s Hobie cats, also free to use at the activities boat shed, though booking is advisable. Sugarpuff took quite the fancy to the little cats, talking as many chances as she could to sail around the island under the guidance of one of the resort’s amazing water sports team.


The new Coconut Kids Club is awesome


coconut kids club

Get ready to be wowed by Plantations Island’s brand-new Coconut Kids Club. Raff and Sugarpuff were amongst the first to get a taste of the new space and we’ve got to say, it’s awesome. Providing free, age-appropriate programming in a securely fenced, interactive space designed for kids aged up to 12, the new and improved space is the result of a FJ$1.6 million investment.

The brand new Coconut Kids Club at Plantation Island

@ Plantation Island Resort

Designed to indulge and encourage a sense of adventure, inside is a mammoth tropical themed indoor climbing gym, plus a dedicated area for toddlers, and separate zones for reading, arts and crafts, cooking area and media, outdoor playgrounds for both big and little kids, and a dedicated kid’s buffet and dining area where kids can eat free each night.

By day Coconut Kids’ Club program is packed with activities. There’s everything from baking the best choc chip cookies to treasure hunts, nature walks and local crafts including shell necklace making, coconut boat crafting, pineapple cracking and toy weaving. Though, judging by the sheer number of kids rocking the island’s signature psychedelic tees, including my own, it’s clear the kids club’s most popular activity has to be tie dye t-shirt making (for a small fee).

Tie dying at Coconut Kids Club Plantation Island Resort

By night, the party gets started with little ones trailing a native warrior for the torch lighting ceremony on the beach. Then comes an array of family friendly fun, from movies under the stars to giggle-filled limbo dancing, crab racing and dancing sessions, as well as a super fun talent quest, which songbird Sugarpuff participated in, much to my delight.

The Coconut Kid’s Club is open between 10.30 am to 1.00 pm, 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm and in the evening from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. There is also in room child minding and a 24-hour nanny service available (both at an additional fee).

But the fun doesn’t stop there. A brand spanking new cultural centre attached to the kids’ club in the final stages of construction, meaning that there’ll soon be even more immersive cultural activities and learning for littlies.


There’s plenty to keep teens busy too


Beach games at Plantation Island Resort

Teenagers have plenty of options at Plantation Island Resort. While all that wonderful water sports action and sensational snorkelling will keep teens busy for hours, it is the freedom to explore safely, sans parents, that is top of the Plantation Island hit parade, according to my independence-seeking teen.

Of course, they’re not forgotten when it comes to activities with teen-only coconut husking and smashing sessions, hikes, beach cricket, soccer, touch footy and pool volleyball.

Leaping off the platform at Cloud 9 on a tour with Dulcinea

Teens will also enjoy some of the cultural tours and cooking lessons, and the safe, clear and warm water surrounding Plantation Island must be one of the best places on earth to learn to  snorkel or scuba dive.

Guided by the in house instructors at Subsurface Fiji, scuba curious teens (and adults) can go from classroom to lagoon to world-famous reefs (partnered with a qualified dive instructor) in less than a day with the Discover Scuba Diving course.

Dive training with SubSurface at Planation Island resort

Ocean obsessed Raff, donned flippers, tank and regulator, for a training session off the beach before heading out to the reef with the scuba team (leaving his less independence inclined Mama behind) to dive 12-metres down a wall of coral that was home to colourful corals, spectacular sea fans and fancy fish.

There was even a surprise visit from a sea turtle (his fave). By the end of the introductory scuba sesh, he was a bona fide scuba obsessive who is determined to finish his dive certification just the way he started it, in fabulous Fiji.


Plantation Island Resort offers a choice of great tours


Cloud 9

Water lovers can head to out with Dulcinea Tours for sandbank and reef snorkelling tours, handline fishing tours, Island hopping afternoons, dolphin spotting cruises or to kickback on Cloud 9, a too-cool, two-level floating platform surrounded by turquoise water, that boasts a bar, Italian wood-fired pizzeria and weekend DJs for added ambience.

CLoud 9

Intermediate and advanced surfers can also take the longboat transfer each day during high tide to visit some of Fiji’s world-class breaks including Cloudbreak, Namotu and Tavarua.

For the culturally curious, Dulcinea offers tours to Shell Village to visit the local school, see the chief’s bure and meet the local tribesman, an experience that the kids and I think is a must for visiting families.

Heading off on Tour with Dulcinea

More interested in action under the water than above it? The resort’s in-house dive centre is there to serve. Subsurface Fiji is a highly awarded PADI 5 Star dive company with modern equipment and highly skilled dive instructors and offer scuba expeditions to some of the most the spectacular dive sites in the Mamanuca Islands.

Scuba diving with Subsurface Fiji Island Resort

@ Subsurface Fiji

Beginners, like Raff. might like to opt for the Introduction to Scuba or PADI Open Water Dive Course, because where better to learn to dive than in paradise?


Plantation Island Resort’s conservation efforts are inspiring 


Marine Biologist Jerome educated Raff on Plantation Island's Coral gardening Program

While it is heartening to see so many Fijian resort’s prioritising environmental care, Plantation Island’s team blew us away with their commitment to sustainability. In the several years that have passed since the resort cut unnecessary plastic from the premises they’ve eradicated approximately 130,000 plastic straws that could easily have ended up in their pristine lagoon. And with no plastic bags on the island, all guests are instead offered a shopping bag to use for the duration of their stay. Plastic bottles are recyclable with water hubs for refills located around the resort.

While these may seem like baby steps, their Coral Gardening program is anything but. With two full-time marine biolo­gists on staff, plus long-term volunteers, the team at Planation Island is fuelled by a passion for maintaining a sustainable environment and protecting Mamanuca’s reefs by adapting coral reefs to survive climate change. Partnering with Dr Austin Bowden-Kerby and the University of the South Pacific to implement a number of reef protection initiatives, the resort has extended its coral planting and gardening program to become a training site for coral reef restoration and adaptation in Fiji. And they’ve added giant clam nurseries, seaweed farming and mangrove planting.

Snorkelling off the reefs at Plantation Island Resort

In the second half of 2022 alone, the Plantation team, ably assisted by volunteers from all over the world, plans on planting 50,000 pieces of coral around the island’s reefs. The resort’s guests are encouraged to learn about the resort’s admirable marine conservation efforts, whether that’s through hands-on activities such as coral planting and fish house construction, guided tours with the resort’s marine biologists, or joining in clean-up campaigns. And there’s no age limit to learning! Even the resort’s little guests are introduced to substantiality and marine conservation through sessions in the kids’ club.


Plantation Island Resort’s staff are its greatest asset


Staff at Planation Island

Ever departed from a resort and felt like you’ve leaving with 20 new best friends? You’ll be hard pressed not to at Plantation Island. Sure, Fijian people are famously friendly, but I swear Plantation Island has managed to find and employ the friendliest of them all. From the first jovial ‘Bula’ to our last hugs goodbye, the resort staff made us feel like family, their innate Fijian joy rubbing off and putting an undeniable skip in our step and permagrins across our faces.

It wasn’t just one staff member either. From the absolute funsters in the kids’ club and the water sports centre to the nothing-is-too-much-trouble service of the housekeeping and wait staff, and the amazing singers and guitarists that serenaded us everywhere we went, we fell a little in love with everyone.

Of course, there are always a few special mentions and Raff and Sugarpuff have asked me to give a special shout out to the awesome Alex, Api and Justin, and the amazing, everywhere-at-once Wise who supervised the top notch service team across the resort restaurants like a magician. Then there are too-cool marine biologists Jerome and Cedric who taught the kids so much about marine conservation, and the unforgettable and always entertaining Michael at the activities boat shed who managed to keep the kids safe in the water and the adults in fits of laughter day in and day out. Legends all.


Plantation Island Resort
Malolo Lailai,
Nadi, Fiji


Disclosure: The BoyEatsWorld family were guests of Plantation Island Resort, but all sunset strolling, waterpark larking, kokoda gobbling and opinions are our own. 


 

4 Comments on Plantation Island Resort with kids

  1. Barbara Barrett
    September 6, 2022 at 11:29 am (2 years ago)

    Looks fantastic do you offer a food and drink package

    Reply
  2. Roslyn
    October 5, 2022 at 2:52 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve noticed some great deals for Fiji Plantation Island. We are from Australia. Do you have any great specials I can have a look at

    Reply
    • Aleney de Winter
      October 24, 2022 at 8:12 pm (1 year ago)

      I don’t offer deals but if you head to the Plantation Island website there are some there.

      Reply

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ABOUT US

Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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