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Beachcomber Island Resort 2.5

Beachcomber Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • On a private island with wide beach
  • One of the better party scenes in Fiji (drinks are typically served until 4 a.m.)
  • Private rooms have mini-fridges and coffee/tea facilities
  • Dorm rooms available for backpackers
  • Meals included at buffet-style restaurant with themed nights
  • Daily activities, volleyball, and mini-golf
  • Water sports and scuba diving
  • A convenience store with snacks and beachwear
  • Massage treatments available
  • Free Wi-Fi in the bar (though unreliable)

Cons

  • Pool is small and above-ground
  • Not all rooms have air-conditioning
  • Rooms by the restaurant may be bothered by bar noise
  • Some areas of the beach are prone to rocks and seaweed
  • Strict, narrow time slots for meals

Bottom Line

Under an hour's boat ride from Nadi, this budget-friendly party pad -- with private rooms and shared dorms -- sits on a small tropical island surrounded by white-sand beaches. All meals are included in the rate; guests adhere to a strict dining schedule and food is served buffet style. The pool is lackluster, but there's plenty of beach space and activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking. Partiers can hit up four (yes, four!) happy hours and take part in dancing and disc jockey sets. Meanwhile, couples and the occasional family can escape to the Ocean Front Rooms or Beach Bungalows -- both are out of earshot of the festivities. For a similar value stay with a less party-centric vibe, check out the Bounty Island Resort.

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Scene

Young groups of international backpackers are the majority of guests at this rustic island property.

Guests arriving to this photogenic island are dropped off close to the sandy shore, usually while someone plays guitar and sings as a gesture of welcome. Come prepared with flip-flops or shoes that can easily be removed, as the jumping off point may be in knee-deep water. It's also wise to bring a backpack instead of a rolling suitcase, since the island is almost entirely made up of sand -- walkways, bar, and restaurant included. The resort is easy to navigate and the covered restaurant and bar with communal tables acts as the main hub. It can feel a little like summer camp when mealtimes are called out from the kitchen staff, and a quick line forms for the buffet. In between meals, there's free tea and instant coffee, and at the bar, several happy hour specials are announced on loud speaker, along with games and activities. Beachcomber has a laid-back backpacker vibe, though because there are private rooms in a secluded area, the island sees older guests, too. Anyone prone to a bit of island fever will likely get antsy after a few days here.

Location

This island is easy to get to from Nadi, though boat transportation is not included in the rate.

Beachcomber is located on a private island -- part of the Mamanucas -- just under an hour from the western coast of Fiji's Viti Levu. Most guests will contact Beachcomber in advance and arrange pickup from the airport at a reasonable cost. These guests have a few options: one is to catch the shuttle to Vuda Point (20 minutes from the airport), which is the base for Beachcomber's sister property called Anchorage. From here, guests connect to one of the resort's boats for a 30-minute ride to the island. Pickups on these boats are also available from Port Denarau, allowing those already staying on Denarau Island to meet their transfer at the marina. The Port Denarau cruise company South Sea Cruises also has a route that includes a stop at Beachcomber. 

On the island, there's little in the way of supplies, other than food and drink from the restaurant, bar, and convenience store; it's worth stocking up on some items before the trip. The boat ride from Vuda Point usually makes a stop at Port Denarau on the way to the island, and the captain will give passengers time to run to the grocery store or ATM. 

Rooms

Simple, beachy accommodations are clean; upgrade to Ocean Front Bures for the best sunset views.

There are five types of accommodations to choose from, including dormitories, Ocean View Bures, Beachfront Bures, Lodge Rooms, and Mamanuca Beachfront Rooms. All private rooms have mini-fridges, tea- and coffee-making facilities, ceiling fans, and decks with loungers. Bathrooms have walk-in showers with Frangipani toiletries. Some units are equipped with air-conditioning. For families or groups, the resort can add an extra bed to the rooms. 

Ocean View and Beachfront Bures have traditional Fijian architecture and decor in rustic brown tones; some include pretty thatched roofs. Ocean Front Bures are just steps from the shore and have sunset views; these are arguably the quietest rooms, as they're not affected by bar noise. The smaller Private Lodge Rooms are closer to the restaurant and face the garden; their furnished deck space isn't very private.

Dorms are located in screened-in buildings with wooden twin beds, ceiling fans, and lockers accessed by private keys. The Grand Dorm is divided into four smaller rooms with eight bunks per room. Females and males have separate sides and there are gender-specific toilet and shower facilities.

Features

All meals are included in the rate, but there are no loungers on the beach and the pool is small.

Three buffet-style meals are included in the room rate, though be aware that meal times are strict and food receives mixed reviews. Still, since the dining room has only communal tables, mealtimes provide a chance to meet fellow travelers. Breakfast and lunch cuisine tends to stay similar day to day, while dinners have themes such as Lovo (Fijian night), Asian, Italian, and even a Sunday Roast. The spacious Sand Bar has two floors of seating and regular drink specials; after dark, the scene turns clubby with neon lighting. Some form of entertainment takes place after dinner each night, such as limbo contests, Polynesian shows, fire dancing, crab racing, and DJ sets.

Most of the island is surrounded by a mix of white sand and rocks, though the main beach is the best spot for ample sand and space. Unfortunately, there are no loungers. The small raised pool is not a highlight, though it sits next to a snack bar where guests can order a la carte fare during lunch. Water sports, including waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and fishing are available for a fee. Guests can borrow snorkel equipment for free to use around the island, or pay extra for snorkeling trips to nearby reefs. Other free activities include beach volleyball, mini-golf, cocktail mixology lessons, and turtle feeding. There's also a massage treatment room, gift shop, and business center with two computers. 

Wi-Fi is free in the hub. 

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Address

Vuda Rd, Fiji

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