I could not recommend the Shangri La for families, Christmas or for Weddings.
The Shangri La resort is without a doubt a beautiful resort, it has 4 pools, 4 restaurants and boasts a perfect beach front environment with pool games in the lagoon family pool, water sports in the lagoon and the property it without a doubt is superb. Such a pity it is so cheap and greedy, and absolutely nothing is complimentary, on the house or as a nice gesture and lack of being able to communicate is definitely an issue. And we were staying in their Deluxe Beach Bure Suite @ $717 Fijian per night. Once you are booked and paid for this resort they don’t seem to care about customer satisfaction or service, you’re at their mercy.
We just spent our 2010 Christmas holiday there with my Husband, 2 daughters one 9 years old and the other 7 months old and our 15 year old nephew. We also decided to renew our wedding vows at the resort while we were there as it was our 10th anniversary and we just had a baby and life at this moment it great so why not.
As a Mum, the food is somewhat important, it doesn’t have to be great because let’s face it only makes our cooking better at the end of the day but what we encounter was 90% below average food and absolutely shocking service. The Fijian people are always lovely and will always answer with yes maam of coarse we can do that, which means whatever, it isn’t going to happen like you think but you will be charged for it.
We had the Indian curry buffet first encounter, it was terrible, no curry sauces were prepared and all the meat quality was fatty. You would be challenged to eat your first plate. When I asked if someone could blend some food for my baby this was an issue, something was delivered however it was over an hour later and I had to feed my Baby “Abbey” custard that I brought from home. Needless to say this was the benchmark for our 10 days stay there.
The resort is huge, which initially sounds great for the entire family but it is tiring, unless you stay right near the Lagoon pool and buffet and everything is a long walk, a major effort with baby. They don’t have a bar at the lagoon family pool; you have to either go to the bar or the restaurant for a drink that cannot be consumed by the pool so the whole cocktails by the pool are gone. Sadly that was the image I had of my holiday.
Our vow renewal was interesting, if I had my first wedding there I would NOT be happy, and the bride from the weekend before was fuming. Our wedding coordinator met with us and went through the details (ours was only a small group of 8 people). When I asked about details of the ceremony my response was always “Yes Maam”, with a pleasant smile, which apparently means, I have no idea what you’re saying. I simply wanted vows on the beach (our vows) champagne we brought and cheese near the pool and to dine in their Fine Dining Adults only restaurant with some candles on the table to make it pretty. I was told to put candles on our 1 table it was going to be $15 per person, when I had words with the Manager about this I was told we would have to go to a private room so we didn’t offend anyone else. So there were dramas before, the celebrant and vow certificate said we had been married for 8 years not 10 and we had no opportunity to say our own vows. The ceremony was over in 5 minutes. The photographer was good, it was all very package deal, not at all personal. We opted for the 36 photo package, it came in a nice ordinary photo book 6×8 picture, when I previously asked for the 72 package with was going to cost a further $350 dollars, DON’T waste your money.
Dinner was excellent and the head chef was lovely, there was only one other couple dining in the restaurant the whole time we were there. Oh, and corkage on our champagne $15 per bottle. Afterwards we went to the Marlin Bar/nightclub, there were approx. 5 other people in the place.
When we arrived we thought the Resort had given us complimentary cocktails for the Bride & Groom, as they brought them over and put them in front of us, we thought that was very thoughtful and so we took pictures of them and only to have someone come over to us and say “Did you order those drink?” and we said “No” so then he picked them up and took them to the table next to us. How rude!!
We are an easy going couple and laughed off the entire wedding evening experience as being dodgy. I would never recommend anyone to get married at the Shangri La Resort Fiji, ever unless you do not care about the little details that make your wedding individual.
At Christmas they had the most breath-taking choir but the Christmas menus for family all round were difficult and tacky. Seafood buffet comprised of stretching the seafood in salads, fish cakes etc. There were no fresh prawns, lobster and seafood that you would expect in Fiji, as a matter of fact the best seafood we had in Fiji was at the Gecko 3 star resort across the road that was packed every night, lobster cheap and free fire-dancing shows etc. They also catered for our group on Christmas day providing 4 lobsters, 4 kg prawns, salads and sauce for 8 for less than AU$250, which is cheap considering buffets were between $50-$75 Fiji dollars.
Our biggest problem with our stay was with the food, Christmas Eve we went to the Beach front Bar and Grill for dinner. We ordered ice cream for my baby, yogurt and ice cream was the only thing she could eat and no one offered to make any baby food or as a family resort that is isolated there was none on the menu. We were still there at 9:30pm, baby screaming her head off and still no ice cream. They serve the kids meals 2 hours after ordering and our meals 3 hours later and the food was particularly sub-standard. Kids spaghetti was dry, fish was too small and all bones, no real meat on it and no one else was happy with their meals either. After I finally got my baby to sleep, I had words with the manager who just answered with “Yes maam” and again nothing was done.
My baby drank a lot more formula than usual and I ran out 3 days early, I went to the shop in the resort and he assured me he could get some in, I told him if he can’t I will go out of the resort and find some myself he said it would be taken care off. Christmas Eve night when I went to pick this formula up I was informed they were too busy to get it in for me, “Sorry maam”.
Exasperated and starving I contacted the duty manager, he promptly arrived on my door step with the head of security. I explain all my issues including the fact that we have had to pay for all our daughter’s meals as they only had pasta, no sauce and mash potato with a minimal amount a mince meat to pretend to be a shepherd’s pie and cordial only. I was told to be “rest assured that the last few days” at the resort there would not be a problem. Nothing changed and nothing improved.
The Shangri La did take the dinner at the beach front bar and grill off our account considering we got up and, walked out as it was coming out after waiting so long, They also deducted the Indian curry buffet which it was hideous, that’s as far as there nice gestures go. Upon paying out account they tried charging us for all buffet breakfast that we had included in our travel itinerary and we had to show cause. They tried to charge us for these meals again and we had to state our argument again. Also without being advised they placed a $3000 security on our credit card that was not cancelled on payment.
We were supposed to have unlimited laundry and had to pay for that, we were supposed to have a $20 credit for specified recreational facilities and complimentary internet. We ended up paying for absolutely everything and the Bures don’t have internet facility.
Just as we were leaving the resort a Manger approached me, he stated he had been trying to find me for the last 3 days. Hardly likely! He apologised and told me that he had a 7 week old baby himself so I don’t understand why they seem to have forgotten about the endless babies that pass through the resort.
The best part of our trip was the helicopter out of there. It was a very exhausting holiday. I would not recommend this resort to anyone with young kids unless you want to dump them in Kids Club every day and go to the adults only section of the resort and don’t care what they eat.
We have stayed at the Australian owned Outrigger Resort in their beach bure and were treated like royalty for the duration of our stay and their food was superb, but we were told that the kids club is better at the Shangri La Resort. We will not be returning or recommending this resort.
This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.