We spent 8 nights at the Amunuca Resort on Tokoriki Island in Fiji for our Honeymoon. The island is amazing. There are short hiking trails to the top of the small mountain that allows for stunning views of the coast, ocean and nearby islands. The snorkeling is the best I’ve ever seen and you can simply swim in front of the resort for the colorful coral reef.
Amunuca as a Honeymoon Destination
Even though this was our honeymoon, I wouldn’t suggest this resort for couples. There were lots of kids, although I hate to suggest it to families either due to a couple of low class people. There was one slightly drunk Australian guy who told his 10-year-old child to “Stop being a C@*#” and he would play with him after he finished a couple of beers. There were a few other incidents that also made it not family friendly, but they all involved the same guy, so maybe that isn’t a good reason to say it isn’t well suited for children.
In this review I can be pretty harsh, but take my negative comments with a grain of salt. I would definitely go back. For the most part the staff was friendly, the food was good and the accommodations were wonderful. The island had just suffered a cyclone (hurricane). Cyclone Mick struck Tokoriki Island as a category 2 about a week before our arrival. Apparently much of the hotel was filled with sand, trees were destroyed, all the flowers blew away and parts of the resort were damaged. It was obvious they were cleaning up after this disaster.
Dining at Amunuca
I thought because the resort boasted of ‘adults only’ dinning areas and pools the place would be perfect for a honeymoon, but that is far from the truth. The dining area was right next to the kids area so you still heard the screams, and if you didn’t make a reservation you might end up in the family area anyways. When it rains there aren’t enough seats for everyone, even though there is lots of space in the back they don’t set up tables. Even when you make a reservation on the deck it isn’t that pleasant of an experience. There are flies everywhere and stray cats come to the table to beg and then fight with each other.
If you want a cheap vacation in paradise, then stay at Amunuca, but dine at Tokoriki. You can also buy some food at the grocery store at Denarau port so you don’t have to sit through the horrible experience at Amunuca. During lunch, they do not serve at the tables, only the bar. The small tables at the bar have lounge seats and you cannot sit up to the table because instead of legs it has lattice work so the sides are all obstructed. You are forced to either splay your legs out as if you were getting a gyno exam or eat over your lap. At least they have inexpensive sandwiches, which we asked to have ‘to go’ and we took them out on the kayak with us. They are a little slow to understand ‘to go’ but if you tell them you want to go picnic somewhere they will bring out your sandwich in tin foil.
For the best dining experience make a reservation in the Adults Only section and go to dinner as the sun is setting. We were there in December/January and the sun set around 7:45. Ask for the front table on the far right side, away from the family restaurant. The curry dishes were always delicious and they were very filling. If you are looking for a lighter fare, request the all day menu. You can order pizza or sandwiches even in the evening at the nice restaurant. They seem to try to push you to order the more expensive food, but just say you aren’t very hungry and they will happily bring out the menu. I even heard a woman order from the child’s menu. Tokoriki has some great dinner selections, but they are a little more pricey.
The Infinity Pool and Adults Only Pool at Amunuca
The pool is pretty. There is a bridge that crosses over it. One end has a small slide and the other has an infinity edge with a beautiful view of the ocean. Unfortunately it is constantly filled with screaming kids and they don’t put out enough umbrellas for everyone. People seem to claim the umbrellas early in the morning and keep a book or towel to mark their spot even though they’ll be gone for hours at a time. The pool at Tokoriki is much nicer, the lounge chairs have cushions and everyone has an umbrella – so save yourself the trouble hike next door, buy a drink and enjoy their resort.
The adults only pool would be nice if they serviced it. It is located behind the resort and shaded by palm trees. There is a bar there, but it is not operating. The pool has a thick layer of sand at the bottom, but no mold or slim. We never saw anyone in this pool and it was obvious they, at least haphazardly, scoop out the leaves daily. In the early evening this is a great place to see bats swooping around and landing in the palm tress, but wear bug repellent or the mosquitoes will eat you alive.
The Rooms at Amunuca – Studio Bure
Maybe if we would have spent the extra money for a beachfront bure I would have better things to say about the resort. We chose the cheapest option, and with the buy one night get one free special we only paid about $60 USD a night. We had a small room with a TV, refrigerator and an electric kettle. There was a very small closet and about 6 drawers. The bathroom was tiny, but it had a hair dryer. The shower was hardly big enough for two people, but that was all the space we needed. There was air conditioning, but the power went out frequently and there were no screens on the windows. We didn’t really like to open our windows anyways as we were right next to the pool and everyone had to walk by us to get to their rooms. No privacy and very noisy. If we had a beachfront bure we wouldn’t have the foot traffic and the front porch would have been a great place to eat and relax.
The Service at Amunuca
The service at Amunuca was mediocre on the best day. It would typically take 45 minutes for a sandwich and 10 minutes for a drink. I asked for a fresh fruit drink and they poured me something out of a bottle that said ‘from concentrate’. The only yummy drink I had was the free drink you received upon arrival – I highly recommend the delicious drinks at Tokoriki. The good thing about Amunuca’s service is the greeting song and drink. It is really nice to ride up on the small boat to a few people singing and playing a string guitar. Then you get to sit in the open air lounge where they serve you refreshing fruit drinks and hot towels while you wait on your room. Something was wrong with our room and we had to wait about an hour, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but after a 12 hour flight then another 6 hours to get to the resort we were exhausted and stinky. They should have at least offered us free drinks.
I guess Amunuca will be better when all of the construction is finished, but hopefully that will include a change of staff or at least change of attitude. At Tokoriki they were so pleased to have guests; they even thanked you for contributing to the economy of Fiji. At Amunuca it was as though you were an unwanted in-law, overstaying your welcome.
Snorkeling at Amunuca Resort
Now that I’ve complained so much about Amunuca you’ll probably never want to go, I should say that we had a FANTASTIC time. The snorkeling was so amazing, and you get free snorkel gear at the dive shop. Mask, fins and snorkel are all you need to see the amazing coral reef just a hundred feet off the shore. It can be a little tricky swimming out there in low tide, as parts of the coral are just inches from your belly as you slide over the top of the water, but once you are out there is plenty of space. The ocean just drops off – it’s like a 30 foot cliff of pink, blue and white coral with thousands of fish swimming all around. I’ve never seen such a variety of fish and they are everywhere. The water is perfectly clear and it is warm enough to swim for hours. (Don’t forget the sun block!)
Kayaking at Amunuca Resort
You also receive free use of kayaks which we took advantage of nearly every day. We would kayak to a secluded part of the island and have lunch. There are lots of tide pools with very interesting marine life. One morning we were hiking along the beach when I spotted an eel eating a crab in one of the tidal pools. We watched the rocks along the shore and realized we had happened across a feeding frenzy. The water was going out for low tide and we had startled the crabs into hiding in the shadows. The eels were waiting in between the rocks where the water was only an inch or two deep. The crabs would begin to run away from us and then we would see dozens of them leaping in the air as an eel sprang from the depths. I’ve never seen anything like it – and you could actually hear the crab shells crunching as they were devoured!
The Amunuca Nightly Entertainment
The hotel also offered some form of nightly entertainment, although we didn’t really appreciate it. The band was too loud and too cliché, mostly rock music and the same tired songs again and again. The drunken crowd seemed to like it, and if I were a few years younger I would probably like it too. Of course I preferred the group at Tokoriki; five guys, each with a string instrument and soft soothing voices. One night we decided to stay for the entertainment, but we quickly snuck away. It started with a magic trick, which ended up just being a joke. Then they blindfolded the guys and made them guess their partners by only feeling legs (Paul picked me out of course). After that we made a bee-line for the door and went to bed early so we could have a peaceful morning. The mornings were my favorite part, because nobody seemed to stir until after 9. The sun rose around 6:30 so we had almost 3 hours of play time on a deserted island.
So, even with all my complaints I would still recommend Amunuca as a budget accommodation. The rooms are adequate and I venture to say that the beach front bures are very nice. The food isn’t cheap, but reasonably priced. The island is amazing AND you can always hike over to Tokoriki for a more luxurious experience.
For more, check out this Amunuca Resort Review & Pictures page.