Locals Are Discovering The Delights Of Mango Bay
John Ross is a Nadi-based marketing and advertising specialist with a long background in tourism. For feedback on this article, please email him: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mango Bay is a resort gem on the coral coast, with a turnoff on the Queen’s Highway about 35 minutes south of Sigatoka.
Except for the sign at the top of the hill it would be very easy to miss the turnoff, and this is one of the things the locals are starting to find out, because the Resort is right down at the end of the entrance road, roughly one kilometres drive from the highway.
It is located on a spectacular sandy beach with broad views out to sea and is nestled in a natural forest that climbs up the mountain behind and to the east.
It is this location that provides the total tranquillity that immediately brings on a felling of calmness and peace, separated from the highway so effectively that there is no possibility of traffic sounds interrupting your tranquillity.
In fact, other than the waves crashing on the reef, the laughter of kids playing in the pool or on the beach, the loudest noise is from the hundreds of different birds who call Mango Bay home.
About Mango Bay Resort
Mango Bay Resort was initially built around twelve years ago as a backpacker operation and was pretty successful from the start, mainly because of the “get away from it all” feeling and the amazing location.
The mountains cut off the outside world but the valley is wide enough and is perfectly angled to become a sun filled space early in the day, but funnels a cooling breeze down from the hill and across the resort.
It attracted a lot of business from Suva because it was only an hour and a fifteen minutes drive, and that group of customers are still coming for a restful weekend.
The resort was described then as a “flash-packer”, a little bit above the usual back packer standard in style.
Upgrade on Property
Three years ago the property was taken over by Bill Duffy, a Scotsman who had come to Fiji after a successful commercial career through the Shipping industry, which included 35 years as an engineer of ocean liners.
He retired but got bored and needed something to do and Mango Bay Resort filled the bill perfectly.
So he got started on what was to be a three years of work of love, fully refurbishing the property and lifting the standards.
The thing he and his son Ed wanted to do was to maintain the environment and feel of the place but upgrade the accommodation and common areas.
They wanted to maintain an authentic Fijian style and importantly, they wanted the whole resort to be environmentally friendly.
They converted the dormitory buildings into a series of fresh family units, all comfortable and fresh to enjoy your rest.
These have private or shared porches catering for twin share (2 x single bed) or couples (1 x double or queen bed), and are mostly situated in the surrounding garden areas overlooking the resort and the sea.
All of the units were upgraded and now have ensuite bathroom facilities, most even including an outdoor shower under the stars.
They now have a total of thirty-eight units which are scattered around the gardens and along the beach front.
The dining room and bar area, situated at the beach were also upgraded and the outdoor areas increased.
The outdoor area in front of the bar is the perfect place to have a quite drink and watch the sunset.
There is a large conference centre capable of seating sixty people that has been frequently used for meetings by companies and government organisations, but is also a popular all weather venue for weddings and other celebrations. Full audio-visual equipment, projectors and even a DJ can be made available for special occasions and the resort can cater for full sit down a-la-carte meals or buffet style food.
The Restaurant at Mnago Bay
The restaurant features a wide range of choices but the concentration is on fresh food and local produce, a lot of which Mango Bay grows in their own nursery on the property.
The restaurant also has a good range of wines featuring mainly New Zealand and Australian brands and of course there is a choice of local and imported beers, and a fantastic fresh cocktail menu.
The resort has a big reputation for the quality of the fishing available and they have two boats fully fitted out for this sport.
The boats are available for charter by guests and they regularly return from trips with good catches of yellow fin tuna, mahi mahi and Marlin and the restaurant is happy to prepare these for the evening meal if the guests wish.
Diving and Golf
They are now looking at putting together resort packages for diving and golf to extend their product inventory, using the dive sites on the Coral Coast reefs close to the resort and the world class golf courses at the Fijian, Intercontinental and Pacific Harbour.
They have established that there is a market amongst the locals for this sort of package especially when it is available at good local rates.
Events at the Resort
The resort has been successful in building a specialist market for weddings, parties and other occasions and is now developing special products to build this market as well.
One of the interesting areas they see starting to grow is the reconfirmation of vows, with couples using the resort for a special ceremony to rededicate themselves to each other.
Mango Bay is a Fijian family owned property and the company has invested significantly to develop the property and to reposition the brand and look forward to growth.
They remain a family and couples targeted product but have added new options and improved the existing infrastructure for the local market.
And the Duffys are happy that they have completed the planned upgrades and can settle back and enjoy themselves at the resort.