A very warm Bula Vinaka to all our past guests, as well as those who are dreaming of a visit in the near future.
Over the past few months, we have all experienced dramatic and significant changes to our daily lives.
The pace at which things went from normal to disrupted, and now to what some are calling the “new normal” has been breathtaking to say the least.
Even in our beautiful tropical paradise of Fiji, where we encourage visitors to slow down and unwind, many of us have been swept along and forced to change and adapt at an incredibly fast pace.
Some good news however is that Fiji has been spared any significant outbreak of the coronavirus. Whilst we had a small number of cases initially, these were swiftly and effectively isolated. At time of writing there were only three active cases left in Fiji and all were expected to make a full recovery.
We are now looking ahead at when we can welcome you back to our Hotel & Resorts. We have an extremely dedicated and talented team of people working hard to ensure that we do not waste a day in between now and then!
Until then, sota tale, stay safe and we will see you soon.
Chief Executive Officer
Raffe Hotels & Resorts
So, what have we been up to?
Fiji Gateway Hotel
We have remained open for businesses at all times even though the Hotel has quite low occupancies at present.
There are a few rooms of international guests who missed the last available flights back to their home countries. These guests have been with us for several weeks now and have become part of the Fiji Gateway Hotel family. Although they are missing their homes and families, they are loving our fabulous weather and the freedom to move around.
We are also continuing to welcome our local families, friends and corporate travellers. These guests are enjoying the same warm, genuine hospitality as always, along with the comfort, convenience and cleanliness that Fiji Gateway Hotel is renowned for.
We have also taken the opportunity to finish some refurbishment work in our Reception and Lobby area. This now completes the extensive public area upgrade that Gateway has undertaken over the past two years. We are delighted with the bright, fresh, and clean new look, and we can’t wait to show it off to you!
Plantation Island Resort
As soon as flights into Fiji were being cancelled, and most countries were calling their citizens home, we were faced with the inevitable decision of having to suspend operations at Plantation.
This was undoubtably the most difficult situation ever faced in Plantation’s 50 years of history. No matter what mother nature has thrown at us over the years, the Resort has never closed before, let alone for an indefinite period.
Our first response was to ensure the health and safety of our staff and the Resort. We immediately put together a Resort Caretaking Crew, and we implemented a self-imposed quarantine on the island that was maintained for 8 weeks; no-one in, no-one out.
This was obviously challenging for the team that agreed to stay on the island and we are sincerely grateful for the sacrifices they made to stay and care for the Resort, as well as look after each other. Although we are fortunate to have many, many dedicated and caring staff, we acknowledge this extra special commitment from our Caretaking Crew.
With the current level of public health and safety in Fiji, we have been able to lift our island quarantine and are now able to bring more staff back to work on rotating rosters.
Our efforts are now focussed on using this time well to prepare for our next guests. We have gardening and landscaping projects underway, as well as a deep cleaning program for every room in the Resort.
All our public areas are also getting a freshen up with some painting and maintenance projects now underway.
Although we have temporarily put our Stage 2 redevelopment project on hold, we are currently exploring opportunities to get this project underway as soon as possible. With most of the design work already done, we are looking forward to getting started and bringing these fantastic new facilities to life.
The Plantation Island Resort family of staff are eager to welcome you back with their open hearts, their big smiles, and their unique Bula spirit!
Lomani Island Resort
We had just begun a planned three-month closure of Lomani when the recent events began to unfold. We were just beginning a major redevelopment of the Resort’s central facilities and suddenly found the entire project was at risk of not being able to go ahead.
As the situation quickly escalated, we implemented a self-imposed quarantine on the island to ensure there was no risk to the staff that were still on site.
Whilst this ensured the health and safety of the small team that were still on the island, it created some significant challenges for the redevelopment project. Building materials were suddenly delayed and all of the workers employed by our contractor were now subject to the strict quarantine rules; no-one in, no-one out.
With the island quarantine now lifted, the project is well underway and will be finished by early September. Once completed, Lomani will feature a stunning new Reception & Lobby Bure, plus fully refurbished pool, and a luxe poolside Bar Bure.
Positioned in the middle of the Resort, these new facilities will sit alongside our cool and casual open-air Restaurant, surrounded by lush landscaped gardens and swaying coconut palms.
We are excited to be heading into this new
era for Lomani Island Resort and the team are already working on a brand new welcome
song to sing their greeting to you very soon!
Health & Hygiene
All over the world, Hotels & Resorts are re-inventing how we will do business when holidays and travel begin to return to normal.
Central to this is a significant focus how we can better safeguard the health and safety of guests and staff.
At Raffe Hotels and Resorts, we are currently working through sweeping upgrades to many aspects of our daily operations.
Although our properties will still feature the same warmth and Bula spirit that we are famous for, you will notice some changes and improvements when you next visit.
Check-In will be a quicker process as we move toward developing pre-arrival and self-check-in options to reduce the time needed to fill out paperwork. We are also implementing some layout changes so that physical distancing will always be easy to achieve upon arrival and during your stay.
Housekeeping teams are being provided with enhanced cleaning procedures for all rooms, bures and guest facilities. All areas will now undergo a “twice cleaned” process that includes a sanitisation stage. Staff will be undergoing on-the-job training to ensure they are able to uphold these new standards of hygiene, and regular audits are being programmed.
Restaurants will have reduced seating to make physical distancing easy to achieve. Although we will strive to keep things casual and stick to “island time”, we may need to ask you to book a time slot during peak periods.
Buffets will not be the same. Many guests still enjoy the variety and value that a buffet breakfast or dinner can offer. Where required we will be offering a similar experience. A buffet-type display offering a range of options will be prepared, and guests can select what they want and be served by staff who will be at each station.
Pools will continue to be monitored by our pool attendants however will be checked twice as often throughout the day. We are also introducing automated chlorine monitoring and dispensing systems to the pools that don’t already have these installed.
Activities staff will be assisting us in helping you maintain physical distancing. All organised activities will have limited numbers and wherever possible will be held outdoors. Our team are currently developing more environmental and wellness-based activities to keep you interested, informed and healthy!