My husband and I spent 12 nights at Serenity Island (formerly Bounty Island on the port maps), and enjoyed our time there. The average stay is 4-5 days, I think; for us, a 7-day stay would probably have been the sweet spot, just being the type of holidayers we are, but we had a great time. Snorkeling right outside the door? We’re in.
Our part of the beachfront was good, some coral bits and the like, but nothing insurmountable. Landscaping staff rake the flotsam fairly regularly.
We’re keen to snorkel, and weren’t disappointed - except on rough days. We’ve not seen as much coral as we did at Serenity, and a great variety of fish: 2 types of shark, spotted ray, titan triggerfish, trevally, moray eels and what we call the ‘usual suspects’ from our other S Pacific visits. Our bure was beachfront, steps to the water. Neighbours a bit loud one night, but they wrapped up by 11pm.
Everyone we met – from groundskeepers, electrician, reception, kitchen and dining room, activities – was top notch. We will note Sammy from reception, Emma, Moses and Sam from the dining room, and Barry, as we had most contact with them. I think many of the staff multi-task; Barry is a prime example of this. The man who does the baking at the resort is a wiz (there’s likely more than just the one, but I’m sorry I don’t know his name). Most - if not all - of the breads and cakes and buns are made in house, and remind me of family baking from years ago. Thumbs up.
Housekeeping comes every day. They will top up tea/instant coffee, and bring milk if required. We didn’t have any specific requests, but the staff always seemed accommodating.
The General Manager was often on site, and happy to chat and answer questions. There are plans to expand the resort over the next 3 years, adding another 10 acres of development to the current 10, with room to add almost the same again down the road.
Transport to and from the island was good, though pricey – it costs what it costs. We heard the resort owner also owns the boats – a good business plan. You can check to compare competitors’ rates.
As long stay guests, our last night’s dinner was set up at a private table poolside, and we were serenaded as we ate. A lovely touch to end our stay. Thanks to all at Serenity Island from Bure 14.
Cola at Port Denaru advised us to take water with us. We bought a 6 pack of 1.5 liter bottles, On the island, top up your supply from the bar ($7.50FJ) or save a bit buying from the shop instead ($4.50FJ). The resort has installed an expensive desalination and filtering system, but the water does still have a salty tang; tea drinkers I know would use their bottled water.
Dinner options may not change as much as some people like, but we ate well. The Thai beef salad changed up after a few days, and became a fresher, lighter version that was also very tasty. We shared that more often than not, with a second entrée. Two heads-up on the menu: 1) if you see the “Jurassic beef ribs on the menu” go for it, but you’d better be at least 2 people sharing, and very fond of meat.
2) if you have the War club, you might also want to share: remember the hefty slices of tasty bread from breakfast? The chef uses 3 slices of those to make the sandwich. You’ve been warned. Photos attached.
Onsite leave a book/ take a book library in the lobby: bonus on the stormy days.
There’s a Hawksbill turtle support program at the resort: join the staff to give the little guys a rub or a scrub; if you’re really lucky, you’ll be at the resort when the turtles are returned to the water. Make a coconut frond basket with Barry (bring a band-aid), or take part in the ‘brown coconut’ processing class. Beach stroll, beach volleyball, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards. We brought our own snorkel gear, but the resort also provides equipment. Off-island tours, fishing excursions available. Thatched-roof open 'cabanas' (for lack of a better word) with loungers, counterclockwise up the beach from the pool and lobby. Internet if you want to keep in touch.
We wouldn’t recommend opting for the (breakfast) meal plan. At $35FJ per person, it’s a hefty bill for a traditional, protein-free continental breakfast - and really, it's our only gripe. There are many a la carte menu options that will cost much less. In hindsight, we could have gone a la carte all the way, and still had lots to spare for dinners as well. Would suggest this plan be tweaked, or that there be more info online for people to make an informed choice.