Impact Publications : MICEBTN-72
Page 28 • MICEBTN - March-April 2019 SOUTH PACIFIC Plantation Island Resort moves into next phase of development, adding rooms and dining options PLANTATION Island Resort is nestled on the second-largest and most-developed island in the Mamanuca group, Malolo Lailai Island. The property is a 158-room 3-star resort (increasing to 198 rooms on 1 September 2019) with a blend of beachfront, poolside and studio accommodation options. Its existing room options in- clude stand-alone bures, duplex bures and garden terrace/poolside rooms in blocks of four. A modern hotel-room- style accommodation option branded’ Ocean View Hotel Rooms’ opens in late 2019 and will complement the larger existing rooms. Guests are part of a rich history The Nadroga chief Ratu Kini sold the uninhabited island in 1872 to John Thom- son as a cotton plantation. Thomson died in 1876 and the island was sold to the American Louis Armstrong, who died bankrupt and the island fell to a mortgage agency. In November 1891, the agency sold the island to James Borron who owned several plantations throughout Fiji and he leased Malo- lo Lailai Island to a Chinese fam- ily for 70 years to plant coconut palms and harvest copra. In the early 1960s the island was bought by Richard Smith, Reginald Raffe and Sir Ian Macfarlane. Raffe and Smith built 10 bures and a res- taurant before opening Plantation Village Resort in 1969. In the early 1970s, the three men parted ways and individually managed their portions of Malolo Lailai island. An airstrip was built and it acted as a boundary between what is now Plantation Island Resort and Musket Cove Resort. In 1977, the name of the Resort changed from Plantation Village Resort to Planta- tion Island Resort and Raffe start- ed building the ‘Hotel Block’ (also called the 100 block). In early 2015, Plantation Island Resort was at its largest with 205 rooms, three restaurants, three pools and a nine-hole golf course. In October 2015, the Hotel Block was demolished for safety reasons and was replaced by a white sand beach area including a volleyball court. In late 2016, Ananda’s Restaurant was closed indefinitely leaving two restaurants and 165 rooms at the Resort . In early 2017, Plantation Island Resort under- went an extensive beach improvement project to enhance the north-facing beach of the resort and create an all-tide swimming area for guests. In May 2018, the owners began construction of a stunning new development including a new res- taurant, pool, bar and 40 new hotel rooms which will be completed in mid 2019. These new hotel rooms deliver the resort a unique product offering for the region and offer conference attendees an accom- modation option of a modern hotel style room, creating a point of difference to the stand-alone bu- res that make up most of the other accommodation around the resort.