Guests poolside at Tokoriki a day after TC Evan

HM provides an in-depth update on how Fiji’s hotels fared during TC Evan.

Nadi, Denarau Island and Suva
The focus is on clean up, returning operations back to normal as quickly as possible, staff wellbeing and assisting guests to exit Fiji. Here is a summary of current status following last communication with all Fiji Hotels (at 6pm, Dec 18 AEST).

All Accor hotels
A human resources representative is working on collating information on safety and wellbeing of our staff and their families. Unfortunately due to the mobile networks being down this is challenging, however an attempt will be made this afternoon to send a member of management from each hotel to the villages we know we have staff to gain as much information as possible.
Key staff are flying to Fiji today (Dec 19) to oversee following:
-Staff assistance package; and
-Operational normality

Mercure Nadi
Property update:
-Superficial Damage only – clean up underway;
-Plenty of food and bottled water available for guests;
-Outlets operating as normal (with some mess surrounding which should all be cleared over by tomorrow, Dec 20);
-All room inventory is operational;
-Current guests in house attempting to get on outbound flights.

Novotel Nadi
Property update:
-Fallen trees – these areas will be sectioned off to stop guest access until a full assessment is done;
-Clean up underway;
-Majority of rooms are OK – assessment currently underway;
-Electricity still out however generator working.

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Denarau Island
Property update:
-Main resort building structure is OK
-Grounds and Gardens – damage to foliage and trees
-Lagoon Restaurant – hoped to reopen this last night for dinner service (Dec 18)
-Lobby/Reception – hoped to be operating overnight (Dec 18)
-Breeze Bar – Hope to reopen today (Dec 19)
-Latitude Bar – Hope to reopen today (Dec 19)
-Electricity and Water are operating from hotel systems not main supply however all backup systems remain stable
-Food and Bottled water supplies are sufficient

Novotel Suva
Property update:
-Hotel has resumed to normal operations

Denarau Island
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s Regional General Manager, Peter Tudehope, said the company’s Radisson Blu Resort Fiji on Denarau Island “survived the cyclone extremely well”.
He told HM the only significant damage at the property was to the sail shade which sits above the hotel pool.
“A few trees are also down around the resort,” he said.
Tudehope said at the time of the cyclone, the property was operating at 95 per cent occupancy after taking in guests that had been evacuated from resorts in the nearby Mamanuca Islands.
During the storm, Tudehope said staff “served meals to guests in their rooms” and “amazingly we only lost internet for 20 minutes during the storm, would you believe?”
On Tuesday morning, he said guests were out in force, helping staff clean-up the resort by sweeping debris and moving trees.
“We have nothing but admiration for the staff and guests,” Tudehope said.

Denarau Island
“We can confirm that the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Evan, however all guests and team members are safe and no injuries have been reported,” a Hilton spokesperson told HM. “Parts of the resort have been damaged by the cyclone and the management team is currently assessing the extent of the damage. Essential services at the resort are operating and our priority is to ensure that guests and team members who are in-house are safe and comfortable.
“These are difficult times, not just for us, but for everyone affected by the current situation and our thoughts are with those who have been seriously impacted by Tropical Cyclone Evan. Anyone concerned about family or friends who may have been staying at the hotel should call +679 6800, guests who are due to arrive in the next few days should contact the hotel at”

Denarau Island
“Tropical Cyclone Evan has passed through Fiji and our resorts – The Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort and Sheraton Denarau Villas – have sustained some damage which we are currently assessing,” a Starwood spokesperson told HM. “All guests and associates are safe and the hotels are running with limited facilities to ensure all guests are well taken care of.
“The resorts are not currently accepting any new bookings for December and January, however existing bookings will be honoured. Date changes and cancellations will be accepted without penalty for December 2012 and January 2013 arrivals. Travel can be amended for new dates in 2013, subject to the availability of rates and inventory on the new dates the guest wishes to travel. The change of dates must be made prior to the booked arrival date.
“The airport has reopened so please refer to the airline websites on a full update of departure and arrival flights into Nadi.”

Denarau Island
“Following the Category 4 Tropical Cyclone which struck Fiji, Wyndham Resort Denarau Island is pleased to report that all guests and staff staying at the resort are safe and minimal damage has been reported,” a spokesperson for Wyndham told HM.
“The resort implemented and followed an extensive emergency plan which focused on ensuring the safety of all of its guests, with several staff members staying onsite to assist prior to, during and following the cyclone.
“The team, led by Resort Manager, Bob Speed, successfully evacuated guests to the safest places on the resort grounds until the cyclone had passed.
“This team work and dedication to making guest safety a priority at all times has been instrumental in ensuring the best possible outcome for the resort and its guests.
“All loose items around the resort were safely secured to reduce any injury or damage caused by debris during the cyclone, which has resulted in very minimal damage to the resort grounds.
“There has been no major structural damage reported with only minor landscaping damage around the resort grounds which is currently being cleaned up.
“Backup generators are providing electricity to the resort until power on the island has been restored.
“Operations at the resort are expected to be back to normal by today (Dec 19).”

Coral Coast
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa remains open as staff clean-up following Cyclone Evan which passed over Fiji on Monday December 17. A number of food and beverage outlets were temporarily closed and outdoor sports and recreation options were reduced, but “we expect to resume normal operations today (Dec 19)”, said Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa General Manager, Michael Monks.
In addition to adding indoor activities, the resort set up an information centre onsite to update guests on what was happening with the weather, the latest flight information and the Resort’s ongoing activities.
“During this time, our single most important focus was the safety and security of all our guests and staff,” Monks said.

Coral Coast
“Our guests and colleagues at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa remain safe and well, following Tropical Cyclone Evan in Fiji,” an IHG spokesperson said. “The resort is operating normally, having only sustained some minor damage, and we would like to thank guests for their patience and understanding during this time.”

Coral Coast
Outrigger on the Lagoon on Viti Levu’s Coral Coast, has emerged unscathed from Tropical Cyclone Evan.
The property’s General Manager, Peter Hopgood, said that the winds had caused some superficial damage to the gardens with some trees coming down and thatching stripped from some Bures. However, the resort had no structural damage and was operating as normal.
“The team did a superb job in battening down the resort and ensuring the safety and well being of guests,” he said.
“Our priority is always the safety of our guests and staff. It was necessary to lock down the resort for a period of 16 hours as the full fury of Cyclone Evan passed over,” he said.
All restaurants and normal resort services have re-opened to guests.

Northern Region
“Dolphin Island, Fiji, the private island relaunched by The Huka Retreats last year, has survived undamaged from the path of Cyclone Evan,” a spokesperson said.
“Located just off Rakiraki in the northern region of Fiji’s main island of Vitu Levi, the small island retreat and its environs did not sustain structural damage and continue to provide a working base to the small local community around it.”

Mamanuca Islands
“All staff and guests are safe and sound,” a spokesperson from 8Hotels told HM. “Despite being directly in the path of the cyclone, Tokoriki Island Resort has fortunately escaped any structural damage.
“All services (including water, power and internet) are up and running,
“The severe winds have caused some damage to the tropical gardens, including the loss of some large trees, and this is currently being cleaned up.
“Yesterday (Dec 18) and today (Dec 19) have been beautiful days in Fiji and the hotel is operating as per usual. Guests have resumed their positions beside the pool and everyone spirits are high.
“In terms of services, its business as usual at the resort,” the spokesperson said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management