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Pass on Qamea

New York, NY
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4 posts
4 reviews
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Pass on Qamea

As a contrast to Qamealover's well-written review of their experience at Qamea, I wanted to post a 'capsule review' too and also comment on Qamea's Tripadvisor reviews generally.

I think it is significant that about 30% of Qamea's most negative reviews have been posted in the last 6-9 months, with 20% in the last 3 months. There is a definite downward trend there. It is also important to note that many of the negative reviews are followed immediately with glowing, unconditionally positive reviews within 3-7 days (the time it takes to have a review processed).

If you sort the reviews by negative rating you'll notice the same criticisms coming up again and again - service gaps, "camp" feel, disappointment with the beach, disputes with management, prices of drinks, etc.

As we said in our review, we were very disappointed and would recommend honeymooners go somewhere else.

To us, one of the biggest disappointments was the food. Qamea has this reputation of having outstanding food and it just wasn't. And even though the service were generally great, there were some glaring exceptions. For example, one night one of the servers handed a guest's wife a glass of wine during a performance by some of the children from one of the local villages. The glass was dropped as they exchanged it and it fell to the floor and shattered. The server glared at the guest as though it was her fault (it wasn't) and stormed out of the dining area leaving the glass and wine on the floor (the floor on which the kids were dancing). None of the other servers offered to clean it up. Some of the guests had to help the guest find some towels and clean up all the glass and wine. There were other incidents like this that showed an indifference by the staff, although not as bad.

We thought our bure had too many annoying problems for an $800/night 4-star resort, with things like the air conditioning not working, a broken screen door, etc. Also housekeeping service was spotty, our towels were often not replaced and they skipped cleaning our bathroom every other day. Again, not what you expect at a high-end resort like Qamea.

We thought the spa was very overpriced for what it was. Qamea has built a new spa set behind the bures in the jungle so maybe it will improve.

The diving/snorkeling was spectacular but if you're going to dive we would either bring your own equipment or have Qamea take you to another dive operation. The equipment looks new but it's not well-maintained at all and that can compromise safety, as we experienced first hand.

Qamea Island, Fiji
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10 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Pass on Qamea

Unlike the poster of this review who claims to have been a guest on our resort in September, I am not posting anonymously. I am an owner of Qamea Resort & Spa, and I can be emailed directly on owner@qamea.com. We are involved in a labour dispute with a resort couple that worked for us in Septemer for about four weeks, and they are now using this site innapropriately and with fraudulent and untrue information. Unfortunately they were on our resort for four weeks so they know how to spin a tale that almost sounds believable. This is a very unfortunate use of this site, and we are working with TripAdvisor to rectify this issue.

New York, NY
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4 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Pass on Qamea

The vast majority of reviews posted on TripAdvisor are posted anonymously and we would suggest that the very function of TripAdvisor is to allow guests to recount their travel experiences without fear of retaliation by the reviewed hotel/resort. There is no need for us to provide our names and we suspect that Qamea's management knows who we are based on the dates of our stay and our comments concerning our experience. We can confirm, however, that we are not the couple with whom Qamea claims to be in a "labor dispute."

Management's response to our comments here and to many of the negative reviews generally simply confirms their unwillingness to admit any degree of fault and instead pursue an "attack-the-critic" approach, an attitude that mirrors their management style generally.

Qamea Island, Fiji
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10 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Pass on Qamea

It is interesting that the couple with whom we are having a labor dispute sent me an alarming email 15 minutes ago (445pm on a Sunday night in USA), and a few minutes later this reply is posted. This clearly shows that this so called former guest is indeed our former employees. Moreover, as a small boutique resort, we know who all our guests are, and we have no record of anyone that even comes close to matching this person's profile in our records. Moreover, we have signed check out reviews for virtually all our former guests, and based on that we can also affirm that this person purporting to be a former guest simply is not. We are not trying to disuade any former Qamea guest from writing fair and honest reviews of our resort, whether they be positive or negative. With that said, we are not going to sit back and allow these former employees to misuse this site for purposes that it was not intended. Ron Eckstrom, Owner, Qamea Resort & Spa

Perth, Australia
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4 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Pass on Qamea

With respect to this forum on Qamea. I too have posted a bad review and had a vicious and untrue attack by Bryce the one owner ion response. I was contacted immediately on posting by others who had been similarly attacked by the owners. The owners posted malicious and untrue responses to bad reviews labeling the guest as the problem whilst taking no responsibility for the problems and the abysmal management style and service.

Trip advisor provide this service so that other travelers can have the opportunity to share reviews so as to hopefully avoid the terrible experience we had at Qamea.

Some reviewer backed down enraged and frustrated at this treatment and misuse of this site by the owners of Qamea. It does not surprise me that they are in labour dispute with prior employees.

I have offered to share all my experience which is truly an astonishing story of how to have a holiday ruined by these untruthful, malicious and vindictive owners. I can be mailed through this site and have in fact been contacted by others. The owner misleading any person reading these reviews or forums is the deliberate attempt to ensure that negative reviews are suppressed. Claiming to be the injured party is also a tactic. The owners are neither responsible travel industry professionals or personally credible with any who have experienced them first hand.

There has been circulated some concern regarding the immediate multiple wondrous reviews immediately subsequent to bad reviews. I can only assume that this is may be more misuse of the site. It would not surprise me as the behavior of dishonesty would be consistent with my experience with them.

I sympathise with all others who wasted not only money on going there but those who like us are still angry at the treatment we received by Bryce or Ron.

5. Re: Pass on Qamea

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Removed on: 19 January 2009, 02:31
Qamea Island, Fiji
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10 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Pass on Qamea

I am one of the co-owners of Qamea Resort & Spa, and I can assure anyone that we do not condone the posting of false or misleading reviews. The issue at hand is the misuse of this site by 2 former employees that did not meet the high standards we have set for our resort, and are posting false reviews under the guise of being former guests. Certainly even the above commentor from Australia would not agree with this behavior.

It is impossible to please everyone, but we certainly try our best. Obviously we failed with this legitimate reviewer above, from Australia, and although we could take issue with much of what he has reported, we do feel very badly that their experiene was not what they had hoped for, and offer our apolgogies. We chose in the end when his review was posted to not submit a managment response.

Perth, Australia
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4 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Pass on Qamea

I write once again to second octra and confirm the experience we had with respect in Qamea responding to my first review. Bryce did in fact respond on the tripadvisor site. This response was removed when I removed my review which I reworded and resubmitted. I still have the response which I share with others who ask for it. It is an untruthfull and personal attack which demonstrates the kind of behaviour almost exactely as described by octra here in this post and the kind of vicious attack others who contacted me directly on posting bad reviews where subject too. The wording in this forum about this/me unfortunately unhappy client might lead some to believe that the owners took our complaints seriously or treated us with any decency. I can assure readers that this is not true.

The owners of Qamea are the misleaders and I am hoping that the truth starts to come out so that thier trully disgracefull behaviour is exposed and others are not subjected to it on what should for most be trips of a lifetime or the very least a well deserved holiday.

As an aside I was in fact at Qamea on the day Buddy and his wife arrived, who appear to be the prior employees in question, to take up as managers. He was in fact the person in the end who did provide the service in the form of one our many complaints by arranging that ironing was done. to this end he was amazed that the staff did not have an appropriate working iron and used his own. This is an advertised service which I wont bore all with the detail. the issue is that contention would probably have arisen with the owners who avoid delivering any advertised level of service to avoid the cost. I can only imagine that staff trying to do so would have been reprimanded in much the same manner that guests are treated and in a way that I was treated by Bryce.

sydney
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53 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Pass on Qamea

If I had not had firsthand experience of the ugly side of Qamea management I would have believed their story about vindictive ex-employees. They respond to bad reviews by aggressively painting the reviewer in a bad light in a personal way. Bad reviewers are petty, intolerant, misfits, not well-travelled, on stretched budgets etc etc. With my initial poor review of Qamea, they tried to portray me as a loner with many inaccuracies (I kept a copy of their response) and that it was all my fault for picking a honeymoon resort! I had to re-review with facts to counter all that. Subsequently they did not respond to the revised version possibly in the belief that a solo traveller's review will be ignored by others.

I tried very hard to be balanced and did not include quite a few more negative points. The roof of my bathroom leaked on 2 days after heavy rain. I did not want to mention the weather because I believed that was beyond their control. I had to kill a huge dragonfly-like insect because it was fluttering around my bed just before bedtime. No amount of spray could kill it and I had to resort to eventually trapping it in a box. I hate killing anything and live with poisonous spiders in my house so that was really an awful experience. I also did not include other incidents which would have reflected badly on the various staff concerned for fear of reprisals as they can be identified. I suspect they behave the way they do because of the management.

A truly good resort will respond to complaints constructively. However Qamea management has an adversarial style and dare I add intimidating as well. This also encourages others who think highly of Qamea to launch into personal attacks. Tripadvisor advises us to use a pseudonym. I did not heed that advice and it was scary to receive personal messages from others (total strangers) attacking you in a personal way just because you've written a poor review.

You may question why I have not moved on after so many months. I check in every now and then to see what others are saying of the resorts I've visited, not just Qamea. Also Qamea management responses make for interesting reading.

Qamea Island, Fiji
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10 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Pass on Qamea

As the resort owners, we receive an automatic copy by email of all new Qamea postings, so it may look like we are actively on this site throughout the day, which is not the case. We feel TripAdvisor can and does provide a valuable service, but it can also be abused. TripAdvisor encourages resort owners to post management responses so that their subscribers can have access to both sides of an issue that has been raised. In the process of trying to provide our side of the facts, we have obviously upset some people and our intentions have been misinterpreted. To the extent that we may have offended anyone in this regard, we sincerely apologize for that, and hope that this apology can be accepted.

As a company, we have decided to no longer monitor TripAdvisor or to make any substantive comments on this site. We are finding it far to upsetting, and generally counterproductive of what we are trying to achieve, which is to take care of the guests on our resort now and in the future. If any person has any questions at all about our resort or concerns about anything posted on this site, please feel free to contac us directly through our website.

In closing, we obtain feedback from all our guests after their first night at the resort in the form of first day questionnaire, then oral feedback throughout our guests' stay, and on checkout through the form of a detailed written checkout questionnaire. We take guest feedback very seriously, and have made numerous major changes and improvements over the years based on these comments. I say this only so that any reader of this message will know that we do in fact take guest satisfaction very seriously and that we do not need to read TripAdvisor to find out what how our guests felt about their time on Qamea. We cannot please everyone, and at times we do get it wrong, but the vast majority of Qamea guests leave with tears in their eyes and very fond memories.

Vinaka,

Ron Eckstrom

Owner & General Manager

Qamea Resort & Spa

10. Re: Pass on Qamea

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Removed on: 14 December 2008, 03:26