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Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach
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Reviews (4,831)
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3,636 - 3,641 of 4,831 reviews
Reviewed 4 January 2005

This is a very nice hotel, with the most wonderful beach in the island. We just returned last week (Dec 04) and had the best time there...the only problem was the weather, which was very cold. The rooms are not 5 stars, but they are nice and clean. The food is good, and there are many watersports to enjoy in the resort. We visited the Westin and the Sheraton and eventhough they are nicer hotels, the beach of the Wyndham is much better, quieter, and bigger.
Averall, a great value!

6  Thank smatamor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Rockwood, Tn
15
Reviewed 4 November 2004

My family was at the Viva Wynndam in July. Our first family "tropical" vacation. I have 4 children, so I had to book 2 rooms. 3 boys , 16, 12, 3. girl 9. So that makes 6 of us traveling. When we arrived to check in Karen waited on us and I thought she was just naturally beautiful, like Sade. It was taking a while to process and we learned that 1 of our rooms had been cancelled. And they were full. Apparently someone cancelled our second room. I was very upset and they could tell. Nonetheless, she proceeded to give us a complimentary steak and lobster dinner in the Itailan rest., so I made them with the Resturant Manager for the following evening for 6. He liked to have died. They fullfilled their promise with the dinner, but did not fulfill their promise of the 1 night refund. I paid for 2 rooms, only got 1 the first nite, they moved us to the front the next day @ 2 p.m.

All in all, the food was good. I didnt mind the outside eating. Call immediatly about eating reservations. I never worried about the older children. They had a great time and met other kids from the U.S. to whom they still talk to.

We live in East Tennessee. We all made several friends. The drinks had plenty of liqour, and the weather was great!!! We had full leisure, we were prepared and needed nothing from the "stores" .

Mostly be prepared of your cab ride to where ever you go. Its about $8.00 per person. (we had 6 people) we never left the resort. 5 days.

The resort had its problems, but they fixed them okay, I thought the food was good, and all I'm there to do is lay on the beach and enjoy the sun.

Great for family, no worries. There are no hotels or other resorts to either sides of you.
Beware of the 1970's limo/taxi ride. haha
The only form of luxury is the Italian restuarant, white table cloths etc.
If your looking for total luxury, move on.

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Washington DC
14
Reviewed 26 September 2004

I planned a trip for my family to visit the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach over Thanksgiving of this year.

I saw a review a few days ago that said she hoped the hurricanes would destroy the place.

Well, she got 1/2 of her wish. The resort is closed until the middle of December (maybe later).

Wyndham did nothing to help me move my dates around, all I got is a refund. Granted, it wasn't their fault, but they didn't do much to help out either.

I've had my reservations since June and I didn't get an email or anything saying that the resort was closed. I'm glad I looked at their website, because who knows when Wyndham would have gotten around to telling me that the place is closed.

I can just see them having never told me and showing up at the place in November only to find out that it is closed.

With all of the negative reviews, maybe it's for the best that my trip has been cancelled.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2004

We stayed at the Viva August 9th-16th, 2004. It was our second visit to this property. We are: Mom, Dad, two sons (ages 19 and 12). I booked this trip through US Airways as a package, so hotel, airfare and airport transfers, etc. were included in the price. I call The Bahamas the "happiest place in the world" because I love it so. The people are warm and genuine. It usually doesn't rain for too long. The beaches are sugar-white and clean. The water is the world's most beautiful blue-green and you can walk out for what seems like miles and not be in over your head. The cracked conch tastes like Brooklyn Christmas Eve in summer and if you eat it at the fabulously frosty Allie's Konchy Joe in the Port Lucaya marketplace, your kids can watch the chef bash it out of the shell with an enormous cleaver! I am not even remotely Bahamian, not affiliated in any way with this hotel and not an employee of the Ministry of Tourism. I confess. I'm a Bahamaphile.
The guest accommodations consist of three two-story stucco and concrete buildings- Abaco (on the boathouse side), Bimini (oceanfront) and Cays (gardenview and furthest away from everything). If you are unable to walk distances in extreme heat and humidity, make sure your room is NOT in the Cays building. We were originally in Cays this time (because we had three adults + one child and the Cays rooms are bigger), but it proved to be too much walking in the steamy heat for me and we asked to be moved closer to the beach, dining hall and pool area. Next morning, we were moved to the Abaco building and given a first-floor room. The desk staff were nice about this and we were moved with no problem.
Our room in Abaco was smaller and older than the Cays room, but it was fairly clean and sufficiently cool. It was decorated in the dated "fake blue wood and yellow walls" motif and had those quarry-tile floors that people either love or hate. For my part, I'd rather be able to really see what is on the floor of my room (tile allows this) than step my bare feet into carpeting that could be hiding who-knows-what. Yes, it was pretty sandy. We could have cared less. There is not much drawer space for unpacking, but the closet is large and equipped with a safe. Bring clothes hangers. There is a basic tv in every room with Bahamas Cable, which is an eclectic mix of US stations, CBC, BBC, ZNS (say: Zed NS, the Bahamas' own station), a German channel, RAI (Italian), a French channel and public access bulletin boards (announcing birthday greetings in the daytime and funerals at night). Some rooms have little teeny fridges, most do not. The bathroom is really basic and shows lots of wear. It was clean enough, however, and we always got plenty of towels. The hotel does not provide soap, shampoo, etc. so, bring enough of your own or purchase it at the Oasis shop on the grounds (very expensive, however).
Curly-tailed Lizards and land crabs live here and can be seen on walkways, in hallways and on the small patios. We are from Brooklyn, NY (now living in NJ) and these little Bahamians were a delightful novelty to us. On the night that Hurricane Charley whipped by the islands, we saw crabs clinging to the stucco hallway walls and ceilings to escape the rain. It seemed as if the whole grounds were alive; there were huge, surreal butterflies, lizards, crabs and many different kinds of birds, all sharing the gardens and beach. I did not see a single ant, roach or any other unwelcome "guest" in the room, on either of my visits. I am an RN and a transplant recipient- you can imagine how neurotic I am about cleanliness. There were fewer mosquitos than in our oun backyard in August. In the water, small silver and pink schools of pompano darted around our legs. Tiny bioluminescent creatures glowed briefly green around our feet in the seafoam touching the shore and could be best seen late at night.
The week we were there, the hotel was PACKED with Italians. It seemed as if our family and the hotel staff were the only English speakers and it was fun (we are Americans of Italian descent) to hear Italian being spoken all around us. It was, however, beyond crowded in the sultry Junkanoo dining hall and at the pool. Most days, all of the little beach huts and patio tables were either occupied or "saved" for someone (by hanging stuff from the roof support beams inside the huts). The jacuzzi was out of the question, being filled to capacity at all times. There was often a rowdy football game (complete with fans) taking place on the small pitch behind the Abaco building. There was molto pushing and shoving at the buffet and late diners had to glean their meals from messy and picked-over stations. There were no lines formed, it was generally "every man for himself". I saw a woman casually stuffing a large, canvas beach bag to the brim with nectarines. Dessert was usually a sticky smudge by the time we got around to it. If you don't intend to gear your whole stay to arriving at the buffet when it opens, you might want to designate someone from your party to be the "take-out captain" and eat in your cool, uncrowded room . You could also reserve a table at the Italian place for most nights of your stay, like we did. If you tend to be aggrevated by rude behavior, send someone else to get breakfast, lunch or dinner from the buffet.
La Trattoria, the sole table-service restaraunt, is air conditioned and pleasant. Call early in the AM for reservations. Because it is close to the small, manmade lake, it has a heartier biting insect population surrounding it and this makes it uncomfortable to eat at an outdoor table during the summer. The food is simple- very good salads, pasta and pizza are part of the AI deal and featured tomato sauce that was right up there with any NY/NJ Italian restaraunt we have eaten in. Hooray for the all-Bahamian kitchen staff! Entrees like lobster, steak and chops could be had for an extra charge. We ordered NY strip steaks and fillets mignon, all excellent. The four of us had surf and turf on our final night and it ended up costing us $120.00 (+$20.00 tip) extra for a solid meal that was well worth it. Give the skimpy 3-shrimp Shrimp Cocktail appetizer a pass, however. Especially good Tiramisu and cheesecake here, though. Order dessert. You'll work it off walking back to the room!
On the tile walkway between the dining hall and reception area there are several small shops. One is the time-share office; we went to the half-day-long timeshare consultation two years ago and decided against it. Someone WILL approach you in the Gameroom between the Bar and the Junkanoo, to ask you about the timeshare club ... it's their JOB! We simply said "No, thank you, it's not for us"and no one bothered us about it after that. The next two stores are a small beachwear boutique and Oasis. The boutique had the usual touristy silver and dyed-shell bead jewelry (made in China, I checked) as well as pareos, Bahama shirts, bathing suits and tee shirts. If your're in the market for a pareo, buy one from the hard-working vendors on the beach at the same price as the shops (even less if you buy several and are a good bargainer). I got some lovely ankle bracelets from Ednamae -she is a full-service dynamo who also braids hair and sells various other souveniers. Ednamae has SEVEN children and makes her living on the beach at Viva. Look for her and she'll take great care of you. Oasis is a convenience drug/grocery store where you can stock up on cigarettes, water, sunscreen, snacks, OTC meds , etc. if you don't mind paying extra for the convenience. There was a neat selection of European products and Caribbean-made items, too. I bought some Trinidadian coffee and Jammie Dodgers (an English cookie beloved by comedian Eddie Izzard and my 12-year-old, Mike- who reveres anything mentioned by Eddie). It was great fun to listen to some young guys making mock of the cheezier souvenier items in Italian. Finally, there is a Liquor Store which I have not seen open for business either time we visited the hotel. There are often straw-goods sellers and hair braiders camped out along the tile walkway in the afternoons, as well.
We took a steamy, hair-raising van ride ($12) to Port Lucaya, primarily to eat cracked conch at one of the storefront restaurants there. If you have never eaten conch, give it a try! It is the traditional delicacy of The Bahamas and is prepared many different ways. Cracked conch is our favorite. Batter-dipped, fried until crispy and served with lemon, conch is cleaner-tasting and more tender than calamari (which comes closest to conch in taste, for comparison purposes) and milder than shrimp.
I like to think of the omnipresent passenger vans in terms of those mules you ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon... it seems unnecessarily dangerous and you think you'll surely die the whole time you're moving, but they always get you where you're going in the end. Traffic signs and lights are largely treated as gentle suggestions by drivers in The Bahamas. If I had intended to really shop, I would have probably gone to the larger International Bazaar instead, as Port Lucaya is smaller, more run down and populated mostly by straw bag, tee shirt and jewelry shops. We went to both on our previous trip and thought that downtown Nassau' s straw market was more fun to explore and had more true Bahamian character than either market in Freeport. Before you buy anything, check to see if it was MADE IN THE BAHAMAS. You'll feel better buying something that actually benefits this lovely country and supports employment in local industry, you really will. If it is your first trip, both markets are worth visiting. If not, do what we did and maximize your beach time! I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record, but, walking in the open-air markets under the unrelenting Caribbean summer sun is hot, hot, hot. Use your sunscreen, cover your head, wear something with sleeves and drink water. Elsewise, you could burn to a crisp and not realize it until you have been severely fried.
Wonderful Fortune Beach is the reason we returned to Viva this year and the reason we will go back again soon. This resort is mainly a reasonably comfortable place to sleep between trips to the beach. If you know what to expect and show up in a good mood, feeling flexible, you'll have a wonderful time. The beach is large enough that you won't get that wall-to-wall people, Coney Island feeling- even when the hotel's crowded. We spent most of every day there, in "our" spot under the last evergreen on the boathouse side. The water was so warm, you could just walk right in without getting 'used' to it. There is some seaweed and patches of shells on the bottom nearer the shore, but soft sand is usually a couple of steps away. Seagrapes, the plant equivalent of those plastic packing bubbles, will float lazily past you. Yes, there were numerous unfortunate Speedos. But there were just as many Bikini mistakes and felonious thongs. Topless sunbathing is permitted on the beach but not at the pool. We encountered more topless bathers on our previous trip than this one, but had the same general rule in effect for the boys- whatever is uncovered is on public display, but glance discreetly if you must and do not gawp at the ta-tas like an idiot. My sons learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes, you wish you hadn't looked.
We hit the beach almost every night after dinner, to look at the amazing spectacle of stars above the water, to listen to the waves and to look at the black and unending horizon. It was breezy and cool on the beach at night and we could see the lighthouses on both ends of the island. It would have been nice to be able to swim in the pool at night, but both the pool and jacuzzi close around 8 pm. We wished they had kept it open later, so we could enjoy the quiet pool at a time when the throngs went to the various shows or were having drinks at the bar. I hope they reconsider the pool closing time.
Checkout was uneventful and polite. We were all very sad to leave. The new Departures building at Grand Bahama International Airport is prettier than the old one and pleasant enough with more shops and better air conditioning. It still has that small-island feel, but I really missed the live steel drum music that used to greet arrivals and comfort those on their way back to the real world. I can stand to live through the New Jersey winter only because I know that two and a half hours away, the bluegreen water and white sand wait for me in The Bahamas.

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
41  Thank BaMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
philadelphia, PA
16
Reviewed 2 September 2004

Hi!
I just got home last night from Viva Fortuna. Hurricane Frances was on her way.

Here's my problem with this resort. We arrived on monday 8/30/04. I went with my sister and my two children. We were aware that a hurricane may hit the bahamas but went anyway incase she changed her course. Which does happen. When we were there we asked about the hurricane and a woman there told us "oh that? just a little rain and wind". Ummm...was she kidding. This hotel did not give us any evacuation details whatsoever.

Tuesday my sister took my son to another resort to go parasailing. There the hurricane was the only thing everyone was talking about. That resort was making all their guest evacuate wednesday and gave my sister all the news on the hurricane..like..the eye of the category 4 hurricane was hitting freeport.

Viva Fortuna was still acting like nothing was going to happen but some rain and a little wind. My sister gave me this info and we got on phone and booked a flight out wednesday morning the next day. I did hear while we were at the airport that shortly after we left that the police came to Viva fortuna and told staff they had to evacuate. Well guess what? All flights were booked!

This resort is a disgrace in an emergency! All the people that are there are stuck there. This is going to be a devesating hurricane. Worst in decades. All the people left at Viva fortuna will have to evacuate to school with no water or electricity. Hopefully they get out with their lives. If not...Wyndham Viva Fortuna is responsible. They DID NOT tell their guests anything about this hurricane..except "just a little wind and rain".

Thank God i was smart enough not to listen to that crap. I'm now home safe.

Also....the food was terrible maid service sucked. I will say the support staff...bartenders, waitress' were extremely friendly.

Not that the reviews will mean much after this hurricane....I think this hurricane is going to level the resort anyhow.

6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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