The Mamanuca(pronounced mama-nutha) Group is a cluster of small islands located just offshore from the west coast of Viti Levu. Volcanic in origin, the Mamanucas are home to many of Fiji's more traditional resorts, such as Mana, Beachcomber, Castaway, and Plantation Island. The islands are characterized by exceptionally good weather and, their proximity to the international airport (which is ten minutes away by plane or approximately an hour by boat) makes them very popular with tourists. In addition to the numerous mid-range (and some upscale) properties there are also very basic backpacker accommodations on Mana and several of the other islands. All of the resort islands have fine beaches--some of the best in Fiji. Diving in the area is also excellent. Those interested in learning how to dive might consider taking a course at any of the resorts. Diving is excellent around here and good for beginners--there aren't the kinds of strong currents you find in Taveuni and the outer islands.
The Mamanucas offer convenience, almost guaranteed sunshine, and great beaches. They offer a decent product and are essentially private, resort islands--Fiji's answer to mass tourism. What they don't offer is a lot of Fijian culture. If your goal is to get a taste of local culture then don't plan on spending all of your time here. The islands are a good option for day trippers, who can easily catch a boat at Denarau or take Sun Air's shuttle. One other point: There is often a stark difference in quailty between many of the hotels. Service differs widely as does quality of cuisine.