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“Wayalailai - The REAL Fiji!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

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Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort
PO Box 6353, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Waya Lailai
Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wayalailai - The REAL Fiji!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2010

I'm a huge fan of Wayalailai, as I was fortunate enough to make several visits here in 2007, spending a total of 8 weeks on the island. Wayalailai is a perfect choice for travellers who really want an authentic Fijian experience. It is an intimate resort operated by the local village, and you really get a chance to know the villagers. The same Fijians who drive the boat and carry your bags up the beach are the ones entertaining you in the evenings entertainment, which I find very charming.

First of all, the setting is stunning. Beautiful beach and lovely bures just up the hill. Besides incredible scuba diving and snorkeling (they have a PADI dive center on site), they have several daily activities available, based on guest demand. There is a gorgeous peak that overlooks the resort that you can take a guided hike to. This is best done as a sunrise hike, takes about 3 hours roundtrip. They have kayaks available for a small rental fee. You can easily paddle to a couple of small little beaches just to the left (as you look out at the water from the beach) of the resort. Each time I did this, there was nobody else there but me - your own private beach! Volleyball is available on the main resort beach - sometime organized matches, sometime not so much! They have different nighttime activities, such as beach bonfires and Fijian dance demos. Finally, there’s no shortage of wonderful hammocks to just stretch out in the shade and read.

There are a couple of small villages you can visit, one within a five minute walk, and couple of others a short boat ride away. You are welcome to wander over to the village next door and visit on your own, just be sure and respect their village customs (no hats, sunglasses, and cover your shoulders & knees). Remember that in Fiji their homes extend out into their gardens, so be respectful - but I wouldn't be surprised if you make friends! It's such a shame to come to this lovely place and just stay within the resort grounds the whole time - by all means, wander over and get to know the locals! They also have organized visits by boat to the larger villages on the island, including on Sundays to attend church service, which is meant to be incredible with the singing and all.

Regarding a bar and nightlife, they don't really have a fancy bar. Rather, they have a large outdoor patio attached to the dining hall, overlooking the water, with different arrangements of tables - some long for groups, some smaller for couples. The local vibe varies nightly depending who's on the island. If there are tons of backpackers, sometimes there will be a pretty energetic group party atmosphere that goes into the wee hours... other nights, not so much. Generally speaking, if you are looking to party hard and whoop it up, dancing to loud music til dawn, this is not the place! It is the perfect place, however, to sit around the kava bowl and appreciate the local pace of the islands.

What makes this place unique is the extent to which the staff are happy to include you in their regular social activities. There will usually be a few staff seated on a mat drinking kava, and as the evening goes on, the guitars come out and the singing begins, making for a truly special experience! Some of my favorite memories were after midnight when the generator shuts down, out come the kerosene lanterns, and the singing, guitar music and kava drinking continues by moonlight. The staff are genuine people; they won't put on fake smiles just to charm you, but if you approach them with respect and understanding for their culture, they are more than happy to share it with you. That is the charm of this place - if you show an interest and make friends, they are they warmest people in the world, and you'll get so much more out of your visit!

I could go on and on about Wayalailai.... if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2009

Wayalailai was amazing! From the moment we stepped onto the island we were well looked after. We stayed in a bure which we thought was very comfortable, especially in comparison with others in the Yasawas. Bring a torch however because the elecrticity doesn't stay on at all times! The resort is currently in the process of knocking down and rebuilding one bure at a time so if we thought the old ones were great the new ones should be fantastic! The staff really look after you and go out of their way to help.

The food is great- especially lunch (usually fresh fish caught whilst out on the reef trip). Apparently the water there is safe to drink but we weren't taking any chances!

There are a lot of activities to keep you busy if you can drag yourself away from the hammocks under the shade of the coconut trees down by the beach. I would definitely recommend the reef trip where you can actually pat the sharks, the village trip and school visit, the summit walk (well worth the effort for such an amazing view) and the weaving lessons down by the beach as it is a great way to get to know the locals. The diving there is great however if you prefer snorkeling, then there are more colourful fish further north in the Yasawas in the blue lagoon region.

In terms of evening entertainment, there is enough to prevent you getting bored but not too much that you are craving a quiet night in. Usually this includes a kava ceremony, fire dancers or traditional Fijian singing and dancing. If you really want to party head to somewhere like Beachcomer but if you want a taste of Fijian life your best option is to stick to a resort that is 100% locally owned like Wayalailai.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2009

Fiji is a terrific place to visit. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by Fijians with "Bula" (Hello) and warm smiles coming from their hearts. All of it stopped abruptly as soon as we came to this resort. Probably sick and tired of so many tourists, Fijians working at the resort looked like they were from another country, not from the same warm and hospitable place called Fiji we crossed so thoroughly for previous two weeks. If your dream vacation is to spend an entire day in a hammock or on the beach, then you are in the right spot. For us it was very boring, and shockingly unfriendly. Prior to Waya Lailai we went to Viti Levu (main island), Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau, Nananu-i-Ra, and this Waya Lailai part of the trip was the least interesting (while being by far the most expensive). Bungalow that we stayed was very cute and comfortable. Food was very much so-so, in limited quantities, with nothing to drink at dinner unless you buy something by yourself in spite of the "food included" clause. And I am not even going to mention that both of us got food poisoning on our last day here.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2009

This destination has left me with memories that will last forever. Don't go with any expectations and your stay will become 'magical'. Remember this is their home, so if things run on 'Fiji time' - so what, you've got nothing else to do! (Seganaleqa = No worries!!).
I have given all aspects top marks because I honestly couldn't find anything lacking - but I wasn't looking for anything wrong! Everything was right - the weather a balmy 26/27; the water temp perfect; the hospitality a world away from our western ways; accommodation clean and cosy but be prepared for cold showers only; the food is served on a 'communal' basis at set times and is a good mix of traditional and western cuisine. You will never go hungry!
To me, Waya Lailai is Fiji at it's friendly and welcoming best!
Some of the ad's say 'you won't want to leave' - we have to, but I'm going back!
This place is in my heart forever.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graz, Austria
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

This was our first stop in the Yasawa group. The bungalows were quite o.k., but nothing special, food was also o.k. - nothing special but filling, tours were really nice (especially trekking). Compared to other resorts this one was really crowded with young guys looking for party, what we didn´t like too much.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2009

If you are travelling round Fiji then Waya lailai is a must see. We picked this resort based on peoples reviews of the island. Unlike some of the other islands/resorts this resort stays true to Fiji and you really feel like part of the community. We stayed here for 4 nights and I wish it could have been for longer. We stayed in the dorm which was clean and cozy. There are also bures for those who wish a little more privacy.

This resorts success must lie with the staff. Say hi to Big Jerry. Everyone makes it a fun island to be on without interferring with the way of life. The village tour is must as they take you to the local school which is a true cultural experience. Snorkelling on the island is really good, just make sure you watch the tides. The beach is beautiful and you really feel like you are the only person on this remote island. Make sure you do the walk to the top of the mountain at 5am. Sounds hard but is worth it to watch the sun rise. See pictures.

Any downsides............................not really. The food was fantastic, fresh and always healthy. Lost about half a stone due to the climate and heathly eating. Cannot wait to return to paradise on earth. I did a round the world trip and Waya lailai was the highlight!

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2007

I am just getting round to writing my review 2 years after i stayed at wayalailai ecohaven resort. I stayed there with my partner and 2 friends for 6 days. me and my partner had a bure with a shower and our two friends stayed in the dorm. I cannot express enough how friendly the staff were and how welcoming they were. Once they had asked your name they remembered it the rest of the time. The island itself is absolutely beautifull with as much or as little as you want to do. I went snorkelling everyday which was great. The only draw back is its best to wait till the tide is in otherwise you have a bit of a walk over rocks. My partner did his advanced padi course there and our friend did his padi normal course, both with Joe and Joe the instructers, who they both found really proffesional and friendly. I also found the food great and as i nearly always getting a dodgy tummy on holiday this was the one place my tummy was fine. The accomadation itself is very basic, but it was clean and to be honest you don't really spend any time in your room anyway. My partner and i would love to go back again one day. If you want a laid back , friendly place where you can interact with the locals and staff and relax amougst the most beautifull setting then go to wayalailai.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

Address: PO Box 6353, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Waya Lailai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Waya Lailai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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Also Known As:
Wayalailai Ecohaven Hotel Waya Lailai
Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Fiji/Waya Lailai

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