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“Awesome Oarsman.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oarsman's Bay Lodge

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Oarsman's Bay Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Nacula Island, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Nacula Island
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Awesome Oarsman.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

Beach:one of the nicest. warm sun and cool waters
Staff: Genuinely want you to enjoy your stay there and will try hard to help you.
Food: Very good and plenty of it,
Activities: Lots,Give everything a go,The walks cost nothing and are worth the effort.
Accomodation:Clean,comfortable and quiet.
Highlights: Getting to know some of the staff and meeting other s from around the world.
The laid back guest seemed to be having the most fun and got the spirit of the place.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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137 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2009


I firstly want to say that I read Trip Advisor before heading to Oarsmans Bay Lodge, I was hesitant because of some of the reviews.
But it is human nature for people to take action when they want to complain. I think a lot of people were sold this destination and it wasn't what they wanted from their holiday. If you want 5 star hotels with all the bells and whistles - Go to Denarau.

Oarsmans Bay Lodge is simple, clean, beds made up daily, amazing location and great value for money given your location, beach and meal inclusions.

My friends and I went anyway and we were so pleased that we did and will be going back!

We spent 5 nights in one of the duplex bure in August 2009. We went looking for a great beach to swim, sunbath, snorkel and relax. And we found our slice of paradise it Oarsmans Bay Lodge. You need to really spend at least 3 nights to get into the flow of things and get to know the destination and the staff.

After a 4.5hr boat ride up from Nadi on the Yasawa Flyer, we caught Joes Water Taxi for about 5mins trip around the corner to Oarsmans Bay. WOW! First impressions of this amazing place is the blue blue water that you could see right to the bottom of the ocean and how far away from the hustle and bustle of a city or even Nadi you feel. Naturally we were welcomed by the staff at Oarsmans Bay with singing and of course huge smiles :)

**would recommend upgrading to the captains lounge on the Yasawa Flyer for extra comfort with air con and bar and snack selections free of cost to make the trip much nicer. Cost about $25fjd each direction more.

So main points of interest for everyone

Served at set times throughout the day (Different times to what's on their website). All meals are served on the deck that sits up and allows you to over look the water. Breakfast consisted of tea, coffee, cereal, toast, fresh fruit and daily changes of either additional scones, coconut little muffins things, fruit cake. Breakfast does come out bit slowly so don't fill up on the toast and cereals as the yummy stuff like the muffins come out bit later.
Lunch always looked tiny but always filing, one day we had fish and chips with salad, or chicken fried rice, hamburgers, kebab skews.
Dinner - 3 courses every night starting with a soup of some type (potato, carrot etc) with the most amazing homemade bread, mains would change nightly certain nights of the week were bbq night and lovo (traditional way of cooking) and of course if you could fit it in dessert which was cake with either ice cream or custard.

No one ever seemed hungry, if you were you can always ask if there is more and there usually always was.

Afternoon tea wasn't running on the first few days we were there but we asked about it and said we were getting hungry in the afternoon as lunch is 12ish and dinner at 7pm so the next day huge slices of cake and cup of tea or coffee were available in the afternoon for about $2fjd! Awesome.
Don't worry if you don't eat fish, there was plenty of other options to choose from, just let them know when you arrive.
Food is overall basic home cooked style, again I say its not a 5 star resort and if that is what your wanting you're going to the wrong destination.

Not overly stocked. Prices when we were there was Fiji beer was $6fjd, cans coke or other fizzy drinks and juice $4fjd.
Most people would take their duty free and buy their mixers from the bar.

Every room is pretty much beachfront location, even the dorm room which sits above the main dining area. Besides when you are only 10 steps to the beach who can complain. And the price? Well worth it, elsewhere you would pay huge amounts elsewhere to get that location.
We had 3 in our room, so we had a double bed and set of bunks with our own shower and toilet and vanity area. Plenty of room for you bags and to walk around. Celing fan and floor to ceiling windows with mozzie nets on them allowed the breeze to come in. We also took up one of the plug in mozzie repellents.

We did the Caves, Village Trip and Blue Lagoon. Oarsmans Bay Lodge website is out of date with pricing on the day trips. Currently gas/petrol is very expensive about $8fjd per litre. We paid $20fjd for Blue Lagoon, $55 fjd for the caves and everything else eg village trip is $10fjd.

The Caves was amazing, you get a decent boat ride over (hence the price) with amazing views of the glorious blue blue ocean. Underwater camera is a must with this trip. If you aren't into diving under the water then give it a miss though as you do need to dive under a rock and come up the other side. You are only under about 4-5seconds and the staff help you through and make sure you don't hit your head coming up too soon.

Village Trip - This is where the staff are from, amazing to walk around their homes and see how they live. We also visited the school where they did a performance for us of singing, shell market selling shells and bits of arts and crafts and jewellery. Note that some shells need permits to be removed from Fiji, the shell that you blow into Im not sure what its called so don't buy this one as the permit takes 3 days business days to get in Nadi. Market was great for necklaces, bookmarks etc.

Blue Lagoon - Must visit to say you have been there. Unfortunately a lot of the coral has been killed off with all the tourists and boats but there are parts where it feels secluded. Not a very nice beach at low tide, reasonable fish life but better at Oarsmans Bay we felt. One thing about the Blue Lagoon is where the Yasawa Ferry drops you off to be picked up is pretty much where the Lagoon is. (They don't tell you this)

Oarsmans Bay Lodge Beach
There is a large area that is sections off by bouyes for snorkling, this protects yourself from any boats coming past and the reef. Its a large area and over the best part of the snorkling area. Swimming is all tides and I just can't fault it at all.

They do massages too - We didn't find this out till the last day - Its no day spa, but fantastic massage none the less.

If you need anything on your holiday at Oarsmans Bay just ask, they don't know if you need it until you say something. I found them to be so friendly and will do what they can to make your holiday relaxing and stress free.
We treated them like friends from the word go, maybe that is why we had such an amzing stay.

Don't worry they have internet (at additional cost) and mobile phone reception for those of you who can't go without. But leave it at home or turn it off and enjoy the tranquillity. It was so nice not hearing people talking on the phone and phones beeping every few minutes.

I checked out the other beaches in the Yasawas as we came back to Nadi as they were on low tide. They all have coral or rocky areas or even green grass growing in the waters edge. Oarsmans Bay Lodge is all tidal swimming so the best pick I think for your swimming.

We had an amazing time at Oarsmans Bay Lodge - The staff were like friends by the end of leaving with their cheeky natures coming out on about the second day of being there.

Thank you Oarsmans Bay Lodge - We will be back!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2009

The beach at Oarsman´s is great, and we had a great time snorkling.

But: The resort was by far the worst we stayed in Fiji, although it was the most expensive. Particularly the food was a joke - only toast and butter for breakfast (ok, there was also Vegemite, but no jam or juice), very little quantities for lunch and dinner and poor quality overall (it was hard to guess whether we were eating fish or chicken). Luckily we brought our own alcohol (and muesli bars), as there was only beer and rather expensive wine at the resort (don´t even bother asking for cocktails). They ran out of drinking water one day. Service was incredibly slow (and we know the difference between laid back and slow). There is very little to do other than snorkling and swimming, which was really nice though. The interior is anything but Fiji-like (plastic chairs, tiled floor, bright neon lights).

On the upside, was the live music every day from people of the village.

Overall, if we don´t mind bad food, and are solely after a great beach and remoteness, you should still go.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Island
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2009

Oarsman Bay, what can I say. It really is as good as the preview pictures, in fact could be better. A deep water white sand beach, safe on all tides. Really great snorkeling alongside the beach, on both sides. Loads of short trips around the area, both by foot and by runabout. We didn't do the bunkroom things, but had the flashpacker stand alone cabins. Get used to relaxing, having meals cooked for you, showers late morning once the solar water has warmed up, sunbathing, kayaking, snorkelling and more relaxing. Weather over the Yasawa's is usually sunny and warm. Blue Lagoon is a quick boat ride across to the next island and that is also spectacular. Caves up north are awesome, but I hope they get a new ladder and some repairs around the place soon. You must duck down to swim under to the inner cave, not that scary after all. Food was OK, nothing flash but certainly easy to have it all done for you. Cake type stuff comes with every meal.
If you can, get an underwater camera as the fish life is stunning. Seems to change at every snorkel session. saw rays, lionfish, angels, neons, parrots and mega tiny coral fish, as well as larger grunters. Good diving around the area too, short boat ride or they collect you. It is a very long ferry trip up to the top, but Oarsman Bay will not disappoint. Nothing else we saw came close, certainly nothing on Nacula Island (although there was talk of a new place getting built just down the coast a bit) Only real drawback is that Oarsman is getting pretty pricey for a flashpacker place. It seems the price goes up every time I check back on their website. Oh well, they are continually improving the place with a new deck just done, so I guess you are paying for better facilities. We have also stayed at Korovu, on the way up the islands, 2 years prior. Oarsman 8.5/10, Korovu 6/10. We would love to stay again one day, plus I want to snorkel the Coral Gardens again (just up from Manta Ray Passage) now that had awesome snorkeling, best I have ever seen.
Oarsman Bay, no roads, no phones, no papers, no internet, just great

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2009

Oarsman bay we had heard was just a stunner so we went there for the first few days of our honeymoon. The beach is very beautiful, however the accomodoation and food is very basic so much so that we cut our stay short and returned to Denerau desparate for a bit of luxury. The good part is that you are way up in the Yasawas and there are some good day trips such as the cave that was in the Blue Lagoon film etc - but the food was diabolical - no food is really good in my experience is Fiji but this was not great - the good part about the food was that at morning and afternoon tea the staff may these giant cakes with a cup of tea !

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2009

I stayed here for 2 nights with my fiance in the dorm. It was great! The dorm was only half full, and I felt as if we had the beach to ourselves. There weren't that many people out on the beach, and I would just lay in hammocks, or just walk all the way down the white beach. The water was so calm and clear that i could just sit down in the sand, just like i was in a sandy bath tub, that calm and smooth. Snorkling was awesome, but snorkling anywhere in those fijian islands is great.

We did a day trip to the village. It was so weird seeing the fijians and how they live and their schools. We went into teh school house and sat down, about 5 of us, and had about 50 kids singing and dancing for us. I felt really well off and lucky after seeing those kids and that village, but it was really good to learn about another culture.

We didn't have any real choice in food, but I like anything and a little bit of everything, and thta's what we pretty much got. They didn't have any gin the night we arrive, because some brits had partied late the night before and finished it all, but thats kinda cool how they need to order food from the islands. so simple.

So, this place is great if you want something simple, not if you want something fancy. We stayed at octopus and bounty islands afterwards, but I enjoyed oarsmans the best because of its solitude, peacefulness, simple way of life, "fiji-time" way for meals, calmest water and longest beach, and had some mini hiking trails, whereas at octopus you had to have a guide.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waukesha, wi
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2009

It has been about ten months since my wife and I came back from Oarsman bay lodge on our honeymoon so sorry I have gotten to this review until now. Overall I have to say that I have mixed feelings on our stay here! It is mainly good feelings and some of the bad reviews are correct and some are distorted a bit. First off anyone coming here I would recommend taking the seaplane ride over instead of the Yasawa flyer. Yes it is quite a bit more expensive but the scenerey is so incredible and it can get you there with in an hour vs a half day. Plus you get to see Turtle island (very expensive but incredibly beautiful) Nanuyu Island you will also pass on the boat which is where the blue lagoon is (beautiful as well).

Anyways, coming to a place like Oarsman you have to keep in mind that is a place of beautiful scenery, great culture, fantastic beach and a very SIMPLE resort with some dissapointing things. Not exactly dirty and gross like some people claim it is but simple and very basic. People are not going to be waiting on you hand and foot and this is definitly not a place for excellent service.

Things that you may be dissapointed about: When you arrive from the seaplane don't expect to get to your bure right away. They will sit you down meet and greet you and serve you some great fresh juice. But you may have to wait a few hours until the people clear out of your bure and they can clean it. Also, besides a few laying chairs on the beach there really is not enough furniture for everyone to lay around on. This is one area they definitly need to improve on. I cannot believe none of the reviews I read did not have that on there. Not a hudge deal since you basically have the beach to your self but something to keep in mind. The staff is overall very friendly but sometimes you do have to ask for things and it may be more that once. The food I have to say overall was very good although I did have issues with the food coming out of the wrong end of my system. Make sure to bring plenty of Pepto or something even stonger than that. My Wife was fine with that part so It could just affect people differently with how they cook there food. The Bure is small and simple and the bathrooms especially are outdated and sort of crummy. The bar and fufu drinks are a bit dissapointing and very expensive. Stick with wine or beer at this resort.

Good things about this resort: The beach the beach the beach!! Awesome long bendy white sandy beach is excellent for swimming, kayaking, walking and snorkeling!! In all honesty this is the best beach in the Yasawa that I saw!They have a whole area to the left of the main beach part with a massive coral reef that has outstanding snorkeling. The water is so aqua blue that is crystal clear and sand all around the coral. The mountains behind the resort I would recommend taking a good half day hike up to the mountain points. Great views of nacula Island on both sides. I recommend doing the escurcions to the caves, honeymoon island and the blue lagoon. All trips are worth it and highly recommended. Also, taking a trip to the town is worth it since that is where you will drink the Kava!

I would recommend this resort to people who are interested in staying here but just keep all that stuff in mind and figure out what your main focus is in what your needs are! If this becomes a 4-5 star resort which I hear it maybe in the future this place would be truly paradise!

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oarsman's Bay Lodge

Address: Nacula Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Yasawa Islands > Nacula Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Nacula Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Oarsman's Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated beside one of the worlds best all-tide swimming beaches is Oarsman's Bay Lodge in the remote Yasawa Islands in Fiji.​Stay in simple, traditionally built bure accommodations. We offer deluxe or family style bures for groups, dormitory style for backpacking and budget conscious guests. Adventurous travellers can pitch tents and camp out on our grounds, or be swept away for a night or two on your own private island. ​Oarsman's Bay Lodge will exceed your expectations of what a Fijian holiday can be!​ ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Oarsman`s Bay Hotel Nacula Island
Oarsmans Bay Hotel
Oarsmans Bay Resort
Oarsman's Bay Lodge Fiji/Nacula Island

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