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“Great memories for life from 2yo to 70yo” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Danny's Village Homestay

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Danny's Village Homestay
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Queens Road, Namatakula, Viti Levu, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Namatakula B&B and Inns
Port Macquarie, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great memories for life from 2yo to 70yo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2010

We are a couple from Port Maquarie NSW who travelled with our energetic 2yo son and his 70yo grandmother. We spent 4 nights at Danny's and 4 nights at a resort.

Danny's homestay was an amazing experience and everything we had hoped for. Our son Benny loved playing on the beach with the village children each afternoon. He gained a lot of water confidence, just needed sandals for parts of the beach with shells. We all loved visiting the school and some of their songs have become family favourites.

The food was plentiful, delicious, made from local produce with a authentic Fijian influence and included in the price. We all gained weight and Benny loved it! The lovo and beach bonfire will be one of our favourite memories.

Our hosts were able to arrange all our requests for trips or massages, and were always smiling, helpful and available.

This was the part of our holiday where we were able to learn about Fijian village life and get to know some locals, rather than the resort where we met many other Aussies and New Zealanders.

We can't wait to return, although we are hoping for electric showers by that time.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

Bula. Our stay began with a warm Fijian welcome. Tupou showed us to our cabin which was spotlessly clean and very comfortably furnished and quite spacious. Tupou and her daughter took us on a tour of the compound around their own home, that we would be our home for the length of our stay. Tupou's nephew took us on a tour of the village and really showed us around and introduced us to many villagers. We were a bit hesitant at first about the outdoor bathroom amenities, but once we learnt that there are no deadly spiders or snakes in Fiji, no problem. In fact, I looked forward to my shower with nature each morning. How many Aussies can say they have a view of lush tropical vegetation from their shower? It was a real treat. The food was amazing - everything was so fresh and prepared with love and care by Tupou. Although, Tupou will try to over feed you if you are not careful. In other words, don't go if you want to lose weight. And you just have to try Tupou's Babakau - a delicious treat for breakfast that I loved so much that I have made it myself now that I am back in Australia. The warmth and friendliness of Tupou, Sake and Luisa was by far our most treasured memory of Danny's. The location is just beautiful - the cabin is right on the beach with the village children all coming down to play in front of the cabin every day after school. Unlike Aussie kids, the whole village plays together regardless of age, just beautiful. If you want 5 star treatment, go to a resort. If you want to experience how real Fijians live in a village, and how the whole village system works, then go to Danny's - words cannot express how beautiful the people and the village are. Sake, Tupou and Luisa are extremely accommodating, nothing is any trouble to them, and they are very keen to engage in conversations with us Aussies. Although Fijians learn english at school, conversational English is an art that we take for granted. We found it enchanting to be able to talk in depth with Sake & Tupou on many different subjects. And the few words and phrases that we both found difficult to translate - who cares? This was an absolute treat to be having such friendly and interesting conversations with this lovely family. We learnt a lot from them about their culture, and in turn we hope that we left a memory of ours as well. Definitely a must for any Aussies wanting a "real' Fijian experience.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Granya, VIC Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

Recently my mum and i decided to see REAL Fiji and stay in a village. Danny's homestay was the perfect choice!
Our cabin was right on the beach! it was stunning! Food was fantastic, Tupou is an awesome cook and even cooked my favourite meal on request! Luisa was an awesome tour guide and was quite welcoming, introducing me to her friends and takin me out for a night of kava :) and i had brough kava root which the boys were more than happy to pound in front of me.
The village people were lovely, we even went to church and a visiting preacher said a few words for us, it was really cool :)

The beach was beautiful altho tupou was saying they had recently had a storm and it had washed alot of crap onto the sand, but i didnt see anything to complain about.. and i most certainly DID NOT see any broken glass on the beach.

Danny's homestay is great for families and people who are ok with roughin it. Those looking for a 5 star place, get to a resort, cos this my friends is the real Fiji, where life is simple and there is no need to spend money on things you dont really need. I really wish Australia was more like it... i cant wait to go back :)

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cootamundra
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

After googling Danny's homestay, we decided to book a half day waterfall tour. Unfortunately, we could only do a half day as our holiday was jam packed. Well...I certainly wish it had of been a week!!! The emails before we left were so helpful, the phone call when we got to our hotel from Tupou to confirm our group was lovely and i think it is great service! We had a large group of 12, 4 kids and 8 adults and Tupou sent two minivans to get us. My three year old niece was carried the whole way to the waterfalls on Edwards shoulders. Henry and Tupou chatted and laughed the entire way too. Beautiful fresh fruit, toasted sandwiches and drinks were served to us at the waterfalls, along with an entertaining display of waterfall climbing by Edward and Henry! The whole trip was topped off with cuddles with the kids when we got back to the village, a Kava ceremony and some handicraft stalls with the local ladies, who are NOT pushy at all and more happy to chat than sell their wares. Tupou gave us the best hugs and that is the main reason we will return to them next trip. My daughter is now great mates with Tupou's niece and in constant contact. I honestly cannot recommend anything better. Check out the website as there is so much that can be seen or done with these guys. You may be told not to trust local operators, but this is a fantastic group of people who really stole our hearts.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Brisbane
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

After spending a few days relaxing by the pool at The Beachouse about 15mins car ride from Danny’s it was good to finally get to Danny’s because this was where I wanted to stay while in Fiji. Danny’s sent their driver to pick us up in his 4x4. I was a little worried getting into the car and driving off into the unknown!!:) But I had a family member who spent time there late last year and he had such a good time, he suggested I spend 3 or 4 days at Danny’s during my time in Fiji and I am so glad I did. Tupou and Sake greeted us with big smiles and hugs on arrival and after being shown our cabin (basic but clean and tidy) we spent the afternoon being shown around the village. That night Tupou cooked up a huge meal of Fijian dishes – Fish, Chicken and Beef dishes. So much food but too delicious to not go back for seconds.

In the evening we sat on the beach around a fire and stared up at the stars and chatted with some locals who stoped by to visit Sake and Tupou. The next day, we went to the school!! What an amazing experience. I was so amazed to see how happy the children, most of them running around with no shoes but clean and tidy. The teachers make do with a big smile and so little resources. That seemed to be the norm in the village as well. The people of the village have very little but they all seem very happy and content and every one greets you with a “BULA” and huge smile.

I did not feel unsafe in the village at anytime. I had 2 massages during my time there and trust me it was WELL worth it!!

The beach is tidal and sits within a reef and at high tide the water is only 10 paces from the front door of the cabin. Henry took us snorkelling and it was good to have him go with us on our first time to show where we could snorkel safely. There were lots of fish and the water was crystal clear. The beach is a mix of small rocks, coral sand and river sand. The beach is the focal point for children to play in the evening and swim in the sea. It is also entertaining to see the boys train for football on the beach. They take their footy seriously!!

Danny’s is not the Ritz and I knew that from my relatives’ visit and from reading the past reviews. The village is not some Disneyland style village made to entertain us westerners but an actual real life village where people live and interact with each other as they have done for past centuries. Yes there are some sights within the village that are confronting for westerners. However, this is the reality of life in a Fijian Village. If you want some romantic, resort style Fijian cultural where everything is perfect then you should not be looking for a village stay.

The price to stay at Danny’s is well worth it for what you get, we stayed 3 nights but we could of easily stayed another 2 nights but our next stage of our Fiji holiday was already booked. I booked via fijihomestays.com and these guys did everything they could to prepare us for our stay and replied to all of our questions.

But I really want to say is that I had the best time at Danny’s!! Sake, Tupou, Lisa and Henry made us feel like part of the family. They have very little compared to western standards but what little they have, they are grateful for and are happy to share it with you!! Thank you and God Bless Tupou and Sake!!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Iqaluit, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2010

Having spent time travelling around Fiji's islands, my husband and I are SO pleased that we listened to the previous TripAdvisor reviews that accurately portray Danny's Homestay as OUTSTANDING place to visit, and took the time to travel to the Coral Coast to stay with Tupoe and her family.
Equipped with realistic expectations and an open mind we could not have had a nicer time in Namatukula. We were met in Nadi at the ferry port, where Tupoe’s brother Danny greeted us. We had great conversation and acquired a ton of information about Fiji on our short trip from Nadi to Namatukla (about 1.5 hrs). Though we arrived late (9pm), we were met with a huge smile and hug from our host Tupoe and had the first of many delicious meals waiting for us. There were plenty of delicious options and more than enough food for even the biggest of eaters! This was true for every meal we had with Tupoe and her family.
We were shown to our bure, which was exactly what we expected having read previous reviews. Our bure had loads of room and beds (enough to sleep a family of 5!) and provided mosquito nets, which was much appreciated as there are no screens on the windows.
While in Namatukla we had the opportunity to wander around the village with Tupoe’s daughter, Luica. We visited the school where they were holding their annual Sports Day. We were welcomed by everyone in the village, everywhere we went. We were invited to take part in a kava ceremony with other spectators at the Sports Day and Tupoe invited us to be her guest at an open air church service in the evening. We took walks on the beach with the family dog and enjoyed the sunsets. The beach is a reef beach (lots of coral reef & rocks), but in just a short walk around the corner (5 mins), you can find a sandy beach for wading & snorkelling in, if that’s what you’re looking for. Having read the review just before this one that reported glass on the beach, I wasn’t sure what to expect! We were looking for glass and we could not find any and can only conclude that the previous reviewers are delirious, or must have been unlucky enough to have been there after a rough storm. Either way, we were there a week later and the beach was glass-free!
It is important to remember that at Danny’s you will experience an authentic Fijian experience. Don’t expect... experience! Cold showers really are lovely in such hot, humid weather – why even bother with complaining about a lack of hot water showers... they’re not needed! Try to avoid having pre-conceived notions about what you think the Fijian people should be, or what you expect village life in Fiji to be. Don’t criticize, simply open your mind and eyes and step into Namatukla, and into Tupoe’s home, and gain insight. On our stay with Tupoe we saw a village and a family full of happy, healthy, and friendly people who live a simple but contented life. Tupoe opens not only her home, but her heart to each and every guest that steps into her home... how can you criticize that? With our homestay experience at Danny’s we left with more than just an authentic Fijian experience... we left with friendship and that was more than we expected.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

Would you pay 130 Fijian a night for:
Not being greeted in person when you arrive?
Walking over a festering polluted stream to get to your homestay, which ensured you were separate from the rest of the village?
A broken glass and rubbish strewn beach and a burnt rubbish pit beside your cabin?
A dead dog on the beach and starving, flea ridden puppies at your door nipping at your heels?
Contrary to the website, the electricity is unreliable and the showers are powered by solar energy
Having to beg for over priced trips like snorkelliing that appeared to be at the hosts whims. Can we go snorkelling, not today, tommorrow.
Visable and actual signs of our money going to your host family only and as such not benefiting the rest of the village? Contrary to the claim on the website that the village would benfit from your stay (a major drawcard for ourselves and others)
Two of your hosts not turning up to say farewell?
If this was a hotel people would be leaving on the day, it was only our politeness that prevented us from doing so! Although we did kick up a fuss on a repeated basis about the starving dogs and fed them in spite of our hosts who wanted to only feed their dog called 'posh'.
Eating a meal with a Steven Siegel Movie played at full volume on our first night with constant hard core profanities and people being shot at. The next night I made a point of turning off the TV and so the music was turned up loud. We were not part of the family they did not want to talk to us or the Canadians, nor did the village. Instead we were a cash cow milked by one family and tolerated by the rest of the village who were bought off with the odd scraps off the table of our so called host family.
Some people are happy with this. We met one person who returned to stay for a month because she was so happy with her non- resort Fiji experience. are more details why not.

The reviews we read of Danny's Place prior to staying all stated that it was the real Fijian Village experience. Having stayed at Danny's Place for three nights we would beg to differ not only based on what we experienced, but also based on the fact that I have worked with Pacific and Maori people as colleagues for over nine and a half years in New Zealand and as suchI feeld that I have an insight into what to expect in regards to Pacific hospitality, values and customs. I saw some of these values at Danny's, for eg lots of food but we also saw how these values can be debased by greed.

We stayed at Danny's because the website said that this is an authentic cultural experience that would benefit the village as a whole. Over the following days we saw this was mistaken, with the money going predominantly to our hosts Sake and Tupou, contrary to the website's claim.

Whilst we weren't expecting a 5* resort, , we were expercing a villag not the ritz. We were not expecting, however, as a commercial operation that charges very hefty nightly rates when compared to the backpackers resort up the road and not deliveriing on what it promised (all the village would benifit). Given the fact that only one family benifitted it is in fact a commerical operationl located within a village. Thye of course tried to hide this fact from us, for example they ran a shop from the side door of their house in which they sold provisions to their fellow villagers because they bought in bulk for their homestay supplies. They had in effect replaced the old village shop that had closed some time ago. People would come up to their door with tightly rolled up bundles of cash that they furtively handed over as if they had been told not to make what was happening too obvious to the guests who had been sold the village myth that the whole village benifitted.
Indeed, we really have to wonder what we were being offered in the way of Pacific hospitality. This included:
Not being greeted of the bus when our hosts Tupou and Sake knew our arrival time. This is not the Pacific way and my Pacific colleagues cannot believe this.
No food prepared to welcome us. Yet again not the Pacific Way
Overt displays of wealth (gold and diamond jewellery) in stark contrast to the poverty in the rest of the village. The Pacific way is about humility and sharing. We were to see little of this during our stay.
Overpriced activities, including a massage for twice the price that it was up the road by the same masseur.
The website says that the power is reliable and that there is a hot shower powered by electricity. The power failed on our last night and the shower was only hot if you boiled a kettle, or put a solar bag out in the sun.
Glass all over the beach. Would you want your kids running on it? And as for the rubbish all over the beach and beside the cabins is this the real FIji experience and is it worth paying a very commerical rate for this when you can pay less and stay at the backpackers which the locals advised us to stay at.
A dead puppy on the beach. We were told there was a litter of ten puppies that were fathered by their well fed and looked after dog "Posh". Now only two starving flea ridden puppies remained whom they refused to feed. We fed them all the time and had the starving dogs greeting us on the steps begging for food. Their dog posh was the most well looked after dog in the village but they did not give a damn about the starving offspring in front of their house. We insisted that they be fed. Well we gave them food and they started giving them scraps because we were so upset. These dogs would have been better of dead they were so ill treated.
Fresh rat droppings in the cabin in which our Canadian friends were staying every morning. Could they afford to buy rat bait when we were paying 130 Fijian Dollars each per night?
We were told that we would meet the Chief one night and that it was important for us to bring kava. We brought non-powdered Kava in Raki Raki markets. On the night we were told that the kava night would not happen because of the power cut. I looked disappoined and so Sake went to his relations house and we drank kava there. In a Fijian village I would not have thought that doing without power would have been such a problem. We brought with us our non-powdered kava and our Canadian friends brought their powdered kava. We also brought with us pens and paper because we remembered from our last time in Fiji how the young children in schools lacked these basic needs.
Our Kava was thrown around in a derisive fashion in front of us by Sakes friends (family?) They loved the powdered version, bring powdered sake if you choose to stay here. The art of crushing Kava root must have been lost somewhere along the way. The art of sharing must have also been lost, the kava ceremony seemed to be a buy off for our being in the village. The pens and paper were handed out to a few people present at the kava ceremony - Sakes friends perhaps (not to the village children).
We were asked the day before we left to pay all the money left owing, maybe they thought that we might have fled by now. We paid up along with our Canadian friends and that afternoon the fax machine and copier arrived along with a brand new state of the art gas electric oven for Sake and Tupou.
Now this might not seem like much but as was pointed out to us by the Canadians they had been taken by Lucia, Sake and Tupous daughter, to see how another family in the village lived. They had the distinct impression that they were not welcome in the house which consisted of one torn up sofa and squalid darkness. Indeed these people tried not to talk to them and in the end the Canadians felt so uncomfortable that they hurried outside.
We should have left on the first day but we wanted to give Danny's Place a go. We wanted to leave money in a FIjian village, we wanted to learn more about the culture. In reality this homestay is expanding into more and more small cabins with the money staying with one family. It is a commericial operation and as such in our view should be judged in light of the rates and faciliites that are available in accomodation alternatives that exist just up the road. Indeed you may well learn more about Fijian culture by dropping into schools and villages on you own with gifts as you would being milked by one family in the village. Indeed this is exactly what one Maori family (indigous people of New Zealand) did, they stayed at the Backpackers up the road and dropped in to this village for the kava ceremony with a gift of candles. In future we will do the same thus ensuring that that the money, gifts that we bring get to the right people and at the same time ensuring that money does not obscure our attempts to learn about the local culture.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Danny's Village Homestay

Address: Queens Road, Namatakula, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Coral Coast > Namatakula
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Namatakula
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Danny`s Village Homestay Hotel Namatakula
Danny's Village Homestay Fiji/Namatakula

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