My family of four spent 10 days at Mai Dive.
Mai Dive is a well managed, clean & comfortable 'low-key' resort in a nice pristine (& remote) location.
GETTING THERE: To get to Mai Dive, like most visitors we flew on a De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter air taxi from Nadi to Vunisea, which is one of the two main towns on Kadavu Island. There we were met by the Mai Dive boat, which makes regular pickups & drop-offs from the airport. The boat ride is a bit long, but it's worth it. We were taken Ono Island, which is just off of the south-eastern tip of Kadavu.
THE RESORT: Mai Dive is a small, very well-managed 'low-key' resort very much focused on diving. Bures (cottages) are well separated on a nicely manicured lawn with jungle / cliff behind and a nice sandy beach in front. It is not near any local villages, although a village is within walking distance (at low tide!). The rooms are very clean and comfortable. At night it is very quiet - there are very few birds or insects so you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the surf.
THE FOOD: The food was nice. We got pretty spoiled. However, like all of these small all-inclusive resorts, the menu is what it is. I don't see how anyone could complain about the cooking though, it was all fresh high-quality, well prepared and presented.
THE STAFF: Richard, the on-site resort manager and dive master/instructor from England is just amazing. He is so concerned about making our stay perfect it was almost embarrassing. We might mention that a soap dispenser was low and within minutes it was full. He is also a very good dive master. He was great with my son (age 12), extremely safe, but he instantly perceived that I was experienced enough not to need (or want) hand-holding. What a great guy - he really made the experience. The rest of the staff are kind and quiet. Maybe a bit too quiet for my tastes - I like interacting with and building relationships with the locals wherever I go. Fijians tend to be a bit shy at first, so we never really got to break the ice with the staff like we have at other resorts.
We were also lucky to be joined by Jason, Danielle & their kids. What a nice family. Jason helped his dad Joe build the resort. Joe lives above the resort; Jason & Danielle help manage the resort from Australia. My daughter (age 5) had a great time with Georgie & Jack and now asks about them every few days since we returned.
THE DIVING: First off, the diving is amazing. Even with not-so-great weather it was wonderful. I really want to return some day (soon!) to experience it in better weather. Even being unsettled, visibility varied from 50 to 100ft. There are less soft corals than more protected places (see: Matana resort) but the hard corals were incredible. Richard knew exactly when & where to go and knew the area like the back of his hand. And the dives are amazing, with 100ft+ walls including fantastic swim-thrus, beautiful coral formations, diverse schools of fish, even some big pelagics and sharks. The dive boat is new, well designed and very sturdy. They have a radio and a 2nd boat in case of emergencies. Most of our dives were within 15 minutes of the resort, except for Naiquoro Passage dives, which were a bit further out but worth the ride. And we did get a glimpse (unfortunately not much more) of the elusive Manta thanks to the efforts of our hosts.
I intended to dive every day with my 12-year-old son but unfortunately the weather was a bit off during our stay which was unfortunate - we only had 3 days of sun. And an ear infection kept us out of the water a few more days.
Overall we had a fantastic time. Clean, quiet, comfortable, friendly staff & fantastic diving - what else could you ask for? (Ok, better weather might have been nice)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Remote Adventurous Pristine Fijian Resort on Ono Island in Kadavu Fiji. The closest resort to the Great Astrolabe Reef. All facilities are new and absolute beachfront. Eco Resort with solar power, fresh water spring, vegetables garden & fresh seafood. PADI Certified dive operator & plenty of non dive activities. Maximum of 14 guests, as this is a low key relaxed family run resort. Fantastic facilities and even better food - come and stay with us a while..... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Hotel Kadavu Island
- Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort Fiji/Ono Island