When my husband and I decided on Fiji for our vacation, we dreamed of clear, blue water, swaying palms and lush scenery, but we were doubtful that any place could match the legendary tales of the South Pacific. Not only did Taveuni live up to those expectations, we had the best trip we’ve ever had because of Makaira. It is a beautiful property, just steps away from the best beach on the island, with a fantastic reef for snorkeling. The bures feel like home, with gorgeous views and wonderful privacy. But the real secret to Makaira is the people. We feel so fortunate to have spent time there and are already planning to go back.
Owners John & Roberta know how to make you feel like family. They give you as much attention and help as you need but never hover to give you your privacy. Roberta is warm and funny, always willing to share her deep knowledge of the reef and diving. She took us out one day to the house reef for some amazing snorkeling and showed us all the best places to explore during our stay There is complementary snorkeling gear and a kayak that we used to paddle to the next beach over which is the famous Prince Charles Beach. We were the only ones ever on the beach and felt like we had the whole coast to ourselves. We came to Taveuni to dive the Rainbow Reef, which was epic, outshining all the other diving we did in Fiji. Every night at dinner, we looked forward to sharing with Roberta what we had seen that day because she was just as enthusiastic as we were.
John is the best fisherman on the island as well as the Makaira chef extraordinaire. Restaurants on the island are scarce and mostly attached to resorts. As other reviewers have said, we quickly found after trying a few others that John’s cooking was the absolute best and there was no need to go anywhere else. They do their best to accommodate your food preferences and even my husband, who is the world’s pickiest eater, was very happy. It was a novel experience to have home cooking instead of fancy restaurant food on vacation, but we grew to love the short walk from our bure in the evening to the little galley restaurant where they served dinner and wouldn’t have had it any other way. John outdoes himself every night, with three or four course meals, often of fresh fish he has caught that day, and produce from their own organic garden. There is so much food he wraps it up and it was so convenient to come in starving from diving to heat up our lunch in our kitchenette instead of making the trek into town (or waiting three hours at a restaurant because everything is on Fiji time). He’s also hilarious and cracked us up constantly.
We have a special place in our hearts for Buba (pronounced Babba) who is a veritable national treasure and an all around cool guy. You could call him the caretaker because he takes great care of everyone, always with a big Bula smile. He brought us papayas and coconuts and hooked up anything we needed from taxis to tours. One rainy day, unable to dive, we went down to the next village, which is really worth a visit, to see more of the island and its people. If you like Indian food, do not miss his wife’s Indian dinner, which you can request in advance. It was absolutely delicious, so we had to have it again: a lovely fish curry one night and a chicken curry the second. He was our amazing guide to the Lavena coastal walk and waterfalls, an unforgettable experience. He might just be the happiest person we’ve ever met and it rubbed off on us. We miss his infectious laugh can’t wait to see him again like an old friend.
Never before have we been this social on holiday, normally keeping to ourselves. But everyone made us feel so comfortable and at ease, it did feel like you had joined a wonderful family. When we later stayed at a five star resort, we felt it was cold and sterile and though we had paid five times what we paid at Makaira, we just wished we were back there. If you like places with ten pools, gift shops and hundreds of waitstaff, this might not be the place for you. But if you want experiences you will never forget and a true taste of Fiji, Makaira is the best place to stay on Taveuni. We spoke with people staying other places and none of them were as satisfied. We stayed nine days and didn’t have a single complaint. True, as some reviewers have stated, it is not "beachfront", but the beach is just down a small hill and within easy reach. There are many resorts on Taveuni that are ten times more expensive and are not on the beach as well. Plus, the other beachfront places we visited had bures so crammed together you could hear a quiet conversation next door and there was absolutely no view. The view from the Grand Bure, which Roberta generously upgraded us to because it wasn't book was absolutely stunning. We had a bedroom, a sitting room, and a huge deck where we watched the sunsets and ate our breakfast and lunch. We stocked our fridge with fruit and drinks and made tea in the morning. It's everything one could ask for, so I take the negative reviews with a grain of salt because in all seriousness, if you're unhappy in a paradise like this, there's little hope for you.
We would not hesitate to recommend it, but are just hoping we can get a reservation for the next time we visit. Thank you to everyone at Makaira!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.