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“Expect to rough it, but clean bathrooms/nice people” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Lavena Lodge

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Lavena Lodge
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Lavena | Bouma National Park, Taveuni Island, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Expect to rough it, but clean bathrooms/nice people”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

We stayed here for one night while visiting Taveuni. We came over from Savusavu in Vanua Levu by purchasing the combination boat/ferry tickets at the Country Kitchen for $15 fjd. Not a bad trip if you are planning on a long day.
Then we stayed a night in Matei (Tovu-tovu -a good place) and took the bus to Lavena (in Bouma part) for $3 following morning. I can put up with a lot if the bathrooms are clean and the toilets work properly, which they were (these two bathrooms are located at the end of the hall and shared by any of the guest occupying the 4 rooms available).
The mosquitos were not bad, but the flies were terrible and swarmed when you tried to eat at the picnic table overlooking the ocean. The manager ( I assume), Latiana, very graciously fanned them away while 5 of us ate!
The generator is broken and I would not expect a quick repair, so be prepared for no electicity and therefore no refrigeration. They did provide candles and mossy coils though. The bedrooms were clean and you could see around the eges at the baseboards. I always look to see if these areas are cluttered because thats where the cockroaches travel.
It was a bit stifling in the bedroom because of the poor ventilation and absence of fans, but for the price and the service (Latiana is a jewel), my wife and I could not complain.
It is really neat that this lodge is located in and run by the village. They use the funds for the children's school and other projects. A great idea, I think. Oh, and the breakfast ($10 fjd) is abundant and delicious - fantastic pancakes!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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11 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Zealand
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

The bus was broken and we had to walk a few miles to get here. Lots of nice streams to wade in if you get hot and random fruit to pick from the trees as you walk over, although the invasive non-native cane toad has taken over and they are smooshed all over the road, and these dead toads are pretty smelly. But ignoring the smell, you may meet lots of nice people along the way in their villages. The lodge is a simple backpackers, very basic, no air conditioning, just a room with a mattress or two, but the toilets are clean and the shower water is warm. The kitchen is a communal kitchen with all the pots and pans you would need to cook a meal. I think the New Zealand government actually built this place to help them attract tourists. It is the only place to stay in town and there are no stores or anything, so if you want to cook, make sure to bring everything with you, you can get supplies from any of the larger towns. If you go, be sure to get a guide to take you to the waterfalls, as it is a beautiful hike through the lush forest. You can also pay extra and the villagers will make you a meal. They try to make it a combination of traditional food and things they think you will want to eat, but it is fine. The villagers are very friendly and don't see many visitors, so they are happy to talk to you about the rest of the world for hours. And you can snorkel right off the beautiful beach. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roaming
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2009

Clunky public bus took us on a dirt road roughly an hour past Matei Airport for a few dollars to the very end of the road: lavena. This is as authentic a Fijian village as it gets. The older kids We spent around 60 Fijian for a room and food for four. The setting is stunning--you are feet from the beach, and hear every wave. There is a 3 hour round trip "lavena coastal walk" that extends from the village for miles along the beach, passing through a tiny settlement (no road access, only a 30 minute walk on a sandy trail to get in and out!) and further, into a park-like wild feeling area of dense forest, numerous stream crossings, waterfalls, and even some orange doves! It was jurassic-park like, and wonderful. Our 4 and 5 year olds completed the walk with us in 4 hours, including a swim at the destination.
The lodge is old, and very basic (worn foam beds for example). But I had a warm shower, clean toilet, comfortable sleep, and that's all I really need (i brought a bug net, but it wasn't mosquito season so didnt need it). Compared to camping, it was luxury. Not for someone expecting a resort style experience though. Has a shared kitchen but didnt use it as we had good Fijian meals prepared by the villagers (!) brought to us. Mostly fish and taro/ramen.
Overall, it was cheap, gorgeous, and a great chance to see the realities of remote village life in a stunning natural setting. A highlight of our Taveuni trip.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Lavena Lodge

Address: Lavena | Bouma National Park, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Taveuni Island
Number of rooms: 4

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