Just returned from a 9 night stay in the Grand Villa here. With years of global travel to some of the world's best resorts and hotels, large and small, and having rented villas all over the place, I have to say that Taveuni Palms is really one of a kind. The photos on their website really don't do the place justice - it is truly WAY more spectacular in real life. The view from the deck in the Grand Villa simply takes your breath away, as does the lush and stunning landscaping, and the simple and elegant design of the villa. The experience is a combination of a luxury boutique resort (more available staff/services, management on site etc) and a private rental villa (staff know you by name and learn your preferences quickly). The flower arrangements in the villa are massive, stunning and of the size you normally see in a hotel lobby. Simply gorgeous.
The staff are just lovely - full of the warmth, kind heartedness, and genuinely helpful attitude that is common in Fiji, and which other reviewers of this resort have written at length about. The only thing I would add is that the staff here have a sense of upscale yet casual service, and a sense of dignity about service that I haven't found elsewhere in Fiji to the same extent. If you can think of it - you can literally have it.
I am a self-confessed food and wine snob, and the resort does well. You essentially select from a long menu for breakfast and lunch, with the caveat that you really can have more or less what you'd like. I had the best Eggs Florentine of my life (made with local spinach), wonderful curries each day for lunch, and what my wife says are the best fish and chips she's ever had (yes, fish and chips - they're on kids menu, but delicious). Dinners are a little more of a mixed bag ranging from exceptional to pretty good. When using local ingredients and preparations, the food shines (Papaya soup is extraordinary - sounds terrible, but delicious, the Rourou Soup - made from some leaf is also outstanding, pineapple rice lovely etc). The more "regular meals" - steak with canned mushrooms was less inspiring. That said, they will accommodate whatever you'd like - so more fool us for not sticking to the local fare. Our evening service fellow overheard me talking about my love of goat curry one evening - and it magically appeared the next night and was fantastic - good initiative on his part, and excellent execution. After reviewing the wines available on line before our trip, I asked if there were other wines available - and they sent me their distributors list for me to pick from - 20 or so pages. They brought in exactly what i wanted, and very fairly priced - excellent!
Housekeeping was consistently top notch, including accommodating setting up patio furniture, then having to bring it in from the rain, then putting it up again etc etc.
1. DO go on the tours - they are fairly priced, the guides/captains are VERY friendly, easy to talk to, and incredibly knowledgeable. Went on some of the best snorkeling of my life with John, and to Virani Bay (highly recommend this). Also did the Coastal Walk on the other side of the Island. Ask for the guide who has been there for 17 years (can't remember his name) but he was so knowledgeable. Ask him to take you up to jump off the high waterfall - way safer than it looks, and an experience to remember.
2. If you're a diver, go diving with Taveuni Ocean Sports (Resort will arrange - but specify this outfit). A private charter is reasonably priced, means you control where the boat goes and the dives. Ask for Manasa - the man could find the tiniest fish and had an underwater board that he wrote the names of the marine life on for me - very neat. He found this 2 inch sea creature he said was very rare - didn't quite believe him go googled it - sure enough - highly endangered and less than 10,000 left in the world. Have no idea how he saw it - but as I say - if you dive, want to learn to dive, or aspire to dive - GO DIVING HERE WITH THESE FOLKS. Some of the best diving in the world.
3, Rent the Grand Villa. Yes, it is a little more, but WELL worth it. The difference is dramatic, and you won't be sorry.
4. My experience of Fijian service is that you just have to ask. They don't always offer, but are happy to do whatever you ask - don't be shy, or wait for the offer. Just ask for what you want. There is an intercom to call the staff...you are EXPECTED to use it - so do. Don't wait.
1. There are a lot of bugs - get ready for mosquito bites, despite the fact they light candles and have spray available. This is the jungle - there are lizards, toads etc in the house and bats flying around. Didn't bother us (we named the bat that flew by at dinner time Malcolm, and the toad that lived by the pool loungers Hamish) - but it may bother others.
2. Connecting to/from international flights is a bit of a pain. Be ready to spend a night in Nadi or several hours in the airport in Nadi. Avoid the Sofitel in Nadi - just awful. Taveuni Island is lovely - quite different from the other Fijian Islands, just a little isolated.
3. While the spa treatments are cheap, and the spa ladies lovely and trying very hard (and it is magic to have a massage on your own terrace), this area could use some additional training. We had LOTS of treatments and they were all less than extraordinary. But for the price...perhaps not all that bad.
Note, lots of other reviewers have spoken about the owners. They were on vacation while we were there, though Kelly stopped in just as we left. The resort ran flawlessly without them however - so credit to the staff and local management.
This really is a unique and lovely place with flawless service, and a great deal of individual and authentic charm. Strongly recommend it. Contact me directly if you want more suggestions.
Take the Grand Villa.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.