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“Best place to learn and experience scuba diving!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nakia Resort & Dive

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Nakia Resort & Dive
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PO Box 204 | Waiyevo, Taveuni Island, Fiji   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Stay 7 nights, only pay 6
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Taveuni Island
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best place to learn and experience scuba diving!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

My wife and I were on our honeymoon. We went with Nakia Resort and Dive to complete our scuba PADI Open Water certification. My wife and I were both a bit nervous since we were going from a swimming pool in Cleveland, Ohio to the ocean waters of Taveuni Island, Fiji. When we first met Aaron and Julie (our instructors) they were nothing but warm,and sincere., They listened to us to see what our training level was. And to make us even more comfortable they provided some terrific snacks.

When we began our training, we were doing shore dives. Aaron was our instructor and if you ever want a patient person to learn scuba diving from, he is your man. Aaron also made sure we did each technique correctly and that we understood what we were doing before moving on to the next lesson. Here is one perfect example....

One of my biggest challenges was taking off my BCD while in the water and then putting it back on. I also had the same challenge with my weight belts. Aaron helped me remain confident in doing this, and took the time to make sure I did these tasks correctly. Because of his outstanding patience and terrific teaching, I acquired the confidence and knowledge to perform the tasks necessary to become an Open Water diver.

Because we had such a great time with Aaron and Julie (and lets not forget Captain Ronnie and Robin...) my wife and I did an extra day of scuba diving with them after completing our certification. And we were so excited that we were able to do a boat dive! We were able to experience a current which was a bit overwhelming at first but well worth it. Aaron and Julie told us that is usually the best time to see large clusters of fish wildlife. We were lucky enough to even see a rare species of eel which was fascinating... the Blue Ribbon eel. Along our adventure we saw some sharks, clown fish, and beautiful coral. Aaron also kept us quite entertained while underwater as well. Moments my wife and I will never forget.

Julie is also just as great. Before we went on our dives she showed us in detail a variety of species to look out for while we were in the water. Her and Aaron both can tell you anything you want to know about the wildlife and coral surrounding Fiji.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2011

We got in touch with this resort last week of February to ask for a quotation for the double bure for 3 nights in May. We got one and a week and a half later we were confirming our interest and asking for ways of making a payment to secure the booking. This was on a Friday and we are talking about a booking that was being made for a date three months later.

The payment was not done inmediately because Jim, the manager, got back to us telling us that the first quotation he gave us was too low and he raised it!!!. Never mind our budget for the holidays, we decided to go ahead and asked for an alternative way of payment than the Paypal email he sent because we did not have a Paypal account. I the meantime we bought the plane tickets to the island.

Sunday night Jim tells us that he has rented the bure to someone else. Like that, no warning, nothing.

We are personally never even trying to stay at this resort but we urge you to reconsider if you are thinking to stay there,as these people treat customers this way. You could be the next one to be left with lane tickets and no reservation.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jimkellyTaveuni, Owner at Nakia Resort & Dive, responded to this review, March 16, 2011
My wife and I built and run a small resort on Taveuni, investing all of our ilfe savings after 40 years in the work force, and 8 years of hard work on site, building a resort from scratch. When we get the very occassional negative review, we need to respond. We do make occassional mistakes, as all of us do, but we run an honest operation and have never cheated anyone.

This reviewer left out the important facts of the incident. Here's what happened from my perspective: The reviewer contacted me by e-mail regarding a booking in the future. As with all my initial responses, I sent a standard response which, in part, includes the fact that, as a small resort, we don't issue a receipt and confirmed reservation until we are fully paid. Until payment is received, the bure is open for booking.

The reviewer described her group of 5 as coming from abroad for a holiday. I quoted her our standard price. After an exachange of addtional e-mails, she inquired about a local price. I quoted her the local price, which has a 20% discount. I respond to hundreds of e-mails per week, going from party A to party B, etc. Something about her "local price" query caught my intereste, and I looked again at our e-mails. After reviewing the exchanges with the reviewer, I noticed that she was asking for a local price, but initiall indicated that her party was not local, but coming from offshore. I then asked her if she would accept a compromise: instead of the 20% local discount, would she accept a 10% discount, since her group were not locals. She agreed, then, in a later e-mail, she asked for additional discounts.

While this exchange was ongoing, I was getting other inquiries for the same bure that would conflict with her dates. I had told her from the outset that another party was interested. It is common for small resorts to have more than one inquiry for the same bure with dates that will conflict. After keeping the other party waiting for 72 hours, I booked them, and e-mailed the reviewer that I was sorry, but the unit was now booked. Since she still had 3 months until her booking, she had lots of time to find other accommodations.

I make it clear to prospecitve guests that there is no booking until we are paid, unless we have made other arrangements. Sometimes guests will request that a large booking will be paid in payments, and we do this. Different resorts have different policies, and this is ours. We occassionally have a guest who has a change of plans, and have issued refunds per our refund policy. We're sorry that this guest remains angry, but she never had a booking, and we never accepted any money from her. We don't hide this policy, we explain it in our initial response.

As a resort owner, I try my best to please all our guests and prospective guests. We are in business to bring people to our resort and our beautiful island of Taveuni in Fiji, in hopes that their experience will overshadow their expectations. Part of the reality of this business is that there is the occassional individual whom I cannot please. The reviewer is one of those people.

Thanks for reading this and getting my side of the story. While I admit to making the occassional goof, I'm not sure I would handle this case any differently in the future. Best regards, Jim Kelly, Owner/manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

Before I go any further, I want to say that my wife and I recommend Nakia unreservedly. But, such recommendations are only meaningful if put in the context of what we were looking for and what we wanted from our holiday. We traveled out of season so everywhere in Fiji was quiet, especially Taveuni island. Our children are grown so we wanted peace and quiet away from family and children-oriented resorts (although your children might be quite happy at Nakia depending on their requirements). We wanted good food without the need to travel and hunt for it each night. And we wanted enough activity and variety to give us a nice blend of doing something and doing nothing. With 10 days there it was a "3-book" holiday for me (with one of them 600 pages) even though we spent 4 hours per day scuba diving (more of that later). On our 3 days "off" from diving there was more than enough to keep us occupied: the "must do" Lavena Coastal walk that ends at a spectacular swimming spot with thundering waterfall and slide; the Waitavala water slide; and the Tavoro waterfalls, to name just three attractions. But we also snorkelled, cycled, kayaked, and occasionally just soaked in the sparkling resort pool.
It's probably just as important to say what Nakia is NOT. It's not a luxury, private huts on stilts over the sea, 24-hour service, cocktails by the hour, Michelin 3-hat cuisine, spot the celebrity resort. That's not why it gets 5 stars: it gets 5 stars for being a wonderful balance of comfort and refinement in a gorgeous setting, whilst maintaining an authentic Fijian experience and realising a genuine eco-friendly resort. If you want to experience Fiji but also want to feel you can relax and insulate yourself with a degre of western comfort and luxury then Nakia is perfect.
The accommodation at Nakia is in traditional bure style and basic (i.e., no TVs, no aircon, no spa bath etc) but immaculately clean and refreshingly simple and comfortable. We loved our bure. However, you don't stay at Nakia for the bure, despite the fact that the location and scenery are so peaceful and tranquil you could while way your holiday in the hammock or reclined on your deck just looking out across the Somosomo Straights. You stay there, in part, because of the Kelly family's complete commitment to environmental sustainability. The 5-page summary of their eco-philosophy and what that means is inspirational. They are totally self-sufficient for water and electricity, for example, generated using hydro-electric, solar, and wind energy. They grow they're own organic vegetables and fruits. They procure locally caught fish and locally reared and slaughtered organic beef - the fillet steak on the menu is superb. They employ local Fijians, sponsor local children through school, educate school kids on reef ecology and so on.
Food is a highlight at Nakia. It's simple and freshly prepared. The menu might be a little limited if you're there for more than 7 days and have restrictions on what you like or eat but I was happy to eat some meals more tan once. If you like your desserts, Robin makes them fresh daily and most are to "die for".
Finally, the icing on the cake for us was that Nakia has its own Dive service run by the owners' daughter Julie and partner Aaron. I've dived all over the world for 40 years and I have NEVER experienced a quality of service, customer care, diving leadership and supervision, knowledge, and dive sight selection on a par with Taveuni Ocean Sports. We dived with a world-renowned competitor on the island on one day and they just didn't compare (and they were more expensive). Julie and Aaron's business is small and bespoke but all the better for it. It wouldn't especially suit the big "club" dive holiday (although it might) but if you're a single, diving couple, or small group, regardless of ability level, they have got their product just right. I can't speak highly enough of them. And as for the diving, well it speaks for itself. If you want colour, fish variety and sheer numbers, soft corals, rare species, and beautiful warm seas, then the Somosomo is unrivaled. We paid more for less on the northern Great Barrier Reef six months earlier and can honestly say Fiji is far and away a superior dive experience to Queensland (and we're Australians).
As I said, if you're looking for what we were looking for, Nakia could just be your perfect destination.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

We've stayed one week at the Nakia Resort and went diving in the Somosomo Straight to see the beautiful Rainbow Reef and the special Great White Wall. The Diving was awesome - but the resort was absolutely over the top. Normally, when you travel, you always find things that they could do better in a bungalow - more space for this or that, bigger shower, warmer water, or anything - but here at Nakia, everything was perfect. You could really see and feel that the owners did put a lot of thought into the construction and building of this resort. Everything was absolutely perfect.
The Nakia Resort does produce their energy solely from the sun, the wind and the water - they do not need any oil or generator - this is absolutely ecofriendly and leaves no traces. The kitchen cooks all the food with organic food from their big garden. We had fresh passion fruit juice every morning, fresh mangos, pineapples and other tropical fruit for breakfast, delicous salads for lunch and the best steak I've ever eaton for dinner. Every day, you can chose from a wide range of different dishes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They offer Indian food as well as Western food. The owners spoil you with everything they can. And from the terrace, you can see the dolphins passing by and the sunset over the Somosomo Straight.
A big THANK YOU to:
- Jim - the best steaks cook on earth
- Robin - the best mum away from home
- Julie - the best dive instructor who told us many amazing facts about the world underneath the surface
- Aaron - the best person to fix anything that is broken
Best wishes from Zurich, Switzerland, from Eveline & Armin

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

My husband and I spent 8 days at nakia this christmas n new year after doing a blue lagoon cruise in the Yasawas. Indeed our stay was surely beyond what we couldve expected as it was just a home away from home atmosphere which was reflected in the congenial and friendly attitude from every staff member Their genuinely warm and caring approach resulted in us being pampered with personalised attention at each level (be it the stay at the resort or the diving experience )
Jims innovative and successful efforts at being self sufficient in generating power were patiently explained to us in a small energy tour around the resort. He does a marvellous job of being a very considerate host and at the same time is impressive in his meticulous ways His deep and genuine concern for the environment is inspirational.
His wife Robin is indeed the backbone of the resort and her attention to detail coupled with her motherly pampering makes sure the stay at nakia will remain special in the memory of every single guest
Julie and Aaron were no doubt the most patient and awesome teachers and I would recommend them wholeheartedly especially to new divers We are deeply grateful to dear Julie who simplified the very difficult task of making someone as nervous as us go through our diving certification so smoothly and confidently. Her sincerity dedication knowledge and genuine love for what she does no doubt translate into making her the beautiful person that she is.Aarons hardwork and great sense of humour along with detailed explanation of each dive plan was impressive and most useful Also,Julie and Aarons attention to every divers comfort and safety was very reassuring and the dives were all fantastic experiences which I am sure wouldn’t have been half as interesting comfortable or as much fun without their efforts.
Efficient and co ordinated management of the operations at every level in the resort integrated with warm hospitality , yummy food and great hosts all surely add up to an unbeatable combination,giving Nakia the number one status that it surely deserves.
Beautiful Taveuni is indeed a must visit for every traveller going to Fiji and one shouldn’t even think of staying anywhere else except with the Kellys if they want a perfect holiday in paradise.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2010

After reading all the rave reviews, my wife and I arrived with high expectations. Our expectations were exceeded! If you are looking for a resort where you can eat incredible food, sleep in a very comfortable and private bure, and dive with a very professional and experienced dive operation, look no further than Nakia Resort & Dive.

The location is spectacular--situated on a hill overlooking the Somsoma Straights on the site of a former coconut plantation. Pictures don't do it justice. The bures are beautiful and the grounds well maintained.

Rave reviews of the food at Nakia got my attention when I was planning the trip. We were not disappointed. The quality of the food and the care with which it is prepared was a highlight of our trip. Also, the staff took the time to teach my wife how to make some of the traditional Fijiian dishes.

Diving was the main draw for us at Nakia. I knew the diving in Taveuni would be great, but I was looking for a dive operation that was safe and professional. Not only that, but my new wife (we were on our honeymoon) needed to get certified. Let me just say that Julie is a GREAT instructor--and that's coming from someone who has been in higher education and diving for over twenty years. She and Aaron run a five star dive operation. Great dive boat. Quality, new equipment. Commitment to low diver to dive master ratio. Informative dive briefings. First class service. Spectacular dive locations. Every diver, from the most experienced to the newly certified, will enjoy diving with Taveuni Ocean Sports.

Thank you Jim & Robin, Julie & Aaron, and all the staff at Nakia Resort & Dive. Our honeymoon could not have been better! We can't wait to come back again.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2010

2ND Trip to Nakia, we went in Dec 09 (my two boys and I dive and my wife gets massages while we are gone!). We had such a great trip (see previous review) that my family all rated this as there favorite and all wanted to return ASAP. This time we stayed in the expanded Family Bury which now has 2 seperate sleeping areas (4 beds (2 queens 2 kings) and 2 full bathrooms (one with an outdoor shower that I LOVED!). Very roomy, FANTASTIC views of the Somsoma Straights and very priviate as well.

Food is out of this world, even better then we remember, and juding by our scales when we got home we enjoyied it a little to much! The curries, steaks, lamb and fresh fish are awesome, the soups and dessarts to die for, and the salads and veggies from there garden are just fantastic.

Diving, simple the FANTASTIC. Julie and Aaron run a great operation. 5 star service. Small groups, personalized on your skills and desires (we take underwater photos and video and so lots of extra gear and they sure know how find the really cool stuff. We dove new places and returned to some favorites from last time (NO SHORTAGE of dive sites) and I can honestly say I could dive the same site here numerous times back to back and still come up saying I found something and different that supper cool. Infact we found a really unique and rare annomiena with ghost shirmp at a common site but by diving it at a different depth it was life diving a whole new location!

We also did more hikes and walks (fantastic waterfalls and nature) and even visit the peral oyster farm (it was neat, but not sure we would do that again as we preferred our hikes and diving)

If you want a first class experience, personalize service, small and friendly resort and dive operation Nakia and Taveuni Ocean Sports are place for you! Have a any questions...just ask me!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nakia Resort & Dive

Address: PO Box 204 | Waiyevo, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Taveuni Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical rainforests, pristine beaches, world-class reefs, and a 12-meter swimming pool await guests at Nakia Resort & Dive, Fiji. Nakia is an intimate, comfortable, family-owned, eco resort on the Garden Island of Taveuni. The resort uses water from artesian springs, fresh organic fruits and vegetables grown on site, and the natural energy of the sun, water, and wind. This combination of eco features is unique in Fiji. Nakia welcomes families, honeymooners, adventurers, and guests seeking quiet, pristine beauty. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Nakia Resort And Dive
Nakia Resort & Dive Hotel Taveuni Island
Nakia Hotel Dive
Nakia Hotel Taveuni Island

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