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“OK” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Savusavu Vanua Levu Island, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji   |  
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Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Savusavu
Australia, Queensland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“OK”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2011

There is a lot to like about the resort: its location which is pristine and its staff who are warm and friendly. Moreover, the resort is closely intertwined with a local village which is indeed a special thing.
There are a few issues however, that really let this place down:
-the mosquitoes are at times unbearable and will eat you alive unless you are fully clothed or wearing aeroguard
-the bures are so basic and tired.

While our kids were well taken care of in the Bula club (which is itself in need of a makeover), these two things made it diffcult for us to fully enjoy our adult time, as there wasn't anywhere to luxuriate and relax away from mosquitoes and flies. I found myself lying on a daybed reading, and having to constantly swat at the pests.
On our third day there, one of the staff asked, off-hand, if we would like to have mosquito nets on the beds. This is a must, as the concentration of mosquitoes seemed to be worst just outside our bure door.
Our bed was a saggy. The mattress was propped on a base that looked like it had buckled. Cockroaches were another common and unwelcome pest in our bure.

- The food, while previous reviewers claimed is fantastic, was for us 'just ok'. The chef was not too happy to fulfill special requests and after a while we started to realise that dessert was a waste of calories.
- massages started at 135 filji dollars/hr - more expensive than Australia
- While lying by the pool we were only approached once to ask if we would like a drink from the bar; we had to get up and order it ourselves.
- One does really wonder how the word 'eco' relates to the resort. For example, they go through hundreds if not thousands of water bottles each day, also, while we were there, a staff member killed a sting ray on the beach where kids were playing in the water

We paid $1000 per night for an entry level one-bedroom bure. Given our experience we did not feel that this was good value for money. Unfortunately for us, that sort of money sets up greater expectations, and our dream, much-needed holiday was not the pampering we were hoping for.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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260 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    211
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    10
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

My new wife and I came here for our honeymoon, we still have two days to go unfortunately. We have been put in a room with no aircon, no proper bathroom, well no facilities really. The room or bure is old tired and pretty poor. Every night we have to turn off the water to the toilet as it runs constantly and keeps us awake. We can't stay or sleep in the room during the day as there are maintenance men working on the room next door and they are loud. Despite claims there is no room service, no phone or menu. When we asked we were told to walk to the bar and order stuff there and for charge they would bring it to our room. Yeah right! They ran out of everything I drink anyway. Some honeymoon. Also the food is average to poor and is all early 80's in style. Yuk!!! The snorkeling is all rubbish too. Believe me I know as I have dived for over 25 years and all over the world. I wanted my wife to have a great experience but as the last snorkel was on Great Barrier she was really let down.

The staff, however, were really friendly and as helpful as they could be given their circumstances. I guess I need to start again and book a real honeymoon when we get home.

If you have small children and want a nanny per child, and think of how little those nannys get paid, then you might like this but it really is over priced and has no independent accredation for it's claims of 5 star accommodation etcetera.

I could not possibly recommend this place so please don't come here !!

The staff however are really friendly and helpful

Room Tip: Go somewhere else with independent accredation.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

Just arrived back from JMC and we (wife and I and 2 boys 2&3) had a fantastic time. After 3 nights at the Hilton Denerau we flew to JMC and everything was very smooth. We were very early as we were advised to take the early flight but from meeting at Nadi airport to pickup at SavuSavu to the welcome and being quickly seated for a lovely breakfast it was a pleasure. Within an hour the boys had met their nannies (a truly great experience for all of us!!) and were off to the Bula Club and in the pool...uhm 10am...what is this lovely peace and quiet...better grab couple of beds by the beautiful adult pool and enjoy sunshine - and peace and quiet!
Major highlights:
Nannies - boys loved them and from 8am till bed we could spend as much or as little time with them as we all wanted. They were in the pool with them, helped out with lunch at Bula Club and at dinner we ate the four of us but as soon as they were done off they went and were tucked in bed when we returned later on. Bliss!
Food - all included and constantly changing. We hold a high standard for food and from portion size to taste and degree of healthiness it was very good for adults and kids.
People - very friendly and always looking to help out.
Room - Ocean front bure - easily accommodated the 4 of us - when we go back will probably look at the OF Suite as the 2yr old will be in a bed by then. Our view was not 100% ocean as there is a massage hut right in front of Bure 3 but it was still a minor issue.
Other info
We didn't do the rain forest trip but didn't hear great things about it.
We did do the farmers market and it was ok...good quick view of the town and the people.
Any downside?
Certainly kid friendly but not over run and with separate dining and pools I don't think it was family only. An interesting comment from parents of old kids (10-15yrs old) was that compared to other resorts there wasn't as much for that age group.
Due to weather conditions getting out of SavuSavu was a problem for a few of us. I would not recommend connections out of Nadi on the day you are leaving JMC. Not a resort issue but a logistics one. We did leave on the day we wanted but hitched a ride on a plane chartered by another Sydney family who just made their 3pm Virgin flight - thanks again for the ride!!

Overall we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the location, people and relaxed atmosphere of the JMC Resort. Thanks, we will be back!

Room Tip: Ocean Front Bures fan out from 1-12 from the adult pool so distance from centre can be judged. Bure...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

I have been dreaming of this resort for ages!! I have read every review about every resort in Fiji and I was sure that this was the absolute best place to go. I was to fly out with my family from Australia. We are Americans currently in Sydney for work. The rest of my family was to fly out from the US and meet us. I called the Australlian office to book my reservation and my parents called the US office to book her reservation. Surprise Surprise! My folks got a much better deal (nightly rate, massages and dives included) than I did. We are talking a significant difference; more than just a difference in exchange rates, but a whole night's stay over a week. In pursuit of the best deal, I thought I would just book us all through the US office. When I called the US office the guy told me I couldn't book through him as I am an Australlian resident (I'm not). Then he said with the time difference I needed to book through Australia (the time difference didn't bother me). My excitement in booking this vacation was turning sour. I mentioned my money, bank, and credit cards are all in the US so it would be easier for me to book through the US as to not collect international credit card exchange rate fees. I was told that my arguments were just "semantics" and I dare say it, but he hung up on me! Right away I called the Australian office. I should have calmed down first because I was in tears. (Have you ever heard of someone crying while trying to book a vacation? Me neither! It's ridiculous!) I spoke to the VP of sales for the resort and got a long winded discussion, but no change. Yes this resort charges Australians more than Americans. I was told that they don't want to end up with a resort full of just Australians and the lower rate for Americans entices them to come in a downturned economy. But aren't I an American? Good grief! How did booking a vacation become so difficult? Then it dawned on me; If I was having this much trouble just trying to book this resort, shouldn't I just find another resort? Maybe one that doesn't charge Australians more for departing from Australia and Americans less for departing from the US? My departure city shouldn't have any bearing on what I am charged at a hotel. There are so many resorts in Fiji that I didn't need this one. My heart is a little broken as I really wanted to go here, but a great vacation starts at reservations and this place had lost its allure for me. Our new resort may not have a private nanny for each child, but it definitely has a better beach.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreginFiji, General Manager at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
Bula,
The entire Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort team try extremely hard to offer a wonderful experience for all our guests. We are all disappointed that Jennifer did not receive this from us and we take the two issues she raised seriously.

The details of the conversation between our Res office and her are undoubtedly important, but for us the main issue is that she felt we had been rude to her. I have personally and unreservedly apologised to her for this . . and also made the observation that all our Res team regularly get very good comments from guests and industry.

The other issue Jennifer raised was of rate disparity between countries. We certainly don't have a policy of different rate structures for different countries. Many guests wish to have their stay at the Resort quoted and paid for in their own currency. To that end we quote rates in USD and AUD. Like many resorts we have to set rates 12 to 18 months out and do our best to anticipate exchange fluctuations. In the current economic climate this is tougher than ever, hence occasional apparent disparities.

I'm pleased to see that Jennifer is still coming to Fiji - it is a truly wonderful country. I'm sure she'll have a great time wherever she goes - and hope that one day she might reconsider Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort.

Vinaka.

Greg Taylor
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2011

My wife and I and our two little girls stayed for a week in September with friends.
It was amazing.
The bad? My wife and I were very ill. We picked up a 48 hour bug which was brutal. Having said that, it is the tropics and these things happen. That bug did go right around the resort. Also, the staff went out of their way to look after us and were very kind. We were even offered (by Bart) a spare bure so as to help ensure the girls did not get the bug - nice! We did not take it but what an offer.
It was a shame but such is life. The girls did not get it. The only other thing is the connecting flight to/from Nadi. I am not a nervous flyer but if I was, it would have been rough/scary. This is not the responsiblity of JMC of course, but just be aware of this.
The good? Well, everything else!
The resort and the location are superb. The food is brilliant. Our girls had a ball. Mita and Alison were just superb nannies and our girls loved them. Staff first rate. The pool is to die for. The kids club is like a resort itself and we were 100% confident leaving the girls with the nannies (and we are pretty paranoid parents). The snorkelling was superb. The bures are really nicely done - simple but perfect. We were in a garden view and given we were never in the room (other than when we were ill) we did not miss an ocean view.
I saw the preceding review regarding kids and couples travelling without kids. My wife and I were without our kids most of the time and we really felt the division between "kids areas" and the main facilities worked well. We did not have our kids in the main areas - they were at the kids club.
We will be back!

  • Stayed September 2011, 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.
Colchester, Connecticut
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

My husband and I just returned from a week at this resort. The people were incredibly friendly, the service good and the water crystal clear with great snorkeling and diving experiences. 2 issues I want to make future travelers aware of: 1. This is a family resort. My husband and I were 1 of very few couples there without small children. It is ideal for families- the Bula Club and staff were amazing-1:1 staffing ratio's for children and staff which results, I believe, in all of us assuming those costs and why the price is higher than many resorts in the area. Because the staff are so nice, they are not strict with families who bring their children to the adult only areas. Also, because no bures are air conditioned, you can hear the children in the evening and night time hours so if you are a light sleeper, it can be disruptive.
2. There is a GI illness going through the resort. Both my husband and I got it and were sick for 24 hours. In speaking with other guests, all families experienced it and the staff shared that it had been going on for 2 weeks. When we spoke with the manager, he acknowledged it but seemed to think it was just a way of life and nothing they could do. Flying off the island, we spoke to other couples who stayed at a different resort and none of them were sick so it was not related to the island. Cousteau's resort takes pride in its "green environment" and does not use bleach any where so as a nurse, I question if that is why the illness can not be eradicated.

Call before you arrive to find out if there has been any continued illnesses reported!

Room Tip: If you can afford the villa (there is only 1), it is the only room with air conditioning. All other...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

My husband and I went on our honeymoon here in October. We are big travelers and our stay at Cousteau's was the best vacation of our lives. The General Manager Bart was beyond amazing. We went into town to Savusavu's Market Day and bought two lobsters. Bart asked the chef to prepare our lobsters for us for dinner. Speaking of the food - it is AMAZING. We were there for 10 days and I could have eaten the resort food for another 10 days. It was incredible. During our stay we got dive certified. Geoff our dive master was seriously amazing. The staff was amazing. We teared up a little when we had to leave. I don't think that has ever happened after a vacation. If we had to choose just one destination to travel to for the rest of our lives it would be Cousteau's in Fiji hands down.

  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Address: Savusavu Vanua Levu Island, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Savusavu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#1 Family Hotel in Savusavu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Savusavu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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