We stayed here in May 2013 and I have only just got around to writing my review! Not having done a Fiji family holiday experience before, we chose JMC because of the Tripadvisor reviews and the resort met all of our expectations and more. I think JMC is wonderful for families – although there were some couples there without kids, my recommendation would be mainly towards families, as sometimes at night you can hear babies/toddlers crying in other bures. My husband, and two children (both under 3) were well looked after by all the staff whether it be house-keeping or activities, masseuses, Bula Club, the restaurant or management – every request was met with a helpful response or solution. The bure was very comfortable and all we really needed for our two week stay as we spent so little time in the room. We loved the Fiji products in the room and got so addicted to the natural mozzie-spray we had to buy a few bottles to bring back home and every time we use it, are reminded of our time at JMC.
The two nannies we were assigned were wonderful and very experienced and what a bonus to have them be able to babysit while you have dinner. As a mother of a young baby it took me a while to get used to having the assistance of a nanny (haven't used nannies before at home or on holiday) and after about 4 days I resigned myself to letting my bub be looked after for periods of the day by the nanny who was more than willing and in fact, I think it was better when I just left her to it rather than constantly hovering around. I also struggled with the concept of the long-days the Fijian nannies seemed to do (didn’t want to come across as some sort of exploitative rich tourist), but it was explained to me that the work is seasonal, they are paid by the hour and in busy times, they work longer hours to compensate the quieter times. The Fijians have childcare down pat and just love kids. A tip for other parents of young babies – take a pram as the nannies sometimes take all the young babies to the Point for their daytime sleeps which is just a wonderful place for the babies to have their sleeps. I used to visit them down there and it is a wonderful lovely spot to hang out in – no wonder they sleep so well – all that fresh warm sea air and palm trees.
The food was delicious and I loved that it was nice-sized normal portions (like French size not American/Australian supersized ones) so you always felt nicely content rather than over-stuffed full which I hate. My hubby and I didn’t put on weight over the holiday despite indulging in 2 x 3 course meals twice a day and a few choice cocktails which was nice, as that is often the downside to a holiday.
The massages by the sea were just divine, snorkelling with Johnny was superb and the diving at Namale was just out of this world (one of my top 3 dives ever!) – one of my dives there was like being in about 5 x David Attenborough documentaries in the same half hour – just awesome in terms of the coral and the sea-life. The dive-team are just so competent and helpful and I did about 8 dives while there, and my husband learnt to dive there due to the confidence he felt in the instructors and program. The reefs closer to the resort have been damaged by cyclones and Crown of Thorns starfish but I still found enjoyable despite this as you can still find wonder in the tiniest of cleaner-shrimp or nudibranches and still get surprised by a fast-swimming Spanish Mackerel or reef-shark even in these damaged reefs.
The atmosphere around the bar of an evening was always fun and we really enjoyed meeting and making friends with other couples.
The only thing that I could criticise was that two of the staff (from different parts of the resort), when engaged in lengthy friendly conversations for different reasons then made hints and overtures about needing extra money or gifts from us which put us in an awkward position as the resort make it very clear that their position on tips/gratuities should be done as a communal gift due to the village like atmosphere they try to engender there. I know it can be hard for the resort to manage a situation like this when you have a couple of hundred staff and am sure they tell the staff to not try and hit the guests up with sob-stories and other techniques to get a bit of an extra kick-back. I always wanting to give something extra to those that don’t expect it and who give you such good service, which is what we did as well as the communal gift – but none of this is expected from the resort so don’t let that put you off what was ultimately one of the best most relaxing holidays we’ve had in years. We will definitely go back.
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- Also Known As:
- Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
- Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu