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“Wonderful holiday with small kids and awesome diving” 5 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
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Wonderful holiday with small kids and awesome diving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

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.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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260 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Sydney, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Both my husband and I have travelled extensively and this would be our favourite resort ever. Travelling with 2 children (3 & 6) we need a holiday to suit there need for activities with our needs for R&R! This place has it. From the wonderful greeting on arrival where the kids are taken off to tour the kids club area and you can just soak in the ambiance of a small luxury resort. The kids club is fantastic with a great range of activities such as learning about the local ecology and planting mangroves to having their own pool and dining area. The buddy & nanny system is great and they get to make friends which really enhances their holiday experience. Meanwhile you can have a 3 course gourmet meal with your partner, enjoy a glass of wine in the middle of the day!! WhooHoo!! Parents are always welcome at Kids Club to join in activities etc.. you can drop off / pick up, pop in and out to see your kids. No restrictions about booking them in each morning etc… just a given they will show up. The awesome staff will even come over at breakfast and take them over. You can choose to dine in the family area or if you don't have the kids with you, you can dine in the adults restaurant and enjoy some peace & quiet. Its all open air, overlooking the deck/pool and beach. It is luxury on a small, intimate scale. We were there in July and I would highly recommend asking for the mosquito nets over the beds. My husband and I indulged in scuba diving and the staff where extremely knowledgeable and professional. My husband also did his first night dive - a 1:1 experience with the dive master that was fantastic. Aside from the amazing location, food, kids club etc.. what really makes this place is the attention from the staff - they are so attentive, friendly and professional. You don't feel like a guest, but rather part of an extended family. Prior to this we stayed at the Intercontinental in Natadola Bay which was also excellent, but its a big International chain resort. This is something else!! Loved it and will hopefully be back again this year. Its not a cheap holiday by any means but gosh, our family still talk about how much we loved it on a weekly basis and when we will be going back!

Room Tip: we had a garden view room as it was all that was available when booking. It was lovely. All rooms...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
New York, NY
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

My thirteen year old son and I stayed at the JMC resort in Savusavu for nine days this past August. We had a wonderful time. My son had been wanting to learn scuba for a while, and I wanted to find a nice place to stop off on the way home to NYC from Brisbane. It is a great place to learn how to scuba dive. The dive school is right at the hotel, and we learned right off the pier. One instructor per family, which was totally great. We both got our certifications. In addition, we visited the local pearl farm and a Fijian village, swam in a waterfall, and went on a mangrove tour with the resort's resident marine biologist. Very eco-friendly, which is great, however I will forewarn that the lovely lemon grass insect repellant they sell does not totally conquer the mosquitoes, and the lighting in the room was not totally great. The food was, for the most part, very good. As is the case with many resorts in Fiji, all of the herbs and vegetables come from their own garden.

Room Tip: For two people, the garden bure was fine. Had my husband been there, however, I would have preferre...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Canberra, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

My husband and our two sons aged 17 and 2 1/2 have just returned from a relaxing, fabulous 6 nights at JMC. It was an absolutely perfect destination for us to enjoy time together as a family but also indulge in our own separate interests. My eldest son is a well seasoned international traveller (lucky him!), having travelled to South Africa, England, France, Scotland, Russia, Vietnam, Singapore, Bali and New Zealand on several occassions and best summed it up by saying "usually I want to go home by the end of the holiday, but I wish this one wouldn't end". Our toddler loved his nanny, Joanna, and we loved her. She was so caring and loving with him and really felt like part of our family by the time we left. She gave me a much needed break from the daily chores of dressing, feeding and bathing the little guy and stayed with him while he slept so we could indulge in some grown up time, but also participated in many activities with us with him, like playing on the beach, swimming in the pool and on a couple of excursions. The food was fabulous - both for the grown ups and the kids. Even though our little guy has very peculiar tastes the resort was happy to accomodate them by providing food not normally on the menu (eg porridge for breakfast, cream cheese sandwiches) or to let us modify the daily changing menu to come up with something that would keep him happy. The adults all found it difficult to choose off the lunch and dinner menus each night as everything was so delicious. And when my husband and son caught a whopping tuna one afternoon the chef insisted on making us a delicious starter of sashimi. Yum! Special mention should also go to Tia, one of the activities staff, who introduced himself early on day one to our eldest son and made sure he had a fabulous time even though there was noone else of his age at the resort by taking him fishing, trapping mongoose, kayaking, snorkelling, building bonfires etc . But, really, all of the staff are fabulous and really take their time to make your time at the resort special. As with everything in life, there are some tradeoffs - the longer time to get there courtesy of the extra flight, the lack of a pristine, beautiful white sand beach courtesy of the location right on the coral reef, which is perfect for snorkelling and diving, not exactly five star due to its remote location, but if these things are not high on your priority list, I would strongly recommend you consider JMC. We will definitely be going back, and we will stay longer next time.

Room Tip: We stayed in a point reef bure, which was perfect for our family. Great size, beautiful view from t...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

We travelled with 11 people aged 7 to 70 for a family holiday that included 3 grandparents, three kids under 13, one teenager and four 40+ parents.

This place is just superb.

Food is brilliant and very tasty. If you are hungry in this place its your own fault. Its a mixture of Fijian specialties with a fusion of indian, modern australian and lots of seafood as you could expect.

Activities where great and provided a great blend of water activities as well as cultural experiences and rainforest and scenic walks. Marine biologist Johnny was excellent for the snorkelling trips. Pete, Jope, Gabby, Chris, Tia are always available to take you fishing, snorkelling, sailing or basically whatever you like which for us included an adhoc soccer game with the staff.

Bures where very comfortable, bed was lovely and comfy for lazing away with a nice breeze coming through. The pillow library has everything you could need to make sure you slept well.

Lots of day beds around the serenity pool for just kicking back if you have time or don't want to do the activities, access to the bar and canapés at the end of day just topped off every single day.

By far the most outstanding part was the staff at JMC. Most of the staff are from the local village and are very generous in sharing your Fiji experience. Take the time to get to know them and engage with them and you will be rewarded ten fold. Even though you spend most of the time with the activities staff and restaurant and bar staff the gardeners and hospitality staff also love to sit down and share your experiences.

You get taught a valuable lesson while you are there courtesy of Warra - No Worries, No Hurries. Follow his advice and you will have the best experience

Spend some time at JMC at least once in your life. It was our first time but we met others who have been there up to 8 times.

You wont be disappointed

Room Tip: Beachside or Garden Bures it doesn't matter you spend so little time there. That being said it w...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

I travelled with my sister and two nieces (7 & 9), I'm delayed in posting this review, but I felt it important to put a review after such a fantastic time. We were in an oceanfront villa, but really the garden villas are not that far off the beach like other resorts. Having stayed for two nights in Denarau prior to our time at JMC I would have no hesitation spending the extra money again and only going to JMC, especially with children. For a couple looking for time away it's possibly not the best option, but kids do have a separate area, and are not generally in the way or noisy. The pool is small, but I'd rather a small pool with only a few other guests than a massive pool with hundreds of others. My suggestion is to make full use of the activities team, there are lots of them and they are happy to help with whatever you'd like to do. I snorkeled and sailed properly for the first time in my life. And found both experiences amazing.
The food was constant and amazing, with great variety at every meal.
Back to my Denarau comment to finish. You pay half as much there for a room, but the facilities are not as good nor private, the food can leave a lot to be desired and you pay exorbitantly. For the same total cost you can stay at JMC and not have to worry about the bill at the end as its all included. And that's before you've added in the cost of kids club or extra activities.
The only thing to be aware of is the flight from Nadi to Savusavu, it is a small plane, and the airport has minimal facilities for the waiting time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Pleasanton, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

This resort is spectacular! And with the Daku Resort booked due to a large family reunion, our ability to be able to stay here one night was just amazing. I cannot put words to describe it really.

During the weeks, I would be in Buca Bay working hard on water projects in Vunikura, Loa, and Buca, so the chance to put my feet up and relax here was so rejuvenating. The all-inclusive amenities like snorkeling at the split rock, paddle boarding (which I didn't have time to do) and the huge pool/deck to just lay out and enjoy some sunshine. :)

The meals were state-of-the art as well with three-course dining and meals that were to die for!

The humility of the staff was also something that I would like to take note of. The staff is fabulous and all the work they put in so families or engineers traveling on business like us can relax and feel a bit spoiled, well they deserve a round of an applause. I hope to one day be able to stay again, God-willing!

Thank you Jean-Michel Cousteau for offering a splendid night stay here. :)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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