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“Amazing life experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Namena Island Resort

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Namena Island Resort
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Private Mail Bag, Savusavu, Vanua Levu 00000, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Savusavu
Morgantown, West Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing life experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I have just returned from a 12 day stay at Moody's Namena. We were greeted by Tom at the dock with the Wyle Kioti to whisk us away to our bure and give us a brisk tour of the island. Our bure was beautiful with breathtaking views out of each of the sliding doors. The island is absolutely magical with tropical flowers, birds, lizards, hermit crabs and surrounded by the best snorkeling I have ever seen. I have traveled to some places to dive and snorkel such as Cozumel, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Aruba, Cayman Islands and most recently Key Largo. The simplicity and beauty of diving at Namena Reef makes the experience. On one of our dives we chilled with a manta ray for a half hour over a beautiful reef. We also saw many sea turtles, shark, lion fish, and all of the beautiful reef fish you could imagine. The coral was in fabulous shape and offers many styles of dives from drift, deep, shallow, wall dives and atolls. Our dive masters were great at pointing things out and the diving was unrushed and not crowded. We also kayaked and snorkeled around the island. Some of the best snorkeling is right off the dock where you can see giant colorful clams. On days that we wanted to be land dwellers the island offers many beaches for you to call your own and has hiking trails to each end of the island. If you want a true grasp of how much work Tom has put into the island I highly recommend adventuring towards the head of the island. I loved the fact that within a ten minute walk you could feel as if you had the island to yourself. The employees of the island make your trip. One evening after a long day of diving my spouse and I slept through dinner time. We were greeted when we woke by one of the employees carrying a picnic basket that she had packed us dinner. I was disappointed to read the harsh review prior. If you have any special requests the employees of the island would gladly work with you. It is stated on the website that if you have requests for dining options just mention them. I suffered from bug bites and the office provided me with anti itch cream that really made a difference. The food was incredible with fresh grown pineapple, homemade bread, and delicious soup. It was a truly different diving experience to have a relaxed breakfast, enjoy morning conversation with Tom the historian and the other guests. Then head to the dock for your first dive. After your first dive we could get cleaned up, stretch out our legs and then have a warm lunch prepared for us before our second dive. Moody's Namena offers a true life experience to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of the tropics. We plan to return as soon as we can.

Room Tip: Be prepared for no outlets in your room. If you are experiencing any difficulties mention it to one...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Resort, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Bula and thank you for your review

I am happy that we were able to make you enjoy all that Paradise Namena has to offer.
I trust that Namena has found a special place in your hearts and thank you for sharing your review and experience with our Namena family.

Vinaka
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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We have just finished a 4 night stay on Moody's, we were meant to stay 7 nights but we just couldn't take the meal times which had to be taken on the dot (with the owner at your table) 8am breakfast, 12pm lunch and 6pm dinner and not being left alone to enjoy the surroundings. There was no warning that there was no power in the rooms and there was also no air-conditioning or fans to keep cool in our room. The bugs were everywhere and I left the island with about 100 bites on my body from jellyfish (that apparently didn't exist according to the owner). Having dinner at 6pm every night (Moody set his own clock so it was a different time from the rest of Fiji) meant we missed EVERY sunset - this was a particular problem for my husband who was hoping for some photo opportunities.

Our room was beautiful but was not 'weather proof' and let in all the sun in the mornings. We did have mosquito nets but these also allowed for the moths to come over the net for some very difficult night reading.

I will say however it is the best snorkelling I have ever seen in the south pacific including my 5 night stay at Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. I thought the local staff were really friendly I just didn't like being made to come to the communal table for breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat with everybody on the island including the owner. I just wanted to go, relax, maybe sleep in (which was impossible as someone went down to our room calling my name each morning I wasn't at breakfast at 8am) a few days and generally relax in peace. I would consider going back but only if it were under new management.

What others are saying about the location is true, it is very beautiful and if you don't mind your meal times to be dictated with little to no meal choice, being called to the breakfast table by 8am every morning whether you are going out on the boat or not, and not having any way to cool your room down then it would be easy to overlook the difficulties of having the owner sitting with you and dictating what you eat (we had chicken fried meat twice in 4 nights) then I would agree, this is a perfect place. but for the money... you would think there was extra beach towels to use and a sun lounger for each guest (there is only 12 at any time) but there was only 3 sun loungers at the beach to relax on and two towels to use each day which at peek times would not nearly be enough.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Resort, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Bula Vinaka

I am pleased that you mentioned that the snorkelling was the best you have ever seen in the South Pacific.
In regards to meal times, we are open to any time that you are comfortable with and its unfortunate that we could not address this during your stay.
I apologise that you had fried chicken twice in 4 nights,I have discussed this with chef and we have changed the menu a bit.
Thanks for the review on the rooms.Our rooms are weather proof and the fan in your room was not working so we had to remove it a few days before your arrival
Thank you for your comments on the sun loungers, we usually put it out according to the number of guests we have on the island.There was only three out on the beach as you were our only two guests at the time.
I am sorry that we failed to meet your expectations
For all future visitors to our Paradise Namena, please raise any issue you may have during your stay.

Vinaka
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

You may go for the diving but you will go back for the people, the Ecofriendly bure and charm of an island where you can still avoid to see any plastic on the beach. If you are all about amenities, do not go there, but if you like nature and want to get away from your life (barely a cel signal on the island) then it is paradise, turtles weighting from your balcony, sharks coming at low tide to hunt small fish...and the diving...just spectacular!
This was our 4th trip and one of the best...
Tom the owner and his late wife are treating you like family and the staff is fantastic.

Room Tip: The only bure on the beach is best ...but they are all spectacular
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Resort, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Bula and thank you for your review.

Thank you for travelling back to your home Paradise Namena for the fourth time in a row.
We are happy that you have rated the diving as one of the top 10.
We trust that you will cherish the memories of your Namena experience look forward to see you both soon.

Vinaka...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We’ve just come back from a wonderful week at Moody’s Namena. We’ve been fortunate enough to have done a large amount of travelling around the world for work and pleasure over the last 20 years and would rate Namena as one of the most idyllic locations we’ve ever visited. If you’re after plush accommodation with air-con, marble bathroom, lots of modern technology and laid on entertainment, it isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a break away from all the hustle and bustle of modern life on a truly unspoilt and beautiful island where you can choose to either relax and just take in the amazing views or be more active and enjoy world class snorkelling/diving and walking around the amazing island, you will love Namena and won’t want to leave (we discovered a large proportion of the guests are return customers).

The owner Tom is an amazing person who passionately believes in eco-tourism and has lovingly ensured the resort has not adversely impacted the rich diversity of plant and animal life on and around the island over the last 25 years. He also led a very rich life before coming to the island and tells some incredible stories about his previous adventures. He is now in his eighties and for health reasons is thinking about moving back to the US. His excellent team of staff led by Nigel (resort manager and engineer) are also dedicated to eco-tourism, but we’d suggest visiting the island sooner rather than later, as a new lease owner may be tempted to build more bures/buildings to increase the maximum capacity of 12 guests.

Accommodation – our bure was spacious, extremely comfortable, had 270 degree sea views and was beautifully serviced twice a day (when we were at breakfast and dinner). The servicing included incredible flower arrangements and lifting/lowering the mosquito nets around the four poster bed. We had solar power lighting and a gas ring for making tea/coffee, so not having electricity wasn’t an issue at all for us (the office charged our ipads when they ran out of power). Mosquitos were not a big issue, but we did wear repellent in the evening and the staff kept mosquito coils burning in our room. We had a double bathroom (two basins/toilets separated by a large shower with two entrances) that functioned perfectly for us. All the water comes from rain water collection, so you are encouraged to not use excessively and the shower has lower pressure. We don’t like feeling salty or grubby after snorkelling/walking/kayaking and were concerned about this before the holiday, but found quick showers made us feel all clean! The highlight of the accommodation for us was the wonderful sea views that could be enjoyed from either the outside deck or being on the bed with the four sets of double doors open. We loved sitting on the deck with a drink and just watching fish swim around in the lagoon at the bottom of the cliff or birds flying around the island.

Snorkelling/diving – snorkelling from any of the beaches or the jetty was brilliant. The hard corals are in good condition, but have suffered from a degree of bleaching due to increased sea temperatures (problem throughout Fiji). The soft corals are amazing colours and there is a prolific range of fish. We often saw turtles and small reef sharks whilst snorkelling. This is one of the few places where you have excellent snorkelling straight from the beach, but without signs of human inflicted damage. The small numbers of guests generally mean you have a beach/lagoon to yourself, so other people don’t frighten away interesting things before you see them! The diving was definitely world class and it’s wonderful that most sites are only a 10 minute boat trip from the jetty (liveaboards and other resort dive boats sometimes come to the sites around Namena we saw three during our week, but they have a lot longer journey). The Grand Canyon dive site was breathtaking with a broad range of pelagics. We saw sharks, a manta and large numbers of barracuda, spanish mackerel and tuna. The resort has a great dive team and were very safety conscious when taking people out diving and snorkelling (by boat). The staff are happy to help as much or little as you want. We preferred the latter and apart from doing a buddy check before getting in the water the staff took care of everything else, this included carrying, setting-up, dismantling all gear and washing gear after every trip. Generally the ratio of staff to guests was low – often 1 to 1!

Food
We were pleasantly surprised at the high standard of the meals. Given the remoteness and need to boat in most food we weren’t expecting melt in your mouth meat, aromatic curries and a never ending supply of freshly baked pastries and delicious cakes – don’t expect to lose any weight! The dining was communal and around a large table. Tom and/or Nigel came to most meals, so meal times were a convenient way to get advice or arrange activities. The flexibility of arrangements was wonderful, and we usually decided on what to do in the morning/afternoon at breakfast/lunch and Tom or Nigel would ensure everything was ready if equipment or staff were required. We liked the fact most food was served either buffet style or in bowls on a large rotating turntable in middle of the table, so you could choose your own portion size or take a small portion to try and then go back for a larger portion.

Getting to/from island
It’s only a short car trip from Savusavu airport (airport means small office and undercover seating area!) to the harbour where the boat leaves for Namena. The resort organises this short transfer with a local taxi driver. The boat trip to the island is in a small, high speed boat and takes just over an hour. One of our trips was in calm weather and was fabulous with lovely views of Vanua Levu. The other trip was made on a very windy day and the sea was quite choppy. It didn’t bother either of us and we quite enjoyed it, but wouldn’t have been so enjoyable for a person uncomfortable in small boats. If you’re not comfortable in small boats, either the seaplane option or flexibility in your itinerary might be worth considering. Other guests spent a night in Savusavu before and after a week on the island, as there are lots of things to see and do in the area and also gave them some flexibility if there were any delays in flights.

We’re already trying to determine the next time we can get a week work off work and make it back to Namena!

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Resort, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Bula and thank you for the review

I am happy that you enjoyed and experienced Namena as the unspoilt and beautiful island it is.
Thank you for the review on the accomodation, snorkelling and food.
We hope to see you back soon
Vinaka
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
108 hotel reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

If you are looking for a plush resort with a big pool and fine dining and room service, and walking distance from shopping this is not the place for you., If your willing to take an hour ride by boat to a remote island, which is a Marine reserve that has some of the best snorkeling and diving( within a 10 minute walk from your door) on one of the best coral reefs in the South Pacific. You can sit on your porch overlooking the ocean and be amused for hours by the variety of birds. There are 6 separate bures that are placed a considerable distance from each other (you can scream and your neighbors won't hear you). You can Kayak around the island or hike to a secluded beach, where your foot prints will be the only ones showing up in the sand. The people on staff are the friendliest people I have ever encountered at any hotel. We did not have a bad meal the 7 days we were there, The best part was watching the sunset just before meal time sipping on a glass of wine and listening to the stories of Tom Moody the owner. He has got some stories! We are already talking about our next visit.

Room Tip: The bure that is on the south side of the island at the top of the hill gets more wind from the othe...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We have just spent a week at Moody's Namena Resort and were not happy with the substandard 30 year old accommodation that has not seen any upgrades from the day it was built to any part of the bure or fittings, from the website photos and previous comments it would seem OK, but it is not. The sliding doors did not work that well hard to move when opening or closing, did not shut properly, nothing is fly wired so the mosquito's come and go as they please, you are given a supply of mosquito coils to burn day and night to keep them away which only helps to a point. We chould have lived with that but the bathroom and shower was the worst, if you like cold water showers with no water pressure so the water dribbles out, blocked drains both in the shower and basins this was it for us for the week. We asked for the drains to be cleared and received a "yes mam, right onto it", nothing happened so decided it would be pointless bringing up the issue with the cold water showers and lack of water pressure bigger job to fix, no hope of that happening. See photos and some interesting others.

We are puzzled that all previous comments have not mentioned the Two Star accommodation standard and problems we encountered, every bure is the same age as the one we stayed in. Next time we will only consider potential accommodation places where there are more than 150-200 comments for a good coverage of people not 42 comments as for Moody's. The 13 April 2012 comment is curious to say the least, we asked the owner how is your wife on our arrival and was informed by him she had died 18 months ago.

Pros: The island is natural and untouched lots of birds and bats, the fish and coral were stunning, the food was great, the Fijian people were lovely.

Would we recommend "NO". Would we return "NO".

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Princes Risborough
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

I recently returned from my sixth visit to Namena. That alone will tell you something. From my home in the UK it takes me 36 to 40 hours to get to Namena if I don’t stop on the way - London to Los Angeles then on to Fiji, followed by the short domestic flight from Nadi to Savusavu where their boat will pick you up and take you out to Namena.
It is a quiet get away from all the pressures of modern life, no television, no piped music and no phones. Cell phones do work on the island and they are building a room for guests to use computers and keep in touch with the outside world if you want to.
The food is excellent. You won’t lose weight. The diving is amazing. The reef around the island is a marine reserve. Much of the island is untouched so you can wander among ancient trees, watch the birds or have a beach to yourself.
The friendly staff will do everything they can for you without being intrusive, in fact the opposite. When you return to your room after breakfast your bed will have been made and fresh flowers will be dotted around the room. While you are having dinner your bed will be turned down and the mosquito net will be carefully arranged around it. Your fellow guests will be interesting people from all corners of the world.
Read the website carefully. Namena is a little remote and not for everyone. But if you think you could enjoy what they have there, you will not be disappointed.
Dacid C. Buckinghamshire, UK

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Namena Island Resort

Address: Private Mail Bag, Savusavu, Vanua Levu 00000, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Savusavu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#5 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Namena Island Resort is a privately owned Fiji island resort. 6 Bure's (cottages) strategically located to maximize ocean views and enjoy the ocean breezes. Maximum guest capacity 12 people. 3 gorgeous private beaches. Namena is rated the "Best Dive Destination In Fiji" and ranked as one of the "Top 10 Dive Destinations in the World". Namena Island is surrounded by a reef designated as a marine reserve with over 22 world famous dive sites all within a 10 minute boat ride from our boat jetty. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Moody`s Namena Hotel Savusavu
Moodys Namena Hotel
Moodys Namena Resort All Inclusive
Namena Island Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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