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“Beautiful island getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vatulele Island Resort

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Vatulele Island Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   No 1 Vatulele Island, Vatulele Island, Fiji   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vatulele Island
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful island getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011 via mobile

My husband and I had an amazing time at this resort. We are in our early 30's and went for a 7 night holiday.

The reason I can recommend it is because it ticks so many boxes for us.

Firstly, the service is spot on.
Then there's the food. We are both very particular when it comes to food and we enjoyed fresh seasonal produce, well cooked and plenty of seafood. The hotel has it's own organic gardens.

The set up of the bures and the privacy they gave us was perfect. The only issue we had with our bure was that it was quite dark with not a lot of lighting for us to read. ( we had Bure 16).

The activities were a lot of fun. One of them was a village trip. Make sure you have some Fijian money as we were caught out and felt bad when the village chief told us to go out and visit his marketplace where you feel obliged to buy something.

Also, pack children's clothes, books, pencils or anything else you can manage and give it to the hotel staff who will pass it on to someone in the village in need.

Overall we had a great time with plenty of relaxation and activity.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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122 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

Firstly, let's get the potentially bad news out of the way - the Resort is in receivership, though as I understand it, not because it is unviable, but rather, being collateral security, it was dragged down as part of the collapse of a failed development in another country. Being a partner at Minter Ellison, one of Ausatralia's largest law firms, and having acted for receivers for decades, the news, which only reached my wife and I after we'd made full payment, that the resort was in receivership filled me with foreboding, as experience told me that receivers, under instructions from their appointing banks can, particularly where the bank will never recover its loss, turn off the financial tap and do the bare minimum to maintain the asset pending sale.

But fear not dear reader - nothing could have been further from the case here (take a bow ANZ). The receivers, and their appointed on-site general manager, Kumar Patel (one of life's gentlemen) have done everything possible to ensure that the holiday experience on Vatulele is indeed the experience of a lifetime. If anything, I suspect their guiding hand has steadied what might otherwise have been a rocking boat - the staff are all assured that their jobs are secure, and this flows through to ensuring that Fijians' innate friendliness and generosity continue to flow unhindered. Simple things instituted by the receivers like choosing one of 2 entrees, mains and desserts for lunch when at breakfast (and likewise dinner when at lunch) mean that the kitchen staff don't have to prepare 38 portions (there are 19 bures accommodating a couple each) of 6 dishes on the off chance means that waste is eliminated and freshness maintained, and on an island where most foodstuffs are flown in, that's got to be a good thing.

To whoever buys the resort, my tip would be "if it's not broken, don't fix it". We met couples at the resort who have been coming back year in, year out for up to 11 years. They do so because what they've experienced in the past they loved, and they expect and look forward to the same experience being repeated.

So to some detail. You'll board an 8 seater plane at Nadi and fly at about 1500 metres for about 25 minutes over the south west tip of Viti Levu, the largest island in the Fiji chain, an experience in itself on a clear day - vistas of sugar cane fields, villages, rivers, mountain ranges, at times thick native vegitation and even a wind farm! Ear muffs are provided for those who don't want to experience the roar of the twin engines. In no time at all, Vatulele Island swings into view, spectacularly covered in thick jungle and fringed by the most exquisite reef. With a little hop the plane is deftly landed on a grass runway at the north east of the island, bookended by 2 of the 4 native villages on the island.

A warning though. Baggage is expected to be kept to 14kg (seriously limiting to my wife,who likes to accessorise!) If you think you can fudge it by loading up your carry on with all the heavy stuff, think again - you get weighed with your hand luggage before getting onto the transit flight - though I suspect that's more about distributing weight on the plane than ensuring that it doesn't drop like a stone out of the air. Suffice to say, others on our flight had far bigger suitcases, were of far bigger build and had hand luggage the size of Manitoba, and no one was asked to "lighten up".

Staff are on hand to meet and greet with a damp towel and a bottle of Fiji Water to freshen up, luggage is piled up onto a truck that has clearly experienced all that the dirt roads, tropical heat and wet season can dish up to it, and we're whisked away on a 4WD through dense jungle resplendant with breadfruit trees, coconut palms and paw paw trees, past cattle tethered to trees to prevent them being lost forever in the thickets and clearings planted by the villagers with water melon, taro and a native mulberry, from the bark of which the villagers fashion the most wonderful tapa cloth, and on to the main building of the resort.

There we are greeted by a choir of the staff singing a song of welcome and are plied with a drink of our choice (no receivers' cost cutting here!) Everywhere the staff greet you with a cry of "Bula", an enormous genuine smile and a cheery wave.The head of staff, Salote, who has been with the resort since opened by Henry Crawford, of Crawford Productions ( leading producer of TV shows in Australia) many years ago, personally walked us along a winding concrete path through neatly manicured gardens and native vegetation which created a thick verdant canopy, towards our bure. At the head of the path to it, written in flowers, was the word "Bula". Down the sandy path, raked clean of the constantly falling leaves of the native trees, she led us to our bure, in all its glory, and introduced us to all its features. Build by Crawford in "Santa Fe" style, and privately set apart from our neighbours due to the thick jungle, it was everything we could have wanted - tiled courtyard, thatched high pitched roof, all light and air, with many louvered double doors with attached flyscreens, which we left open by day and closed towards dusk to keep any airborne nightlife at bay, a beautifully horizon lap pool replete with 2 enormous day beds at its edge. Inside, lounges, a wine fridge, TV screen, DVD player with iPod dock (tip to new owner, whoever you are - the DVDs are seriously scratched and mostly unplayable - a carping criticism really, as we didn't go to the resort to watch tellie, and only tried out the DVD player on the day and a half we lost to rain - nothing that a good old fashioned read of a book couldn't cure), a raised king sized bed on roids, with mosquito netting pulled back on arrival and spread out to coccoon the bed during the afternoon turn down service, a second fridge kept topped up with complementary non-alcoholic beverages (just ask at the bar if you want nothing but, say, Diet Coke in there for the duration of your stay), a jar of home made cookies (which, without my wife's and my intervention, mysteriously emptied itself on a couple of occasions - what can I say, the house staff need to be nourished too no doubt), double shower, fully equipped bathroom with towels for the bathroom and another set for the beach, all set off with wonderful wall hangings of locally created tapa cloth, and even framed fragments of prehistoric axe heads and pottery found during the resort's construction.

And a stone's throw from the horizon pool, down past whatever the native trees were that were heavy with flower, attended by a riot of butterflies, and across the pristine sandy beach, was the lagoon. Ah, the lagoon! Azure waters, warm enough to wade straight in to. Looking to the left up to the limestone headland, past which we were later to discoverwas the walk to the pools that hold the remarkable (fire engine) red prawns held sacred by the villagers, not a soul to be seen. To the right of us, down to the main building and the resort's day boats, maybe a couple or 2 luxuriating on the beach or taking a refreshing dip. And so it would remain for our 7 day stay.Not many places in this world where one can enjoy such a hedonistic time virtually unencumbered by one's fellow man.

Each afternoon you'll find that journal of record, The Sandpaper, put on your bed, which records the next day's activities, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and constantly rotated. And if we heard it once, we heard it a score of times - if you missed an activity on a particular day, no problem - so if you missed the trip to see the red prawns, or to the inland limestone caves to dive into their pools, no worries - someone will take you for a personal tour. And such was the theme of the resort during our entire stay - nothing was too much trouble - you only needed to ask to get.

And what were the activties? Apart from those mentioned above, there were trips at high tide to the outer edge of the reef to snokel (all gear supplied), a boat trip to The Grotto (or self propelled by your own kyak), a remarkable limetone feature, the waters of which shimmer with the irridescent blue of damsel fish, and overhead, clouds of nesting boobies, tropic birds and terns (again a note to the putative new owner - the kyaks were getting a bid rough around the edges - some unsteerable and ours shipped water inside its shell, leading to some exciting times paddling back to the resort).

There are regular trips to one or other of the 4 villages - make sure you learn how to perform the Fijian clap of welcome and thanks, brace yourself to down a shot of kava in one go, and ladies, make sure that out of respect, you cover your shoulders and don't wear anything otherwise skimpy. And do what regulars to the resort do - bring alone some little note pads and coloured pencils for the village children- what to you and me is common and garden in that regard is a matter of wondement and excitement to them.

If you are celebrating a special occasion, make sure you let the resort know when making your booking. Ours was our 20th anniversary. That intel having been conveyed to Salote before our arrival, she'd booked us a luch on a little neighbouring island all to ourselves (ahem, Nookie Nookie Island - more about that later) and a dinner for 2 under one of the 3 little thatched structures on the beach in front of the main building. Thinking ahead and personalised service or what!

And Vatulele has 22 international standard dive sites, and fully accredited PADI instructors.

As to Nookie Nookie, what an experience. Yours for the morning for breakfast, or in the afternoon for lunch. Pushing through the winks and nudges leading up to our appointed use of it, the evening prior we were given a menu to choose for our customised lunch, and asked what drinks were required - talk about spoiled for choice! As we strolled from our bure along the beach to the boat which was there to take us on the 10 minute trip, we could see one of the boatmen loading up 2 eskies (later we were to find, one loaded with ice and our chosen tipples, and the other ice and our lunch choices). But wait, there's more! Our hilarious boatman ("What time would you like me to pick you up please David and Alison?" "4pm please". "What, this afternoon?") carries up to the 2 thatched structures there (one with 2 day beds and the other with a teak table and 2 chairs) our eskies and 2 mats for the day beds, then spreads a tablecloth out onto our table, lays out cutlery and our lunch. We weren't expecting that! He leaves a mobile phone with us, preset to ring at the boathouse should we tire of paradise, get sick of one another or the elements turn inclement. But before he goes, we are introduced by him to the only other inhabitants on the island, the hermit crabs. Now I've seen on an earlier review on this site that a past user of Nookie Nookie warned about the hermit crabs, and recommended steering clear of Nookie Nookie for that reason. Balls to that I say! By dint of many, many other breakfast and lunch frequenters to the island having dined out in that one spot, and no doubt cast scaps away, the hermit crabs, who clearly know which side their bread is buttered on, gather in that spot. We found that a sushi roll or 2, strategically placed away from our table, kept our (hundreds of) crab friends occupied for hours, and our lunch accordingly uninterruted by them. And anyway, when did you last see a hermit crab rumbling down George Street Sydney? The whole thing is part of the unique experience! And not that I can attest to it, but if one was inclined to get amongst a bit of what the island is named for, everwhere else on the island is unencumbered by your new found crabbie mates.

Now back to Brekkie Central. You'll eat at your own table. If Gabi is on shift that day, expect the most wonderful arrays of hibiscus, frangipani, ginger or whatever else is then currently in flower to be decorating your table. Plates of fresh fruits and pastries will be brought forth. Coffee anyone? The obligatory array of cereals, and a generous selection of hot breakfasts. Staff genuinely interested in what you're up to that day, and what did you do the day before. Everything in your room OK? Anything we can get you?

Just as you've ordered that morning, your lunch arrives with a greeting of "Bulla" and a smile. Good sized serves, well presented and delicious. Portions not so large that you feel like the Michelin Man when you walk away.You choose your dinner during proceedings.

Depending on the night, you will dine as a couple, or communally for the beach barbeque or degustation nights. If talking to others fills you with dread, no worries - dinner in your bure, no worries. Go communal I say! Live vicariously through the experiences of your fellow guests - on our stay, they came from all ponts of the compass - Russia, the UK, the USA, Kiwis, Italy, Slovenia - even a few fellow Aussies. Lots of honeymooners (that's why Salote knew to book us early onto Nookie Nookie) with their bright wedding bands, and dinosaurs like us looking to have a very special get away.

Feel like a massage? My wife did, every day! 3 trained masseuses at the resort. Cost not included, but FJD130 or so for an hour (at the time of writing, about AUD75), an absolute no brainer for those looking to completely de-stress. My wife was blessed to have the wonderful Maca (pronounced Martha) attend on her - though we know the other 2 are equally wonderful - a mix of Fijian and Swiss massage, expertly executed by her - and the maker of a couple of the tapa wall hangings in our room to boot. Choirmaster at the local church, regular accompanist to the evening band (don't forget to buy their 2 CDs for your Fijian Night when you return home), soon to visit Australia in a Fijian choir. Go Maca!

Much, much more I could mention, but you'll just have to find out for yourselves - I thoroughly recommend that you do so.

And so we gathered for our final lunch, 7 days gone all too quickly. Onto the scales with my carry on bag. To my horror it had put on some weight. Salote , Sara and other of the staff who had made us so welcome gather to sing us farewell. Hugs all round, and a tear or two.

But we'll be back - no two ways about it.

Kumar my good friend - best of luck with the sale process, and to you the upcoming new owner, take good care of the jewel that will be your new purchase. You will have a place of world heritage significance, staffed by (mostly) locals who all take a genuine pride in their island and its resort, and a determination that guests there will always want to return.

  • Stayed October 2011, 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

Before we went to Vatulele we'd seen so many photos of the island and knew it would be beautiful. This holiday was to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary, so we wanted to go somewhere special. As wonderful as the island looked in the photos, they didn't hold a candle to it's beauty in real life. This island is absolutely stunning. I was speechless the moment I spotted it from the plane. It has a gorgeous white sand beach that's great to swim in. We splurged and booked a room with a pool, which was great, but we would have been more than happy with just the beach to swim in. The island is covered with a beautiful rainforest and is full of wildlife. Be prepared to share the island with the frogs, geckos and crabs who call this island home. And remember they're more afraid of you than you are of them. The kayaking and snorkeling is great. Lots of activities to do.
The rooms are big and beautiful. Housekeeping do a great job of keeping it nice and clean. The beds are very comfy and the mosquito net a romantic touch. It comes in handy as there can be lots of mozzies around - especially when it rains. The resort supply you with mosquito repellent and coils. The rooms have a stereo which you can plug your ipod into. Your mini bar is kept stocked with soft drinks and water. You also get fresh cookies and a selection of teas. The pool was very clean and the deck chairs very comfortable.
Every meal at Vatulele was a pleasure. The food is world class! Absolutely delicious. Each meal is 3 courses. We were never hungry during our stay. The seafood was always fresh - usually caught the night before. There is plenty of variety in the menu and it changes daily. The fresh crossaints each morning were a real treat. The desserts are very yummy are are often served with delicious homemade iceream. On Saturdays, lunch is woodfire pizza. This was fantastic! You pick whatever you want on your pizza from a huge variety of beautiful fresh ingredients and 10 minutes later it's at your table. Another highlight was the 7 course degustation dinner which was held on the last night of our stay. It was very special. The chef and kitchen staff are brilliant.
All the staff in the restaurant and bar are just wonderful. They made us feel so welcome and spoilt. Each evening the resort has a happy hour with free beer, wine and daily cocktail. A nice touch! We looked forward to barman Joshua's latest cocktail each day. There are a few dining venues apart from the restaurant - beach side, in room, the folly and the wine cellar - all are lovely and romantic and easy to organise if you give the restaurant staff some notice. Dining in the restaurant is great too though, especially because that's where the Vatulele Band is each night. We bought their CD - both volumes. The coffee is worth mentioning. With each meal you can order a real coffee! Cappucino, latte, machiato - whatever you like. I thought this was great.
The staff at the resort are wonderful. Everyone does a fantastic job in keeping the resort beautiful and taking care of the guest's every need. Lusiana the manageress does an amazing job.
Vatulele is the place to go if you want a romantic or relaxing holiday with excellent food and beautiful views. I will definately return. I am so glad we picked Vatulele. It was a perfect holiday.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Noosa, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

We have stayed at Vatulele three times, and the peace, privacy and beauty of the island , and the glorious stretch of white beach and calm azure sea is incomparable to anywhere else.
The bures are in our opinion the best in Fiji, because of the decor, the privacy from other bures in among the tall tropical trees surrounding them, and the total luxury of the decor.
You feel totally isolated on your own island; but you meet the other guests, if you wish, for the nightly cocktails before the wonderful dinner on the terrace under the huge trees. From here you can see the sea, and hear it gently lapping.
The staff are helpful, charming and always smiling. You can have a picnic on an island or a deserted beach, and go out on the water with your own snorkeling guide. The diving is excellent.
We are spending Christmas there this year, and can't wait to get there again.
Everything is included in the cost - except the diving- and whereas it is fairly expensive, they often offer good value for money packages which include airfares from the main island.
Treat yourself for an anniversary, a wedding or just because you deserve a treat!

Room Tip: Some rooms have private pools, a are a bit more expensive. However, all the rooms are lovely
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  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Seattle, WA
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

I debated long and hard about giving this place five stars, because for my wife and I it was a five star experience. However, I think other people will find the experience to be more in the three star range, so I went with in between.

For my wife and I this was exactly the type of place we wanted:
-Smaller size (17 total bures)
-Great beach-cannot be beat, and you often feel--and probably are-- like you are the only one on it.
-Kid Free
-Good snorkeling-daily trips via a short boat ride. The other activities are fun as well, and the activities staff is the best group on the resort.
-Privacy-Bures are spread apart with rainforest in between.
-Quality food- Given the limitations of being on such a remote island I would say the kitchen staff does quite well. The menu turns over, and you aren't stuck eating buffet food, or low quality food.
-Luxurious accommodations- we reserved the lowest end bure and it was more space than anyone needs. The room was always well maintained, the bathroom clean and spacious with two shower heads. And the bed is quite comfortable.

I think in all if you are looking for a place that is quiet, but not boring, has good food, a generous and caring staff, and lovely beach, than this is your place.

There is however a few things that I think would cause people to not enjoy this place to its fullest potential. The bures and grounds are carved out of the tropical forest, so there is a constant battle with nature to keep it back. You sleep under netting, bugs are prominent, along with crabs (especially at the island picnic, yikes), frogs and other animals. Some people may find this too rough. Also, I loved the staff and found them all gracious hosts, but service is definitely relaxed here, and some people may expect more given the price you pay. There are activities everyday, but I could see this getting repetitive if you stayed over a week, because the rotate on a regular basis. The food is great, considering that very little of the ingredients originate on this small island, so they do the best with what is brought in on a regular basis. If some people do not recognize this, then they may think it is sub par.

I truly love this place, and hope to be back some day. Some of the experiences I had and images I saw will stay with me for a lifetime. I met some great people, both guests and staff that made the trip an incredible experience. I was so sad for the staff to sing us farewell, and that I think is the best endorsement of this beautiful island resort. But, if you need more pampering, and a more controlled environment, with a bustling nightlife you may want to look elsewhere.

And finally, this is getting long winded, a few tips:
Skip the deserted island picnic. The place runs rampant with crabs, that spoil the meal when they descend on you.
Take advantage of the cocktail hour, the drinks are free for that time.
The far out Bures are cheaper, and are the same as the Bures closer to the main room. if you don't mind a 10 minute walk along a path, and you can often get a golf cart ride from the staff.
Read the sandpaper the night before to see what is planned for tomorrow.
I bought a bottle of alcohol at the duty free and made my own drinks, which saved me probably a decent amount at checkout.

Room Tip: The far out Bures are cheaper, and are the same as the Bures closer to the main area. if you don...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

Stayed for 5 nights in bure 14. Beautiful weather. Very exclusive resort. Remote island. Felt very special. $770 AUD per night. Only accessible via light-plane transfer.

Pro's:
General standard of the room was very high. Bure was beautifully cleaned twice daily. Quite a long walk to bure from restaurant, but nice and relaxing to do after a meal. And also have the option of using the buggies to and from the bures each time. Massive bures, size of a small house, lovely and open-plan. Great house-keeping service, except that they kept eating our biscuits (strange, but we didn't mind - quite funny, hope they don't get in trouble hehe!).

Three course breakfast, lunch and dinner was great. Meals were based on 'quality, not quantity'. Tasty food in general. With the exception of one (see below).

Lovely staff. Had great nights dancing on the beach with the band and waitresses. Josaia and Oripa particularly made us feel very welcome, but all the staff in general were very sweet and friendly.

Vuli, Grace and the rest of the diving team were AMAZING! Gorgeous, friendly, helpful people! Our first ever scuba dive was such a special experience thanks to them. Grace was our instructor and was perfect at making us feel safe and comfortable and even spotted a turtle for us!

The 'Sandpaper' each day was a great idea, which explained the following day's scheduled activities. And you could request any activities at any other times if you missed out on the scheduled ones. Activities were great, including kayaking to the Grotto (beautiful), walk to the caves, church visit, red prawn cave trip (which we sadly missed out on), snorkeling trip (which we also missed out on - see below), and lunch at Nooki Nooki Island.

We also took full advantage of the private dining locations, which were a lovely idea and at no extra charge, thankfully (included the Folly, Beach bures and wine cellar).

Con's:
We were looking forward to snorkeling a lot, but you could only get to the reef by catching a short boat ride from the beach - not accessible by swimming from shore (or VERY difficult as it is a long way and has a strong rip each day - we tried!).

There was a LOT of mozzies. We wouldn't usually complain about mozzies, as we are used to them living in QLD, but this was pretty insane. This is not really the resort's fault as the island is mainly jungle, but they ran out of mozzie coils for 2days, which made a lot of difference, as even insect repellent spray and cream didn't stop them biting. Luckily no malaria on the island.

There was no bin liner in our bure's bin for the whole 5 day stay - we had to use our own plastic bag, which they kept emptying and then placing our bag back in the bin - you'd think they'd get the hint - not a biggy, just a bit strange! Considering the price per night, you'd expect a bit more attention to detail.

Was awful one morning when our nice relaxing breakfast was ruined by the guest at the table beside us. He placed an extra chair at his table and a staff member sat down and the guest spent over an hour complaining about every single possible aspect of the resort - got so bad that we had to get up and change tables to finish our breakfast. Complaints should be discussed in private, not in the middle of the restaurant in front of a heap of other guests - particularly long negative meetings like this one. Not pleasant.

One meal, a chicken curry, strangely (and dangerously) contained sharp shards of chicken bone throughout, and hardly any edible meat. The worst thing about this meal was that I got horrific food-poisoning from it. (And no, I didn't have Kava or eat anywhere else!) Spent the next 24hours stuck in the bure unable to eat or sleep, and in agony running to and from the loo. The nurse, Silvia, was lovely and checked up on me for the remainder of the stay. However, we were appalled to find that we had been charged for a couple of packets of gastrolyte powder (20FJD), because we'd already used 9 packets of our own - at a resort where the price is so high, you do not expect to be charged for basic first-aid, ESPECIALLY when the resort's food was the cause!! Absolutely disgusting! We spoke to other guests about this incident and they were appalled that we weren't offered a free night or at least an upgrade for a night.. or even any compensation at all! At check-out, we had to ask to talk to the manager, who, in the 3 days after I was very ill, never bothered to approach me at all to check whether I was ok. There was no apology or offer to compensate. After we asked if we could have some sort of compensation, she removed one night of alcohol and the gastrolyte packets off the bill (equaling only about a tenth of the price of one night's stay - almost not worth it, considering we missed out on activities and meals and sleep, etc). Disappointed in general with the outcome and the management.

Great CD collection played in the restaurant as background noise, but a number of them need to be replaced as they were badly scratched and wasn't very relaxing to listen to a jumping CD.

If you read our other reviews, you will have gathered that we don't often like to complain, but the above comments are taking into consideration the high nightly rate and therefore, you would expect better service than we received. Overall, this resort has the potential to be absolutely stunning, but unfortunately our experience was a let down due to the food problems and management.
Vinaka for the friendly service we received from many of the staff members.

Room Tip: Can pay extra for deluxe bures which are closer to restaurant and have pool (not really necessary) a...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

In a few words : absolutely perfect for the r & r that I wanted. Beachfront with private pool. I did all the 'honeymoon' things - hey, I was paying the same money - like dining on the beach, private island and in the Folly! Loved it, loved it, loved it. It is definitely a return destination - I know there are alot of places in the world, but I've found my perfect place for a complete rest.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Vatulele Island Resort

Address: No 1 Vatulele Island, Vatulele Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Vatulele Island
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vatulele Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Vatulele Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vatulele, pronounced 'Vah-too-lay-lay', opened in 1990 and consists of 19 spectacular villas fronting a magnificent white sand beach. Vatulele's elegance is not expressed in any glossy opulence, rather this romantic hideaway embraces a wonderful sense of style, good humour and warm friendships. The emphasis is very much on the individual. Consistent with the owner's philosophy of providing an 'escape from the Western World', there are no telephones, faxes, newspapers, TV, money transactions or shoes! Vatulele is a popular island honeymoon destination and boasts world class scuba diving and a PADI 'Gold Palm' five star dive facility with resident instructors. The resort was named 'Small Luxury Hotel of the Year' 2000. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vatulele Island Hotel Vatulele Island
Vatulele Island Resort All Inclusive

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