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“Spoiled for Life by Royal Davui”

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Royal Davui Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 15, 2010

My husband and I just returned from a week at Royal Davui, where we were both married and spent the beginning portion of our honeymoon. I can honestly say that I don't think we will ever be able to match the amazing experience we had at Royal Davui anywhere else. We have been VERY spoiled!

We are avid travelers and have been around the US, Europe and the Caribbean, but this was our first visit to the South Pacific and I had very high expectations. I spent roughly 6-7 months researching a variety of hotels and resorts in this area before narrowing our trip to two resorts - Royal Davui and Likuliku - for our two week trip. To be honest, I think we were perhaps slightly more excited about Likuliku prior to the trip, but we left Fiji feeling the exact opposite. Royal Davui could not have provided a more fantastic experience if it tried.

We arrived in Nadi at 5:10am on July 1st and took the plane/boat transfer to the island - Yvette, our pilot, was so nice and friendly! Despite the cloudy weather, that first glance of the island was beyond impressionable. It's like everyone says, a little cupcake sticking out of the ocean with gorgeous vales peeking out from the trees. We met the staff and our wedding coordinator, Seini, and were given our welcome drink and tour before being taken to our Vale.

The accommodations at Royal Davui are gorgeous, better in real life than you see in the pictures. We stayed in Vale 5 and couldn't have been happier. We loved opening up the walls of the bedroom (such a cool feature!) and relaxing on the bed, staring out at the different colors of blue of the ocean, seeing schools of fish jump in and out of the water and watching the sunsets. The living room had recently been refurnished and my husband enjoyed reading on the couch every afternoon. We had many room service meals brought to our room - eating on the deck was one of our favorite things to do on the island. The bathroom is beautiful – big tub, Pure Fiji products, great water pressure in the shower and the ceiling opens above you to give you the feeling of showering outside! The vale offers amazing privacy, which we did not have at our other resort. You could easily walk around your vale or swim in the plunge pool without worry of anyone seeing you. All of the vales are a very short walk to the restaurant and bar, which we visited every night.

The staff on the island was hands down the best we have ever experienced on any vacation we have taken. Seini, our wedding coordinator made the wedding planning so easy. She arranged for a lovely room service breakfast before an hour long couple's massages the morning of the wedding – no stress for us! Sinu, Jale, Reave and Siteri were such friendly and gracious hosts and quickly became good friends. My husband and I commented every day that, on many vacations, you feel as though the friendly face and smile you receive are fake; not so at Royal Davui. We felt that the staff truly cared that we enjoyed our stay. If I mentioned I wanted to do an activity, suddenly it was taken care of. If I said that I liked a particular drink, Reave remembered. Everyone knew us by name and asked us every day at dinner if we had enjoyed our day and wanted to know what we had done. We also commented that, given the tiny size of the island, it felt so intimate without being lonely or having the staff all over you. Service was not at all absent; however, they gave you your space unless you needed anything.

We expected to have a pretty lazy time at Royal Davui. However, we wound up kayaking, snorkeling, having two massages, visiting the sandspit, doing a village visit, feeding the fish on the jetty and trying the discover scuba program. Every activity was easy to arrange and we enjoyed everything, especially the snorkeling, the sandspit and the village visit. Plenty of people have commented on the sandspit, so suffice it to say it is an unforgettable experience and we saw the most gorgeous sunset of our lives from our little deserted island! We also participated in many of the nightly activities – my husband won a massage during the crab races one evening and the resort hosted a Fijian Lovo with Meke dancing and firewalkers the night of our wedding – it felt like an amazing reception just for us! Julie the manager arranged for the band to play a song for us and we were able to have our first dance as a married couple.

There are so many good things to say about Royal Davui and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. We only regret that it’s a long way from Chicago to Fiji and can’t budget to stay there for our 1st anniversary! Vinaka vakalevu to our Royal Davui friends!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank lostinmadrid28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2010

Seriously, this is the least value for money we have spent on a holiday and are angry at how badly this resort failed to live up to the expectations pictured and mentioned on the website.

Seeking out some rest and relaxation, a spot of pampering with some delicious food - all of which the website promises, within our first day we discovered Royal Davui does not deliver - it lures you in, and once there we felt we were stranded in a holiday rip off!!!

Yvette, the friendly pilot was fabulous, likewise the other marine guys waiting to continue the transfer by boat. If only the plane and boat looked more aesthetically pleasing, without ripped seats, torn roof, loose handles, falling apart interiors - really does not inspire faith that you will get there in one piece!!!

First day - dirty toilet - had to ask housekeeping to clean it again, and the mysterious stains on the toilet seat indeed disappeared. Mosquito bites galore, discovery there are sea snakes (admittedly very tame and scurry away when you approach them, but still, the prospect of encountering them did not appeal as one of the first things we were told!), food was average at best, the bar ran out of Tequila and made a Margarita with RUM without telling us. The other cocktail we ordered was underwhelming, watery and forgettable. Not sure if they were skimping for the Happy Hour, but really... The wine list was totally out of date, the first 4 selections of wine we made were not what was listed, had been stored incorrectly and tasted off, we were brought the wrong wine, catalogue of disasters. This was accompanied by a lukewarm dinner, tasteless cold vegetables and a soiled bread bowl which looked like it had a maggot in it! I would have received a better meal in a canteen where food is pre-cooked and left stewing for hours.

We were so furious after the initial Fawlty Towers experience and spoke to the manager who ensured that it would be dealt with first thing in the morning - which it was. After waiting 40 minutes for eggs benedict, served with broken yolks on a cardboard stale muffin, dry ham and cold spinach - and hollandaise with DILL in it (??!), weak coffee, cheap orange 'juice' - we proceeded to a discussion with the management to raise our issues. All of the feedback was taken gracefully, we were upgraded, the wine lists were updated, and the service much more attentive. However, I couldn't help thinking that for a 'luxury 5-star resort' it really should not be guests who are more knowledgeable about what this claim really means.

I have arrived home looking like I have chicken pox due to so many mosquito bites - I have counted 6 around one of my knees alone!! It defies belief - having lived in, and travelled extensively through tropical climates (including the Amazon jungle!!!!), I have NEVER had so many bites despite wearing DEET repellent - the mosquitoes were relentless and bit day and night - apparently they do a mosquito treatment twice per week, but I have been to basic hotels and eco-resorts where treatments are done a minimum of once per day to alleviate this pain for guests.

Just little details like non-matching cutlery, crockery and glasses on the one table were missed - not difficult when all tables only needed 2 of each as it was for couples! Bulbs were out and not replaced in the rooms, only having enough sunbeds assuming only half the island wanted to sit by the pool, sunbeds on your villa balcony falling apart with stained cushions on them, given the mosquito situation - no repellent or tips on how to prevent them (instead selling tiny bottles at extortionate prices in the gift shop).

Snorkelling gear is duly signed out on your first day to your room - out of the 4 items (2 masks and 2 pairs of flippers), 2 were faulty, only to be discovered when you get to the water - frustrating and replaced with more faulty gear. We gave up!

The sample brochure sent to you when you speak to reservations has a plethora of beautiful sounding menus, in reality, you have 2 choices of entree, and on some days only 3 choices of main and 1 dessert - disappointing to say the least. You have to pre-order lunch AND dinner at breakfast. Admittedly, we were told that we could request other options if we wanted, but why promise lavish sample menus in the brochure only to leave guests feeling shortchanged? Baffling.

The plunge pool in most rooms is unheated. When we transferred to another room, the heating was faulty and we waited a day for it to be fixed. The towels didn't feel clean, and whilst supposedly white, had odd stains instilling little confidence about the hygiene levels. Little details like wrinkled sheets and pillow cases, rusty lamps and stained rugs cannot be considered 5-star. Sorry to say it, and it's nit-picky I know, but with luxury 5-star, it's the details that count and Royal Davui barely gets the basics right.

To top it all off, on the night before you leave, they give you a summary of the items that will be charged on departure - all the prices were wrong, and they don't even bother to itemise or even state what the item is - it's just 'Banyan tree dinner' - we had line after line of charges and we had to spend 30 minutes deciphering what it was, only to discover half of the items were incorrectly priced.

Bit of a whingy review I know, but really, having stayed at a huge range of hostels, motels through to luxury high-end hotels such as Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons but also other boutique and intimate places, I can honestly say that Royal Davui was disappointing, the worst value for money and regretted accommodation choice I have ever made!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank foodiewinotraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Very few vacation locations around the world make it on my list of favorites. A recent stay at Royal Davui Resort in Fiji quickly bounded to the top of the short list for a myriad of reasons.

Fiji in itself is a rare gem in our world. The people, culture, landscape, clean air, etc. make it an exceptionally beautiful and ideal oasis for outsiders. Any hotel planted here would have half of the battle won. However, Royal Davui Resort takes the very best of the islands to provide a unique experience.

The resort is secluded on a cliff-like island with small beachy areas for snorkeling, diving, zip-lines, fishing, sandspit excursions, etc. There are trips to the village and, if lucky, you may have the opportuniy to see a firewalking ceremony. It offers the best of both active and inactive worlds. It is the perfect destination for people who want peace, quiet, relaxation, and comfort but who also may want to enjoy the activities as well. The snorkelling is out of this world as is the zip-line. the scene is beautiful and romantic.

The accomodations are like little cliff houses overlooking saphire waters with complete privacy and Fijian charm. Every detail of the interiors have been thought through. The pictures on the website tell it all.

The food was a culinary delight for foodies! The chef deserves alot fo kudos for the amazing dishes of western, Fijian, and Indian fusion design. The foods were incredibly fresh, clean, and light. Perfect portions were offered with exceptional seafood. One would have to be super-picky to not enjoy it. If you do not like seafood, you may be limited but never disappointed as a variety of foods are offered from pizza to chicken with potatoes. My advice is to jump in and try a few new foods. You might be pleasantly surprised.

The staff was the most incredible fixture on the island. They were friendly and eager to chat and learn about you. They also have great insight regarding local information and entertainment. We never wanted for anything and were always helped immediately with any questions or concerns. Of course, getting to know some of the staff makes this better any resort you go to (just a tip). The manager, Julie, was a bit of sunshine and made efforts to speak to each and every guest on multiple occasions. She has all the signs of true a professional manager and overall good human being.

The only suggestion to this resort is to add a fitness room. Even without it though, there were plenty of activities. The spa massages were pretty good depending on who you get.

All-in-all I highly recommend this vacation, particularly for couples on honeymoon. You can get away from everything and be anti-social for a week in total seclusion or become the activity fanatic. We did a little of both depending on the day. It's up to you. Just note: some guests are there to be anti-social, so it may not be a place to socialize all the time. You may not have the most lively guests as a result, though we found a few couples and staff members to laugh and drink with. It just depends.

We plan on returning to Fiji one day soon and Royal Davui will always be a vacation of fond memories. I came back home feeling refreshed and fantastic!

Ultimately, your mindset dictates your experience. Embrace the island and all it has to offer.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank beachgoer77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Rebecca and I were married at this magical Fijian island in June 2010. The island is incredibly beautiful and the friendly staff did everything to ensure our stay and wedding were so memorable and perfect.

Our Vale was beautiful and romantic and had an indescribably beautiful view of the Pacific. We enjoyed the pool, the spa, and the incredible food.

And th the resort managers - Julie & Darryl - y'all are the best! Thanks for making our special day so amazing.

We will definitely be back!!

Vinaka,

Rebecca & Ken

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BeccaandKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My husband and I went there for our honeymoon in June, and we are planning our REAL honeymoon since Royal Davui turn out to be something second or even third tier . I totally agree one the reviewer said "there is nothing royal about this place" Pls don't be fooled by its " all food and drinks are inclusive". It is a cash free island, because they charge to your credit card.

The island and villas are very naturally beautiful. we were very impressed upon our arrival. However, everything go down from there, and we felt time passes very slowly. The furniture are running old. there are too many mosquito and geckos INSIDE your room. I got 5 mosquito bites in the first day, and the number keeps running higher everyday. Knowing that, the island charges you very high for all mosquito/insect spray, which you would thought the resort would provide for free

If you like geckos, this resort would be your heavy because you will be surround by 5-6 of them all the time. Yes, inside your room~~ One morning, I found a DEAD and COOKED gecko inside my water boiler pot!!! the manager explained that it must got in from the lid at night. Luckily, according the the manager it doesn't happen everyday.

Food is below average. Pls don't be fooled by its " all food and drinks are inclusive". It is a cash free island, because they charge to your credit card. Every dish taste similar...

In my opinion, after experienced many luxury resorts around the world, this would worth around USD500/day, but definitely not something they are charging: USD4300 for 5 nights.

If you would like to experience this resort, pls go with a low expectation, that way you would be happier :)

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Achen1207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2010

We stayed at Royal Davui May 3-11 and had one of our best trips ever. The island was one of a kind, like a 10 acre cup cake in the ocean with a coral reef around it. Some of the best snorkeling we have had. The management and staff were superb, friendly, not too over bearing and attended to our every desire. The food was great and they always gave us more when we asked (my husband was known as "the big man needs more food?" by the end of the trip). Our villa was the perfect size and the A/C cooled the bedroom nicely while we enjoyed the island breeze in our living room. The pool was well kept, the food was great, the high speed internet was easily available and fast. So, to sum it up, we were completely happy and would go back in a minute. No complaints.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank happycouplestl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2010

The rooms were great--views are unsurpassed. The snorkaling was fantastic. The diving was awesome. My wife did a spa treatment every day and they were all fabulous.My son and I went diving every day --truly some of the best soft coral I have ever seen, The staff at The Royal Davui made this an experience one we will always treasure and remember!! A special thanks to Ben our Dive Master--the "shark dive" is a MUST for divers!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank goldtrader1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Davui Island Resort

Address: Beqa Lagoon | PO Box 3171, Royal Davui Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Royal Davui Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Royal Davui Island
Price Range: $1,004 - $1,305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Davui Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Davui Island Resort is an exclusive adults-only sanctuary situated in Fiji's spectacular Beqa Lagoon offering a level of Fijian luxury, elegance and privacy not found in today's larger resorts. At Royal Davui Island Resort Fiji, the shell symbolises our invitation for you to come to our island paradise. Just a few guests can be accommodated at Royal Davui, so be prepared for an exclusive and exceptional experience from the moment of your arrival. Here the world-renowned warmth and hospitality of the Fijian people awaits you. Royal Davui Island Resort is an adults only resort, offering an ideal tropical island escape, vacation, honeymoon or wedding.Bula Vinaka! - Welcome to Royal Davui Island Resort Fiji ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Davui Island Hotel Royal Davui Island

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