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“Simply Perfect”

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Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ono Island
Certificate of Excellence
sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simply Perfect”
Reviewed October 15, 2009

Just got back from a week stay at mai dive & it's easily one of the best places i've stayed at. Going there is a bit of a struggle with the propeller plane and choppy boat ride (a real ordeal for someone who's prone to air/sea/land sickness like me) but it was all worthed !! This is one of those places that you just can't stop singing praises for and you'll miss instantly once you leave. Its a mixture of the beautiful dive spots, yummy food, friendly people, lulling atmosphere and the wondefully set up cottages that will makes you feel so lucky to found this gem of a place.

-Room : The cottages are fairly new and very nicely done. Its very airy and the sea breeze is cool enough that you wouldn't realise that there isn't any air con at the cottage. In fact i need the blanket to sleep at night.

-Bathroom: Its an outdoor bathroom with running hot water. Luxury !!

-Food: Reading the reviews i had expected the food to be good. But even with that expectation the food still blew me. Foods are simplicity at it's best. Everything are fresh, prepared very well, and nicely presented. Think of 3 course meals with full set table settings and lantern lamps every night. Also when i said fresh, its really fresh, fresh vegies from Joe's farm, fresh fishes from the sea, and fresh bread !! One of the stand out were the eggplants, which were basically fried and topped with white sauce. Very simple, but it was cooked to perfection that not getting a second serve was a struggle i wasn't willing to go thru. The plain donuts we had for breakfast also stand out. They're plain regular donuts with dusting, but they are always fresh and still warm hence true delight.

-Service: Think of boutique hotel meet your favorite aunt's place. Everyone are friendly beyond words and your every little whimps are accomodated. I have a soft spot for young coconut & sugar cane which are on the garden but not on the menu obviously, but Joe hand kindly spoiled me with them all the while i was there. He even pack me some for the journey back to nadi !!

-Cleanliness: Its top notch. I noticed that even the mosquito nets were washed when we leave. We did get the occasional stray wasps or bugs but really it wasnt a biggie and largely due to my habit of leaving the cottage door open.

-Activities: My partner & I spend most of our time on the open water course. Jason the proprietor is just out of this world as a dive instructor. And the dive sites are amazing, the nemo farm was a delight. One of the highlight was snorkling with manta rays. It was awesome. My partner's mum spend most of her time relaxing on the resort soaking the sun and she thoroughly enjoyed the sea breeze & idyllic atmosphere. We went for a sunday mass at the village which was inspiring. The church was tiny & barren but it boast a full house choir, very beautiful singing. We actually missed the regular village visit while we were there but we were lucky enough to get invited to the opening of the new kindy at the village. The meke performed by the children was cute beyond words.The whole celebration was boisterous, but the food was truly wonderful and plentiful.

In summary, If you are after a full on nightlife/partying holiday you'll be dissapointed. But if you are looking for a place to get away from city life without giving up life's luxury like hot water, good food, wonderful rooms this is the place to be. And you can't ask for any better host than Jason & his family there.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mons_80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
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English first
Sydney
1 review
Reviewed October 11, 2009

Maidive was a fantastic holiday. After living in Fiji a year and spending alot of time traveling throughout the islands i can say that Maidive is a top quality resort. Maidive has blended a perfect balance between village life and home creature comforts e.g hot water 24/7. tv, interent, comfortable beds etc.

They really make you feel part of the family and the local staff are just fantastic. Food is varied and delicious.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank MarikaOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yarraville
1 review
Reviewed October 11, 2009

On paper, Ono appeared quite remote. I must admit, I was concerned about the 1 & 1/2 hour boat ride. Not for me, but for my 2 young daughters (4 and 6 years). I need not have worried. One fell asleep and the other just zoned out, mesmerised by the sun sparkling on the water. Everyone perked up when Mai Dive came into view. The setting was picture perfect , with bungalows nestled behind a golden sandy beach, fringed with coconut palms. Once back on land the girls were on the beach, snorkelling, splashing, digging, and rarely left the beach for the entire week. Mai Dive is a tiny paradise for big and small people. It is surrounded by beautiful blue waters, with amazing snorkelling right outside the bungalow door (well maybe 30 metres from door to coral). Highlights for the girls were: seeing Nemo, Marlon, Gill and Dory, chasing fish in the shallows and somehow getting chocolate cake before breakfast. Being a PADI accredited dive centre, we did a couple of dives with great instructors. The dives and instructors were so good we want to go back to Mai Dive (no where else) and do the open water dive course. The accomadation is simple but spot on. Good quality manchester, comfy beds, lovely bungalows combined with tasty, fresh food, lovley staff, who indulged and spoiled my children, made this a holiday we hated ending. As one daughter said 'Mum I want to stay in Fiji'.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MrsSt0ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Beach, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2009

I had long wanted to dive the Great Astrolabe Reef and the last part of our Fiji trip was designed to do that. After allot of research I decided that Mai Dive was the place to stay. It seemed most of the other Kadavu resorts rarely got to the Astrolabe. I also wanted a beach and Mai Dive, (actually located on Ono Island) appeared to be in the Middle of the reef. It was the right choice. It took about 5 minutes to get to the best dive sites. Getting to Mai Dive is not easy. After the flight to Kadavu you take a beautiful 90 minute boat ride to Ono Island and Mai Dive. You want to hope for nice weather, it makes the boat ride spectacular. Mai Dive is a small eco-lodge located on a nice beach in front of a beautiful pristine tropical rainforest. It's made of a few cottages. They are all new, very clean and comfortable, but simple. Jason and the crew at Mai Dive are great. They are like friends and family after a short time. The entire staff works hard to make things the best they can for the guests. This place feels like a step back to the "real Fiji". They arrange all of the kayaking, hiking and diving and will make sure you don't miss the best sites. The diving was outstanding, while not quite the soft coral profusion of the Bligh Waters, it had the most spectacular underwater topography I have seen. The visibility was well over 100 ft. and the overhangs, canyons and amphitheaters must be seen to be believed. We saw lots of sharks, dolphins, turtles and the usual reef fish. The last day was capped with a spectacular swim with two large Manta Rays. It lasted for about 45 minutes. Just when you thought they were leaving they would turn around and come back for more. They seemed to enjoy the show. I'm told this is a very reliable place for Manta encounters. Another wonderful part of the Mai Dive experience is the village visits and the Meke. It is truly authentic. The area is wild and beautiful. The waterfall hike is a unique experience. At such a remote outpost one would not expect anything special for food. However, the food at Mai Dive is spectacular. They grow and catch almost all of the ingredients and the local girls really know how to prepare a beautiful blend of Indo-fijian cuisine. The food was the most pleasant surprise of all. I must single- out the outdoor shower. Imagine a long hot shower while just outside the jungle looking up at the Milky Way. Amazing. If you are looking for a pristine wild setting off the tourists routes, Mai Dive is a great choice. Like all Fiji locations, you'll love the friendly charming people. A big thumbs up to Jason and the folks at Mai Dive.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank beaver46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2009

We just got back from Mai Dive after a memorable six-day stay. If you are looking for a secluded place, with excellent diving plus excursions and where they make you feel at home, Mai Dive at Ono Island has it all. It is a real gem in the Pacific.

You can easily reach the island on a forty-five minute from Nadi, and it is unbelievable how such a short flight makes for a such a big difference: simple life with all the comforts is the rule here, far from the crowds or over touristy destinations as Denarau.
Once you land at the tiny airport in Kadavu, you are taken to that "somewhere special" on a boat (one hour and a half), where Jason, Joe and all the team meet you with sincere hospitality and big smiles.
The resort has three very big and comfortable bungalows, with outdoor showers overlooking palm trees, and a restaurant where all the guests (6!) eat together, sometimes with Jason, Joe or Clay. All this makes for a great ambience!. The food is very good and well prepared: curry night, steak night, lovo night...The girls at the kitchen make a great job, even for breakfast with different bakery, or with packed lunches. Drinks are served before dinner, it is time to exchange your diving experiences or plan your excursion for the next day.

From the very first moment you arrive, Jason is more than willing to accommodate your interests and every evening, will come to you to tailor-make your next day. Diving is really good (sharks, eagle rays, turtles) and they cater to all levels. Split Rock makes for a special and rewarding dive. Both Sewa and Pedro are excellent guides and do their best to make you feel comfortable and enjoy your dives. We were lucky enough after two failed attempts to snorkel for two consecutive days with manta rays, more than ten, all circling / flying around us. Magic! Magic too, to see Pedro, our guide, free diving to 45 feet and laying at the sandy bottom while the manta rays flew over him. Snorkeling is also brilliant at the Bulia Marine Reserve, quite close to the resort, with excellent coral.

For those not willing to go diving, Mai Dive also puts on the menu a waterfall excursion where after a short walk/ short kayaking through the mangroves, you reach a waterfall to swim in, beach excursions to lovely spots where you will be the only one enjoying the place (take your picnic lunch, have a chat with your captain about fijian culture, still very strong in Kadavu, and make for a memorable day!). And don't forget to meet the weekly ferry, reaching the island once per week with all the imaginable supplies, at a lovely bay.

Last but not least, the visit to Narikoso village is a real highlight. You take part in a Kava ceremony, meke dances, and more dancing where you are invited to participate. Far from the touristy shows you get to see on other islands, it is well performed and spontaneous. Most of the staff comes from this village, and you are likely to meet your captain's son, the ladies' husbands. It really makes for a very special night.

All in all, an excellent experience. We can't wait to be back, and highly recommend this place. Do not come expecting resort style life, but rather an intimate family oriented place, very well-run and with a team constantly doing their best to offer you those memorable holidays. We wish we had met Daniella, and send a big thanks to everybody at Mai Dive. Please, keep it like this!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank XenaTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2009

Travelling with a group of experienced diver friends, we spent a week at Mai Dive and had a great time. The diving's excellent, the food and staff are wonderful, you can do a sunset cruise to Bird Island, a waterfall trek, snorkel with Mantas or just relax and do nothing. On the island of Ono, off the big island of Kadavu, the resort is really remote and 'away from it all' - the local village of Narikoso, where most of the staff come from, is really authentic. We enjoyed an evening of kava and dancing withou feeling that it was all just put on for the tourists. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Traveller056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 17, 2009

We (two adults and two children) have just returned from a South Pacific trip visiting Fiji, Tahiti and Samoa. Our first stop was MaiDive on small and beautiful Ono Island (Fiji). We found the place just by chance and booked more than six months before arrival. We knew the very first moment it is the right place for us, because of good contact with hosts Danielle and Jason.
We spent a lot of time diving and snorkeling at the Astrolabe reef. It was really a fantastic diving. We rented all the diving gear which was in a very good condition.
You will be also surprised with a delicious food prepared by the wonderful ladies, Filo, Ma, La and Ana. We enjoyed new bread every morning, cakes, traditional fish, curries …
We had a privilege to visit a wonderful village Narikoso and experienced kava ceremony. Villagers prepared a dancing performance (meke) which made a profound impression on us.
It was difficult to leave MaiDive, because we felt like part of a family. So we'd like to thank Danielle and Jason for hospitality, to Cookie for a safe navigation to the Kadavu airport and particularly to Joe who arranged Narikoso village visit.
It is a long way for us to come to Fiji from Slovenia (Europe) but we can say for sure: »We will be back to see you again!«.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank slak-am
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort

Property: Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort
Address: Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Kadavu Archipelago > Ono Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ono Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Remote Adventurous Pristine Fijian Resort on Ono Island in Kadavu Fiji. The closest resort to the Great Astrolabe Reef. All facilities are new and absolute beachfront. Eco Resort with solar power, fresh water spring, vegetables garden & fresh seafood. PADI Certified dive operator & plenty of non dive activities. Maximum of 14 guests, as this is a low key relaxed family run resort. Fantastic facilities and even better food with full board included - come and stay with us a while..... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Hotel Kadavu Island
Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort Fiji/Ono Island

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