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“(Very) Comfortably 'off the grid'”

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Mai Dive - Astrolabe Reef Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ono Island
Certificate of Excellence
Pgh
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“(Very) Comfortably 'off the grid'”
Reviewed November 14, 2009

I, like " '77 ", have been blessed enough to dive in some pretty exotic locations. I gotta tell you though... after staying with Jason and Co., exotic takes on a whole new meaning.
Yes, you ARE off the grid, but then, that's why you're reading this, now isn't it? Book now, you won"t be sorry.
Accomodations are comfy - your bungalow will be new and spotless. The beds beg you to sleep in, but don't because you *gotta* dive with these guys! (And missing breakfast would be criminal) The surface intervals on deserted postcard beaches with hot tea aren't too bad either.
The quality of the diving is simply jaw dropping (hold onto that reg!) and each dive seems better than the last. I amused the crew because after each, I was... ummm... enthusiastic... stating that "THAT was my new favorite dive site". Let 'em know what your favorite flavor is, they've got it all. Walls, nice fast drifts, or mellow shallow dives with critters all over the place. Swim-thrus, pelagics, nudis, and corals in impossible colors. Wow. (Hint: Alacrity Rocks, trust me on this one.)
Come home to hot showers and meals that are incredibly fresh and plentiful. I actually am having trouble re-developing my taste for food that isn't fresh... just doesn't taste... right. Be sure to spend a little time (and maybe have a bit of kava) with Joe. He's part of the reason that you feel more like family and less like a guest!
Incredibly pleasant little oceanfront seating areas, and, of course hammocks from where you'll be able to smell those wonderful kitchen smells. While enjoying a frosty Fiji Bitter of course.
Off the grid - yes, but you sure won't want to plug back in...

Vinaka, Guys.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank dive360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 11, 2009

Mai Dive is an incredible resort. Joe, Jason, Danielle and the rest of the Mai Dive staff go above and beyond to ensure a wonderful holiday experience. The resort has a great relaxed feel and guests are made to feel like old family friends. I have been fortunate to dive all over the world and this is some of the best diving I have ever experienced. Mai Dive is low key, romantic and relaxing. The meals were superb. I simply cannot recommend this place enough. As an extremely seasoned traveller - this is one of my new favorite places in the world. Thank you for a wonderful holiday!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DiveTraveller77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austria
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

Mai Dive Resort is the best place in the Kadavu group to explore the Astrolab Archipelago and Reef. The setting is unbelievably beautiful, with a long palmfringed beach, a mature garden among huge lava bolders and pristine forest to the ridge of the property. It is the perfect gateway to seakayak the 10 Astrolab Islands and the northeast coast of Kadavu. The hole Kadavu group is a seakayakers dream, the only exeption being the southeast coast which is mangrove swamps and has hardly any nice beaches - see more info on kayaking Kadavu at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44143130@N03/sets/72157622725335740/show/with/4058671420/ .
Jason, the friendly australien-fijien owner of the Resort can help you organise your kayaking trip. Mai Dive also has a great dive operation. The food was delicious, a lot of it fresh from the resort gardens or out of the sea in front. The staff is very friendly.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Franz and Chris... i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 17, 2009

I wish I could keep it all a secret, but judging by the reviews the word is out. This place is fantastic! Star ratings don't apply here. It is on a completely different scale. If you've always dreamt of getting lost somewhere in the middle of paradise this is the place for you. I have never been anywhere like it. What was more amazing was that I was able to have my adventure while also bringing along my six month old daughter and family. If you love the water, its all here.... Yes I can go on about the diving, the fish life, the sunrises, but its so much more than that. Go find out for yourself!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank seriola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dorset
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2009

I came here in September to do my PADI open water after an amazing weeks kayking in the Yasawas which I thought would be hard to beat but this place topped even that. You get picked up at Vunisea airport on Kadavu and then have an exciting boat ride of about 90 minutes. The bungalows are really nice - I particularly liked the hot water outdoor shower looking over the tropical forest at the back, the comfy bed, sitting on the verandah and listening to waves crashing on the offshore reef and the tap oustide to wash sand off your feet.
You're made to feel really welcome by the owners and their staff.
There is an open fronted bungalow where everyone gets together early evening for drinks and where you eat your meals - three square meals a day of delicious home cooked food with fish fresh from the sea. Fresh fruit and vegetables come straight from Joe's vegetable garden above the rocks behind - worth the climb for the great views of the reef and to see what he has created up there.
There are open top kayaks to take out so you can explore the nearby deserted islands within the Astrolabe reef. The whole area is a genuine tropical paradise: turquoise waters, white sand beaches and incredible diving and snorkelling.
Jason is a great dive instructor. I had been quite apprehensive about some of things I would have to learn but he made me feel totally at ease and I enjoyed the experience 100%. I liked the fact that the confined water dives are done in the sea so there is no apprehension about changing from a swimming pool to the open ocean for the open water dives. I've never dived anywhere else as this was my first time but I was blown away by what I saw and swam through: canyons, overhangs, unbelievable coral, hundreds of tropical fish, reef sharks etc.
If you love the natural world and want to get a taste of the real Fiji you will love this place.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank daffyddorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviewed October 15, 2009

Please DO NOT GO TO MAI DIVE! I don’t want it to become “popular”. If so, I won’t be able to listen, without distraction, to the ocean speaking to me from the reef. Or, snorkel seconds from my cabin to see the colourful fish, sea turtle, and six foot sea snake. Joe may be too busy to show me his garden and teach me about the plants of Fiji, or the values, beliefs and habits of local Fiji folk. The ladies who create the delightful meals from Joe’s organic garden, will be too busy to tell me about their village. And how they have always caught their fish for the weekly village feast. Jason won’t have the time to talk about the diving, the fish and all the possibilities: manta rays, waterfall hike, village dance, weekly ship visit to the village …. The whales may be too harassed to swim over to within 25 feet from the boat to surface and flip their tale. The fish will not be so easy to find on the outer reef. Folks who work there will feel like staff not cousins I’ll feel like I’m in a dude resort - I won’t be able to feel Fiji. So please do me a favour. Stay away.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank keelstep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mons_80
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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