What else can we say that doesn’t repeat everything already said?
We stayed for 12 nights and had the pleasure(!) of sitting out a cyclone but the family were more than calm and helpful with their constant updates on the cyclone moving in and when we needed to bunker down for its final arrival after days of dreadful pre-cyclone weather. Before we rose the following day the staff had already started the clean-up and although it was a few days before the sea settled and the viz even started to clear, we still were able to do some boat rides and jungle walks etc to fill the time. So all was not lost but we are returning in December again to do the diving we missed out on and try to have an uninterrupted, sunny and warm holiday!
The family and the staff are the key to the magic of this place and the best way to enjoy all of them is to put the fast-paced, unfriendly world behind you, open up and start getting to know them all as soon as you arrive. Jason, Danielle, little Georgia and Jack, Joe, Clayton from Texas (he’s a particularly colourful feature at the moment), Filo, Vara, Tabua, Marica, Mere, Ita and Kesa, Petero, Siwa and Kuki, and Jovalesi – thankyou all for being so helpful, cheerful and welcoming. They are very happy to talk about their families, their villages and their way of life and we particularly look forward to hearing news of Tabua’s wedding and Petero and Vara’s and Filo’s new houses when we return!
The facilities are basic and delightful. I didn’t use a hairdryer for 2 weeks and didn’t even miss it. On the other hand there are great surprises: we had plenty of power points for our laptop, camera charging etc and the bedside lamps are a soft and romantic bonus often overlooked in style and design in this type of resort, but obviously carefully chosen here for their ambience. Everyone has already commented on the outdoor hot water showers and yes they are a pure luxury. The food can’t really be described adequately - it is so good and the quantities so lethal! Again another surprise was the quality of the coffee. Peter is a very fussy coffee drinker and he was very happy!
The Beach Bungalow description doesn’t really do it justice in that the amount of space for chilling out was so varied and so BIG yet private enough – there is the choice of inside with good space to potter around and spread out the jigsaw on the coffee table; the huge verandah at front (makes you feel like Grandma and Grandpa sitting in the chairs watching the birds and the lagoon tide coming and going) and then the table and benches on the sand in front as well as the hammock. And that’s before you spread yourself out to the dining room lounge area from time to time when you want to browse the library and have a cup of tea.
The girls in the kitchen are constantly laughing and joking and are always happy to see you and nothing is ever too much trouble. We were given fresh limes every afternoon straight off the tree for our home-made gin and tonics – very spoilt.
But don’t expect the girls to make the bed and tidy up until you are well and truly out of the way for the day. They are so concerned for guests’ privacy and just not to interrupt your relaxation that they won’t go near the bungalow until you’re off in the boat for a trip somewhere – oh and by the way do take up the chance to be stranded on Vuro for the day with deckchairs, lunch, snorkelling gear and a kayak – bliss!
Now – the village visit: having taken a crateful of clothes and school supplies for the local village we were keen to have a visit and to anyone who might think this is a ‘touristy’ thing to do please think again. It has nothing to do with you being a tourist as far as the village is concerned. You are a guest who is visiting their ‘family’ around the corner – and you are treated as such. We had a lovely time and felt very honoured at the greeting we received and the formal thanks for our contributions to the village; the kava ceremony was executed with a lot of joviality and conversation too. We would encourage all visitors to remember the remoteness of this place and that the village truly appreciates any small gifts but mostly what they can get best use from is school supplies – just remember to try to avoid plastic pens etc as they only contribute to the garbage whereas pencils are safer. Oh and fishing hooks! But if in doubt just ask Jason and Danielle before you go what they need at the moment in the village.
We have had some pretty remote and basic holidays and they all achieved what we were looking for: no in-room telephones, TVs, radios, newspapers, internet or email. (if you are addicted then there is a central guest one to use but why would you?????) This place is special and well worth the effort to get here…but don’t tell anyone!
- 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