It's almost difficult to write a review for a place that's so special. I've initially chosen Raiwasa based on the location, contemporary décor and wonderful amenities. It turned out to be so much more than just another vacation in a tropical place. It was an unforgettable experience!
The island of Taveuni was a perfect match for our vacation style. We do not like big resorts or tourist traps and prefer to rent private villas and to get to know the local culture of the place we're visiting. Taveuni makes you feel like you stepped back in time and away from your daily grind. Life is simple and people are friendly. The nature is spectacular and the climate is perfect.
The villa is incredible! It's spacious, luxurious, immaculate, and has everything a discerning traveler might need. The decor is contemporary, tasteful, and comfortable. I loved having fresh flower arrangements everywhere. There are so many places to relax and lounge depending on your mood, and the views are beautiful everywhere!
STAFF AND SERVICE
If you want to live like royalty or a celebrity for a week, come here! With 10 staff attending to your needs, you'll be sorry you have to go home! There isn't even a common phrase that would capture the level of service the staff provide. I could say they "go the extra mile" but it wouldn't be enough. I could say they go "above and beyond" but it would still not describe the incredible service they offer. They're thorough but not intrusive. They'll take care of things before you have to ask. After a couple of days they'll learn your preferences and you won't have to say how you like certain things.
Every guest can decide how much they want to interact with the staff and we wanted to get to know them a bit. I highly recommend for you to do the same! They're all such special people that you'd be missing out if you don't ever talk to them. After a few days we joked that we felt like we live on the island now and the staff are our neighbors and friends. In the morning, we'd look forward to saying hello to Maria or Lo and chatting with them as they were serving breakfast. Then Richie would come over and we'd talk about dinner plans or what we'd like to do that day. Then we'd go out with Babu to the beach or for a drive around the island. Please, please spend time with Babu! Every outing with him is such a fun experience! He knows everyone on the island and has a ton of stories to share!
If you're a foodie, you'll really appreciate Raiwasa! Richie and Rosie blew us away every day with their cooking. The variety and quality of dining options is superb! There is an extensive menu for breakfast and lunch. And every night, Richie would design an elaborate menu for dinner based on local flavors. He can even make special requests if you're craving something specific. My husband told him a story of an amazing while chocolate bread pudding dessert I had on the island of Anguilla years ago and how I still talk about it. Well, for my birthday dinner Richie surprised me by making it for for me! The dining experience made this vacation so memorable.
You can make your stay here into whatever you'd like. Of the 8 days we spent at Raiwasa, each one was different. Some days were spent relaxing by the pool or the private beach. And other days we'd do something fun and adventurous. The list of activities is extensive and will suit anyone's style. I especially appreciated having kayaks and paddle boards available; the water right next to the villa is a perfect spot to take those out.
If you want to have a vacation that will spoil you, rejuvenate you and give you an experience to remember, Raiwasa is for you!
You know when you find the perfect vacation spot and you immediately want to tell everyone about it but then you also want to keep it for yourself? That’s Raiwasa! You will NOT need a vacation from your vacation when you experience this resort. This is a place where time stands still, natural beauty surrounds you, and you are allowed to disconnect from the rest of the world and reconnect with what is important to you. Soak in the incredible view, the excellent service, and remember you are on island time!
My family and I have travelled extensively around the world and this is one of our best experiences and far and away the highest quality service we’ve ever had.
The essence of Raiwasa is a phenomenal setting and a warm local team dedicated to excellent service—both leading to an unforgettable experience on the “garden island” of Fiji.
Upon arriving at Raiwasa--on its several acres of beautiful gardens and pathways overlooking the ocean--we were welcomed by two warriors, plus Babu, Richie, Rosie and seven staff singing songs as part of a traditional welcome ceremony. The villa is an architectural gem, open and gentle breeze swept with its tiered decks and verandas overlooking the shifting tides of the Somosomo Straights. High ceilings, solid timbers, nicely appointed living and bedroom areas, and spacious outdoor showers and baths are part of the villa’s charm. To the side of the villa, along a short pathway, is a natural infinity pool with its own decks, cabana and spectacular views. The lighted walkway down to the private beach leads to another cabana and deck right above the water. Kayaks, paddle boards, a motor boat and a nice selection of snorkeling equipment are part the offering.
Raiwasa is characterized by outstanding service and a staff that is attentive to every need and every detail to make your vacation truly outstanding. The twenty pages of menu selections, prepared by master chef Richie and his spouse Rosie are simply amazing involving a wide variety of cuisines—Fijian, Asian fusion, French, Spanish, Mexican and Indian. All meals were delicious with outstanding presentations. Dinners are five course meals, and with reasonable sized portions. During our first dinner at Raiwasa we were serenaded with guitar music and traditional Fijian songs. Breakfasts and lunches were complemented by local fruits and a creative selection of flavorful smoothies. Each afternoon Richie appears to discuss menu ideas and recommendations for the evening. He emerges a few hours later with his staff to present his special creations at any of the villa’s six indoor and outdoor dining areas--on the decks, beach or by the pool. During the evening torches light the pathways around Raiwasa, adding a special aura as the sun sets and night sets in.
Rosie and Lo provided soothing messages as options or part of the premium package. My wife and daughter loved the banana leaf wrap and head and foot message to sooth sun-kissed skin.
The watersports are supervised by Petero and his colleague to make sure everyone is in their comfort zone whether kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing behind the boat or snorkeling. They know the coast and the tides and are there to make it all easy and safe for all ages and adventure types.
During the week we enjoyed many exceptional experiences at Raiwasa, all made more memorable due to the attentiveness of Raiwasa’s staff. At first, we simply enjoyed the villa, beach, grounds and fantastic meals. A few days later we decided to take a short trip and hike to the local waterfalls with Babu in the lead. We had a great surprise waiting as we emerged from the rainforest at the base of the falls, but I won’t say what it was so I don’t spoil the fun for others. We had a fine cook out one evening where in-ground cooking with hot rocks and banana leaves (something like an American clam bake) allowed us to sample local Fijian dinner treats. After dinner we enjoyed traditional dances and a kava ceremony on the veranda with the whole crew.
Lo took us on a walking tour of her village where the entire village was preparing for a big, once-in-a-lifetime ceremony to install her mother-in-law as the new village chief. We met the new chief as she proudly supervised construction of the ceremonial grounds with her advisors from a perch above the rugby fields.
During our last few days we explored the island a bit more knowing that there was much more to see and do, and that we needed come back to enjoy more of Raiwasa’s charm and the warm, caring and attentive people that made our family vacation such an outstanding experience for all.
Note: We travelled to Raiwasa as a group of six, my wife and I, our 20 year old daughter, 15 year old son and his friend and my mother.
My son and daughter-in-law invited me to join them and my two grandchildren for a magical weeks vacation at Raiwasa. The experience began at the gate with a welcoming ceremony and tropical drinks served by our extensive staff in native dress. They then took us on a tour of the lovely house and surrounding property that would be our exclusive home for the coming week. The house itself has large outdoor oriented rooms, tastefully decorated with island crafts and colorful fresh flowers from the large garden everywhere. A wrap around veranda has extensive views over the sea. Here we would enjoy meals and entertainment, receive massages or just relax. A few steps away is the infinity pool looking over the ocean as well as a grass covered relaxing area and dining area. We were directed to a path to our private beach. Here a boat, paddleboards or snorkeling equipment was available with assistance if needed. Staff gave us a large black book that contained long lists of beverages, including smoothies, mixed drinks, coffees, snacks and breakfast and lunch menus These we could order any time and have served any where. Richie, the talented chef, consulted with us daily about that nights dinner menu. It was was always delicious, multi coursed, prepared with many local ingredients and beautifully presented. He also would help us organize daily activities of our choice
It was difficult to leave this lovely setting but with the help of the friendly and accommodating staff we took several trips, exploring the island and its rich culture. We were driven to Bauma Falls, where after a short hike we reached the towering falls and its swimming area . The staff had already set up for lunch which was served on white table clothed, flower decorated tables. Another staff member was kind enough to give us a tour of her village where we spoke with some of its members including her mother-in-law who was soon to be inducted as chief with an island wide celebration. One night the staff prepared Kava, the signature, age old Fijian drink, with its accompanying ceremony. On another we were entertained with native music and dances and encouraged to join in the festivities. Staff took us to visit a local market with its exotic fruits and vegetables, an eighteenth century French Missionary Church and the nearby international date line where we took a step from today back to yesterday.
Speaking of yesterday, I am 78 years old and am so fortunate to have a such a wonderful family sharing this time with me. I am in good health and mobility but the staff always were exceptionally helpful to me as they were to the needs and desires of the whole family from teen ager to grandma. In my life time I have visited and lived in many parts of the world but this visit to Raiwasa was one of the most memorable of times.
My husband and I just spent 6 days at Raiwasa. Nothing prepared us for the experience that we lived. We where heading home to the US from Melbourne and stopped over in Taveuni at Raiwasa. We were greeted with an unbelievably warm welcome with Fijian warriors in full garb. The short walk on the coral path brought us to the most amazing shimmering view of the ocean. Literally mesmerizing… The pictures on the web site are beautiful but do not do the expansive view justice. We are very private people and only saw the staff when we requested interaction. Below is my attempt of capturing the experience we enjoyed.
The house is gorgeous, its flows beautifully. It has an inside outside feel to it, large rolling doors open on two sides of the living room to a huge covered wrap around deck where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of Fiji. The outdoor bathrooms are amazing. The pool is great at a perfect depth to swim but also to stand up and laze around. They have a small private beach area above the ocean, which is also great, and a little hut to stay out of the sun where you can read and listen to the ocean.
My husband Gabe asked for flavored coffee on the first day, but there was none available on the island. But little known to us Richie took it upon himself to have hazelnut and vanilla flavored coffee flown in on the next flight. The next morning without us asking, a great flavored coffee appeared during breakfast. The attention to detail was special and the feeling we received from the staff was honest and genuine. There is an “as you wish” culture at every point of the entire experience. It is really special, something that we have never experienced anywhere else.
The food was spectacular and we quickly realized the passion that Richie brought to our food preparation. While you can completely control what you want to eat we finally just gave in and told Richie, just makes us whatever you want and we where not disappointed. Gabe and I really enjoyed the food and wine experience, we where under the Platinum package and had an extensive choice of wines to chose from. The wine list is impressive, all New Zealand and Australian and it was fun to experience wines from this part of the world. Richie pairs a wine with every meal and he never missed. I personally fell in love with Richie’s Walu, what an amazing fish (I had never eaten before) and so well prepared. The island fries made with local potatoes and home made paprika lime Aioli where also to die for. The avocado, panacotta salad was wow and Richie even made a chocolate lava cake on request because Gabe is such a chocoholic.
Now the massages: Perfect !!!! Lo was amazing, great variety to chose from on the spa menu, stuff that I have never done before like the sugar scrub and Dilo wrap. Gabe fell asleep during the massages they where so relaxing. We had a massage everyday!
I have some knee pain but we spent some time visiting the Bouma falls, which are very accessible through a flat walkway (the service team has prepared something for us but I am not going to ruin it by telling you). We took the private boat to snorkel on the rainbow reef, which also was amazing. Next time we go we will experience the Lavena waterfalls, the sea was a little rough this time around to do it.
Overall we were treated to some amazing small surprises along the way from before we arrived to after we left that made the experience special and catered. My husband Gabe and I have traveled the world and been to some very special places, 5, 6 or even 7 stars, we have been to many of them but Raiwasa is on another level (for altogether different reasons). These stars systems show the level of amenities, which of course many are above Raiwasa’s. But Raiwasa is real, genuine human connection with the staff catering to only our needs in a beautiful setting, great service and food. Raiwasa is one of the best vacations ever because it was so personalized to us. We are already recommending it to friends and family and will be back for sure.
I never write reviews and I have been scratching my head about how I can balance this review with something negative or something to improve. I am giving up ! There nothing to change, perfection I can’t find anything bad to say so I wont. I look forward to coming back and having the people I love experience this little piece of paradise. I hope this is helpful to people, I enjoyed writing it.
Raiwasa Grand Villa is an outstanding luxury property/ location offering everything a 5 star resort offers and more. You have 10 dedicated staff looking after your every need. They are at your service at the push of a button and went out of their way to make sure our short break was everything we wanted it to be. The food created by Richie is outstanding with a great selection of champagne, wines and beer. The view from every angle is stunning and elevated so you can see for miles. Everything Raiwasa offers is about attention to detail even down to the most immaculate gardens we have seen in Fiji. We lead busy lives and came away relaxed and could only wish we could have spent more time enjoying the luxury. Everything about Raiwasa exceeded our expectations and we will certainly be back for more!
One word : Perfection. My Raiwasa experience is unforgettable. This place is more than a very high level of luxury resort.. Raiwasa has a soul. It's authentic, and out of the time and space. Everything is anticipated, every wish is provided...
The villa makes you feel at home : beautiful rooms, outdoors bathrooms, stunning pool with view of the ocean... It's like living the dream from the beginning to the end.
I'll definitively come back with my boyfriend to live again this sweet and romantic escape in Paradise.