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“Sublime simplicity............the best of Fiji”

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Takalana Bay Resort
Ranked #7 of 52 Viti Levu B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 5, 2011

Takalana was one of five stops in Fiji during our visit for a friend's wedding in Suva; it was the highlight. We were a family of five travelling with a "friend family" of seven and kids ranging from near sixteen to three years of age. We arrived in the evening having been collected by boat from Naigani island by Gebbye. We travelled via Moon reef where we snorkelled and watched the spinning dolphins which were both magical experiences. From the moment we stepped into the simple two-roomed wooden bure with paraffin lamps and neatly made beds topped with mosquito nets I felt totally at home.
Sovo produced meals three times daily in different settings according to the weather and I can't tell you how delicious the plain, simple, local produce tasted. How she managed to produce it in a small and very basic kitchen I don't know.
Daytime activites consisted of a walk to a beautiful waterfall up the hillside, horse rides up the beach and kayaking up the local river to get a look at the mangroves.
Ratu was the most serene and centred guide I have experienced and he came into his own coaching ours and his children in the game of rugby with animated games on the lawn in the evening including his two year old Jojo.
The last night was magical with Pai and Ratu producing a Fijian feast (lovo) of chicken, fish, taro, spinach and coconut cooked in palm leaves in a pit over heated rocks served under the moonlight next to a bonfire. Jay and friend provided the music with guitar and gentle melodious singing........I felt connected to the earth and universe and much more.
The special ingredient of this amazing place is the simple serenity, connectivity and beauty of the place and the people.
If sophistication and five star amenities are your bag you may not get on with Takalana, but if you want to connect with a very special place and people who live in harmony with themselves, the earth and others then this is for you.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank puffinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 - 52 of 57 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2011

Forget about the fancy 5 star resorts....come and experience a genuine non commercial Fijian retreat ! I have stayed at a couple of holiday beach resorts in Fiji during my stay however I have to admit I had the most fun at this retreat !

We were there for 2 nights.....we had nothing but friendly smiles from the staff.
Got to snorkel for the first time at the Moon Reef and Dolphin watch, absolute MAGIC !

We had panoramic views of the islands Ovalau, Wakaya and Naigani.
A def a hidden gem..
Thanks to the staff at Takalana ...cant wait to come back !

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank DreamMaker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2010

We really enjoyed this place. It was recommended by friends in Suva and it's already a very popular expat getaway. Book early to make sure you get in, they only sleep about 12 people. The rooms are basic, but charming and fun.

It's in a great location up overlooking the bay with an excellent view of the offshore islands and the mountains in the hinterland. There's a rural feel here quite unlike the resorts. The place is owned by groovy locals, not grasping expats, and the service feels a lot more like actual Melanesian hospitality than some of the stuff we experienced in the Mamanucas.

There's snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and dolphin watching. The spinner dolphins showed up both times we went out to Moon Reef, and on the second day they jumped for us, right on cue. Brilliant. The guys on the boat were fun, too.

My only suggestion to the owner would be have the dinner earlier so we could see what we were eating. Otherwise, don't change a thing, folks.

Tip: you should allow a full 3 hours to get here from Suva. The road is pretty rough in places.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank McKleinzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2010

My partner and I found out about Takalana from a friend of mine who works and lives in Suva. Takalana seems to be a bit of a hidden gem with a lot of the ex-pats in Suva- and for good reason!

Location- Takalana is only two and a half hours by car from Suva in an area of Viti Levu that hasn't become very touristy yet. We hired a car from 'Sharmas' (located in Nadi and Suva) for US $130 for four days to get there and back. The guesthouse is on a small property that runs right down to the ocean. On either side of Takalana are villages. There is also an eco-lodge, owned by the same people, a kilometre down the beach. Takalana is also very close to Levuka, which is the former Fijian capital.

Accommodation: The two guesthouses are located on the top of a hill with uninterrupted views of the sea. The guesthouses are charming in a rustic way and were very clean. When we stayed there, the retreat was still running on a generator which meant limited lighting at night but as of May 2010 they will have electricity.

Activities: The staff are really flexible with the activities on offer. One morning we woke up and asked if horse riding was a possibility and they had two horses brought up from the village for us to ride along the beach. Dolphin watching out at Moon Reef was another highlight with out boat being surrounded by at least 60 dolphins. I was told by the staff that the dolphins are such a phenomenon that two marine biologists stayed at Takalana for three months to study them. Hiking to a waterfall and a nearby mountain vista were also fantastic- particularly as it is likely that you'll have the places to yourself.

Food: We were served three meals a day by a chef who has trained in Australia. The portion sizes were huge and offered a great range of Fijian and international cuisines. On our final night we were served a Fijian lovo which the staff try to do for every guest during their stay.

A stay at Takalana is more like being welcomed into a Fijian family rather than staying at a guesthouse. The staff are so friendly and seem to really love living at Takalana and welcoming travellers from all around the world. This was by far the best place we stayed in Fiji and my friend who has lived in Fiji for a year and has travelled to more than 30 resorts and hotels firmly agrees.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank KimberleyLiving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

For me this is a very difficult review because Takalana is a lovely place with a great friendly attentive staff and a dinner and breakfast meals that were outstanding. The resorts' isolation is part of its' uniqueness. Based solely on the above it would rate 5 stars. But from the business side Jay has a lot to learn in dealing with non-locals. My difficulties started when the only way to make a deposit was to send a Fiji denominated money order / bank check - this was not a minor effort in the USA. Jay did not even have a PayPal account. Secondly, in doing my planning, I mentioned that I was driving a rented car and the directions I had from the website and Jay were woeful. From the staff, it seems that Jay picks up most of the guests from Suva. I missed the turn in Korovou because it was mismarked and where I should have turned did not look like a main road. So we went north on the King's highway and it is not a very good road. We ask if we were on the correct road twice using our map and both times got incorrect positive responces. Finally we talked to a retired 7th Day Adventist preacher at a bus stop and he got in the car to show us the way across the mountain to the coast road. The road was little more than a rutted path suitable only for 4 wheel drive. Long story short - we arrived at the resort with 15 min. of daylight left. The second issue with directions is the state of the road north of the resort. It is only fit for 4 wheel drive, while the road into Korovou is mostly good gravel. Jay new I was planning to return to Nadi via the north rout and never said I needed 4 wheel drive. So if you are going to drive to Takalana, get directions for the turn in Korovou. I have attached a picture of the sign that messed us up. On balance, the great place was not worth the problems booking and getting there. If they were fixed, my recommendation would change

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Traveler5548
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2009

Location: Remote and hard to get there
View: Breathtaking
Rooms: Cosy with nice details, unfortunately they put rather ugly plastic bunk beds in the 2 rooms, so it ruins quit the atmosphere....
toilet/shower: tiny but ok.
Cleanliness: There were rats around the windows, and probably even in the room. That was a major drawback. Jay promised to close the rat wholes and chase the rats as soon as possible.
food: lots, great lovo on the last evening, for my taste I would have preferred to eat less
Atmosphere: Esp. in the night: Magic with all the oil-lamps
beach: Mystical black, we used the kayaks (was great) and walked up and down. You meet very friendly village people, who use the beach as well as a walking path to get from one place to the other.
Moonreef: Great (rather expensive) snorkeling.
host: Jay was fun, good entertainer, but rather hopeless with advices on our arrival and departure (we missed the ferry). The rest of the staff, was very friendly too
Conclusion: Very nice place, but a bit lack of professionalism.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelBee_bern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2008

We stayed at Takalana and had a fabulous time. The views were awesome and the food was fantastic. The place was a little piece of heaven and we would definately go back again.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank philnsonja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Takalana Bay Resort

Address: 35 km Northwest of Korovou, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Viti Levu
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Takalana Bay Retreat Hotel Viti Levu
Takalana Bay Resort Fiji/Viti Levu

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