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“Simple bures, blacksand beach, near village and dolphins”
Review of Natalei Eco Lodge

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Natalei Eco Lodge
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Natalei Eco Lodge sits near Nataleira Village (which owns and runs it) on a nice black sand beach. It has spacious grounds, half a dozen five-bed bures, and common ares. It is one of two accommodation options in the area (Takalana retreat is the other) and both boast close access to see the large pod of dolphins at Moon Reef, just 20 minutes offshore (trips to the dolphins are run by the same operator for both - Dolphin Watch Fiji - see bottom of http://takalana.blogspot.com). Natalei is a favourite of school groups or university study tours (my son's year three class from Suva came here earlier), so occasionally it is very busy, but this past weekend we were the only ones staying there.

The accommodation is simple - woodframe beds with foam mattresses, clean sheets, cold showers, mosquito nets. The food copious, served in common, largely local Fijian/Indian/Chinese inspired fare. As everywhere in this country, and particularly in smaller village environments, everyone is super friendly.

For those with cars, it took us 1hr 30 min of relatively fast driving from Tamavua (Suva).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Stian91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 19 of 21 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2013

I was lucky enough to travel here for an extended stay of 12 days as part of my studies this July. Natalei Eco Lodge is situated at the end of a very long dirt road and is only serviced by the public bus twice a day although taxis can be chartered from Korovou on the King's Highway approximately 1 hour away. It is a small community run tourist facility and the accommodation is simple with tiled floors and private ensuite. The bures' face the ocean and there is always a breeze, they are kept clean and the rooms are well ventilated with mosquito nets provided above each bed. The bures' are swept and the beds are made each day (except Sunday) and it was amusing to see that the girls even straightened our shoes out on the verandah! There is one power point in each bure and the rooms are well lit but bring a torch for those walks back to the bure after dark as there is no external lighting. It is true that the water in the shower is cold (which is a little daunting after a few hours swimming on the reef) but the sun was shining and the smiles welcoming so no real hardship. Meals are included in the room charge which is very reasonable and a trip out to the reef currently costs FJD45 which is is well worth it. Wonderful snorkelling (bring your own gear) and the dolphins were spectacular. The food is home cooked and there is always plenty provided. The staff greet you by first name, there are no locks on the doors nor is there any TV, DVDs or Wifi and only limited mobile reception. However if you are into sleeping in, feel like a good read, a long chat over a cup of tea, friendly smiles and snorkelling on the reef; then this is the place. A wonderful experience and leaving was like saying goodbye to family; extremely difficult. Already saving for the return trip.

Room Tip: All of the bungalows face the ocean and are a quick walk to the dining room, some sleep 2 and some s...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank fiftynfine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Having an extended stay at Natalei Eco Lodge as part of a study group, was a wonderful way to experience the 'real' Fiji. The staff are so welcoming and friendly, I now feel like they have become my Fiji family.
The Lodge is off the beaten track, but is a wonderful, relaxing place to stay right on beach. I stayed in one of the beautiful, traditional couples bures which was simple but very comfortable and clean.
Getting to see the spinner dolphins and snorkel on Moon Reef was an experience I'll never forget. We spent several days out on the reef, watching the dolphins play and frolic right next to our boat. The aquatic life is quite spectacular on the reef and getting the chance to see this was a highlight of our stay. Our boat drivers, Junior & Si, were really experienced and we felt very confident with them at the helm.
The lovely ladies in the lodge kitchen always made sure we were well fed, with a delicious variety of meals including vegetarian options. Another highlight was the local men from the lodge and the Nataleira village singing beautiful Fijian songs in the evenings. This was an amazing taste of Fiji culture, listening to the beautiful harmonies and the stories behind the songs.
Jay and Villi were incredible in making sure we had everything we needed during our stay.
I cannot speak highly enough of my stay at Natalei Eco Lodge and am already making plans to return.

Room Tip: All bures face the ocean and get a wonderful sea breeze
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Gail L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We (1 adult, two children 12 and 7) stayed three nights at Natalei. It's a challenge to get there but really worth it. The lodge is owned and run by the village of Nataleira, and also hosts student volunteers working with dolphin conservation. All meals are provided for communal dining, and there's plenty, but families with younger children might like to take snacks, bottled water, and a pack of cards. The bures have been updated and ours was clean, comfortable and basic, with lights, power outlets, all working perfectly. This isn't a resort, and you need to be prepared for a brisk cold shower, but on the other hand you're sleeping in a locally-built bure right on the beach, and the kindness of the community--and the beautiful singing--will really stay with you. Tip: do drive, and take a 4WD if you can.The last section of the road is dirt, but it's in reasonable condition, and in dry weather we got there without any difficulty. This was an unforgettable trip for us, and we'd go again without hesitation.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Our trip was to reward my daughter for her excellent FSLC marks. We arrived very late on friday nite and was surprised to see the ladies wait for us to have dinner. The local breakfast of pancakes, pudding and coconut was amazing. Even the BBQ lunch was hefty. We noted that there was a lot of passion put in for the preparation of the food. The children thoroughly enjoyed the sea trip to moon reef to check out the dolphins. The accomodation was fitting and clean. The staff's generous smiles and service are its greatest assets. Vili is commendable for his friendliness and flexibility in the hotel's promotion. All the best this year.

Nabola family

Room Tip: All the bure are facing the sea where the breeze is coming from so they are all well ventilated
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Vito N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Well, It was great at the Natalei Eco Resort.... The first time that I got to visit the place was 2 years ago and it was great!! The food was awesome and the life out there is just relaxing!! If u are looking to run away from the life of technology and just wanna relax with family and friends Natalei is the place to be..... I went again last year and we went dolphin watching and it was great!! It was the first time that I actually got to see real life dolphin....... The trip was pretty fantastic with the friendly Kitchen Staff and the kind villagers always there to start up a conversation when you are feeling lonely!! It is indeed a great place to relax!!

There are no swimming pool or fitness centre..... But they do have a great BEACH for beach party and Bon Fire and Natural Exercise like Kayaks and a great Hike up to the Waterfall!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JackMoimoi007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

My 3 friends and I spent 3 nights at Natalei. The food was great. We applaud the locally-run resort for trying on the accomodations, but it failed miserably.

The bures that had electricity were supplied by indoor-grade extention cords that were hung dangerously close to the ground. No power-point outlets in the bures, and not enough light to ready by.

No snorkeling anywhere near the resort due to the nearby river.

I really want to support local businesses, but do yourself a favor and go to Ovalau, Naigani, Volivoli or Nananu-i-Ra instead. The manager, "Jay", just doesn't 'get it' yet.

Justine

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank jidina80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Natalei Eco Lodge

Address: Nataleira Village, Dawasamu, Tailevu, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 73 Specialty Lodging in Viti Levu
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Natalei Eco Lodge Fiji/Viti Levu

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