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“Great little place with an awsome view”

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Garden Island Resort
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Taveuni Island
Certificate of Excellence
Walnut, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
“Great little place with an awsome view”
Reviewed April 10, 2010

Manager/ part owner Mark is a great guy. All the staffs, from those in the restaurant/ bar to the front desk and cleaning crews, all are so friendly and willing to go beyond the call of duty to make your stay an wonderful experience. The only complain I really have is the food portion and cost is outrageous. Try the restaurant next door, you will get better foods for much lesser price. Oh, don't drink the water in your room, it cost way too much. The sunset view from the rooms are incredible... The wifi is available but not free. Pool is a bit small. Rooms are modernized but with cheap stuff and terrible LED lights. Water temperature in shower is reversed. There is a small flat screen TV but only can play DVD or you can hook up your own DVR... From the room, it is easy to walk to the dive shop next door. The dive operation is actually very good. Oh, the downstairs rooms has jacuzzi but not even worth it, because water is not hot enough, and the hose breaks too easily (made in crappy China). Only good use for the jacuzzi is so you can clean your own dive gear.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lafayette, LA
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2010

First I have to say that TripAdvisor is a great resource for researching destinations and selecting accomodations with confidence that others have been there and shared their experiences with you. I always refer to TripAdvisor reviews before I book my vacations. In this case I feel it is important to point out that many of the reviews for Garden Island Resort took place when the resort was under previous ownership/management. We met the current general manager who actually lives on site. He is doing a great job with the resort, with plans to put the finishing touch on the amazing renovations very soon. Improvements to the bathroom lighting have already been ordered and there is talk of a new pier being constructed which will be awesome for viewing and photographing some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world!

I can't possibly say enough good things about Garden Island Resort on the amazing island of Taveuni. Although we arrived there just two weeks after the island was devastated by a category 4 cyclone, the resort was all cleaned up and fully operational. I couldn't believe my eyes...especially after I learned that just a few days before the swimming pool had been filled with sand! There was no evidence of the destruction by the time we arrived...the pool looked brand new and very inviting!

We were greeted by a lovely welcome song and escorted to our room, which we were VERY happy with. Our first impression was that the room was so nice and cool...the air conditioning is a HUGE bonus...especially since the island doesn't have electricity. They operate on generators. Our room was very comfortable. There was a nice king-sized bed as well as a sofa looking out through the wall of windows and sliding glass door to the balcony. We were situated right near the water's edge and had a fabulous view of the Somosomo Strait, home of the famous "Rainbow Reef" we were so eager to dive. The room was also equipped with an electric kettle and plenty of coffee, tea, etc. and a refrigerator (with a bottle of Fiji water!) which really made life convenient.

The food at Garden Island Resort was very good and we enjoyed everything we tried. Fortunately we had the opportunity to meet the chef and extend our compliments before the end of our visit. They even prepared a "surprise" birthday cake for my husband and the Garden Island Resort band sang to him as the staff brought it out. It was really kind of them...above and beyond the call of duty, but the cake was delicious!

The resort grounds were lovely, with chaise lounges and hammocks around the swimming pool. It was a great place to relax and visit with all of our new friends when we weren't diving.

Did I mention diving??? Garden Island Resort has one of the best dive operations I have ever seen. I have traveled to a number of dive locations around the world and I can honestly say that the dive boats at Garden Island Resort are the best I've ever experienced. They are intelligently constructed to accomodate extra dive tanks and provide additonal space. The seats are wider, allowing room for a slanted tank rack under the seats to keep those spare tanks stowed out of the way. Plus you have plenty of room to gear up on the nice wide bench seats. There's plenty of extra space to allow movement around the boat, plus the dive platform and ladders were just right. I was very comfortable diving the entire week. The boat crews are the best and have an uncanny knack for knowing exactly what the current is doing at all times and what it will be doing by the end of the dive. I was very impressed. The only complaint I had (is this a complaint???) was that they handled my equipment from start to finish...I'm not used to that. I'm usually very hands on and take care of my own gear, but honestly it was pretty nice to be spoiled for the week - it was like valet diving

The dive sites were beyond my wildest imagination. On our VERY FIRST DIVE, our divemaster Hyram said "Well, the way the current is going to be running this afternoon, I think it would be best to go ahead and make our first dive at The Great White Wall". This was a dream come true! I have read about this dive site for a long time and couldn't wait to see it for myself, and it did not disappoint. Besides the wall itself we saw numerous interesting critters, including a sea snake, an octopus and a white-tipped shark! The fish life was absolutely amazing - brilliant colored fish were everywhere! We kind of expected that reef life would be at a minimum after the storm, but that was not the case at all. We saw numerous snakes, sharks and even a turtle during our week of diving. I was blown away by the colors and magnitude of soft corals on the Rainbow Reef...guess that's how it got its name, huh

To sum it up, I would HIGHLY recommend Garden Island Resort for any diver's "bucket list". The diving is fabulous, the resort is exactly what I hoped for, and the staff are the most incredibly loving and generous people I could ever imagine meeting. I was sobbing as they sang their touching goodbye song to us on departure. My prediction came true...this was the place I was afraid I would not want to come home from. These people and this place will be forever engrained in my memory. I only hope that we will be able to return some day to see them all again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CajunDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2010

What a wonderful property. Recently refurbushed, the accommodations were fantastic. Tiled floors, comfortable bed, ample floorspace for all of our dive gear... Nice large shower in the bathroom. The only drawback to the room is that the lighting is a little dim.

We had a first floor suite - which had a 2-person jacuzzi on the patio, overlooking the Somosomo Strait. With the fruit bats perched in the trees over our room, crying out their song, soaking in the hot tub after a day of diving, watching the sunset, sipping on a cup of tea - it's very romantic.

The dining is very, very good. For breakfast, we kept it simple by going with the Continental Breakfast (buffet with pastries, cereals and fresh fruits). Dinner is pre-ordered (at breakfast) and is wonderful. Full bar with cold beer and tantalizing mixed drinks.

The dive shop is top-notch. My wife's gear bag didn't make it to Fiji (it was routed to Grand Rapids, Michigan - yeah, there's a lot of diving in G.R., in January - Right), so she had to rent gear. All of the gear is brand new. Works great.

The diving is fantastic - in the Somosome Strait. We only did one day of diving, here, as our travels plans were to meet up with the rest of our group elsewhere. I wish we could have stayed longer. Everything was top-notch. Don't hesitate to include this property in your travel plans.

Upon arrival, we checked in, had a great lunch, and went horseback riding on the south end of the island. Garden Island management was kind enough to arrange for a taxi to get us there. The driver, on the way home, took us to the "international date line", where we took some photos and had a very pleasant afternoon. This saved us a 15-30 minute hike. The next day, we went diving. I only wish our travel plans would have allowed us to stay here longer. Maybe next time.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ScubaVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2010

Renovated in 2009, this is a wonderful small resort with all rooms having an ocean view overlooking the Somosomo Strait. Rooms have comfortable space and nice linens. Food is well-prepared and staff is extremely friendly. Grounds are lovely.
Most guests will come for the scuba diving--and should. Most dive sites are about 20 minutes from the hotel.
A great value.

Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank ChuckS4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 30, 2010

recently refurbished,very friendly & helpfull staff. Well run & good location for dive center.
continetal breakfast ok. Lunch & Dinner good. Live local band each evening during dinner were excelent. They played an interesting selection of Fijian & western muisic. Room was large, well fitted out, fantastic shower, wonderfull views over the sea & curtains for those that need them!!!.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tojo28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2010

The beginning of your stay will be marked with a song as you entre the resort reception area, Bula!, the fijian greeting for "hello!", will be sung to you by all the friendly smiling staff. This sets the tone for the rest of your holiday and stay there.
The rooms are stylishly simple and well equipped, with ample space. Rooms on the ground floor have a jacuzzi hot tub which looks out onto the garden and then onto the water, and can be closed off to the outside, excellent to finish the night with. The beds are queen sized and very comfortable. Housekeeping was good and clean, friendly staff. The bathroom only has a shower but otherwise has everything you need, including hair dryer, and is spacious and with a jacuzzi hot tub outside, you dont really need a bathtub.
the resort is right on the water so has a very calming and relaxed view, not much of a beach but you can still go into the water and check out the aquatic reef life immediately off the shore. Alternatively, the resort offers guests the use of a small boat to ferry them to a nearby island with a nice beach and surrounding reefs. The resort also has experienced dive masters/instructors on site for guests who want to get PADI certified.
The resort had a bus service that took us to places we wanted to visit, such as the bouma falls, a beautiful hike into the valley and up the hills to see some wonderful waterfalls, and a natural waterslide, which you can actually slide down safely, up in the hills which is short distance away from the the resort itself. Kayaking is also a must do, the water is so clear and the tide relatively mild for the most part of the day, great way to see the island paddling up and down the shore.
If pearls are something you like, you can also organise with reception for a trip out to a pearl farm to understand how the process of pearl cultivation and actually go to the site in the water where the pearls are grown. Also great for a spot of shopping with some very decent prices! Bargaining is acceptable, although if your paying by credit card, dont expect too much off as they will say its to do with the card fees.
There isnt a whole lot of shopping to be done on Taveuni but still it would be advisable to go to town and have a stroll, check out every-day life of the islanders and maybe buy some of the local coconut oil which was great treatment for sun-dried hair.
The food at the hotel was fantastic. Every day we had a selection of 3 dishes to choose from for lunch and dinner, and very tasty indeed, special mention must go to resident head chef Toto who was a delight to meet, and is an amazing chef, especially his desserts! Some nights they served local dishes in the selection, all yummy. Fish is also fresh and usually caught on the day. The restaurant staff are also very friendly and helpful, but this can be said regarding all the staff and generally the people on the island of Taveuni. Truly a magical place.
When you leave the resort and check-out, the staff all come together to bid you adieu with a song, a beautiful song which actually brought tears to all our eyes and made us all a little sad that such a wonderful holiday and stay was over, but definitely, a place I would go back to just to see the familiar faces again and to be under their care and attention.
Thank you Garden Island Resort!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yacschmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2010

This hotel has a lovely location right on the water, and the recent refurb has been extensive. The rooms are beautiful and the showers excellent. Most of the little touches are there. But some are not. No curtains or blinds (very odd!), balcony doors don't lock, no local or satellite TV (just DVD player).
The food is variable, generally overpriced and not very good. They try, but they fall a bit short. And if you don't like bats, don't stay here there are hundreds of them right outside the windows, and sometimes the smell is quite strong, particularly near pool and on balconies.
Staff very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed January 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank melbxyxyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Garden Island Resort

Property: Garden Island Resort
Address: Waiyevo | Waiyevo, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Taveuni Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Garden Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to beautiful panoramic views of the ocean and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves at award-wining Garden Island Resort on Taveuni, Fiji. With world class dive sites only moments away, and a coastal 9-hole golf course at your pleasure, there are a bevy of recreational pursuits to be enjoyed including coastal walks, bird watching, hiking, natural waterfalls and horse riding to name a few. Comprising of 15 Ocean front suites with a private patio, and 15 Ocean view rooms fully refurbished with private balconies, each room offers a private space for luxurious comfort and personalised service making Garden Island Resort your home away from home. Garden Island Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort with a fully equipped dive centre on site with professional and friendly dive crew offering PADI courses, and nitrox for advanced divers. Only 15 minutes away from the Rainbow Reef and over 20 dive sites, you are only moments away from world class diving and amazing soft coral. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Garden Island Hotel Taveuni Island
Garden Island Taveuni

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