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Paradise Taveuni
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Reviewed February 18, 2008

Terri, Allan and their staff gave us a first class holiday experience. We WILL be back!
It is difficult to put into words the heaven that we found at Paradise. See how this works for you...

An Ode to Paradise

Paradise, Taveuni is a gem of a find,
For relaxing your body and spirit and mind;
We came for five days, but we stayed a fortnight,
We really struggled to leave, it took all of our might!

We came to relax and to dive Rainbow reef,
But the heaven we found here just beggars belief;
So believe every word here, what I say is all true,
Then come discover what Paradise has in store for you!

Allan and Terri Gortan are such gracious hosts,
From the very first Bula! To the last adios;
They will welcome you warmly, like a dear long lost friend,
And that’s what you will be by the holidays end!

There is dear Anare, with his infectious laugh,
At the head of a team of Fijis’ finest staff;
Nothing is too much trouble for him and his crew,
So relax, just kick back and let them do what they do.



Niumaia Niumaia is a wonderful man,
Organising fabulous excursions, whether July or Jan;
Take advantage, I tell you, of all his advice,
He makes your holiday perfect instead of just nice.

If you want to get wet then Zoe’s your girl,
Revealing all the delights of Fijis water world;
Jet skis, or kayaks or diving the worlds finest sites,
Her boys Wilson and Toutou are aquatic knights.

Maikeli, god bless you, you are always our friend,
Tours and cultural learnings you delightfully blend;
You taught us so much, you could write a history book,
And your lovely wife Nau – such a terrific cook.

Coastal walks and waterfalls and fishing and much more,
If its action you are wanting then you really hit a score;
But wait! Hold back! I don’t want that, I came here to relax,
Well then my friend this is the place to do nothing to the max!


A massage by the sea will melt those aches and pains away,
Or laze by the infinity pool and waste away the day.
The grounds are full of luscious palms & orchids in full bloom,
The perfect setting to surround your luxury Bure room!

We showered beneath the stars each night in our outdoor bathroom,
With Fijis finest lotions, it’s the perfect way to groom.
Our first day has been tip top, it can’t get any better than this,
But wait what’s that I hear – a whole new kind of bliss.

As we sat down to dinner, a heavenly feast to eat,
A band of seranaders’ gave our ears a welcome treat;
Kata, Filo and Pini waited on us with such grace,
Adding the final touches to this truly heavenly place.

Alas, I fear, I have said enough, I hope you catch my drift,
And book your next holiday here to give yourself a lift,
It’s lovely, wonderful, beautiful. It’s really very nice...
No wait, I’ll go one better... it’s bloody Paradise!!!

Sam & Danielle
Cornwall, England

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sampenzance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2008

We agree wholeheartedly with all the other positive reviews of Paradise. We felt so fortunate to have chosen such a beautiful and peaceful place. We felt a deep appreciation for the hard work, generosity and kind spirits of the staff, particularly Makali. We suggest that you take advantage of the hiking and village visits. They were wonderful ways to learn more about Taveuni and it's people.

We have travelled to many parts of this world, and we don't say lightly, that we were inspired by the Fijians we met at Paradise and the surrounding area. Their love of music, dance, friendship, familiy and kava helped us remember what's important in life.


We hope you'll visit.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank englishanthony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2007

We have just spent two wonderful weeks in Fiji. For nine of those days we stayed at Paradise, Taveuni and it was exactly that, Paradise. After arriving at Matei Aiport we were met by Feroz, our driver. A scenic drive with breathtaking veiws is what we had for our 45 minute journey. The Island is extremely green and lush. Upon arrival, we (my husband, myself and two children) were greeted with many smiles and helpful staff. I would easily say that I was breathless at the outlook that stood before me. Lush grounds, traditional bures (only 10, very intimate) the horizon edged swimming pool over looking the beautiful ocean. However what made this place so very special were the staff!!!!! They become your extended family. They now your names, they greet you everytime they see you, there is always a gorgeous smile on there faces and they want to help out as much as they can.

The highlight of our stay was definitely Fiji night, a scrumptious Lovo dinner followed by Meke dancers, Kava drinking, seranaders and dancing. The staff and there families are part of this wonderful night and what a great insight to the Fijian culture.

My husband enjoyed many dives, his favourite being Vuna reef, though I do not dive, I enjoyed the snorkliing that I now to would like to do a PADI course. I did not realise the beauty and colour that can be found under water.

When we travelled to the Mananucas and stayed for four nights, we were just a little dissapoointed, yes it was a beautiful place, but it lacked the intamacy and the genuine friendliness. The staff were not as willing to take the time and have a chat. When you go to a different country you want to talk and get to know people and there ways of life. The staff at Paradise gave us this.

We are constantly looking at our photos and when people ask us about our holiday, we just say how privlidged we were to find such a special place. We are planning another trip next May,

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank MijaQld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2007

Words will fail to describe Paradise and its unique beauty……….
This is my realisation of a dream come true of a paradise undiscovered by many…… What a Blessing…….

Have you ever dreamed or fantasised of your perfect holiday, were everything is just perfect one day and better the next ….. And then you wake up???

Well, My 2 teens and I have just returned to Australia after 2 glorious weeks of pure pleasure, Paradise is heaven on Earth and I miss my awesome new family, I am home sick for my new home!

It all begins when you arrive; you are greeted like a much loved and longed relative not seen for a while, with their genuine big smiles, open hearts and warmth I have never experienced before from Allan and Terri (owners) and all the staff.

Allan and Terri are honest to goodness amazing people who put their heart and soul into their guests and resort. Nothing is ever too hard. They would give you their right arm if they could. If there is ever anything you only need ask. I had a problem with customs and an expensive camera, which I was expecting to arrive and which at that point it was not going to arrive until after I left as soon as Allan and Terri heard about it they were on the case they fought on my behalf for days and wouldn’t you know it…. I got my Camera! Allan and Terri try to make it a personal experience for every guest and they have succeeded as other guests on the resort have commented to me.

THE RESORT; is stunning to say the least, it is beyond first class it is unique, from the manicured lawns and gardens to the positioning of every building and amenity to take in the breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounds at the moment there are 10 individual Bures ( how personal ). The horizon edge swimming pool is position on top of a cliff like area with the ocean below what a view and at night it is truly amazing.

THE ACCOMMODATION; is in a traditional house a Bure (bungalow). The bures are stunning and clean thanks to house keeping. The oh so comfy real King size Bed with spectacular views of the ocean are a dream and at night when lights go out not a sound except for the ocean that gently laps against the shore to lull you to sleep. Turn down how amazing ….. Remember MUM at night when you were little….. How comforting!
The indoor and open air showers were great as was our Jacuzzi the stars at night were so clear we just sat in the Jacuzzi for hours filled to the brim including suds.

THE RESTAURANT; is in the main bure were guest could eat at individual tables or together. There are many options as where else to eat on the resort eg; under the stars, your bure, wedding bure, by the pool or the beach. The food is scrumptiously delicious.
The Menu caters to all and changes regularly. If your diet or fancy takes for something else No Problem the wonderfully talented chefs will cater to your needs as I who has a Food allergy and my fussy daughter discovered very quickly (I just hope she does not think it will be that way at home).
SERENADES; every night with a different group, they were magical their voices were of angles and talent beyond all … they really need to record! Vinaka Vakalevu Boys…
ANARE (Henry), who manages the restaurant and house keeping ( I’m sure that’s not all) is there to greet and introduce staff and guests each night he is so proficient and is a beautiful person with the biggest smile you will ever see (you just drown in it). The other restaurant staffs; who are just beside themselves to help you are my INOKI who you will fall in love with because of his gentle beautiful ways, LITIANA who runs after you all the time, KATA who is so gracious and her giggles are intoxicating or infectious.

THE ACTIVITIES; are numerous and are posted on a board in the main bure and change daily see TEMA the fabulous can do lady with a heart of gold to match. There are also Adventure packages which I recommend which, we did and enjoyed. I recommend Snorkelling, Wilson guided us the whole time showing us some amazing sea creatures and beautiful coral. The reef begins within a meter of shore – Paradise Reef.
DIVING; is world and first class without a doubt. ZOE who is the dive instructor at Paradise is an amazing women and instructor, who I will not stop praising as with her persistent professionalism, gentleness, patience and guidance, Zoe instructed us in our open water course, we had a fear of the open water due to that “S” word (SH, SHARK). Zoe had instructed us so well that by the end of our 3 day course we had gained so much confidence and respect for our new underwater world that our guides Manassa, Toto and us had spotted a white tip reef shark (about 1 meter long or so) on our last dive that we swam up to about 2 meters of it and took a photo….. WOW, how Exhilarating! And I didn’t make like a ROCK!
PRO DIVE which runs out of Paradise is a professional organisation who runs world renowned PADI courses.

THE SPA/MASSAGE; we had it all! MIRI and SHELLY have the amazing ability to know exactly how much pressure to apply to each area and leave you feeling like your floating on air, somewhere between wake and sleep….. WOW…. How relaxing! How special we were all made to feel!

LOVO, MEKE & KAVA CEREMONY; every Friday night! We had 3!
We were blessed and privileged to participate with the Fijian community who come to the resort to welcome and entertain us, they are our family forever. You will never meet a community of people with genuine open hearts, generosity, gracious and love unconditional.
LOVO is a feast meal, it is prepared traditionally with the freshest meats and vegetables in an open air BBQ pit dug in the ground and covered left to cook for about 2 hours. When one is cooking you can smell it for miles. Lovo is gastronomically superb…. Drool!
MEKE is the traditional dances of Fiji, the Island and Local Community past down from past generations. The locals and staff organise their dance routines, boy can they move…. They really shake it up! My favourite would be the 3 young sisters and Joe and his boys not to say the others were not Just as wonderful.
KAVA; before tasting kava I had heard the many rumours on its taste and effects, I’m here to dispel some myths from my own experience…. Kava takes five long years to mature which, is then dried and ground to a fine powder for the Kava drink (grog). The powder is then placed in a fine muslin cloth and tied then is put into the bowl with water and squeezed until a water colour resembling I guess Beechwood is achieved. Preforming the ceremony you have The Chief (usually Mikelli or chosen guest), The Caller and The Passer, who passes out the kava in a half coconut shell. Kava is a unique taste which we enjoyed in more than an ample amount. It leaves a tingling sensation in your tongue and you are left feeling happy but I’m not sure if that was the company really( the happy part ). Kava does have a sedative effect on us as others have also said or left early for bed.
We danced through the night, as everyone was asked to dance, every dance and KAVA in between, it was a blast, Fijian and English songs sung and played by Angels! Boy can they dance!

SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME
See you all soon guy’s I love and miss every single one of you!

VINAKA VAKALEVU for everything you have blessed me with!
All my LOVE
Anna Glen

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank Nearrogue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2007

We spent 10 days at "Paradise Resort" on the Island of Taveuni in Fiji (September 10-20). A rather spur of the moment trip for us. We had two full weeks off and wanted to go diving. Time enough to try something new. Most of our dive trips have been in the Caribbean. We have ventured to Hawaii and the South Pacific only when we have a little more time.

We wanted to try Fiji. Some, but not alot of info in our favorite Dive publication (Undercurrent) so we did some research via this site and the internet. We found "Paradise". The resort was previously called "Susie's Plantation" before it's acquisition and rennovation by current owners Allan and Terri Gortan. We liked what we saw on their website about the resort and their dive operation. I communicated with Terri via email for about a week with various questions before making a leap of faith and booking a 10 day trip. Terri was so prompt and solicitous with her responses that we got a good feeling about the operation. We are glad we went with our instinct.

Paradise is at the extreme southern tip of the island of Taveuni. We flew direct from LA via Air Pacific (and overnight flight of 10 1/2 hours) and then on via their inter island subsidiary to Taveuni (about a 90 minute flight). By flying with the Air Pacific subsidiary (i think it was called Pacific Sun) we did not incur any overweight charges for our dive gear which are accustomed to in the Pacific and the Caribbean. We were met by a driver from the resort for our one hour drive to the resort. I had forgotten an item and he graciously stopped at a supermarket for me to make a purchase enroute. The drive is lovely. They call Taveuni the "Garden Island". It is very lush and beautiful.

We arrived at the resort before lunch. We were greeted by the owner Allan and several of the staff including dive shop manager Zoe. We were treated to a floral lei, a cold coconut drink, a brief orientation/tour and escorted to our Ocean Bure which was luckily immediately available for check in. We were treated to a complimentary foot massage on our deck overlooking the grounds and the beautiful Somosomo straits.

There are 10 Bures at Paradise. Four are oceanfront and the others are Garden Bures. Each of the Bures has a name and ours was called "Papaya". Our Bure had a bedroom with a kingsize bed with a ceiling fan and french doors and louvered windows opening onto our private deck (with a private sun bed). We had a sitting area with a mini fridge and a coffee/tea pot. The sitting area also had a ceiling fan, louvered windows on three sides and a french door opening onto the deck. The bathroom was large with a double sink, closet, drawers, a hair dryer and a tub/shower. The bathroom had a louvered window and a door that opens to a small private walled garden with an outdoor shower and a two man Jacuzzi tub. We were told the Garden Bures have the garden and outdoor shower but no Jacuzzi. There is no AC. Power is generator supplied. They were just starting to provide 24 hour power as we left. This wasn't really an issue for us as they consistently had power from 7 am until 10pm while we were there. We exhausted ourselves during the day and needed our sleep. In the evenings we would take a kerosene lantern from dinner and put it in the bathroom. A flashlight was provided bedside. We always travel with a flashlight and it was handy to have two. Ceiling fans and breezes kept us rather comfortable. Only one evening did my husband complain of being over warm. After three dives a day I was always comfortable. The private deck has some shade and a table and two chairs. The rooms are beautifully appointed with Fijian artwork. The wood work and furniture is all local and lovely. I loved the wooden turtles that decorated one wall so much that I threatened to take them home. Allan had local artisans make some for me!

We brought some bug spray with mild deet and found it useful. Not overly buggy but at dusk there might be a few. We were pleased by the water pressure. We own some rural properties in Michigan and aren't so lucky.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped. Flowers, Palms, assorted tropical plants, etc. There are hammocks about the property. The oceanfront pool has beautiful decking and seating and lounging areas around it. There is no beach. Much of the Taveuni coastline is black volcanic rock. Ther is a minor bluff at Paradise. The pool abuts the bluff and when viewed from the distance seems to merge into the sea. Access to the sea is via a jetty with several ladder/step enterances, steps down the bluff and a concrete landing and ladder, or near the boat launch. Many folks staying at other resorts visited to partake of the superb snorkeling off Paradise.

Our package included meals and I would recommend taking a package that does so as it is cost effective and will allow you to experiment and try many things on the innovative and eclectic menu. Breakfast had pretty standard fare with island flourishes. Lunch included 2 courses and dinner 4 courses. There is also a snack menu which we often ordered from at lunch. You could always get something to eat...no matter when you dive...they are very accommodating. The food is great. Allan was/is a chef and his forte is Italian/European cuisine. The Chef's influence was Indian, Island, and Asian. Some evenings had themed dinners such as Fijian Nite, Indian Night, and Italian Night. Other nights you could order ala carte. Dinner was either at the Ocean view restaurant in the main Bure, set up on the grounds with tiki torches, or on the pool side deck. If you wanted a private dinner elsewhere, say your Bure or on the jetty they would accommodate you. Won't belabor the food much more but to say our favorites included the Beef Satay stack, the Samosas with tomato chutney, the Fijian Salad, the Spring rolls, the Pizza bread with dips, the Steak dinner on the alacarte menu, and the Indian themed dinner. We aren't big dessert eaters but the brownie with coconut ice cream could convert us... As incredible as the diving was I found myself thinking about what I wanted to order for my next meal during safety stops!

Drinks were not included in our package. Beverages are pricey but no more so than some of our other favorite remote tropical destinations (the Caymans, Turks and Caicos) or a big city like Chicago. Budget for it and enjoy yourself. They feature an exotic tropical drink each day. They looked good but we consumed beer, wine and soft drinks.

Spa services are available and our package included a 30 minute "Paradise Massage" for each of us. It was absolutely wonderful. We intended to partake of other services and another massage (Meri you were great!) but diving got in the way!

Our intention was to do a dive or two a day and sightsee or lounge about and read by the pool or on our deck. That plan went by the wayside when we made our first shore dive the afternoon of our arrival. The shore dive was on the house reef and was spectacular. In either direction (tide/current dependent) we saw anemones, Clown (anemone) fish, Lionfish, eels, seasnakes, and myriad tropicals. Boat dives were usually 3-15 minute boat rides. Our package included two boat dives and unlimited shore dives. Dives up to Rainbow Reef include a fuel surcharge and are weather/current dependent. We went to Rainbow Reef on two days. One day was relatively calm, one day a bit rougher. About a 40 minute boat ride. With 60-90 bottom times we got in three dives a day (two on Rainbow Reef days because of travel time). We are rather experienced divers and as such our air consumption allowed us longer bottom time than some other divers.

The diving was great. In addition to the critters mentioned above we saw lots of Nudibranchs, seaslugs, Turtles, Sharks, Napoleon Wrasse, and of course the beautiful colorful soft corals. Occasional current so you must defer to the staff on appropriate sites based on the tides, especially if you are new to current diving. Modest currents are fun as you can cover more ground so to speak...we entered the water and exited as a group in any current.

The staff of the on site operator "Pro Dive" were the best. They seemed as enthusiastic about diving as the guests. They sure don't seem jaded and were anxious to help you discover and see as much as possible. We were often the only divers on the morning two tank boat dives. Some days we were with at least two other divers. When we were with others the staff recognized our abilities and let us backroll off the boat first and hang over the reef while others entered and they let us exit the water last to maximize our bottom time. We handed up weight bels and BC's to the staff to make exits easy. We came back to the resort for our surface intervals and had time to hang out for awhile poolside or at our Bure.

I passed the 500 dive mark this trip and everyone seemed as excited for me as I was. Every time I came up from a dive I was asked, or reminded of what number I was on ( and not just by the dive staff I might add but the resort staff as well!). After I completed dive 500, a shore dive with one of the staff, the rest of the dive staff was on the jetty to cheer. At dinner I was presented with a laminated certificate commemorating dive 500 and champagne! My husband wants to go back for his 500th dive (he is on 487)! Hats off to Zoe, Te, Toto, Wilson, Manassa, and all the folks in the dive shop. They are special. Some minor quibbles...didn't dig the shore exit at the boat ramp as it was slick. We suggested a line or rail to help out. Preferred exiting at the ladder or steps at the jetty even if the tide required handing gear up. We suggested a bench outside the dive shop to sit and gear up. Allan says they are looking into a new boat.

Can't conclude without mentioning the rest of the resort staff. Everybody is so warm and caring and smiling...they seemed to genuinely care that you have the best holiday ever. They are happy to arrange many other activities such as jet ski excursions, horseback riding, hiking, island excursions, discover scuba, or other scuba courses. Some activities such as a local hikes and guided snorkels I understand are complimentary. A non diving spouse could definitely have a great time here. We hope to return to Paradise soon.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank J&S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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