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Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat
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Reviews (138)
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61 - 66 of 138 reviews
Reviewed January 7, 2014

.....was well worth the long trip. We arrived a week after the December typhoon but the staff had already started cleaning up from the storm. The resort is very basic, no frills but clean and in a lovely setting. The cook, bar and housekeeping staff were immediately attentive to any need or request. After stepping off the lovely beach into the dive boat, dive sites were only a few minutes away and our competent boat captain was familiar with the local waters. A note of interest....it seemed that we had quite a bit less cloudy and rainy weather than Taveuni across the channel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jerri A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

I have travelled over 100 countries and stayed in many places /This is Number One.being vegetation , no problem,upon arrival dal &roit ,reminded of mine grandmother.dive ,explaintion about sea ,fish was great. Hope to come back soon and be with this friendly plp again/ and thanks for letting me be part of the employee Christmas party
And kava ,fijis trational drink was awsome.l ill be back soon
Anand

  • Stayed: December 2013
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2  Thank Anand45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Written in July 2013 during visit; submitted November 2013.

A stay at Dolphin Bay Divers allows you easy access to some of the best diving in Fiji, on the Rainbow Reef. This is a small, low-key 'retreat' that has a laid-back atmosphere but that pays considerable attention to detail. We enjoyed our stay immensely and recommend it highly to other divers with the caveat that to really enjoy Dolpin Bay Divers, they must be relatively easy-going people who are happy with somewhat rustic accommodations, capable of using resources thoughtfully, and who aren't picky eaters.

We purchased a package that included a 7-night stay in a bure, 10-dive package, and full meals.

Our particular bure was shared side-by-side with another (a kind of tropical 'duplex'). The room is an "L" shape with a covered deck filling in the square footprint. The room itself is bright and breezy and very comfortable. But it is made of very light materials and so depends on adjoining neighbours being thoughtful of one another (our neighbours were great).

The bure is a low-rise building of simple tropical construction, with a tin roof and a rough ground floor covered over by vinyl flooring (e..g, no plywood subfloor, just vinyl over earth that can get quite slippery when wet). There is a large double/queen bed with mosquito netting, jutting into the top portion of the "L" with three windowed walls around the sizes and foot of the bed. There is a single bed and a couple chairs in the room as well, along with some flat spaces to place your small belongings (watch, alarm clock, glasses, reading book, etc). There is a small closet with a few hangers and two sulus that you can use during your stay. There is also a cookie jar full of home-made cookies that you can enjoy during your stay - a nice little extra.

Back of the room is an ensuite bathroom with concrete floor. It is equipped with a hot water shower, sink and toilet. There are no persistent sources of water on the island and so they very reasonably ask that you conserve water during your stay (e.g., turn off the shower while soaping, don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth). This may seem a bit oppressive to guests unaccustomed to conservation efforts, but for us it was no problem at all.

The room is equipped with solar-powered lights in the main room and bathroom, plus a solar-powered reading lamp. Outdoors, the way to the room is marked by tiki torches. Nevertheless, a small flashlight would serve you well during your visit. A power generator runs for a few hours in the morning and in the evening; there is space in the kitchen where you can charge any electronics you may have with you. Apparently there is wifi near the kitchen that is available during the hours that the generator is running, but I was never inclined to use it.

The tap water is OK for brushing teeth but should not be consumed. There is a large water filter on your porch that will provide you with unlimited (free) drinking water during your stay.

The retreat itself is very small with a maximum of about 25 guests staying in a variety of accommodations - bures, tipis and tents. We had been a little reluctant about a tent option because we were concerned about security of the items we were traveling with (money, passports, computers, etc) but this retreat is so far off the beaten path and is so small that nobody comes or goes without recognition. Your stuff is safe and the tents are large (standing room) with big tarps overhead.

The retreat is the only populated area along the bay that it occupies and accessible only by boat, giving rise to the appropriate label of 'retreat' (NOT 'resort'). The buildings are all of simple construction and built back from the beach; they are not a blight on the landscape the way some resorts can be; there are no masses of poured concrete! Meals are served at the kitchen where a covered deck is set with several tables. Guest may choose to dine with other guests or on their own, as they wish. Weather permitting, the evening meal is sometimes served in front of the kitchen, under the stars.

We very much enjoyed the opportunity to dine with the other guests and sometimes also with staff. Guests and staff know and refer to one another by name.

The meals are outstanding. I feared a week of bland, buffet-style offerings. Instead, we received personalized table-service with a fixed menu that varied delightfully from day-to-day. If you have food allergies or are a very picky eater, you should talk to them about meal options before booking; we have no dietary restrictions and found the meals to be tasty, well-presented, very well prepared, and satisfying.

For those with a big appetite, seconds can be requested and will be happily provided. And the resort caters to the munchies by providing a for-fee snack service as well as complimentary and constantly available freshly-made cookies, tea, coffee, and filtered water. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (other than the free filtered water, tea, coffee) are available for purchase; the prices are very reasonable, with no obvious gouging. When we visited, alcoholic drinks varied from $6.00FJ or about $3.50CAD/AUS for a Fiji Bitter beer to $13.50FJ or about $7.50CAD/AUS for a pina colada.

The staff are extraordinarily friendly and helpful and we cannot over-emphasize the excellent quality of the service they provided. Their attention to detail was remarkable. They were so smooth and professional in their operation that it would be easy not to notice all that they do to make your stay enjoyable. But take the time to notice; this place is special.

At the room, we had sulus in our closet, umbrellas at the door, a beach basket with towels and mat. In the bathroom, we had shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand soap. On the porch, we had a table and chairs, filtered water and glasses, a hammock and a place to hang it. In front of the porch, we had two adirondack-style chairs and a foot-wash bowl to clear our feet of sand and grit. To the side of the bure, we had a large dry-line for wet articles.

On the grounds, there are numerous ropes slung between suitable trees to hang your hammock when you want to venture from the porch. There is a small dive shop with rinse buckets and drying racks for drying and storing wet gear (there is not, however, a full shop so don't count on making any dive-related purchases). There is a deck in front of the kitchen that is roofed-in and that can be covered over in case of heavy or driving rain. There is a small sandy beach in front of the kitchen with a long line of Adirondack chairs, in front of the house reef that can be snorkeled or independently dived (poor visibility, though, after rain or in high winds). For those so inclined, there are options for chair and full body massage, pedicure/manicure, etc.

"Extras" over and above the pre-paid package are billed to the room and can be settled at the end. Each evening, the staff provide a chit that summarizes the daily purchases and the total so that you can easily keep track of additional expenditures you might wish to make (none are required).

In the morning while we were at breakfast, the staff refreshed our foot-wash bowls. While out on our first dive, they made our bed, folded back the mosquito net, pulled back the curtains, tidied, and cleaned our bathroom. While at dinner in the evening, they put down our mosquito net, closed our curtains, and folded down our bed.

They offer 'happy hour' activities that are surprisingly fun and not nearly as cheesy as you might expect. We enjoyed that the staff played the games with us and didn't only provide entertainment. And their kava night is not to be missed!!

We had fun with coconut bowling, crab races, lovo night, kava night, traditional Fijiian dance, coconut demonstration (climbing the tree, drinking the green coconut, making coconut milk from the brown ones), etc.

Although many guests were divers, there were also many non-divers, and some families. The small beach area offers snorkelling and swimming; you can also walk 10 minutes over the hill to another beach for snorkelling. Independent children can roam without worry. There are many comfortable places to sit in the sun or shade to read a book.

The dive shop is very professional. The dive boats are restricted to a maximum of 10 divers but on most days there were no more than 4-6 in addition to the dive master and boat captain. Most dives are done as drift dives, whether or not there is strong current, so that the boat picks divers up at the end of their dive. The divemaster, AP, is laid-back and interactive but he and the captain are very in-sync with the divers, quick and efficient to change out tanks and organize gear and there are always good briefings; there is no confusion on land or under water.

For us, Dolphin Bay Divers' Retreat was nothing short of perfect.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank IntentToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This was our 24th trip to Fiji and Dolphin Bay would have to rate as one of the most relaxing and tranquil places we have had the pleasure of visiting The staff are an amazing group of people who welcome and make you feel like part of their family. The meals were excellent value, delicious and ample and we were always offered "seconds".
Rainbow Reef would have to rate as one of the world's best dive sites. Because of Dolphin Bay's proximity to the reef, dive sites are only a short 10-12 minute boat ride away and you will have the pleasure of being the first boat at those sites. Snorkeling is also quite enjoyable and in some cases offering better marine life than dive sites elsewhere in the world.
If the trip to Kioa is available, make sure you visit this other island...you will certainly enjoy being welcomed into the village there.
If you are looking for a unique and relaxing hide-away don't go past Dolphin Bay - we can't wait to return again!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank HeatherP56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dolphinbaydiversfiji, Owner at Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Bula Heather and Mark. Everyone says hello and we hope you all made it back safely. We had a great time with you and hope to see you back soon. It is not that far from you:-)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

I live in Fiji and have traveled dozens of places throughout the islands. Rarely in this world today can you find such a unique, relaxing, and overall enchanting little hide-away. The staff, from top to bottom, are a pretty incredible group and welcome guests as family. Foods are delicious and most ample. For snorkelers, the reef just off-shore is healthy and full of sea life. And for divers.... you will be in heaven. World class reefs and drop-offs are all within short 5-15 minute boat rides. Overall I'd say Dolphin Bay Resort is a great place to kick back, enjoy true island life, and to immerse one’s self into a wondrous underwater world. Do yourself a favor and spend some time in this little slice of paradise.

Room Tip: Couple's should request the single unattached bures.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank worldguy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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