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Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 18, 2011

Fii has the kindest people in the world, and I think most of them work here. Viola and Roland run this resort, and Viola handled most of our needs and was fabulous. She was also extremely generous, and her pricing on miscellaneous excursions was more than fair. She was so nice to us on a bure change that I don't even want to describe it--she'd go broke if she did that often!! Anyway, we stayed here for six days and then on Taveuni for ten at a more expensive place, but I'd choose Dolphin Bay in a heartbeat.

To get here most expeditiously, you should fly to Taveuni. Then Viola has staff who will give you a car ride halfway down that island and then a boatride over the Somosomo Strait to the island of Vanua Levu. This is on a tiny little peninsula of that island that is not accessible by road, so you really feel like you're at the end of the world here.

The diving was excellent. Dolphin Bay operates on its own time, an hour earlier than on Taveuni, with the result that you usually beat the other boats to the best sites by at least an hour. My husband and my son dove both the White and Purple Walls a couple of times in only a few days--when the coral was open--and numerous other Rainbow Reef sites by themselves. The divemasters were professional but also laid back and really fun. The snorkelling at a deserted resort the next bay over--which you get to by a charming ten-minute walk--is the best I have seen in the world. It was like swimming in a landscaped coral garden--check out my attached photos, which are not really doing it justice. This would also be a wonderful place to teach a young kid to snorkle, as the coral heads were very close to the surface.

Food was terrific and unlimited. It was usually simpler as in soups, pizzas, and pastas, but occasionally a meal would completely knock your socks off, like one night with this amazing lamb, or on another with traditional Fijian food. I cannot remember the name of that sort of party, but Dolphin Bay put on a really good one, and it was a lot more spontaneous and fun than one we went to at a more commercial place.

You can stay in a bure or tent or camp out. We went with the bures, which were kept extremely clean--a trick with all the sand--and which had cute and comfortable beds with very nice linens and mosquito netting. There was no air conditioning, but we had a fan which was fine except for one hotter night. I believe not all of the bures have lighting, which was fun as you can use kerosene lanterns. It's also not a bad idea to bring a flashlight. The bathrooms were the only thing that really made you feel like you were roughing it. We were there in a drought that had gone on for a couple of months, so to flush our toilet we had to pour water in. Showers were with cold water, which wasn't exactly a problem considering the temperature. So to sum up the rooms, no, they weren't posh, but I really liked them.

Side trips I recommend by boat are to any schools Viola recommends (bring as many school supplies and books as you can carry because they're really needed), and to the island of Kiowa for a cultural experience you won't believe. There's also another little island closeby, Korolevu, that's a fun two or three-hour excursion for some snorkelling. It has tiny white beaches between black rocks, and it was completely deserted when we stopped there. You can also hike on the hill behind Dolphin Bay pretty much as far as you want--always ultimately getting to more bays, of course. Other than these activities, we spent our time diving, reading, eating, and running over to the bay next door either for snorkelling or playing volleyball with the Dolphin Bay staff.

One last think I'd recommend is that we went there end of June--great time. The weather was totally cooperative (remember, they were having a drought), and the water was crystal clear and perfect for diving. One interesting thing we also noticed was that the weather on Taveuni was much wetter, like raining for five of the ten days that we were there. So June/July are great for diving here period, but this resort has a little microclimate that makes it drier than the next island over. So I'm saying this is an awfully good place to dive the Rainbow Reef from.

Dolphin Bay was the most charming and friendly place I've ever stayed at. I still owe them a bunch of pictures and have been too lazy to send them, so in the interim, if anyone wants any info at all, hit me up because I owe them! Fabulous place--you won't go wrong.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank treeforest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 4, 2010

We had a great stay here for four nights and our only regret was not staying here for longer! The staff were very friendly and welcoming, and Roland and Viola both made us feel at home. For the divers, the diving is excellent, well priced and experienced professional dive leaders. Rooms were simple but comfortable and well-kept. Food was great, all you can eat and made fresh, home-cooked Fijian style. Animals were great to have around! Looking forward to visiting Dolphin Bay again.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Matt_herington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2010

I stayed here for about a week - solo - as the second/last part of my Fiji trip.
Yes, it's not a fancy chain hotel, but thats all apart of DBD's charm and very easy to adjust to (this coming from a priss) The atmosphere is very laid-back & relaxed and the staff is genuinly helpful and friendly, smiles all around! most days after lunch, everyone - guests and staff - would rally and play beach volleyball at the neighboring resort which is also managed by DBD.
This is a perfect place if you're a diver - the divemasters are professional but very fun and make sure everyone has a great time and they're very good about pointing out things underwater you may otherwise miss.
The food here is DELICIOUS (make sure you get the meal plan, since no other options!) and the servings are very generous. Aside from breakfast/lunch/dinner, there's happy hour, high tea, snacks available all the time... You will be very well fed and wont go hungry, trust me!
I stayed in a bure with its own wc, and it was very roomy and comfortable... Had I been there with my boyfriend, I could easily say romantic too! The beds are made twice a day and the mosquito net is put down every evening - not once was I bit while in my room/sleeping. They provide a pitcher of water in the room that is replenished daily and the toiletries are Pure Fiji - they smell & feel great!
To sum up my stay here...Eat, Dive, Sleep, REPEAT!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled solo
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Thank leetlesasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2010

Stayed for 8 dive days with Roland and Viola and totally enjoyed the company and especially Captain Apex and Sonny and Manacca, divemasters. Made about 20 great dives and totally relaxed during surface times. Enjoyed Abi's Kioa island welcome. The house reef provided more to explore as well. Great value for those interested in diving...Thanks for the great time. Other guests provided lively conversation. Will return after more Fiji dive locations. Highly recommended for those who can "rough it" and who love to dive.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank pugetsoundscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2010

When my wife researched a trip to Fiji for diving, this place was recommended to us. When we pulled up to shore of Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat, the 60's TV show of "Gilligan's Island" popped into my mind. After spending 10 days with them there is nothing bad to say. The staff and guests were very friendly. The food was good. The diving was excellent. All the dive leaders gave excellent briefings. For people who want to dive in an exotic place, have a low budget , and with few amenities, then this is the place.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank bobbydive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2010

We stayed at the resort for four days and loved every minute of it. The diving was excellent, the staff was super friendly and attentive and the location is supremely relaxing. Don't expect a high end resort, the rooms are very basic but very clean and roomy. There is only electricity for a few hours in the morning and evening and there is no hot water. But this is a small price to pay for such a secluded piece of paradise.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank dopeschool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

I just got back from Dolphin Bay Divers and am already looking to book my return. The staff and owners are great- so nice, so friendly, so accommodating. The dive instructor Manasa also got me to get over my fear of flooding my mask, meaning I was able to get certified as an open-water diver (which I had given up on). The dives were so great!

The food was also spectacular, and they never stopped feeding us!

Our days were spent diving, reading, playing guitar (they have one you can use), playing volleyball and going on walks or hikes (i opted out of hiking but I know others who were more active). Thought I would get bored but the guests and staff are so friendly and interesting it's almost hard to just take time to yourself to read, as you get swept up making friends. So so great!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled solo
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Thank labewo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat

Address: Vanaira Bay | Rainbow Reef, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Taveuni Island
Price Range: $38 - $112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat is a small family style dive resort on the Rainbow Reef in Fiji. Accessible by boat only it nestles in a horseshoe bay, surrounded by Rainforest, White Sandy Beach and Palm trees. Minutes to all the dives sites including the world famous white wall, famous for Softcorals, 20+ dive sites to choose from this is the ideal dive spot. Dolphins, Reef Sharks, tropical fish, it's all there, including a PADI dive shop where you can take courses in English or German. Accommodations range from bure with private bathrooms to Jungle Tents with shared bathrooms, all with comfortable beds and mattresses and very close to the beach. Let the soft lull of the waves put you to sleep, sip a glass of wine in your hammock and let the fish go by! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat Hotel Taveuni Island

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