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“This resort was pure heaven”

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Certificate of Excellence
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“This resort was pure heaven”
Reviewed August 3, 2011

We adored this resort. The location, food, facilities and service were superb. We have three young boys and they were provided with excellent care. Our 18 month old had his own full time nanny provided which was heaven. The other two boys had a buddy provided who accompanied them swimming and on the many educational and exciting activities provided. We have travelled around the world many times but this resort is one we will never forget.

Room Tip: We stayed in a garden view room which was beautiful but next time we will attempt to stay in an ocea...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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3 Thank five56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Soldiers Point, Nsw
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2011

We stayed at Jean Michel Cousteau for a week and every moment was golden. We landed at Savu Savu airport, probably the prettiest airport in the world, complete with cows that watch the planes come and go. From there it was a 20 minute drive to JMC resort where we were met by the most beautiful group of staff, singing and welcoming us home. We instantly felt like townies - everyone here was so relaxed and we were there in our travelling clothes, feeling uptight by comparison. Not for long. We were shown to our bure which we loved and were given a welcome foot-scrub/massage from the girls in the Spa - they used brown sugar and coconut oil and some lucious local Fijian lotion. We'd only been there half an hour and were already relaxing.

Throughout the first 24 hours or so, staff we hadn't met before would come up, shake us by the hand, make us feel welcome. A few of the guys wanted to talk to my hubby about the footy (which was fine by him!)

Within a day we were completely different people. We were basking in the sun, strolling off the sand to a coral wonderland below the water. I still remember my daughter Bayley's first snorkel off the jetty. I could hear her coming because she was squealing and laughing through her snorkel at everything she could see. We hiked through the rainforest, swam under a waterfall, took the catamaran out and drank far too many cocktails.

Johnny the marine biologist is a legend - a very warm and entertaining guy and great to go out snorkelling with. He carries an Etch a Sketch and - under water - writes down what it is he's showing you. He has also made some amazing films which are screened at night in the bar.

The cocktails were beautiful - fresh pineapple and local coconut milk were a treat. The food was absolutely fabulous. We enjoyed every single meal immensely. I'm a vegetarian and found there was something wonderful for me to eat at every meal. My husband is a meat lover and took a lot of enjoyment from every plate placed before him.

The kids loved the Bula Club. Our 9 year old considers herself an adult and at first didn't want to leave our sides but within a couple of days she too had chilled out. We wouldn't see her all day and it didn't matter - we knew she was being well looked after by the beautiful Fijian staff. Our other daughter Leyka, 7, had a ball at the Bula Club and happily ate and played there all day long, coming away with braided hair and a few new Fijian words.

Bayley took along her guitar. She has only been playing a few weeks and Neil, Amos and the other guys in the band took her under their wing and started teaching her chords. By the end of the trip she'd spent three or four nights, jamming poolside with the band. She will never forget that experience and we'll always be grateful it was offered to her.

I haven't been to Fiji before. I had high expectations of the beauty and the climate and Jean Michel Cousteau resort met and exceeded them all. I knew it would be beautiful and it was - but the very best part was the people. The love and warmth we experienced was fantastic. To hear Pete talk about his culture and his family will stay with us. To go with Pete and Mario to their village and have the honour of taking part in the Kava ceremony was just fantastic, as was drinking Kava with the Bula Boys Band at night time. What did they say? "It makes you sleep like a baby and wake up like an old lady."

Gabby behind the bar was a riot, Bart and family terrific. Ana in the Bula Club was beautiful towards our children.

When we left we were tanned, relaxed, well fed, warm and in tears to be leaving it all behind.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
8 Thank monkeypantsmedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2011

I've been fortunate to travel to many resorts, and more recently in my life many family-oriented resorts, and this is the best I've seen for everyone to have a great time. Some cater too much to the kids, many have just enough for the kids to keep he parents from feeling guilty. The balance here is what makes this resort special.

The minute we showed up, our child's nanny was right there to greet her and show her the Bula Club. This kid's club has many activities -- three pools, a flying fox (kids' zipline), playhouse, activites center, tennis court, etc. But the activites don' stop there. They have a glass bottom boat with marine biologist-led snorkeling trip, rainforest tour, local village tour, hermit crab races and more. Parents can choose to participate in some events (we did) or the nanny can take the lead. We eventually found that our daughter wanted to hang out wih her friends -- she's four -- more than us, so she ended up eating with the our kids and doing activites with her ever-present nanny instead of us.

That left time for my wife and I to do our own thing. Some was together -- eg, snorkeling right in front of the resort -- and some activites were individual -- eg, I did eight dives while my wife had some quality pool and massage time.

I honestly couldn't say enough about other aspects of he resort too, such as (and most notably) the people, the scenery, the diving, the food, and the breadth of things to do. We were there for a week, and I could have spent another week without it feeling stale.

There are only two downsides I can think of. One isn't the resort's fault... Inter-island travel can be a challenge in Fiji, and unless you've fully bought into the concept of "FIji Time" it can be a little frustrating. The other is frankly pretty minor. The kid's menu is pretty similar to he adult's menu, which is great for adults but can be less so for a picky eater But even this illustrates how great the resort is, since our nanny went back to the kitchen a couple times to find something our daughter liked better for her meal.

Overall, I give this resort the high marks that it deserves.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MoeGarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2011

I'm not even 12 hours back from JMC but feel I need to share what an amazing experience we had. I had very high expectations after reading all the Tripadvisor reviews, and as such was concerned I may end up a little disappointed. On the contrary, we were totally blown away by the entire experience, with everything being far and beyond what we anticipated.
As others have said, getting to the resort is painful. We were effected by flight changes and delays. On the way over, this meant that instead of arriving at breakfast time, we arrived late afternoon, essentially losing our first day at the resort. On return, we came very close to missing our connecting flight from Nadi to Sydney. But all of your travel troubles are forgotten in the instant you arrive.
We travelled with our 2 children - our almost 4-year-old daughter and almost 8-year-old son. We were greeted at the resort with singing and fruit cocktails, and the kids were whisked off to the Bula Club, almost never to return! We were checked in, taken to our bure (a gardenview bure) and given a foot scrub/soak.
The Bures
They are exceptional. I was a little worried I might be disappointed given we were staying in the 'cheaper' gardenview bure, but I need not have. It was VERY large, beautifully appointed and perfectly maintained. It was also cleaned immaculately each day by house-keeping. One thing that I loved was that all of the lights have dimmer switches on them, which is great if you have the kids sleeping in the same room as you. There are no TVs or telephones, but we missed neither of these. Only ceiling fans in the gardenview bures (no air conditioning) but this wasn't a problem for us in May, and the fans were sufficient. There are beautiful full-size Pure Fiji beauty products in the bathrooms, a plethora of towels, heated towel rail, and optional mosquito nets are also provided for the beds.
The mosquitoes are worth mentioning, because they are EVERYWHERE. You literally can't set foot outside your room without being covered from head to toe in tropical strength repellant, and you have to reapply it every time you swim/shower. They provide roll-on repellant at the bar, but you do need to supply your own as well. We started off with Bushman's Plus repellant which is definitely the way to go. Unfortunately we ran out a few days in, and had to settle for Aeroguard, which was nowhere near as effective. You are usually OK in your bure if you make sure you keep the door closed, but every evening housekeeping will light a mossie coil for you, and there are the optional mosquito nets as well.

The Bula Club:
We LOVED the Bula Club! Our 2 children were hardly interested in spending any time with us at all, and it was difficult to drag them away from the Bula Club. My son in particular enjoyed everything that was offered. My younger daughter had her own nanny, which was fantastic. Some nannies are naturally better than others, but really they are all great. Our daughter's nanny, although not the most 'active and spirited', was very caring towards our daughter, and always happily facilitated any activities our daughter was interested in pursuing. Both our children ate every lunch and dinner at Bula Club, except for the last dinner, which we insisted they eat with us! The break we got from the kids alone, was worth the trip!
The facilities at the Bula Club are fantastic - great pools, play area, spring-free trampoline, swings, flying fox, showers, sandpit etc.
We found many couples at the resort did NOT have kids, and the fact that there are designated adult-only areas of the resort, and adult-only activities meant that they could also have a quiet, relaxing holiday.

The food:
AMAZING. We were completely spoiled by the food and I'm sure I have returned about 5kg heavier! I am quite a fussy eater, yet always managed to find something on the menu that was delicious. Breakfast is a choice of 2 specials, OR something from the A La Carte menu, PLUS a buffet that features fruit, juices, cereal, toast, hard-boiled eggs. Lunch and dinner are 3 course, with 2-4 choices for each course. We LOVED that every dinner features a different flavoured sorbet between the main and dessert to 'cleanse your palette'. Afternoon tea is something we skipped every day as we just didn't need it. All of the fresh produce is grown at the resort, which makes the food even more amazing. Be sure to check out the organic garden - it's very impressive! All soft drinks, juices, teas, coffees are included, with specialty teas and coffees, plus alcohol being an extra charge. My ONLY gripe whilst at the resort was that the Diet Coke (my beverage of choice) was bad. I first thought it wasn't great when I had it at the bar, so decided I'd try it back at the room (mini bar) where I could see the bottle it came from. Turned out the bottles were past the best before date, and I suspect the bar was using the same supply. But really this was my only issue in the entire stay.
The kids ate like royalty, although I'm not sure HOW much of the food they actually ate, given they are used to much simpler food at home. Each day we were provided with a menu to pre-select their meals for the day.


The Activities:
You can do as much or as little as you want to. The snorkelling tours are fantastic, and the massage (extra cost unless it's included in your package like it was for us) is AWESOME. Those Fijian ladies REALLY know massage, and I had the best massages I have ever experienced whilst staying there. My husband took quite a few dives while he was there, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The dive masters were fabulous, friendly, helpful and entertaining. My husband was also pleased to be able to complete another diving qualification whilst there (Oxygen-Enriched Diving?)
We enjoyed the slide show presentations of an evening, and also the crab racing, where you 'purchase' crabs to raise money for the community. The visit to the village is a must, and a great cultural experience. It's particularly meaningful given that most of the resort staff live there. One of the optional extra activities that we experienced was the Private Island Escape. It would have been lovely had we not been hit by terrible weather! Thankfully our children had left before the bad weather hit - they decided after half an hour they'd had enough and took a boat ride back to Bula Club! We also booked the Pier Dinner. Clouds above meant that it was moved to the beachside bure. Although enjoyable, we decided it wasn't really a necessity. We had underestimated just how peaceful and romantic the 'standard' dinners by the pool that we experienced every night would be! You also can't really see the water anyway, you can just hear the water lapping at the shore!
We thoroughly enjoyed the evening music provided by The Bula Boys every night. Not only were they very talented, but they were such lovely, genuinely friendly guys. On a couple of occasions they warmly welcomed our 2 children to sit with them, and 'play' their guitars. They make Kava each night and were most impressed that my 2 kids shared a drink of Kava with them! We were very disappointed to be unable to purchase their CD as the Boutique had run out!

The service:
Faultless. I have never experienced service like I did at JMC. The staff go over and above to ensure everything is perfect in every way for you and your family. And not just that, everything is done with a smile on their face and a showing of genuine concern. It was one of the aspects that I was most impressed with at the resort.

The cost:
Initially most would think it's expensive, and whilst it's certainly not a cheap holiday, the value for money is great. Most Fijian resorts provide fairly average food, and there are many added costs. When you actually break down what you get for your money staying at JMC, it's fairly evident that it's actually not at all unreasonable.

In summary:
My family enjoyed every single aspect of our stay at the resort, and can see why most of the guests at the resort were return visitors. We are already plotting our "return home". The accommodation was beautiful, the food exceptional, the activites highly enjoyable, the people SO friendly and helpful, and the service faultless. Vanaka, JMC, for providing my family with such a wonderful experience, and memories that will last a lifetime. Whilst it's always good to come home, we were so sad to say goodbye!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Julesmcm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2011

We just spent a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday in this resort. We were a bit apprehensive about how our holiday would be as we have a 10 month old and and a 2.5 year old who were not used to other carers other than family. This was one of the major reasons we chose the resort over other options because it offered a nanny for each child. At other resorts we could have had babysitters but they change over daily which would upset the kids. Other guests said this had happened to them in past. We need not have worried. Our 2.5 year old loved his nanny and while occasionaly suffering separation anxiety, this after the first couple of days lasted for about 30 seconds before he was distracted and happy. The kids program was excellent and he was exhausted by the time of his midday nap and evening bed time. He had so much fun!! Our younger 10 month old suffered separation anxiety but the advice my the nanny gave ended up being pretty accurate. We were told that for the first two days the baby would be upset for about 30 min after hand over and after that it would only be for a few minutes each day. This came to be true. We soon learnt that we should just stay away for decent blocks of time or our baby would see mum and become upset again. As a result we settled into a pattern of getting the kids up, having breakfast, playing with them and then handing over to nannies until lunch where we would go to Bula club, feed kids with support from nannies, tuck into bed for afternoon nap and then hand over to nannies as we went to lunch. We then saw the kids late afternoon for a play, dinner with kids with nannies hlping, tuck them into bed and nannies take over while we went to dinner. This allowed us to have several hours every morning, afternoon and evening to ourselves while still enjoying the kids. Spying on the kids and nannies and seeing the kids happy soon made us realise it was okay to take a hands off approach and this eased my wifes separation anxiety and guilt. . The kids were entertained, fed, watered and not once showed the slightest sign of sun exposure. We soon found that 90% of the other people at the resort also had young children and were going through the same issues as us and many ended up with a similar approach but it often wasted some days before we got the balance right (a few parents really handed over and rarely saw kids from 8 am to nearly 9:30 pm). In the end we all had a great time. Service was remarkable, diving was exceptional, even snorkling off the pier was great. We were so mellow and spoilt by the end it was hard to leave.
Some issues that we are worth noting that we would have liked to have known. Flying into Savusavu can be a nightmare and will remain so until Pacific Air gets two new aircraft in June. They have only enough aircraft at the moment and when one has mechanical problems unexpected routes are not serviced for a flight. Nearly everyone at resort had to overnight both ways in Nadi before getting to Savusavu. Most of us had schedules go haywire due to changes in flight times.
Tipping. The resort didn't want us to tip nannies direct but place any money in a Christmas Party fund. This threw us until we found out it meant this was a Christmas Bonus fund. We happily threw in a bit to that fund as the staff were great. Many people we knew also gave their nannies $50-100 Fijian as a cash tip regardless. The nannies are all casual so only get limited work.
Despite all soft drinks and food being free, you pay up front with it definately being an expensive resort. Our only real bill while there was alcohol ($11 AS a cocktail), buying a few bits and pieces when visiting local village and tips to staff at end which is up to you. The rooms were comfortable and a single room was comfortable and big enough for a couple with two small kids. We were rarely in rooms except to sleep. There was no TV, radio etc but there was reasonably fast WIFI across the resort that was free.
Don't be like us and take to much stuff. Dress during the day is bathers and t-shirt. Evening was not much more than cargo shorts and polo shirt type outfits. Laundry was cheap and there was a clothes line of sorts outside our room to hang up bathers and any clothes we basin washed.
Despite the resort being expensive we would go back again and are already thinking about when. We loved our stay there.
Oh and not to forget, the food was exceptional. We really looked forward to each and every meal.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank jonsurbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We just returned from 1 glorious week at the Cousteau Resort. Our family (16, 13 & 10 year olds) had so much fun. Absolutely everything was fantastic: beautifully appointed bures, gorgeous grounds, beautiful common areas, unbelievable food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), most accommodating, happy and helpful staff, wonderful kid nannies and counselors, an unlimited array of activities and daily excursions, astounding views, awesome snorkeling right off the resort, deliciously warm swimming pool and a terrific kids area with pools, slides, mushroom fountain and play area. Simply a dream vacation. We stayed in bure #9 with a great ocean view. From the moment we arrived to the very last second we were there, we had the best time. Getting from Nadi to Savusavu was a bit challenging as Air Pacific altered our inter-island itinerary 1 week before our departure. Rather than losing 2 complete days of our 7 day vacation, we choose to charter a plane - strongly recommend this. Air Pacific is down 2 planes and won't be getting new ones until August, so be forewarned. For people with small children and teenagers, this resort entertains the kids all day long. Our kids so enjoyed their assigned "buddy" (Davis) that they preferred to be with him, than us! Kids kayaked, snorkeled, scuba dived and swam constantly off the swim dock. The dive program is excellent and the dive masters are very attentive and helpful. Our kids took the resort scuba course and did 3 dives. The Fijian people are incredibly friendly, warm and kind. Our kids want us to return next year. Definitely cannot say enough great things about this resort. Bart, the resort manager, is terrific too!

Room Tip: All Bures great
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LosGatosTravelSal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 11, 2011

We had a fantastic week and an absolutely perfect wedding, (with every detail organised entirely by the resort staff, including obtaining our wedding certificate and sending it to us). We couldn’t have been happier with the service that we received from all of the staff at the resort. We are recommending the resort to all of our friends with children, it truly is the best holiday destination for families. The Nanny service provided ment we were able to enjoy a peaceful hoiday with romantic candle lit dinners each night, comfortable in the knowledge our daughter was happy and safely cared for. We can’t wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank k_hind28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Property: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Address: Lesiaceva Point Road, Savusavu, Vanua Levu 9999, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Savusavu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Savusavu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Savusavu
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
#6 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Boutique Eco-Resort ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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