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“Amazing holiday”

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing holiday”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

The minute you arrive you realise this is not your average family holiday. Comparing this resort with any other based on value for money or convenience of location is simply not relevant. Greeted with a welcome song by strangers from the staff and a welcome drink, you will be farewelled with a Fijian farewell song by your resort family.

You arrive on this little island on inter - island plane and discover that you are about to have a unique holiday.

Maybe you are used to travelling first class or maybe this is your first holiday in 10 years. Either way, you will be so thrilled with your experience at the Jean-Michel Cousteau resort. No matter how you feel the day you arrive, you will instantly be nurtured and treated with genuine kindness and care and eventually leaving renewed and refreshed.

My husband travels for his work. He knows his way around airports and flash hotels. He has stayed in exclusive places and penthouse suites. Let's just say he's a hard tourist to please. His focus is always pure relaxation and we only go on holidays where true relaxation is possible.

I also have 4 mini critics who although they love camping and caravan parks also love great food and fabulous scheduled activities. My kids range from 5 to 14 and have very different ideas on what constitutes a good time. All love other kids and the attention of different adults (people other than us, that is). That's why the nanny and bulla buddies are so fabulous. My five year old girl had a wonderful nanny Savihra, who greeted my daughter who had recent plastic surgery on her toe, with a wheelchair and huge smile. Needless to say, my daughter couldn't swim and spent many hours playing games from a wheelchair which took special care and support by her nanny and other nannies. It would have been difficult to provide for her but they did.

The kids staying at the resort had 3 pools between them, I am told the capacity of the bula club is 40 children, there were 20 kids the week we visited. Both big pools had a slide and the little one a water fountain. Adults can play here with ther kids amongst the 2 story cubbyhouse and trampoline. At dinner time the local band the ' Bulla boys' played local and western favourites at the kids' club and continued the music into the adults and family dining areas. We loved their nightly serenades.

Everyone says Bula here. Every gardener, childcare assistant, dive instructor, bar tender and maintanence man. And...everyone is there for you. They pride themselves on their appearance, their attentiveness to guests and their professionalism. Every day we watched as Mario readjusted towels and chairs based on guest requirements. Tia offed to take us fishing and sailing. Activities staff provided us towels and water the minute we reached the beach after snorkeling. Remembering what we liked from the day before and ensuring we were left to read and relax when we wanted to. Osea was always checking in on us, quietly offering to make our holiday better. Peter telling us about the weather report, activities and options. All sharing their culture and their lives with strangers who become family for a week.

My sons, 14, 11 and 8 had male Bulla Buddies, my 5 year old daughter a female nanny. A bulla buddy is nothing like a nanny -he is more like a cool guy to protect to kids and provide them with safe adventures. I had read about bula buddies but had no clue of how fundamental they would be for my kids' enjoyment. My two big boys, Nathan and Tyler had Meli as their buddy. Every morning the 3 of them negotiated a day full of sport and games I could never think of despite my years as an educator. They went snorkeling, spear fishing (with rods they helped make) kayaking sailing played basketball and chess and laughed more than they have ever. Meli had the temperament and athletism to keep them on their toes. This is what we are missing in the west - big boys teaching small boys to challenge themselves, take chances, be adventurous and explore the world.

My little boy edyn seemed to have a bulla buddy with a tribe of 7-9 year old boys. Alec and the nannies convinced a timid edyn that he should learn to snorkel in deep water. Our whole family snorkels and I really needed a loving adult other us support edyn in this as he was always reluctant. I am happy to say that edyn is now a competent snorkeller and can even kayak.

My boys are very urban. Although we live at the beach. It is 15 minutes from the city of Sydney and we have never been fishing-types. I don't know a macrel from a mango. So we were thrilled when the buddies taught the boys to fish (they even taught my husband) and my 8 year old caught a fish which was cooked and we ate for dinner. He felt like a rockstar returning to the beach to show everyone he was a fisherman!

The food. Every day it was fresh, the vegetables crisp and healthy, the meat and fish - cooked to perfection. I found myself choosing everything from vegetarian curry to local fish. I have never eaten fish in my life but the chef is a genius with seafood.

The spa. Before we left I spent three night sleeping in the hospital in a chair next to my daughter. I had also done my hip and back in carrying her everywhere. Thanks to viri in the spa I am able to move freely. One day I had 2 1/2 scrub, facial and body massage with my husband and felt 10 years younger (possibly looked it too).

The spa bure is an outdoor bure facing the ocean. The fan above and the slight breeze from the ocean ensures you are cool and relaxed. The lapping of the ocean replaces the customary rainforest or mediation type music in many indoor spas. Booking early is paramount as the spa is very popular with the guests.

Every morning the activities manager pete chats to your family ensuring their vacation is free from stress and full of joyful activities and relaxation in adequate amounts. Complementary tours are offered every second day. The cost of these for a large family of 6 such as ours would be expensive. They include the local farmers market, the cultural town tour and the waterfall. The waterfall is our favourite with a stunning natural environment to experience as a reward for a hike through rainforest.

The rooms are all bures or little villa type houses with traditional thatched roofs and natural stone and wood everywhere. There are no TVs or phones. Perfect for a family who are all addicted to technology in one form or another.

Our kids felt safe and yet independent, secure and yet adventurous. I could enjoy the company of my husband and clear my head of the clutter of work and housework. These people love their work and gave us a trip of a lifetime, but I hope it is not my only 'trip of a life time' and I hope to visit again soon. As we left in our mini bus all six of us craned our necks to wave until our resort family were no longer visible. Yes we'll be back!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Diane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
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  • Polish first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 30, 2013

I've never written a review before but felt this hotel definitely deserved it. We came back today after only 3 nights at this resort, and I must say I was very taken back. When we arrived, our 2 kids were whisked away to the awesome Bula club by their own nannies. I actually felt like I was on a mini honeymoon with my husband. The nannies are definitely the point of difference at this place.
Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Dee and Tino for an awesome job with the kids. Axel says he misses Tino already.

The bure we had was seafront and just gorgeous. I loved the Personal touches with the place. The food was delectable. Rico was such a funny waiter.
We did a dive trip with David and coming back we saw a pod of 50 pilot whales which we swam with for a good half hour. Such a life changing moment for me.

Our night snorkel with Johnny was awesome. That guy really knows his stuff. I had the probably the best massage I've ever had last night. I was sad to go this morning, but we'll be back.

There are so many great things to mention but ill leave the rest as a surprise to those of you that are ready to go. I'm a travel agent and I will be recommending this resort to all my clients. Loved it.

Roxy

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RoxyNoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We arrived back home last week from a fantastic holiday at JMCR. We travelled as a family with 2 children (3 year old and 7 year old). This is our 3rd time at JMCR. Looking back I think that this was our best holiday so far at JMCR. The weather was great, we caught up with all the familiar smiling faces, mingled with the locals, and we did lots of activities. The children probably got a lot more out of their holiday this year because they are a little bit older, know the routine and feel completely comfortable with their much loved and adored nanny (Joana) and buddy (Manoa). It felt like we were going back home and catching up with family. We have been to 4 other resorts in FIJI in the past, and this one easily wins hands down with the Bula Club set up and all the included activates for children and adults. So much for bringing along books to read! I managed to read a few chapters of my book and my husband didn’t even open the cover of his book. There are so many wonderful things to say about this place that we can go on and on for ages. Every time we go, we find it harder and harder to come back home. It was also excellent to see small and subtle improvements to the resort (e.g. new lighting, new volleyball court, new child safe gates at Bula Club, new trampoline at Bula Club, new catamarans etc.)

Another bonus was the wonderful surprise visit of THE man, JMC. He arrived the same day we did and left the day before we left. What an honour and thrill to have meet Jean-Michel, Nancy and his group of friends. As well, celebrate his 75th birthday at the resort! The place was a buzz. Marcus (our son) was over the moon to be with Johnny (marine biologist) AND Jean- Michel. Jean-Michel is a lovely, honest and humble man. The fact that he was always more than happy to spend time with the guests and kids was truly amazing. What a very special man he is and what a gorgeous, kind and friendly woman Nancy is! Bless them both many times over. This trip will hold a very special place in our hearts and memories.

We miss JMCR and Fiji. A big HI to all the staff, Bart and Mark. The countdown has started until next year.

Room Tip: To be honest, we spend very little time in the bures. We were only in the bures to shower and sleep...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank MESSNER246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We spent 7 nights at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort and loved every minute ! Our children (5 & 8 years old) had a great time too. The resort never feels busy and the food and service really set this place apart from other resorts in Fiji. The kids club is well run and our nanny was amazing. We will return !

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ninermack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Although I did not stay at the resort we did dive with the folks from L'Aventure Divers at the resort. The resort grounds are really very nice, the pool is amazing, and the dinning facilities are really amazing. But the dive op was the best part. we were able to go to Nameama, one of the dive spots on my bucket list! We went to Grand Central Station and the 2 Stacks (?). Best safety stop in the world. The top of one of the stacks (pinnacle) was at 15 - 17 feet and while I was there I was able to take close to 100 pics right there. The amount of sealife was amazing, I saw every type of clown fish there is and the colors were amazing. The staff with L'Aventure were fantastic. They fed us and took us on amazing dives. They were courteous, and excellent guides. Although the resort is out of my price range you do not have to stay there to dive with L'Aventure Divers. I highly recommend this dive operator.

Room Tip: If your budget i tight, Stay at Daku or Hot Springs in Savusavu and set up your dives with L'Ave...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Warren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We have wanted to go to JMC for years, but i have always been put off byu the extra flight from Nadi. We were booked into Castaway this year, but with the cyclone, we had to change our plans - we ended up chosing JMC over Vomo as we have talked about going there for ages, my parents were joining us on the trip and my Mum really wanted to have a Marine Biologist to go snorkelling with...

JMC is a really lovely resort. The rooms are beautiful and clean, the bathrooms lovely, the gardens spectacular. It was lovely to arrive there, be given a delicious welcome drink and have the children immediately taken away to the 'Bula Club' so that we could listen to the run down about the resort and how everything works.

Immediately after checking in, we were taken to our bure, and as we were unpacking, the lovely ladies from the Spa came and gave both my husband and i an amazing foot and leg massage - right there on our front porch. It was so relaxing - we felt really happy and amazed by the great service.

The food was great throughout our stay. Much better than anywhere else we have been in Fiji. (perhaps not better than Flying Fish... but it was about the same level). It was also fantastic that everyday we were able to choose the kids lunch and dinner and the resort did not presume that all kids just want to eat nuggets and fried fish. The kids meals were great, nice and healthy, and lots of choice.

Having the Marine Biologist, Johnny, to do our snorkelling trips with us, as well as Jope, was really a treat. To swim with those guys who would write everything on the board under the water so that we knew what we were looking at was really fantastic. The snorkelling was great, and with a boat going out to a different reef at least once a day was fabulous. (twice a day on the weekends). We went out with the kids a couple of times too, so we were able to fit in 2 trips on the boat a few days, as they do a snorkelling trip with the kids immediately before the adults trip goes out.

The activities for the kids at Bula Club were brilliant. They were shown how to climb the coconut trees, how to open the coconuts, they did t-shirt painting, colouring in, soccer, played in the cubbyhouse and sandpit, and played heaps of games in the waterslide pool - including all sorts of amazing waterslide tricks with Melli. (one of the male kids club 'buddies')

Our kids had a nanny each, as they were 4 and 5 at time of travel. Beta and Tupou were their names, and they were awesome. They were everywhere we needed them to be, and really looked after the kids very very well. The kids adored them, and the kids had the best holiday ever. There were also a few outings you could do with the kids club, such as going to the local village, and going into town to see the food markets. The kids enjoyed doing those too. They were ready and waiting for us each morning at breakfast, ready to take the kids off for their daily activities, and would always be anywhere we wanted them to be if we organised it with them. They also made sure the kids were always dressed in their sun clothes, with hats and sunscreen always applied. They dried them off after swimming, would shower and change them when needed, and helped them with all their meals. (when they were not eating with us). Even if we wanted to take the kids for a few hours, Beta and Tupou were always nearby ready to help us with a moments notice. They really were awesome.

The only faults i have with this resort is that our kids are probably at the wrong age. If we had gone here last year, we would have really loved it. This year though, with the kids not being as 'full on' as they were a year ago, and with us wanting to spend some time with them on holidays, it was actually a little hard to do at this resort. There was an adults only area (which was realy great) and there was a 'bula club' kids area, but there was no where that you could really spend time together as a family that had any sort of resort facilities - unless you were over at the kids area. and then you were with all the other kids and no other parents. And no way of really having drinks etc. You could go up to the point, and play in the sand, but it was a little bit away from the main part of the resort, and there were not really any facilities up in that area.

Also, for us, the no airconditioning was an issue. My husband is a hot sleeper, and we found that unless all the louvers on the windows were left open all night, he was boiling hot (even with the fans on full blast) and having the louvers open all night is not that bad... but when you have children - and we all know kids wake up to light - it was hard, as i would have to get up just before dawn every day and close all 40 of the louvers to try to get an extra hours sleep.

Sp if we went again, we would go in a cooler month... I think if we went in May - October it would not have been any issue at all.

Overall,. we loved the resort. We will probably not go back there, as we really want to find a resort a bit more like Malolo where we can spend a bit more time with the kids, but that has great food too...so i think Vomo is our next move.

If we came to JMC when our kids were 2 and 3, i really dont think it could be beaten - just because it is so nice to be able to have a holiday and feel like we get a holiday as well as the kids. The kids club is so well catered that all the kids seemed to love it, and all of the adults were very relaxed.

I will add that Savusavu had beautiful scenery, and the view from the resort across the water to the mountains was far superior to any views you can get in the Mamanucas - it felt much more tropical, and was far more 'scenic' and more beautiful to look at.

Thank you JMC, we had a really great time. :)

Room Tip: Choose one of the bures along the front. The breeze is better there, and they are more private than...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jenni216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

JMC was one of the most relaxing holidays we have had (& we travel a lot). We travelled here with our two boys (11 & 13), my eldest actually had his 13th birthday here (the staff we aware of this as it was picked up at the time of our booking & they arranged a cake for him) and they made him feel like a King. I was a little worried about my boys being a bit bored, as they enjoyed Fiji as younger children, I thought they may have outgrown Fiji, this wasn't the case as JMC was action packed for them! Firstly there were other boys their age to hang with & the resort "buddies" were fantastic, Davis was forever taking the boys sailing, snorkling, fishing Joup & exploring. Johnny the resident Marine Biologist is very passionate about his work and his passion for this place is infectious! If you can go snorkling or Diving with Johnny do it! He's a wealth of imformation. Some people were disappointed with the condidtion of the reef, but you have to understand this paradise has fallen victim to 2 major catagory 4 cyclones in the past 2 years & the reef is in recovery. I still found the marine life wonderful & always saw something new. My 13 year old also did his open diving licence and it was a great experience for him (& us) being able to dive together.

The food is fantastic, with a great variety, even for my vegetarian son (a very fussy one at that), the staff went out of their way for his meals & at times cooked him his own special meals. Everything is so fresh grown in the resort garden or caught locally, our own catch of tuna that day was our entree of Sashimi....delicious.

Having only 25 Bures, you felt very relaxed & peaceful here (not like those large sprawling resorts), the main pool area being off limits to children under 13 and even then, everyone's kids were off exploring.

We were lucky enought to have "The Villa" which if you can experience, its well worth it! We had our own pool, and a 2 pavillion bure and a bathroom nearly as big as the pavillion ! I did notice walking early one morning, the noise of young babies crying & was greatful we weren't close to other bures as the noise seemed to carry. Included with booking The Villa is daily afternoon cocktails & platter deliverd to The Villa. Free internet (which had a few problems with, but no big deal as the main resort had great connection). A plus for me was the free laundry service, which ment I went home with all our clothes clean!

In conclusion, we will definately be back next Easter as it ticked all our boxes. I seriously cannot say enough positive this about JMC. Although, If you are looking for the 5 star opulent style luxury resort like in Asia, this isnt for you. It's Fiji and thats the beauty of it! The people make this place.Enjoy.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ljm70
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 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#1 Family 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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