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“pleasant stay at the end of our trip”
Review of Gite NATAIWATCH

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Gite NATAIWATCH
Ranked #1 of 4 Ile Des Pins B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We stayed here at the end of a 6 week trip in N.C. It was a pleasant place to relax. The rooms (bungalows) are clean and quiet. Staff are friendly and helpful. The nearby beaches are great and the fact that there are 2 means you can always find someplace out of the wind. Grocery shopping on this island is quite limited. So we ate a number of meals at the gite-restaurant. They are good, but I wish they included more vegetables and fresh fruits. Breakfast was a buffet and so was there was plenty of food and coffee.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RuadhCamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 207 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2013

We stayed in a traditional bungalow for 5 nights in July 2013. The resort is well located - close to both kuto and kanumera beaches and the bungalows are charming. The traditional bungalows have a small kitchen consisting of a gas hob and fridge. Unfortunately there was no hot water to the kitchen sink. The bungalows were serviced daily with fresh towels and dishes were washed by the staff in cold water with lots of detergent ( a little unhygienic).
We were able to buy fresh bread from the boulangerie and condiments, pasta and eggs on the island.
Staff were friendly.
The restaurant that we had read good reviews of, was a disappointment. The food was bland and the entrees very small. Dinner at gite kuberka was a little more expensive but far more tasty. Thankfully Gite kuberka is a 10minute walk away.
Overall a very relaxing peaceful place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank GSim0ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Gite Nataiwatch. As requested, a shuttle bus met us at the airport, despite our planes time being changed (check your emails as the planes times can change radically and the update will be emailed to you!). Despite arriving early, our accommodation was ready and consisted of 2 bedrooms and a bathroom/toilet. There was no heating or air-conditioning and in July we did use the rugs provided to stay warm! In summer, it would be open windows and there were no insect screens - bring the bug repellant I suspect! (although some electronic heating-pad insect repellant devices were available). We didn't have any insect problems though.
A small safe was also provided for personal items, and the room was secure. Rather oddly, an iPad in a secure clamp was also provided and although we didn't use it as we took advantage of the free wifi with our iPhones (worked well), it is there if required!
Cleanliness was ok; the rooms looked like they were regularly given a 'once over' but needed a more enthusiastic bathroom scrub at some time - the old grout between the tiles getting manky and a funny smelling leak from behind the toilet, along with a missing grill in the bathroom sink just let it down a bit I felt.
I don't agree Gite Nataiwatch has 'the best food'. We ate a few meals at the restaurant at the next-door resort and the food was poles apart, although so were the prices! The menu at Nataiwatch is fixed with the option of various upgrades. Personally I would recommend going for the set menu and enjoying 'fancy food' elsewhere - I was disappointed when the lobster I ordered was grilled to the state of dry, tough chicken and had no sauce whatsoever: I wish I had saved my money and eaten elsewhere for this special dish. For those with any special food requirements you may have issues with the fixed menu as it was always seafood and often sashimi or similar; something I enjoy but not to all tastes. They seemed to have some 'kid' food available too.
Breakfast was very lacking I felt, but once again this is not top-dollar so to be expected. It was cereal, milk, UHT fruit purée single-serve cartons and juices etc with toast and jam. I say toast but I mean bread as it was cut too thick to fit the toaster! Coffee is one of those machines in the corner, press a button and wait.
Location is great, 100m back from the beach, near the only other open food outlets on the island other than the Meridian resort, near the historical ruins if the old gaol and the jetty for the ferry.
We hired a car through the Gite and this was well worthwhile: the island is bigger than you think and at least in the off season you can avoid other tourists by simply driving to where they are not!
All in all a good stay for the money, friendly staff (but many have very limited English), good location, but although the food was fine, the cooking was not great.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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4  Thank Coompy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

My partner and I stayed at Gite Nataiwatch for 3 nights in April of 2013. We had a wonderful time on the island and the Gite was an affordable place to stay on what is a very expensive island!

Upon arriving on the island on the ferry Betico2, we were greeted by Nataiwatch staff to drive us back to the Gite. The Gite itself is located in a wooded area about 100m from Baie de Kanumera, a beautiful beach with some of the best snorkelling on the island. All the staff speak very little to no English, however this is by no means a negative. I can't stand it when I read reviews criticising staff for speaking only their native tongue! However, it did make things a little tricky at times. Once checked in, we were pointed in the direction of our twin Bungalow. We were right down the back of the Gite which was a good thing as most family bungalows and the camping ground are at the front, and it can get a little noisy. The room was meant to be ready for check in, however when we entered the sheets were used, food on the bench and rubbish in the bin. Staff then took an hour and a half to finally clean our room and let us in. A disappointing start, but pretty much the only issue we had while we were there.

The rooms are very basic, the beds are horrendously uncomfortable and the bugs (no fly screen) are problematic, however for the price we paid (around A$120 per night), we couldn't really complain. Our room was cleaned everyday, we had a private bathroom (family bungalows & camping share), the staff were helpful and the restaurant is excellent. We had the set dinner menu twice and despite being slightly expensive it really was the best food we ate on the island. Disappointing that the Lobster menu was not available when we stayed, despite it being advertised in all material given to us at check-in. Breakfast was free with a twin room, again very basic, but a great way to start the day. The free wifi is excellent and twin bungalows also have a built in ipad with wifi for free - great although our power cord was broken and despite reporting it on the first day no one came to fix/replace it.

We rented a car for a full day, which was a great option - the island is deceptively large and many of the beautiful sites are a decent drive away. I recommend booking in advance as we only secured one because of a cancellation. Drive north to Piscine Naturalle and check out the fancy Le Meridian (we snuck in and swam in their pool) - it will not disappoint!

All in all a wonderful albeit budget stay.

Room Tip: The twin bungalows are the only ones with private bathrooms - they comfortably sleep 3 people and br...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank paddlez0304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Excellent guesthouse. Close to the beach and offers bike rental (which is a great way to get around the island). The reception offers a variety of activities and tours. All the staff are all very helpful and friendly. They also offers pick up from airport/wharf so just let them know about the flight/ferry details.

Room Tip: The twin bungalow comes with free buffet breakfast.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jojolin88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

This is a superb gite or guest house on the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia. I had to wait 3 weeks before a weekend room was available, but because I was staying in Nouméa for two and a half months I just asked them to book me into one as soon as availability allowed. The booking process was seamless by email. The managers did not require a deposit or credit card details, but instead asked for a copy of my Air Calédonie flight e-tickets (if travelling by sea, ferry tickets could presumably be provided for verification as well) to confirm my stay. They arranged airport transfers both to and from the guest house at a reasonable cost.

There are a number of different kinds of rooms and bungalows at Gite Nataiwatch. Camping space and facilities are also provided and there were a lot of guests staying in tents when I was there. It would be an ideal place for camping and would reduce costs substantially. I had a twin bungalow (for one person). It had two rooms, including a small lounge where there was a single bed that could be used as a couch. The main bedroom had a very comfortable double bed (including fresh clean sheets and blankets) excellent lighting and a ceiling fan. There was also a safe deposit box in the main bedroom, although its double locking device was a bit complicated to use. The bathroom included a basin, hot water shower (with good pressure) and toilet in excellent condition. The bungalow also had a small fridge. The bungalow was spotlessly clean and serviced daily. It was incredibly comfortable.

The main restaurant served outstanding French and Melanesian influenced meals for both lunch and dinner. The prawns in particular were amazing. I found some of the servings on the small side but it was always possible to ask for extra bread or rice, which was just as well as I usually had built up a huge appetite after full days of hiking, cycling and swimming. The meals were expensive though, but no more so than elsewhere in New Caledonia. Breakfast was part of the room rate and included a tasty selection of baguettes, croissants and cheeses as well as tea, coffee and juices. The staff in the restaurant were just wonderful; incredibly friendly, hospitable and professional.

The Isle of Pines itself is magnificent. It is unique in the Pacific and is geologically, environmentally and geographically distinctive. The elegant pines lend the island an almost alpine feel that then gives way to palm trees swaying on white sands and blue sea beaches and coral reefs. Gite Nataiwatch is only a minute's walk away from the beautiful beach of Kanumera Bay. This delightful beach offers excellent swimming and good snorkeling at the far end (to the left when arriving at the beach from Nataiwatch). It does have a lot of seagrass though and this gives the water a slightly emerald green colour (and can be itchy when standing on it, but there are plenty of sandy places to avoid the sea grass). The gite is also only 5 minutes walk from Kuto Bay which is even more beautiful, a kilometre (maybe even longer) long stretch of brilliant white sand and azure blue clear waters. There is very little seagrass at Kuto Bay. It is almost completely deserted, except when cruise ships anchor offshore and hundreds and possibly thousands of people disembark to enjoy the island, but even then there are quiet spots to be found at Kuto.

Another highlight of the island is Mount Pic Nga which affords stunning views of the whole island. The track to Pic Nga is about 10 minutes walk from Gite Nataiwatch and it takes about an hour to ascend its summit and is well worth the climb. It's best to climb Pic Nga in the early morning when it is still cool. Having said that the Isle of Pines was not really hot when I was there, and that was in February, the southern hemisphere summer which is also the hot or rainy season in many parts of the Pacific. It was pleasantly warm by day (around 26 degrees Celsius, or 78 Fahrenheit) and quite cool in the evenings. The sea temperature was very cool for the tropics and I found I could only stay in the water for about 40 minutes before getting cold while swimming and snorkeling. If planning to do a lot of snorkeling a wet suit might be a good idea.

It is also possible to cycle around the island. The roads are in very good condition, mostly flat with only a few gently rising hills and there is not much traffic. The Gite Nataiwatch has a large number of bikes for rent and the one I had was of good quality and very fast. I covered about half the island by bike, but it would be possible to circle the island in a day on one of their bikes.

Even though Gite Nataiwatch is probably the cheapest place to stay on the island for its quality, it is still fairly expensive, especially once restaurant meals are added-up. One way of reducing costs would be to camp and self cater. The shared kitchen and bathroom facilities seemed clean and well supplied. I don't know where there is a supermarket on the island, or somewhere to buy food, but there is likely to be a few stores selling basic grocery items somewhere on the island and if traveling by ferry it would be possible to bring supplies from Nouméa. At the same time, Nataiwatch even if not camping is very good value for money. The island is totally unspoiled and you are basically paying a little more than elsewhere in the world to be in a beautiful clean environment, with few tourists, no signs of pollution and uncrowded beaches (without constant boat traffic or jet skis!) amongst friendly people with a fascinating history and a vibrant local culture. The Gite Nataiwatch is a fantastic place to stay on a magical and memorable island. I would definitely go back there and stay for longer next time.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Horizon_The_Island
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

1 min from a beautifully secleded beach, the setting is breathtaking, yet simple and easy-going. Booking and reception went smooth, even though they are frequently booked out. The room was clean and freindly service. Only draw-back: the dinner was somewhat overpriced, though tasty and fresh.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Chatouli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gite NATAIWATCH

Address: Baie de Kanumera, Ile Des Pins 98832, New Caledonia
Location: New Caledonia > Ile Des Pins
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Ile Des Pins
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Nataiwatch on one of the most beautiful islands of the world!!This island is known as the "Jewel of the Pacific" and is world renowned for its unspoilt beauty.Isle of Pines is approximately 18km long and 14km wide and as its name implies has a prominently pine tree skyline, set against white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons.Guillaume and Eulali KOUATHE are considered pioneers here as they created this guesthouse 31 years ago. ... more   less 

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