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Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
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Reviewed April 23, 2012

I stayed at the resort with my brother for just over a week; we went suba-diving everyday except the last.
The scuba-diving itself was very good; the corals were beautiful; we were taken to the dive sites on a big aluminium hulled boat, two out-board motors with a canvas covering for the sun and rain; it was really easy going diving, and very safe; both dive-masters were good:
as we were experienced we were let in the water until the tanks reached the safety margin, this means about an hour each dive,
We did not see the mantas though: it rained for days and when the weather got better to reach manta alley (approx 1hr away) apparently the mantas had been put off by the fresh water run-off from the island; in general the viz was reduced but not too bad, always 10-15min min.

Kayaking is fun and a nice island sits a few hundred yards opposide the resort; it is a private place but wallking on beaches at low tide and snorkeling is ok.
The home reef in front of the resort is fantastic: bommies, and plenty of stag corals;
really superb, either to enjoy by snorkelling or on a shore dive.

The eco-resort was suberb; we were allocated a beach-view a few steps up from the beach
and it was airy, clean and quiet; unseasonably there were steady trade winds at night and we slept really well; normally the weather is supposed to be better at this time of the year
and this might be a problem at night: the huts have solar panels that provide electricity for the led lights (rather dim & not enough for reading) but no air-con and not even a fan.
You can only charge your electric gadgets in the main bure during day-time only;
this should not be interpreted as a drawback if your are keen on an enviromentally friendly resort.
The food was good and varied; not excellent but good; salad and tomatoes were good: they plant and grow their vegetables.

Drinking water is sourced from local spring and is filtered because being chanlled to a single faucet/tap; beware of the look of the transparent filters in case of heavy rain !

The Fijians employed in the resort were genuinely happy and friendly and went to great lenghts to help; in my opinion this was a real plus that made the experience more enjoyable.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank gypsyseahorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

My husband and I spent a week at Matava in February. We are used to going to remote, weird, exotic places but I have to admit that this has been one of our best experiences.
The story begins with our son who was in Indonesia for his gap year and who caught hemorrhagic Dengue fever as we were going to set off for Matava. No need to say that we had to postpone our departure and this is when the whole experience began. We contacted Cherie straight away, who reassured us that they always keep one empty bure and that we just had to get there whenever possible, she even contacted us on a regular basis just to find out how our son was doing. We straight away felt that we were going to a very special place where people cared for their guests. After dengue we faced bad weather!!!! which postponed our trip even more but yet again it was never a problem, on the contrary when Air Pacific tried to charge us extra money for changing our flights, Cherie sorted this out too!!!
We finally got there, and what a site! A beautiful island with only one road, villages scattered around the shore and finally the resort. Extremely clean, everything you could wish for especially if you consider how remote this place is. Our main concern was not to spend a week in one of those fake resorts where whether you are in the Maldives, the Seychelles or Thailand makes no difference and Matava scored 10 out of 10.
Matava is a genuine place which employs local people, where they do not waste water or electricity and where you feel you are becoming part of a big family mingling both with the other guests and the employees. You are served in the most impeccable manner and yet there is no feeling of subservience.
As we had had such a hard time prior to arriving, we were upgraded to the honeymoon bure at the top of the resort. We are no youngsters but can still go up a few set of steps and as a results found ourselves in the most beautiful settings where we could in all privacy admire the full milky way every night. The room was very specious, extremely clean and comfortable.
Food was good, plentiful, and having asked for “Kokoda” if possible, I was amazed to be served this succulent Fijian dish as soon as the fishermen came back with the right fish.
We went to Matava do dive and this was amazing too, they had called the Mantas for us!!!!! What a site! The diving staff was professional, friendly and you felt very safe but what made Matava very special was the quality of the reef which is virtually untouched and in pristine condition.
I could go on forever about our stay there, I feel I should thank everyone who works there for making our stay so special (by the way, do not forget to bring pens, paper, books etc for the local boarding school which is absolutely amazing (117 children, 4 staff, ratio being 1 adult for 30 children in Fiji!) and go for walks following the paths as it is very safe and beautiful).
We will definitely try to go back even though it really is the end of the world for us.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Isabelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

Me and my husband spend a week at Matava in February. It was a wonderful experience!
The staff is lovely, they make every guest feel special! Maggie, Sita, Cherie,... they're all genuinly friendly and kind. They knew every guest by name, it really felt like a big family. The bures are clean and spacious, as is the bathroom. Even though it's very remote, we had all the comfort we needed.
The food was great! I'm a vegetarian and they cooked me a completely different vegetarian meal every night!
We went snorkeling a few times and did our first trial dive! The snorkel was beautiful! We really enjoyed our dive too. Alex, the instructor, was very patient and calm, which is perfect if you're diving for the first time!!
It really was perfect and I hope we can go back some day...

Room Tip: The bure's close to the main bure are easier to walk to when it's dark at night (there's no light).
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Eveline I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

This place is the most misrepresented destination I've ever had the misfortune to visit. The Eco part of their claim to fame is just a way of saying we're too cheap to spend money on our facilities. there's nothing Eco about it. But boy do they know how to charge. For everything! The quaint little village you pay to see is a dump. The diving sucks compared to the north of Fiji. there's no useable dock so you trudge a hundred meeters over the mud flats to get to the boats most days. they constantly move your gear around resulting in a game of hide and go see each day. The boat captains never once dropped us off at the site without a 50 yard swim to get there. The boat doesn't stop to allow you entry so you're group always spends the first 5 minutes getting together. That is if you find them. Poor tank fills. Every tank o-ring leaked. The food was awful and over cooked when it wasn't. Battery charging was a pain because of solar power. They have a gen set but don't run it for the guests. The Bures were extremely hot and humid due to no A/C or even a simple fan sosleeping is misery. No reading light so when the sun goes down there's nothing to do. There's spiders the size of baseballs that roam around in your Bure. Cockroaches in your clothes and anything else you leave out. We were there 2 days before we met the owner who had been walking around without introducing himself and this place is very small. Once you meet him you understand how a place could be this bad. He could care less about the guests. Its all about the money and once you're there you're a captive. Instead of travelling 2/3rds the way around the world to be totally disappointed save the travel time and go stand under a cold shower and tear up a couple dozen $100 bills. you'll have a better experience. Fiji itself is beatiful and so are the Fijians.

Room Tip: They don't have any.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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22  Thank Kevin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

Amazing. We felt more like honored guests in a village than paying customers at a resort. You are treated like family and you felt the same genuine fondness. Bure’s were very nice; comfortable bed, effective mosquito netting. Nicely furnished; feeling modern and updated. Bathroom and shower were great with lots of hot water. Felt closer to a stay at the Hilton than camping (minus the air conditioning). Fresh flowers decorating everything daily.
The food was fabulous; exceeding expectations for such a remote place; a great balance of western cuisine with local ingredients and flair; much of it picked from the garden moments before the meal.
The reefs are unbelievably healthy, and untouched. We dove on reefs that were teaming with fish. The coral is intact and perfect; table coral the size of a king sized bed, fields of stag horn coral, more colors and textures than we thought possible. We dove with Mantas, 4-5 at a time, doing backward barrel rolls, and flying low over the top of the reef to be cleaned, curious and coming to check us out. Schools of fusiliers and slack-jaw mackerel swimming in their artistic magical way, turning as one. How do they do it? This coral is the most pristine we’ve seen, compared to the Philippines, Tahiti and all over the Caribbean.
The dive staff assessed each diver’s level of skill and supported you at the level you needed. They worked to maximize bottom time, and matched dive sites to our requests. There were lots of walls. We brought our own gear, and had some trouble with a couple regs and a wetsuit. Joe fixed our equipment, no charge. Matava is the only operator diving that side of the island. The trip to the Manta dive was a 45 minute boat ride along miles of unspoiled coastline, an occasional small boat from a village the only other boat in the water. Nice dive boats, giant stride and two ladders to come up. Hot tea and snacks between dives.
We had a guide take us to the nearby village and waterfall. The waterfall was beautiful and pristine. The village kids came out so that we could watch them scamper up the steep cliffs and make daring dives from the heights. The guides and locals helped us safely up the cliffs so that we could make jumps from less daring heights.
Some of the other magical moments included the visit from the local school children and villagers to dance and sing, sharing their traditions. They shared Kava and ended the evening playing their idyllic island music for hours. The epitome of the south Pacific.
Maggie, their flamboyant, entertaining and very funny manager took super care of us from the moment we arrived to Kadava on the puddle jumper until he saw us safely off the Island. Pacific Air was having trouble with their aircraft, and did not have a plane to get us to Nadi in time to make our International connections. Maggie very effectively negotiated to have Pacific Air charter a private 8 seat plane which delivered us safely to Nadi in plenty of time to make our connection and to enjoy the day room at Raffles in preparation for the long flight. No other resort has made the effort to intervene regarding transportation over which they have no control. And it was greatly appreciated.
A couple travel notes; be prepared to walk in knee high water to get on and off the boat, including the boat that takes you to the resort from the airport. The visit from the local school is a fundraiser, as the government does not support the school. While financial contributions are greatly appreciated, actual school supplies (pens, paper) and supplies suggested on the “pack for a purpose” link on Matava’s website are key so that they don’t have to pay for the shipping costs. It was very gratifying to give something tangible. A pen that costs us 10 cents costs them $2.50.
Plan your trip! The staff are super helpful via email and will insure an amazing time in paradise.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Matt-Joyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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