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“Lots Of Good, a Bit Of Not So Good” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

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Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Kadavu Island
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Lots Of Good, a Bit Of Not So Good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed here in Sept. 2012. Kadavu is a beautiful place that, for me, is a place to see the "real" Fiji. What we liked: the staff, the location, the activities, the culture. What we didn't like: the mosquitoes, our bure, and some isolated incidents.

The staff here, particularly the Fijian staff, were wonderful. The dive guides, Weiss (sp?)and Té (sp?), were particularly outstanding. They were extremely attentive to me and made sure that I had an enjoyable and safe experience. Also, Athon (sp?) was probably the nicest person we have ever met, haha. He took us on our guided trek to the village and went out of his way to make sure my girlfriend didn't slip on the extremely muddy and slippery course. Also, Richard, one of the owners was really friendly and accommodating as well. The rest of the staff was great and seemed genuinely invested in our happiness and well-being.

As far as activities, the diving was pretty good, though not great. As previously mentioned, the guys working the dive boat were all fantastic, which significantly improved the experience. The weather was a bit murky most of the time, making the dives less colorful and a bit less dense with sea life compared to other places I have been, like Great Barrier, Belize, Carribean, etc. I did enjoy the manta dive and saw 4 mantas, 2 of which approached our group relatively closely. Also, my girlfriend went snorkeling for the first time, and the boat staff kept a watchful eye on her, which made me feel a lot better. The boat rides were very short, which is nice and the scenery is amazing. The guided trek to the waterfall and village was a nice change of pace, again, significantly improved by the quality of our guide, Athon (sp?). We booked a day kayaking trip with Tamarillo that was good. Again the Fijian guides were great, even going so far as to climb coconut trees, kick down some young coconuts, and then proceed to bash them on rocks for us. Talk about extra effort!

So on to the not-so-good: The mosquitoes here are relentless. Anyone who says they aren't getting bitten is lying, they're just not having the same histamine reactions to the bites that most of us have. Even though our bure had screens on the windows, there were huge gaps, up to 3" wide, all around the tops of the walls, essentially negating the window screens and assuring that there were always bugs in our room. The mosquito net around the bed was good for nighttime, but we actually got eaten alive mostly in the bathroom. I guess you don't really think of applying bug spray to your bum, lower back and upper legs, but I probably would in the future!

Food was a bit mediocre, especially given the cost. I'd give it a B- / C+. I really appreciated the fresh locally grown vegetables. We had freshly caught fish one night, which was far and away the best meal of our stay. I realize that there are severe limitations on Kadavu and I don't expect a fine dining experience, but a lot of the food was just ok, even when taking into account the restrictions of the locale. To each his own I guess.

A few other things were a bit of a bummer for us. One of the days, I was the only diver and my girlfriend was the only snorkeler. Rather than takes us out on the shaded dive boat, like they did when the owner's friend was the only diver ... they took us on a fiberglass skiff. Which we were fine with until we afterward realized that he had sustained massive sunburns during our surface interval, and that was on an overcast day on which we had applied sunscreen. Again, given the cost of the place and the precedent shown with the owner's friend, this slight decision for them had very uncomfortable consequences for us! Also, we not once had a hot shower in our room. Even though George was very conscientious about getting the hot water issue fixed, it never worked. Nothing like coming back from a dive or muddy hike and taking a hyper-venthilation inducing cold shower!

One tip I have is to not book your stay here well in advance if you plan on traveling off-peak. Flights into Nadi and Kadavu are rarely fully booked, and Matava frequently runs last minute deals. So if your travel dates are flexible, I would definitely look into booking a month out.

Hope this review helps you make an informed decision when choosing a place to stay in Fiji!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lenkarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdrianWatt, Owner at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Hi Lenkarm,
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences on Kadavu Island and your stay with us. We have addressed your mosquito point though unlike some reosrts, we continue to avoid spraying pestisides around the resort grounds. Unfortunately, you either spray noxious chemicals everywhere..or put up with some mosquitos....Regretably, the weather during your stay was rather challenging and our solar hot water systems were defaulting to gas back-up systems. We have replaced the entire hot water system on your accommodation bure and apologise that we were not able to fix it during your stay, an unfortunate consequence of being so remote. We would have given you a free upgrade but all the Honeymoon bures were occupied ! If you ever have the opportunity of staying with us again, we will ensure you enjoy one of those last minute specials...irrespective of the time of year.
I have passed on your gracious comments to all our staff and we hope you enjoyed a taste of the 'real' Fiji that most travellers don't get to see.
Safe travels,
Adrian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cuyahoga Hts.,ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

This was our first trip to Fiji. We had read all the experiences at Matava. The good the bad and the ugly.... All I can say is WOW, what an awesome time we had. The trip was arranged by Sharkbuds Dive Adventures!!! Thanks Bob for all you do! The staff at Matava made you feel warm and welcomed, from the time you step off the plane in Kadavu Airport until the time you leave. The staff is there to help you with what ever your needs may be. The Bure we stayed in was very clean and comfortable with plenty of room. The food was awesome, from fresh fish caught the same day to some very good soups. Fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis. Freshly baked breads and rolls what more could you ask for. The staff was very engaging with the guests always smiling and greeting you by name everyday. Bula as they would say.

The diving was absolutley the best, The hard and soft corals, Manta's, sharks and fish everywhere. We had a great time.

Maggie is a hoot, always kept us laughing. Just a lot of fun. There was always good conversations going on between the guests and staff.

This trip felt like we were at a relatives for a Holiday not on a vacation with people we did not know. Thanks to Adrian, Joe, George, TAy and the list goes on, for a great time in a TREASURE of a place!!!!

We look forward to coming back to Matava when time will allow.

Room Tip: If you do not like stairs ask for a BURE on the lower end.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ed P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BiteMeFiji, Manager at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, responded to this review, August 31, 2012
Bula Ed,
Thank you for your kind and positive comments. It was a pleasure you have you and all the other Sharkbuds here and we very much look forward to welcoming y'all back one day for more diving fun in the sun !
Adrian
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Alabama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2012

We really enjoyed out time at Matava Resort. This was our first visit to Fiji and it was beautiful. The staff was warm, friendly and always made sure we had everything we needed. All we had to do was mention that we wanted to visit the village or go see the fruit bats on the other island and they said "Let's go". They really made the trip fun in between dives. The food was excellent and plentiful. The weather was unusually cool and water rough while we were there but the dive staff tried to find the best dive site with the least current or least swells. Underneath was clear and we never encountered any current. The diving was beautiful. The weather got better as the week went on and we really enjoyed our week. Our room was beautiful and very clean with a beautiful view. They have lights in each bure for night and they give you solar powered lights to take back with you each night so you can find your way to your room. We were comfortable without air conditioning and they have mosquito netting for the bed(although we did not see many mosquitoes) You can get wet on the boat ride to the resort from the airport if it is raining but they are careful to keep the luggage dry. Once you get to the resort, if it is low tide you have to walk to the dock in ankle deep water and mud so wear shorts and sandals you can take off. The staff was fun and village kids came one night and showed us traditional Fijian dances. They were great. It was a very relaxing and fun week.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
83 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2012

This was our first trip to Fiji. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor and it rained every day or night. The water's surface was rather daunting outside of the reef because of the unusually high swells and current, the mantas never showed up on Manta Reef and there were surprisingly fewer fish than we expected. But those are all things that are not controllable. The dive staff was terrific and did their best to make not good conditions into a great experieince nevertheless. Our gear was always ready, the boat crew was always helpful and the dive masters always kept track of where all the divers were.
We stayed in Two Tree Bure...47 steps up into the forest and worth every bit of the climb! The room was spacious and the view was spectacular. It was so private that we did not need to close the drapes at night.
The entire resort staff was incredible. Every person knew all of our names ( there were 9 of us)from the first hour we arrived.
Breakfast (made to order)and lunch were delicious. The soups were amazing ! However,not being a beef eater, I did get a little tired of chicken four nights in a row.
Our trip to the waterfall with Athan was a day to remember, since one of my friends and I made it all the way to the second fall, swam in it's pool, climbed the rocks next to it and bonzai-jumped into the water from there. Without his attentive care and help it never would have happened.
From the moment we landed til the moment we departed,we were given exceptional care and attention.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rootie429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2012

My husband and I are managers of Aquatic World Dive Shop and we lead group dive trips to destinations world wide. We feel we have high standards and look for destinations that have great diving, accommodations, food, and service. We visit each destination before deciding if we will return with a group. We were very pleased with our first check out visit here, and even more pleased with the experience we shared with our return, bringing a group of 16 to Matava 5/31 - 6/7/12. We found the diving to be pristine with beautiful hard corals, very good visibility, tons of fish life, and the manta dive is not to be missed. Joe, the dive shop manager runs a tight operation and he managed to make us laugh at his Fijian imitation of a New Yorker every time we saw him. The bures are lovely, many with breathtaking views, but you do need to be aware this is an Eco Resort and hot water is not endless with a driving force, so nor is there air conditioning. The food is delicious and fresh.The soups and salads are not to be missed. Ingredients are picked from the garden each day. We were very impressed with the chef's ability to give us tasty dishes for every meal during our one week stay. The service was the icing on the cake for our group. We were each given special attention and laughter was constant throughout our stay. Maggie coordinates the social atmosphere, the dining experience, the kava parties, and everyone's sense of humor. And he does this like no one else can! George is the perfect compliment to Maggie. He lead us on early morning bird walks, shared his knowledge of customs and nature with us in a way that felt like we had been given a gift because he is so proud of who he is and what he has. He seems to contain a secret joy that bubbles out when he dances with the village children. All the staff took great care of us while seeming to exude no effort to do so. The owners Richard and Adrian took great care and we always felt they were very pleased to have us as their guests. Our diverse group included a family of three with a 19 year old daughter, couples ranging from 30 years old to 60 years old, and a single.
The waterfall and village visit is not to be missed!
If you are bringing a group to this destination be sure to book your flight from Nadi to Kadavu through a private charter flight. Do not use Pacific Sun! This was our biggest mistake. This airline can not handle large dive groups and your baggage will not make it the same day. If booking a group, work with Matava to use a charter airline.

Sharon Corcoran

Room Tip: If you do not mind climbing stairs the rooms high on the hill have spectacular views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toowoomba, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2012

Having worked through one of the hardest years of my life with considerable business and personal challenges myself and my beautiful wife Tamara decided that is was time to treat ourselves to an extra special experience. We were craving not just rest and relaxation though also looking for adventure in a pristine untainted environ. After having traveled to many other areas of the pacific we had strangely never been to Fiji. To many tourists thier knowledge of Fiji and it's islands does not extend beyond the heavily touristed areas of Nadi, Pacific Harbour or other typical manufactured experiences that seems to be the preffered option for many guests visiting this South Pacific Paradise. After learning dive in High school many years ago and developing a passion for Marine Ecology and awareness I have always sought to remove ourselves from the typical holiday experience and give us something that makes us feel how lucky we are to live on this earth and interact with it's beauty and Matava was exactly that. Our Kadavu Island experience at the lovely Matava started long before we actually reached the resort with our friendly escorts Yasawa and Wise waiting at Vunisea airport to begin our short trip to the resort. The transfer is by boat which is just fantastic and all part of the adventure. This boat ride only wets your appetite for some of what you will experience over the time of your stay giving you a unique look at the location , size and beauty of the island of which you are now a part of.
We reached Matava in the early evening just as the sun had set. The magnifIcent main Bure lay before us lit up by the soft glow of the resorts lighting and a dozen beautiful smiles which were just as warm and inviting. I will never forget the feeling I experienced when I first arrived here. Before I even stepped of the boat onto Matava's jetty we knew we had chosen wisely.
You are them ushered my Maggie through to have a meet and greet with the staff while being treated to whatever refreshing beverage your heart desires to start to settle in. The first thing you notice is how attentive the staff are knowing everybody's names, likes dislikes and meal preferences. Any one who had special requests was well catered for and nothing was ever a problem.
Not only are the staff here very special so are the other guests. You notice this as soon as you arrive here it's like you have arrived in "Eutopia" the whole mood is vastly different and interactions you will have here remind me of a theme a fiction author would set in a book about perfect human realtions in a perfect world (You will know what I meen when you experience it for yourself) We spent the first half of our holiday in "Lomalagi" Bure down by the water and then the second half high on the hill in the Honeymoon Bure with sweeping views of the reefs. They were both comfortable, appealing and clean. The beds were lovely and better than what you get in just about very hotel anywhere which is nice when you want to sleep as well as you can so you can take full advantage of the activities on offer.
Whatever you come here for they will make sure you don't go home dissapointed whatever your into. My wife is now a fully qualified diver thanks to the expertise of Matava Director Richard Akhtar. Richard gave her the confidence and skills necessary to become a safe a relaxed diver. We enjoyed getting to know Richard and appreciate the time he took out of his busy schedule to make sure we were satisfied. Many thanks go to my wonderful dive master Cherie and her husband Glen who made sure our dive experiences were A1 and that we were comfortable every other part of the trip and were just generally great company. Marine operations were all conducted by Big Joe who ran the Mad Fish Dive centre Matava's own dive centre and has exceptional knowledge as a coxswain, fisherman, diver and is a true Master Mariner who gives you the freedom and scope you want as an experienced diver. Joe is combination with his deckhand Lea took us to the best spots at the best times and worked hard to make sure we were always kept comfotable and given the best possible diving experiences. All dives were amazing though swimming with a dozen feeding Manta's doing Barrell rolls is hard to top especially when one decides to lift you with it's enormous wings. Thanks also go to George - George served us with humour and courtesy and is a typical proud Fijian man that values his heritage and shows a spectacular exhibition during his powerful tribal dance moves. Vinaka George. Our private romantic Dinner on our Bure Balcony high in the hills was made extra special by Seta she is attentive though subtle and is a credit to her Father who lives behind the resort with his magnificent Garden. General resort life meals and escursions were all expertly executed by Ta an her team and she always had everyone doing what they needed to to make sure everything was running smoothly. Ta organised a beach picnic on a deserted island with Military precision and turned a beach full of coconuts and driftwood into a beach banquet in half an hour for three boats of divers!
We did heaps of dives, walks to the village, waterfalls and kayaking, traditional cooking, kava and ran out of time to do everthing else - That trophy Wahoo will have to wait till next time. The dive operations looked after my gear beautifully it was always washed and stored and waiting for me just where I expected it to be ready for another day. Everything carried on and of the boats for you which i'm not used to though very appreciative of. We were very lucky to have found such a special place in this world and were very disappointed to go. All our expectations of a tropical holday were met by this establishement and we would go back in heartbeat.
Thankyou to all that made an individual contribution to our satisfaction while at Matava it did not go unnoticed.

Room Tip: All bures have thier individual charm
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank JOHN C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Saanich, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2012

I'm back home and reflecting on the absolutely wonderful scuba diving trip my buddy, Sherry, and I had April 17-26, 2012. All of my 18 dives were fantastic & unforgettable! Dive master, Alex, has great knowledge of the creatures and their ocean environment, and his care and attention to us was superb. The dive with the manta rays on the other side of the Astrolabe Reef was a wonderful experience. On every dive I was among the world's most beautiful corals...and the colors were amazing! I appreciated also that at my age (72 years) there were no limitations or restrictions imposed.
I loved everything about this Matava experience! The resort's eco-environmental commitments, the bure were stayed in, the great food Sita prepared for us, the village visit--and especially the friendly environment with the guests and staff visiting during 'Happy Hour". Thanks, George, for being such a great host! Matava has an excellent team. Miss you all, and wish you continued success. I've travelled much of the world, and this Matava experience will be unforgetable.
(Dr.) Diane Tyler
Vancouver Island, Canada

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Diane T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Property: Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Address: Vunisea | PO Box 63, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Kadavu Archipelago > Kadavu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Kadavu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Matava - Fiji`s Premier Eco Adventure Hotel Kadavu Island
Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort Kadavu Island

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