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!
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