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“Never have I felt so at home, so far away.”

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Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Kadavu Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 22, 2010

What started as an idea became a real adventure halfway around the world at the Matava Ecoresort on the island of Kadavu, Fiji. With a group of 17 other friends we spent about 40 hours of travel getting to this wonderfully remote location. The landscapes were the most beautiful I have ever seen and the diving absolutely amazing but it was the staff at Matava that set this resort apart from anywhere I have ever been before. We were welcomed as if we were old friends returning to visit and it only got better. It is a very comforting thing to spend time in a new place where everyone quickly learns your name, does everything they can to make you comfortable and treats you as though you are their guest.
When we were diving we had the two best guides we could have asked for (for a group of marine biologists thats saying something). They knew the reefs in and out and enjoyed every dive every bit as much as we did. They explored right along side us and shared their discoveries with the group. When on land our hosts were alway friendly and eager to please, like they were the host of their own private party. We all became quickly at home in the main bure where we would sit and have drinks or play cards and music often joined by the staff and locals.
The owners were also often present running fishing trips, leading dives, playing cards or making fresh pina coladas (ask Richard to make a batch) They seem to enjoy being there even more than some of the guests.
The accommodations are modest (it is an ecoresort) but beautiful and definitely do not leave one wanting. Instead of reminding you what you are missing you will more likely suddenly feel how unimportant the "luxuries" you might find elsewhere really are. The food however makes you realize what great fresh food really is! The cuisine was often regionally themed (italian, mexican, english) but Fijian style. Many nights we were enjoying the freshest fish you will ever have without catching it yourself although while you are there you may catch the fish yourself as the resort also offers fishing trips! I especially enjoyed the sashimi tuna and the Wahoo fish and chips. Of course there was also Fijian BBQ.
If all the fishing, diving, relaxing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, eating, drinking, reading, socializing, hiking and exploring becomes to much arrange to meet the local village and see the beautiful waterfall. If you needed more examples of Fijian hospitality meeting the locals will surly be it.
After three weeks when we were finally leaving i might have teared up a bit. The entire staff came out to wish us well and see us off. I have never felt like I would miss a place or group of people i'd just met until I had to leave Matava. Thats why I will do what ever I can to get back there some day.
Don't ask yourself if you should visit this place decide when you can get there!

  • Stayed: January 2010
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2  Thank jreese159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 - 191 of 243 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2010

Matava was fabulous! It was the first of two stops on my diving vacation with friends. It takes some effort to get there, but once you do, you are in for a very relaxing vacation with a wonderful group of people that feel like family. The owners and staff at Matava are welcoming and joyful and make your stay as pleasant as possible. The bures are simple, clean, and well-kept. Despite the heat and lack of air conditioning, I slept well after a full day of diving, snorkeling, and eating. The diving was great. So much to see and explore--and the mantas were magical! I found the food to be filling and delicious and the company a delight. I am thinking and dreaming about my return!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank vclarkak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

I went to Matava with my husband and two of my children. The kids were 12 and 16. I enjoyed the fact that we stayed in thatched bures in the woods. We could pick fresh fruit from our porch. We ate at long family-style tables at the main large house. The food was fresh, often fish that was just caught. there was some limited access to electricity so we were able to download our digital pictures to our computers. the rest of the time we were fine without the electricity. The bures had hot water but it was actually sort of warm. We were fine with that because we were in a tropical climate after all.

My husband and son got their open water certification at Matava. The instructor did a good job with the certification. We enjoyed the diving and saw many kinds of fish and coral. We did not see manta rays because the divemasters did not feel that we were experienced enough to manage the conditions where they had manta rays. I would rather have a conservative divemaster than someone who would allow us to be in a dicey situation. Some divemasters will allow tourists to do anything in order to get a good tip.

We told the staff that we were interested in learning about local healing. They arranged for us to take a trek across the island to visit a healer who had been working his trade and farming local produce all of his life.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank drcwatkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

This resort was PERFECT for us... we went as a mid-30's couple for a two week adventure getaway!! The owners of Matava were devoted to their guests (offering to get up in the middle of the night to make us ginger honey tea if we wanted) there was as much food as we could eat at every meal (every empty plate being replaced with a full one immediately), activities galore, all staff was so friendly and entertaining, and the owners loved to sit with the guests at the meals and happy hour or even go scuba diving with us! The diving was very professional, which made us feel really secure and enjoy it even more. The thatched bures were perfect, exactly what i had in mind, the scenery (flowers, Kadavu parrot, ocean water) were all incredible. We wanted to go scuba diving and we did! Twice a day for four days as well as took a kayaking trip to a village, swam in a waterfall with children (amazing!!) and were taken to an isolated beach to have a romantic lunch. Snorkeling off the beach right in front of the resort was great as well. On our nine dives at the Astrolabe Reef we saw manta rays, sharks and even had dolphins come swim right up to us! I would recommend this resort to anyone who is adventurous and enjoys a rustic setting (but fully catered and doted on by the staff!). It was my birthday, so Maggie (wonderful person!) set up a private table for us with flowers and our own dinner - also making a birthday cake just for me! I felt that Maggie, the staff and the owners genuinely enjoyed the guests company and tried their utmost to give us exactly what we wanted all of the time. What was really neat about this place too, was that it attracted divers and fisherman, often people who enjoyed only one or the other which provided great conversation at the dinner tables (because of varied traveling and experience from around the world). The fishermen would bring in fish and everyone would eat this wonderful fresh fish every night! I loved this place. Thank you Matava!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JenandJake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2010

december 18th the Kelly family arrived on Matava resort,having just reunited in Nadi aerport with sharon and jioti from caqualai,fiji,stephen from sydney,simon and clare from New York,shane and parents Tom and Anne from Ireland,we were met by richard and the most friendly staff of Matava,our accommodation was excellent and for five days and nights we dined like royalty,looking forward to the three meals daily,the entertainment and craic was mighty,music and lively conversation thanks to simon and jioti on guitars with the local young men from the village,Maggie with his wonderful wit and chef skills,always surpriseing us at mealtime,we were very sad leaving this lovely resort having also met the lovely jennie who with richard and staff are doing a great job here,weather its diveing,snorkling,fishing or boating you'll be sure of a stress free relaxing time in Matava,hope to return some day.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank lolaWexford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2010

This place is awesome!

But before I rant about a the good stuff, a little about the bad. Matava is an eco resort, which means you give up a few luxuries, like AC or even fans so it gets a little hot even at night. Also you may see the occasional mouse or monstrous insect, or hear them in the walls every now and then. However all of this is more than compensated for by: a wonderful staff, beautiful location, great meals and lots to do. Now I rant!

The dive team at Matava is fantastic. They are consummate professionals who worry more about your safety than you do. My girlfriend and I are novice Open Water Divers and the staff really took care of us. We had a dive master swimming along side of us no more than a meter away for most of our dives. They are also really great people I genuinely liked as well. Also the dive boat is huge and has power to spare so it goes anywhere and the dives themselves are wonderful, and teaming with sea life.

We went on some great hikes, kayaked, snorkeled and stayed over night in a village (not to be missed), all of which was great. I did not fish while I was there but I heard it was great from the guests who did, and enjoyed eating their nightly catch.

The staff at the resort is amazingly friendly, including the owners who really go out of their way to give you the trip you want, they tried to arrange some surf for me but the swell and wind did not cooperate. If you want to do something, just ask, they will sort you out.

I really enjoyed the meals at Matava as well, its always fresh local fish and ingredients with daily themes like, Thai, Jamaican, Japanese, etc, nights. The meals are communal which I loved because you get to chat with other guests, owners, dive instructors, guides, etc.

In general I would highly recommend Matava to adventure seeking people who want to do stuff and interact with other people. This is not a sit back and sip umbrella drinks all day type of resort (although you can do that too it you really want). This is more of a wake up early, do amazing things all day, then go to sleep exhausted right after dinner sort of resort and if that is what you are looking for you are going to love Matava, especially divers and sport fishermen. It you are looking for luxury accommodation, and dont dive or fish, you probably wont love this report as much as I did.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jakethesurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2010

Staying at Matava was an experience like no other. I traveled to Fiji as part of a large group (18 people) for a dive holiday. We spent 3 weeks at this quiet, peaceful resort, nestled in 'the bush' of Kadavu. The rooms were excellent ( I lucked out in being in the highest bure on a cliff, overlooking the water ), the main bure was a very relaxing place to hang out, the food was incredible, and the staff went above and beyond to make sure everyone was happy and comfortable.
The diving was incredible. While I have logged some dives in the South Pacific before, the diving from Matava stood out. The guides were both helpful and extremely knowledgeable - in the pre-dive briefing, they would tell us the types of things we might see at these particular sites and we would always see whatever they said. Granted, that comes with experience, but in all my diving, I have never been on trips where we see everything we are supposed to. Nowhere was this more true than Manta Reef, where 4 of the 5 dives at the site had groups of mantas cruising and feeding, and Eagle Rock, where we encountered numerous sharks as if on cue. They allowed us to dive on our own pace, and I was able to see countless nudibranchs, pipefish, cowries, shrimp gobies, etc, in addition to your typical anemonefish, angels, damsels, and the rest. The coral was especially pristine with little macroalgal growth, a welcome sign for an Atlantic diver. And those were just the boat dives - we were allowed unlimited shore dives.
It wasn't just the diving, however, that made this trip an incredible experience. It was the kayaking, the hiking, the exploring. The waterfall and the village, church in native Fijian, climbing mountain trails for panoramic views of the reef, kava ceremonies, and everything else. It was the relationships forged with the amazing staff, interactions with guests from other parts of the world, and the bonding even within our own group with new and familiar faces. It was the youthful exuberance of the natives, an amazing New Year's celebration, and traditional food. It was orange Fanta and Fiji Bitter (although not together, of course).
All in all, Matava is an incredible resort, with an incredible staff of characters, on a beautiful, remote part of Kadavu Island that I would highly recommend to anyone who asks.

  • Stayed: January 2010
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3  Thank John C
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

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: $200 - $261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Find your adventure as you experience the magnificent beauty of a remote unspoiled tropical Fijian Island. Plunging volcanic rain forest slopes meet azure coral lagoons and the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef, a rare untouched slice of nature unfolds before your eyes. No roads, no noise, no stress and no carbon footprint. Traditional thatched Fijian Bures hug the jungle fringes. Private sun decks gaze over the turquoise lagoon. Dive the reef from the multiple award winning PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, snorkel the marine reserves, explore the jungle trails, or just pamper yourself in the Spa. Relax in the splendor of your private en-suit bure as you contemplate the stunning sunset and anticipate the evening's dinner of fresh fish, fruits and organic vegetables, grown right before your very eyes and served by lantern light on the ocean deck. Far from the maddening crowd, unplug and recharge at Matava, Fiji's premier Eco-Adventure Resort. ... more   less 
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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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