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“excellent location white sandy beaches and crystal clear water”

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Matamanoa Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Stayed 5 nights here in a resort room. It was quite nice with large king sized bed and decent bathroom. Wonderful location with great beach and excellent snorkeling. There was heaps to do as each day there were different activities. Nightly entertainment was a highlight as everyone got involved and enjoyed themselves. While we were on the island we were alerted of a tsunami. The procedure was excellent and the staff and managers made sure everyone was well informed and understood what we needed to do. The only really disappointment was the food. The island was pretty isolated so i can understand it wasn't the freshest, but it was quite overpriced for small portions. Although there was some variety each night with the menus, the food was somewhat similar to the night before. The only highlight was the Caesar Salad being prepared in front of you which was really interesting and tasted delicious. Service also lacked during lunch time however all the staff were a delight to talk to and act immediately if you had any issues. Overall, very good, staff and other couples were very friendly and endless activities keeps you occupied.

Room Tip: choose a bure as they are spacious and looked over the ocean
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 2, 2013

After having flown from the UK via Los Angeles, we arrived in Fiji at 4.30am. We relaxed for a couple of hours and then took the helicopter to Matamanoa. What an exhilarating way to arrive. I don't think we could have faced a long boat trip! Arriving in this way also means that you get an instant appreciation of how tiny the island is and how few people it can accommodate.
The welcome at Matamanoa was great. A song and a long cool fruit drink to say "hello" and despite the early hour, our Bure was ready. It faced onto the beach and was clean and very comfortable. The air conditioning though really does have a battle with the constantly high temperatures we experienced in January. And if you're sitting out or walking, I'd also advise plentiful use of sun cream and the wearing of a hat. Even at sunrise, the sun is mighty powerful!
The really lovely aspect of Matamanoa is the regular activities schedule and more importantly, the fact that you can choose to join in or not.
Matamanoa has a reputation as a honeymooner's island, but during our stay there was a really great mix of old and young, including an eighty year old travelling in a group. We didn't see any young children and think that they are not welcome. This mix of folks may be due to other nearby resorts closing after the recent cyclone.
The food throughout our stay was varied, creative and always full of flavour. We were on an inclusive package and we could have started eating at breakfast and carried on until dinner, but we exercised some restraint and managed not to sink the boat on our return to the main island!
So all the facets are in place to provide a truly memorable experience, but what about the people?Without exception, they were great. There is a really strong tem at the resort and every person without fail tried hard to make us feel part of something really special, and we did. Matamanoa is a place where you can forget the woes of the world and just relax. Take off your watch and leave it in your bure.
I'd like to add a very small note of caution at this point. My wife and I felt that a good General Manager needs to walk around the property a couple of times every week to take in all the stuff his guests see and wonder about. Litter alongside the pathways. Very uneven paving around the pool and terraces. Palm fronds and general wind blown debris on the beaches and around the bures.
These little things do not spoil the experience. The staff make sure of that. But they do leave an impression that no-one cares enough to deal with them.
Finally, the staff sing a Fijian song every night to wish goodbye to guests who are leaving. Every night, we had to struggle not to "tear up" when we heard it. It is poignant, heartfelt and a little bit of musical magic. I'd go again to Matamanoa just to hear it!

Room Tip: We chose a larger Bure, and then spent all our time outside. Choose the smaller one. You really don...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank 274couldabin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We went to Matamanoa Island for honeymoon for 7 nights in Jan 2013 and absolutely loved every minute! It's a very special island in the most paradise-like location... I can't think of a single negative thing to say.

We chose to arrive be helicopter and if you can afford it, DO IT!!!!! It's an amazing experience and makes getting to/from the island so simple.

The coral surrounding the island is spectacular and we snorkelled every day either on our own or by joining the daily trip to the outer reef - which I really recommend. We also paid for a trip to Monuriki Island where Castaway was filmed and this has a beautiful reef, great for snorkelling.

The food was even better than I had expected, based on some harsh previous reviews... breakfast was great: cooked to order and/or cereal, pastry, tropical fruit and breads. Lunch was up to three courses with a core menu which didn't change plus daily specials which always included freshly caught fish. Dinner was up to three courses with three to four choices for each. We tried a mixture of all the amazing fish/seafood on offer and had some perfectly cooked steaks... we only made it to dessert once because the first two courses were so filling but the night we tried it we were thrilled! If you're there over traditional lovo buffet night - GOOD! This was probably our favourite meal.

We met all types of people on the island from fellow honeymooners to young travellers and a group of pensioners! It's very quiet, very peaceful and the perfect escape from the real world. A week is a perfect amount of time to stay - if you like peace and quiet :)

Little luxuries: great aircon, twice daily maid service, bathrobes, fresh beach towels every day, very comfortable padded sunbeds, complimentary fresh filtered water by the pool and afternoon tea at 4pm!

Our beach bure was on the sunset side - highly recommend staying over there.
I'm certain it was the quietest side and I'd recommend getting the sunset over the sunrise.
Pay extra for a beach bure if you can - steps to the sea, your own porch/hammock and sunbeds.
As honeymooners we got a bottle of champagne, fresh fruit basket and our own name plaque to take away as a gift - all of which was a nice touch :) And all guests get a cocktail and shell necklace on arrival. The staff here really are something else... feeling welcome is an understatement. And for anyone who is dubious, it is not customary to tip in Fiji. The staff enjoy their jobs, love interacting with people from all over the world and are completely genuine with the effort they make.

Can't fault Matamanoa - beautiful island, beautiful people. Amazing island, beach, infinity pool, coral, food, staff, band, weather and spa! I just hope it never becomes over-developed because it would ruin how boutique and personal it is now.

We will definitely be back!!!!!!!! :)

Room Tip: Beach bure if you can afford it, sunset side if available
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank LouWhitless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Matamanoa Island Resort and loved it!! (January 2013). We had just come from Heron Island on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef and really enjoyed Matamanoa much more!
The snorkeling was great---right off the beach. Large numbers of colorful fish and very nice coral (some damage was done to reef from recent cyclone!)
The sunset beach bure was awesome! Loved having our own access to the beach and our own lounge chairs and hammock.
This is not a "party" island---which we really enjoyed. We like to enjoy ourselves during the day and then go to bed relatively early so this was perfect. No young children was a nice thing as well!!
I have to agree that the food was not "out of this world", but we had very good meals. It is difficult to do much more with very limited supplies.
Drink prices were very high, but the resort encourages you to bring your own alcohol, wine, etc and so we had a couple of cocktails and watched the sunset right from our patio. Great!!
We would definitely recommend staying here!

Room Tip: We loved the sunset side of the island---beach bure #20 was perfect!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank KarenZell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My husband and I have made 5 trips from the US to Matamanoa. There is nothing better for quiet relaxation in the South Pacific. The people are genuinely kind and enjoy introducing you to the quiet life of the Fiji islands. When you get there, slow down, or you will be sweetly admonished "Fiji-time, my dear, Fiji-time."

The island's dive shop is unparallelled anywhere else in the world that I have dived. Although, on my last trip (2011) the dive shop was taken over by a British management, rather than the native locals, and I felt that the service was less safe and knowledgeable than on previous dive trips on the island. Bring back Koli to run the place. Safest dive master in the Mamanucas.

The only serious draw back to Matamanoa is the food. This is the only place I travel where I actually lose weight when I visit. On our last trip the dining room staff asked my husband if I have an eating disorder. Yes, I suppose, would be the answer. I only eat food that tastes good. Somehow the local dining staff have been convinced that GOOD food requires weird, pseudo-French sauces. Matamanoa has no shortage of amazing fresh fish. Less is more. The menu needs improvement.

Also, there tend to be roving bands of loud Italians in tiny swim trunks, obsessively guarding the sun lounges. Too much Volare for my taste. Go to the ocean. They won't leave the pool.

Don't let that dissuade you though. Eat banana splits and drink Rebecca's mai tais. You will love your time on the island.

Room Tip: If you are there for more than a weekend, get a bure. The garden rooms are really meant for NZ weeke...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Shelley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newsofthepacific, Director of Sales at Matamanoa Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Wow Shelley, many thanks for your review and for holidaying at Matamanoa again and again. I thought you may be interested in this article which was published in a Melbourne Victorian newspaper heralding Rae (our Dive Manager) actions in saving a life whilst on a leisure visit.
The brave action of a Fiji resident was commended in Australia after she saved a man from drowning.
Diving manager at Viti Watersports on Matamanoa Island Resort, Rae Atkinson, defied all odds to bring back the life of a 31-year-old Melbourne resident who was unconscious in the water for 15 minutes, three kilometres offshore.
Fellow diver and friend, Michelle Marcus, said the man lost consciousness and fell off the boat while they were on a diving trip last Friday.
“There were six of us on the boat and about to get into the water to go for a dive when he fell into the water.
“We thought he was fooling around but then we realised he wasn’t moving.
“It was pretty scary because we actually thought the man was going to die,” Ms Marcus said.
She said they were lucky to have Ms Atkinson on board because if it wasn’t for her, the man would have died.
Ms Atkinson, who was on holiday in Melbourne, was on a charter with East Geelong’s Bay City Scuba, near the HMAS Coogee shipwreck, when the accident happened.
Ms Marcus said Ms Atkinson’s actions were ‘amazing’ given the extent of the man’s injuries and the danger she put herself in to help him.
“It was a fantastic effort of all five of us working together but Ms Atkinson was totally calm and she knew exactly what she was doing.
“I don’t think the result would have been the same had she not been there,” she said.
It is understood that Ms Atkinson jumped into the water to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation to the victim for 15 minutes, eventually causing him to regain consciousness.
“I believe he owes his life to her brave actions,” she said.
She said off-duty paramedics and off-duty police were on the beach and they helped out in the rescue.
Ms Marcus said the man was coughing up blood during the ordeal.
Meanwhile, overseas media reported that Bellarine police have handed over the man’s scuba mask and tank to Police Search and Rescue Squads who will investigate the cause of the accident.
The man was using a specialised piece of technical diving equipment, different from the scuba equipment that the rest of the group were using.
The man has since been released from hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Celebrated an anniversary - it was just an unbelievable experience. True Fiji getaway. Perfect size island (approx 66 people max), were around 50 while I was there. You feel like the island is almost all to yourself.

Top 10 Tips-
1) stay at least 4 nights. A little longer if you don't island hop. Adjust lover if you are Type A personality
2) choose a beachfront bure on sunrise side for close access to beach. I was in #1 and can get noisy when helicopter lands. Ask for a middle around 4-6 if available.
3) fully embrace what island has to offer. Get involved in activities at a 'Fiji pace' so you can truly unwind. Snorkeling, diving, kayak, fishing, spa, island cruises. I tried diving and kayak for first time, had a blast!
4) take south sea cruises w/ captains lounge for air condition and privacy convenience. The water taxi offers more flexibility, however waves can get a little rough with small boat. Helicopter is sooo expensive. My wife enjoyed the south sea cruises captains lounge (we were all alone, so romance continued!)
5) check ahead for off island excursions or dives. It's not a 7 day schedule. Some larger activities do not happen on Sunday.
6) if you are a muncher, bring snacks and drinks to save $$. Store in your room fridge.
7) get into the Fiji spirit on day1. Greet with 'Bula' and show appreciation to staff with 'Vinaka'. Try to learn the staff names. You'll just enjoy your time that much more.
8) visit matamanoa.com to get the facts about the resort.
9) the resort shop has a good, though small, selection of gifts and memorabilia. Prices are very reasonable, so try here before Port Denarau
10) if from the US (like me), give up those trips to Mexico or the Carribean. Make Fiji your getaway vacation for now on!

We planned this trip 7 months in advance after tireless research and weighing pros/cons vs other Island resorts. It far exceeded our expectations for a true getaway in terms of relaxation, romance, and class.

Bula Vinaka vaka levu (thank you very much) to:
Mike
Tima
Oni
Louie
Rebecca
Poni
Emma
Alena
And the rest of the Matamanoa staff -sorry couldn't recall all the names :(

Steven and Tabitha
California USA

  • Stayed: January 2013
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5  Thank Elect_nginear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Words really can't describe how amazing our trip to Matamanoa was. We arrived on the island to a guitar serenade, shell necklaces and a nice cold drink. We stayed in one of the resort rooms which was really nice, if you are looking for a cheaper option. The room was very well kept and well furnished. There was a cute little sitting area out front which we made good use of at night time. As we booked a honeymoon package, we received a free bottle of champagne, flowers on the bed and we got a wooden sign on the door with our names on it that we could take home. The food was very nice. Breakfast and lunch were the same menus each day (with good variety) and then dinner changed every night. We had a buffet on our last night that was very good. The whole island was amazing. We walked to the top of the hill which had a great view. The beaches and pool were gorgeous (exactly what you see in the pictures) and the coral was beautiful; lots of fish and other sealife, even with the slight cyclone damage. The watersports were fabulous. We did the Castaway tour and it was very good. The daily snorkel tours for $11 FJD were a definite highlight. The optional daily activities run by the resort were also really fun and a great chance to meet some new people and get to know the staff. The staff was honestly one of the best parts of the whole island. We stayed for 6 nights but felt like family by the time we left. Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful and seemed to really enjoy their jobs, the island and the guests. The band at night was so good that we'd actually pay money to see them in concert. Overall, I can't say enough good things about Matamanoa and would recommend this island and resort to anyone, without hesitation. I can't wait to return someday!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jane123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matamanoa Island Resort

Address: Matamanoa Mamanuca Group, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Matamanoa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matamanoa Island
Price Range: $299 - $552 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Matamanoa Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matamanoa Island rated 4 star, is an intimate and secluded, adults only Fijian Resort. We are set in the beautiful Mamanuca Islands approximately 30 kilometers west of Nadi International Airport - experience a true gift of nature. The Island boasts a volcanic cone jutting out of the azure waters of this unspoiled marine sanctuary. Clad with native bush and palm trees, the brilliance of the vegetation contrasts magnificently with the white curved sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs. Combined with nature, we have created a haven for those who want to relinquish the pressures of a busy lifestyle. This is for those who dream of peace and tranquility. To achieve this special atmosphere, Matamanoa Island Resort has adopted a year round policy of not permitting day-trippers or children under the age of 16 years. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matamanoa Island Hotel Matamanoa Island

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