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“Great place to relax”

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Matamanoa Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
San Carlos, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Great place to relax”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Bula! My wife and I stayed at Matamanoa for a week. We were looking for a quite, comfortable place with nice beaches. We found it.

We stayed in one of the beachfront bures (#12), and it was excellent. The bures are very large, and have a very comfortable king bed. There is also a day-bed / sofa and a sadly uncomfortable armchair. There's lots of space in the bures, so it would be nice if another chair was added to the room. The bathroom is nice, and the shower is spacious. For an island where fresh water is a scarce resource, I was surprised how much water the shower delivered. Housekeeping was good - the bure was kept very clean and neat. The only problem we had was that (we were told) the last boatload of clean laundry was short of hand towels and washcloths, so we often only got one fresh one a day.

Outside, there's a hammock, a couple of mesh-backed chairs, and a couple of clunky plastic chaise lounges that were not too comfortable. I divided my time between the hammock and the beach, just down a wooden staircase. The sand on the beach is sugary-soft and wonderful.

The resort organizes some activities, but the only one that we took in was a coconut sampling. One of the resort staff climbed a tree and threw down a bunch of coconuts. Another fellow hacked them open with a machete, and we all got a fresh coconut with a straw. Fun!

A walk around the whole of Matamanoa island is about 1.2km / 0.75mi. We did that several times, looking at shells and the beautiful views of the nearby islands. I spent a while snorkeling along the reef drop-off on the southwest side of the island. As a frequent tropical snorkeler and SCUBA diver for 35 years, my opinion is that is was only so-so for snorkeling. A good assortment of reef fish, but not in large numbers. The corals are unexciting. The best area for snorkeling is in the more western (off the boardwalk to the villas) and northern sections.

The food at the restaurant was fine. Since there's no place else to go, it gets a bit repetitive after a few days. There's generally a good fish special every day, and most of the fish dishes were good. The made-at-your-table Caesar Salad at dinner was great, and the Crêpe Suzette was sinfully delicious.

Stay away from their fish & chips dish, unless you want something like fast-food fish & chips from a cheap restaurant anywhere in the world. The menu says something about coconut-battered fresh fish. Nope.

Service at the restaurant and bar was good, although a bit uneven. It also seemed a bit slow at first, until we slowed down to "island time".

There's a good selection at the bar, but beware that the tropical cocktails are very sweet. I ordered a "Kamikaze" that was undrinkable - tasted like they had dissolved about a cup full of sugar in it.

Overall, a great experience at Matamanoa. We wanted a place to mellow out after a hectic week long live-aboard dive trip, and Matamanoa was perfect. We probably could have cut our stay to 5 days and been as happy, as the island does get a bit small after a few days.

Room Tip: The Bures and Villas are a splurge, but worth it.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Marc_Majka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2014

Bula,

We have just returned from Matamanoa after spending 5 nights in a beachfront bure for our honeymoon.
This place truly is paradise. We have already started planning our return for our 1 year anniversary next year!
Everything offered during our stay from the first class dining through to the amazing Matamanoa Island band and Kava Ceremony was just magic.
The snorkelling was by far the best we have experienced in Fiji.
All the staff were just wonderful and would like to give a special mention to Seko and Atu for making us feel so welcome!
I would highly recommend the day trip to sacred island as our tour guide Joe gave us such detailed history of this island and the reef surrounding was just beautiful.
I could not possibly rate our stay any higher as everything offered was just perfect.
Our only regret was leaving behind our handcrafted plaque which was made for us on arrival!

See you next year!!!

Keenan and Belinda
Chief and Mrs Chief

Central Coast NSW

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank belinda_keenan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2014

Staying at the Matamanoa Resort was a great experience. The staff was so friendly and willing to provide anything you requested. And they made you feel like you're part of their family. Thanks to Adi, Kama, Apisai, Kasa, Aku, Repeka, and Seko...they made our stay extra special. And Lella...you're the best!

Our room was very comfortable. The bed was very nice, the patio comfortable, and the air conditioning worked really well. The rooms included an electronic safe, coffee and tea, and a mini fridge. They were clean and comfortable, and everything you can expect in a tropical environment. The housekeeping staff could have been a bit more thorough in cleanup...the beds were made, the towels were changed, but the coffee pot wasn't always refreshed, and the glasses weren't always replaced. But it wasn't anything that couldn't be corrected easily.

We had the opportunity to experience the Villas for one night and I couldn't recommend these more. If we had stayed here from the beginning, we probably would never have left. They're comfortable, modern, and with an outdoor shower, a bali bed, and plunge pool. And the views can't be duplicated anywhere. They're a good distance from the main lobby, dining, and pool area, but totally worth the walk (golf cart rides available soon!).

But the standard rooms and beachfront bures are excellent if the villas aren't affordable. The staff here is amazing, the food is very good, and you can't find a better place to go relax. Snorkeling and diving is amazing as well! I've never seen such beautiful coral reefs!

Again, thank you to the staff who were the most friendly, wonderful people you could come across. Can't wait to return (if it wasn't for that darn 11 hour flight from LAX!)

Room Tip: The standard rooms are fine, but the oceanfront bures have lots of extra room, and hammocks! If you...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravelBob4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hinckley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2014

For us, Matmanoa Island Resort could not have been better, we loved it from start to finish. The welcome from the Fijian staff sets the scene for your time here.
A beachfront bure is definitely worth the extra cost, you have your own private space with a view of the sea, the room is very spacious and serviced daily. The fresh hibiscus flowers scattered about the room daily makes it feel even more special and the commute to the beach takes about 10 seconds!
The staff are very friendly and helpful but not intrusive. Seiko is such a star and can turn his hand to anything and everyting, whether it's a cooking demonstration at lunchtime, basket weaving or crab racing in the evening (great fun by the way). There are optional daily activities listed on a board but there is such a relaxed feel that you can just relax and take in the beauty of the island. The snorkelling is amazing here where you can see many colourful fish and coral,the sea is so clear and use of the equipment is free of charge.
The evenings are great and food is good, all taken in a wonderful setting. The Bula Band deserve a special mention, they are fantastic musically and add something special to the atmosphere in the evenings. The only thing we can suggest is to take your own drinks with you as these are very expensive at the bar.
Other reviews have complained about landing on the beach by boat and some aspects of the island which are slightly rough around the edges, but then they are missing the point of coming to a tropical island.
This was a fantastic holiday, not cheap but worth every penny and we would return in an instant. It's an idyllic island with a friendly unpretentious feel from the wonderful Fijian people.

Room Tip: Beachfront Bure no 4 (sunset side) was just perfect
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank JulieandAndy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2014

As we were getting off the boat to this beautiful island a person who was leaving looked very sad and said we were going to absolutely love it, and love it we did! We were there for 6 nights in early March and didn't want to leave. The beachfront bure was huge & the bar/fridge was perfect for the duty free drinks & snacks (advise to get these as drinks are very expensive). The food was beautiful & recommend the caesar salad & crepes suzette which are made at your table. My husband is into water sports & was well catered for with kayaks & the Maricat sailing boat. He certainly kept the water sports boys busy :-) Snorkelling right out the front of our Bure was great with many fish & great coral (though suggest snorkelling near the new beachfront villas for even better fish & coral). The staff were fantastic & a special shout out to Alena who helped fix up an unfortunate error from our Travel Agent to our satisfaction and Esther who was always around to great us by name every day & enquire about out stay. It made it that more special for us. The only thing I would suggest is to introduce a drinks 'happy hour' before dinner so you get a chance to meet other guests if you want to. Do yourself a favour & visit this island for a honeymoon or special couple stay, you won't be sorry.

Room Tip: Beachfront bures on the sunset side are more private & have a better outlook.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BrisbaneDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

Perfect.
I'm going to keep this simple.
Loved it. Island paradise. Snorkeling amazing. Staff beautiful, friendly and helpful. Would go back in a heartbeat. Also if you can - take a helicopter ride back to the airport - it's worth the extra cost - takes 15 mins and you maximize the time on the island.
Just go. You'll love it.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank fatdouglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Stayed for five days and nights...fantastic experience all round ...great reef. Service and location. Seko was great and adi in the restaurant at breakfast.. Food was fab and plenty of it...only negative would be cost of wine and cocktails.. Would recommend...great chill factor and the feeling of being special...thank you all ..dont listen to negative reviews...food..service.. Etc...absolute rubbish .

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lorrainepanda
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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