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Matamanoa Island Resort
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Reviewed September 28, 2010

Great location and excellent beaches and diving locales. Rooms are a bit older than at other resorts but not unpleasant. Note that no television available, but to be expected. Food is good and service always excellent. Good dive shop operators and great band/entertainment. Pool on the smallish side but beach close by. Overall very good.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Davosouthside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2010

Picture an arrival by Fast Catamaran, transfer to a smaller boat, negotiating the coral reef entrance, and landing on a white sandy beach under a blue sky with a group of Fijian singers welcoming you, followed by complementary cocktails. Everything is taken care of. The island is a boutique resort with a limited number of guests, and the friendly staff all know you by first name. In one week, we never had the same menu twice with gourmet food prepared by world class chefs. The resident musicians serenade each beachfront bure and the tables at night. The difference between the beachfront and the garden bures is much more than the price difference would indicated. All activities apart from Scuba diving are included in the cost of accommodation. The only requirement is that you relax into Fijian time. Guaranteed to make you relax.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank paua40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2010

My husband had Salmonella poising the 2nd day into our honeymoon and this ruined our honeymoon. Sick for 4 days with a fever, stomach pains and vomiting. The food was terrible and only one restaurant so you couldn't snack on anything else or order anything nice. My husband lost so much weight and was sick like a dog. He had to eat boiled rice for energy as this all we could trust. The menu is poor, the food choice sounds good but the food is disgusting. Don't be fooled - If your Australian you will not like this place as it's old and uncomfortable! I would rate the accomodation and food 2 STAR. But the actual Island is beautiful and the snorkeling was amazing but that isn't enough as you need to eat without getting sick, sleep comfortably and enjoy yourself on holidays. I would never ever stay at this Island again unless someone with brains managed it and upgraded the entire resort including the restaurant. It took us 3 hours to finish a 3 course meal as they are extremely slow in serving you the food that tasted bad and made us sick.
It's certainly not a 4.5 Star Place - It's terrible!
Sorry Mr Wong - you are a nice man and the staff are lovely but the food and this entire experience was really bad.
Upgrade your kitchen and food handling and don't drink the water - Especially the ice they server you in your drinks. It's poor water - NOT DRINKING WATER! So I don't understand why they serve you tap water and ice.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Supergirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2010

I have very specific criteria for any island I stay on.
It must have NO banana boat, ....a reason which should be immediately obvious to any serious traveller, but if you don't understand and think banana boats are just the ultimate in holiday fun , do not read on! Matamanoa is most definitely NOT for you. (And thank goodness for that!)

I have read all the reviews here and have come to the conclusion that some people would whinge about anything! They should never travel, ......if you want an experience like you get at home, stay there, ......please!
Why on earth would you deliberately choose a remote location, then bleat, moan and whine that there's no TV, internet, daily newspapers or damn Twitter reception or whatever? Those are precisely the very reasons one goes to a "getaway". You want all those 21st century rat race accompaniments? Go to Vegas!
Matamanoa IS a very beautiful, remote island. I have just returned from spending ten wonderful, carefree and extremely enjoyable days there together with my partner.
Apart from the inherent natural exquisite beauty of the place, which you can gauge something of from the photos, there is a friendly welcoming atmosphere provided by the wonderful staff that makes you feel like a part of the place, not just a booking number.
They know your name, ......there's that smile and willing attention, .....and all without the hand out for the tip that you find at so many other places nowadays.
Sure island life is relaxed, ....it's supposed to be!
If you demand subservient fore-lock tugging grovellers jumping immediately to your every command and finger snap, please go elsewhere, .....or just leave the superior attitude behind, along with your Facebook page, your Twitter and your obsession that the rest of the world is somehow breathlessly hanging on to your every inconsequential doing.
May I remind those whingers who have complained so loudly here when some whim wasn't snapped to immediately, that these people work for less per day than you pay for just one cocktail! (And SOME people are hard to smile at!)
Then there's the food. Please note there is NOT a high class delicatessen, a caviar vendor, patisserie or even a supermarket ensconced just down the road. Delivery of the supplies is made once a week from the mainland. We took the full meal deal and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday (sometimes afternoon tea too!),and were never disappointed in the freshness or quality of the food or it's presentation. We had a choice of two complete menus at every meal, ...Table d'hôte or A la Carte.
Sure it's not Tour d'Argent, ......but if you demand haute cuisine as part of your "island" experience, then stick to Manhattan ! I believe it's an island that could probably meet your demands.
(We did NOT sit down with calculator and scrupulously work out if we might have lost a few cents because we didn't have dessert on Monday, but had two cup-cakes on Wednesday!)

It is a huge tribute to the kitchen staff of Matamanoa that they can even produce anything as good as they do under the circumstances.
Sure breakfast "is the same every day" as bleated here by yet another serial whiner, ....but the variety is such that you yourself can have something different each time for at least the duration of your stay by making different choices, including all the cooked options . You don't HAVE to eat everything every day you know!
The accommodation is VERY spacious in the bures, ....and they are extremely attractive, well appointed and fully serviced too by most competent staff. I'm certainly NOT going to tell you which one is my favourite, as I'm going back and want to get it again without having to fight everybody else asking for it!
( I made THAT mistake in my review of Paris!)
The cheaper Garden Rooms are certainly tiny at present, but the whole place is shutting for refurbishment next month and those rooms are being enlarged. The beach-front bures however, are definitely the way to go in my opinion. You just cannot beat the views, the space and the way you can have a cocktail ...or three, as you watch the sun go down from your own patio! (Ours quickly became the social gathering point of the island every evening before dinner!)
There is currently a spa complex nearing completion that is just totally amazing. It's truly like something out of a tropical version of Lord of the Rings as it sits within large trees and atop several big rocks. The various multi-level thatched facilities are linked by winding wooden staircases and the views from the massage tables are truly wonderful. A magical experience in itself, .....but no doubt someone will bleat how they actually had to walk along a beach to get to it! Sorry, ...no sedan chairs are planned!
I also read the three page rant here complaining about the diving from some embittered Brits, who obviously thought they were Jacques Cousteau or somesuch, and should just therefore be able to push every one else aside, ignore the previous bookings and go first. Having heard the OTHER side of the story, I can assure you that the very able, talented and MOST competent Rae (Dive Master) will do every thing to ensure your diving experience is a truly wonderful one, whether you are a beginner or seasoned scuba-freak. I watched her in the pool, taking nervous newbies through the procedures with absolute care and professionalism. The glowing tales from the new (and experienced) divers round the bar at night after the presentation of certificates are a tribute to her skills and personality. I highly recommend you do take advantage of her offer of the free trial in the pool. She has the admirable gift of putting people at ease in what can be a daunting experience for the first timer.

If you do not wish to scuba, I must add that the free snorkelling trips provide some of the best and most ACCESSIBLE coral/fish viewing you will ever see. Bird Rock is surely one of the best sites in the Pacific! My partner was a total novice, ....but took to it like the proverbial duck to water and enjoyed it immensely. We went every day, but don't wait for the boat, just go almost anywhere off the beach. Don't forget to pack an underwater camera!
Apart from Matamanoa's exquisite natural beauties, it is surely the staff as a whole that must be rated as one of the island's greatest assets.
I'd love to name them all individually here, ...they more than deserve it, ...but forget what you may have read from the professional whiners on this site. The trivial and picky complaints posted here probably say more about the writers than anyone even trying to please them!
Matamanoa is billed as a "honeymooner's" island, and while there were indeed a few there during our stay, it does not mean you will be ignored if your nuptials are some way back now, (or have yet to take place, ...or as yet not allowed!) ....without asking, we got and enjoyed everything the newly weds get, ...and even more! Thank you staff, ...and we love you all right back too!
In short, forget the serial moaners and their negativity, and just go IF you want a respite from the daily hassles of modern life. There's strictly NO KIDS allowed, ....and while those doting parents may baulk, please remember that not everyone appreciates your screaming offspring tearing around the dining room during meals, or bombing the pool. This rule alone featured VERY high on everyone's list I talked to, (even those guests who were parents!)...and certainly contributes majorly to the beautiful and calm atmosphere of the island.
NEVER, NEVER CHANGE IT!
(I even met one couple who had fled from Castaway Resort to avoid the intrusive screaming hordes of over-populous children.) Nor are there any vehicles on the island, .....it's too small and the difference this makes is a blessing.
Matamanoa is a truly relaxing holiday where you can just sink back into the island's routine and really wind down by just lazing around, ...or you can take part in those simple activities provided if you so wish. It's most definitely NOT some tricked-up, over-the-top Disneyland by the Sea, or Club Med with those over-exuberant "entertainment" staff running around desperate to "organise" you ..or a glitzy "resort" with chandeliers, stilettos and attitude. I do so hate the word "resort" and all that it has come to encompass. You WILL certainly be waited on hand and foot, ....but in a genuine friendly way and not bothered by intrusive over-fussing. If you are a very high maintenance princess who just hates getting her hair wet, ..or think your needs are just SO much more important than anyone else's, ...Matamanoa is not for you. Please don't come and then whinge if your ego wasn't stroked to your satisfaction. There are places available that will jump when you say jump if that's your demand. Go and enjoy them and leave this piece of paradise for those who appreciate that service is not necessarily a self-indulgent exercise.
Matamanoa I miss you, .......more than I can say.
I'm already planning our return. What better recommendation can I give it?

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank GargoyleAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2010

I was very tempted to let the trashers go without saying anything. The longer Matamanoa is a well-kept secret the better for me. I am hanging out to go again. I have never been to a more beautiful place. The critical comments are extremely suspicious! Competitors?

This is a very intimate (33 couples only) adults resort. No day trippers is a huge bonus and, if there is better snorkelling on other islands, I would be very surprised. I went out at 5 pm one night (took 10 steps from my bure) and saw thousands of the most resplendent tropical fish - brilliant.

Lots of stuff to do - or not, depending on your reason for going - but very laid back atmosphere means most opt for the lazy day by the pool and up for a snorkel and meals.

Food was great. Simple fare - French inspired - and we enjoyed the crepes suzette and caesar salad - made at our table.

Church Sunday at nearby Tavua was great - singing in the Fiji style - harmonies and without accompaniment was awesome. A later visit by the choir during happy hour was a highlight - passionate and beautiful singing.

I can't wait to go back. My wife and I both agree that this is the most beautiful place we have been in the world.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank dangersteg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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