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“Some 'pros' but overall disappointing... wouldn't go back...”

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Qamea Resort And Spa Fiji
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Qamea Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2007

My wife and I stayed at Qamea in Oct. of 2005. Overall, we had an OK experience -- pros and cons listed below -- but we ultimately determined that we would never go back, that it simply wasn't worth the price for what was offered.

First, the pros. It IS a lovely tropical environment. The staff are very friendly and do know your name from the very first day. The snorkeling was great. The bures were beautifully themed. It's nice that they offer spa treatments (though these were inconsistent – see below)... Staff is generally very friendly (see exception below).

OK, and now the cons. There is an employee who greets you when you arrive and gives you the brief tour -- he's the "go-to" guy with regards to schedule, activities, etc (not sure if I can name him or not in order for this review to be allowed). Well, to make a long story short, for some reason he didn’t take a liking to us (we don’t know why), and we got a cold shoulder for most of the trip (while he would sail around the dining room making conversation with all of the other patrons). Not that we wanted or needed his attention, but in particular, we had one extremely upsetting event which bears mentioning. We were scheduled to go to what they call “Honeymoon Beach” on a particular day – the last day of our stay. This is when they take just the two of you and drop you off on a small, deserted and private beach around the corner from the resort for a few hours with a packed lunch – supposedly very romantic. Anyway, we were scheduled for sure, as there is a large chalkboard on the way to the bathrooms near the dining area that lists the “daily schedule” for this trip by the name of one’s bure.

All week our bure was listed for Friday – we saw it on the board many times. Then, all of a sudden on Thursday, the name of our bure was erased and another bure’s name was listed for Friday. We wouldn’t have even known had my wife not gone to the bathroom (and you could see where it had been erased). Anyway, we went to this “activities director” guy immediately, and he INSISTED that our name was never there, that we were never scheduled to go, etc. He was not conciliatory in any way, just argumentative. At this point, after the cold shoulder and attitude from him all week, this was the last straw, and we went to talk to the manager of the resort on duty, who was a very kind American woman at the time (I think the management might have since changed). Anyway, she immediately apologized, and put us back on the board for our trip (moving the other couple who had several alternate days to choose from).

Then, when we went to Honeymoon Beach, we were left there for about an hour longer than we were supposed to be, and the tide kept rising and rising until there was no more beach left (it’s a little teeny, tiny beach to begin with), and my wife and I had to actually climb up a tree and sit on a large branch waiting for the boat. I kid you not! By the time we were sitting on the branch with the empty food basket on my lap and two wet towels balanced alongside, we were certainly a bit curious as to whether the “late pick-up” was merely coincidence…

Later that night, after dinner, there was some music entertainment, and that same activities director fellow was all-of-a-sudden surprisingly nice, and came over and took my wife’s hand and brought her out to the dance floor to dance! The over-compensation was palpable -- clearly, he had been “spoken to” by management…

The other main complaints we had were that the food – other than breakfast (which is extremely varied and delicious) -- was mediocre at best. Truly mediocre, which was disappointing, after reading reviews that the food was supposed to be spectacular. In addition, the price is supposed to be “all-inclusive” excluding bar drinks. As we were spending a fortune to be there, we really limited our bar drinks, but were surprised to find out at the END of the trip that we were charged for every diet coke, every mineral water, and even every juice (other than at breakfast)! We would have thought that basic non-alcoholic drinks would have been complementary, especially with the $650/night pricetag!

Lastly, the resort property is very small, you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes, so there’s really nowhere to go walking and hiking. And we found the spa treatments to be inconsistent – sometimes really good, sometimes really average. In fact, one of the restaurant gals – who took orders and served food – was also one of the gals doing the spa treatments… So was she really trained to do spa treatments, or was she just filling in when the spa was busy or the others had time off? Not sure…

And one last thing – and this is not really the fault of the resort directly – but one of the staff, a cleaning woman who had taken a liking to us because my wife was visibly pregnant, came to our bure one day offering us a straw mat she said her mother at her nearby village had woven “for the baby.” It was a surprise, and seemed a very warm and perhaps very Fijian thing to do, but then, in her broken English, she began to ask us for money. We hadn’t asked her to make us a straw mat, and there, in the moment, we felt certainly obligated to slip her some cash. Ultimately we gave her a $20 (and we don’t really regret it because clearly we are much more privileged than she), but it felt very manipulative… left a bad taste in our mouths.

So all in all, we weren’t thrilled by the experience. For about half of the cost, we would go to Kauai next time where there is beautiful snorkeling, luscious, tropical foliage, world-class luxury resorts, and many more choices of food and nightlife activities…

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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19  Thank Gambosity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2006

My wife and I went to Qamea for our honeymoon and it was amazing. The staff is unbelievably accomdating and Fijians are the most pleasant people you will ever meet. If you don't mind a little adventure this is the place to go. We flew into Nadi and took a plane to Tavenuni and then a short boat ride to the island. The hotel had a car service waiting at the airport and the boat was waiting for us on shore. The only way to get to the island is by boat. The bure's are elegantly decorated and clean. There are numerous excursions you can do hiking to the waterfalls, snorkeling, diving, visit the local village, visit the plantation. The coolest excursion was honeymoon beach where the resort packs you lunch and drinks takes you by boat to a private beach. They come back and pick you up when you want. The food is first class, it is not a buffet, you get lobster, fish, steak, lamb meals. If you want a private and quite place to enjoy nature this is the place for you. You must get a massage while you are there. I highly reccomended the resort.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled solo
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5  Thank Amsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2006

We just returned from our honeymoon and stayed one week at the Qamea Resort and Spa in mid-October 2006. Having never been to Fiji, I researched our options thoroughly before booking at Qamea. We wanted a tropical location where there wasn't much to do and no pressure to take in alot of sights in case we weren't in the mood. Fiji became our #1 choice as we learned its travel packages were generally all inclusive of 3 meals and non-motorized sports and activities, whereas compared to Tahiti (another place we looked into), once you arrive, everything is out of pocket and usually pricey. For the same price as staying at a so-so resort in Tahiti, we were able to book a week at Qamea and at the end of the day only paid for our alcohol, off-site activities, and boutique purchases. In talking to several South Pacific travel agents, many recommended Qamea for its unique set up, accomodations, and superior service. One rep told me it was better than the places that are over $1k to stay a night. After price shopping, we purchased it through the travel dept at Costco of all places!

We came from San Francisco and though it does take awhile to get there, it is well worth the wait! After enduring the long flight from LAX to Nadi Airport in Fiji, we took a small plane (10 psgrs) from Nadi to Taveuni w/ a short stop at SavuSavu. Yes, that means 2 take offs and landings on a shady, shaky, tiny airplane. Once you arrive in Taveuni, an employee from Qamea greets you warmly, picks up your luggage and next thing you know, you're in a resort van making your way to the island's landing for a short boat ride to Qamea island. Once at Qamea, the staff quickly wisks you to the bar and welcomes you with a drink and then feeds you until you burst. All gourmet food, 3 times a day, though if you get bored of all the fancy food, you can order a burger and fries (or so we were told). The staff already knows you by name upon arrival (seriously, even at the airport after disembarking off the crazy plane ride) and soon you will learn theirs too as you all become fast friends. There is no hotel lobby, no lines, just you and maybe 25 other guests there max at one time. The resort only holds under 30 guests at the most so you really feel you are there alone.

When we went it was mostly honeymooners in their late 20's -30's, but a few couples on holiday. This place is really for couples who want to relax and unwind and be pampered. The spa is small but effective, they have great services and the food is exemplary. All very fresh seafood, produce, imported meats, wines, etc. They offer activities that are found on Taveuni island and for those types of day trips, a small fee of approx $75 FJD is charged, but daily snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, etc. is all included. I think what makes this place special is the owners and the staff who really take you into their home (you feel like guests in a home instead of a guest at a big hotel). There are no locks on your bure door, no phones, no tv, and really, you won't miss any of those things. Many of the employees are from the 2 local villages nearby and they are all very kind, giving, and hospitable people. When they greet you with a Bula Bula in the morning, you feel they really mean it whereas on the main island it may be more perfunctory. But generally I'm led to believe Fijians are quite friendly and kind people as a whole.

We were fortunate enough to make good friends with several of the other honeymooners there and often had dinner or lunch together, or took day trips together. If you feel like being alone, that is perfectly fine too. You will find the resort is big enough where you will not run into many ppl at all if you so choose. You can have dinner on the beach or alone in your bure...whatever you would like, Qamea can deliver. Truly the best holiday we have ever taken!!! After staying at Qamea, it will be hard to top this trip in terms of accomodations, service, food, ambiance - this is the total package!

The staff even serenades you when you leave with a Fijian farewell song. I had read this in reviews before and how ppl said they cried, and I have to say, I did too! You've spent a week in these peoples' home and now you have to say goodbye. It's too much, you won't want to leave. Don't miss out on this special place.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank sf_couple107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2006

Annette & Jim, Pennsylvania Oct 7-17th 2006
We had the best vacation EVER with Qamea
Bures are lovely, food is excellent, whether sitting out on our lovely deck looking out at the stars or swimming in the azure lagoon, this resort is enchanting to say the very least. Our two week stay we have made many friends. The staff was exceptional, we had drinks in the afternoon with William, Hiking with Saki, fashion shows with Sia, Meke dancing with the village or sitting on the floor with the Kava drink, a tribal tradition. We shared a special time and friendship that will forever be etched in our hearts & memories. We would love to someday return, as we left and everyone was standing on the beach singing to us, I felt I left a piece of my heart with these very special individuals.
Ron & Bryce, the owners who we shared weekly wine tastings with, have opened the doors to a warmth & hospitality we haven't experienced till now. If you are looking for a special paradise away from the tourist track, this is for you. We hopefully will return soon to see our new found exotic vacation & Fijian Family.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank jimette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2006

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank snorkeltastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qamea, Owner at Qamea Resort And Spa Fiji, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2006

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2006

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank LouieG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2006

  • Stayed: August 2006
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10  Thank kmfthea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Qamea Resort And Spa Fiji

Address: Pa Matei | Ponsonby, Qamea Island 1011, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Qamea Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Qamea Island
Price Range: $372 - $1,502 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Qamea Resort And Spa Fiji 4.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate and boutique Fijian resort catering to a maximum of 34 adults in 17 luxurious all beachfront and air conditioned bures and royal beach houses. Set on 100 private acres of lush gardens, jagged volcanic mountains, and a long white sand beach, it is perfect for honeymoons, weddings, spa retreats and incredible world class diving. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Qamea Resort And Spa Fiji Hotel Qamea Island
Hotel Qamea Island
Qamea Island Hotel Fiji

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