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“Very hard to leave...”

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Matanivusi Surf Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vunaniu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 29, 2011

I came for two nights stayed for six and wished I could have made it a month. Amazing location, great rooms and exceptional hosts. Brian and Donna make it feel like you are simply staying with friends and nothing is too much trouble and the staff make sure that you want for nothing. Surfer or otherwise there is plenty to do including some of the best reef snorkelling I've seen, especially at Frigates, so if you get the chance to snorkel after a surf. Hardly even an intermediate surfer myself I am really grateful for Brian's coaching and encouragement in the surf it was above and beyond to room price.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bluedogonaboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 - 128 of 168 reviews

Reviewed October 8, 2011

Nice place, local staff awsome but over priced.
Example of lunch one day was 4 chicken wings and a hand full of chips, asked for more but that was it. My wife booked a massage in the morning for the afternoon and was told its not worth the massure only doing one booking so no.
If its low tide early in the morning and you want to surf Frigates before the wind comes up forget it as they cannot get to their larger boat moored in the deeper bay.
Better spending your money somewhere else.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank Stu333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

Just reading a few of these reviews has made me homesick for Matanivusi! We
had a fantastic 9 days there and I just have to say in regard to the
negative review you get a few pages along, I think this man must have a
permanent rain cloud above his head! We had so much fun and relaxation.
It really was a home away from home....

We are a family of four, two teenage boys, one who's a mad surfer but
not that experienced and the other who enjoys a bit of body boarding.
Hubby will get out there on the body board too from time to time,
although the kids dub him 'the busdriver' as he just gets on the top of
the wave and rides it down! Me, I have a stressful job and I was just
looking to chill.

The reason we ended up in Fiji is I had promised the boys a trip to
Bali, but when I checked out 'smarttraveller' the threat level had gone
up a notch or two, so I thought I'd look elsewhere. Typed 'surfng fiji'into google and ended up on the Matanivusi website.

It looked great but I was worried about my boys, (13 and15), surfing the reef and thought the waves might be too big for them. I wrote this in an email to Brian before we booked and the response was 'No worries,
we'll find something they can surf.'

We decided to give it a go, but I was also worried that being teenagers, their needs would be over-ridden by the older experienced surfers, so
they'd just end up in the boat watching grown-ups surf. Well thankfully
my concerns were never realised. Brian and the boys, (Wise, Lesi and
Carl), looked after them every time!

I was also concerned that the resort, (well it's not really a resort,
I'd call it a luxury surf camp), would be full of blokey aussie surfers
getting pissed etc. Nothing like it, it had a lovely family vibe to it.
As there are only 8 cabins, it is really cosy and because you eat dinner
at a communal table every night, you get to know all the other people
staying there.

At the beginning of our stay there were other teenagers there, which
kept our kids busy, but after they left I noticed that the boys spent a
lot of time just hanging out with the staff. As other reviewers have
said, the staff are more like family, very keen to share Fijian culture
with us and always up for a laugh.

The afternoon volleyball games were a highlight, everyone gets involved.
We also went to a local rugby match at Sigatoka. That was great fun and
the rugby was terrific, lots of running and not a field goal to be
seen! The rugby trip was organised by Kevu, the 'Activities Director'.
While we were there my son dubbed him 'Kevu for PM' as he seemed to know

The cabins were gorgeous, really spacious and airy. The food was great,
not five star, but very tasty, plentiful and cooked with care. I also
have to recommend the massages from Suzy - extremely relaxing! Also the
attentive service and friendly chit chat with Donna, Judy, Lisa, Tony and
Wonga and the time we spent with Wise, who certainly lives up to his
name, showing us around the plantation and explaining traditional Fijian
medicine to us.

So if you want the Fiji tropical island experience with real people,
head to Brian and Donna's Matanivusi! I hope we make it back there one

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Margie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

My husband and i stayed here for 4nights. The place is amazing, we scuba dived twice,my husband would then go surfing, i thought i would be waiting for him to get in from a surf each day, but Kevu the activities guy had other ideas, he was so much fun. Kevu even invited us to fathers day in his community.

The chef was great and very accommodating as i'am gluten free. He even made me fried rice for our waterfall day trip instead of sandwich's. Our rooms were cleaned by the time we got back from breakfast each morning, which you could have any time you wanted. The transfers from the airport to Matanivusi were really easy, they were even happy to drop us at the next place we were staying for 1night before flying home. If you don't want the rat race of most big resorts but want to experience the real fiji in style then this is the place to go. we will be back.....

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ambs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2011

We recently stayed at Matanivusi for 7 nights and we have to say it was the best holiday ever. I being a non surfer initially had reservations about staying there, but agreed with my surfing and kite surfing husband to go and it is the best decision I have ever made.

From being picked up at the airport by Ronald, the friendliest and most efficient driver in Fiji, who gave us a running commentary on everything Fijian on our drive to the resort, we already felt we had found new friends.

The resort is located in what can only be described as paradise. The views, the resort itself, the bures, all of it was magical. The staff and management are the happiest, friendliest and most welcoming people we have ever met. The service was excellent at all times and we were made to feel part of the family. We learnt so much about Fiji from the staff, which is what we were after.

My husband had great surfs and kite surfs with the other guests and staff and was extremely happy. I as a non surfer was able to go out with them in the boat too and snorkel or fish while they surfed. Or, I could sit around the pool and do nothing and not be forced by pushy staff to do anything. We were also taken to Suva for a day trip by the gorgeous Kevu from the local village, a very fun day. Kevu also invited us to his village for a Kava ceremony which was very humbling and made us feel very honoured. Judy, our new gorgeous friend took care of all of our cocktail needs :)

We stayed at a five star resort on an island after Matanivusi and I have to say that Matanivusi was way way better. Better for fun, value for money, the Fijian culture and the relaxation. We are already planning to go back next year with friends and family for my 40th.

Vinaka to everyone at Matanivusi!!! We miss you all already.

Banana & Lee

Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank Adriana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

My husband (surfer) 21 month old son and myself (non surfer) have just returned from the most amazing 10 day family holiday at Matanivusi. They made holidaying with a little one so easy and relaxing. We were looked after, but not fussed over - Donna and Brian have employed such lovely staff. It felt as though we were staying at a friends amazing beach house (not that any of our friends can afford such an amazing pad with a full fleet of staff) instead of an impersonal resort.

My big boy (the surfing husband) was in his element being able to surf and fish to his hearts content. My little boy was in his element playing in the pool all day long, pottering around and receiving lots of attention from the staff. With two happy boys, I was able to really relax, in such beautiful surroundings by a pool with an amazing view of the clear blue sea.

There were plenty of things for non surfers to do as mentioned in previous posts, but I was very happy just hanging out with my little boy all day long (he's at that terrible twos stage and probably had only 2 tantrums in 10 days instead of several a day as he had the freedom to safely explore and play). As they have three boats, they will take you snorkelling whenever it suits you and if you can't make the boat to the surf or need to get back from surfing before the other surfers, a boat will just run you out to join them or pick you up. My son hadn't been in a small power boat, so one of my staff took him and my husband out round the lagoon slowly whilst he got used to it and as he was happy they then went to see the surfers. As they have children's life jackets, it gave my husband the opportunity to take our son out in a kayak to see whether he would sit still - he ended up helping daddy fish, so we're now buying him a lifejacket so he can go out in daddy's fishing kayak at home. The only thing we did go out and do was a trip to the rugby at Sigatoka with some of the other guests, Matanivusi looked after us well, driving us there and back in the van with an eski full of beer. We were led to out own covered seating area next to the pitch with table service - all very nice. As we didn't need cash whilst at the resort I hadn't brough any - Donna just gave me some FJD and told me to give back to her what I didn't spend and she'd just put the difference on the bill - all too easy.

I won't repeat what everyone else has written, but I want to give a little more information on how well Matanivusi suited us as a young family. Part of the pool was shallow (about a foot deep) so my son would happily play for ages on in the shallow end with his bucket and spade, moving water and playing with small stones, whilst I watched him on a lounger next to the pool. The spa was nice and big and had a nice wide seat all the way around the edge so if we were in there (usually at the end of the day with cocktails and sunset snacks), he would walk around and around with a truck and could swim up the middle where it was deep. We were in the first Bure so didn't really need the baby monitor we brought to hear him whilst sleeping. This meant that babysitters weren't required in the evening - you wouldn't be able to leave him asleep in a room on his own if were were in a big resort. Also if I wanted to get something from my Bure, I didn't have to drag my son out of a large pool complex, up a lift and along several corridors, we just quickly nipped into our Bure. The games room has satelitte tv and a dvd player with lots of movies, surf and kids dvds - my son discovered Bob the builder one evening. The kitchen staff were happy to provide my son with food outside of mealtimes, I'd often be poking my head over the kitchen hatch late morning to request a sandwich so my son could have his midday sleep and if I'd said he was going to dine with us in the evening, then found he was too tired, they were happy to give him an early supper with no notice. The dining room always had a well stocked fruit basket and tea & coffee to help yourselves to. The bar had a "Guests drinks" book, so you could help yourself to drinks, chocolate, ice cream & chips at any time of day if there was no one there to serve you.

The food was amazing and everything was home cooked to such a high standard. Their chicken wraps consisted of freshly cooked chicken and salad wrapped in a freshly made and cooked wrap rather than a pre bought wrap (which I don't like). The last night we had home made ice cream with shortbread and the shortbread was the only thing I'd had out of a packet and not freshly made in the 10 days I was there! As for their banana pancakes at brekkie mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

The bar was very well priced, a glass of wine, G&T, bottle of beer were all 8 FJD ($4.50 AUD) and cocktails were $14 FJD ($8 AUD) with the exception of the cocktail of the day which was $10 FJD.

Laundry was $10 FJD ($5.60 AUD) a bag and you'd get it back later that day folded.

They also use a lovely doctor Millie, so if you're not well it's not a drama being seen by a doctor. One of the surfers was a little unwell after a morning surf so Millie popped over for lunch and checked him out. My son had been unwell that morning, it didn't warrant a doctors visit, but Mille had a look at him whilst she was there and put my mind at rest.

I also had the best massage I've had ($85 FJD - $50 AUD) from Donna's friend Suzy - firm but relaxing at the same time!

Although I've being writing about how family friendly Matanivusi is, there was a group of male surfers for the first half of our holiday who really enjoyed themselves and all the guests - singles, couple and surfers got on really well and many an email address was swapped!

We had the most amazing honeymoon 3 years ago at Vatulele, which is a tough act to follow, but Matanivusi did not disappoint and I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Fiji.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank EKWSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2011

My husband and I arrived late in the evening, Brian and Donna were there to welcome, orientate and feed us!
Accommodation was outstanding, our room clean, comfortable and spacious & only a few metres from the waters edge.
Brian, Donna and team were friendly, accommodating and helpful, service was exemplary.
Meals were varied, nourishing and tasty. We felt as if we were eating all the time and never hungry.
Obviously surfing is the main draw card for most people, however from my perspective as a "non" surfer I was occupied, contented and relaxed. We went paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, walking, waterfall visit and swimming...one word of warning watch out for those trade winds in the afternoon...paddling against them is a killer to say the least. My husband was thrilled with the fishing, his bounty shared with guests and staff alike.
Brian and Donna even invited us to join them on a on an outing in Suva. We had a lovely dinner at the Bad Dog and then attended a local ballet production. My husband and I enjoyed the food, entertainment and company so much, we couldn't have asked for a better night out with some of the nicest people around.
Thank you Brian, Donna, Suzy , Staff and of course Sadie (woof woof) for your hospitality and kindness throughout our stay.
Our holiday was memorable and we hope to be back again one day soon.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matanivusi Surf Resort

Address: Matanivusi | Pacific Harbour, Vunaniu, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Coral Coast > Vunaniu
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vunaniu
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matanivusi Beach Eco Resort is Fiji's premier eco resort in an amazing secluded location on the Coral Coast. The architecturally designed resort has only 12 beachfront deluxe king sized rooms with bathroom ensuites, all just metres from the picture perfect lagoon and fringing reef. You wont find a more perfect place to relax or be as active as you wish with surfing, yoga, SUP and snorkelling all on offer in this pristine environment. Matanivusi was the world's first STOKECertified "sustainable" surf resort. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Matanivusi Surf Hotel Vunaniu
Matanivusi Surf Resort Fiji/Viti Levu

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