We just returned from two amazing weeks at Navutu Stars for our delayed honeymoon. It was the only stop on our trip, since we wanted a “get-away-from-everything” vacation. It is a truly special place and our vacation was the most wonderful trip we have ever taken. I really cannot rave enough about this resort and the people that work there.
The owners have created an absolute gem and their impeccable style and special attention to detail is evident. We were one of the first three couples to stay at the resort after it had been closed for a month of maintenance in February 2008. (During the month the resort was closed, they built a new covered lounge area by the bar which keeps it cool and gives plenty of room to relax during happy hour).
The friendliness and openness of the staff is incredible. They make you feel like family, and their enthusiasm is infectious. And because we were there with only two other couples, we became very close with our co-guests -- so much so that when one of the couples got engaged, we all cheered, cried and drank champagne together late into the night. We were very sad to see those guests leave the resort, and we will always consider them good friends. And we made other friends that actually picked us up when we returned to the main island, so the we could enjoy one last evening of Fijian hospitality!
As for the resort itself, where do we begin? The location is amazing, the atmosphere is effortlessly chic, the food is terrific, and the staff is genuine, warm and incredibly attentive. It actually feels like you've been invited into their homes for the vacation. Freddy and Maddie really got every detail right in designing this getaway, and the absence of technology (and distractions) is wonderful.
Activities we loved: (1) snorkeling just off the resort and on day trips; (2) scuba with Niko from the dive shop at the Coral Reef; (3) sunset cruise with Noa the bartender, and members of the incredibly musical staff; (4) trip to the limestone caves; (5) village trips, especially attending church on Palm Sunday at the main village on Yaqeta (it was Children's Sunday -- the singing was breathtaking), (6) cocktail hour every evening with our co-guests and Noa at the bar (he makes the most amazing cocktails and is a wonderful person), and (7) Daily lessons in speaking Fijian (supplemented by the patient and friendly staff, who taught us a lot of phrases in the local dialect of the Yasawas).
The Kava ceremony and Lovo feast were also great. We also had some relaxing massages at the Spa bure. (Tip: Try to schedule massages during high tide, so you can listen to the relaxing sound of waves lapping 15 feet from where you are being massaged!)
Navutu allows you to spend your vacation many different ways. You can really fill your days with the various activities available at and near the resort, or you can simply relax in a hammock or daybed all day. A typical day for us was breakfast in the main dining area, snorkeling or another morning activity, post-snorkel cocktail, lunch, nap on outdoor daybed, relaxation massage, clean up for cocktail hour, dinner and then hanging out and talking with the other guests at the bar after dinner. Another plus for us was the diversity of the guests -- there’s just something about a resort like Navutu that attracts friendly, outgoing people.
Some comments on things other reviewers have mentioned: 1) The lagoon is tidal, as are all the lagoons in the Yasawas. It never bothered us at all. In fact, we spent a lot of the low-tide time walking out into the lagoon, watching the rays and finding starfish. Nighttime low tides are also a great time to walk out into the lagoon and stargaze. 2) We never had any problem with water pressure or temperature, nor with anything in the room. In fact, when one of the handles on our sliding door came loose, it was repaired before I even remembered to mention it to the front desk. (How’s that for attention to detail?) 3) Yes, Noa’s mojitos are that good. I make a mean mojito myself, and I thought Noa’s mojitos could never live up to all the hype I had read. But they are easily the best I have ever had. 4) The activities away from the resort do have a small additional charge, which is always minimal, given that you travel by boat to the locations. The amount of the charge is just enough to cover the gasoline costs. Most of the activities cost less than a cocktail. 5) Meal portions are enormous. We used the gourmet meal plan so that we could eat whatever we wanted, and we could never finish our meals. We usually shared an appetizer, a pasta and a main course, and we occasionally shared a dessert -- and we were stuffed! I cannot understand the reviewers that considered the portions small. We routinely asked our servers to bring us smaller portions, or to skip parts of the meal (and at over 200 pounds, my husband has a hearty appetite).
The bottom line about a resort like Navutu is that your vacation is what you make of it. Embrace the people, the incredible location, and wonderful activities, and you will have one amazing experience after another. Keep to yourself and you will enjoy the amazing solitude of this little corner of the earth. The best thing about Navutu Stars is that you can do both, as your mood suits you.
Finally, we must say a special word about the owners and the staff. They are incredible people. They are open, warm, caring, and truly dedicated to making sure that your stay is as perfect as possible. The first day, I was worried that we would forget all the names, as everyone (even the landscapers) would come up and shake our hands and say hello ("Bula!"). By the end of the first week, we knew them all by heart, and talked with everyone each day. Thanks to the owners Freddy and Maddie, and all the wonderful staff, including Noa (our giant itau!), Dan, Kikau, Seruvi, Eddie, Eta, Lytia, Veroni, Veroni, and Mae, who have all worked so hard to create one of the most special places in the world.
I hope that you all get to spend some time at Navutu Stars at some point in your lives. We can’t wait to go back.
Bula and Vinaka Vaka Levu!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Navutu Stars Hotel Yaqeta Island
- Navutu Stars Yaqeta Island
- Navutu Stars Fiji Hotel & Resort Yaqeta Island