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“Friendly resort, beautiful village!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Crusoe's Retreat

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Crusoe's Retreat
Ranked #19 of 23 Hotels in Coral Coast
Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Friendly resort, beautiful village!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

We loved our stay at Crusoes having spent 5 nights there. We were greeted by the lovely Atu with shell necklaces and a cool drink and had our bags carried up to our delux seaview bure.
Great activities on offer. I suggest to the managers it would be a good idea to have a wet weather back up activities plan. We came to kick back and relax and did that most of the time. The local village located a very short stroll along the beach (Namaqumaqua) was beautiful. You get to see a part of local traditional fijian culture. I loved going on the local bus to pacific harbour for a small bus fare, also note that it cost us $10 cash to get to the main road or you can walk the 4kms. Its a great isolated location.
I suggest you withdraw cash at atm located at airport if you wish to bus/trinket shop/or eat in the village. There are no atm at crusoes. No TV was perfect too, no radio, just lots of friendly local fun and music in the bar. The beautiful locals play relaxing guitar at afternoon tea and the announcing of happy hour is traditional drums. Take part in the pounding of the Kava and the Kava ceremony with water that is fresh at resort, no risk. Even children participated in this. We loved the crab/frog racing, the Lovo was delicious!
Almost everything at service counter is on fiji time, however the meals order and service very prompt! Evenings are great for chatting/drinking with other tourists and bar tending service of drinks was fantastic! The breakfast is very good with cereal, toast, coffee/tea, juices, yummy fresh fruit and a variety of cooked eggs.
Everything is cashless at resort, except transport to road. Tipping is not allowed however you can donate to staff fund. I suggest you take clothes you are willing to donate for the locals and fill up case with trinkets/souvenirs on leaving Fiji :)
Room service seemed as if only bed was made and towels replaced.

Feedback to managers; thank you for your follow up with issue, i suggest a back up wet weather planning of activities and postal service/or mailbag at resort. More interaction with your facebook page and email enquires needed.
Thank you for a wonderful time!

Room Tip: Deluxe seaview and seaview equates to stairs for 4 story house. No fitness centre, but stairs will d...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Faerleewiccad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Bula Vinaka Lee & Jay and thanks so much for your great review of Crusoe's Retreat. It was our pleasure meeting you, and we are so glad that you enjoyed the Fijian cultural activities both at the resort, as well as at our friendly, neighboring, traditional Fijian village. This is what helps make Crusoe's Retreat such a special, unique place. Thanks again for your review, and we hope to see you again on a return visit, very soon. Vinaka!
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340 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

Crusoes is a wonderful place to get away from it all it is in a remote location which was ideal for us. We had a very friendly tropical Fijian welcome even at the late hour that we arrived. The staff at the resort make the resort truely special they are the most genuine lovely people with a sense of fun. The breakfast was yum as was lunch if we weren't too full from breakfast. Dinner was very nice, we loved the meal we had in the village. Our room was one of the cheaper rooms on the hill which was adequate for us as we are saving to go to Tonga in October. The way all the rooms are set up a path runs past the front door of all the rooms which seriously compromises privacy. Jared is the master of after dinner entertainment international crab and frog racing was fabulous. Anna (apologies if I didn't your name correctly) took wonderful care of us in the restaurant she is a darling. Tiki gave us an amazing village tour where my partner delighted in being the chief of our tourist group and drinking kava etc. Tiki on our last morning gave a Fijian cooking demo which we got to taste at the end it was so yummy!!! Thank you to all the guests and staff at crusoes our stay was relaxing and fun.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kimcruse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Bula Vinaka and thanks so much for your great review of Crusoe's Retreat. We are so pleased to read that you enjoyed a relaxing and truly Fijian holiday. We appreciate your very kind words about our staff - we are so proud of them, and they help make Crusoe's a very special place. We are a remote, quiet, laid-back, casual resort, and we are happy you embraced the true Crusoe's experience. Vinaka Vakalevu.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

This is a small, intimate resort offering excellent food and a good value.
The rooms are a little tired and in need of a little spit and polish but Brett and Ange are working on that and I'm sure it will continue to improve.
The grounds are beautiful and even rainy days are made fun by the smiling staff.
Make sure you get out to see the giant clams.
Vinaka Vakalevu!

Room Tip: Hillside bures are quite a climb up and not recommended for people with mobility issues.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank C J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Bula Vinaka and thanks for your great review of Crusoe's Retreat. We are so happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. It was our pleasure meeting you. We hope your travels return you to Crusoe's very, very soon. Vinaka!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

Where do you start ? We arrived to a wonderful reception from the crew from Crusoe's, the beach front bure was fantastic the new outdoor bed on deck was a great place just to chill out, although the breakfast and lunch menus may have been basic the quality of the food was wonderful, this maybe a 3.5 star resort but it has more than 5 star service thanks to Brett, Ange and the team "It is what it is" and it was fantastic

Room Tip: Deluxe beachfront bure's are the way to go, the outdoor showers are great
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 83_David_83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Bula Vinaka David and thanks so much for your BEST review of Crusoe's Retreat. It was so nice seeing you at Crusoe's and spending time with you. We are glad you were able to enjoy our brand new Day Beds in our Deluxe SeaSide Bure - not a bad place to sit back and relax your way through the day! Our only complaint is that you did not stay with us long enough. Hopefully your next visit to Crusoe's will be longer. Until then . . . Vinaka Vakalevu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woy Woy, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2013

Our stay at Crusoe's Retreat did not begin as we had hoped; we booked our stay with an online agent with a very confusing booking process. On arrival our expectations regarding accommodation were not met. After discussions with manager Brett a compromise was reached. We decided to stay in the alternative offered and never looked back. Crusoe's Retreat is the most remarkable holiday we have had, everything from the interaction with the staff, who know your name by day 2, to the relaxed atmosphere of the resort, the food is good and the visits to the village next door made our much needed escape something we will never forget.
There are many activities to do or you can just relax and enjoy the view and atmosphere of the surrounds.
We would recommend Crusoe's Retreat to anyone who wants to have an enjoyable, relaxing and friendly holiday. We would however recommend that you book directly with the resort, a phone call can get you a good deal and you will know what you have booked, also consider the meal plan and book your transfers through Crusoe's (as you will travel direct to Crusoe's Retreat on their own transport and not on shared transport.}As they say at Crusoes Retreat you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend.
Ni Sa Moce …..

Room Tip: Seaside Bures face directly to the reef and has the prevailing breeze off the water, we found no nee...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Warwick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Bula and thank you so much for your great review of Crusoe's Retreat. We apologize for the mixup when you arrived, and we are so glad that we were able to satisfy you and help make this your 'most remarkable holiday'. We thank you so much for your kind words, and we are so glad that you embraced the true, "Crusoe's Experience". We most certainly hope that your travels return you to Fiji, and allow you once again to experience Crusoe's Retreat - Fiji's Best Kept Secret. Vinaka Vakalevu.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

We spent 6 beautiful nights at Crusoe's in April and loved every minute of it. Thought we would do some tours but were just happy to relax at the resort with enough activities to keep us amused. Snorkeling in the lagoon was pretty good and out only complaint about the place was the quality of the snorkeling masks - finding one that didn't leak was a challenge and not enough if the resort was busier that when we were there.The grounds are gorgeous, the beachfront bure we had was fantastic - loved the outdoor shower, staff were terrific and the food was reasonably priced and good. The small size made it very friendly and we made some good friends. The locals at the village next door made us so welcome - opening their home for a delicious authentic dinner and there is a little cafe run by a local lady serving the best fresh fish & chips for lunch. If you want small, friendly and layback with the real Fiji experience then this can't be beat.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 515Julie1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Bula Vinaka Julie and thank you so much for your lovely review of Crusoe's Retreat. We are so happy that you enjoyed your Deluxe SeaSide Bure, with its wonderful open-air, river-rock outdoor shower. Thanks for your very kind words about our amazing local staff - we are very proud of them. Thanks also for advising about our snorkel masks - we do have a stock of additional masks, and if you had told us of your troubles with a leaky mask, we most certainly could have found a new one that fit you better. Thanks again for your great review, and it is us that can't wait to see you again at Crusoe's Retreat. Vinaka!
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Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

The mantra for Crusoe's Retreat proved quite true during our first trip to Fiji this year and I would like to start by thanking all the staff for a fantastic experience. Even our driver who picked us up from Nadi at 6am had more than enough time for us as he kindly offered to show us his Sri Siva Subramaniya temple on the way out. Any request or question we had was met with a smile and response, and for that I recommend Crusoe's for anyone with the same amount of respect to give in return. One distinctive feature of the service the staff provided was that it was clearly not classical, it is Fijian style and therefore on Fijian time. I recall that during our stay I overheard one couple complaining that they had to wait too long to have orders taken at dinner because they expected to be waited on like you might be at a 'Sofitel' or 'Hilton' but it doesn't work like that!

Fiji time...

We stayed in one of the beachfront Bure's with the neat outdoor shower and while relaxing or reading on our front porch I noticed there was quite a bit of foot traffic to and from the village to the main building past our room, but this only had me practising 'Bula!' more often than I thought.

Ok so now the criticisms. I am admittedly quite heavy handed when it comes to criticism, only because I find the value of the little things adds more to an experience than atmosphere and accommodation by themselves.

The selection of food is terrible, with the exception of eating in the village next door. Nearly all the food available from the kitchen at Crusoe's was westernized beyond belief and that shocked me. The last thing I wanted to eat was a burger and chips and an American style hot-dog, but they were both on the lunch menu - with too much oil. Dinner was much the same; however, this time you are given little to no options at all on some nights. Now its not all bad as there is a chance to try the Fijian Kokoda at lunch (Mon-Thursday) and other dishes in the village, from the village for dinner every other night. This food was fantastic.

Beware the hidden costs!!! My greatest warning to any guest of Crusoe's is to ask for the 'full' cost and never rely on the tour co-ordinator to be completely forthcoming. The information we were provided regarding entry fees was often wrong or missing when we went to visit Kula eco-park and Lawai (the pottery village), which are both great day trips to try. Also, Crusoe's has an activities board each day in reception. All of which are free except the boat snorkelling trip which is $20pp. Beware! I find this practice both deceitful and disrespectful. The review score of three is testament to this.

Finally, to be sure you have a great time at Crusoe's Retreat; be kind, respectful and generous.

Room Tip: Beachfront Bure's have a lot of foot traffic going past given the premium status they are given...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-CRM, Manager at Crusoe's Retreat, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Bula Vinaka Jason and thank you so much for your review of Crusoe's Retreat. We are so happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and we thank you very much for your very kind words about our friendly, local, Fijian staff. Its great that you were able to recognize that the level of service at Crusoe's, while professional, is also quite laid-back and is considered very 'local'. That is what a trip to Fiji should be - a fun, relaxing, local, culturally-rich holiday. Crusoe's is very fortunate to be one of the only resorts in Fiji to be located directly next to a traditional Fijian village. This is what truly differentiates Crusoe's from other Fiji resorts - the direct access to some of the world's friendliest people, with a rich living culture.
We are sorry to read that you did not enjoy the food. We do pride ourselves on offering fresh, local ingredients. While you may have enjoyed more local Fijian food, we have found in our many years of hosting guests, that most visitors do not like the rather bland taste of much of local Fijian food, with its boiled vegetables and meats. We do our best to provide a variety of dining options.
As for activities, you will have noted that Crusoe's offers a very wide range of FREE resort activities, including snorkeling, sea kayaking, tennis, beach volleyball, guided bush hikes, trips to our neighboring village, and many, many Fijian cultural activities, including weaving lessons, cooking and language lessons, how to husk a coconut, and more. As with all other resorts in Fiji, Crusoe's does charge for motorized activities, so yes the boat snorkel trip is an additional expense. We do state that the costs are additional on our Activities board, and we are quite surprised to hear that you were not expecting to pay for that. The Tour Desk at Crusoe's is operated by a separate company and we do depend on them to provide you with correct and detailed information on the tours available. We appreciate you mentioning this, and will bring it up with them.
Again, we thank you so much for your review, and are glad you enjoyed your stay at Crusoe's Retreat - Fiji's Best Kept Secret.
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Additional Information about Crusoe's Retreat

Property: Crusoe's Retreat
Address: Nr Pacific Harbour, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Coral Coast
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Coral Coast
#13 Spa Hotel in Coral Coast
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Coral Coast
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Crusoe's Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amongst lush tropical gardens and fronting a palm-fringed sandy beach and stunning lagoon, Crusoe’s Retreat is a friendly, intimate, traditional Fijian resort. Featuring only 29 Fijian-inspired Bures, Crusoe’s truly embodies all that is wonderful about the Fiji Islands: world-famous hospitality, an unhurried pace, fresh island cuisine, lots of complimentary activities, and a dedication to local culture and traditions. Crusoe’s Retreat truly is Fiji. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crusoe`s Retreat Hotel Coral Coast
Crusoes Retreat Coral Coast
Crusoes Retreat Hotel
Crusoe's Retreat Fiji/Coral Coast

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