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Review of Crusoe's Retreat

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Crusoe's Retreat
Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Coral Coast
Reviewed July 19, 2013

This resort is very remote. From Nadi airport it is a good 2 1/2 drive. After a little more than 2 hours you turn on a dirt road that takes another 20 minutes. That being said if you want to get away and relax in Fiji this could be a great choice. If you want to do different activities around Fiji this resort would not be a good choice. I thought the staff was very friendly and spent a lot of time doing special activities getting you involved in Fiji culture if you want to. We stayed in bure 18 it had a great view but the stairs can be a killer. You might want to think about upgrading to a deluxe beachside it has a nice couch and hammock chair on the deck very nice. A small village is next to the resort that is very friendly. I was invited to sunday church it was great experience. The reef in front of the resort is teaming with marine life and you practically have it to yourself. They do have a couple of kayaks you can take out. The menu has about 4 or 5 different entrees on it each day, each day of the week have unique items.

Room Tip: I think bure 1-5 would be winners
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank drogers14
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 reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Bula Vinaka drogers14 and thank you so much for your nice review of Crusoe's Retreat. It was great meeting you, and we are so pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. Crusoe's Retreat really is pretty remote, being located about 10-15 minutes off the main highway (unlike other Coral Coast resorts that are located directly on the road), which helps to make us feel like an 'escape'. We like to think of ourselves as being a private island experience on Fiji's main island. The drive to Crusoe's when you use our direct, nonstop, air-conditioned transfer service is just under two hours.
We do slightly disagree with you concerning some activities and excursions. We are very centrally located, about 25 minutes from the Adventures at Pacific Harbour, and close to lots of fun and exciting activities nearby, including River Safaris, Zipline, White Water Rafting, Scuba Diving (including Shark Dives), and shopping at Pacific Harbour, Sigatoka or Suva. Our Tour Desk can arrange for all of these activities and tours.
Thanks for your kind words about our friendly local Fijian staff. We are very proud of them, and they help make Crusoe's Retreat a very special place. We hope to see you again very soon on your next visit.
Vinaka!

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191 - 197 of 355 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

Crusoe's Retreat was a last minute get away for me, being a single, young female travelling alone on my first trip overseas is daunting enough, especially when it comes to going somewhere so secluded. However going to Crusoe's was the best decision I made, the staff were amazing, so friendly, so welcoming, and just all round genuine loving people. They made me feel safe, with security patrols around the retreat at night and even checking in on me just to see if I was ok at night, the staff made my experience one to remember, and I will definitely be back!!!
I stayed in the deluxe SeaView Bure #23 right on the end next to the beach on the top row of bure's. it had an amazing view something I could definitely get use to. Although the only downfall for me was the bathroom/shower/toilet area I felt was fairly run down looking but bareable. Being by myself I did do a lot of the activities they offered including snorkelling, sightseeing boat ride, glass bottom boat ride, Fijian herbal tour, Fijian cooking, the making/preparation of the Lovo dinner, the making/perpetration of the Kava all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Apart from these I also met up with one of the local villagers 'Ben' for a horse ride along the beach which only cost $50 Fijian dollar for an hour which I thought was great, he also took me in to their 'corner store' and introduced me to some of the locals including one called 'Mary' who does AMAZING beachside massages $40 Fijian for an hour, I had the time of my life and like 'Dee' saying during reach dinner announcement "you arrive as a guest but leave as a friend"

Room Tip: The beach view Bure's tend to have a lot of stairs to climb and get very slippery if it rains, s...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Natasha L
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 reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Bula Vinaka Natasha and thanks for your Heavenly review of Crusoe's Retreat. It was GREAT meeting you, and we are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us. Thanks so much for your kind words about our staff - we are very proud of our local, friendly, Fijian staff. They are truly what helps make Crusoe's Retreat such a special place. We truly wish that every guest gets to enjoy a truly relaxing and very Fijian holiday that you experienced. We can't wait to see you again soon! Vinaka Vakalevu!

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Reviewed July 12, 2013

We chose Crusoe's from the overall positive reviews by others on Trip Advisor. I searched resorts on the Coral Coast extensively through Trip Advisor and narrowed it down to Crusoe's for a few reasons, e.g. value for money, remote location, a niche resort. The impression from the reviews was that it was an older, smaller resort which offered value for money and an excellent stay. We were not disappointed. We had a fantastic time. The Deluxe Beachside Bure (about 7 available) is the most 'upmarket' of the accommodation options of the overall 29 cabins. By chance, we scored Bure #1 which was within 5m of the foreshore. Remarkable location. The Bure was air-conditioned but we didn't need to use it in July (Fiji's "winter"). The ceiling fan was sufficient. The Bure was a 'traditional design' and the interior view of the high-pitched roof showed that it was fantastically crafted. The room had a small electronic safe and a small fridge. The mosquito-netted bed was a nice feature. Mosquitoes weren't a problem, however. The inside shower was spacious and had two shower nozzles but we preferred the stone-walled outside shower that had no roof. It was great to shower 'outside' but in complete privacy. The resort offeres a range of activities, including a glass-bottom boat tour of the shallow but extensive lagoon, a mangrove tour, and a snorkelling trip by boat to a deeper part of the lagoon. All tours last about 1hr each and are F$20pp which is good value. For beachfront snorkelling, the snorkel and flippers are free to use. Free use of kayaks is available, too. Although there appears to have been severe degradation of the coral in the lagoon, the snorkelling is still very good and very safe (although water sports are restricted to 2 x 2hr timeslots per day around high tide to protect the regenerating coral). You can head out towards the reef for about 500m and still stand in chest-deep water. Being Aussies, we had to ask the question, "What about the sharks?" to which the Fijians just laughed and said, "They're friendly Fijian sharks!" We nevertheless proceeded with caution but didn't see any sharks. The local Fijians said the reef sharks and bull sharks tended to 'hang out' at the channel through the reef which was about 1km diagonally from the resort snorkelling area. The glass-bottom boat tour took us to the mouth of the channel where it gets quite deep and eerie. Great visibility. We saw some quite big fish but no sharks even although the guide was expecting to come across a few. On the way back to the resport we hovered about a Giant Clam farm. These huge bivalves have to be seen to be believed. Later, we snorkelled from the shore to the clam farm. It's takes some peserverence to get out there and the water is up to 2m deep but it's well worth the effort because the Giant Clams are extraordinary. The staff, many of whom come from the village immediately next to the resort, are lovely, friendly people. We enjoyed their warm company very much. We visited the village for a Church Service. Never have I heard more beautiful choral singing. Extraordinary. Finally, we had a hire care which we drove from Nadi. It took about 2.5hrs. The car gave us the flexibility to get out and about, e.g. to head inland to see the fab topical mountain scenery.

Room Tip: The Deluxe Seaside Bures are very special. Each is an independent from the other and offer immediate...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gahmania
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 reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Bula Vinaka Gavin and thank you so much for your great review of Crusoe's Retreat. It was so nice meeting you both, and we are so glad you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for your very kind words about our location, bure accommodation, and the value we provide. You certainly took full advantage of the water activities, and we are so glad you enjoyed them. Again, it was great meeting you and we hope to see you again on our friendly shores, very soon. Vinaka!

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Reviewed June 25, 2013

I travelled in November 2008 with a friend. The drive down was long and our bus broke down which didn't help and we dropped off quite a few people before we got to our hotel...finally.
We were checked in quickly and our welcome drink was a small cordial punch thing which wasn't what I expected but we were upgraded to a beachfront bure which was amazing! We were the closest to the beach and had we stayed in the room that we had booked it would have been a bit of a walk up and down each night.

Rooms
The rooms near the pool and possibly Oceanside are reasonable walking to and from the beach and main room and of course the 4-5 bures are the best location and good views. We had a cute balcony with chairs, we didn't have the big round romantic chair but that was ok. Our room was lovely, I would have liked block out curtains for the option of late sleep in and the typical sand and insects are expected.

They wasn't any amenities like shampoos etc i think there may have been soaps. Bathroom was dated and tired which was surprising for the top range accommodation. We made use of our safe.
Being right at the end we were in front of the path where the locals and staff walk by so privacy at times was tested.

The rooms at the back of the resort will give you a walk up and down. Again it's not far but no real view and you wouldn't want to lug up your cases.

Activities
I loved the in house activities which were daily. You need this since you are so secluded unless you want to make the big trip into either main town. Free snorkelling, canoeing, cooking demo was great. The locals took me coconut gathering - they showed me the difference between them and got to taste them as we'll. it's well worth making nice with the people in the village and staff who most live next door in the village.
I got to go look at the farms, the pig farms, some other couples and I were all invited to the children's kindergarten graduation and celebration which was wonderful. The boys also invited us to come watch the Australia vs Fiji rugby match which was on at the time. Great way to see how they live and the difference in culture and living. They were very friendly and there was only a few children at the resort who were welcomed by the village children

Food
You have to eat at the resort is the only downside. It's costly. Some of it isn't great but they try
Afternoon tea is a let down as well. You can't really travel into town to eat as its too late so stock up in town before you come down or on a trip out for snacks etc. we bought drinks so this supplemented cocktail hour for us. I don't remember room service being available and they didn't like giving ice for overnight water.

Beach
I loved being out there everyday. Snorkelling was amazing, the water beautiful and swimming wonderful. I LoVED being there! Beaches are lovely and no one is around. Great for a quiet trip. A few honeymooners were there and although there is a resort a bit further around you wouldn't know it.

The traditional night was fun and every night they ran competitions. Best dressed, dancing couple etc. the massage was cheap but not the best I've had and felt the lady was doing it just another person paying. My friend had a much more intense and competent massage and I think it was because she enjoyed massaging him... There was no spa a facilities and no gym at the time and basic pool although cute in the shape of a foot.

I enjoyed my stay and it was a lovely spot but not great for those wanting action and to get back and forth to town. Once your there, your there.

I got a great deal on flights and accommodation so for what I paid I was happy

Room Tip: Chose a bure if you can
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank WeLovePuppos
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 reviewResponded July 11, 2013

Bula Vinaka and THANKS so much for your very detailed review of your stay at Crusoe's Retreat.
A lot has changed since you visited in November 2008, with many, many improvements. As you note, Crusoe's Retreat is not for everyone. If people are seeking lots of action, a night club, tons of restaurant options, and loads of people on the beach, than Crusoe's is not right for them. We are a relaxed, casual, and simple traditional Fijian beach resort, located directly next to a traditional Fijian village, and with one of the most friendly and lovely local Fijian staffs. For those people looking for a relaxed getaway, with an opportunity to get a true taste of Fiji, Crusoe's Retreat is that perfect place. We hope you have a chance to visit us again and see the many improvements we have made to Crusoe's Retreat. Vinaka!

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Reviewed June 20, 2013

First time to Fiji and very impressed with Crusoe's. The gardens are well kept, the Bures are comfortable and serviced every day, the food is very good and the staff very welcoming and friendly. We stayed for ten days and found this to be an adequate time in an isolated location. No complaints except for three days of rain and no one can be held responsible for that.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Simongarybuckman
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 reviewResponded July 11, 2013

Bula Vinaka Simon and thanks so much for your Perfect review of Crusoe's Retreat! We apologize for the rain - we did our best to keep it away. It was so nice meeting you and spending time with you, and we are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. We hope your travels return you to Crusoe's Retreat very soon. We'll be here waiting for you. Vinaka!

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Reviewed June 12, 2013

Crusoe's is secluded, quiet, tranquil and has one of the friendliest hotel staffs you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. If you are looking for a crowded beach and pool area with a large social atmosphere, this place is not for you. If the goal is to enjoy an intimate atmosphere, relax, while enjoying a beautiful beach and great treatment then this is for you. Distance from Nadi isn't ideal but quickly forgotten when you arrive. Meals are simple but tasty. Breakfast selection is limited to a few hot items but the lunch and dinner menus change regularly. On occasion (weekly) you will have the chance to try authentic Fijian Cuisine cooked over hot rocks (Lovo Pit), Mongolian Grill or your standard a la carte fare. The beach area for swimmers is best enjoyed early in the morning or in the afternoon (within two hours of sunrise/sunset) due to the large amount of coral. If you snorkel or scuba then you'll love it anytime. When not relaxing on the beach I would strongly encourage getting a massage (or two) Amazing and not obscenely priced.

Negatives: You are far from any big city if that's one of your goals. This makes site seeing trips a bit expensive (depending on your budget). A rental car would not be a bad idea depending how much you want to tour around the island. Happy Hour was good but not great. Drink totals can add up fast.

I've read previous reviews and can sympathize with some that the resort is not comparable to a five star establishment. It's not meant to be. Only one set (Top Tier) comes with AC. Most of our evenings were quite chilly and it wasn't missed. We had plenty of hot water (not an issue at all) and had a hot water heater for coffee or tea. Don't forget to bring a set of travel adapters, as there are no American style (120) plugs, they use 240.

Overall the manager (Brad) and the staff are very friendly and really try to take care of you. For the value you can't beat it.

Room Tip: At a minimum if possible upgrade to the Seaview Bures (with double queen beds) You are on a hilltop...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Eddy_V1
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 reviewResponded July 11, 2013

Bula Eddy and thanks so much for your Incredible review of Crusoe's Retreat! We love your description of the resort, and we couldn't have said it any better - we are friendly, secluded, quiet, tranquil, and more! We appreciate your kind words about our staff, of whom we are so, so proud. We like to think that we provide a casual, relaxed, truly authentic Fijian holiday, and we are so glad that you were able to appreciate and enjoy that. We hope your travels return you to Fiji and Crusoe's Retreat very soon. Vinaka Vakalevu!

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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...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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
#14 Spa Hotel in Coral Coast
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Coral Coast
Price Range: $56 - $124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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