We returned a week ago from our 9th trip to Fiji. We enjoyed 10 days at Matangi Island Resort and we're still talking about what a magical stay it was. Unlike Qamea Island, the only thing on Matangi Island is the resort.
We arrived at Matei aiport on Taveuni from Nadi on the first flight of the day and the Matangi van was waiting for us. It took about an hour to get from the airport to the resort; the first part of the trip via van and the second via Matangi's boat. (You'll need to wade to get to the boat so wear shorts or something that can be pulled above your knee.)
When we arrived at the resort, we again waded and were greated by the Matangi staff singing a welcome song for us. As we came ashore, they introduced themselves - pay attention as they will know your name and you'll see these people daily during your stay. After the greeting, we were swept into the restaurant where they fed us breakfast - a pleasant surprise as it was about 10:30 a.m. and past their normal breakfast hours. (Breakfast is served from 7-9 a.m., lunch from Noon-2, and dinner from 7-9 p.m.) After breakfast, we were shown to our bure, where our bags were waiting and we settled in.
We stayed in their two bedroom bure - a very large unit with two huge bedrooms with king size beds, sitting areas and private en suites. The bathrooms had an inside shower and an outside shower. The outside shower had a rock wall with an opening to the garden area so you could enter it to rinse off after swimming/snorkeling. Both bedrooms had ceiling fans but only one of the bedrooms had air conditioning; the other had extra fans. I am not sure if all of the single bures have air conditioning or not, but if this is important to you, it would be worth asking about.
The bures were well supplied with insect repellent, Mortein (like Raid), a flashlight, umbrella, ipad-docking clock radio, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair dryers, etc.
In the two-bedroom unit, the bedrooms are separated by a kitchen and lounge area and there is a large covered porch with nice patio furniture outside, facing the water. The kitchen had a small refrigerator and stove and tea and coffee-making supplies but no dishes or utensils other than glasses, coffee cups and spoons. There were also two cookie jars, and four bottles of drinking water from the restaurant - where they employ a NZ water purification system. They do not recommend you drink the water from the tap in the room. The location of the two-bedroom unit is very private and is on its own point but it's a fairly long walk to the pool/dining area and a really long walk to the dive/activity area. (The units nearer the dive shop are older.)
Every morning we'd go to breakfast where we could order eggs including omelettes, or have pancakes, French toast, fruit, cereal, muffins, etc. At breakfast we were given the menu for lunch and dinner so we could make our selections. For lunch and dinner, could normally choose between two entree/appetizers and three main courses - usually one seafood, one vegetarian and one meat, as well as dessert. The food (quality and variety) were excellent during our stay and we wanted to bring the chef home with us!
After breakfast we'd go diving. The dive instructor, Ally, had worked at the resort for about 4 years. She knew the area well and consistently took us to a variety of sites with beautiful soft and hard corals and fish. All dives were drift dives and she was very careful that if someone didn't have their AOW certification, they didn't exceed their certification. But for experienced divers like us, she relaxed and pointed out interesting creatures and we dove our own profile - with some dives 90 minutes long. For the surface interval we normally went to a nearby beach but if there were more than 4 divers, we often headed back to the resort to swap tanks. After diving, we'd head to lunch and Ally and her staff would take care of washing our gear.
For non-divers, they had other activities each day including volleyball, snorkeling, village tours, waterfall tours, kava ceremony, Meke dancing, etc. Another guest told me that these activities were complimentary but I did not confirm that.
Spa services were priced comparably to services in the US, and we didn't see many people taking advantage of them.
Every day while we were diving, housekeeping would come and change our sheets and refresh our towels. Each bedroom had a hamper and if you placed clothes in it, they would be taken and washed, dried and folded. At night during dinner, housekeeping would again return to our bures and put down the mosquito nets, refresh towels, and return that day's laundry. They would also drop off the daily newsletter which provided some history of Fiji, a list of who was arriving/leaving the island the next day, and information on available activities.
The resort owners, Noel and Flora live on the island, as does their daughter Christine. They have an exceptionally well-trained staff and have thought of everything.
In addition to the owners, there are several reclusive cats who live at the resort as well as about 15 dogs. Two of the dogs go "fishing" every morning in front of the spa - they would sychronize swim back and forth, trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to see and catch fish. The dogs were fun to watch.
Life at Matangi really spoiled us. The resort only accommodates about 25 people and there were many more staff than guests. During our stay, there were usually only about 12 guests; most were Americans and many guests were on their honeymoons. Matangi was truly wonderful and we'd gladly return someday!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 240-acre private island paradise paradise situated in the Northeast of the Fiji Group of Islands. A small boutique island resort featuring only 9 bungalows and 3 unique tree houses. Catering to adults only, Matangi Island is the ideal couples retreat offering a wide variety of activities including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, spa services, and fine dining. Matangi Island's Horseshoe Bay was featured in '1,000 Places To See Before You Die' by Patricia Schultz. ISLANDS Magazine also rated Matangi as one of the 'Best Private Islands'. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Matangi Private Island Hotel Matangi Island
- Matangi Island Private Hotel
- Matangi Island Private Resort