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“Exceeded our expectations”

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Matangi Private Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matangi Island
Certificate of Excellence
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Exceeded our expectations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2012

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!

Room Tip: If you want air conditioning, make sure to request a bure with it. Also, bures north of the restaura...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Cindy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2012

I just spent the past 13 days at Matangi, and the only way to describe it was AWESOME !!!! For me, it was disconnecting from the normal busy life of Colorado. The cars, the texting, the emails, the voicemails. I think most people want to go somewhere that we feel welcomed and well cared for, but nothing but a smile and a friendly "Bula" is expected in return. Matangi Island Resort is more then a vacation, or a place to get away.....it quickly becomes very much more than that. It is a place like few others. The Fijian people and the owners of Matangi Island are the key. Aside from the fact that the accommodations are beautiful and meticulously maintained, the food is spectacular, the diving is superb and the activities are wonderful, it is truly the people of Fiji, and specifically the staff and owners of Matangi, that make the experience very special. Let's face it, we can go to plenty of places in the world and get great accommodations, great food, and great activities. So what is so special about Matangi?

First of all, the owners live and work at Matangi. The work that goes into making sure everything is "just right" is very obvious. Every detail is attended to. The management staff and general staff all know your fist name, so it is very common to have someone raking your lawn, picking up your laundry or preparing your lunch call out "Bula Doug" as you pass by ! Your are greeted by singing on the beach when you arrive, every night at dinner and on the day you leave. It is a very magical experience staying at Matangi, and I highly recommend it for all.

Must do items......village visit.....scuba diving or snorkeling of course.....if you like fishing, go fishing. Picnic in Horseshoe Bay.

BTW......Cindy at South Seas Adventures arranged all of my travel to Matangi......thanks Cindy.........what a beautiful recommendation.

Room Tip: I tend to go back and forth to my room a good bit for fishing gear or diving stuff. Bure 4 and 5 are...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DouginBoulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmingdale
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2012

We stayed at here at the end of November for our honeymoon. We did some other Fijij travel in the south and that to us was breathtaking until we reached northern Fiji and this gem of a resort.
The staff is amazing and becomes family by the time you go you are sad to leave them. The food is nothing short of spectacular. The bures were amazing and private . The grounds were beautiful as well. We went to the nearby village which was a great trip. The villagers were welcoming and fun adn the kids were super cute, smart and curious. We would return in a heart beat even with the 18 hr flight from NY.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle, wa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2012

Matangi is a very lovely resort. Our bure was really spectacular, very spacious with an outdoor shower that we loved (although I'm not convinced our over the bed air conditioner ever worked right)! The beach and grounds were also very lovely, we hanging day beds, hammocks and beach chairs scattered throughout the property. The pool area and dining bure were also very nice spaces to spend time at, with coffee, tea and treats available all the time. I highly recommend the half day excursion to the private beach for a picnic. It was very enjoyable and it was so neat to really feel like you were the only people on the island. Also the brand new spa is really top notch facility wise and all the treatments I got were wonderful. This is a nice plus for people that want something else to do if you don't snorkel, kayak, dive.

Now for the low points. The food isn't terrible but we really thougtht it was pretty mediocre, especially for the price you pay to stay here. It was the worst food of the three places we went, and this was the most expensive place we stayed. The friendliness of the staff was hit and miss. Some were very dismissive while others were very friendly and attentive. Also, I don't feel like we got our money's worth on the diving. We didn't prepay for diving, and when we showed up to schedule diving we didn't feel very welcomed. We dove with the "beginners" group and ended up having very short dives because one person didn't have a dive computer available to them. They need some improved custom service at the dive shop, although they are very friendly.

Overall I liked Matangi as a resort, but because of the price and food, I would recommend Navutu Stars over them and would stay there again next time instead.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank staceytann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodside, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

My family went to the small and gorgeous Matangi Private Island Resort over New Year's and cannot recommend it enough. We were of varying ages (56, 51, 21, 19, 14) and interests, but all managed to have a lovely vacation and are already looking forward to going back.

Staff: The staff are the ones who make the trip truly memorable. When you arrive by boat (and you can only arrive by boat) they are there to sing you a welcome song, furnish you with flowers, and holding out the most delicious, refreshing drink I have ever consumed after 24 hours of traveling. They learn your first name and are friendly and outgoing, not to mention incredibly helpful. If guests start a volleyball game in the afternoon, which we did as often as possible, the staff will jump in - this was definitely a highlight for me, as they get competitive and some are quite good players, but they keep the game fun!

Activities: It was hard to rouse myself from lounging on the beach, but there was so much to do that I made the effort. The dive sites are absolutely gorgeous, including one of the top ten must-dive locations in the world, and the fauna are diverse and breathtaking. There is also ample snorkeling, walking, hiking, and even Internet in the dining pavilion so you can keep up with Facebook. Not to mention the hammocks and swinging beds scattered around the beach, on which I took a daily afternoon nap. We also went to the Bouma National Park, a series of waterfalls on Taveuni where scenes from the movie Return to the Blue Lagoon was shot. Relaxation is clearly the name of the game here, but if you're a more restless traveler like my mother you will not fall short of things to do.

Food: Before I left for this trip, I read a review that said the food tasted like bad microwave food. Now I'm not sure if the food has drastically improved since then or maybe that person is not entirely possessed of their senses, but I (and the rest of my family, and the three other families we spent time with) thought the food was delicious. There were always a few dishes available for selection, including a vegetarian option, and when we had to order something modified, as we had a vegetarian, a nut allergy, and two gluten-free, they were more than accommodating. The curry in particular was fantastic, as Fiji has a lot of Indian culinary influence.

Other: I had a massage at the spa with Winnie, whose hands were sent directly from a higher power. The massage rooms open out into the deck and ocean, and a wonderful breeze came through. I haven't felt that relaxed in a long time. Flo and Noel, the owners, keep a menagerie of animals on the island which you might notice running around: chickens, pigs, fruit bats, parrots, and lots of dogs. All of them are friendly and add to the charm of the resort, but the roosters woke a couple members of our party up a little earlier than they would have liked. If you're a light sleeper, some earbuds would not go amiss.

Overall, we cannot think of ways to improve the trip, and we will absolutely be going back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Aschilling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

It is almost 2012, and it is about time that I wrote a review of Matangi. We stayed there back in July, 2011. Our whole experience was fantastic. From the time they picked us up at the airport, to the time in which they sang "isa lei" when we were leaving.
LOCATION: First of all, the location and staff were outstanding! Matangi is a very beautiful island! Very lush and green. It is paradise! We loved the remoteness of it all. No tv/radio. It was like stepping back in time a bit, away from most technology. There was internet access in the main building, for those that wanted to use it, which was fine. At night, it did get pretty dark. Which was kinda cool seeing all the stars in the sky. And of course some of the frogs as well. But they do provide a flashlight in each bure to help out in the evening. They also provided bug repellant and some sun screen. Which we definitely put to use.
STAFF: The staff was unbelievably friendly. They learned our names from the point we arrived. Sireli coordinated all the activities. He was fantastic, and still miss his laugh. (For those that do meet him, you know what I am talking about!) But even when my partner was sick for a day, he made him a tray of bread and drinks to take back to our bure. Which was very kind of him.
DIVING: The diving was amazing. They took us to some beautiful spots. The coral and fish life were abundant and vibrant! The dive master (I can't remember his name), went at a very slow pace, which was good for underwater photography. They didn't have defog (which I'm glad we brought our own). But they had everything else. I brought a 3mm wetsuit, and really didn't need it in July. I could of gotten by with a shorty. And the surface interval was the best I have ever had. They took us to a very remote beach, and just got to relax in the sun for a bit. Even for those that snorkel, they took us to a fantastic reef in about 10-20 ft of water.
LODGING: We stayed in one of their Tree houses (Lomalagi). This was a very cool choice! The room was beautiful and spacious. Loved the outdoor shower, except the hot water issue. For the first 3 days, we really didn't have hot water in the shower. (There was in the bathtub). But it took 3 times to tell the staff that we needed it fixed. In fact, a word of advice. If you need something looked at or taken care of, just go directly to management. That way it will get done. Not that the staff didn't care, it just seemed not to get done until we spoke with management. At that point, they fixed the issue.
FOOD: The food was mostly outstanding. Loved the indian food, and of course very fresh seafood. The only item that was just "ok"...was the pizza. It was alright. That was one of the choices at lunch one day. But for every meal, there were usually 3 choices to select from.
ACTIVITIES: Besides the fantastic diving, there were activities to choose from everyday. And I know in a previous review, someone remarked that they felt pressured into choosing an activity. We never at all felt pressured. In fact, one day we decided just to stay back and enjoy the resort. I highly recommend the village visit though, it was unbelievable!
WORD OF ADVICE: Matangi is a remote island. If you are expecting the Four Seasons, you are not going to get it here. It could be hot and sticky, there are bugs, mosquitoes, frogs, crabs. But if you are looking for a quiet resort, away from it all, romantic, fun and friendly staff, good food, you like being in or at least on the water, then this is the place for you then.
Vinaka Matangi for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank kcdiver42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2011

We had found it difficult to know where to choose to have our wedding but knew as soon as we saw Matangi on the website that this was going to be the place. It appeared to be small, unique and friendly whilst being traditional Fijian as well. We had our two dads and my husbands sister trwvelling with us so the place had to also be right for them. We were staying for ten nights.
Matangi did not disappoint. We were met off the plane by our wedding planner, Tom, and everything from that point on was taken care of. He looked after my dress, our bags, and the supplies needed for the resort.
We travelled for about as half hour bumpy bus ride and then a cool 20min boat ride and were greeted by the singing staff of Matangi on their beach with a Welcome cocktail at the ready.
The whole experience was amazing but I will try to summarize certain aspects now:

Food: mostly very good. It did depend which chef was on duty but there was more than enough food at each meal. You do choose your food for the day at breakfast but this wasn't an issue for us. They call you when each meal is ready by playing the log drum.

Rooms: perfect. We had rooms 'Ono' and number 4 and the double bure for the dads. The double one was so worth it for our group as it meant we could meet up there as a group each night for pre-dinner drinks.

Staff: very helpful, polite and they go out of their way to help

Facilities: perfect snorkeling- the best place was just at the edge of Horseshoe Bay and this is where they took us on the day of the wedding and on our last day. Catamaran hire was also good, as was kayaking.

Entertainment: the band boys were awesome. They played every night at dinner and they really should think about putting together a cd of their music for the tourists to buy....I know many of us would have done so. In particular Jay's voice was memorable.

Location: yes it is quite far away from anywhere else but for total relaxation this place is ideal. No mobile phone signal apart from near the main dining room, they do have Internet for you if you wish, no phones in rooms, no tv.....paradise!

Wedding: we could not have asked for anything more, apart from maybe that the wedding planner actually received more of the money we paid for the wedding than he did from the resort. However the preparation, the ceremony, the food and drinks, the after-events were all perfection at its best. We had a seafood BBQ for our meal, wew had rum punch for our after ceremony drinks and there were many, many canapés with this.

We loved this resort and would definitely recommend it. There is nowhere else that I would rather have had my wedding. Thank you Matangi for everything that you did. Keep this little paradise like it is and we will be back one day.



  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank quaverwave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matangi Private Island Resort

Property: Matangi Private Island Resort
Address: Matangi Island Fiji, Matangi Island, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Matangi Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matangi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Matangi Private Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 12
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

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