This hotel is not fit for purpose in the Fiji summer. We paid nearly £3k for a premier room which was unbearably hot day and night. We ran 4 fans in the room 24/7 and they were old noisy fans. We were always covered in sweat. This hotel has no A/C.
We could not even cool off by swimming for much of the day because when the tide is out it’s not possible. There is no pool.
I am sad to write this because the staff are lovely and certain events were great, the village church service was a joy and The Great Sea Reef amazing, but non of these things compensated for the discomfort in our room.
A few minor annoyances, no hot water on 2 mornings ( human error), a mosquito trap area between the bedroom and the bathroom, terrible internet and then only by the office, the bathroom fan stopped working for the last 24 hours making the bathroom an oven and finally the only fish was ‘Spanish Mackerel’ and this became boring.
This resort is in a superb remote and natural location and I accept that is a challenge but it should not be sold as a luxury resort and charged as such because it is not.
We moved on to Savasi island resort which I will review later, but for a very similar cost the comparison is ridiculous.
We arrived at Labasa airport to be greeted by the friendly Nukubati Island driver who drove us about an hour through the jungle to the jetty. We were then met by Rucie, our friendly boat captain who took us on the short trip over to the island. On arrival we were greeted with a traditional Fijian welcome song on the beach by the staff. It was very special.
Gordon, one of our amazing hosts, greeted us in the Pavilion with fresh coconut water, and amazing Fijian hospitality. From there we had an amazing lunch served by the beautiful Sarah and Emily. What a treat that was. Food was fresh from their organic farm and farms from local villages. We were then shown to our room which was our home for the next seven nights.
We were a bit concerned before arriving that the island claims 'no to low activities', however there was always something to do. Even if it was lying on our private beach reading a novel from the island library.
Activities we participated in were a fishing trip, a trip to church on Sunday at a local village, snorkeling on the Great Sea Reef, a sand bank picnic, walking around the island, paddling a glass bottom boat kayak, plus a trip to the local school.
Additionally the days were filled with a bit of swimming, happy hour with the hosts of the island, Jenny, Gordon and Lara, around 6.30pm. Amazing meals, a karva night, traditional Fijian BBQ. Plus Pictionary with the other two couples on the island after dinner.
I might add the first night we were on the island we were the only guests. Second night there was one other couple and then third night a third couple arrived. So special to be able to go somewhere without the tourist crowds.
Our seven nights was up way too quickly. When it was time to go we were fair-welled with another traditional song by the staff.
Overall this was an amazing experience. Feel so blessed we were able to meet so many amazing Fijian people and the other two couples were great too. Also loved the values of the owners of the island. They were not only great people, they valued the earth we live in also. Organic farming, employing locals, their own solar farm, and their thoughtfulness towards the environment. This is not a big glitzy resort with all the bells and whistles, but a truly humbling place to go to relax and experience a holiday of true relaxation.
Thank you to everyone on the island that made this experience so special for us.
This was our first time in Fiji, and we were hoping to stay at a place with good food, beautiful beach, and somewhat serene so that we can destress after a long process of wedding planning. This place proved to be that and so much more for us!
The honeymoon bures were not available when we booked, so we stayed in a regular one. I would say that the room could probably use a fresh coat of paint or two, but... it was very clean and comfortable. The bathroom is HUGE! The bed was really comfortable to sleep in, the pillows were great, the sheets were clean and fresh. The staff cleaned our room a few times a day, with a plenty of clean/dry towels and beach towels every day. Our room mostly got cleaned when we went out for meals. We had fresh flowers all over the place, as well as plenty of fresh water and juices stocked in our fridge.
Delicious, freshly prepared with We loved every meal. They bake their own bread, and it was really really good. There was plenty of freshly caught fish to choose from, as well as vegetables and fruits. I never knew coconut sauce could taste so good -- they use it in plenty of dishes, like coconut poached fish and octopus. The meals were well put together, and there were plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Deserts were awesome, they make these grilled bananas with butterscotch that were seriously to die for -- we asked for seconds (which, by the way, is totally ok!).
The resort is the only thing on the island (as well as everything it takes to keep it running). The grounds are beautifully kept, very clean, with beautiful flower bushes everywhere. Everyone gets a private little area on the beach where the umbrella and beach chairs are. We also had a hammock by the beach. The main dining area has a lot of couches if you wanted to run away from the heat during the day, as well as board games, puzzles, and magazines to keep you entertained. We were also able to catch some wifi here, to keep up with what was happening with our family and friends back home. The island itself is gorgeous and we explored it many times. We went around it a few times during low tide, and also made a few trips up on the hill to watch the sunset. There are canoes, paddle boards, sail boats, a glass bottom boat, as well as snorkeling gear that we could use during our stay. We snorkeled a ton, and there is so much to see, especially during certain parts of the beach (talk to Lote, she will tell you where the best sights are). We have traveled to Dominican Republic, and also Mexico previously, and the water in Fiji is not as salty as those other parts of the world, and we were pleasantly surprised.
We truly felt like we were a part of one huge happy family. Sara, Siri, and Cathy did an excellent job serving our meals and taking care of us in the dining room. They are polite and pleasant, and we looked forward to seeing them for every meal. They are excellent at what they do, and work very hard from dawn to sunset to have everything perfect for every guest. Eunice was great in that she gave us so much information before coming there, during, and we were happy to see that the place is run with honesty and integrity. Lote is the queen of the sea, she is fun and pleasant and knows the boats and the ocean like the back of her hand. The staff really tries to stay out of your way, and lets you be and do whoever you want... yet they are easy to find in case you need anything. My husband stepped on a coral when we went to the sand bank and cut his foot. They had special serum to help him heal ready for us, with bandages, and they were keeping an eye on him all the time until he healed (everything healed nicely in a few days). I cannot say enough great things about the people of Fiji. They make me want to come back again. It truly takes a big staff to run the resort and a lot of the people just do things behind the scenes and are not heard nor seen. One last thing -- we got free laundry service.... WOW.... our clothes were washed daily, perfectly folded when brought back... That was amazing.
We snorkeled a lot, and had fun doing it. We also went to the sandbank picnic one day, which was awesome -- we did a ton of snorkeling there as well. We also went octopus hunting, and that was a very unique experience that I would highly recommend (if you come during the octopus season). Exploring the island is a must, and also you have to go up on that one hill behind the bures to see the sunset from the top. It's absolutely magical.
We couldn't have found a better spot to honeymoon. I wish I could say that we would return to Nukubati - maybe someday? We love to explore different places every time we go somewhere, so we may try for a different part of Fiji if we ever come back... (it's a loooong trip from New York!!). However, we would HIGHLY recommend the resort to others, especially for those that have not yet been to Fiji at all. This is where you will experience Fiji truly for what Fiji is. It's beautiful, comfortable, and will always stay in our hearts. And the people of the resort as well. Siri, Sarah, Cathy, Lote, and Eunice - we already miss you. Oh, and we miss the champagne and snacks at sunset. A lot. :)
We had a wonderful stay at Nukubati.
We stayed for 9 nights at the end of July 2016. There was another couple when we arrived (who left the next day) and another couple arrived the day before we left. So, for part of our stay we had the resort to ourselves. This was an extra special experience and suited us well as we were looking for a lot of privacy and down time. That's not to be expected, we just lucked out.
Nukubati is a special place. Jenny, the lovely owner, and her dedicated team have created a peaceful oasis that for us was just what the doctor ordered.
It should come as no surprise that some of the expected luxury inclusions for a resort of this standard are not present - air con, pool, reliable and speedy wifi - the resort makes it clear those are not a part of the experience and it's also well reported in all the reviews here. So, we knew that going in, and for the most part we didn't miss them.
I purposely booked our trip in Fiji's winter in order to avoid the worst heat and humidity. This turned out well and we had great weather for most of our stay (rain the last day and a half of our stay, but that can happen any time). I would have a hard time without the aircon in the peak heat and humidity, but for this stay the ceiling fans and evening breezes were all we needed.
Although wifi is accessible during some parts of the day in the dining area, it's often too slow to use. My advice is to take it as an opportunity to "unplug" during your stay. That's hard to do and I can attest to the benefits. Mobile/cell service was almost none existent for me. I had a few random and brief connections during my 9 days on the island - another opportunity to put the phone down for a week. Better to give your key contacts the resort's direct number and let people call if there's a true emergency.
Things were not perfect during our stay. There were some things that weren't ideal or went wrong. That's to be expected, not everything goes to plan ... I won't bother listing them, but what I will say is that any issue we made the staff aware of, they made every effort to find a solution. Everyone seemed genuinely interested in making our stay great, and in my book that's what really matters. In some cases they even went above and beyond, including making great efforts to grant some special requests we made before arriving, which we greatly appreciated. Eunice and the office team were great to deal with at each stage of the process.
A big part of any holiday is the food. We were happy with the meals during our stay. Some were good, and some dishes were spectacular. The chocolate soufflé on one night was the best we've ever had. We had it on another night and it wasn't quite as good, but that's the way it goes with soufflé. The cuisine is based largely on local produce, so you'll be getting cassava rather than potato and there will be a locally caught fish option at almost every meal. Don't expect lamb from New Zealand or Australian beef, but you will still eat well during your day. The team are open to requests and will do their best to accommodate you. At meal times we really enjoyed Cathy and Sarah's great service. There were some new staff being trained while we were there on some days - while friendly and lovely people, their communication was not the best and ordering was more of a challenge. Their service was quite different to Cathy and Sarah's. We talked to them about consistency of service and think they will address this. We loved being able to choose when wanted to eat our meals each day.
We are very keen snorkelers. Based on all the reviews I had read, I didn't expect great snorkeling around the resort and that was a fair assessment. You can snorkel around the resort and there are things to see, we did that on the day we arrived. However, the clarity isn't good being so close to the mangroves and it's nothing compared to what's available out on the Great Sea Reef.
We didn't do any of the other activities (sailing, paddle boarding, etc) - our main focus was making the full trip out to the Great Sea Reef on the days that the weather and wind were agreeable. We ended up making four trips out to the reef and they were big days. It can take up to 45 min to make it out to the best parts of the reef in the resort's dive boat, but it's well worth the trip. For some, a quick 20 or 30 min snorkel is enough, but we spent hours in the water on each trip and sometimes visited a few different spots. We were lucky to have Lote as our guide, assisted by Wai, and we trusted and enjoyed ourselves with them. This was some great snorkeling with a large variety of environments and sea life. Some times we were in shallow areas getting up close and personal (arms reach) to the array of corals and fishes. Each night we would study a book at the resort on Fiji's fishes to figure what we were seeing each day. Other times we got into deeper areas with more structure and snorkeled along walls. As Lote got more confident with us she took us on the outer reef and passages for some drifts - this was quite deep and along the drop offs we saw bigger sea life.
Some of the sea life takes time and patience to see, and we spent a lot of time in the water, but managed to see Turtles, a range of Sharks (mostly smaller black and white tip reef sharks which are harmless), a Morey Eel, puffer fish, lots of sea anemone fish ("Nemo"), large snapper, a school of big bull head wrasse, lobster, and a multitude of smaller colourful fish (we even found "Dory", a small school of Nemo's friend one afternoon). I shot a lot of video on our trips and will send an edited piece to the resort, they may post that on their website to give you an idea of what might see.
These were amazing experiences for us and proves you can still see heaps if you don't dive. Keep in mind these outer reef trips will incur an extra cost ($90 USD per person per trip), but we were prepared for that and it was well worth it.
We had massages one afternoon on our veranda. It was a beautiful setting and our masseuses were lovely ladies, but the massages were only ok. This part of the service could improve. I talked to them about this and I think there are some plans for improvements which will help bring these spa services into line with the resort's standards.
The peace and quiet at the resort itself was a highlight. We were often lulled to sleep at night or during afternoon naps by the gentle lapping waves right outside our door, or by the beautiful birds. Sunsets with the evening drinks delivered to your loungers were a great way to end each day.
We opted to upgrade to one of the three honeymoon bures - these are stand alone buildings and offer more privacy, as well as more room and a king size bed (a major reason we made this choice, other bures are queen beds I believe). The other four bures, which are duplexes are still very nice and are closest to the restaurant. Just be aware if someone is booked in next to you they are right next door and share a common wall. We were in the very last bure, which is the most private. That was really nice, it's still only a few minutes walk to the main pavillion. The only downside with this bure was that its also closest to the generator - if it's running you can hear it running in the distance. It was't terrible, but a slight vibe killer.
The housekeeping staff took good care of us - they were quite stealthy, we called them ninja housekeepers - every time we came back from a meal things were refreshed and there had been a tidy. I think the staff spread the word when we were at meals and they took care of whatever needed doing (fresh towels, filling drinking water bottles, making the bed, returning washed clothes which they do for you each day). This didn't feel invasive to us, we felt taken care of, but if you didn't want this they would kindly visit your bure for only a daily service.
So, that's about it. The truest measure of satisfaction is if you would return, and we would, in a heartbeat.
Thanks to the whole Nukubati family. Until we see you again ...
Dave & Janine
Wow wow !! Just spent an amazing 7 nights on this amazingly beautiful Private Island with 3 X couples with special man being the birthday boy, Peter 🎉🎉🍾🍾🍰🍰🏝🏝👍👍🍸🍸
Not just a birthday party but cannot repeat our island experience with another venue with our experience with traditional Fijian or elsewhere lifestyle !!
If you want tranquility with embracement look no further as this isle has it all - amazing relaxation away from the maddening crowd but joyous fun each evening with wonderful guests and hosts !! Most importantly Eunice, Cathy & Gordon, Sarah our wonder lady, all our fantastic sea voyaging supporters and yours faithfully who attended us daily down to washing clothing, serving champas & canapés at cocktail hour and silently room making when you were absent !!
If you enjoy lazing under palm trees, kayaking or sailing around an island, picnicking on a private island, paddle skiing, snorkelling, diving or fishing then do not hesitate to visit !!
By the way, no tv, no phones unless Voda on occasion & wifi very limited - so let yourself loose and enjoy - we will always hold and the beautiful hospitality close to our hearts !!
Miss you all - Alan & Jane (Gold Coast - Australia) 😍😍😍xxx