My wife and I have had the best experience at Nukubati. Right after you hop off the plane at an extremely tiny airport in Lhabasa, expect to experience a 1-hour thrill ride on a 4x4 vehicle through rocky roads and lush meadows. But remember to take a pill if you have car-sick, because you’re in for a bumpy ride. After reaching the jetty, you are then transported by a 2-minute ride on speed boat to the island.
As you approach the island, you are readily greeted with friendly smiles, dancing and music. It’s like returning to your family who is already waiting at the door all psyched and ready to greet you. You are then escorted to the reception to fill out a form. Strange thing is that they never asked for a deposit nor did we get our room keys. It’s that safe. After cooling off with a scented cold towel and coconut drink, Kim (Jenny’s son) gave us a brief tour of the resort. Afterwards we were brought to our dining table for lunch because our room was not ready yet. Do not expect lavish meals, because this is not what this resort is meant for. But you can surely get the most out of Fiji cuisine. Everything looks home-made and decadent. They even offer an open bar with an assortment of wine (red & white), bubby, cocktails, beer, sodas and juices.
The accommodation is simple and comfy. There are only 7 rooms at Nukubati. The largest are honey moon bures and there are 2. This is where my wife and I stayed at. The other 5 are smaller bures, but just as cosy and spacious. The honeymoom bures feature a spacious bathroom opposite the room with 2 washing basis for him and her. There is also an extra large patio, which makes a perfect spot to lay back and feast your eyes on the beautiful egg yolk like sunset. Every day at 6pm, we would wait at the patio for our champagne and canapés. There is no TV, telephone and wifi, because whole purpose is to relax and enjoy nature. For those who can’t resist getting in touch with the world, wifi is available at the reception, but signals are rather weak. Since there are no clocks around the resort, one can easily lose track of time (ok, I admit not bringing a watch with me). I constantly had to ask my wife or the staff what day or time it was. And at times even they’d get confused.
Do expect the luxury of AC because everything is solar-powered. Nukubati boasts eco-tourism, so the only high-powered appliance in the rooms is the refrigerator. But not to worry because the fans do quite an excellent job of keeping you cool. Even a person like me who still praises the inventor of the AC still managed to sleep like a baby. The bathroom amenities are not scented. I guess everything is “home-made”, but you feel cleansed after using them.
Meals can be enjoyed at any time of the day. One of the best things Nukubati has to offer. Very often my wife and I would sleep in and have breakfast (or rather brunch) at around noon, then lunch (or rather tea) at 4pm followed by dinner at almost 9pm. There is absolutely no time limit for meals. I guess this is other reason why one might lose track of time. Or you can have your meals in your bure. Totally your choice.
Tipping is not required at the resort. You don’t even have to bring your wallet. The whole idea is to feel at home and do whatever you want. But if you appreciate their services, you could always make a donation to their Christmas fund.
Jenny, the owner and her staff were just so friendly. They would greet you by your first name and actually remember it. They won’t mind if you forget theirs though. Our servers Timo and Tina would always end by saying “You’re most welcome” if you thanked them. How often do you get that!
When Jenny was there, she would talk to each guest at the breakfast table. She was also always very inviting. It was her birthday on our last night at Nukubati, so she was kind enough to invite everyone to a special dinner. The staff managed to assemble a long table and topped it with local curry and other goodies. The night was filled with laughter and sharing of different cultures. It sure was a memorable night.
The only complain was the weather. But it was expected since we went in January, which was also Fiji’s west season. It rained consecutively for 2 days, but the sun came out again on our last day. The other disappointment was not being able to scuba-dive because their instructor left. But Jenny made sure that Salote arrange snorkeling trips for us. Our advice for visitors is to get certified for an open-water license, because they have experienced dive-masters like Salote to guide you to the best diving sports at the reefs. Salote is an extremely cool person. She’s also very experienced because of her tenure with Nukubati for almost 20 years, so she knows the waters very well. We did a 1-day snorkeling excursion under her guidance despite the rain. On one note my wife was too scared to jump into the water, but Salote managed to convince her and took care of her all the way. We swam through schools of non-stringing jelly-fishes and even saw Christmas Tree Worms. Salote was also kind enough to share a lot about the Fiji culture.
Because of the rain, the staff at Nukubati would go upside down to entertain you. On 1 day, they gave us an interesting coconut demonstration. Never did we know that a coconut tree like could transform into an assortment of tools for Fijians to use, These included bags, bowls, cups, hats, fans, toys and food.
Another interesting activity was drinking Kava. Guests and staff would gather around a large bowl filled with this exotic beverage fused with a special type of plant and water. But after a few dozes could numb your lips and you’ll start to feel oozy, so remember to go “low-tide”. Afterwards, they perform this special Nukubati dance about the resort and their culture, and Solate would read these really eye-watering personal messages to each guest at the end.
It was finally our last day at Nukubati and was a bit sad to leave. But we were sure that we departed with happy recollections and most important of all felt fully recharged.
We’d life to say vinaka to everyone at Nukubati for making our experience so memorable and pleasurable. Sorry if we spelt your names wrong. We’ll definitely be back and hopefully with a scuba-diving license next time.
Kim & Imigim: if you guys are in HK, please email us at email@example.com. We’d be more than happy to take you around. We have the best crabs here.
- Also Known As:
- Nukubati Private Island Great Sea Reef Hotel Labasa
- Nukubati Private Island Great Sea Reef Hotel
- Nukubati Island Hotel
- Nukubati Island Resort All Inclusive
- Nukubati Private Island Fiji/Labasa
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All Inclusive ... more less
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