We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
51 posts
99 reviews
Save Topic
First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Hello everyone! First a bit about myself and my husband. We are an early 30's couple who both love to snorkel and my husband is now a certified diver. We've been going to the Caribbean the past few years and wanted to give the Pacific a try and are strongly leaning towards Fiji. I am a high school teacher in California so I'm looking at the last two weeks of June 2013 because it's our wedding anniversary and I will be out for summer break. Thus, my dates are constricted in that I have to go when school is out here in the States. Our highest priority is great snorkeling, swimming with mantas, prefer smaller quiet properties, decent food, and lastly, have to stay in middle range or so resorts as it looks like airfare alone is gonna be 1000-1300 a person. My choice right now is to go to Botaira for 7 nights and Navini Resort (love how excursions are included!) for 7 nights after reading numerous reviews and comments from you lovely people :) Might throw in a day coming and going in Denaru depending on flight times. I had a couple questions I'm hoping you can help me with.

1. Given my description, do my hotel choices sound right for us?

2. I know from reading the forum people have said some of these popular resorts fill up a year ahead! So for June 2013, when would I have to probably book by? Now if I do book say in Oct./Nov. and the prices they have posted are valid for only until March 2013, how do I know how much it will cost for next summer?

3. I usually book packages for our vacations through Expedia or Travelocity. These resorts are not available there so looks like I will have to book air and hotels separately. Do you recommend booking hotels or air first? When booking these two resorts do you need to book directly with hotel? Do they ever negotiate prices or is it strictly by what is offered on the hotel website?

4. Anyone know what a good/reasonable price is for a roundtrip flight from LAX to Nadi?

5. I know the Aussies and Kiwis have their winter break sometime during my summer break. Will the last two weeks of June avoid their breaks or will I be going right in the middle of it? Being that I work with teens the other 10 months of the year, would prefer not to go when tons of kids are there, but it's not a deal breaker. So anyone know the dates next year for their break?

6. One of the most important questions I have is regarding transfers. Would it be best to do Botaira first on the Flyer and get the long boat ride over with at beginning? Would Navini pick me up from Botaira or do I have to return to Denaru? If I do Navini second will they return us to the airport instead of picking us up from there? If anyone has done both these resorts on one trip would love any insight on this (Hooked on Fiji?)

Ok I tried to do my research first and be specific so I can get the best responses. Thank you so much in advance as any help, tips, or insight are greatly appreciated! Look forward to hearing from you :)

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
Level Contributor
5,398 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Can only comment on Navini, as we haven't been to Botaira. Am sure HookeOnFiji will respond as she has been to both resorts many times.

You won't have to overnight at Denarau. Flights from LAX arrive Nadi 5:00 or 6:00am. Flights departing Nadi for LAX leave late at 10:00 or 11:00 pm. Gives you plenty of time to make connections to/from the islands. The time difference depends on if it is daylight savings time or not.

$1000 - $1300 for airfare is around what we have paid. June is high season, so flights may be more expensive. Air Pacific occasionally have specials. We booked two specials with them in September/October. Suggest you monitor their website. When we find a flight price we are comfortable with, we check the resort for availability then book. That said, Navini is very popular and often booked months in advance. Would check with the resort for availability for your dates and for their prices in June. If there is availability would book the resort then airfare.

Has been our experience resorts did not negotiate prices. You will have to book directly with Navini. We had no problems and found the staff very helpful.

Would stay at Navini first as you will exhausted from the long flight. You will be at the resort within an hour of landing in Nadi opposed to the long boat ride to Botaira

Staying at Navini 7 nights, transportation is also included in the price. Henry was waiting at the airport in Nadi for 6:00 a.m. arrival to take us to the island. We arrived at Navini around 7 in time for breakfast. Meals are excellent, the best we have had on our vacations to Fiji. Can honestly say we enjoyed every meals and the desserts yummy.

Hope this helps to answer some of your questions.

Edited: 07 July 2012, 22:29
Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
51 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Thanks E&CinReno!! Very helpful and a great start for my planning!

You were right about Air Pacific's specials- right now they have a special for 1045 rt. Unfortunately they do not even have next year's June schedule up yet. Looks like I'm a little early. Hopefully can get something around that rate that they have right now when the June fares are posted.

I will have to call Navini in the next month or two and inquire on prices and availability.

You make a good point about going to Navini first after the long plane ride. However, can you tell me how that worked with getting in so early? I'm guessing rooms are not available until 2-4pm ish?

Also if we did Navini first, for return transfers would they just take us back to Denaru to catch the Flyer to Botaira or could they send us somewhere to connect on an island further up the chain so to speak?

I'm also hoping to hear Hookedonfiji 2 cents as you said she has been to both multiple times. I'm hoping maybe she's done them in the same trip before as we are looking to do, haha.

Once again thanks for your time and help :)

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
Level Contributor
5,398 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

You're welcome travelinteach. Glad to help.

We went to Navini off season. Were able to get into our room on arrival. We usually book flights and accommodations six to eight months before our vacation. If the bure you book is available you should be able to get in on arrival. If it is occupied, you might have to spend your time snorkeling, kayaking, walking, or swimming off the beach. Would ask Navini about their check in times.

Navini will be able to get you back to Denarau to catch the Flyer. HookedOnFiji will be best to offer information on transportation from Navini to Botaira. Navini is in the Mamanuca Islands, Botaira in the Yasawa Islands. Don't think you can get from one to the other without returning to Denarau, but Hooked should be able to offer transportation advice.

Yes, saw the special for Air Pacific. Can't help you now, but keep checking the website. Am willing to bet there will be some specials around September/October of this year.

Have a look at the following link for pictures of our vacation to Navini. They will give you a good idea of the bures, resort grounds, beach, etc.

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-042f-1fde-de34

As this is your first trip to Fiji, the following link may be helpful. Has suggestions of what to take with you.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294331-c134773/Fiji:…

Hope this helps. Am sure you will have an amazing time in Fiji. :)

Hervey Bay...
Destination Expert
for Fiji
Level Contributor
1,225 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

This might help you with all the school holiday dates here in Oz. All the states have different times throughout the year, though they usually overlap each other.

You may also find families will take a week either side of these dates as well.

tapeka.com/australianschoolholidays.htm#2013

Maree :D

Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
51 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Thanks Maree! If I'm reading correct and they are IN school during the listed terms, it looks like most of the holiday time frames are mostly first 3 weeks of July with a little overlap as you said. So probably the last two weeks of June I had wanted or I can do very end of July/beginning of August it looks like and still dodge it. Thanks a bunch- very helpful link :)

Hervey Bay...
Destination Expert
for Fiji
Level Contributor
1,225 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Thats right you are reading it correctly :)

We are in QLD and my girls have just left the house for the new term of school today.

I do love my kids but ahhhh the peace and quiet....LOL

Good luck with your planning.

Oh and make sure you check the NZ sch holidays too. (link on the page), as Nz'ers travel there alot too.

Maree :D

Edited: 08 July 2012, 23:33
Sydney
Level Contributor
1,186 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Navini will take you to Beachcomber Island and you'll be able to get the Flyer from there to Botaira.

You've picked two great places -- especially for snorkelling ~

Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
51 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Thanks BaySydney! Starting to get a much clearer pic of how to plan all this. Leading towards doing Navini first as Reno recommended with our long flight, then have them take us to Beachcomber to catch the Flyer, the week in Botaira then maybe stay 1 or 2 nights in Denaru to do some souvenir shopping before getting back on another 11 hour flight! Do you know approximately how long the boat ride from Beachcomber to Botaira is?

Waitakere City, New...
Destination Expert
for Mamanuca Islands
Level Contributor
2,590 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

This link might be helpful for a bit of insight into where you'll be heading and length of journey. Roughly speaking Navini is located somewhere in a line between #3 Beachcomber and Malolo Island.

…google.com/113009681580914477995/…

Also, just to help with your orientation you'll be leaving from Vuda Marina to go to Navini, not Denarau (if you look on google maps follow the coastline and head north, you'll find it right beside First Landing resort). When you arrive back on the Yasawa Flyer you'll land at Denarau marina.

Hope that helps, we're headed to Navini for eight nights in Oct/Nov this year and I like to know as much as possible about places we're going to.

Sydney
Level Contributor
1,186 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First Timers 2013..questions RE: Navini and Botaira Help!

Boat ride to Beachcomber wouldn't take long....maybe 10 - 15 mins., but Hooked On Fiji will come in and give you the correct info I'm sure.

Also, have a think about doing it the other way around as you'd be able to stay at Navini until late in the afternoon on your last day -- otherwise, you'll be leaving in the morning to meet the Flyer at Beachcomber and will lose a whole day nearly at Navini.

The trip up to Botaira isn't awful by any means -- especially in the air conditioned Captains Lounge (not much extra FJ$). You stop at other islands and people get off and on.....so it's quite interesting and it's only 3.5 hours to Botaira.

Happy Planning,

Julie ~