Our aim for a holiday in Fiji was for relaxation, cultural experience, great snorkelling and quality family time. We are two adults with kids aged 12 and 11.
After six nights on the Coral Coast, we were relaxing, but arriving at Botaira we knew the best part of our holiday was starting.
Botaira had exactly the holiday experiences we were seeking. It was definitely not a 5 star resort (no swimming pool, no kids club, no TV, internet or phones, no choice of restaurant, no disco or night club etc). What it did have was:
• A wonderful beach with soft sand within 5 metres of the door of our Bure
• Great snorkelling at both low and high tide with good colour coral and plenty of colourful fish
• A small intimate resort with only 11 Bures (plus a small dormitory facility). When we were there, no more than 21 guests in total. Each Bure was very private from the others and had its own ensuite. The Bure was large enough for the four of us to fit in comfortably.
• The food was great – very fresh with most vegetables grown in the resort’s own veggie patch, a variety of fresh fish. And every 4 days, they hold a Lovo with so much food, it was almost embarrassing. On nights other than the Lovo, there was a choice between two soups and two main courses. Apart from that there was no food choice, however if a visitor had special food needs they went out of their way to provide wonderful alternatives. The quality and presentation of the food indicated a high level of training for westerners.
• As a special treat for staying 6 nights, we were given an amazing banquet consisting of Kokoda entrée, a whole large lobster each, a bottle of wine and desert – we struggled to eat it all!
• The only bar was on the deck overlooking the bay. A great place to relax, enjoy the sunsets and the best (and most alcoholic) cocktails in Fiji, including amazing non-alcoholic pina coladas for the kids.
• The staff nearly outnumbered the guests. Rooms were kept clean, linen replaced every second day. There was always someone around to ask questions of, have a chat to, play volleyball with, or to find out more about the local community.
• This is probably one of the very few resorts in Fiji owned and operated by locals with all profits going back to the local community. This has been very beneficial for the local village which is about 40 minutes walk from the resort. The locals have declared the bay a marine reserve and from discussing issues with staff, they are very aware of environmental issues and are ensuring the preservation of the reef and surrounding flora/fauna.
• A trip to the village for church on Sunday is very worthwhile – wonderful singing, very grateful locals, and a good cultural experience.
• A trip to the village school (where we took a collection of stationery brought from Australia) showed how they prospered with very little. You always end up with a villager as a guide while at the village, and they ensure that you end up at the local jewellery market – laid out specifically for your visit! Great prices, and all proceed support the local women – so take your wallet!!!
• Day trips are also available. We were there during manta ray season, and had a great time chasing a huge ray around with help from our guides who ensured that our kids and all visitors felt comfortable and supported.
• Diving and fishing trips are also available but we didn’t take part (other visitors had a great time diving during our stay).
The generator is turned off from midnight to 6am, so no lights in the room. This was no problem at all and is actually a great energy saving initiative. Although there was a ceiling fan in the room, we never felt the need to use it as three walls of the Bure were two thirds louvre windows which we always left open. Fly screens ensured that during our stay, we had a grand total of one mosquito in our Bure for our whole visit.
Drinks are not included in the set pricing, so it can be easy to build up a big bill. However, there is drinking water available to fill up your water bottles if you wish. We did this without any problems. However, the drinks, especially at happy hour were very reasonably priced.
This is not a resort if you want the added extras of five star resorts, but if you like the things we have described above then you can’t go wrong. We travel frequently and it’s not very often we consider revisiting a place for a second time, BUT we this is definitely one place we will go back to for that total relaxing break!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BOTAIRA RESORT is located on a tropical island and consists 10 private Fijian Bures with ensuite facilities on a white sand beach in the beautiful Yasawa Islands in FIJI. All inclusive vacation packages of accommodation and meals. The perfect honeymoon and wedding destination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Botaira Beach Hotel Naviti Island
- Botaira Beach Naviti Island
- Botaira Resort Fiji/Naviti Island