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Nukubati Private Island
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Reviewed 13 May 2012

We chose Nukubati as the destination for our recent honeymoon during May 2012. We stayed for 5 nights on the Groupon voucher and we were slightly aprehensive when we purchased it, but within minutes of arriving all those fears were relieved.

Everything on this island is sheer perfection! The staff greeted us on arrival and made us feel truly welcome and everything got better from there.

The accomodation is clean, functional and simply furnished, however the little things make the difference such as the fresh flowers every day and the fancy folded towels.

The island is stunning and the grounds are maintained with an eye for details. Dont miss the sunsets from the lookout, they are amazing!

The food is awesome and so are the drinks. I really liked the "Chunky Monkey" Cocktail and the wife went for the "Isa Lei" mmm yum.

There wasnt too many activities, which was part of the reason why we went to Nukubati in the first place. The Sandbar picnic was really good and had good snorkelling right from the beach. The sailing on the catamaran was heaps of fun and so was the glass bottom boat. The medicine walk is also really good and a definite must do.

The worst part about Nukubati is leaving. We soooo didnt want to leave and cant wait to get back there soon.

If you get the chance, dont miss out on a trip to Nukubati. The Groupon vouchers make it such a good deal, it is hard to miss.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank GMilhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

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 ferrandgc@gmail.com. We’d be more than happy to take you around. We have the best crabs here.

Room Tip: Snorkelling is better during low tide. Waters are less rough.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Ferrand C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

WOW! Where do we start... Arriving in Labasa we were greeted by the most smiling face we had ever seen. Kalessi lead us to the car that would take us on the beaten track to a wharf where we were transferred to a boat to take us to the island. About half way there I saw a flutter of colours and movement on the beach before I realised the entire staff on the island had come out to greet us while singing and dancing. It was the most exciting and warmest welcome I have ever experienced! After a relaxing lunch we were shown to our Bure which was amazing. Set less than 5 metres from the beach with a beautiful veranda around, and an even more beautiful view, it was heaven. Inside it was rather cool which was quite unbelievable considering the heat outside and it was decorated in pure Fijian style. We were a little worried as we were going during the wet season but we found that just meant it rained in the mornings and was sunny during the remainder of the day most of the time. Even when it did rain the water was so warm it was actually a lot of fun going swimming during the rain. We had 5 nights booked (now realising we could have stayed forever) and you can do as little or as much as you want. You can eat whenever you like (not like the strict rules of hotels where breakfast ends at a certain time or dinner starts at a certain time). The food there is absolutely delicious! The chef will cook anything you feel like, or any way you like, however, we always left it up to them as the menu's and flavours were scrumptious. There was a full breakfast menu from which you select as little or as much as you want, followed by three courses for lunch and dinner daily. We were spoilt rotten! That's without mentioning the extensive wine and cocktail lists. The staff on the island (I say staff, but when you leave they are more like family) are the most pleasant, smiling and friendly staff we have ever met (and we are the experienced travellers!). They could never do enough for you. They put on a beautiful meke and kava night! Their voices were absolutely breathtaking. Tina, one of the waitresses, made me smile almost every second she was near me with her 'you’re most welcome Melinda!' Every day, as sunset starts you are delivered a lovely glass of champagne and canapés under your beach umbrella and chairs in front of your Bure. Delicious! One of the days we went out snorkelling (amazing fish) and game fishing! An experience we will never forget. Jenny, the owner, oversees everything and ensures everything is perfect for you. Her commitment to her guests is one of a kind. There were guests on the island while we were there that have been coming back to Nukubati for over 20 years! They come every 2 years and book their next trip before leaving, otherwise they say, they could never bear to leave. We now understand why.

Vinaka!
Mike & Melinda

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

I tagged along to a yoga retreat my mother went to at Nukubati Island, even though I was the youngest by far (21 years old) there were still many activities they provided to cater for my needs.

Nukubati Resort is such a unique island experience, the positioning of the resort captures the true beauty of Fiji. The staff were always friendly and helpful and knew all our names from day one. I was even invited to join in on a friendly game of volleyball.

The food was always delicious and beautifully prepared from fresh local produce. One lunch they had an authentic Fijian style BBQ on a deserted island not far from Nukubati. They BBQ freshly caught fish and prepared other traditional dishes. It was a unique, relaxing experience eating off banana leaves with your hands.

The reef snorkeling trip was absolutely spectacular, the Fijian guides were knowledgeable and very helpful. They pointed out many different fish and coral and then explain everything you saw. The coral and sea life are different then what I have seen in Australian.

We had the opportunity to visit the village and the local school. This was a wonderful experience being able to interact with the local Fijians. I especially love the children's singing and smiling faces.

I look forward to returning one day to see Jenny and all the wonderful staff again, possibly for a honeymoon.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Roshien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

I wanted to treat my mum for a tropical and relaxing holiday, and wanted to ensure she would have the best time and would be well looked after. Well, we definitely got that and then some!

We are quite a well-travelled family, but never have I come across a place like this before. Jenny is the most gracious host, and everyone at the island is incredibly friendly. We always saw them walking around with a smile, or at least humming a song. Nothing is ever too difficult or tedious, and we were thoroughly spoilt.

Mum and I learnt, for the first time and with the staff's encouragement, to snorkle. It takes a lot for my mum to try something new, but I think she was so relaxed and up for new adventures that she didn't even hesitate to in saying yes. It was a wonderful experience.

In regards to food - wow, we were NEVER hungry while in Nukubati's care. The food was beautiful - very fresh and authentic. They were prepared with love, and you can definitely tell. They were also very good in accommodating requests, and always remembers your favourites (we rarely had to ask for a side of chopped chilli there - they just delivered it with our food!).

The highlight of the trip (apart from the organic accommodation, stunning beach and weather) is the cultural presentation (dance and drinking kava). It is simply breathtaking - do not miss it! It definitely lifts up the spirit!

All in all, it was worth every cent I saved and spent. Mum got quite emotional when we were leaving. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, and we can't wait to be back.

Thank you, Jenny, and everyone at Nukubati.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank ladybugwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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