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“Can You Hear It? Fiji Is Calling You Home!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Koromakawa Resort

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Koromakawa Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ono Island
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Can You Hear It? Fiji Is Calling You Home!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2010

The tan has faded, but the memories of seven wonderful days in paradise are as clear as the turquoise blue waters surrounding Ono Island. If you have dreamed of owning your own private island, something which most of us can’t afford, Koromakawa Resort at Kadavu is certainly an affordable alternative.

Our trip was September 25th through October 3rd. Fiji is a ten hour flight from Los Angeles and Kadavu is another hour so on an inner island flight. The journey continued when we walked across the street and hopped on a boat for the breathtaking ninety minute ride to Koromakawa. With Tatoko at the helm, the owner, Spencer Kessler, provided us with snacks and great history of the waters and islands dotting the landscape.

When we arrived at the secluded beachfront home, the staff was there welcoming us with song and a fresh coconut drink. Spence’s wife Karin is like a best friend I hadn’t seen in years, welcoming me to her paradise. Ita, Karo and Sarafina, Karin’s staff, were laughing and hugging me like they had known me forever. My husband, Rick and Spence, along with Keno and Coconut, two of the men on staff, grabbed our luggage and got us settled in our bure.

The bure is like a modern day hotel suite, Fijian style. Thatched roof, huge deck with a plunge pool, two bedrooms, a living room with a refrigerator stocked with drinks and fruit along with daily fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and a beautiful bathroom with plenty of hot water. Perfect accommodations with daily laundry service. Note: Pack light.

Koromakawa is situated on about a mile of secluded oceanfront property. The view of the sea from anywhere on the property is spectacular. Daily walks on the beach as well “up the hill” are a must to fully appreciate the splendor of this island paradise. At low tide, you can jump the rocks and continue your walk around a bend for more amazing views. The real, beauty, however are the personalities of the Fijians. We had the opportunity to visit three villages, meet the people and just enjoy Fijian hospitality. We fished several days and while we didn’t catch much, skirting the waves and talking with Karin and Spence or the staff, provided hours of enjoyment. We hoped to see the mantas at least three times, but they didn’t make an appearance. That was okay. We’ll see them next time, and there will be a next time! Snorkeling was great, Bird Island was fun. Whatever we wanted to do, Spence and Karin did their best to make it happen. If we wanted to do nothing, that was fine, too. It was our island for the week.

The meals were fantastic. Karin and Spence sent us a questionnaire in advance of the trip about our likes, dislikes and food allergies so they could know what to prepare. Each meal was a culinary delight. Favorites included the authentic German dinner (Karen is German) Roasted chicken with cranberry stuffing, lobster (I don’t like it much here in the Midwest, but it was fabulous) Ita’s pizzas and her omelettes and finally Karin’s chocolate cake. After dinner, we would talk with Spence and Karin in the main house with a nightcap, then retreat to our bure and quickly fell asleep by the lull of the waves. We chose to have breakfast and dinner at the main house and lunch on our deck to enjoy the view and tropical tradewinds.

There is not one negative thing I can say about Koromakawa. But be warned, once you go, you’ll definitely want to return. This was our third trip to Fiji and definitely the best value of the three for our money and truly a secluded paradise. I’ll close by saying; each vacation to Fiji gets better and better. I feel like I am coming home when I arrive in that far away South Pacific nation. The scenery and floral fragrances soothe my stress, the food and relaxation feed my body and mind and the Fijians renew my faith in humankind.

So what are you waiting for? Fiji is calling you home.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank melrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Prague
Level Contributor
59 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2010

We arrived at the airport on Kadavu, exactly on the opposite side of the World from Prague (where we came from) only to be welcomed by a warm smile on the comforting face of Spence (the Koromakawa host), who was ready to solve all of our few troubles (like baggage stuck in Sydney). When we met Spence’s wife, Karin, and we got to know both of them along with the staff of the Koromakawa resort, we felt like we were in for a UNIQUE vacation. We were wrong. The reality was that we had the best vacation of our lives, which by far exceeded any of our wildest dreams and most optimistic expectations.

While we forgot about the stresses and troubles of the overcrowded world of rush, we were pulled into the colorful and miraculous world of the Fijian people. The only guests in a resort that was on a remote island surrounded by pristine nature, we were privileged with enjoying the vast array of activities that Ono Island offered. These ranged from Diving with Sharks (each dive!), Snorkeling with Manta Rays, Deep Sea Fishing, Kayaking and Volleyball, all the way though to “just” a relaxing 20 minute nap on the beach. The diving was marvelous, the Manta Rays were beautiful and elegant and through our stay we saw over 15 of them, and we only went for the Manta trip twice. The comfortable guest house we were living in along with the Delicious cuisine of the master chefs (Karin) and the Fijian cooks made this an incredible experience.

However, what made it an unforgettable experience was the presence of the great people who cared for us and in the end made us feel like we were a part of the family. If you, dear reader, are one of the people who are seeking the best there is, and have tried “everything” there is, or even a person who is just looking for a nice place to relax, Spence and Karin’s Koromaka resort is the place to be. Peter Jr.

Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank PeeJay0708
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2010

When deciding on where to go on our honeymoon there were no restrictions. Out of all the possible destinations in the world I choose Koromakawa Resort. I would do it over again in a heartbeat without hesitation. The hospitality is second to none. Spencer and Karen run a world class operation and anticipate all the little details that make a vacation go from great to unbelievable. I would give 5,000 stars if possible.

Ono island must have been how God intended paradise to be. Lush tropical plant life, immaculate blue water, vibrant coral and fish life await you upon arrival. Actually it was the staff, wading in the ocean playing their guitar and singing a traditional welcome song. Our anxieties and stressors from travel disappeared as fast as the fresh coconut was split in front of us to sip out of.

Swimming with the giant Mantas, Bird Island, Church at the local village, kayaking to our private island, dinner with the locals, picturesque hikes, special serenades on romantic evenings, brilliant night sky’s with clear views of the Milky Way, fishing and breathtaking snorkeling were only a few of our highlights. The tears in the local’s eyes when we left were genuine and cannot thank Karen, Spencer and everyone at Koromakawa who made our honeymoon an experience of a lifetime.

A few practical things to make your trip easier:
1) Pack light. We were fine with just one backpack.
2) Get a direct flight from Nadi to Kadavu .
3) Learn a little about the history of Fiji. Bula and vinaka vakalevu will get you through the day.
4) You can leave your baggage with the taxis on the mainland. They'll wait with little or no extra charge. This is routine and accepted. Fair market value for a taxi ride is about ¼ of what it is in the states. Ask Karen to link you up with Johnny Taxi in Nadi.
5) There are no gift shops in Kadavu or Ono Island. If you want to pick up some trinkets on the way back go to Jack’s in Nadi for one stop shopping. They will pack your goods in a box for the plane and offer complimentary Fijian beer.
6) While tipping was never requested, you'll want to tip the staff at the end…you’ll want to have a little Fijian currency on hand.
7) Bring your own sun block.
8) If you are a picture nut then bring an underwater camera.
9) Bring a story or memento of your home town to show and tell the local villagers.
10) Leave your cell phones and computers at home

BULA!

Jeff and Emily

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jbthunda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Co
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2010

This resort is in paradise. There are no roads so no cars or traffic of any kind. It is right on the beach and only 2 1/2 miles from the Astrolabe reef. The views of the ocean are incredible. The sunrises were unbelievable and the evening sky breathtaking. The guest house was roomy and very comfortable. There are two bedrooms with kingsize pillowtop beds. There is a large bathroom and sitting area. Private deck overlooking the beach and the ocean. There is a plunge pool on the deck with the same views. The staff are the friendlyist group of people you will ever meet. The meals are first rate. You can have your meals in the guest house, the beach, on the deck or even in the Main house with the two most wonderful people, Karin & Spence Kissler. Karin & Spence are the owners of this resort and they do everything in their power to make your stay perfect. They are amazing people. I was there for ten days and they were the best days of any vacation I have ever had because of them. You have to know that the resort is a 90 minute boat ride from Kadavu airport. There is no nightlife, on other guests. They cater to only one family, one couple or one person at a time. So if you want quiet time for yourself, family or spouse this is for you. The snorkeling along the Astrolabe Reef inside and outside is fantastic. Spence is a Master Diver so if you want to go diving it is available. I just know that this is were I will go to again for a great relaxing time.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Relaxed57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2010

The Story of “I’m a Duck!’ and a Wedding

Chapter 1

My fiance and I had a trip planned for Fiji at a different resort (Mai Dive) located on Ono Island as well. We had decided about a month before our departure to Fiji to inquire at Mai Dive if it was possible to get married there. Danielle, one of the owners, emailed back and said she was not sure that she would look into it. She graciously emailed back a week later and said there was a resort about 5 minutes away that could do it. It was called the Koromakawa Resort and owned by a lovely American couple, Karin and Spencer. She informed me that Karin used to be a wedding planner when she lived in the States and she was willing and happy to provide us with one. Koromakawa was already booked with other guests but had a couple of days open. Danielle provided Karin with our email address and very shortly I received a correspondence from her. We quickly decided on January 1, 2010 as the wedding date. She wanted to know about us and what some of our preferences were wedding and food wise. We were looking for casual, low key, fun and most definitely as stress free as possible (we were on vacation after all :D). She asked what we wanted for our dinner that evening and how many guest we would have (5-Steve and I, the couple we were traveling with and one other guest that was staying at the Mia Dive resort at the same time as us). We had a choice of several different “turfs” and the “surf” would be the catch of the day. I selected the beef dish we would be having and sent the email off. Without getting too personal, both my husband and I had been married before and were probably going to end up going to the Justice of the Peace here in Oregon as an alternative so I was more than satisfied with the level of involvement I was going to have to have (nearly none). I knew however that Karin was willing to do as much as I wanted in way of planning and design - that my wish was her command. She provided us with a quote that seemed more than reasonable for what her and Spencer were providing – Dinner for 5, the wedding cake, a couple bottles of wine and champagne. A pastor that had to be transported to the resort, a bouquet, flowers for both me and Steve for the ceremony, a traditional Fiji kava ceremony, and Fijian singers and warriors doing the meke dance. We also got one night stay with another bottle of champagne and breakfast – Perfect! I thought to myself.

Chapter 2

A little background information, Living in Oregon we had to fly from Portland to L.A. (3 hours with 1 hour lay over) from LA to Nadi, Fiji (11 hours with 7 hour lay over- however our flight to Kadavu was delayed an additional 4 hours) from Nadi to Kadavu (1 hour) from Kadavu to Ono by boat (1 ½ hours). Doing the math - by this time we were a little stressed and very exhausted! We were greeted at the small airport by a very happy, reassuring man for our boat ride to Ono. We quickly found out that this was Spencer, the owner of Koromakawa Resort where we were to get married. He too had quests on our small flight and was picking them up as well as us for Mai Dive (the resorts on Ono island share responsibility for transporting each others guests – It was Spencer’s turn). Our luggage and we were quickly loaded into the boat for the final leg of our journey. We were on the boat for about 5 minutes and quickly got to know Spencer. He was very charming and friendly. He had refreshments on board for us to nibble on during our ride. He asked each of us where we were from and when my friend Pam told him we were from Oregon he threw his arms up in the air and shouted “I’m a Duck!” A “Duck” is a person who attended the University of Oregon at some point in their lives (or their offspring) and they were going to be playing in the Rose Bowl this year. He was very excited about that and we talked of football for a short time. With this, all of our travel worries and wearies quickly vanished away. We just spent nearly 30 hours traveling to end up in a boat with a man who used to live 30 minutes from us. We loved him instantly! He took us to Mai Dive Resort, waved good-bye and said he would see us in a couple of weeks for the wedding (it was December 23).

Chapter 3

It is the day of the wedding the clouds over head where threatening rain; however, we were going forward with our plans. We all boarded a boat from Mai Dive Resort and headed to Koromakawa Resort. In the boat was myself, Steve, my friend and her husband, Kevin our “5th” guest, Clayton and his brother Chris from Texas, Spencer and Danielle, owners of Mai Dive. I was nervous and stressed (something I didn’t want to happen) yet when we arrived we found a wedding setting on the beach more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. There were flowers everywhere, beautiful arches decorated with even more flowers and staff setting up for the wedding. We were warmly greeting by Karin and Spencer. Spencer we had met before but this was our first time meeting Karin, she too we instantly loved. She quickly set me at ease and asked if we wanted to continue with the plans for the outside wedding if not she was willing to move it indoors. I assured her we DID want to remain outside on the beach. It was so beautiful I didn’t care if we were going to get rained on – we are from Oregon after all – I was not giving this up. They escorted us into their lovely home. The first thing that caught my eye was the wedding table she had laid out for us. It was GORGEOUS! We met with the pastor for all the legal paperwork while Karin, Spencer and their staff continued to set up for the wedding. I was presented with a bouquet of white plumerias. We were shown the guest house to change. It was warm and inviting, lavishly decorated! It was hard to imagine we were on an Island that was so hard to get to. Steve and I were decorated with our traditional leis for the wedding and waited for the horn to announce the beginning of the ceremony. We were both escorted by our Fijian Warriors to the location of the vows. It was a traditional Christian service. To our surprise there seated on the mats laid out was an entire local village. Kuki, a resident of Narikoso Village and a dive master from Mai Dive was singing at our wedding and his son was a dancer. We had our guests from our resort, the dancers, the singers and their friends and family. It was wonderful. After the service we were treated with champagne, kava and wonderful dancing, music and singing. It was cloudy but warm - the rain never came. People were laughing and enjoying themselves. We could not have asked for a better ceremony and entertainment. Once this was finished the villagers loaded up in several boats and headed home. We then went up and had the dinner. It was the best. We had steak, perfectly cooked, and to our surprise – LOBSTER- locally caught from the surrounding villages. The wedding cake was baked by Karin and it was scrumptious. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed – Steve and I were in heaven! We did not have our family and most of our friends with us on our special day, but no one ever would have known. We had met so many wonderful people on this trip and many of them were there with us; Kuki, Pam, Ron, Danielle, Jason, Clayton, Chris, Kevin, Karin and Spencer. It was soon time for them to leave. We were escorted to the guest house and were left with another bottle of champagne and our happy feelings for the day. The next morning we were given a breakfast fit for a king and queen and most of their subjects – there was a lot of food; Dutch babies, scrambled eggs and lox, coffee, toast and local fresh fruit. We were scheduled to return to Mai Dive for a day of diving and adventure and needed to return.

Not the final chapter

We never spent much time with Karin and Spencer – to our sorrow, but we feel like we have known them forever. They were friendly, warm and welcoming. Karin was perfect. We had just had the best wedding Steve and I had ever been to and it was not because it was ours. She could not have planned a more perfect wedding for us. If you are looking for a place for your destination wedding, hands down Koromakawa Resort is the place.

Thank-you Karin and Spencer for one of the best days of our lives. We will be back.

Oh yeah! We recommend this Resort!

Susan and Steve

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bula_itau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2009

Like the first reviewer of Koromakawa, we are afraid to post a glowing review simply because we never want to find this place booked should we return (they only host one party at a time). We stayed with Karin and Spencer in their beautiful resort for a week, and it flew by. We found ourselves at our next resort wishing we were back with them. The second resort was a very lovely place, but we agreed that no resort could match Koromakawa's accommodations, food, company, location and staff.

I will say that we had our reservations. We booked Koromakawa for our honeymoon, and the lack of reviews on TripAdvisor gave us pause, especially since you pay in advance via wire transfer. Our fears were as follows:

1) It was a scam, and we'd never see our money again.
2) No one would pick us up at the airport and we'd be stranded on some remote island.
3) The accommodations would be too rustic, or dirty, and we'd have no other resort on the island to switch to.
4) The food would be bad or mediocre (we are big foodies).

In the end, we needn't have worried about any of the above, and in fact Koromakawa exceeded our best expectations in terms of the rooms, food and service.

We arrived via the Twin Otter at Kandavu, an airport in the narrowest sense of the word, as it is just a landing strip and small building. Spencer was there with a staff member to pick up our bags and immediately take us to their waiting boat, where we were offered fresh delicious fruit, beer, water, and our beloved Diet Coke, which they had specially ordered for us. I should note that in advance of coming out, Spencer and Karin sent us a questionnaire asking us to be as specific as possible about the food, drink and activities we'd enjoy, so even though Diet Coke (or Coke Light, as they have there), is difficult to come by in that neck of the woods, they were more than prepared. (Karin even packed us a picnic lunch one day and specifically marked my fiance's salad as the one without onions, since I like them and he doesn't -- they really do tailor your meals to suit your preferences).

The boat ride from the airport to the resort is a bit over an hour through beautiful blue waters with an amazing view of the islands along the way. Spencer has lived an amazing life, and he is a friendly and engaging conversationalist, so we could just relax back, look at the scenery, be jet-lagged and have him entertain us. When we pulled up to Ono Island, we were absolutely overwhelmed ... an amazing private beach, the most beautifully laid out resort, and a row of staff in Fijian garb stood in a row on the beach, singing a Fijian welcome song. We hopped off the boat, our luggage was taken to our bure (house), and we were seated at a lovely table on the beach and given tasty appetizers and coconut juice straight from the coconut. After a brief chat with Karin, we headed to our bure. The entire resort is so beautifully situated that we stared for a bit ... very Swiss Family Robinson, with wooden pathways built into the sloping landscape, connecting their bure on one end, to the beach, and to our bure on the other end. Upon entering, we found that they had crafted a sign with our names on it attached to the front door, so we felt immediately as if it was truly our home.

Inside the bure, it was beautifully decorated, very Fijian, but still with all the modern comforts, and immaculately clean. There is a front sitting room (you can take your meals here, or on the deck), a small fridge with all our favorite drinks, and even a cookie jar that they stored fresh-baked cookies in throughout our stay. The bedroom we used (there are two) was likewise completely lovely, with a view out to our patio and small pool, as well as to the gorgeous beach below. The bathroom was large with two sinks, and all the modern conveniences. We were very thankful for the American outlets as well.

After settling in, we were brought over to Karin and Spencer's bure, which is gorgeous (Karin has quite an eye for decorating, and used to be a professional florist, so she uses the local flowers to great effect in presentation and decoration), for a traditional kava (traditional drink) ceremony presented by some staff and local villagers. Everyone was friendly and engaging. We had an amazing dinner (Ita and Karo cook, and everything is meticulously overseen by Karin) with Karin and Spencer, with lots of wine and great conversation. We went to bed completely blissful.

We are late sleepers, which means we usually miss breakfast time at whatever hotel we stay at, but that's not an issue at Koromakawa. They simply ask you when you'd like to eat, and there it is. Quite a luxury. We had breakfast on our patio overlooking the beach (and the presentation is always perfect), after sipping champagne poolside all morning and glorying in the fantastic surroundings. The same goes for the activities ... rather than have to fit your schedule around assigned times for an activity like at other resorts, you simply discuss what you'd like to do that day with Karin and Spencer, and when, and they and their staff make it happen.

My fiance had never been snorkeling before, and is not a strong swimmer. This might have been a problem at another resort, where they can dump you in the water with 20 other people without real chaperoning. Not the case here. They took us to several wonderful snorkeling sites where we never saw another tourist, and we were constantly guided and supported by the staff there, who were with us every step of the way, and very patient. The fish and coral are amazing, and Johnny, one of the Fijian staff, was terrific at finding beautiful shells for us, diving down to bring them up to us at the surface. Johnny also has a great eye and pointed out fish and other oceanlife that we never would have spotted on our own. If you have an underwater camera, it's a great idea to bring one (we were, unfortunately, not so forward-thinking).

Speaking of shells, we walked up the beach one day and found so many amazing, and huge shells, we couldn't believe it. When we went to our second resort, we were reminded of what a rarity this is, because many other resorts are picked over. We saw shells similar to the ones we found on Koromakawa being sold for $20-$30 elsewhere!

We also did a kayak ride (also with a staff member to guide us) to a village on the other side of the island, where Spencer knows the residents. It was great to see a Fijian village, to visit the school, and to see a traditional Fijian bure. We walked through the mangroves back to Koromakawa and our guide showed us the different vegetation, and told us how it is used by Fijians to this day to treat a variety of maladies. We never lacked activities, but always knew that if we simply wanted to laze around by our pool, or in the soft comfy hammocks on the beach, we could do that as well all day long, with people checking in on us in case we were hungry or needed a drink.

Back to Karin and Spencer: we thought that perhaps we'd just have the first day's dinner with them, because we're somewhat on-our-own kind of people. At the end of the visit, we realized we had eaten dinner with them 5 times by our own request! This is a tribute to what welcoming hosts they were ... they are incredibly interesting people, and so warm and welcoming that we found ourselves wanting to share our meal and conversation. Spencer in particular was great in indulging my fiance by answering all of his questions about building the resort, the wind farm they installed, the solar energy they employ, and their burgeoning garden. They are can-do people, and are always thinking of ways to improve the grounds and the facilities (which, to our eyes, are not in need of a single improvement!). Ask to see the pictures of the tent they stayed in for four months while they were working with local Fijians in building the resort ... talk about an active retirement! They use a great deal of local produce and fish, and the result is interesting and delicious food you'd pay an arm and a leg for State-side, but they can also provide just about any kind of cuisine you've requested.

I should also mention that, unbeknownst to us at the time we were making our plans (we'd never been to Fiji before), the Kandavu strip of islands (of which Ono Island is a part) is apparently not the big tourist area that the Yasawas or Taveuni apparently are. More than one Fijian we met while on other islands expressed surprise and delight that we had been to Kandavu, because it is so untouched and more of the "real Fiji" in their eyes. Seeing the wild and unspoiled area around Koromakawa, it is clear that the Kandavu province is a special place, not only for the availability of shells and lack of other tourists, but also for the great fishing (I "caught" a big grouper while we were on the boat, with no effort at all). I have already told my parents that when they travel to that part of the world, there is no reason to stay anywhere else.

In the end, we dream about coming back, maybe with our future children. It would be a wonderful place to bring a family. Karin and Spencer: if you are reading this, we say "Bula!" and thanks so much for giving us the ideal start to our honeymoon!

TRAVEL TIPS: 1) They will do your laundry, which was a terrific plus; 2) Bring bug repellent, because mosquitoes can get a little active a certain times of the day; 3) We wished we had brought an extra carryon bag to pack all the shells we found, so you might want to do so ... we had to leave so many behind that we wanted to take with us!; 4) There is a Catholic and Methodist church on the island, in the villages, so if you get along with the locals you might get invited to attend; 5) If you are coming from the States and take the LA to Nadi fight, it arrives at 5:20am, and the only flight from Nadi to Kandavu doesn't depart til 7 hours later, so if you have the wherewithal, charter a private flight (we just drank beer and watched the sun come up and read until the Pacific Sun flight left, and it was a long time to sit around in an airport).

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JapanSomeday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Andover, MA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2009

We are starting off this review by wholeheartedly supporting the review for this resort listed already in the "Fiji Forum: Review Koromakawa Resort Ono Island (Kadavu) - Outstanding!"

As seasoned travelers in the Pacific, Carribean, and Red Sea, we have never experienced such a perfect combination of service, facilities, and most significantly, wonderful owners and staff.

The location is exquisite in its natural beauty, which their facilities so beautifuly draw on.

Meticulously clean, beautifully appointed but oh so comfortable. A setting that makes comfortable privacy but can encourage contact with the staff and owners. Something you definitely want to do. Spence and Karin are intelligent, engaging, hosts. Fellow world travelers who shared many of their experiences with us. We would encourage anyone to consider this for your destination just for their company alone.
Their attention to detail and choreography of customer service is absolutely extraordinary given the complexity of providing for guests 55 ocean miles away from the largest city for provisions.

We were there with our family (2 boys 6 and 8) from 2/12-2/22/09. Our good friends joined us 3 days later with their 7 year old. During our stay we dove 2-3 tanks a day exploring the Astrolabe reef in previously uncharted waters. Spence may even be naming one of our dive sites "Siwa’s Swim through" after his dive master, Siwa, found a beautiful reef to explore in a previously un registered site. Spence and Karin taught us much about the Fijian culture. We gained an appreciation for the way they embraced and respected the Fijians customs where many other resort owners may not.

While Spence made sure our diving pleasures were met, Karin did the same for the children. They were kept safe and well entertained. They had the same great Pirate Treasure adventure the previous family had, and had some other great adventures: They visited 2 different Fijian elementary schools where the children danced and sang for them and they had opportunities to play Fijian games. They were taught how to build cocoanut crab traps, weave baskets, and fish Fijian style. Isoa, one young man that cared for them, showed them how to do the Fijian warrior dance. Fita, the young woman that cared for them showed them how to make shell jewelry. Karin and Spence kept in close communication while we were on the water and made sure we had opportunities for us to meet up with the kids occasionally for a private island lunch in between dives or a snorkel hunt for the ever illusive Manta rays.
Our kids haven't stopped talking about how much they love and miss Isoa and Fita. We hope they can come visit us some day.

Another wonderful part about our trip was the cultural exchange for our kids’ schools. Before we travel to South Pacific islands we always try to give back to the islanders in some way. This time we brought children's books and school supplies as well as pen pal type letters from my 3rd grader's school. Since we brought so many books and materials they were split up across 3 of the schools on the surrounding islands. When we parents made the journey to the Natusara Primary School, we brought some of the books and supplies with us. There are no public schools on these islands. The kids are not guaranteed an education unless their parents can pay for it or they are sponsored. There few supplies and non existent modern conveniences at the schools.

It was an adventurous trip through the mangroves to get to the school. We were also greeted with songs and dances performed by the children. It was so heartwarming. We read one of our favorite books (The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson) to them in exchange. Once the formal trip was over and we swam in their waterfall pool, the Fijian children hammed it up in front of our cameras. Having few, if any opportunities to get their photo taken, they vied for the chance and would immediately rush to view the LCD display on our digital cameras. While the kids took the zodiac back with Karin, Spence led us on the scenic 1 1/2 hr. hike back to the resort.

The cooking staff: Ita, Karolina, and Kesa kept us entranced with the various dishes they prepared. As the last review indicated, all dishes were freshly prepared. You just have to look at their menu on their site to get your mouth watering. They even prepared a special birthday dinner complete with chocolate birthday cake for the occasion. Fresh chocolate macadamia nut cookies were made daily and brought to our room.

All culinary preferences were emailed in advance to Karin and Spence. They love to have as much information on your preferences as you care to give them prior to your visit so they can plan all food orders from Suva in advance. They successfully succeeded to go above and beyond our expectations for our stay. Nice little surprises were tucked into the package that I won’t divulge so they can be nice surprises for whoever is lucky enough to find availability with this precious resort.

While there, I setup a site for the kids to be able to communicate to their classes back home. Along with laundry service (so we could pack light) we had internet access. You’ll see some diving photos as well as photos of many of the activities we took part in. http://coreysfijijournal.shutterfly.com/

As for price, the only thing we needed to settle up for was the diving tanks. All nanny, and meal costs were included. We’ve never got so much value for the buck.

Are only regret is we live a half a world away (in the Boston area). If you live closer we suspect once you go, you'll go back again.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SuzanneN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koromakawa Resort

Property: Koromakawa Resort
Address: Fiji
Region: Fiji > Kadavu Archipelago > Ono Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ono Island
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Koromakawa Resort offers first class service and all the amenities of a tropical environment plus ultimate in privacy. We cater to one family or one couple at a time. Imagine being the only guest, with no schedules, everything you do is decided by you. Our resort is designed for pure relaxation. International menus are specific to each customer. Our goal is to satisfy each customer, one customer at a time with the best possible service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Koromakawa Hotel Ono Island

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