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“July in Niue”

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Scenic Matavai Resort Niue
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Alofi
Certificate of Excellence
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“July in Niue”
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We stayed at the Matavai Resort for 11 days mid July 2014. The weather was great with temperatures 22 - 30 degrees. The room was clean and tidy,serviced every day and overlooked the pool and ocean.The down side to our room was cold showers.
The first morning we asked Marie at reception if this could be fixed,her answer was a very frosty first in first served to get hot water and is there anything else you would like to complain about .The shower wasn't fixed so a few days later we tried again.This time we got Carman the accountant,by the time we had finished breakfast she had found someone to press the solar heating booster switch and the water was already hot and she wrote a reminder for night staff to see that the booster was pushed every night as the solar heating was old and due to be replaced.

Management needs to really look at the damage done by just one employee when the other staff are just so lovely. Marie is not a genuine person and could learn from others.

Special mention John at the pool bar, Silevu at reception, Carman the accountant, Bev our wonderful entertainer ,Jasmine at reception, Peta in the restaurant and all the other lovey girls who smile and their whole face lights up. Sorry we did not get all your names including the ground staff and cleaners but you were all friendly and made our day.
Matavai management would do well to have Marie work alongside these wonderful smiling people to learn how public relations is mastered or move her on.

One review mentioned the poor continental breakfast, we thought it was great and more than enough to sustain us for the day. We also thought the buffet was excellent and the menu on other nights was also good. Pool is a little on the chilly side but that did not matter as all our swimming was done in the ocean / rock pools which was a lot warmer. The kids staying at the resort seemed to love the pool, but they don't seem to notice the cold. We also had wet suits to protect us from the sun and reef and this also meant we could stay in the water longer, also take your own snorkel gear or the resort do have it for hire. Reef shoes a must!!

We saw dolphins on three separate occasions off the resort deck but unfortunately did not see any Whales. You can also watch the fish swimming in the rock pools from the pool deck at low tide.

Would we stay at the Matavai again? Yes we will return in the near future.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms second floor for best views and privacy.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KiwianaNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 28 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review Matavai. We appreciate all comments as they help us finely tune our service here at Matavai Resort.
Our solar heating unit installation was unfortunately delayed due to logistical issues, we had hoped to have it all installed before our busy season. All systems are now working reliably 24/7.
Nature however can be unreliable. I'm glad the dolphins put on a show, hopefully next time you are here the whales will also be around.
Sarah King
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Agree with many of the other reviews. Only real resort on an isolated island so can't be as picky as say Fiji or Maldives. Overall experience was positive (4/5 star rating perhaps a bit generous). Have stayed on more isolated islands in less expensive rooms with much better service and food though so there is room for improvement. While cliff top rooms were beautiful, you end up paying ~$400/night + food drink. Perhaps not the best cost/benefit situation. Our biggest issue was that the "Bed&Breakfast" rate includes a surprisingly meagre continental breakfast (no meat, eggs, cheese). If you stay here DO NOT get the included breakfast. Rather, order off the less expensive a la carte menu and enjoy something with a little sustenance. Pool and deck were beautiful. They helped us arrange rental car (necessary on Niue) which was great. Would stay again but likely opt for one of the less expensive rooms so that our cost would better align with our experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 28 July 2014
Thank you for reviewing Matavai Resort. We appreciate your comments, I am sure they will prove helpful for future guests making a booking at Matavai Resort.
Sarah
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Kerikeri, New Zealand
Level Contributor
42 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

First time in Matavai and certainly not the last. Ocean room just gorg! Rooms very clean and tidy - serviced every day. We had breakfast included and this was more than adequate each morning. Took 4 mornings for us to remember the ticket - ? keep the ticket at the restaurant. Staff were full of smiles and helpful when ever we needed anything. Niue is a small remote island but is a pleasure to visit. Special thank you to Jubilee who made our swim in the pool just lovely with her talking and laughing with us. Loved the beanbags by the pool. Sarah, you and your team should be proud of the service you provide. Well done. Fakaaue lahi.

Room Tip: Ocean Room was great - we had Rm 18 - divine view over the pool and up the coast. Great sleeping wit...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Roundtuit514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 28 July 2014
Thank you for your review of Matavai Resort, we are glad you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for the top tip about the breakfast vouchers. As we continue to improve our service we are grateful when guests point out opportunities for efficiencies. We hope to see you again some day.
Sarah King
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

The Matavai is a great place to stay. The view from the rooms and the pool are incredible. We would recommend anyone that wants to get away and relax to choose the Matavai when travelling to Niue. As the beaches are limited on the island you will love the pool area at the hotel and the most amazing sunsets every night from the bar during happy hour.

Check in was very well organised, as you all arrive off the same flight, they have your forms and room keys ready on table at the restaurant. You simply complete the form and take your key and head off to your room. The bags arrive very quickly to the rooms.

The views from the restaurant and bars are out of this world, if you love the ocean you will love this resort. The WIFI even works by the pool. We had the most relaxing 7 nights away we have ever had.

Breakfast is continental buffet style and some rates include breakfast. If you want a cooked breakfast this is optional and at additional cost. Great selection of breakfast cereals, juices, fruit, toast and preserves. Enjoy breakfast with the wonderful view.

The pool area is great, lots of sunbathing loungers, tables and chairs and the very popular oversized beanbags to relax on and enjoy the sound of the Ocean. The hotel was full (44 rooms), however as people are out and about there were never more than 10 people around the pool during the day, so very peaceful.

You can have snacks from the pool bar, pizza, toasted sandwiches and smoothies etc. Dinner is in the main restaurant, they offer an alacarte menu some nights and then they have themed nights with a great buffet. Good selection of reasonably priced wines. The staff were lovely, although when dinning you might have to be a bit patient as we found we might have two staff asking us the same question. Remember you are on a pacific island with limited resources, so at times the wine you might want or something on the menu may not be available. After staying a few days you will be sooo relaxed you want even notice, or care.

We stayed in the original wing of the hotel in an Ocean View Room, all these rooms have been refurbished, air con, fan, new bathrooms, dressing gowns in the cupboard and an in room safe. I would recommend an upstairs room for the amazing view of the ocean. The upstairs rooms are room numbers 13-18 ocean view. You do have to walk up the easy stairs to these rooms so if you want to walk right out on the lawn, then request a ground floor room.

If you are on a budget, do not hesitate to book the garden rooms, as these are so close to the water and secretly I would call them partial ocean view. Again in the original wing of the hotel.

On arrival we used the transfer to the hotel, then the following day did the Commodores Tour to see what the island had to offer, we then spent one day at the resort unwinding, we then collected a car from the hotel, reception can arrange this or if you are going peak season prebook your car with Alofi Rentals and you can collect from the resort. Complimentary parking and nice to have the car to get around to the seatracks and into town.

Again to rest and enjoy this lovely island, you will be pleased you chose the Matavai Hotel. If your budget allows try the Superior Cliff top rooms, if not you will be just as happy on the rooms we stayed in Ocean Front, or any of the other rooms.

Room Tip: Refer above, my fav rooms were the Ocean Front in the original wing, upstairs. If on a Budget the Ga...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blissfultravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Fantastic! It sounds like you had a ball with us here in Niue. Thank you for sharing with the world. The Matavai team have worked incredibly hard over the past 18 months to create the perfect Niuean getaway. As you are aware we have some pretty unique challenges here in Niue and are always grateful to have guests with the insight to acknowledge this. Our goal is to ensure you have the most relaxing holiday possible, the ultimate unwind from busy lives.
You have offered some great tips for future travellers, and kind comments to a hard working team mid way though our busy season. Come and see us all again some day soon.
Sarah King
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

For those of you, like us, who are well used to nice hotels and luxury travel, I need to remind you that 4 or 5 star ratings in the Pacific often means 2-3 star in real life.
So don't expect the Sofitel or Le Meridian here, you are in Niue now and things are done differently.
It would be very easy to be harshly critical of this resort, given the nightly rate, but given it's remoteness and the hardship of being on a tiny island where supplies come in only once a month, there are only 1500 locals, and totally dependant on just two flights a week in peak season, they do pretty well.
You won't do better than here - the Matavai motels are a heck of a long walk away.
Niue is subject to a lot of power cuts and we were told that this resort is the only one with a back up generator.
This resort has lovely rooms all facing the sea and I would rate the rooms at 3 star.
The rooms are well set up, very nice beds and bathrooms, well lit and clean. We stayed in a superior clifftop beachfront room as we wanted a private deck – the other rooms faced onto a public lawn and were very open to everyone. The main criticism I have of the clifftop rooms is that they do not let any sunlight in, ever – it is impossible to try any wetsuits or togs here even though you are given a racks. You just never see the sun on the clifftop decks at all.
TV here but no DVD – we bought a portable with us thank goodness as the TV selection is awful.
Nice couchy chairs in the room and a work desk too.
The rooms are really well lit – well done Matavai! So rare these days.
The rest of the resort however I would rate at 2-2.5 star.
Wifi is available at a moderate cost but very slow.
The meals were lovely but the restaurant area is very basic, just a big huge open room with a deck area. Sadly we experienced very very poor service, over a week, we had to flag a waiter down every single night to be served, even though we had asked to be seated by staff, we even had to get our own menus and order drinks at the bar as we were sick of waiting, and there were very long long waits for food and attention. The food was great when it finally came. They have a nice large uncovered deck at the front but no tables were ever set up on it, even at breakfast.
I am sorry to say the weekly buffet night food was disappointing, and everyone had to eat at the same time so there were huge queues – I don't know why it is popular, it was nothing special at all & the entertainment was pretty basic. I would have preferred just simple A-La Carte every night but they have you over a barrel as there is no where else to eat, so it's buffet or starve. There is no room service on buffet nights.
The reception area is strangely staffed – every time we asked a question we got given a different answer depending on who was working. Some staff were downright rude actually. No info was given for airport transfers at all, the night before leaving we received a letter telling us we had to be ready at 10am for the transfer (for a 3pm flight !) We waited and waited but no-one came. Then we were told we had to sit for two more hours waiting for the midday one. It turned out there was a form at reception we had to fill out the day before if we wanted a 12pm transfer but no-one told us about this. It was raining and there is simply no lounge or nice public place to sit and wait if you can't access your room apart from reception so we just had to sit there.
We had to worst cocktails of our lives at the pool bar – totally insipid, like water with a dash of cream & food colouring - absolutely awful. Undrinkable added sugar sachets but it did not improve things! I challenge management to try one. We were with a group and every single one of us could not drink them.
There is no day room or outdoor or pool area shower if you have to vacate your room early on check out day as we did.
You cannot swim in the ocean at this resort – it is simply not safe to get in anywhere, the reef is all coral with no safe access.
There is a lovely mini cave with a pool under the resort, you have to walk along the reef to it at low tide ( reef shoes essential) but check there are no swells as even at low tide, if there are big surges, you can get in trouble even in the shallows.
Overall it's a nice resort although very expensive for what you get, but on Niue you really have no other choice if you want to stay at a nice hotel with a restaurant. This hotel really is your only option. If I came back to Niue, I would stay there again.
They do their best in a hard environment and overall we did enjoy our stay.
Some tips for Niue:
You MUST hire a car! It's impossible to do anything without a car – there are no other options to get around.
Do the Commodores orientation tour – superb.
The Niue Dive snorkel trip is not great – you don't see anything better than in the rock pools on shore, but if they find dolphins then it's fantastic as you get in the water with them. Sadly we were not so lucky on our day.
It is virtually impossible to swim in the ocean on Niue – unless you are lucky enough to strike freak conditions that are super calm, you simply cannot get into the sea over the reef, with the exception of a few crazy fearless locals & a couple of suicidal tourists we saw trying. Conditions can change fast and it can be very very hard to get back in. Most swimming and snorkelling is done in the reef pools which are fantastic. There is a secret one up before Matapa Chasm, just near where the burnt out house on the sea side is – 3 amazing pools full of fish and coral at low tide only.
Take a Jasons road map from home – they are rare as hens teeth on the island.
Bring EVERYTHING you might need – there is nothing on the island and what is there will not be open when you want it to be - advertised trading hours are not abided by on Niue.
Nothing happens on Sunday – in some places it is even forbidden to swim on a Sunday, even in town. Petrol can be stressful to get.
It is not tropical here from March to November – in fact, it can be quite cold if the sun does not come out. Days can be a cool 22 ( or 27 if you are lucky & it's sunny) but the nights were verycold, about 15, and most people had long pants and jackets on when dining.
It's a superb pretty island, you will love it. But forget fast internet, if any at all, & cellphones don't work, the power goes off all the time.
And the people are just lovely.

Room Tip: For sun, go for a ocean view garden room that sits on the grass lawn. But the deck is not private...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rabbity1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Thank you for your review of Matavai Resort. It sounds like you have been blessed with a lot of travel in your life!
We appreciate all your comments, both positive and negative, as they give us the opportunity to finely tune our what we offer at the resort to ensure the best possible stay for every guest. Therefore I will take this opportunity to help explain some of the challenges you found in Niue, or update you on progress in the pipeline.
We agree, we are not a 4 -5 star resort. While our rooms, and many of our facilities are of very high standard, Niue is very remote and is therefore presented with regular challenges with telecommunications, power and internet leaving us with a 3.5 star self rating. We have 1 back up generator, in the event of this failing or any major incident on the island affecting the resort we have a disaster plan in place and a team trained regularly to action this plan.
Our Motel guests are all informed of the distance between the Resort and Motel, and therefore either hire a vehicle or use our shuttle service.
Our Cliff top rooms are nestled within trees predominantly for protection. They are (aptly named) on a Cliff top and onshore ocean winds can be far from relaxing. The design offers a blend between ocean views and enough trees to break strong winds. Our housekeeping team are happy to offer the use of our many outdoor lines to dry any wet gear, and with the unique lack of
crime in Niue you can comfortably leave your belongings around the resort with no concern. With your travel background you could relate to how lovely it is to see all the guests shoes outside their doors overnight at Matavai.
Our television selection comes in via satellite, hence the lack of variety. We offer news, sports, movies and Australia network. While the selection is limited by comparison to other pacific islands, so to is our population. With less than 1400 people (and no other hotels) we lack the market to cost effectively connect to any more stations. We do find that most people are out and about most of the time discovering Niue so it is rare than anyone requests any more stations. Our wifi connection is also relies on satellite, hence the speed challenges. DVD players are available at reception on request free of charge. The lovely thing about Niue is that people come here to truly disconnect form the hectic world. While we cant offer the same speed and selection of technologies we can ensure you remain connected to the world, just enough to know what is going on while relaxing and unwinding in the tropical sun.
We have worked very hard on the quality of food at the resort and therefore appreciate your kind comments. We do struggle with the pacific wide service challenges around 'island speed'
therefore have a training program beginning next month to work alongside our restaurant team and help them with the confidence to boldly serve people, and quickly return. Many of our guests dine in every night which is the reason for mixing up our A la Carte nights with Island Buffets and a Fish and Chip Night. The Pool Bar café also offers a Pizza Menu during the day to ensure we have a good selection in house. Our Buffet Nights have quickly grown in popularity this season with our selection of local cuisine and entertainment, so much so that we have altered the display to a 2 sided buffet to limit the long lines you experienced. When considering our food and entertainment selection it is also worth keeping in mind that Niue has a tiny population, less than an average high school in NZ and with this population they run a while country fulfilling every role in a growing nation. A coral topped volcano, Niue has no soil to grow food and are extremely limited by the options available, or expensive air and sea freight. When comparing Niue's cuisine selection and price, and entertainment to other pacific destinations it is well worth keeping all this in mind. You will see from our other reviews that we have a constant stream of visitors blown away by what this incredible little country are capable of.
Our transfer information is available at any point in your stay. The reason we offer a transfer at 10am, with the next run at 12pm,is the many people have returned their hire vehicle the day before but want to head to town for lunch. At the top of the sign up sheet you would have read that we offer a 10am run to take everyone to the airport to check in, then we drop you to your café in town for a bite to eat and last minute souvenir shopping.Those guests who chose to stay at the resort are dropped at the airport at 12 after which we head to town and pick up everyone from the cafes to return them to the airport. Most people consider this a pretty neat, unique service that we provide at no additional cost to our guests, and in support of our local Niuean businesses. I am surprised you waited so long, I am sure a simple request for information from one of the receptionists would have clarified what appears to have been a misunderstanding around our offer. We have many guests who choose to wait in the resort in our lounge area, dining or using our free internet on the guest computer and therefore the team may not have been aware of your frustration.
Our Pool Bar uses the same cocktail recipes and product as a our Restaurant Bar so I will certainly take your concerns to Pool Bar Manager. Had you chosen to return your cocktails my team, as per policy, would have fully refunded you.
Our checkout time is 10am as per international standards. Here in Niue we have 2 planes a week and therefore more often than not our housekeeping team prepare more then 50% of the resort for incoming guests between 10am and 2pm. For this reason we can very rarely offer late check outs. On request the team do however offer our backup room (when not at 100% capacity)
for complimentary use if guests wish to have a swim and change into clothes for the flight home.
Not swimming in front of the resort is great advice! Matavai is perched above a cliff top with sweeping views of the pacific ocean, above a reef with an immediate 30 metre drop off. This makes for some very close encounters with the dolphins, whales and sea turtles who have been known to come within metres of our bottom decks, however I certainly wouldn't want to see guests take a leap from the coral. The ocean pool below the resort is a great safe option for those wanting to immerse themselves in the warm pacific waters. Our 2 swimming pools help you keep cool in the tropical heat and the get in some of the best snorkelling in the world we also
suggest hiring a vehicle and heading north to Matapa Chasm or Limu Pools, but as you have suggested it is vital to remember those reef shoes.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the world, and for
adding your helpful tips to ensure our future guests come prepared for their Niuean adventure.
Sarah King
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We had a small opportunity to sneak a week away. We were attracted to the "deal" we could get at the Matavai Resort in Niue. We were not disappointed - we had a very nice room, ate good breakfasts (incl in our package) met lots of lovely people (predominantly fun loving kiwis), enjoyed good restaurants, FABULOUS snorkelling, beautiful weather. Would really recommend Matavai & Niue if you are looking for an economical / warm break away. Only minus would be that there is no real beach as Niue is a big volcanic rock. If you are looking for a tropical white sandy beach where you can lie under a palm tree this is not for you. If, on the other hand you want really fabulous snorkelling / diving / fishing / / warmth / relaxing - go and stay at the Matavai Resort!!!

Room Tip: We paid extra for an upgrade but this is not to be confused with an ocean front room. The upgraded r...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Annie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Thanks for taking up one of our promotional deals and coming to check out Niue Island. We are really proud of this incredible secret spot in the South Pacific, and are over the moon that you enjoyed your time so much with us.
Sarah King
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Our room was always clean and everything was always working. Excellent service as well. They were so friendly and helped our baby adapt quite quickly . They were all so friendly and helpful. This island has good food and great company. We will stop and check on Matavai when we come back in October. I will write about our experience on trip advisor as well.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Talaesea R.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatavaiGM, General Manager at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Thank you. We look forward to seeing you again in October. Stay warm in the meantime!
Sarah King
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Scenic Matavai Resort Niue

Property: Scenic Matavai Resort Niue
Address: Tapeu-Porritt Road | Tamakautoga, Alofi, Niue
Region: Niue > Alofi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Alofi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Scenic Matavai Resort Niue 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Scenic Matavai Resort is Niue's premier accommodation option. Designed to take full advantage of its unique environment, our resort blends into the breathtaking landscape of coral outcrops, coconut palms, rainforest, and tropical flowers. Perched over the Pacific Ocean, the resorts' cliff-top deck provides a vantage point from which to watch the resident turtles surface, spinner dolphins patrol, and humpback whales cruise right past the resort.Matavai Resort has recently undergone a multimillion dollar refurbishment and expansion to bring it's exceptional facilities in line with the very best on offer in the Pacific. The new building blends contemporary comforts and luxury with a classic, timeless style. Guests can enjoy a meal at our highly regarded restaurant, soak up the sun on the expansive cliff top decks, or relax after a long day exploring at the poolside bar. Scenic Matavai Resort Niue is the perfect place to base your Niuean adventure. The resort is 8.5 Km from Alofi Town Centre, and whilst airport transfers are included in your stay there is no public transport or taxi service on Niue so we highly recommend arranging a rental vehicle before you arrive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Scenic Matavai Resort Niue Alofi

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