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“Great Birding stay”

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Garden Island Resort
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Taveuni Island
Certificate of Excellence
Kuranda, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great Birding stay”
Reviewed 23 September 2012

Lovely recently renovated hotel on the beach, a superb dive spot by all accounts but we were a birding trip and thus of not so much interest to the dive-centric management. Lovely rooms, very nice staff, pleasant restaurant but trying too hard to be trendy with the menu- the fish soup was a disaster! Sad to see the new American manager trying to drive away the long-established colony of flying foxes (fruit bats) from the trees in the grounds by firing a catapult at them- why not see them as a wildlife attraction and not a noisy nuisance? Many of the guests were very taken by them when we explained what they were. Anyway, it's ideally placed for birding Des Voeux Peak, the 180 degree meridian and Nabogiono Farm, and the excellent dive staff can arrange a good boat trip for pelagic birding in the Somosomo Strait. I've been staying here for years in its various incarnations and i can recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Phil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHI_Intl, Public Relations Manager at Garden Island Resort, responded to this review, 28 September 2012
Thank you, we appreciate you taking the time to write such an encouraging review. We're glad you were able to enjoy all the beauties of Taveuni Island and our amenities to compliment it. In regards to the fruit bats, it is Garden Islands' policy to treat all wildlife as part of the beautiful landscape of the island and definitely an added attraction. I'm sure our manager, Sean would never do anything to harm any animal large or small but if he accidentally did or there was some misunderstanding, you can rest assure that it will never happen again. We thank you so much for being a regular guest at Garden Island and we hope to have you back with us soon
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234 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

We can't say enough good things about Garden Island Resort. Fiji is a world-class destination for diving. If the diving is excellent, we are not very picky about the accommodations, just needing a good bed, a good shower, and good food. However, GIR surpasses this by a LOT. The most wonderful thing is the staff, and in fact all the Fijians we met, who really made us feel that they were happy to have us there. We felt incredibly cared for. The food was great, the rooms comfortable, with good air conditioning when we needed it, comfy bed, fluffy towels and excellent "spa" shower. Rainbow Reef was gorgeous, and the dive staff was great. The dives were pretty intense, lots of current. We appreciated relaxing each afternoon.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Wendy-and-Andrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Clemente, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 13 September 2012

I miss everyone at the Garden Island so much! My new husband and I were married this past August 18th 2012 at the Garden Island Resort villa, which is their second location: a beautiful 4 bedroom home just above the sand overlooking the ocean (see the picture of our magical gazebo!) And please just imagine two whales breaching in the background during our ring ceremony - spectacular or what!? This was our second vacation to Fiji and Garden Island for their world-class diving, breathtaking views and top-notch service and hospitality, two years in a row. 
What made this vacation extra memorable for us was the new management team and hospitality extraordinaire (s), Sean & Diana + the kind and nurturing care from the resort staff. During our wedding ceremony, the Garden Island team went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and like family. Diana helped me with my hair in a private room while Sean kept my hubby laughing and smiling with the ceremony warriors (our dive masters) who walked us down the aisle at sunset as we passed by our friends seated on the lawn in front of the gazebo. The opulent skyline and sapphire blue ocean was surreal; still brings tears to my eyes. BTW - if you're looking for an extra special dive spot with professional dive instructors (love you all!) and dive masters who will take care of you and make sure you're comfortable at ALL times – I recommend Garden Island to your dive map as soon as possible.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Marri V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHI_Intl, Public Relations Manager at Garden Island Resort, responded to this review, 15 October 2012
On behalf of everyone at Garden Island congratulations again, and thank you for your kind review. We're happy to have made your special day extra memorable and hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay with us. Thanks again, and we look forward to welcoming you both back to your tropical island home.
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Newport Beach, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2012

This is a great story of how we ended up at Garden Island Resort.
My husband and I went on our honeymoon and stayed at The Koro Sun Resort on SavuSavu for 2 weeks. By the end of the second week, we had about 4 days left and had to get out of that place. The Koro Sun was terrible (check out my review on that resort as well). We took a 4 hour bus ride, while my husband had food poisoning from the Koro Sun and was literally throwing up out the window every hour. We then proceeded to get on a ferry that included more sea sickness and vomiting. We finally arrive to Taveuni Island hoping to find something better than what was back at SavuSavu. We check into this awful little hole in the wall motel in town and that is when I started crying. I couldn't believe this was our honeymoon after everything we'd been through and hating our other resort. My husband asked the owner if there were any surrounding resorts near by we could get a taxi to.

Now for the great part! We arrive after this day of pure hell and are greeted by the nicest, kindest people we'd come into counter with yet. The owner and his wife (from Boston) could tell we had been through the ringer when we tried to check in expecting we could afford the rates. I again began to cry when I realized it was a little bit out of our budget since we were still paying for our villa back at the Koro Sun! The manager quickly took us aside and asked us what was going on and why we were so upset. The wife came by my side and gave me a great big hug assuring me that everything was going to be okay. My husband and the manager talked about what he could do for us and we were able to get a room! We both began to cry because now we were in good hands and could relax. The wife showed us around and we felt like we had just arrived in heaven! The bar area, the restaurant, the views...everything was pure perfection and beauty. The best part about it all was the amazingly kind staff and service which we didn't experience at all at our other resort. We were so relieved and felt like family! I have never felt so cared for by complete strangers! They literally took us into their arms and made sure we had a drink in hand (tums for my sick husband) and a smile on our face.

The room was incredible. Brand new and beautiful! The shower is unlike anything I have every seen! 5 shower heads and HOT water...yes!!!! The views are spectacular and rooms insanely clean. We only stayed two nights since it was the end of our trip and we had to rush back to catch out flight, but this place saved our honeymoon. It was everything we should have experienced in the first place! We are so thankful and grateful to the husband and wife who treated us so kindly and welcomed us with literally, open arms. As we left, the wife even gave me a pair of her socks since she knew we were going on the ferry where they make you take off your shoes on the carpet (disgusting). These people and this resort was literally an answer to our prayers that day!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mandy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHI_Intl, Public Relations Manager at Garden Island Resort, responded to this review, 28 August 2012
Bula Mandy,

Congratulations to you and your husband on your recent wedding and thank you for taking the time to share the story of your honeymoon with us. All of us here at Garden Island are so pleased that after days of disappointment and heartache you were able to find comfort, relaxation and the honeymoon you deserved, if only for a short while.
We're glad that all the staff were able to make you feel at home in the resort and were able to make your stay as memorable as possible, we will be sure to pass along all your kind words to Sean, Diana and all the staff at the Garden Island.
Again, thank so much writing such a kind review and please do let us know if you ever plan to return to Fiji, we would love to have you back with us.
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San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2012

The hotel and nearby (50') away dive store/daily dive boat provider are an excellent matched pair. The end result is a relaxing exciting dive vacation. The staff at both enterprises are dedicated to your satisfaction. This is the real deal, a package that is well thought out and executed. Luxury accommodations and on site provider of all the things you'll need to have the perfect relaxing adventure.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Don F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHI_Intl, Public Relations Manager at Garden Island Resort, responded to this review, 28 August 2012
Bula! Don,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a kind review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us at Garden Island and that our friendly staff, luxury accommodations and our world class diving enabled you to have a memorable vacation.
Thanks again, we hope to have you back with us at Garden Island soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2012

We stayed at the Garden Island Resort early June 2012 for some 9 days and did not cease to be impressed with the resort, its staff, the kitchen, the diving facilities and the overall experience. The lack of big numbers of other guests at the time of our stay, belies the resort's facilities and service provided but certainly did not curtail our overall enjoyment of the trip. A huge "thank you" to Sean and all the staff.

Quentin & Astrid Morgan

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Astrid M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Parker, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2012

On March 24, we left from Colorado to travel to the island of Fiji for a week long dive trip. We were meet at the airport on Taveuni by the owner of the Garden Island Resort, Phil. Phil packed the air conditioned van with all of our luggage and drove us to the resort where we were greeted by the staff with a welcome song and leis. Within a day or two, the staff all called us by name and both my husband and I felt like we were at a home away from home.
Accommodations were one of the best we have had on any dive trip. Our room had a small balcony, overlooking the straits. We had a view several islands and out to the sea. In addition, the room had a small refrigerator and a coffee maker with instant coffee or tea. Each day, when the room was cleaned, flowers were left throughout the room. What a wonderful treat and scent. Both Phil and Mark, the general manager, were on hand to make sure all of our questions were answered, ensuring us of a wonderful vacation.
We selected our meals from a menu which was created each day. No two days alike. Chef Claudia has done an excellent job in preparing her staff to work with the native crops and entice the guests with very tasty and well prepared meals. The plating was incredible. One of the best meals was the tuna tartar with the tuna being caught in nearby waters that morning. The pizza should be patented. Breakfasts could be ordered from a menu or from the breakfast bar. Fresh picked fruits from the island every morning. We cannot get bananas here in the states that are that good. I am not a big banana fan, Fresh Fiji bananas are the exception. Muffins and breakfast breads, tender, and moist.
Diving was wonderful. A cyclone, a few years ago, damaged some of the shore reef which is in the process of re-birth. Juvenile fish, eels, sea snakes, corals, sea grass are returning. It is a great experience for a diver to see the process of Mother Earth repairing herself. Deeper diving presented a number of varieties of fish, mollusks, sea cucumbers, nudibranchs of all colors, and more from the South Pacific Sharks are a little more abundant here in the island. We saw a bull shark, several silver tips among other varieties. Currents were moderate.
When not diving, there were plenty of opportunities to see the island with “field trips’, visiting a native village, pearl farms, and nearby village towns. Phil or Mark would arrange for transportation if needed or would take us themselves. An alternative was to just relax pool side. Personally, I got a lot of reading done, something I don’t get to do at home.
The dive shop and staff were always attentive and helpful. The whole staff took care of our equipment, dunking and cleaning it after each dive as well as loading and unloading the equipment. They knew their sites and what to expect at each one.
The night before our scheduled departure, the staff presented us with a show with native songs and dances, another wonderful taste of the island. However, Cyclone Daphne would delay our departure by 4 days. Phil and Mark kept us informed of the progress of the storm, what was happening, status of flights and the Nadi airport. When flights were allowed back into Nadi, we were again sung a going away song by the staff, presented with leis and driven back to the airport by Phil. Yes, I would definitely go back and recommend Garden Island Resort.
I have been diving for 14 years and have not found an island that captured my heart and soul like Taveuni, Fiji. This is an island I want to return to again and again. I have not felt this way about any other island we have visited.
This whole trip could not have been possible without the assistance of Linda with South Seas Adventure. Linda and her staff put together this package and with the delay were right on top of helping to rearrange the flights. All thumbs up for her business and there is no question on which company I will go to for my next South Seas Adventure.
Debby and Mac McCloud

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view. Upper floors have balcony.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank hdmccloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHI_Intl, Public Relations Manager at Garden Island Resort, responded to this review, 6 June 2012
Thank you, we appreciate you taking the time to write such an encouraging review. We're glad you were able to enjoy our hospitality and the world class diving we provide. I'll be sure to pass along your kind words to Phil, Mark and all the rest of the Garden Island staff.
Again thanks for the great review, we hope to have you back with us soon.
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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 Garden Island Resort

Property: Garden Island Resort
Address: Waiyevo | Waiyevo, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Taveuni Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Garden Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to beautiful panoramic views of the ocean and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves at award-wining Garden Island Resort on Taveuni, Fiji. With world class dive sites only moments away, and a coastal 9-hole golf course at your pleasure, there are a bevy of recreational pursuits to be enjoyed including coastal walks, bird watching, hiking, natural waterfalls and horse riding to name a few. Comprising of 15 Ocean front suites with a private patio, and 15 Ocean view rooms fully refurbished with private balconies, each room offers a private space for luxurious comfort and personalised service making Garden Island Resort your home away from home. Garden Island Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort with a fully equipped dive centre on site with professional and friendly dive crew offering PADI courses, and nitrox for advanced divers. Only 15 minutes away from the Rainbow Reef and over 20 dive sites, you are only moments away from world class diving and amazing soft coral. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Garden Island Hotel Taveuni Island
Garden Island Taveuni

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