My husband and I recently had our second trip to Nukubati. It's difficult to sum up why it's so fabulous when on each trip there have been things that haven't been ideal that we would have liked to have changed. But so much more has been amazing and the down side is easy to forgive.
In writing this review I am being extremely honest - the whole point of this site is exactly that and so it inevitably includes some nit picking. But the fact that we visited twice in six months is really what speaks volumes and I honestly can't recommend it highly enough.
The location is fabulous, but if you prize luxury transfers over seclusion, forget it. The four wheel drive has seen better days and the boat transfer at low tide is an experience... For us though, leaving everyone else to load on to a mini bus while we take off with our driver is what we enjoy. Another reviewer mentions going in one direction while everyone else goes in the other. That's exactly what it's like and why it's great.
The journey takes about an hour but it's then a five minute boat ride to the island where you have a wonderful welcome with all staff singing as you arrive. On our second trip a "welcome back" banner was displayed and petals on our bed also spelled out "welcome back".
The food is great though I share the view of another reviewer about the quality of the champagne and wine, and the canapes at sunset. I too would be happy to pay another $300 per person for decent wine and champagne which is about all it would cost, as most couples there only drink a few glasses each a night. I'd really like to see the wines improve for next time. The canapes could be done away with if not improved.
The staff can't be beaten. SO friendly, and on our second trip we were greeted with hugs and kisses. Nothing is too much trouble. The Fiji night with singing, dancing (of course) kava is great and I also LOVE curry night!
We enjoyed on our second trip having other guests to chat with before dinner each night (our first trip was just us) and we also enjoyed freshly caught sashimi each night before dinner - yum!
Be warned though that if your idea of a great holiday is getting dressed up or "being seen" around a pool, this isn't for you. I took a few pairs of heels on my first trip which didn't get a wear and on the second trip took only flip flops and ballet flat for the overnight flight. A very relaxed vibe. And there there isn't a pool - just the beautiful Pacific ocean right outside your bure.
The beds are a bit hard for my liking. I like a firm bed but on this trip I couldn't get comfy. The rooms are lovely and though more rustic than Ritz-y they are just my cup of tea. The decks are great and the bures had had a make-over in between our trips (though didn't look like they needed one).
In terms of other room for improvement, I would suggest that this is in relation to the general organisation around activites. On our first trip, the owner, Jenny was there and things ran a lot more smoothly. Our sandbank picnic didn't go to plan though as we were dropped off as the tide was coming in and had to radio the island to be rescued!! Which probably sounds much worse than it was (no real danger). The problem there was actually that we asked to go at a particular time and the staff are so obliging, that they agreed with the time we suggested rather than point out to us that this was the time the tide would turn and suggesting a better time. This is very much a cultural thing too with Fijians wanting to please.
On the last day of our recent trip the duty manager told us at breakfast that our planned fishing trip wasn't happening (though he went!). As it was our last day we were pretty disappointed. He also left us to sort out our own activity for the day but luckily the other staff were helpful and we'd got to know the other guests so could gatecrash their snorkelling trip. (We must have made it clear we were disappointed as we ended up being taken out that evening.) I do think that when Jenny isn't there things don't go as well and aren't as organised. Nukubati is essentially a small business and like most they need the boss there to keep things ticking over efficiently.
The boats can be hit and miss and we've had one breakdown (cue second rescue!) and another where it took a while to get started.
The other thing about the activities that we didn't understand (though in fairness didn't ask for an explanation) was that whilst we understand that boat trips to the reef or fishing mean that you pay for fuel, there didn't seem to be a reduction in the amounts even though on both our snorkelling trips we went out with other guests and presumably therefore were sharing the cost.
My tip about all that? Be clear at the start what you expect from your activites each day and ask to be told if there is a change, and why. Try and deal with Jenny!
Quite honestly, none of this has put us off. For us, who are only three hours to Nadi from Australia, it's a very convenient place to go for guaranteed relaxation, wonderful service and oustanding natural beauty. We are now looking to book the whole island in a year or two, for the whole family, which allows you to take kids if Jenny agrees. I can't think of anything nicer than five days with the extended family and the Nukubati family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All Inclusive ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nukubati Private Island Great Sea Reef Hotel Labasa
- Nukubati Island Hotel
- Nukubati Island Resort All Inclusive
- Nukubati Private Island Fiji/Labasa