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“Disappointed”

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Nukubati Private Island
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Labasa
Certificate of Excellence
Rancho Palos Verdes, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed 14 October 2011

My husband and I just got back from Nukubati and were very unhappy with our experience there. It is our third trip to Fiji and this is by far the worse resort we have stayed at. The food was fair at best and they had no band at night. It was boring and not worth the price. The beds are terrible as well. I would not go back to this resort.

Room Tip: Find another resort
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
24 Thank Susie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JennyNukubatiIsland, Owner at Nukubati Private Island, responded to this review, 19 December 2011
To say that I and all my staff at Nukubati were nonplussed after reading this review would be an understatement. I find it difficult to respond, as the review is short and non-specific but it certainly sends a message. At first read, I took it to be a mischievous posting by a competitor, BUT this guest did indeed stay at Nukubati with her husband for 5 nights. They came specifically to scuba dive on the Great Sea Reef, as they had prepaid for 3 days diving. Their travel agent informed us that they were her VIP clients and could we take extra special care with them, which of course we did. We were told they were relatively new to scuba diving and could we make sure they felt safe on their dives as they had had a bad dive experience at another resort on a previous trip to Fiji. They were assigned our most experienced dive master, Salote, who reported that they had very much enjoyed their dives. As well as scuba diving, they also experienced some of our unique cultural activities: tatavu, meke, and octopus hunting.
They certainly seemed to have had a wonderful holiday. Indeed they testified to that when writing in our guest book on their last day. I quote " To Nukubati Family , Thank you for your warm hospitality. We had a wonderful, relaxing week in your home. The resort is breathtaking. You are blessed to be here every day. We appreciate the intimate hospitality and time to relax. We wish you all health and happiness."
So I don’t know what happened after they left Nukubati for them to change their mind. For Nukubati to go from "breathtaking" to "the worst resort we have stayed at” , and from "had a wonderful, relaxing week " to "being bored", leaves us quite confused.
I have emailed these guests to express my regret that they did not enjoy Nukubati and to ask them if they can elaborate or be more specific about their experience, so that we know what we might be doing wrongly and how we might improve our services. But I have received no response.
Jenny
Nukubati Private Island
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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249 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

It’s an odd feeling to come home from a vacation and feel homesick. That’s how my husband and I felt after spending 7 nights at beautiful Nukubati. Prior to choosing to stay at Nukubati, I read all of the reviews and looked at all of the pictures. Despite the wonderful ratings and pictures, they do not do this place justice. Right after we stepped foot on the beach, we immediately felt like we were in an island paradise. Our honeymoon could not have been more perfect. Our bure was beautiful and private, the food was delicious, there were plenty of activities and the staff was wonderful! They made you feel so at home. There are so many things to do at Nukubati, or you can do nothing at all! We enjoyed octopus hunting, kayaking, having a picnic at the remote sand bar, doing our first dive in the Great Sea Reef and learning just to relax! We were sad to leave but are looking forward to our next visit to beautiful Nukubati.
Some tips – pack lots of sunscreen, bugspray (there are mosquitos at night) and water shoes. Also, be sure to communicate clearly with the staff about prices for certain activities. We had a couple of surprises on our vacation.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
11 Thank Mallory P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suva, Fiji
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

When we arrived at the jetty to get on the boat to Nukubati - we had already been on the road for at least an hour. It was raining , dreary and grey - and the other two couples my husband and I were travelling with, were hoping that the weather would improve significantly by the time we got onto the island.

Well we were not disappointed because as soon as we were greated by the smiling and singing faces of the Nukubati staff - we knew our peaceful holiday had begun. Jenny who is a true earth mother quickly showed us our rooms. My husband and I had one of the two new beach bures. I was in love at first sight of the huge deck and the comfortable chairs where I spent hours reading to the sounds of the soothing ocean. My only two issues with the room was that the bed moved around alot because it was on wheels and as a result everytime we got on , it felt like i on a boat . My other gripe was in relation to the hot water being refilled in the thermos so other than the first night, it was difficult to make a cup of tea in the evening. But we also did not ask for the themos to be topped up!

The food was unbelieveably fabulous! It was all fresh and straight from nature. Do ask Jenny to show you her garden , the impressive solar system and desalination processing plant - very eco-friendly!

The Fijian style picnic on the sand-bank, the octupus hunting , fishing and snorkelling were also great ways to spend the time. But my favourite activity was spending the day reading and enjoying the silence! I highly recommend Nukubati if you just want to get away from it all!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank virisila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2011

My wife and I stayed at this property for our honeymoon, and it was wonderful. From day one the staff made us feel at home. It seemed that upon our arrival everyone already knew our names.

We stayed for 10 nights at the resort and did almost all of the avaliable activities. One of the main highlights included snorkeling at the Great Sea Reef. This is an excursion that should not be missed. What made this experience memorable is that upon arriving on the island my wife did not know how to swim. While staying at the resort the dive master not only taught her how to swim, but also how to snorkel. Once she had mastered snorkeling in the shallow water the dive master took us out to the Great Sea Reef. The dive master came with us on our snorkeling adventure and helped my wife swim around in order to see the coral and fish. Where else in the world would a dive master teach my wife to swim, snorkel, and then help her snorkel at the Great Sea Reef. The best part was all of this was done with a smile and a highly personalized touch.

One of our favorite parts of the island was waking up in the morning to the sound of the ocean in your room. Because the room is literally steps away from the ocean you can hear the sound of the waves in the morning when you wake up. This is possible because the island is also extremely quiet - a perfect place to disconnect from the stress and constant noise of modern life.

As far as the food goes you will not be disappointed. The chef does an excellent job of preparing meals with locally sourced ingredients. The sea food is wonderfully fresh and well prepared. My wife usually does not like seafood, but would eat some at the resort since it was so fresh.

Room Tip: Bring a battery powered flashlight, using the hand crank powered one is a bit annoying after a while...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank shethbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thirroul
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2011

So...back in reality and I want to let everyone know about the paradise known as Nukubati. Then again....not really sure I do want to share it, might not be able to get in if too many people know about it.
I was promised a wonderful experience and I wasn't disappointed.
It was suggested that we do any strenuous activities on our list during the early part of the holiday, because we would slow down as the week went on. Not that snorkelling is all that strenuous. Good advice though. I spent the last 3 days in my favourite chair, in front of the pavilion, under the umbrella, reading, drinking fresh lemon drinks and gazing out to sea.
I loved the fact the island is close to self sufficient, that the water used was from rainwater and bores, the vegetables and fruit eaten were mostly grown on the island, the fish and seafood were caught by the local fishermen, and women, from the surrounding waters. Recycle and reuse is the catchcry, along with reducing the footprint created. Impressive, as I never felt that I was doing it tough.
The staff were consistently friendly, choruses of "bula" and large smiles always, and helpful, nothing was any trouble. As they are all Fijian and generally from the local villages, the resort has close ties with those villages and I learnt much about the culture and the people. Something not possible in the large insulated resorts on the main islands.
Nukubati is a credit to Jenny and Peter Bourke and their extended family, and I'm very happy that they share with us.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank annieajeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2011

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.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the beachfront bure
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank nailartsua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Bay, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2011

O.K. So you say that you are looking for an amazing vacation, a once in a lifetime experience, a place that is worth all the time you spent working overtime, a resort that is worth all your saved up hard earned money, and your time of countless hours looking at the internet, bugging your spouse/partner on where to go...well look no further. Nukubati is it. Our "Must Haves" were simple, no kids, amazing food, quiet, peace and culture.


I spent hours and I mean hours looking for a place that would fit the criteria of a "perfect" vacation for my husband and I. Yes, Nukubati is a distance away, but it was so worth it. Our time on the island was more of an experience than a vacation. We experienced Fiji. With all of it's beauty, charm, adventure and sanctuary.

From the adventurous ride from the airport to the last good-byes on the beach, and knew that I had found the perfect vacation.

Not enough can be said of the staff and their fearless leader Jenny. They are a part of Nukubati, heck they ARE Nukubati. Never have I felt so welcome away from home.
I thanked them profusely upon our departure and I will welcome them with hugs when we return.

Highlights include; catching my first fish EVER with Allan, octopus hunting with Eta, snorkeling the Great Sea Reef with Villi, visiting the village and school with Kim and Salote, drinks with Jenny (telling stories and funny dreams...you had to be there) and spending time with my wonderful husband of 20 years.

Nukubati is for those travelers who want peace, quiet, tranquility, fun and adventure

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank klphillip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nukubati Private Island

Property: Nukubati Private Island
Address: The Great Sea Reef | P.O.Box 1928, Labasa, Vanua Levu 0, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Labasa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Labasa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Nukubati Private Island 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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