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“great end to four month stay in Fiji!”

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Nukubati Private Island
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Labasa
Certificate of Excellence
connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great end to four month stay in Fiji!”
Reviewed 25 January 2010

I spent 4 months in Fiji as a student at the university of the south pacific in Suva. I lived in Suva almost the whole time. At the end of my trip my mom came to the south pacific so we could travel together. We ended our trip at Nukubati for 4 AMAZING days. When my mom told me we would be staying at a really nice hotel i was a little turned off and disappointed. I didn't mean to be a brat but after having the complete Fiji experience; living with a host family and staying in numerous villages, as well as doing a little research on hotels in Fiji i was not very excited to end my authentic experience and stay at a hotel. But as soon as i arrived at Nukubati, my worries faded. IT was definitely not what i was expecting. I pictured a resort filled with American tourists who didn't interact with each other or the staff and very "showy" accommodations. But i was completely wrong and it turned out to be the exact opposite. After about 10 minutes at Nukubati i already felt like family to the staff, which is the Fijian way. They filled our stomachs with coconut juice which was something i was used to in the different villages i had lived in, so that made me feel right at home. The decor was very authentic and very beautiful. I loved walking around and seeing beautiful frangipani and hibiscus flowers everywhere including on my pillow and bed every day and even our little foot bath outside out bure. I also loved that each "villa" was actually a bure which helps introduce the Fijian culture to tourists without making them feel uncomfortable. The food was amazing. It was probably the best food i had eaten in four months and was extremely fresh. Everything on the menu was was accommodating to tourists who are not adventurous eaters as well as the tourists who love to try new things. I really enjoyed the fact that we could request anything we wanted to eat and it was prepared perfectly. For example i was talking with Jenni Bourke (the owner) about how much i enjoyed curry and sure enough, for dinner the next night we had a special curry dinner! That was a great surprise and really made me feel at home. I would recommend this hotel to anybody. It was a very romantic hotel although i enjoyed it with my mom and another guest enjoyed being by himself. The mentality of the hotel depicted true Fijian lifestyle which is extremely easy going, relaxing, and heart filled . The activities that were offered ranged from diving excursions, snorkeling, going to the pearl farm and hand picking pearls (which i did with my classmates earlier in the year and loved), going to a private island for the day, etc. My mom and i went on a walk around the island and learned about the medicinal plants located throughout the bush. I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of the staff and hanging out with them as well as have our alone time. This hotel is for anyone who wants to get to know Fiji without "roughing it", or who just wants to relax and feel like a queen for a little while, or for people who love to go deep sea diving. I already decided that when i go back to Fiji i am DEFINITELY staying at Nukubati for a couple days.

  • Stayed December 2009
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3 Thank bec1751
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
lueneburg, germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2010

Just before Christmas a short notice arrival to one of the most beautiful places in Fiji has certainly impressed and stays in my memory as “ I have just touched Paradise”, Garden Eden certainly exist and I went there to enjoy and celebrate life.
After a very warm Fijian welcome and meeting Jenny, who owns the island, all the travel stress disappeared and one realises the beauty and the amazing surroundings. Becoming instantly part of the island family the word “Stranger” must be missing in the vocabulary of the island’s mentality. This is a home away from home, plenty of space and locations around the resort for day- dreaming, overlooking the crystal clear water and the white sun-blessed beaches. Even for the people who enjoy activities, here is a lot on offer. Endless it seems. However all the actions do not disturb the harmony and peacefulness of the settings. Nakubati is a truly incredible place to be. Most amazing are the bures, absolute private with lots of room and small touches that makes this accommodation extraordinary. This is not a common resort room, rather a place that most of us would call home.
I am sure I will go back here rather soon, especially that I missed the great reef and the rest of the underwater world. Not enough time to do all, it is way too good on the land with all the pampering that is available.
Excellent place to go to, there are not enough stars to award the efforts.
Thank you for a great time.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank reisefertig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2010

This was our second trip to Fiji. Our first trip was in 2006 for my 40th birthday. We stayed on two islands and took a four day cruise through the Yasawas. It was the best vacation we ever took (despite the December 2006 coupe we arrived during) and as soon as we got home we were already talking about returning. And return we did three years later in December 2009 for our 20th wedding anniversary.

This trip we decided to explore two new islands and relax. Fishing is a must for my husband and I need nothing more than the beach and sun. We chose Nukubati Island Resort for one week and another resort for a second week. We didn't make it to the second resort. More on that in a moment.

From the moment you arrive at Nukubati you are treated like family. The Fijians are known for their friendliness and hospitality, but the staff at Nukubati was amazing, just amazing. Sena and Villie treated my husband and me like a long lost brother and sister. Sera, Cathy, Mere and Mela were perfect meal stewards. Meriane and Morawma made seafood I would not eat here in Ohio. Unbelieveable crab and fresh fish for all meals. The island grown fruits and vegetables are at the peak of their freshness (unlike here in the midwest where this time of year, winter, everything is shipped in after being picked unripened to ripen in the stores. The soups were super tasty and if there was something not on the menu we wanted, they would fix it. A favorite of mine was the almond chicken salad and spicy papaya soup. They made it multiple times for me, simply when I asked. We are not big big drinkers, but I had plenty of diet coke and my husband drank Fiji Gold several times a day. Oksena and Norma were excellent room stewards. Oksena gives nice massages. I had a full body and my husband had a foot massage. Oksena also taught me how to make tropical flower arrangements one rainy afternoon. It was also my husband's birthday and our anniversary. Our travel agent had noted that and the staff made not one, but two cakes for the occasion. We took advantage of a village tour, the pearl farm tour and used the water equipment to fish and kayak. Hubby caught several fish. I caught a barracuda the day I went mangrove fishing. I got the lure caught in the engine and we had to be towed in. That was kinda of embrassassing, but we laughed when the staff quickly fixed the engine!

The resort is excellent but after what I describe next I would have to rate it superb. We booked one week at Nukubati. After our stay ended with a tearful staff performance of Isa Lei, we flew out of Labasa to Suva and was supposed to fly to Kadavu. Suva airport officials told us Kadavu airport suddendly closed just the day before without notice stranding passengers including us. We had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. We decided to just return home to Ohio, but the next flight back to LA wasn't for two days and then of course there would be all the change of ticket charges (we didn't book travel insurance). Long story short, Nukubati took us back in a heartbeart and treated us better the second week than the first, if that is possible. And here's why. A tropical storm had developed and it turned into a cyclone within 24 hours. Nukubati was a direct target. Owner Jenny Burke kept us constantly updated about the storm and precautions they were taking. Fortunately, the cyclone veered away from us, but did hit the mainland and did some hefty damage there. We did experience 70 mile per hour winds and torrential rains and could not leave our bure for about a day, but hubby and I managed to enjoy the time watching movies on our laptop and reading. After the storm cleared, more perfect weather and fun in the sun and sea.

The second leg of our stay we were going to renew our vows at the resort which we had reservations. During the airport shuffle and return to Nukubati our travel agent told Jenny we were going to miss that special part of our trip. Jenny suprised us by offering to put a vow renewal ceremony together for us on Nukubati. It wasn't free, but what they did for us, Rick and I will never forget. It was truly special and means more to us now than our original wedding day. Rick's best man was Kawa, a villager and landscape supervisor at the resort. My matron of honor was Villie, whom I mentioned earlier. We developed a bond with these folks in just two weeks like we may never experience again. Two "warriors" escorted us to the service held on the beach by a protestant minster as we are Baptist. Etica and Olveni were Rick's fishing guides and we were so pleased they agreed to serve as witnesses for us, too. We wore traditional Fijian wedding attire. Rick dressed in a red/black sulu and I wore a tapa. The staff served as a choir to sing, our bure was spectacularly decorated with island flowers which would cost a fortune back here at home. Jenny put together a recpetion (meke and dinner for us) along with a cake cutting ceremony. It was truly a day we will never forget.

We also want to give a shout out to Salote who also fished with Rick and sang one of our favorite songs as a solo at the reception. She learned to sing it after I copied lyrics from the internet. Also to Nassey and Adi, who along with Villie and Olveni, who took Rick crabbing one evening. And to Phil from Los Angeles and the Japanese journalists we met during our stay and enjoyed our meals and conversations with them. Lastly, I would like to thank the owner of the second resort which will remain unamed at this time for assuring us he would assist us in our return to his resort after the Kadavu airport closed suddenly.

Nukubati is a very very special place. It's not your typical five star hotel in a resort zone, but it achieves near perfection in beauty, charm but more importantly to us hospitatlity and friendship. Jenny and staff, Rick and I love you and we can't say thank you enough for all you did for us. We look forward to the day we can return to our Fijian family at Nukubati.

"Adi' Mel and "Ratu" Rick Watson

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank melrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2009

I booked a stay at Nukubati to dive the Great Sea Reef and ended up having one of the most wonderful travel experiences in recent years. The diving with Vili and Salote was fantastic - walls of barracuda and trevally, morays and lobsters hiding in crevices, great swim throughs. And all this was just a fraction of what there was to see.

The delightful surprise was the warm, genuine hospitality shown by Jenny Bourke, the owner, and her superb staff. Mela, Sera, and Cathy, and Meme provided execellent dining service while Chef Marama outdid herself in kitchen, preparing sea- and garden fresh creations. The accomdations were large, well-outfitted, and the bed very, very comfortable.

Though Nukubati is a fairly remote destination (as other reviewers have detailed), it is totally worth the time and effort to get there. And once there, you will find yourself embraced by a warm, caring people who welcome you as long-lost friend rather than a guest. There are few places I return to on a regular basis - Nukubati will be one of them.

PS. Don't forget to ask Solate to show you the famous nocturnal Nukubati "banana turtles".

Phil Shelby

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank phildiver1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2009

Nukubati is well off the beaten track....as you land at Labasa airport, any tourists on your plane will all head in 1 direction, whilst you and your partner climb into a jeep, and head in the other...a great feeling. On the hour or so trip i dont think we passed another car. We went through local villages travelling on a mud road and finally arrived at a picture perfect jetty - boat waiting to take us across to Nukubati. We spent 5 days on Nukubati and essentially shared the island with just a couple of others. We were looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday, away from the masses - and Nukubati certainly scored well on these aspects. We generally also prefer luxury high end finishes whilst on holiday...but this isnt what Nukubati is about. You won't find a marble freestanding bathtub, or a luxury powershower (in fact you will be lucky to get more than a dribble out of the shower and you certainly wont be able to get a consistent temperture), but given this island is so secluded and powers itself, all these things are happily forgiven. We stayed in a honeymoon bure, and were glad we did as the other type of accomodation consists of duplexes - and we wouldnt have wanted to be in such close proximity to others - so would definitely recommend the upgrade. The living space was very generous - a great balcony with an outside living room - perfect for having breakfast in the morning. The only slight issue we had with the accomodation is that the path is directly in front of the accomodation - which means unless you are in the last bure, other couples will walk directly passed your window and there is a lack of privacy....probably not great if you are honeymooning (and we felt we were a little on show at times). I suspect the other couple on the island also felt the same as apparently they asked to switch to the last bure just before we arrived.

The other great love we have when we go on holiday is food and wine - we absolutely love fine dining and the dining experience could make or break our holiday. I did have some reservations going to an all inclusive resort as think there is always a temptation for the resort to try and cut corners and gradually try and save more and more money on food and wine choices. However, Nukubati markets itself as having fine food and wines so we were eager to find out what was in store for us. Most of the food was either good or excellent (we even bought Lynnes cookbook so we could try some of the recipes at home) and the food is understandably mainly seafood based. The only thing that really dissapointed were the 5pm canapes which were served daily with "champagne" to your room...strangely, they were consistently awful (think jatz biscuit with a slice of left over breakfast sausage and a dollop of ketchup on top...a million miles from fine dining) - unfortunately over the 5 days we never had a good canape and would hope they either improve them or get rid of them completely (we were thinking more along the lines of canapes featuring lobster, sashimi, cavier, decent jamon etc).

In terms of the wine we were also a bit dissapointed. If you go to the website and watch the video you will see french champagnes such as Bollinger and Veuve Clicquot. The reality is there is only 1 "champagne" choice - cheap $8 a bottle Great Western sparkling wine. The same is true for the white and red wines - there are some ok everyday table wines, but they are a long way from being fine wines. This is where I think Nukubati has cut a few corners, and i would have preferred to pay more for better (we want to indulge on holiday, not economise). I did have a slight whinge about the poor sparkling wine and mentioned I saw Bollinger on the website. I was told they had run out but would get a bottle for the following day... and sure enough I asked the following day and 1 bottle was in!

We are exceptionally lazy when on holiday and would have liked a regular drinks/bar service to the beach where we were. We drank less on this holiday as I couldnt be bothered to keep getting up from our loungers on the beach and walking to the bar. Would have been nice to have had a regular drinks service to the beach...but there was never really anyone about....this is why I rated the service slightly lower (although some of the waitresses in the restaurant were excellent). Also, please put a table or a least some benches in the lookout!

So in essence, we think there is some room for improvement, but don't get me wrong, we still had a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday in Nukubati...and with a few easy improvements to the finer details, this really could be a perfect holiday location.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank DoubleDeckerSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2009

Bula,
First, I'd like to appologize to Jenny Burke. It has taken me a long time to get around to post this message. Every time I go to type this I start to cry. I feel as if I lost family members, since we've been home. Everyone at Nukubati became our family and we miss them all very very much. Jenny, Vili, Eta, and Salote, just to name a few(sorry if I spelled your names wrong), and all that worked there were sooooo kind and giving.
My husband planned a 3 week trip to Nukubati for my 40th birthday. We were so excited for the full year that we had planned this vacation. When it came time to go, we were crazy with anticipation. It was a long trip to get there but it didn't matter once you saw the beauty of the island and smiling faces of the villagers. From the moment we stepped off the boat onto the island it was as if we were in a dream. The sheer beauty of the island and surrounding coast line was breath taking. We were greeted with a song and fresh coconut juice. We were the only couple on the island for 10 days. WOW! If we mentioned that we like a particular food, they made it. If we wanted anything, they got it for us. So many nights, Jenny Burke-owner, sat with us and we all talked for hours. She is amazing. Her staff is just as remarkable. If we could of taken them all home with us, we would.
The meals we out of this world. Fresh Lobster, Coral Trout, Fresh vegetables, and the Fruit, on my God! There was Champagne and appetizers delivered to you bure every night at Sunset. What a treat. I can honestly say I was never a Pinapple enthusiast, but while on the island I ate it with every meal.:) We had the worlds best Curry one evening. They made us a variety of dishes that evening from fish to goat, all were delicious. The fresh baked breads were also a treat. I don't think that we ate anything that we didn't thoroughly enjoy.
It was a celebration of not only my 40th birthday but also a celebration of life. When we were there It was almost my 5 year anniversary of surviving Leukemia. After a Kava Kava ceremony, Jenny and her staff made me a cake then sang and danced for us. It was a remarkable thing for them to celebrate with us and very touching.
We did so many things while we were there. Snorkling, around the island and out at the Great Barrier Reef, we took a glass bottom boat around the island and took in the beauty of the whole island. We spent and entire afternoon on a private sand spit. At low tide you see all of these spits of sand that you can spend an afternoon on and snorkle. We say little sharkes, puffer fish, and a zillion other sea creatures. You should see the jelly fish, never have we ever seen purple jelly fish, beautiful. Yes, as I said Heaven! We learned how to play a local table board game called Vidi Vidi. As soon as we came home we bought a board and play almost every night. It is so fun. Did a lot of reading. They have a huge library and we even added to their collection.
The bures very comfy. We reserved one of thier Honeymoon Bures. Huge porch and we loved the hammack just steps away along with the beach. They even serve your meals on your porch, if you prefer. The louver windows provide a ocean view 24/7. The trade winds were refreshing. They have these cute frogs that come out at night, along with the crabs. They are signs that rain is on the way. so we were told. While it would rain, mostly at night, it was very refreshing. We went right at the end of the rain season. We enjoyed some incredible sunsets.
We would recommend Nukubati to anyone seeking Relaxation and Romance. There are no TV's or telephones. How nice is that. We were never bored, for there is always something to do without all the craziness of a large resort. We highly recommend taking a trip to the local village to attend church. It took our breath away at how humble and inviting the villagers were. They have no electricity, no running water, they us rain water they collect in large barrels, no telephone. It was a very humbling. The children and even the elders shook our hands and thanked us for coming to see their village. Some of the staff at Nukubati live there.
Before we left to come home we left some of my husbands clothes, which they washed for us daily, to the staff. Eta looked great in a hat and polorized sunglasses. She fishes for her family all the time. We miss her. They really enjoy things like that. We left to come home and had to stay in Viti Levu until our plane left around 11pm. We stayed at Orchid, one of Jenny Burkes other properties. It is just as amazing as Nukubati.
Since being home, we have told everyone we know that they have to put Nukubati on thier list of places to go.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mp2cats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

If on vacation and you're looking to be thoroughly spoiled, pampered and indulged, then look no further. This vacation destination welcomes single travelers, couples, newly-weds. Nukubati is a very special place. The staff are all incredible. They take all of the thinking and planning out of such an endeavor. The resort, run by Jenny and Peter and their amazing staff, have all the answers - this just allows you to relax and unwind from the moment you arrive. No request is too great or small. Each and every guest's vacation needs are tailor-made. You can do as much or as little as you choose in this resort to either enjoy the spirit of adventure in the South Pacific, or; simply "kick-back", relax and re-charge your batteries. The choice is simply yours. It is a destination I will most certainly re-visit. Enjoy !!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank CaliforniaLouise
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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