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“~Perfect~ holiday for the entire family”

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Certificate of Excellence
Davidson, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“~Perfect~ holiday for the entire family”
Reviewed 27 April 2013

Bula! Husband and I traveled with our 5.5 year old. The whole family has come back relaxed and raving about the wonderful time we had at JMCR. It was the perfect blend of family and alone time for all three of us. The resort is beautifully appointed in all the ways it needs to be without being ostentatious. There were many staff for every guest and all you had to do was look up and you get what you needed. The staff are local and sincerely warm. I never felt that anyone was being nice because they had to be... they just genuinely were. Nothing was overly complicated; if the sail boat was free and on the beach, take it... if you wanted to jump off the pier and snorkel, you'd find staff and guests joining in. The resort takes great pride in being connected to the beautiful natural environment the area is blessed with and the people who make it their home. There were many moments both planned and private to have a personal class with their wonderful marine biologist, share a freshly husked coconut, or learn Fijian. Each day has a different theme and the whole family can join in as much or as little as you wish. Five year old was assigned a nanny who was up for anything from hermit crab hunting to sliding down the slide with her in the kid's club pool (one of three kid pools... adults have their own). Both adults and child made friends during our week stay. The resort gave the kids a safe freedom to explore while their assigned nannies/staff were always in the wings watching and helping. Add to that the amazing diving, fishing, snorkeling opportunities and fantastic food and drink service... JMCR will see us again!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Christy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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355 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
272 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2013

We have anchored in the bay at the Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort on a number of occasions while sailing through Fiji. The water is clear and the bay area nice and secluded. Many guests of the resort were out snorkeling, stand-up paddling and kayaking. As non-resort guests we did not go ashore, but to me the measure of a water-front resort is the actual swimming and bay area - in this case it is excellent!

Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank svQuickStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2013

We can't say enough positive things about the resort and the nannies that dearly looked after our two children (3 and 5 years of age) while holidaying at Jean Michel. We will be back and are still smiling from all the fun we had during our 10 day stay. You can choose to take part in a myriad of activities or simply lie by the pool reading a book while your kids are having the time of the lives...what is not to like!!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank AussieSmallfry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2013

My husband and I came here with our two children (3.5 and 20 months). By the end of the first day I felt that I had got the total cost of the holiday's value in just twelve hours. it is not cheap, but in our view worth every cent. The accommodation is very nice...we stayed in a one bedroom bure and our expectations were truly exceeded in terms of size and comfort. We won't upgrade to a two-bed (yes, we've already decided to make this an annual trip!) until we have a third child.
The nannies were excellent; loving, fun and completely competent and trustworthy. Our kids weren't brilliantly behaved and melted down each time we said goodbye,but the nannies were unflappable.
The food for adults and children was exceptional - truly world class. My husband and I likened the whole holiday to being on honeymoon again (in terms of standard of resort, food and "us-time"). Even though the kids were technically "with us", we could see them as little or as ,uh as we wanted to! The wine list was great and the cocktails delicious.
The daily activities for both adults and children was extensive. We chose to stay by the pool for the most part, but the snorkelling trip we did a few times was excellent.
Cannot recommend this place highly enough. The only thing that would make it better would be an easier way to get there. The flight from Nadi to Savusavu was a little hairaising.....it we've already decided its worth it.

Room Tip: We stayed in Bure 14 which was excellent. Doubt you'd get a bad room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank AnneliseSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dantey
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2013

We stayed for a week in an Oceanfront Bure, one of the larger ones closer to Reef Point (Bure 21), and it was excellent. Didn't hear any of the neighbours kiddies, or smell mould or anything like that. Not that we spent all that much time in the Bure.

Basically our kids (10, 8 and 4) were up at sparrows, days activity list in hand, and off. To snorkel, go crab hunting, husk coconuts, carve swords, play with their new "best friends".

Reading some of the comments below, I think this place is one to save for when your kids are a bit bigger and have more independence and confidence and courage - like swimming in a waterhole in the rainforest through a crashing waterfall into the cave behind.

We had a fair bit of rain, but somehow this didn't really matter. My wife and I got time to read, and relax. The bigger kids were constanstly engaged and stimulated - in a really healthy creative way. And the 4 year old got all the attention he could possibly need.

I managed 5 dives (the Namena Marine Park dives are really wonderful, great colourful corals, lots of large marine creatures - saw more reef sharks than I could count - and a really nice group of people running the dive operation). And my wife managed nearly as many massages. So win-win.

Room Tip: Bure 21 - couldn't fault it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank dantey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2013

We holidayed in mid-March for 6 nights, a couple with a 2 and 4 year old.

I guess I was eagerly looking forward to staying at this resort for several years, so maybe my expectations were a fair bit higher, considering the wonderful reviews about it. And I guess for the price, even with a great package they were offering, I was expecting better as it is considerably more than I have ever paid to stay anywhere before.

Firstly, don't be put off going by the air-flight. It was fine, lovely views, it even left Nadi 15 minutes before schedule and the return flight to Nadi left 30 minutes earlier than scheduled because everyone was at the airport- so it was very reliable.

Savusavu Bay is a lovely tropical area, I really enjoyed the drive from the airport to the resort. The beach at the resort isn't great, but it was actually a fun beach for the kids, as it is littered with shells, coconuts and millions of hermit crabs to collect.

We had a oceanview bure, which I would recommend. It was nice, but a few things just took the edge off it... that damp mouldy smell, stains on the bed-head, bedspread was faded, toilet blocked up, poor shower pressure, the fan over the main bed had the choice of Off or Full speed, which was really noisy and rattley at night time. We found the bed really soft and uncomfortable- my husband literally couldn't sleep on it so he slept on the daybed and one of the kids was in the bed with me.

I enjoyed the meals in the restaurant, and didn't have much trouble choosing something to enjoy at each meal as there was lots of variety. Some meals stood out as outstanding, but then occasionally something would be dreadfully wrong, like the crème caramel that was overcooked rubber on top but with runny uncooked liquid in the bottom of the ramekin.

We both thought the bar/restaurant area definitely needed some background music quietly playing... the band would play at night-time, but they seemed to play one song then have a 10 minute break, and everyone would be sitting in this weird sterile silence.

Johnny the Marine Biologist was great and really passionate about his work. Referring to comments by a previous reviewer, I also agree that the crab-race was well publicised that it was $50 to sponsor a crab, and that money went to the Savusavu Foundation charity, not the resort.

The Bula Club did work well. Definitely lots to do for the kids, and the slide into the pool was a hit. The nannies were good with our kids, although we didn't use them as much as we would of liked as our kids wanted to stay with us. The nannies were generally attentive to the children in the pool. I found the nannies would at times really interact well with the kids, then at other times they'd be staring off in absolute boredom or disinterest. The kids meals were great and good healthy options. My husband found the kids meals area depressing and hated going there.

I enjoyed the snorkelling trips, and so did my 4 year old who tried snorkelling for the first time. My husband did a couple of dives, but wasn't as impressed as when he dove off Heron Island. The massages were lovely- in little open-air bures with cooling breezes and the water lapping right beside you, very relaxing!

It seems all the children from all the families attending the Bula club got sick as well when we were there. My 2 year old got bad gastro, and my four year old got bad fevers. So that does put a dampener on a holiday as well, if you're up with vomiting kids all night or they just want you to lie and cuddle them all day!

So the holiday was nice, but I think we actually returned from our holiday exhausted and slightly let down by the whole experience, not relaxed and excited like I was planning.

Room Tip: I'd recommend an oceanview bure
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bekhardcastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2013

4 stars

Good family holiday

Let me preface this review by saying that all three members of our party became very sick during this holiday with an A grade tummy bug, so that has certainly limited our enjoyment. So just keep that in mind when reading on.

[Also – side note – regarding the woman below who complained about the FJ$50 charge for the hermit crab race – this charge was flagged the night before on the daily activity sheet, is flagged on a permanently posted sign in the restaurant, and also is explained on the night. The money does NOT go to the resort, but goes to the local community foundation.]

Firstly, I would say that there is absolutely no way I would recommend JMCR to people without kids. It is certainly a great place to be with kids, but it boggles my mind that anyone without kids would pick this resort over one of the excellent child-free resorts in Fiji. Each to their own, I guess!

The resort is, as we all know, very geared up for kids. The Bula (Kids’) Club and the nanny/buddy system work well, with activities every day and three good pools – a very small (baby) pool, a perfect toddler size pool with a small slide, and a bigger kids pool with a bigger slide. Our 3 year old loved the toddler pool and even enjoyed the big pool (and the big slide) the last two days of our trip, as her confidence grew. The toddler pool is a small rectangle and the depth was perfect – allowing her to start learning how to paddle and swim, without being too deep and scaring her off. The big kids pool got fairly chaotic at times – a bit like a watering hole at dusk with all the wild animals! Feeding times were similarly zoo like! The menu choices for the kids were good, and they were very flexible with the younger kids, providing things like plain pasta, PB sandwiches, chicken “nuggets” on request. Don’t be afraid to ask! The staff all were great.

Although our 3 year old didn’t participate in a huge amount of activities and often wanted mum and dad, the nanny (who was lovely and very good natured about her frequent rejections!) did allow us to have dinner together every night (when we weren’t sick!) and a good amount of adult time during the day, which was a blessing, and the real selling point for the resort.

The two eating zones (family and adult) are quite close together and all open air- so sitting in the adult zone will mean you don’t have kids running around your table, but it won’t protect you from the inevitable meltdowns, arguments, lectures, whinging, etc. etc. that go on when kids eat! Generally dinner times in the adults’ restaurant were peaceful, as the littlies have dinner at the Bula Club and then either head to bed or do activities at the Club.

The layout and construction of the bures also means that you can hear everything going on – from the kid who has wild screaming tantrums until 11.30pm, to the toddler up next door (every day) at 6am, to the poor lady next to us who could hear my hubby throwing up at 4am! The bures are ventilated with slats rather than windows, hence the noise carrying.

Ok this is getting lengthy, so a few other points:
• The spa treatments are very good. Enjoyed greatly.
• The food was good, not great (not as good as other places we have stayed in Fiji and Vanuatu). We were there 8 nights and did find good variety for lunch and dinner (breakfast menu is the same daily, with two specials each day). There are generally two entrée choices, four mains and two desserts (roughly). The entrees are TINY, but this is actually a positive, because it means you can have three courses and enjoy them all. Just was a surprise the first meal or two!
• The bar staff are great, and every night there are yummy (freshly made) chips and dips, as well as canapés, in the bar before dinner.
• The wireless access was ok, not great (not surprising, given the location!) Best reception up in the restaurant/bar. It was great to have it available.
• The airport staff were super helpful – we thought we may have left something at our overnight hotel in Nadi, and the lady arranged for us to quickly dash back to the hotel (across the road) and ensured that the charter flight knew what we were doing and wouldn’t leave without us!
• If you do an overnight in Nadi and are on a charter flight to JMCR, don’t let your hotel scare you into thinking you need to be at the airport early – they are advising for a typical domestic flight. Just follow the instructions in your itinerary!
• There isn’t a big beach area as such, but our toddler was more than happy pottering around, collecting shells, splashing in the water, etc.
• There are no TVs in the room, which is fine, other than when your toddler is sick for 3 days. I was very glad I had an iPad and a Mac with DVD drive for her to use while in bed. Also was handy on the nights she didn’t want to participate in Bula Club activities and just wanted a quiet night watching a movie.
• We had an Oceanfront bure, which I was glad for, so that we had the ocean breeze (as there is no air con). There were three ceiling fans and a floor stand fan in our room, which we found worked fine. This was late March, think it would be pretty hot in the height of summer….

I should finish by saying that the resort did quite a lot to help us while we were sick (which took up nearly half of our holiday), checking on us frequently, arranging the doctor, providing us with Gastrolyte, a little “get well” fruit basket and bouquet, etc., and also tried very hard to make our last two (illness-free) days special – the best seat in the restaurant each night, a special dinner our last night, etc. It was all noticed and appreciated.

The main reasons I am not giving the resort 5 stars is that, to me, 5 stars (particularly when you are paying these prices) has 5 star food and I can’t hear everything going on in my neighbour’s room. But if you want a place with great infrastructure and activities, where your kids will learn and grow, friendly staff and “alone time” for Mum and Dad, I can certainly recommend. From watching throughout the week, the kids that seemed to really be having the best time were the 6 – 13 group.

Room Tip: I would definitely splurge the extra for the Oceanfront bure - for both the breeze and the view!
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank jojoMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Property: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Address: Lesiaceva Point Road, Savusavu, Vanua Levu 9999, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Savusavu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Savusavu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Savusavu
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
#6 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Boutique Eco-Resort ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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