We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“over priced, but beautiful coral”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“over priced, but beautiful coral”
Reviewed 3 November 2008

In summary.
Comfort 2/5 –too cramped, the water in rooms didn't work 2 days in 7, fittings were tired
Cleanliness 4/5, well kept gardens and rooms
Food 3/5 – good, but unimaginative
Facilities 3/5 – pools are small, water sports facilities are good
Location 4/5 – beautiful above the water and below, it’s just a bugger to get there.
Environmental credentials 2/5 – I don’t think this place would gain accreditation in Australia
Value for money 2/5 – hidden costs boost up the price unexpectedly
Bottom line – The Malaysians and Thais do tropical luxury better.

The Jean Michel Cousteau Resort is located near the town of Savusavu on one of the 300 odd islands in Fiji. It is about an hour’s flight from Nadi. Getting to the resort was tedious, the local airport is closed at the time of writing and so we had a two hour bumpy bus ride from the airport on the other side of the island, luckily we were provided with a packed lunch and water for the ride.

The gardens are very well kept and the staff friendly – get used to saying ‘bula’ (hello) a lot! It is intimate with only 25 Bures (grass huts), but there are 200 staff! The coral – the coral is fabulous, there are amazing fish to see and even the little kids can go in a glass bottom boat and see the underwater world.

The water sports equipment is in good condition and there is no problem getting access to them. We went fishing with the guides one morning and had a great catch of tuna and mahi mahi ($175fj for two hrs). Snorkeling trips to the more distant reefs are offered just about every day at no cost, but the waters are so good that you can just jump off the jetty.

Beach, there are no long stretches of beach like in Australia or the USA. There is a small sandy area near the point (about 5-10mins walk from the main area) where you can swim with small children but the water there is not deep enough for adults unless you walk out a couple of hundred metres, did I mention the beautiful coral? That said, I loved going out to the point and having lunch with the family under the shade of the coconut palms, the kids enjoyed splashing in the warm shallow water – watch out for sunburn.

At the resort, all meals are included in the price of your room, just don’t be late for breakfast. The meals are generally good, not really adventurous though and watch out for the extras. A bottle of Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay will set you back in the order of $80fj (they retail for ~ $10fj in Australia, ~$12FJ in the US) – That I can understand, we are on an island in the Pacific after all, I didn’t think that $25FJ corkage was fair if you brought your own though. Also when you read the blurb it says that non-alcoholic drinks are free – this is not true, you will be charged for a cappuccino or a mocktail, albeit coffee from a bodum is available at no extra cost. Interestingly, though the meals are free, you can find it difficult to get fed if you come late.

My friend who was in a separate Bure with his wife and baby came late to breakfast and was refused a meal, he had been up late with the little one, eventually he got a muffin and some fruit. Their water pressure was also worse than ours.

The kids are well taken care of and the food choices are mostly healthy, there is a full program for them including stargazing, glassbottom boat, crab racing, movies in the evening etc. Dinner seemed to be a palaver though, kids get distracted by other kids in the cramped environment of the kids club. It should be noted that on one day, that though advertised, there were no afternoon activites, nobody quite knew why.

I am not used to having 2 nannies for our two children, they could have done with one (2 & 5), the nannies are available from breakfast until 9pm, but beware you can’t easily get rid of them if you just want to do something with your kids. I don’t know about you, but I’d also like to have the opportunity to change the times, it would have been useful to say at the start of the holiday that we’d like them from midday until midnight. My five year old didn't take to his nanny, he would have been better joining in with other children, maybe some flexibility here?

The bures – are tiny by hotel standards and miniscule for the price that we paid per night. ‘Eco’ should not be a marketing shortcut for minimalist. There’s also no wardrobe space. – more on the eco later.

Read this sentence from the guestbook “Complimentary Cocktail Service for Sunset” – To me that means that you get a complimentary cocktail at sunset, but no, it means that they’ll bring you one for free at sunset, you still have to pay $19.50FJ for the cocktail! This ‘liberty’ with the language is insidious throughout the guestbook and leaves the reader with a sour taste. I like to know what I’m getting myself into when I go on holiday. When you are paying close to $1000FJ a night for accommodation, you expect that most of the little things are covered, but there’s an extra charge to eat in your room, use the internet or as I said, have a cappuccino.

The sea is fabulous around here and great to swim in, but the pools at the resort are tiny. The biggest pool is not a lot larger than a backyard pool. In a place like this, I can’t understand why they don’t just build a sea pool, cheap and environmentally friendly.

I mentioned before that the bures were small didn’t I? Part of the philosophy is that there is no television, whilst I can accept this, there is also no radio or cd player in the room, you also don’t get a newspaper, so news junkies watch out!

Talking of environmentally friendly, the place has a full water recycling system and the water is recycled to hospital standards – very positive. The toilets seem to be all single flush large volume toilets, so no water saving is evident there – it is possible that the bures use a separate water system for toilets, but I’d be surprised. There are also three cats fed by the management. There is also no evidence of energy conservation.
The last bit which I found ironic was that at night, they light some 50 kerosene lamps around the dining area – this is very pretty, but they burn oodles of fossil fuel.

In terms of the environmental principle of integration with the local community, this is done well from what I can see. The resort must be the largest employer in this area and there is an effort to give back to the community, both by employing locals and by supporting local charities.

In summary.
Comfort 2/5 –too cramped, the water pressure was variable, fans are loud as they are old.
Cleanliness 4/5, well kept gardens and rooms
Food 3/5 – good, but unimaginative
Facilities 3/5 – pools are v. small, water sports facilities are good
Location 4/5 – beautiful above the water and below, it’s just a bug to get there.
Environmental credentials 2/5 – I don’t think this place would gain accreditation in Australia
Value for money 2/5 – hidden costs boost up the price unexpectedly
Bottom line – The Malaysians and Thais do tropical luxury better.
October 2008

  • Liked — coral
  • Disliked — small bures
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
20 Thank LexDWeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

358 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    291
    46
    14
    5
    2
See reviews for
245
50
12
6
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2008

This was our third trip to Fiji and Cousteau was far and away the best resort we have stayed at. Staff were great, food was very good, the setting entrancing. There is as little or as much to do as you want, but whether you intended to or not people do seem to get caught up in the (free) snorkelling trips and village and rainforest excursions. The resport is small so there is no competition for the very good facilities - whether its a lounge by the pool or a kayak. We went in Australian school holidays and that was exactly what we got - the place was full of families - which suited us. Despite the fact that the "no kids" in the main pool and seperate family area in the resturant is strictly enforced - if that is not what you are looking for check in advance (we stayed an extra few days and the character of the place changed as the kids departed). Small children are extremely well catered for - but I suspect teenagers might get bored. Also beacuse of the seperate adult / kid facilities the very good kids club does become almost de facto compulsory.

  • Liked — Friendly staff
  • Disliked — Getting there
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Flash98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
noosa
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2008

This is our second time to this magical place. Although it takes a bit of time to get to cousteau it certaintly is worth it. My husband dives and found the diving centre amazing - (he never had to carry a thing which he was very impressed about.) The boys at the dive centre are very professional and nothing is ever a bother to them.
The second time we went we took our 11year old daughter which she just loved. (lucky there was other children her age) We were so impressed by the amount of staff there is in the kids club its fantastic and the girls and guys are so wonderful with the children. My daughter had a ball.
This gave my husband and i alot of time to relax and enjoy the peacefullness of the resort.

The food is fantastic and expect to come home a few kilos heaiver! I would recommend dinner at the end of the pier it is so romantic.
The only negitive i would say is the problems we had both times booking through the Melbourne travel office. What should have been a pleasant experience became a very stressful and unplesant experience.

The best thing about this resort is the fijian people they are so beautiful and friendly. They always had a warm smile on their faces and nothing was ever a bother to them. I would like to thank them all for making this resort so special

  • Liked — It was very clean
  • Disliked — pillows
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NoosaMorgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moniplanner
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 September 2008

We spent seven incredible nights at Jean Michel with our two children 4 and 8. I booked the resort without a recommendation which I would not ordinarily do. I am so glad that I did.
The 4 y.o had a nanny for the time we were there. This was a worry for us as we wanted to spend as much time as we could with the children. After a day it became apparent that they were th eones calling the shots and were having a ball at kids club.
Our nanny Mala Mala was excpetional. By day two Mala Mala knew her likes and dislikes and the two were inseperable. The 8 y.o buddy up with a few other boys and they were off on a boys own adventure under the careful eye of the kids club staff.
The only small drawback was the family pool. It was small and swimming with the kids could have been a better proposition if the pool was larger.
The food was fantastic and varied. We ate and ate and ate. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were a much anticipated event. The children's meals were also a great (not a chicken nugget in sight).
The bar staff got to know us and were happy to suggest a cocktail or chat about the days activities.
The activities were varied and plentiful. I loved the snorkelling and lazing by the pool. You could do as much or as little as what you wanted.
The rooms were fine and I loved the bathroom. Housekeeping were great and I marvelled at the fresh towels twice daily.
The staff were incredibly friendly and happy to help.
The only drawback was the Savu Savu airport being closed resultig in a 2 hour bus ride from another airport. Not the resorts' problem and they did do everything they could to ease the journey.
It will be hard to go anywhere else in Fiji after this resort. Time to save for our return trip!

  • Liked — The way they looked after the children
  • Disliked — the bus ride from the airport (a temporary issue though)
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank moniplanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 September 2008

We ended our 6 week round the world trip at Jean-Michel Cousteau which was the ideal way to relax after a hectic few weeks of sight seeing in Australia. The food was fantastic. The children loved the range of activities on offer - which included the pool with the slide, snorkelling, sailing and fishing and the youngest had a fantastic nanny. We loved the chance to relax.

The service is fantastic which is reflected by the number of repeat bookings they have.

We would definately return if it was not so far away from the UK

  • Liked — Friendly service
  • Disliked — long transfer due to local airport being redeveloped
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KSEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 July 2008

We stayed for three nights at Cousteau resort at the end of our vacation in Fiji. What a wonderful way to end a vacation. The staff at this hotel is absolutely amazing. My girlfriend had stayed ther seven years prior and two of the staff remembered her from her previous stay in amazing detail. The location for the resort is amazing and even the garden rooms are absolutely stunning. The resort is very family friendly but due to the split area for the children to play you hardly know kids are aroud at times.

The food is great with an excellent selection, and all meals are included in the price.

When you stay at Cousteau you are treated as family. I cannot say enough about this resort and I will be back again to stay in the future.......Hands down the best place I have ever stayed

  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank DDNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vail, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2008

My husband and I were married in Fiji, at Namale. We've returned a few times over the years to Namale and Fiji holds a very special place in our hearts. As our children got older and we thought able to handle the 11 hour flight from LA, it was only natural to want to share the magic of that country with them. As Namale is an adults only resort, we asked our fabulous TA where to go? He knew our tastes and suggested JM Cousteau. Upon arrival, we knew it was going to be special. We stayed 7 nights in an oceanfront bure and the last 3 nights in a garden bure (I suggest you book Christmas right away for availability, that is why we had to move). Personally, I enjoyed the oceanfront more, but the garden view is actually a bit bigger in size (lacking the built in closets) and my family liked that more. The food is amazing, the service even better. The true gem is really the Fijian people. Our youngest was assigned her own nanny that was there everyday (we asked that she get Christmas off as we didn't want to leave our children on Christmas, her only day away from the resort while we were there). Having her around was great! We were able to find out more about the area and the people. As for the adult/children separation - you can eat and be with your children as much or as little as you want. The children's area is very nice and the children's pool is large, with a water slide and kept clean and picked up. They deliver snacks throughout the day to the chidren's pool, clean towels, day beds for the parents to lounge and read, etc. I'm thankful that it isn't anything like a Ritz Carlton - therefore disagree with another review. JM Cousteau is true luxury and relaxation. The bures are appointed nicely and the layout of the resort is intimate and well maintained. In a nutshell? It is a truly luxury resort, with children. To us, the best of both worlds. One could easily come without children and never notice them and a family, like ours, can bring their children and they can enjoy a luxury vacation (parents don't have to sacrifice anything!) with their parents. Any negatives? It is a far trip for Americans - otherwise we would be there each and every year. Still might book for this year, too! It's hard to stay away from Fiji as it truly is magical and pristine. We travel around 3 times a year and have never found a place that compares to Fiji....and JM Cousteau. Do not hesitate to book this resort!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Savusavu
2.8 mi away
Daku Resort
Daku Resort
#1 of 12 in Savusavu
662 reviews
5.8 mi away
Namale Resort & Spa
Namale Resort & Spa
#3 of 12 in Savusavu
363 reviews
6.2 mi away
Savasi Island Villas
Savasi Island Villas
#2 of 12 in Savusavu
197 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
40.9 mi away
The Remote Resort - Fiji Islands
8.1 mi away
Emaho Sekawa Resort
Emaho Sekawa Resort
#7 of 12 in Savusavu
95 reviews
3.3 mi away
Naveria Heights Lodge
Naveria Heights Lodge
#8 of 12 in Savusavu
161 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com and Cancelon so you can book your Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Hotel Savusavu
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji/Savusavu

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing