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“Outstanding Family Resort”

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Outstanding Family Resort”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

If you want a holiday without a care in the world -this is the place.
The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, the rooms elegant without being overdone and the view postcard perfect. The food is reasonable, a fair choice, good portions and delicious.
Dive staff are fantastic - both our children (12 & 14) got their PADI certificates without fuss and had an absolute ball.
Fishing is equally great, again the staff make it memorable, with everything being fun and a great laugh.
I wouldn't suggest this being an ideal romantic getaway. The sheer number of kids make it seem like a preschool at times, though generally the noise is in the distance. In fact, just getting to Fiji from Sydney was like flying on a preschool.

Room Tip: Ocean vire Bure for sure. Great outlook, cool breeze, probably a bit quieter.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Healzontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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359 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
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English first
Yorba Linda, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

If there is a finer resort in the world for a family then I'd like to know! Our kids described this trip as the best they have ever had, and they have travelled quite a lot. Our visit was just last month, June 2014.

The day is filled with activities that you can chose to participate or not. So you cannot be bored or rather the entire family could not be bored if they tried. Now, if you want to check out and relax, there are places to lounge everywhere. The staff were the warmest group of people we have experienced at any resort. Since the resort only has about 25 burrs, it is a very private resort as well.

Our kids are really young adults with the youngest 18, but they found plenty to do. We could see that if you had really young kids, this place would be even better, as the resort's Bula Club was having an amazing time with the kids. The Aussie couple we spoke with was back for their eighth consecutive year. There were many repeat visitors.

The chef and the food are definitely 5 stars. You can have just about anything that you could want at meals. There is a menu, but very many choices within the all inclusive program.

We did the scuba cert which we would recommend, as the diving was incredible. If you don't want to do the scuba, snorkeling is great. We enjoyed: the trip to the rain forest and water fall, daily snorkeling trips on the resort boat, playing sports with the staff, trips to the village, the pool and snorkeling out front, and all the water toys available for use in the ocean (paddle boards, kayak's, and Hobie Cat's available for complimentary use.

Overall, I couldn't say enough great things about this place

Room Tip: I would do the beachfront rooms if you can. There is more seating outside and an extra deck
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank TomNB123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014 via mobile

We had a family holiday at this report in November 2013. The resort is lovely although the beach is nothing special being a little rocky. The brochures really don't give a justified sense of this. The cabins are lovely and the food which was included in our price simply excellent. The children's club is also a great facility allowing my wife and I to have a large amount of time to enjoy the resort. Having said that both my children fame home with gastro viruses after this trip which they appear to have caught in the play centre. I'm not sure what management could do about cleanliness in the children's centre but this really shouldn't happen. Overall a great experience but for the price there are better resorts in Fiji.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Rma123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Jean Michael has a lot of positives: food was fantastic and fresh, housekeeping efficient and friendly - nothing was an issue for housekeeping, activities included such as waterfall walk, mangrove tours etc are well worth it ESP as included in the price, and the kids club is well catered and always has a varied and interesting programme for all ages.

The nanny provided for each child under 5 is a luxury and the nannies are welcoming and caring and really do like looking after your children. However we were disappointed with the system or lack thereof if the nanny didn't suit your child. Our 5 year old girl is super active and essentially a tom boy loving swimming, fishing, climbing, kayaking etc. when we booked I expressly indicated to the staff in australia that we needed her to be paired with an energetic nanny even a male if available as she's super athletic and an extremely competent swimmer . However on arrival we got the complete opposite: a quiet reserved and stand back approach nanny. Whilst she was caring and kept a close eye on her she didn't engage with her and participate in the activities. Eg swimming she stood on the outside of the pool watching our daughter rather than in the pool playing chase. By the end of the 6 days our daughter preferred to hang out with another girls nanny as she was fun exciting and energetic. This made it extremely awkward for us and the other nanny who in fairness was great and tried to let our daughter join In . eventually our original nanny just hung back in the shadows and so in the end we kept her out of the club mainly to circumvent this awkward situation.

On checking in it was assumed by the hotel that all nannies are equal and great - there was no : "if its not working out please contact us". we also were embarrassed and didn't feel we could approach the management as it may have impacted on the nannies job etc. so in the end we didn't feel we got the best out of the hotel /resort, and our older and adventurous girl was always longingly looking at other nannies and wanting to go fishing with the boys, but had to sit and play cards and weave baskets with the quieter children. So we didn't end up using the nanny a great deal and took our daughter kayaking and fishing etc at the expense of our break. As a consequence we may as well not had a nanny for the older child and we didn't manage to catch up on any sleep or R and R for ourselves which was the whole point of paying the rather exorbitant price of the hotel as a one off life time experience.

Whilst the accommodation and food is well above standards offered by other resorts , if the nanny is not well suited then there really is no point in staying as then the resort is essentially the same as others in the area or on other islands.

Room Tip: Bure 12 is well away from the bar and restaurant and has a short cut to the kids club via the back e...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank well_travelled079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Pacific
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

JMC was a great vacation where the kids are looked after all day so the adults can play. Apparently there was some complaint about noise from early-waking kids but we heard no more of this so presume the matter was dealt with discreetly by management. Being Fiji, the food was a major deciding factor as was the availability of nanny care. We were most impressed with the meal options (all inclusive) and activities on offer. As one might expect, the snorkelling was quite unbeatable and fun for all. We particularly enjoyed the private island trip with nannies in tow. Even the little propeller plane ride back to Nadi was memorably exciting.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LGRL100313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We stayed at JMC in the April 2014 holidays to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We looked through the travel brochures for resorts offering that balance of opulence, relaxation and all-inclusive whilst being family friendly. When we decided on JMC the cost weighed heavily, especially on hubby. But as soon as we arrived, we knew that this was going to be a holiday we would never forget.

We were greeted at Nadi airport and seen off by a lovely JMC representative and once on Savusavu soil, were escorted by private, air-conditioned JMC vehicle to the resort. We pulled up to a large group of staff welcoming us with song and guitar, and were met by Bart (the resort manager) who welcomed us "home" and told us that if there was anything we needed to just knock on his door, and offered to guide us on a walk to the local peak for sightseeing (a short 5-10km stroll!) Our children's personal nannies introduced themselves to us and the kids, and we were given tropical juices as we began checking in. The reception staff took the time to explain the resort and room facilities and pointed out the adults-only and children's areas of the resort. Whilst this was happening, the nannies chimed in, asking if the children would like to go with them to Kids Club. We watched in amazement as their little heads nodded and smiled while they were walking off with these strange new friends!

And that is how the amazingness of this holiday began! Every single part of this resort is 5 star.

The staff are delightfully friendly and caring of your every need. The bar staff tantalised our tastebuds with new and exciting Fijian cocktails. The waiters/waitresses were so friendly when bringing out the gourmet food, whether you chose to eat in the Family Restaurant or the Adults Only one. The meals were exquisite, cooked by talented chefs using the best local produce. A choice of entrees, mains and dessert at every meal, and at dinner ... I loved the little dish of sorbet "to cleanse the palatte" between courses!!! Pete grabbed his guitar and serenaded us at lunchtime with one of the other Activities boys. Then at dinner time we were transfixed by the peaceful sounds of the Bula Boys. The nannies/buddies are dedicated playmates for your child and are so patient and lovely in every way ~ they are on hand from 8am until 9pm daily for your child. It was not unusual to see buddies taking children out on glass-bottom boat snorkelling trips without the parents, or kayaking on the reef with a little tacker in front of them, or impressing them with somersaults off the pontoon or doing tricky dives off the waterslide in the Lai Lai (Family) pool!

The bures are fantastic. Lots of natural timber with gigantic pitched thatched rooves. Our bure was one room with a separate bathroom and we slept in it as a family of four, which was never a problem. The kids were always exhausted from their full day of organised activities at Kids Club, so as soon as their heads hit the pillow, they were asleep! Our room had mini bar facilities which were all inclusive (except alcohol) and the bathroom was filled with beautiful lotions, washes and soaps. Fresh flowers were everywhere and the daily room make-up service and turn-down service was utterly discreet. Each bure is very private, with dense tropical foliage and metres of space separating you from the next. Staff tend to the gardens immaculately, coconuts cleared from overhead to avoid any nasty accidents, and it wasn't unusual for wait or activities staff to be seen clearing or cleaning up the grounds ~ everyone works together here to make this place beautiful.

We visited the Day Spa twice and ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We had a couples massage first, then a Four-Handed Massage second ... two people massaging you ... BLISS! At the Day Spa, I fell in love with the amazing Pure Fiji products and bought many from the Nadi airport on our way back to Australia.

The Serenity Pool is adults only and is surrounded by cushioned sun lounges and open bures with day beds. There is never a fight for poolside lounges, as the resort only has 25 bures, so even when it is at full capacity, it never feels full. The Serenity Pool is totally relaxing. Between the fast poolside service (yes, fast ... not Fijian time!), and gorgeous and peacefully still water of the pool, the way the towels are rolled like origami with tropical flowers set into them, and the warm rays from the Fijian sun ... I felt able to completely unwind ... and there was no sound of splashing and squeals and squawks of children (bless them!) because they were too busy having fun with the other kids and buddies at the Lai Lai Pool in Kids Club!!

The Kids Club was unreal ... it's called "Bula Club". The Lai Lai Pool was great for kids and adults ~ we spent most afternoons playing with the kids in the pool there or joining them to zoom down the waterslide. Bula Club also have a trampoline, cubby house, smaller toddler pool with basic straight waterslide and toddler water park. There is a games space with a massive rubber chess mat, and a ping pong table, as well as a tennis court, balls, scooters and books to sit quietly and read. An undercover area was used for craft or drawing and then at meal times it converted to the dining space. You could choose whether you wanted your children to eat lunch and/or dinner at Kids Club or at the Family Restaurant. We chose for them to have lunch at Kids Club daily, and mixed up dinners so we could eat some as a family and some just as a couple.

The activities program is almost all inclusive. There are Activities Staff just waiting for you to choose something to do. There are kayaks (singles and doubles), paddleboards, snorkel gear and Hobie Catamarans for your complimentary use. Staff are happy to help or just let you go and do your thing. On our anniversary, we had Tia take us out for a sail on a Hobie Cat which was just beautiful. Another time, hubby took the ropes and sailed me & the kids out on to the reef. We took our own snorkel gear from home, but there were plenty at the resort for guests to borrow. There was a kids snorkelling trip daily at 9:30am which parents could attend if desired. We went as a family almost every day, but many children just went along with their buddy. There was an adult snorkelling trip scheduled twice daily. At all drop spots we saw amazing coral reefs and tropical fish, but you could actually see plenty just snorkelling from the shore or pier. There is a Dive Centre at the resort and you can do your dive qualification, as many others chose to do. Night dives are available and were reputably quite incredible.

Being that the resort is named Jean-Michel Cousteau Island Resort, you would assume there is a link. And there is ... one of the resident Dive Centre staff is heavily involved with JMC's diving expeditions, a video of which we saw on one of the slideshow nights ~ incredulous footage of JMC himself snorkelling amongst sharks, and holding on to one's fin and being dragged along for a 'ride'.

JMC is an eco-friendly resort, teaching its guests about sustainability and educating about the local culture. Their kitchen uses self-grown produce and buys fresh local products. They are very careful to purchase their seafood from fishermen who use environmentally friendly and sustainable fishing practices. There is a resident Marine Biologist, Johnnie, who educates both adults and children about the reef, sharks, fishing practices and things we can do to help. He presented 3 or 4 slideshows during our 8-night stay. He also went out on one of the kids snorkelling trips, diving deep down to point things out to us and the kids, and writing the names of things on a magna-doodle!!! He hosted the cultural night where we sponsored a hermit crab and cheered our crab to win a race out of the circle ~ all funds raised go directly to the local community. Most staff are hired from the local community also. This is a very environmentally friendly, community friendly place ... which I loved being a part of.

We did two included excursions: to the local village and the rainforest/waterfall walk ... don't miss those.

Optional extras include:

A private dining experience at the end of the pier. Incredibly romantic ... we did this for our anniversary night dinner ~ unfortunately we were rained out ... but the staff did absolutely everything to make up for it ~ speedily making up a dining table under a beachside bure instead (and then the rain came in sideways through that too, but that just made the night all the more memorable to see the staff move us once more to a private space inside the adults only dining room!!!!).

A private island experience. Many others chose to do this and everyone said it was well worth it.

Scuba Diving

Spa treatments

Only negatives ... The beach is very shelly, and the shallows too with the reef (ie: coral) starting not far off the sand. So sunbaking generally takes place more poolside, although there were a few sun lounges and day beds facing out towards to bay. And getting there with the separate flight from Nadi to Savusavu was a bit of a hassle; and the route home had quite a long layover at Nadi too.

In Summary ...

Honestly, this was the perfect holiday for us. We wanted to holiday as a family, so at first there was a lot of guilt about letting the kids go off to Kids Club - but in reality, one was generally happy to go off and do all the incredible organised activities, and if the other didn't want to go they'd just hang out with us for a walk along the beach, a kayak or to do some jumps off the pontoon.

We had also wanted the option to have some couples time to re-connect. I am a stay-at-home mum (so always 'on duty') and hubby works hard and finds it difficult to 'switch off' from work. Whilst he still utilised the free wireless internet facility to answer work emails, after two days at JMC he was at ease ... and by day four, we couldn't believe we still had four days to go.

When we returned to Australia, we immediately went back to our travel agent for a quote to go back the next year. We highly recommend this resort, although would sort of like to keep it a secret too!!!!!!

Room Tip: Any! I wouldn't bother with the Oceanfront Bures. For the extra cost, the Garden Bures were just...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank DNWCTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2014

Even though the resort is popular with families, at no time do you wish that you could strangle some annoying brat. The staff here make the kids and their associated noise disappear.

The resort is in a wonderful setting with nice Eco credentials, nice diving and good food. But it's the staff that make the stay memorable. They are genuinely friendly and genuinely focused on looking after you and your kids, nothing is forced or obsequious.

Room Tip: Beach front Bures are the go. Ask for a mosquito net
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank 496MikeH496
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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