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“Paradise, with a few bugs.”

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Namena Island Dive Resort
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Savusavu
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Paradise, with a few bugs.”
Reviewed 16 September 2013

When I arrived at the island on the boat I knew I was in paradise. The natural unspoiled beauty of the island is unsurpassable, anywhere. You can see colourful fish and turtles even without snorkeling or diving, just through the water. Birds everywhere; as there is no one to spoil their surroundings they come right up to your terrace. Be prepared to stand and stare as no matter what direction you look, the views will make you reach for your camera. The bures (little houses) are charming, of beautiful wood with panoramic views. A handy whistling teakettle to make tea and coffee. Beds are good, showers etc. all excellent. There are reading lights. One light on the terrace would have been great, for the evening. Nice fan above the bed, and someone puts the mosquito net around the bed for you in the evening, as well as decorating your bure with beautiful flowers. Amazing beaches and complete tranquility.
Alas: You must eat together with the management (and other guests, but there were none when I was there, just me). There is a family-style table and mealtimes are strictly regimented, 8 am, 12 noon and 6 pm, all together in a military-like group - mealtimes were anything but enjoyable. I told the staff on the first day that the mealtimes were absolutely not similar to my preferred times, but the schedule was not changed. The food was okay. But I cannot eat while being watched and there was always someone standing there watching me eat, which made me nervous.
The management clearly disapproves of anyone drinking alcohol. I tried to 'smuggle' some wine with me but they had a very hard time finding a glass for me to use! so finally I just gave up. My idea of heaven would have been to sit with a glass of wine on my terrace, as the views were breathtaking, but that was not possible.
An outlet for a hair dryer in the bure would have been fantastic, for those whose hair is not naturally beautiful. What with the wind and the rain one's hair is quickly disheveled, to say the least. Add to that the bugs falling onto my head and into my food (not just once, but every time!) and I was quite miserable by the time I left.
So, in summary: Paradise...with a few bugs.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Carmen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Granite Bay, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2013

Moody's Namena is certainly one of the most beautiful and untouched island resorts left in the world. It's diving , hiking, and snorkeling rank with the best ever. That said, it can be an uncomfortable place due to heat , humidity, and the lack of bure electricity[eg no fans or AC] can make for a sweat dripping sleepless night. Food is adequate only, and surely does not compare to other Fijian island resorts of a similar price. The staff[especially Nigel] do their best. If you want wine or beer for dinner, you must bring your own. They ran out of diet coke after 4 days[8 cans] on our trip. Luckily we brought along fishing gear as we were able to provide fresh walu for kokoda, and fresh wahoo for dinners, otherwise options would have been dismal. This said, things will be changing as the owner, Tom Moody, is planning to sell the resort and retire. The new owners have stated a desire to upgrade bures to allow at least fans and probably AC. A new salt water pool is planned. These changes are long overdue and may well convert this island paradise[with heat and mosquitoes] to a 4star eco-resort. And if you are a snorkeler, be aware that large black tip sharks will be seen close to shore, and if you are a fisherman, bring wire leader for the huge and toothy fish you will likely encounter. I plan to return once the new upgrades take place, but presently I would recommend only for the adventurer, birder, or avid diver-fisherman.

Room Tip: Consider asking for a room on the windward side of the island. All rooms have spectacular views of...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank foodfansGraniteBay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potter Valley
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2013

We just returned from over a week at Moody's Namena experiencing the absolute best snorkeling both out at the reefs and offshore of the island. Having seen much of the Caribbean the soft coral and marine life here far exceeds anything there. But as always in Fiji, it is the people that make the difference. Nigel and staff not only went to great lengths to make sure we enjoyed every day, they did it with such warmth and joy that we never experienced at another resort. The whole island and reef are a preserve and the management is doing everything they can to keep it that way. All solar power (read no noisy generators) mean an experience closer to nature. The bure' we stayed in though simple was beautifully appointed with views unmatched. Meals were always varied and 5 star. The negative reviews I have read reflect the misguided expectations of the reviewers. Moody's website clearly state what to expect. Those pseudo tourists who expect to be handed a umbrella drink while sitting in a beach chair should look elsewhere. But if you want the real deal in an eco resort that has the absolute warmth of the Fijian people do not miss Moody's Namena

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Dive Resort, responded to this review, 6 June 2013
Bula Vinaka and Thank you for the review

I am happy that you were able to experience the Namena Barrier Reef with snorkelling at its best.
We trust that you will cherish the memories and we hope to see you back soon...

Vinaka.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amelia Island, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2013

Moody's Namena is the perfect place for those who understand it. The six bures are wonderful, the integration with lovely natural surroundings exceptional, and that pristine reef is so extensive you may be taken out to dive where no one has dived before. The style is a casual house party, where Tom and Nigel have invited you to their home and take very special care of you!
We have been there three times, and would return every October if possible. The peace, beauty, and especially the reef nourish the soul.
Small problems are easily solved by taking a battery powered reading light, wearing a dive skin, and knowing that this is a tiny, remote, exquisite jewel!

Room Tip: I might advise avoiding the hot months of Jan and Feb. we have loved our experiences in Oct, Nov, a...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Letty933
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Dive Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2013
Bula and thank you for the review

I trust that Namena has found a special place in your hearts as this is your 3rd visit to our island paradise.Its good to know that you enjoyed your stay in our tiny remote, exquisite jewel as you call it and hope to see you both next year

Vinaka
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Morgantown, West Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2013

I have just returned from a 12 day stay at Moody's Namena. We were greeted by Tom at the dock with the Wyle Kioti to whisk us away to our bure and give us a brisk tour of the island. Our bure was beautiful with breathtaking views out of each of the sliding doors. The island is absolutely magical with tropical flowers, birds, lizards, hermit crabs and surrounded by the best snorkeling I have ever seen. I have traveled to some places to dive and snorkel such as Cozumel, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Aruba, Cayman Islands and most recently Key Largo. The simplicity and beauty of diving at Namena Reef makes the experience. On one of our dives we chilled with a manta ray for a half hour over a beautiful reef. We also saw many sea turtles, shark, lion fish, and all of the beautiful reef fish you could imagine. The coral was in fabulous shape and offers many styles of dives from drift, deep, shallow, wall dives and atolls. Our dive masters were great at pointing things out and the diving was unrushed and not crowded. We also kayaked and snorkeled around the island. Some of the best snorkeling is right off the dock where you can see giant colorful clams. On days that we wanted to be land dwellers the island offers many beaches for you to call your own and has hiking trails to each end of the island. If you want a true grasp of how much work Tom has put into the island I highly recommend adventuring towards the head of the island. I loved the fact that within a ten minute walk you could feel as if you had the island to yourself. The employees of the island make your trip. One evening after a long day of diving my spouse and I slept through dinner time. We were greeted when we woke by one of the employees carrying a picnic basket that she had packed us dinner. I was disappointed to read the harsh review prior. If you have any special requests the employees of the island would gladly work with you. It is stated on the website that if you have requests for dining options just mention them. I suffered from bug bites and the office provided me with anti itch cream that really made a difference. The food was incredible with fresh grown pineapple, homemade bread, and delicious soup. It was a truly different diving experience to have a relaxed breakfast, enjoy morning conversation with Tom the historian and the other guests. Then head to the dock for your first dive. After your first dive we could get cleaned up, stretch out our legs and then have a warm lunch prepared for us before our second dive. Moody's Namena offers a true life experience to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of the tropics. We plan to return as soon as we can.

Room Tip: Be prepared for no outlets in your room. If you are experiencing any difficulties mention it to one...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kelsey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Dive Resort, responded to this review, 10 May 2013
Bula and thank you for your review

I am happy that we were able to make you enjoy all that Paradise Namena has to offer.
I trust that Namena has found a special place in your hearts and thank you for sharing your review and experience with our Namena family.

Vinaka
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2013

We have just finished a 4 night stay on Moody's, we were meant to stay 7 nights but we just couldn't take the meal times which had to be taken on the dot (with the owner at your table) 8am breakfast, 12pm lunch and 6pm dinner and not being left alone to enjoy the surroundings. There was no warning that there was no power in the rooms and there was also no air-conditioning or fans to keep cool in our room. The bugs were everywhere and I left the island with about 100 bites on my body from jellyfish (that apparently didn't exist according to the owner). Having dinner at 6pm every night (Moody set his own clock so it was a different time from the rest of Fiji) meant we missed EVERY sunset - this was a particular problem for my husband who was hoping for some photo opportunities.

Our room was beautiful but was not 'weather proof' and let in all the sun in the mornings. We did have mosquito nets but these also allowed for the moths to come over the net for some very difficult night reading.

I will say however it is the best snorkelling I have ever seen in the south pacific including my 5 night stay at Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. I thought the local staff were really friendly I just didn't like being made to come to the communal table for breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat with everybody on the island including the owner. I just wanted to go, relax, maybe sleep in (which was impossible as someone went down to our room calling my name each morning I wasn't at breakfast at 8am) a few days and generally relax in peace. I would consider going back but only if it were under new management.

What others are saying about the location is true, it is very beautiful and if you don't mind your meal times to be dictated with little to no meal choice, being called to the breakfast table by 8am every morning whether you are going out on the boat or not, and not having any way to cool your room down then it would be easy to overlook the difficulties of having the owner sitting with you and dictating what you eat (we had chicken fried meat twice in 4 nights) then I would agree, this is a perfect place. but for the money... you would think there was extra beach towels to use and a sun lounger for each guest (there is only 12 at any time) but there was only 3 sun loungers at the beach to relax on and two towels to use each day which at peek times would not nearly be enough.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lovetositbythebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Dive Resort, responded to this review, 10 May 2013
Bula Vinaka

I am pleased that you mentioned that the snorkelling was the best you have ever seen in the South Pacific.
In regards to meal times, we are open to any time that you are comfortable with and its unfortunate that we could not address this during your stay.
I apologise that you had fried chicken twice in 4 nights,I have discussed this with chef and we have changed the menu a bit.
Thanks for the review on the rooms.Our rooms are weather proof and the fan in your room was not working so we had to remove it a few days before your arrival
Thank you for your comments on the sun loungers, we usually put it out according to the number of guests we have on the island.There was only three out on the beach as you were our only two guests at the time.
I am sorry that we failed to meet your expectations
For all future visitors to our Paradise Namena, please raise any issue you may have during your stay.

Vinaka
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2012

You may go for the diving but you will go back for the people, the Ecofriendly bure and charm of an island where you can still avoid to see any plastic on the beach. If you are all about amenities, do not go there, but if you like nature and want to get away from your life (barely a cel signal on the island) then it is paradise, turtles weighting from your balcony, sharks coming at low tide to hunt small fish...and the diving...just spectacular!
This was our 4th trip and one of the best...
Tom the owner and his late wife are treating you like family and the staff is fantastic.

Room Tip: The only bure on the beach is best ...but they are all spectacular
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sydneypoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Namena I, Manager at Namena Island Dive Resort, responded to this review, 9 May 2013
Bula and thank you for your review.

Thank you for travelling back to your home Paradise Namena for the fourth time in a row.
We are happy that you have rated the diving as one of the top 10.
We trust that you will cherish the memories of your Namena experience look forward to see you both soon.

Vinaka...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Namena Island Dive Resort

Property: Namena Island Dive Resort
Address: | Namena Island, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Vanua Levu > Savusavu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Savusavu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Savusavu
#5 Family Hotel in Savusavu
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Savusavu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Namena Island Resort is a privately owned Fiji island resort. 6 Bure's (cottages) strategically located to maximize ocean views and enjoy the ocean breezes. Maximum guest capacity 12 people. 3 gorgeous private beaches. Namena is rated the "Best Dive Destination In Fiji" and ranked as one of the "Top 10 Dive Destinations in the World". Namena Island is surrounded by a reef designated as a marine reserve with over 22 world famous dive sites all within a 10 minute boat ride from our boat jetty. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moody`s Namena Hotel Savusavu
Moodys Namena Hotel
Moodys Namena Resort All Inclusive
Namena Island Dive Resort Fiji/Savusavu

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