My wife and I are both busy professional and wanted to go somewhere tropical, quiet and slow for some R&R. We picked Tiliva because we wanted to somewhere on Kadavu island where it is isolated yet close to dive sites as well as having good accommodation options. We wanted somewhere quiet hence weren't too keen on places that cater for backpackers. Having stayed for 3 weeks in Fales in Samoa on a previous trip we were looking for something more comfortable than the traditional Fiji bures.
The owners formerly had professional careers in the UK. Their tastes and expectations of quality is evident throughout the resort. The bures are self contained cabins to the quality of any good B&Bs in Europe, North America or Australia. Nothing was too much trouble for the host, who organised our dive trip as well as tips on currents and wind for when we went sea kayaking. We saw two live nautilus in the water, in the middle of the strait between Ono Island and Kadavu when kayaking from Ono Island back to Kadavu. It took ~1hr of easy paddling to do the crossing.
When we weren’t diving or sea kayaking we simply relaxed on the beach or on our balcony and read (the resort has a good selection of novels also, which was great as we finished the books we brought along half way through our stay).
On the diving side, the Astrolabe Reef had very dense hard and soft coral coverage. However, the fish life is less than what one would expect probably due to over fishing in the past. If I was to compare the reef I would say it has slightly better coral than the Great Barrier Reef but less fish life, and overall not as good as the Coral Sea. Saw the usual tropical reef life + a lone barracuda and few turtles. The local hunt turtles as a food source which explains why they’re few and far between. Didn’t see any Mantas. The currents were strong to the extent that it was almost impossible to swim against. Whilst it was not overly difficult to remain stationary for those interested in underwater photography, it was logistically difficult as despite the excellent visibility (30m+) it doesn’t take long for the rest of the dive group to drift beyond visual range.
As a resort, Tiliva delivered all that we had hoped for. I would rate it as a solid 3.5-4 star resort for where it is, which is in the middle of nowhere on a nice coastline with lovely beaches and reefs nearby (my opinion of a 6 star resort in comparable remoteness is one with a personal butler and chef, which we had at Olonana Masi Mara). The owners were very accommodating and made every attempt to look after us, including organising airport pickup and guide arrangement for us for our Nadi layover.
On the down side, to which there were few and all relates to the dive operations in the area. The diving operation in the area has suffered greatly in recent years due to decline in tourism and is only picking up. As a cost saving measure all the dive operations we came across operated out of small boats. The owners of Tiliva have a proper twin engine dive boat, which they can organise with the dive operators to use instead of the smaller boats either at extra cost to cover for fuel or if there were 6 or more divers on the day. The boat drivers we had were very good and knowledgeable which gave us confidence in their dive operations. The air fills were good and they look after their equipment. Whilst the dive masters knew that dive sites, they didn’t do a very good job in looking after the clients in the water given the strong currents. Some of the sites were not simple straight forward dives and involved several change in directions (in current). Most dives were on walls with bottoms in excess of 60m. There was very little control over dive depth or how far the group separated. As mentioned above, it was extremely easy to lose sight of the DM at a drift rate of a few Knots if one stopped for a moment to investigate the reef. On occasions where the group did separate no attempts were made by the DM to stop and wait. Those at the back simply had to catch up and hope that they caught up and hope the others haven’t taken a turn somewhere.
As a resort, Tiliva delivered all that we had hoped for. I would rate it as a solid 3.5-4 star resort for where it is, which is in the middle of nowhere on a nice coastline with lovely beaches and reefs nearby (my opinion of a 6 star resort in comparable remoteness is one with a personal butler and chef, which we had in Masi Mara).
One last comment. For those who need to keep in touch with the rest of the world while on leave, Tiliva has good mobile 3G coverage when the mobile tower is in operation. The area is serviced by a single mobile tower hence reliability of the link is dependent on the reliability of this tower. Due to the remoteness when the tower is damaged it takes days to weeks for the repair crew to come out.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tiliva Resort is unlike any resort in the Fiji Archipelago. With little noise, light, pollution or people to distract you, your vacation with us will be one of the most peaceful and relaxing that you will ever have. To see the Fiji that dreams are made of, Tiliva Resort is the answer. Tiliva Resort is situated on the pristine island of Kadavu. The resort grounds are situated on a primative archeological site, surrrounded by flora and fauna native to our island. Tiliva Resort is a Padi resort with local DiveMasters to provide the Ultimate experience. If fishing is what you are looking for Tiliva Resort will provide a local guide for a special fishing experience. Snorkeling and Kayaking are free at the resort. Guides and day tours are available for those who desire. Waterfall tours, Birding and Village tours are available for those that have interest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tiliva Hotel Kadavu Island
- Tiliva Resort Fiji/Kadavu Island