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“FIJI MALOLOLEILEI REEFHOUSE”
Review of Reef House

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Reef House
Reviewed 14 January 2011

This review is of course connected with Musketcove resort, as a partner to the reefhouse. It shows a part of our personal experience during our stay.

The owner is Grant Ingram from NZ and he is really dedicated to make you happy in his house, which is under maintenance of the Musketcove resort (like other villas to rent and to own) and of course you have to pay for your stay. The house is surrounded by two other houses and still in the flat area. The house itself offers the most needed accessories, we only missed a strong tin-opener and the pump for the bike tyres had the wrong size. There are some bicycles, which are definitely necessary to reach everything on the island. One service-guy took the needed bikes on his truck to his workshop and filled them up within a few minutes! sure in a salty surrounding the materials show some abrasions.
The drinking water is rain-water from a plastic-tank.
There have been some big mothes in the house when we arrived, maybe coming through some chinks. Not that problem. Vukei the housekeeper is nice.
The trader shop has some vegetables and fruits, but be aware of the zucchinis: 20,- per kilo! The rest is much cheaper. The beach is very tidal. There are some sports included with the white-card.
It is a location easy to reach from Nadi by the MaloloCat 50min-4times-daily, stopping first at plantation resort. As far as I have read, air pacific sun has cancelled now the routes with the smaller aircrafts.
The low season was good, not many people around and on the boat.

And I don’t want to hide our cons we had/saw:
· The reservation lady was unable to make a firm reservation within 14 days! between the resort, Mr.Ingram and me. Mrs. K. (I don’t write private names, if they don’t know it) from Sales Management helped out very professional. We also appreciated the offered compensation. Before that, I considered to go somewhere else! she had been having computerproblems, I was told later.
· Arriving at the wharf in denarau at MaloloCat-office, our names were missed for the confirmed FOB-transfer. The lady at the office was hard to convince. Understandable. I pleased her to call Musket, but at 07:00 am is nobody in his office. I offered to use my USB-stick with the data, but no PC there. Fortunately after 20min. she let us pass., Mrs. K. (one of the best staff) met us after arrival and provided a free breakfast to make amends, as well as for the next point.
· Arriving at musket, I asked for the safe deposit box I have been told from Mr.Ingram. The first answer was: we don’t have a safe, only a wooden cabinet. So it took another hour waiting for the manager Mr. J.. I had to explain, that the owner doesn’t wish to use his safe in the reefhouse and that there should be a safe at the reception! (the same is written on the safe in the reefhouse!). so after a while nevertheless, there existed a safe deposit box at the reception, which is in use for the reception! So we have been the first couple asking for that???
· The snorkelling-trips to the sandbank and The Black Rock are a good idea, but the corals are 90% dead and not plenty of fish. Not a fault of the resort.
· the marina is rather big, 2 Malolo-Cats and even tanker for the support of fuels approach.
· When you follow the smoke on the end of the airstrip to the left, you will see that they burn up many things. Well, like in so many other countries. Maybe there is soon a high fence around with signs “keep out – private property”.
· We had to leave early at 05:45am with the first boat. That was necessary to reach our next boat-transfer. So I got some promises from reception Mrs. L., that the porter will come in time to pick us up. I told them, please at 05:15!
so what do you think happened: no ,nothing! Fortunately there was an emergency number to call from the house. At 05:35 (10 minutes before departure!) somebody arrived. In the light i could see it was the manager himself...(obviously waking him up).
Sure you are shocked, when you need something in time. Especially at this “night”time and nobody around for help! Still waiting for an apology.

With the Musket compensations it was quite even at the end. But it nerved. Mr.Ingram is far away in NZ, depending on the staff provided.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank coralkong502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 29 of 33 reviews

Reviewed 25 October 2010

From the moment we got to Malololailai and Musket cove we felt at home. We were greated by Vika in the golf buggy, Vika drove us around the resort pointing out the places we needed to know about and then took us to the house and showed us around. The house can sleep 8 comfortably but with just my wife and myself and our 3 kids the house was a great size.
The house comes with a house keeper (Vukei) who comes everyday to do the beds, the dishes, mop the floors but best of all to be our friend. Vukei is from Malolo island and walks over everyday between the islands, mostly at low tide but a couple of days the water was over waist deep.
We walked up to the Malolo school at Solevu (45 minutes each way )and donated school supplies as well as sporting equipment, the principle (master philipo) was absolutely over the moon and invited our 3 kids to come back and spend a day doing classes at the school, which they did and had a fantastic day. They were picked up the the boat at musket cove at 6.45 by the very funny Loti and taken to school and returned home by boat at 3.30. My wife and I had a day to ourselves and paddled to the sand bar for some snorkeling, while we were there there was a wedding taking place, what a great setting..
Each day we would do the 2 free snorkels on the days we were not doing other trips, these were fantastic, so many fish , we would take some bread to the sand bar snorkel and feed the fish and you would be surrounded by thousands of all types of fish. Everyday there would be the sand bar trip and also a deep water snorkel trip, this trip changed everyday.
The house comes with everything you could need to self cater, it comes with bikes to get around the island, we rode these everywhere, it woiuld take about 3 miniutes to get to the boat bure 4 minutes to reception and 8 minutes of easy riding to go to plantation. We had 2 days and nights of rain and even this was no problem, the house has a dvd player and video player and some discs at the house, the reception has quite a few dvd's and videos you can free hire, a deposit of $20 is required which is booked to your room, when the movie is returned it comes off the bill. On the nights it rained we would ring reception and they would send down the van to pick us up to take us for dinner. Thanks Bonny. You can order beer at Dicks place for F$66 per carton and take it back to the house for afternoon drinks overlooking the water. From this spot you can see the sunset and also the workers walking or boating back to their villages after working at the resorts on the island. We did the island hopping trip which took us to treasure, beachcomber, mana and castaway islands. Walter and Joe (crew) made the day memorable for us.
We also did the dolphin safari with dave and judy on take a break catermaran, it was a bit blowy and no dolphins but was still a great day out.with a couple of snorkels. We did the shell village trip to buy some necklaces etc for gifts and then down to the wood carving village where we bought a great hand carved work of art.
Vukei brought her 4 kids and some of their friends over to the house on both Saturdays we were there for a bit of fun. On the middle Sunday we were invited to go to the village church service (all in Fijian, the singing was unbelievable) and then had lunch with Vukei, her husband Bully and their kids and assorted friends, what an awesome day, the kids are still talking about this.
The house is associated with Musket cove and for F$35 per adult per week you can use all the facilities. Musket cove itself has great staff and always made our family feel welcomed, thanks to Lithey, Mary, Marianne etc. The pool has a lap section which we used a bit.
We ate at annandas and plantation a couple of times each, the kids went to watch the movie at plantation after dinner while we had a drink, there is plenty of variety of places to eat. We ate brekky and dinner mostly in the house to cut down on costs, we bought food from both the trader and annandas supermarket which wasn't too expensive.
All up this was the best holiday we have ever had, we had planned don going to NZ next year, however a family decision was made even before we had left the island was to return to the reef house again next year. The house is a bit of a walk( we always rode) from the resort itself but this made it very quiet.
A big Vinaka to all the staff at Musket Cove, Vukei and her family and also thanks to Grant and Amy (owners of the house) for the opportunity to stay in the house and experience not just a resort holiday but a bit of Fiji culture as well.
Steely.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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8  Thank steely67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2010

At the very end of a long, action-packed year travelling all around Asia, Australia and New Zealand, my husband, 3-year old son and I met my motherin-law, father in-law and sister in-law at the wonderful Reef House on Malolo Lailai. Grant and Amy Ingram were as helpful as could be with our booking, which benefitted us tremendously as we were out-of-pocket the entire time and struggling with our research on Fiji. All the concerns we had going in to our 10 day stay were put to rest, however, when we saw just how beautiful both the island and our home-away-from-home truly was.

The Reef House is situated a slight ways back from the hubbub of the resort but
benefits from the tranquil peace and quiet that most heading out to the islands tend to seek in the first place. A gentle, flat track meanders through a lagoon and past the marina to the laid-back affair that is Dick's Bistro, set beside a sparkling infiniti pool (free to guests of RH). My husband's father is mobility-challenged, but prompt pickups to and from the pool and restaurant from the lovely Musket Cove staff via their trusty golfcarts proved to be a lifesaver, and we were happy to tip a few Fijian dollars for the service. For the rest of us, riding the owner's bicycles all over the island with the refreshing Pacific Trades at our backs was more a treat than a chore. Every other day when we weren't lazing by the pool or shore, we circumnavigated the island at low tide. We also took advantage of the $35 Fijian we paid for marina's "white card", which entitled us to as many twice-daily snorkle trips, free equipment rentals, and self-guided kayak expeditions we could cram into our holiday. Half-price use of the little Hobie catamarans were also a blast!
For dinner, we had a whole list of options. Self-catering at the little grocery came in handy for quick breakfasts and some inspired home-cooked meals, while pig roasts, curry buffets and VERY tasty burgers were on hand at Dick's Place Bistro. One night, the cafe staff whipped together a mixed grill for us which we cooked ourselves at the little beach bar that the yachties tend to congregate at (not only on account of the free use of the BBQs, but also for the 1/2 priced drinks!). Further afield there was Ananda's at Plantation Resort, plus the resort's pool-side bars and main dining area. For a nice change, my husband and I trekked all the way out to Lomani Resort's adult-only restaurant. Though It has been said here in other reviews, we all have to agree...our favorite times were those spent on the Musket side of the island, where the pace of life was slightly more...island.

The Reef House itself could not have been more cozy. Large, airy screened-in windows and high ceilings kept the mosquitos out and the cool winds circulating. Every one slept wonderfully in comfy beds, and both our linens and towels were kept fresh by Vukei, the lovely housekeeper. In addition to keeping the house in order, Vukei arranged for us to visit her small settlement on Malolo, where the local woodcarvers are second to none.

What's wonderful about the RH is that the entire place exudes a certain lived-in charm that has the interesting effect of making you feel as if you could be perfectly content with setting up shop and staying there forever. The days just seem to melt away with the motion of the tide. Grant, Amy and their family should be proud of their home in the islands, and we are forever grateful that they chose to share it with us.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank aejae212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2010

We recently stayed at Reef House, Musket Cove and spent 8 wonderful days there. This was part of a world trip and still remains the most memorable and most enjoyable place of all that we visited.
We originally booked for 8 people but only 4 of us were able to go in the end and so we had lots of space in the well equipped house.
The housekeeper was brilliant - very friendly and helpful. She bought us fresh fruit whenever we asked and even little gifts when we left. The house was kept clean and tidy at all times .
The resort itself is beautiful and so are all the staff there. My partner lost his sunglasses one day (they fell into the lagoon!!!) and within one hour a member of staff had dived in and found them and bought them up to the house!!! How good was that.
If you want an utterly relaxing, laid back holiday this is the place to go. There are also lots of boat trips to other islands to keep you amused when you get tired of being spoilt.
You should not miss a holday at REEF HOUSE.

3  Thank ChrissieKent17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2010

From the moment we arrived at Musket Cove we were treated like part of the family. Staying in our own house and playing with the local children made us feel like we were part of the 'real' Fiji – not the sterile 5 star version we experienced later on Denarau Island.
Reef House is essentially a beach house. Plenty of room, plenty of bikes and two great hammocks for the kids. The kitchen had everything we needed and the local supermarket, although expensive, was well-stocked. Our housekeeper, Vukei, did a fantastic job every day, mopping and scrubbing and filling the house with flowers. We walked across to her village for a visit and she invited us to church with her family on Sunday.
The house and the island were perfect for our children, aged 11, 9, 8 and 3. They loved the pool at resort, the beach, the snorkelling and canoeing, and the feast nights. We loved the size of the house, the location, the dayspa, and the yachts – it was our own patch of heaven.
Bula Vinaka Reef House, we'll be back!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank WallalongExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2010

Our trip to the lovely Malola Lailai Island in Fiji was made even better with our stay at the wonderful Reef House. The large house was airy and cool with the high ceilings, tiled floors and air conditioned bedrooms. With the expansive verandah and bbq, it was a delight to eat dinner outside. With our group of 9, we did not get in each others way at all!
The house was serviced daily by a housekeeper, who was lovely and friendly and who answered the many questions we asked about Fiji, its customs., etc We even visited her village. The location of the house was a 10-12 minutes flat walk from the Musket Cove Resort. The kids would use the bikes provided (bonus!) to ride to the shop, or pool, they loved them.. I loved the fact that we were a bit 'away', we had our own home, could sit up late on the verandah, enjoying our drinks., our mealtimes were flexible if we wanted.. Oh but my favourite bit.... the beach outside our house (when the tide was in) - literally a 2 minute walk, just fantastic.. and the view from the top of the hill behind the house was stunning!

The only bugs we had to contend with were mozzies...(outside on the verandah) yes there were a lot of them. We used a lot of repellant, and the good old reef house had some coils.. I didn't see any type of bug inside at all!

All in all a wonderful, home away from home, in a tropical paradise perfect for larger families or groups. Our group consisted of 4 adults, 4 teenagers and one 11 year old.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank TilleyYass_NSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2010

Run off at top speed ! We went in oct for our honeymoon and our stay in the house begun a nightmare. we find big Cockroaches in the house wich came out from all rooms !

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bordewou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fiji-grant, owner at Reef House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 January 2010

Bula,
I am very sorry you had a bad experience at our house. I got to know you well as I assisted you over a long period in your planning of your honeymoon to Fiji. We even gave you a generous discount as you were young and just starting out in married life. I am pleased to see you have posted a good review of Musket Cove Island Resort and enjoyed your honeymoon in Fiji, once we organised your relocation to another bure.

I had thought we had addressed your concerns fully while you were on the island in Oct 2009. But I now feel I need to respond to this review you have posted 3 months later. I do feel you have given our house a very unfair review.
Your ratings all read low and this cannot be true. Our housekeeper has our house very clean for all guests and over the many years we have had the house and 100’s of guests never before have we had a complaint about the house not being clean. You indicated that the location was bad. We compensated you with a move to a beachfront bure and then it seems from your positive review of Musket Cove you then were happy with the new location.
We can only assume from this you didn’t realise that the house was not right next to the resort pools and other facilities. Although I did explain this to you and it is on our web site, that there is a 10 minute walk, and bikes are supplied for guests’ free use.

All your ratings are the lowest possible for everything, and we find this confusing but accept you had a bad experience. We and the Resort apologized for this at the time and did everything possible to ensure your honeymoon continued on the be a happy time in Fiji and a lasting fond memory.

This is an isolated incident and it seems even in the cleanest of environments a tropical unwanted visitor can enter a man made structure and annoy guests. Fiji is located in the tropics and especially on tropical islands bugs and insects are present, having lived there long before human activities came along, and began building houses and resorts and started living in their backyards. Some travellers who come from metropolitan environments can find it a bit of a shock.

We took immediate action along with the Resort staff and management when this issue was raised with us at the time. Our housekeeper, supervised by the resort housekeeping manager, carried out a full “insect bomb” of the house and one small cockroach was found dead after the treatment. You were still not happy and therefore we agreed to a relocation for the remainder of your stay at no cost to yourselves and supplied you with a complimentary fruit basket, by way of saying sorry for the inconvenience.

We have kept up our systems for keeping bugs and insects under control as much as possible without creating a poisonous environment for humans and hopefully other reviews on this site confirm that we offer a great Fijian experience in a family friendly environment.
The island culture is different to staying at a 5 star concrete resort. We realise this doesn’t suit every individual.

Vinaka,
Grant Ingram
Owner Reef House, located at Musket Cove Island Resort Malolo Lailai Island, Fiji.

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Additional Information about Reef House

Address: 12 Malolo Lailai Island | Musket Cove resort, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Malolo Lailai Island
Amenities:
Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Malolo Lailai Island
Price Range: £227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you interested in a Fiji vacation where. There are more daylight hours than anywhere else on earth? You can hire a boat and visit many uninhabited islands. People dine out at restaurants in their bare feet? Every water sport and activity imaginable is all within a few minutes of your front door? And you'd like to do all this staying in accommodation that feels more like your own house than a hotel room or resort villa? ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Reef House Fiji/Malolo Lailai Island

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