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“Still Dreaming of Maqai”

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Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Qamea Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Jasper, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Still Dreaming of Maqai”
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Though I'm back in the cold winter of Canada, I find my thoughts are still at Maqai Beach. We visited in April of 2013, after 5 months in New Zealand. We arrived at Bamboo hostel in Nadi and were talked into the North Fiji Backpackers project. It was by far the best decision I've ever made. The guides take you right from Bamboo to Suva, where you board the ferry to Taveuni. Though it was meant to be about a 20 hour ferry ride, it turned into 27 hrs. But you know what they say, "Fiji Time". We stayed a night at Tuvununu Lodge, which was also pretty magical. However, because we were so late arriving on the ferry we missed out on the chance to go to the natural waterslides.

Arriving at Maqai was unbelievable. The nicest beach, a great gazebo with couches, ping pong table, and a large dinner table. I loved sitting in a comfy couch with my toes in the sand. The place is solar powered but they have candles at the ready in case the power goes off during Kava. All meals were included and it was amazing. Cheers to Rosie and her team! The people were incredibly welcoming. Tony and Rosie run the place and Eleanor manages bookings. Celio runs the kava sessions at night. Dex gives great massages, and she has an amazing voice. She also made me a coconut ring that I am really attached to.

There are no shortage of day trips to choose from and they are all very reasonably priced. We went to the village to meet some locals and the kindergarten class sang and danced with us. They served us lots of food and tea. It was really a very humbling experience.

The cabins are perfect. Great view of the ocean with a deck and chairs out front, toilet and cold shower out back. (Trust me you would not want a hot one). I would not hesitate to go back.

Room Tip: I didn't see what the dorm was like, but the bures are worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank maryrosejack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maqai_Director, Owner at Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Bula Vinaka Happy Dreamer we are so grateful for your beautiful review of Maqai. All the Maqai team hope those dreams stay fresh in your mind until your next visit, and help keep you warm and cosy over a cold winter in your beautiful home country of Canada. We get many Canadians coming to stay with us and all the guests seem to have a strong bond with the Maqai Experience. The Maple Leaf and Kava Plant have a close affinity it seems. We feel very privileged to be able to give you a humbling experience by visiting the local school and to meet the children.
It sounds like you need to visit us again soon to visit the natural waterslides. The ferry is one option to get to Maqai, but there is also the scenic flight on Fiji Airways that takes just over an hour from Nadi to Taveuni or from Suva, and is a fantastic flight with incredible views and is highly recommended. The flights are often on special so keep your eyes out so we can see you again soon. Vinaka vaka levu. Ni sa moce (Goodbye)
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163 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
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English first
Jasper National Park, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014

I arrived in Nadi with 2 weeks in Fiji. I wanted a place that had beautiful beaches and surf but not over run with tourists (especially of the gap year sort). After explaining this to the people at Bamboo backpackers they set me up with a surf board and put me on the bus to Maqai. It is an absolute paradise! One of my favourite travelling experiences so far. A bit of a treck to get to if you take the boat but well worth it. With most places you find in Fiji the people who run the resort were amazing. Very friendly and laidback who want you to have a good time. The first 3 days I was the only person in the resort and they made me feel like I was one of the family. The 2 weeks I spent there flew by and I can't remember ever being so reluctant to leave somewhere. The 3 bed dorm I stayed in (alone for most of it) was right on the beach. The surf put me to sleep every night. There was snorkelling right on my doorstep. You can take the boat out to do different activities daily. Kava sessions every night. The only thing I would advise is to bring some alcohol if you like to have a drink with dinner as they are not licensed to sell liquor. And there is no atm so bring money from Nadi. I've read that people consider it expensive and if your comparing it to somewhere like South East Asia then this is correct. But by Fijian standards you are definitely getting your money's worth. Would recommend this place to anyone! Thanks for the awesome experience Maqai :)

Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank 780amy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maqai_Director, Owner at Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Bula Vinaka our friend in paradise your review is very humbling for the staff as we read what you have written about Maqai. The feedback is gratefully received and Elenoa the Manager will make sure all the team read what you have written as we all remember you well. We are so grateful that you would recommend us to anyone, which is the greatest compliment you can give us. We have some good news we have opened a cafe/bar with a licence so we have nice cold drinks available from our solar powered fridge for the guests. As you say with the boat it is a good experience for those with plenty of time on their hands, but for those wanting to get to the north of Fiji a bit faster going at least one way on the plane is equally a great experience with very scenic views. Vinaka vaka levu (thankyou). We look forward to seeing you again at Maqai. Ni sa moce (Goodbye).
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Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We spent an amazing 10 days at Maqai lodge. The staff were lovely, any possible need or want was catered for. Our Christmas eve was made completely unforgettable by the staff. The absolute highlight by far is the food. Quality, fresh ingredients used in a range of ways.

Thank you so much for such a magical holiday, we would recommend Maqai beach to anyone.

Vanaka
Hannah and Lola

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank whereiswoody88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maqai_Director, Owner at Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Bula vinaka Hannah and Lola.
We are so glad to hear of your magical Christmas at Maqai. Elenoa and the entire staff are proud to have made the Maqai Experience a wonderful one for you both at this special time of year. Recommending us to anyone as you say you would do is the highest compliment and we humbly accept this honour. We strive to provide our guests with fresh high quality food and we are very happy that you found this to be the case, and we salute our kitchen team for exceeding expectation. Please come and visit us again soon from Australia, you are only a small kangaroo plane hop away from us and we loved having you here. Vinaka vaka levu (thankyou). Ni sa moce (Goodbye - for now)
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Big White
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

For a young couple just married we were seeking white sandy beaches, warm blue water, a bit of sunshine and some great hospitality for our honeymoon location. At maqai beach we found all of this and more. After an overnight flight and connection to taveuni from australia we were greeted with a smile at the airport, a short van ride to the landing and we were in the boat and twenty minutes later arrived on the white sandy beaches of maqai. Our initial meet and greet by Cathy with a smile from ear to ear who is always there to help with whatever you need. Led to our accomodation our bure was called sunset2 a modest eco tent set metres from the water overlooking a turquoise lagoon. The accomodation was clean, comfortable and set in a location made for relaxation. Apart from relaxing on our front deck overlooking the water our activities included surfing, snorkelling, Jungle walks, fishing, swimming and drinking Kava. After a big day of activities we would retire to the communal dining/lounge area for dinner where we were never let down with delicious meals and huge servings. Breakfast lunch and dinner all on fiji time so wether your walking, surfing or swimming our meal was there when we arrived. The staff at maqai were always happy and willing to help in any way possible, we were made to feel really at home in this tropical paradise and are very greatful to all the staff for their hospitality. Watch out for falling coconuts! Bula Vinaka!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank trolive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maqai_Director, Owner at Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Bula Vinaka our honeymooning friends. Elenoa the Manager and her team of staff (and especially Cathy after your nice words on her smile) are so proud to have hosted you at a very special time for you. These are moments you remember most in life and we are humbled with the review and that we could offer you such a magical Maqai Experience!! We love to have honeymooners come to stay, either on their own or bringing friends and family to share in the fun and good times. We are glad you felt at home as that is essentially what Maqai is about, so thankyou for that accolade as we feel it one of the highest we can receive. There is no place like home as they say!! Vinaka vaka levu (thankyou). Ni sa moce (Goodbye) for now anyway and we look forward to you coming back soon!! More friendly smiles are waiting!! and maybe if we are lucky and you choose to have kids you will bring them back to us. We love to have children to stay.
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Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2013

Everything everybody says about this place being great is true, and we loved our stay there. But only fair to point out our biggest gripe about this place. So here goes:

When you phone for a pickup (with a bit of notice) they are very happy to come out from the island by boat and pick you up. But when you want to leave, well, that's another matter. Basically, you have to wait until it's convenient for them to take you. Now I appreciate that they have to pay the gas to get you back to the mainland, and so want to combine it with the expected arrival of some new guests. But they promise this and that, but basically they will keep you waiting all day. When it came for us to leave, we were told it would be after breakfast, about 9am. We were ready for that time, obviously we hadn't planned anything that day, not even a swim. But with nothing happening by 10am, we asked what was happening. "Boat is 11o'clock now". Well, thanks for telling us. The 11am departure didn't happen either, again, no word from the staff. Nor did the 12am or the 1pm. Each time we asked (they never thought to tell us at any point) we were given a departure time in an hour or so. Hey, I love Fiji time, but this was just rude. We ended up having almost a full day on the island, but were not able to do anything because our boat was always about to leave! Eventually we relaxed a little, unpacked a towel and went for a swim. But then all of a sudden it was "quick quick you must leave now, no time for that, let me get your bags" (which were now a bit unpacked). They make you wait all day with no communication and then expect you to go in less than a minute. Hang on guys, that isn't right. And on our last day it left a bad taste in our mouth. Poor show.
And I'm not sure the idea of making you fill out your trip advisor review before you (are kept waiting all day before you can) leave. Yes, they want to make sure that you write a report, but bear in mind that most trip advisor reports are written with the owner standing just behind them.
A great place and would go back in an instant, but they need to make everyones last day better!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank karlstewart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maqai_Director, Owner at Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort, responded to this review, 13 January 2014
Bula Vinaka for the review and feedback. We are so glad you loved Maqai and want to return. We warmly welcome you back and look forward to seeing you again. We apologize that your last day was not to your expectation. A staff meeting was held to discuss the matter and it was agreed that customers should be kept well informed of delays or changes so that they can plan and know what is happening and why there is a delay. Delays to our boat trips are very rare as we do our very best to provide outstanding customer service which is on schedule.

Your comment that reviews are written with the owner standing over people is not justified and is in fact completely untrue. You wrote yourself that what previous people have written is true about Maqai and it being wonderful, so we are unsure why this was added. The owners are rarely on site and have never seen a review written, and I checked with the 2 people in October when you visited who had written reviews and both were written when they were back in Australia. We work very hard to offer a high quality experience for our customers so they can provide honest feedback, and like all resorts we love to get reviews on Trip Advisor so we can continually improve our Maqai experience. I imagine you were asked by staff to please do a review and that was mis-understood. Once again thanks for the comments and next time we hope it is only hard to leave because you want to stay on longer as you enjoying your stay so much. Vinaka.
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Hamilton, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Maqai Beach was perfect.
I travelled alone and stayed there in the 3 Bed Dorm at the seafront....just beatiful. I can't say more. Wake up with a nice breakfast, snorkling, daytrips, tasty lunch and dinner and one of the best.... cava nights with the cool stuff who playing guitar for you and singing FIjian lovsongs ;-)
Left my Computer-Adapter-Cabel there and they will send it to me...thats the service!

Really enjoy the time there and miss the stuff/employee there!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Markus R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Maqai is a secluded resort. it's not 5 star luxury, it's just heaven...we approached the island in a dingy, bouncing over the water, circling around to avoid the reef... on the beach, we could see people waving and dancing - staff and guests were waiting to greet us... over the sounds of the sea, we heard the music they were playing and when we came ashore, they formed a line and quickly shuffled out luggage off the boat, and welcomed us to paradise... We played games with each other and against each other: beach vollyball, pingpong and chess... We snorkled, hiked through the mountain jungle and lounged around and read books... when the staff climbed the coconut trees to get fresh coconut. we added some rum into the fresh coconut water... the meals were all fresh and wonderful... and then there's the nightly kava ceremony... we all sat around and sang and drank... one thing to be aware of - the island is remote, so the staff will do a shopping run for you when they go to the mainland, but it's a good idea to bring as many supplies (drinks) as you can. that being said, there's not much you need to enjoy paradise...when it was time to leave, everyone gathered around and sang our farewell. once again, they stood on the beach and waved and sang as we took off in the bouncing dingy, skirting around the reef. my final memory is of the friends i had made waving goodbye...if you go to fiji, get your [--] to Maqai - give yourself plenty of time to get there and back. If the location wasn't heaven enough, the staff and owners are angels...

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank ash320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort

Property: Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort
Address: Wainimaqai | Taveuni, Qamea Island 00679, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Qamea Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Qamea Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maqai Eco Resort is located on breathtakingly beautiful Qamea Island just north of the garden island of Taveuni. The moment your feet hit the sand you will fall in love with this dreamy island getaway and never want to leave. The resort lies on a stunning stretch of private white sandy beach set against a backdrop of lush tropical rainforest on Qamea Islands uninhabited southern shores. Its here you'll find a destination for adventure, culture, nature and getting off the beaten track. Spend your days snorkeling in the spectacular coral gardens a out front of the resort, scuba diving , surfing, fishing, kayaking or simply swimming in the crystal clear Pacific waters. Take a cultural visit to the local village, try your hand at traditional Fijian arts and crafts, enjoy a game of volleyball or table tennis or simply explore the local surrounds hiking the island's stunning trails. Treat yourself to a pamper session with a luxurious massage or simply relax in a perfectly positioned hammock. This intimate resort with a big heart accommodates up to 35 guests with a range of accommodation to suit most budgets. Surround yourself in nature.. Nine Eco safari bures are scattered along the beachfront with spectacular views of the ocean and just a few steps to the waters edge. Known as glamping (glamorous camping) these bures contain all the comforts and little luxuries from home - raised wooden floors, wooden shutters, comfortable queen beds with quality bed linens, and mosquito nets, fan, lamps, en-suite bathroom and a private veranda to sit and take in the natural Maqai beauty. Sit back, relax and unwind-there's no cooking to partake in here- the resort is so remote that this is the only kitchen for miles! A delicious, generous meal plan is part of your stay at Maqai and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll enjoy a range of fresh vegetables picked from the organic garden, sun-kissed tropical fruits, daily baked homemade breads, wood fired pizza, freshly caught fish, and Fijian delicacies including lovo and kokoda. Most dietary requirements can be catered for including gluten free and vegetarian. Simply advise at the time of your booking Getting there:- There are 2 options . Flying; Suva- Taveuni Daily Fiji airways or northern air twice weekly Nadi- Taveuni Fiji airways 3 times daily Ferry Savusavu- Taveuni daily from Buca Bay Suva -Taveuni twice weekly Experience nature at is best in this magnificent secluded island paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maqai Beach Hotel Qamea Island

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