We visited Kosrae as a family of 4 with 2 young children as part of an island hopper experience to Micronesia. Kosrae was our first stop. I was initially taken aback by how undeveloped and run down it was, but not the kind of poverty you experience in some asian and indian areas. It is almost as though the weather has just taken over, the humidity, if you are not used to it is intense, but we come from a hot country so it didn't prevent us from doing anything. Our stay at Kosrae Village Resort (KVR) was an adventure. Our kids loved it, it really was like staying on our own tropical island. Sure it looks pretty basic but all the modern amenities are there. The open shower with crabs clacking around below you when you have a shower was a highlight. The walk to the restaurant after dark was a daring dash (for our 5 year old!), with huge crabs attempting to waylay us on the path. The restaurant staffed by locals was a great place to finish each day. The staff were very chatty and the food was great. We also ate at the Nautilus for dinner and once for lunch and that was also very good. We arranged a jungle tour with a contact of Katrina's called Salek, who took us to the Menke ruins situated on land belonging to his family. That was one of our highlights of Kosrae and our entire trip to Micronesia. The hike took 5 hours, not that we noticed, we stopped at each river crossing for a swim, we ate every piece of fruit and nut we came across. Salek was a magnificent guide.
As a non scuba diving family we relied on finding snorkel sites from the shore line. This was probably not the best way to go and in hind site if Kosrae had been our last island to visit we would have had enough courage to go out in the dive boat to the open ocean to snorkel, which we ended up doing in Palau and Pohnpei, but at that early stage we just weren't that confident with ourselves or with the ability of our two children. So the snorkel experience wasn't great, we did view the big blue hole out the front of the Nautilus, it was ok but quite murky.
I would like to have been able to visit the other side of the island which at present is only accessible via boat for tourists and it's very expensive. We did try and negotiate with a local to take us over in a 4WD but on the day we were meant to go the vehicle had a flat tire. Perhaps if something like that can be arranged as a regular trip by KVR it would be great for non-divers or for those wanting to see more of the island.
The resort was an adventure, if you are after luxury it's not your thing, but as an eco resort it is truly wonderful. We also ended up hiring a car for 4 days which was fairly costly as there really isn't any other way to get around other than with taxis. At the time we stayed Katrina was on her own, I'm not sure if guests may get a bit more assistance getting to and from places when both owners are there, we did feel a little neglected and it would have been nice to have been taken to a good snorkelling spot with a local guide so that we could have felt a bit more comfortable swimming in a new environment. As far as we could see no locals swam, we did ask where kids went swimming and were met with puzzled expressions.
On the whole it's a fairly neglected part of the world but beautiful, and the fact that there are no snakes or leeches is a major high light for those who like hiking.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Private thatched cottages on the ocean, a world class restaurant, our on-site PADI 5-star dive center and amazing service make an unbeatable combination for a rejuvenating and invigorating holiday. Add a wildly beautiful, remote, mountainous tropical island and you have the holiday of your dreams. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kosrae Village Ecolodge Dive Hotel