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“Wonderful location and people - bures luxurious and food great”
Review of Kulu Bay Resort

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Kulu Bay Resort
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Beqa Island
Reviewed 25 November 2012

We have returned from our 5 day holiday at Kulu Bay Resort. We had a very relaxing holiday and are very happy with the experience.
This is a small resort run by local Fiji people.
The pickup from the jetty was on time, the two guys picking us up were very professional and friendly and the 40min transfer in the fast and modern “KuluCat” was enjoyable.
We were welcomed to the resort with a large group of the staff who sang for us and presented the beautiful Fijian leis. We were introduced to the staff, and the manager personally showed us around including a detailed explanation about everything needed to make our stay wonderful.
The 7 Bures are fantastic. We were impressed with the size and appointments, but also the presentation, welcoming floral embellishments, and also the cleanliness. 2 bathrooms, one huge and well appointed, and they are right on the water with their own balcony, 2 person hammock and cold water shower on the deck. We had no issues with mozzies though we usually kept repellent on at night. Didn't worry in the day and no problems.
The food was very nice, plenty of it and every course was beautifully presented and very good quality. Drinks reasonably priced and beer served in big frosty mugs. We took some wine and beer over and the staff kept it cold for us, but we mainly drank theirs at the Bula Bar anyway. Power is 110V solar so there are no bar fridges or air con, but cool breezes circulate so no problem.
The cultural activities were wonderful. In particular the Lovo Feast and Kava Ceremony were great and the Firewalking and Meke Dancing outstanding. We participated in all these activities and had a wonderful evening on each occasion. The effort that the staff and villagers put into the performances was amazing. The village visits and interaction with the local villagers was another highlight as was the children singing for us at the school.
The trips to the reef for snorkeling and the sand bar picnic were highlights also. The coral and fish life on the outer reef was the best I have seen. Visibility at least 40m.
Even straight off the sandy beach there is good coral and lots of fish. Off the southern point in particular is very good snorkeling.
The people at Kulu Bay Resort make a great location and good facilities something special. We enjoyed the company of every staff member at the resort and they all work hard to keep the bures nice, grounds tidy and boats running etc.
We left with the staff singing the farewell song to us and departed feeling that we had left behind friends. This is a credit to these people.
Recommended for nature loving honeymooners, families, and couples who want nice accommodation in a natural genuine Fiji island atmosphere.

Room Tip: We stayed in Bure 2. The other 3 couples were also very happy with their bure
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 36 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 1 November 2012

The staff that runs this resort bend over backwards to be helpful. Highlights of our 5 day stay, apart from the friends we made with the staff and other guests, were the remote 3 hour breakfast on the sand bar, the snorkeling and the trip to the village in the adjacent bay.
Go to Kulu Bay if you are prepared to leave behind your busy, city attitude and soak up a Fijian lifestyle, albeit in luxury compared with the conditions the villages tolerate. Go to the school in the village to hear the beautiful singing of the students....these people know the secret of being happy. Be generous with your donations. We were uncomfortable about leaving our tip on a credit card bound to go to the U.S. owners but donated more generously to the village to ensure the benefit was retained locally.
Yes...the beds have seen better days, but we were so relaxed we slept like babies.
Yes....the mosquitoes are a nuisance but coils, creams and sprays sort that out.
Note.....the prices on price lists are in U.S. dollars, not Fijian Dollars.
Yes...if we had not gone on a discount coupon, we would have considered it expensive.
Yes...the food was plentiful and whilst not cordon bleu, was varied and very tasty.
The rooms are huge..about 11 metres square.
Remember...this resort operates on solar power and there no refrigerators or air-conditioning in the bures. We managed perfectly without either. We took a pile of alcohol with us which was a waste of time and we ended up giving it away. The bar prices are reasonable so maybe a bottle of scotch for a late night-cap is all you need. If you like a few nibbles, maybe take those.
Do not consider bringing children as they will be bored to tears and not popular with other guests.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JoKen10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

This is a traditional Fiji style resort run by the nearby village. We found the staff very friendly and lovely and the location very serene with okay snorkeling just off the beach. We did experience some disappointment with the accommodation and logistics at Kulu Bay Resort.

Food was very average - and we had fish once. Red meat was almost every meal and I couldn't help but think that because this resort is owned by Americans, perhaps this drives the menu? All guests were of the same opinion - and ice-cream with tinned fruit for dessert every day (sometimes at lunch and dinner) is not what you expect from a resort claiming to be a 4 star facility. We estimated that each meal possibly cost the resort around $5 per person.

We were told it was a 3 hour commute to the resort from Nadi airport but it was actually more than 4 hours - the majority in a car. On checkout, we had to leave the island at 9.30am and since our flights weren't until 8pm this was slightly annoying as we thought we'd be able to spend a couple more hours snorkeling on the beach after we checked out of the room (this meant we had only 3 full days on the island although we booked for 5 nights).

I was however grateful to get home actually because the mattresses felt so old and lumpy (you could hear and feel the springs) that I was looking forward to my own bed again so I could get a full nights sleep without waking each time I rolled over.

We did enjoy our time in Fiji, and the staff were friendly. But I did expect more. We purchased a 50% discount deal off Groupon - had we paid full price I would have been very, very disappointed.

Room Tip: There are no shops on the island or in the resort - so take nibbles and snacks with you if you like...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank can6883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

As this was our 7th visit to Fiji we thought we had experienced a good variety of resorts. This resort the situation was idealic & the bures quite the largest & most luxurious we had ever stayed in.Well appointed & really lovely with large balconies ,however you had to be game to sit outside as constantly atttacked by swarms of Mossies.We felt a bit of work to improve the drainage behind the bures would have solved a lot of that problem & made it more pleasant for all.

Staff were very friendly & loved to chat. We had great raport with all the other guests,all sharing our opinion that the resort was badly let down by the food served & the lack of organisation.
We were told meal were at;-8.30,12.30.- & 6.30 but they never appeared at these times.,often 1-2 hrs late & no choice except breakfast which had to be preordered previous evening.Even though we were promised mango it never appeared even when we were told they had it. Lunch some days was not even backpacker standard!! & when presented with a bland sausage sandwich(Which most returned untouched) I complained & was thanked by all the guests when from then on things improved .Desert was usually 1 scoup of icecream.

For such a nice resort they should have a proper chef & all other resorts we have been to the food was served with choice ,on time & far better than here.
We thought it rather intimidating when presented with our account to see a further sum in US$ as "optional'contribution for staff.As this was to be paid by credit card we did wonder if this would just go to the US owners or actually get to the staff.All other resorts we have been to have had a box for staff donations which all were happy to contribute to.
Over all this was a great trip &,marred by the catering but then I suppose we can be happy we didnt put on any weight!!

Room Tip: All good Bure 7 had most privacy as at end of row
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank FrequentTripperUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2012 via mobile

I have mixed feelings about this resort, but overall I am left with a bunch of happy memories. A big factor for me was the quality of the reefs surrounding the island (at least as far as what was accessible to us by kayak). They were not very healthy reefs and I think it is attributed to over-fishing. My partner and I felt ripped off for paying $25 pp for a very short boat ride to a neighboring resort (who was only really charging $10 pp) for a reef that would not impress even the amateur snorkeler. However, this place was greatly redeemed by the wonderful people I have met - staff and other guests especially. I have made new friends there most certainly! Also, the sandbar picnic was a treat, but am not sure if it would be worth the extra charge if it wasn't part of your package. The equipment and vehicles need urgent upgrading to better safety standards and/or quality. So my overall judgement is Kulu Bay is a place you would enjoy if you like the company of other people and mingling with locals. If you are after reef quality, quality watersport equipment and serious isolation, this resort may disappoint.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank BrisbaneDramaQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2012

We recently stayed at the Kula Bay Resort in Beqa. On the whole our stay was very enjoyable with the positives being:

# Lovely bures that were well furnished and very spacious.
# Excellent diving - we dived some of the local reefs, which you travel to by boat and the visibility, twinned with the array of marine life was amazing. The shark dive was a definite highlight. (This was filmed and you can buy the DVD, but make sure you have 70 FJD as they don't accept other currency or credit cards) The dive master at Kula Bay was confident and knew the sites well.
# Our maid was fantastic, she was flexible, tidied carefully and was a genuinely nice person who wanted to look after us.
# Drinks were reasonably priced - 5 USD for a cocktail during Happy Hour and 5 USD for a glass of wine or a stubbie of Fiji Gold/ Bitter.
# The transfer from mainland to Beqa was smooth and quick.
# Ample food at meal times and you can request more or less.
# Attentive staff who will do their best to look after you.


Other things that you may want to know:

# You are issued with one 2 litre bottle of water per day per couple, but you can buy extra water for US$ 4 per bottle. I'm not sure that this is enough, water should be the one thing that guests don't have to ration! When snorkelling, kayaking and particularly scuba diving, you need to drink lots of water. We were advised not to drink the water from the tap because it's rain water.
# Take Fijian dollars with you so that if you have the village band visit you have money to pay them. We thought that this cost would be added to our hotel bill, but they asked for 10 FJD per couple, which goes directly to them. If you visit the village school, you are asked to make a donation there. Also there are a few opportunties to buy local crafts so some fiji dollars would come in handy.
# Lots and lots of insect repellant should be packed in your suitcase because there are tons of mosquitoes.
# You are asked not to tip individual staff at the end of your stay. When you check out, at the bottom of your bill is a suggested amount that you should tip. This works out at US$ 8 per day of your stay and if you dive/ take part in water based activities then an additional US$ 5 per day. I'm not sure how much of this US$ tip goes to the actual staff though seeing as bills are settled by credit/ debit card and the resort is owned by a big company. I would prefer to give directly to the staff or at least give the manager Sharon an amount of FJD that she can distribute to all staff (including the gardener and others that work behind the scenes) when the kitty is big enough.
# Tea and coffee is available from the restaurant at your request, it's not available in your room. Some guests found this inconvenient.
# The meals are very filling, but if you like to snack, then take your own because there aren't any snacks that you can buy while you are on the island.
# There isn't phone reception on the island as such, but if you walk to either side of the beach at low tide (depending on your mobile phone provider) you should get reception. Failing that you can use the phone in reception.
#The power sockets require an American fitting, not Australian as we thought.
# If you have dietery needs you need to inform the resort ASAP. There is a choice in the menu for breakfast (the omelettes were great!!), but at lunch and dinner we were all served the same.
# Take a few magazines, maybe books, toiletries etc... that you don't mind giving away to your maid or the girls in the restaurant. They don't expect anything, but they would appreciate it if you give them something.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank scubachic51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2012

Our stay at Kulu Bay Resort on Fiji's Beqa (pronounced "Benga" ) Island was everything their website promised and more. The villas were beautifully maintained and close to the beach. The waters are clear and full of coral reefs to snorkel in. We particularly appreciated the non-commercial atmosphere of the solar-powered, quiet location and the way the place is managed by the residents of the local village who were very generous in sharing of their culture We highly recommend a visit to the village to meet the school teacher and students. We also attended the church service which was conducted in Fijian and the singing by adult and children's choirs was very moving. We were happy to make the most of the authentic cultural activities on offer, including the fire walking and kava ceremony, which is an opportunity for the village to raise funds for specified projects to improve the standard of living. In between activities there was plenty of time to relax in the most beautiful tropical surroundings. We felt well nurtured, rested and enriched by our experience at Kulu Bay. We also enjoyed our trips by taxi and boat and found the drivers to be very friendly and full of interesting local information. Thank you Sharon and the rest of the crew at Kulu Bay! Warm Regards Nettie & Fran

Room Tip: Bure 7 is the last one on the end and therefore more private....
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank bluecharminn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kulu Bay Resort

Address: Beqa Island, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Beqa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Beqa Island
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kulu Bay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adjacent to the Beqa Barrier Reefs, Kulu Bay Resort is located on the secluded Beqa Island of Fiji, a lush tropical sanctuary where you can leave the world and its worries behind. All seven exclusive beachfront bures are just a few steps from the calm waters of the bay. Each individual bure (Fijian word for house) has 100 square meters (1,100 square feet) of living space, including a master suite and two full bathrooms as well as a private wrap around deck. Bask under beautiful blue skies. Swim in soothing warm water. Experience some of the best snorkeling in the world. Scuba dive the Beqa Barrier Reefs. Enjoy the sounds of nature at solar-powered, eco-friendly Kulu Bay Resort. We invite you to come and experience your own Ultimate Escape. Book your holiday today so you do not miss this beautiful wonder of the South Pacific on Beqa Island – Kulu Bay Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kulu Bay Hotel Beqa Island
Kulu Bay Beqa Island

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