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“We can't wait to go back next year but for two weeks!”
Review of Kulu Bay Resort

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Kulu Bay Resort
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Beqa Island
Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“We can't wait to go back next year but for two weeks!”
Reviewed 14 February 2013

When we arrived after a very long long travel on Saturday the 26th it was a lovely day but as we got closer to Pacific Harbor it began to rain. Appy (not sure of the spelling) and Taka were waiting for us on the Kula 1. We had a great trip through the channel, which we found out was where the 2nd Anaconda movie was filmed. I've seen that movie many times and it was fun to learn we were actually going through the channel where the movie was filmed. Once we got out into the deep blue pacific it began to rain harder but we really didn't care because we were so tired. When we arrived at the resort, it was so lovely to hear the guitars playing and everyone singing, umbrellas in hand and umbrellas for us too :)

Sharon was absolutely lovely and showed us the "lay of the land" immediately and told us that we would be the only ones on the island until Tuesday, which we thought was fantastic!!!! Our own private island for 3 whole days. She brought us to our gorgeous bure #2 and we settled in immediately. We had lunch shortly after (papaya salad and fish tacos), which were delicious and since it was still raining we just relaxed on our deck and read our books. We decided to take a nap and didn't wake up until 8:30 p.m., when we heard Kara's sweet voice calling to us through our window for dinner! Too funny. We headed to the main bure for dinner and then immediately returned to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early and were completely refreshed and had a gorgeous sunny day ahead of us for snorkeling, tanning, exploring, kayaking, shell seeking, hermit crab races, etc, which was pretty much our agenda the entire week, perfect! We fished one day with Benjamin and I have to say it was the first time I ever fished with a line and a spark plug but it just made it even more fun. At that point, I realized we are completely removed from civilization and we LOVED IT! Steve golfed one day and also went Shark Diving. We went to the village, visited the school and really enjoyed meeting and playing with the children. It was fun to see the wonderful staff in their village environment and meet their families and also learn the language thanks to Maria! I have been speaking Fijian non-stop since I've been home.

We had such fun at the Lovo Feast and the entire experience was the best. We so enjoyed watching how the food was prepared, placed and removed from the ground. The meal was absolutely delicious as were all of the meals. We invited the local band to come twice, shared the traditional Kava, and even decided to have the Fire Walkers come to the resort on our last night and are so glad we did. What a great show that was, which was followed by Meke Dancing, dinner and then more music and Kava. It was the best night EVER.

On our last day, I promised myself I wouldn't cry when I left but I DID. I have never cried when I have left a resort before but I felt like I was hugging my family goodbye. I cried until we got to Pacific Harbor. . Many HUGE thanks and hugs and appreciation to Sharon, Sara, Kara, Losa, Voluma, Appy, Taka, Kasa, Maria, Sam and Benjamin.

We will definitely be back next year, same time but for two weeks! Please let us know if there will be another Groupon or any specials in the future. We will continue to share our incredible experience at Kula Bay with our family and friends and we are counting the days until we arrive again next January!!!!

Vinka Vakalevu!!!!!

Lisa and Steve Thorud - Bloomington, MN

Room Tip: All the Bure are gorgeous but we loved #2 :)
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2013

We spent 12 days (23.12.12 to 04.01.13) in Kulu Bay Resort. It was beautiful. Our booking and transfers were perfectly organised and coordinated by Kelli. Drivers were just in time to pick us up from the hotel where we stayed overnight. The day before (upon arrival) we had to search and call hotel to find our hotel pick up and eventually after finding her in the airport cafe we had to wait for her to finish her lunch. But, Kulu Bay drivers were just in time and had very sensible and accurate driving manners.
Then we had a very nice half an hour boat ride with captain Taka. We were also met by Ape – the dive master. We saw dolphins on our way to the resort. Taka stopped the boat for us to enjoy the dolphins.
Then there was a traditional welcome from the staff, cold drink and cold wet towel – what a good idea.
Kulu Bay is a nice little resort for people who are looking for a quiet holiday close to nature BUT in very comfortable conditions (I would even say luxurious) and very friendly staff. There is their village somewhere behind the hill in the next bay. Otherwise it’s just you, other resort residents and Semisi (security) there at night. The beach is sand and corals are very close and good. There are different resort activities, all are listed on the website – don’t miss any of them. Everything is very interesting cultural or natural (or both) experiences. A lot of thanks to everybody who made our stay in the resort comfortable and memorable. To Losa and Valuma (housekeeping). To Semisi (security), Nami (laundry), Jamini (maintenance), Lee (grounds, Lee we really enjoyed hiking trip with you). Thanks to Maria, Sera and Kara (Waitresses). Apart from serving your food nicely they can give you language or mat weaving or some other classes (or just a friendly chat). The only problem is Sharon. She is the resort manager and the cook as well. And whatever she cooks is too tasty and every day it’s something different. It takes a lot of swimming to keep in shape after her food  . Oh, don’t miss Kasa’s massage – very reluxing. My husband had a very good fishing. He says both trolling (game fishing) and line fishing are good. I only know that we had a lot of fresh fish for dinner as a result (deliciously cooked by Sharon, as usual). Bures are more than comfortable with water just meters away from your bedroom window. Sharon religiously was sneaking every night at dinner time to close window curtains and every time I was pulling them back to see the stars and water and hear sound of waves... But some people like loud night entertainment – this is not a place for them.

Room Tip: we stayed in bure #1, friends in #2. They are practically identical and very good.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SydneyNaturelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maitland, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kangaroo Valley, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank JoKen10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
5 Thank can6883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
4 Thank FrequentTripperUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clontarf, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BrisbaneDramaQueen
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

Property: 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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