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“Paradise in the Wilderness”

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The Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gatokae Island
Reviewed 3 August 2013

Compared to the excellent Uepi Island Resort, my overall impression of this lodge was that it was lacking an overall manager. And it was, as the manager was on holidays in Australia. Despite this, the staff did an excellent job, especially Ronny, who tried his hardest from guiding us on an il fated walk (not his fault, ours) and taking over the cooking on the Sabbath.

The accommodation itself was fairly basic, except for the superb bungalows, however there was a nice relaxed and very open vibe about the place.

The food was pretty good although the cooks were dealing with very basic cooking implements.

The activities on offer here were superb. Whether it was jumping off a big old tree into the sea with the local children to going diving off one of the distant islands to deep sea fishing for yellow fin tuna, there was always something interesting to keep all of my companions occupied. A highlight was travelling by boat to a local village (the name escapes me but i think it started with b), where we were treated to a tour of the village as well as getting to see a creek full of massive eels.

My major gripes with the place would be the food which varied in its quality, and the lack of an overall manager which sometimes led to some organisational errors. But apart from these two things, my overall stay was very good and I recommend the lodge to anyone coming to the Solomons.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank youngtraveller747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 33 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 31 May 2013

A wonderful place, but had a couple of ups and downs. Probably no more than to be expected considering the location.
Was meant to fly into Gatokae airfield and have a short boat ride to the property. Told at the last minute there was problems with the airfield (turned out to be a land dispute between the chief and the Solomon Airlines) so we were dropped a day later at Seghe airfield. This dispute has apparently been going on for some time but hasn't filtered through to the travel agents in Aus.

Transfer to Wilderness was a two hour open boat trip which was nice, but not for anyone with a bad back. A little cranky that Wilderness is making the most of this inconvenience by charging $370 each way for this transfer when it would only actually cost a small fraction of that. Don't like being seen as a cash cow. Same issue on the return. Not having access to the local strip is certainly a windfall for them.

Having said that, I enjoyed the lodge and will go back. Great food even though I am not a seafood buff. Good fishing every time catching Yellowfin, Wahoo (lots and lots of them), Barracuda, Rainbow Runner, GT's and the inevitable Grey Reef Sharks that sometimes pinch your fish. Staff were very friendly.

My recommendations would be to make sure you get a beachfront bungalow as the lodge rooms are very hot with no breeze, keep on top of your travel arrangements but don't get worked up if you have to be flexible and take insect repellant. The mozzies were not too bad at all but the fire ants were annoying.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Boo4589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2013

I just spent a week at the wilderness lodge, After arriving at Honiara we were informed that or flight to Gatokate was not going to happen and we were to go to Sengi and they would meet us there. So let the adventure begin a 3 hour boat trip in a tropical thunder storm in the dark set the seen for holiday. Each time we asked how much further got told "oh 40 min" this must be standard answer. but we made it to find a great place with the friendlyest staff. We didnt manage to catch as many fish as i had hoped (not for a lack of trying) but we did have a great time.
the highlight would have been our last full day Fishing in the morning (best day 1 mackerall and 8 skip jacks ) and snorkeling at the Coral Garden ( A Must DO)

Will definaly go back in a few years

Room Tip: make sure you pay the extra to have a bungalow
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 181aids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2013

Wilderness offers 5 star in a village stay atmosphere. Here you can mix as little or as much as you like with locals of Paeva, Vuanu and Kavalavata villages. Off the tourist track there are never too many guests(max 4 rooms) and yet the food is amazing - in both quantity and quality - fish and crayfish are supplemented by the occasional mudcrab, chicken or beef dish. Rice is included along with a range of vegetable dishes. Breakfast includes both fruit and a cooked option. To use up all that wonderful food there is any amount of walking, snorkelling and fishing. SCUBA has been added to the suite of options along with island picnics, coconut crabbing, crocodile spotting and a custom visit tour to Biche (thoroughly worth the adventure). The coral gardens at Mbulo, picnic at Kicha and snorkel at Malemale all well worth the time. The dolphins around Mbulo are spectacular as they join you in their fun. Fishing is amazing. There is something special about catching fish knowing you will be providing much needed protein for village families - and there are plenty of choices there too - wahoo, tuna (yellow fin & skippy), rainbow runner, blue fin trevally, barracootas, spanish mackerel, GTs...no end of fun! While there visit the local schools, bring basics for the kids and teachers (anything in English), take the time to read stories - all part of making a difference and having a great time too! Wilderness - we'll be back!

Room Tip: Lodge rooms are warmer than the bungalows and face either the ocean (preferred) or the mountain. The...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank TnT42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Overall a truly amazing place worth the visit from adventurous travelers. Have waited too long to post the review - stayed twice in 2005. Good destination for couples or families with older children. Corey and family had the right balance of attentiveness and unobtrusiveness to make the stay enjoyable. Basic offerings yet comfort in a village that remains one of the more remote corners of the planet. Not for high maintenance people.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Wayfarerer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2012

Loved the beauty and setting of this lodge. The bungalows next to the water were divine.
Loved that it only caters for a few at a time. Great diving , good service and food.
Didn't enjoy their pizza one night but otherwise good.

Room Tip: Bungalows excellent
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank KingstonTasmania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2012

Just returned from 5 day stay at Wilderness Lodge.
The water front bungalows are truely amazing, brilliant design and architecture.
The Resort is solar powered.
Wilderness Lodge now offers inhouse scuba diving facilities for small groups.
The dive locations, staff and boats were all excellent.
Wilderness food is legendary, pretty much all sourced locally and prepared in wonderful ways.
Meals are interesting, varied and huge.
Staff are very friendly ad helpful.
The Lodge is associated with a small village that is well worth visiting.
We did an excellent hslf day visit to neighbouring village, Bichi, well worth while.
This stay was combined with time at Uepi Resort, further North. The transfer between the two was a half day boat trip that included two dives and lunch stop on the way. Combining both Resorts was worthwhile.
The boat trip in and out is part of the adventure.
Will be returning in future.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Nzdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Wilderness Lodge

Address: Peava Village | Gatokae Island, Gatokae Island, Solomon Islands
Region: Solomon Islands > Gatokae Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gatokae Island
Price Range: £87 - £103 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a coral lagoon on Gatokae Island at the southeastern tip of the Solomons' Western Province, the wilderness lodge offers unique access to the rich natural and cultural world of Marovo Lagoon.Catering for a maximum of 12 guests the private Wilderness Lodge has been designed to meld the atmosphere of the Gatokae rainforest, ocean, and neighbouring small village with Western comforts and convenience. Oceanfront bungalows feature traditional sago palm leaf roofs and polished hardwood interiors for the ultimate in cool tropical living.Enjoy real Melanesian hospitality with your Marovo hosts Waelinah and Vaelathy and unique local experiences and genuine adventure with the Wilderness guides. Our all Solomon Island staff has been trained here in Peava, and years of experience and integration have created a unique example of culturally- and environmentally-sensitive tourism. ... more   less 

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