Bula! (Oh how I miss that :))
Heaven on Earth!
We had high expectations for our vacation to Tides Reach and Fiji – and our experience so exceeded those expectations that it took our breath away. Thank you to the amazing people of Tides Reach and Melissa at Fiji Vacations for this trip of a lifetime. The privacy, intimacy, and fabulous service made it feel like our own secluded and exotic world. Our stay was filled with delicious, fresh, organic food tailored to special dietary needs and exploding with wonderful flavor. Thanks Chef Toto! I wanted to bring you home!! The beauty of Taveuni, the wonderful warm water, terrific snorkeling, diving, Paddle boarding, biking and kayaking left us busy enough to experience Fiji but with plenty of time to relax. We fell in love and rated this vacation one of the best vacations ever. We will be back.
Best Island Trip Ever!!!
A world of thanks to Melissa at Fiji Vacations for recommending Tides Reach. This was our fourth Fiji vacation with Melissa and we can’t say enough about this wonderful new resort! The staff…Eunice,Maria, George, Sucra and Sherri made us feel welcome and pampered.The accommodations were first class, food, amazing ,activities were spectacular…the private island picnic, atvs to explore the island, hike to the waterfall, and then of course the trip to the village topped with the party the night we left…The Tides Reach staff ‘s care and level of service is the best we have ever experienced in our travels to over 30 countries. The resort location, serenity and views are stellar. Book with Melissa and go here. You will be forever happy you had this experience. We will be back.
Thanks for following up. It was a wonderful, relaxing time. We both work stressful jobs and have very busy multi sport high performance kids who we ferry all over the place. Time alone on Yasawa was the perfect depressurization. Best nights of sleep I have had in years.
Yasawa is quiet and unspoiled but there was lots to do if you are the energetic self entertaining type – snorkeling, kayaking, scuba, tennis, hiking. Staff at the resort, as all the reviews say, were great. Food mostly excellent, a couple of dishes just good – if you measure it against good to great places in an urban centre. When you think about the location and the size of the place, it really is impressive what the kitchen does. Great wine list for such a remote spot. Accomodations – rustic elegance.
Guests should not expect Four Seasons Bora Bora/Maldives or butler service. Place is less polished and more laid back than that and that suited us fine. Its location is equally beautiful though but with added privacy/intimacy that comes with a small resort in a remote location plus a laid back vibe with luxury touches – food, wine/champagne, beach picnics, food service wherever you want, large private bures, to name the most prominent of these. Add to this the Fijian staff and the contact the resort facilitates with the islanders (choir, Kava ceremony, etc) and it really is an unique special place.
Beach picnics were kinda mind blowing. You are left all alone on a stunning beach with a cooler fool of succulent lobster, mussels, crab and champagne. One day we decided we did not want to be lazy and we asked the resort to load a 20 liter dry bag I had brought with me (I am a kayaker at home) with food and drink. I clipped it onto my kayak and my wife and I paddled to a deserted beach a few kilometers away. When we left on the kayaks the guys at the beach hut asked us if we wanted them to drop a shade umbrella and beach mats at the beach we were paddling to. We took them up on that. They also offered that if we were tired and wanted a ride back rather than paddle, they would come by later and get us and the kayaks (we paddled).
We are not divers and hadn’t really planned to dive. While there we decided to give an intro dive a try and see if we liked it. The divemaster wasn’t there but they recalled the poor divemaster from Viti Levu even though she had just left the day we asked and she actually flew back to accommodate us. Though by the time she got back we had run out of time to fully certify – still she was great and took us on an intro dive and helped my wife lose some of her fear. We will have to certify next time we get around some beautiful reefs.
Nice touch with the hours at the Fiji Orchid after landing – change, lounge by the pool and get a recovery nap from the all nighter on the plane, shower, and then the cool flight to Yasawa.
Fiji Airways cancelled our flight home so we were delayed from 10:30 pm departure to 7:30 am the next day. Between the airline and our travel insurance we should have all the extra costs covered. As a consequence we took too long to get home but stayed one night Westin Denerau and saw Denarau island – had a nice dinner at a place recommended by one of the Yasawa staff but Denarau certainly is not our thing.
Sorry for the late reply.
It’s been our great pleasure planning the Fiji trip with you. Couldn’t have done it without your help. Also thank you for assisting us with getting all those perks. I have a great feeling we’re going to love it there.
We will definetely contact you for future trips.
Just wanted to let you know that we made it back to the states safely!!! Landed in LA last night and everything was taken care of through Fiji airways. Thank you so much for everything and all your help. Namale was the best honeymoon destination EVER and was an experience that Kelly and I will never forget. Could have never had done it or at least made as comfortable and easy without all of you. Thank you again and hopefully will talk to you sometime in the future for any other vacations we may be planning. Take care
A Sanctuary for Play, Peace, Paradise”
Reviewed 25 July 2012
In selecting a location for our vacation, our top priority was a place that would offer us both luxury and an authentic Fijian experience. Namale exceeded our expectations.
Staff: The sincere kindness and joy of the staff is contagious. Their quick smiles and greetings warmed our hearts while their attention to details pampered us daily.
Guests: It was such a delight to meet fellow guests at Namale, many on their honeymoons or special get-away trips. Evening gatherings provided opportunities to mingle and meet without feeling obligated when alone time was preferred.
Tony Robbins: A week prior to our leaving, we became aware that Tony Robbins was hosting an event at Namale during the time our vacation was scheduled. We seriously considered rescheduling as rest and rejuvenation were top on our list.
How glad we are that we stayed with our plans. Tony’s events are held a drives distance from the resort’s guest bures and facilities in a separate facility with its own food and lodging for Robbins attendees. A few participants stayed in the resort bures however, due to their participation in the training sessions, we rarely saw them.
The result of this was increased attention to service and quiet at the resort! We were able to engage with the handful of other resort guests in daily activities without crowds or chaos. It was wonderful!
Food: The food was delicious. The staff was always willing to share stories of food and life in Fiji and would describe their traditional dishes. The chef willingly prepared these Fijian dishes for us at our request, regardless of what was on the menu. We found that the menus were simply one potential list of foods we could order! Truly a culinary treat.
Another great bonus is the special locations for meals. The staff will provide you lunch or dinner at any location on the resort at your request. And one evening they surprised us with a beautiful, romantic dinner at ‘the cave’! You will want to ask about this.
Accommodations: The bures were simply charming, clean and tidy. They provided a perfect space for rest and romance. Half way through our vacation we were surprised with an upgrade to the Duavata Villa. It was simply breathtaking; outdoor showers, pool, views, places to relax. Thank you, Hudson!
Activities: The dive shop has a lovely new boat, the Pearl, along with new snorkel and scuba gear. The staff at the dive shop are great. Sammy took me on a dive where I got to experience ‘magic’ coral. . .be sure to check this out!!
Namale also offered so many other experiences; the waterfall, horseback riding, snorkeling, J Hunt Pearl farming, coconut adventure and a special visit to a Fijian village. While the visit out to the village does require a small additional fee, I understand that this money goes to support education and economic development in the village.
Hudson Mitchell went above and beyond to ensure our experience was magical.
As managers, Bill and Nowdla Keefe, along with their daughters, weave the wonder that is Namale into a coherent culture of care. They will work to ensure you have a memory making experience.
We highly recommend Namale. And to all the staff at Namale, you have deeply touched our hearts. We carry your blessings with us back into our daily lives.
Vinaka vaka-levu!Read Less...
Its been several years but I want to thank you for setting up a wonderful honeymoon for us. I just wanted to give you the heads up that I forwarded your information to one of our friends who is getting married next summer since they are interested in going to Fiji. His name is Jason and his fiance is Nicole; he may be contacting you in the next few weeks. I hope all is well and thanks again!Read Less...
Dear Fiji Vacations (Especially Melissa),
It has been a few months since we returned from our Honeymoon/1 year anniversary to Namale Resort in Fiji. The entire experience was so amazing and we have you to thank for it. Everything was amazing and we were so grateful that you weren’t kidding about them literally holding our hands from the moment we get off the plane. ONCE at Namale all sense of the outside world quickly disappeared and we were able to soak up everything they had to offer. There wasn’t a dull moment and the staff there was just top notch. If We saw a few of the other resorts like Koro Sun, and while we only stopped by, we knew as soon as we walked on the property that you helped us make the right choice. While there we got dive certified and the Dive Shop was our 2nd Bure. The romantic options for meals was so far beyond anything we were expecting. I could talk about Namale and all that you did for us forever and never get tired. I hope we get to go back, I even told Ryan we could forgo having children if it meant I could go to Namale every year for the rest of my life! Thank you so much for setting up the most amazing trip of our lives, and I only hope we get to do it again and we will absolutely use you guys!
THANK YOU!!!Read Less...
We are back from our honeymoon and can’t stop talking about namale! We had an amazing time and I cried when we left.
Thank you,Read Less...
Bula Cheryl and Melissa
Our honeymoon was absolutely fantastic! We did not want to return home! The resort was relaxing and the staff were so friendly and accommodating. We loved the tours and visiting the villages, people and enjoyed the children’s laughter, singing and dancing for us. We made new friends with other honeymooners and hope someday we are able to return! Thank you for helping us experience such a breathtaking place!Read Less...
Melissa and Matthew
Fiji is amazing!
We’ve been to 2 other exotic tropical places, Tahiti – Bora Bora and Kauai, those places don’t even compare. Well, Bora Bora is really nice – but seriously Hawaii feels more like Disneyland with Starbucks and Wal-Mart compared to the others (although, I must admit… having a KFC on Kauai did come in handy a few times.)
Great weather, the friendliest people we’ve ever encountered, beautiful beaches, amazing islands (there’re like 300 that make up Fiji) a Bure on the beach on a secluded “private” island, top-notch food every day – I swear it felt like we were in some movie or as if we’ve stepped into somebody else’s life the whole time there.
We were contemplating our visit since the government had a military coup a few months ago back in December 2006 and isn’t planning on elections again until 2009. After some research and some advice, we decided to move forward with the trip. Fiji is extremely dependant on tourism and since the incident the industry has dropped about 33% leading to the loss of much needed jobs primarily at the resorts.
After meeting the people (and talking to other guests), we were happy to have made the decision to go. Nothing even remotely dangerous was evident anywhere and everybody we encountered was more than happy to have us there. Although we hear, the Fijians are always grateful to have visitors – that was evident.Read Less...
Dear Fiji Vacations,
I think we forgot to respond to you about the fabulous honeymoon you set up for us at Yasawa! Well, almost 5 months later, we are still basking in the glow of the most amazing vacation either of us have ever been on! Thank you, thank you, thank you to both you and Melissa for helping make the trip such a dream come true. From recommending Yasawa, to setting up the seamless arrival and departure, it was all perfect.
We totally fell in love with the Yasawa Island Resort, the entire staff and the Bukama Village. We even made friends with some other terrific honeymooners from around the world. We took close to 500 pictures when we were there and we flip through our album all the time just to remind us how good we had it.
We honestly felt that there couldn’t have been a more perfect destination for us to spend our freshly-married moments. Yasawa was so majestic and pristine. And Bure 11 was phenomenal. We spent mornings on our porch, afternoons on our beach and sunsets in our hammock. We had cocktail hour each night playing cards and nibbling snacks, and spent a few nights with a bottle of wine, staring up at the bright, bright stars on our chaise lounges by the water. It was heavenly. We loved that it was so private and intimate, but with plenty to do if you so desired. we snorkeled almost every day, swam in the Blue Lagoon cave, had private picnics to die for on deserted beaches, lounged by the pool, hiked, visited Bukama, drank vats of kava and ate to our hearts’ content! The food was fabulous and more importantly, the staff (from the gardener to the wait staff to the activity crew to the musicians) were all unforgettable. They made us feel like family with their kindness and warmth. We miss them so much!
When we originally planned this trip, we figured we should honeymoon in a place so exotic; we would likely never be able to return. But after spending five minutes on Yasawa, we decided we would absolutely “HAVE” to return someday. So thank you, Candice and Melissa for all that you did to make our dream honeymoon a reality. It couldn’t have been better in a million years. So sorry it took us so long to respond! We hope you are well.
Have a great week.
All the best,Read Less...
Dear Fiji Vacations,
Thanks again for all the work you put in on our second honeymoon. We appreciate the extra time you put in on updating us about the Coup de tat and it’s impact on our trip. Because of your timely correspondence we had the most up to date info when we departed. I will tell you that while this was our second trip to Fiji (Toberua), Vatulele far exceeded all of our expectations. Mark Kitchen and all his staff made it the most incredible experience. Vatulele gives you so much to choose from I think it is the best that Fiji has to offer – the best anywhere has to offer.
Vinaka vaka levu for all the help!
-Best Regards-Read Less...
Bula Fiji Vacations!
We wanted to give you an update and some feedback on what for us was one of the best vacations ever and our favorite trip to Fiji so far. First, all of the arrangements that you made for us were fantastic, with very smooth transitions between flights, resorts, and finally the airport. The person who greeted us was very helpful and we appreciated very much the rapid change in flights you made for us, when ours was cancelled, as well as the arrangement for the day room at the Tanoa.
Both resorts were fabulous and very different. The combination made for wonderful variety and a really pleasant stay. Cousteau was beautiful, and we got the royal treatment from the managers, Mike and Sharyn McCoy. The staff there was terrific and it is really a great place for families with kids (although, we hardly saw ours). Our kids particularly liked learning about the reef life from the marine biologists, seeing the village and the rainforest trips. Snorkeling and diving were great! The food and bures are unbelievable and the whole resort is so beautiful. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone.
Our transition to Navini Island was very easy-greeted at the airport and delivered to Lautoka for a great boat ride in the resort’s launch to the island. Navini is small but very beautiful with a fabulous beach and reef all around the island. Navini is less luxurious than Cousteau, but the bures are really nice, comfortable and very private. They are in beautiful, dense gardens each facing its own beach. This too was a very nice resort for a family with kids. Navini is owned and run by Arthur and Helen Reed who reside on the island. They are at breakfast and around for dinner and the evening festivities. Both are very low key and interesting people and keep things at the resort unbelievably relaxed. Meals are the one thing it took some getting used to – everyone eats together at one table (which is fun). The food is good – Australian or Fijian foods. Dinners provided a nice variety, including a Lovo one night and a great Fijian buffet another. Nighttimes also included everyone gathering for great cocktails – sometimes a Meke with great dancing, sometimes music, and always the chance to play vidividi and drink Kava with the staff in the bar. Evenings can be private as well; they will serve you a candlelight dinner at your bure for no extra charge. The nights are very fun and you get to be great friends with the staff, which we enjoyed very much. The staff is great and always willing to do things with or for you. It is so low key you feel like you are hanging with friends that you have known a long time. The snorkeling is the best we have seen in Fiji. There is great sailing and kayaking, good fishing, and trips to other islands. Also, a great volleyball game can be had with the staff each day if you want. Navini is great for kids. Everyone makes friends with them and will take them sailing, etc. A big thumbs up for Navini for a beach vacation! We would highly recommend both resorts that we visited. Hope to work with you again on another great vacation!Read Less...
Just to let you know that my trip to Lalati this year was one of the most beautiful tropical vacations that I have ever taken. Lalati is a pleasant surprise in that the accommodations far exceeded all of my expectations. The bures are incredible, and the food rivals any fine restaurant here in Los Angeles. Living in the lap of luxury in the middle of the jungle on a beautiful Fijian island was an amazing experience. Then to top it all off, the surf break (Frigates Pass) has all the qualities of Cloudbreak, but much more playful. I can’t say enough great things about the experience I had at Lalati this year, and I will be going back in years to come. Thanks for all your help in arranging the trip. You took all the stress out of traveling this year, and I will be booking all my trips through you in the years to come.Read Less...
Jennifer and I just got back from our honeymoon, spent at Qamea Resort and Spa (8 nights) with our last night at Sofitel Hotel. Just wanted to say thanks! The trip and arrangements went without a hitch and the trip was fantastic!!! The resort was everything you described it to be. The fact that you have been to all 5 of the resorts that made our short list and were able to provide details for each was amazing and meant that we definitely made the right choice. The last night that you provided, at Sofitel, was most excellent as well. A beautiful resort that gave us an extra day of relaxation before returning home.
Thanks so much for your assistance with our trip. We won’t hesitate to contact you again for what we hope will be future trips to Fiji.
Finally, a couple of impressions from us on Qamea that may assist with future customers…
- Staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. We can’t say enough about them and the way the resort is run/organized.
- Great snorkling directly from the resort and just a few minute boat ride away.
- Amazing diving just a few minutes boat ride away. The ability to “suit up” at the bure, be in the water 15 minutes later, then back at the bure 5 – 10 minutes following the dive was a unique diving experience that we thoroughly enjoyed.
- Food was quite good. One potential note for big eaters… portions are fair, but not the huge portions frequently found at American restaurants.
- Mobile phone service is sketchy at best. Jennifer had coverage with her phone if she stood in just the right spot (not positive on her carrier), I did not have coverage (AT&T). This can be a positive or negative, depending on the person.
- To save money on wine, we did not follow your suggestion of packing wine with our bags, but waited until we arrived in Nadi and purchased 4 bottles from the duty free shop then. This worked fairly well as we were able to hand carry in our backbacks from there and not worry about breakage/special packing. Also probably saved us $40 US.
- We brought our own dive gear. The result was a $85 Fiji weight baggage fee. Worth it for us to have our own gear and saved us money at the resort not having to pay rental fees, but something others may want to keep in mind. Note – This is another reason to wait until at the Nadi Duty Free shop to purchase wine/other alcohol as we avoided paying the weight baggage fee on it.
- The travel arrangements for transfers via Destinationz went well. There was some confusion with regard to dates/times, locations. They quickly resolved any issues, meant a few extra minutes waiting on two occasions, but definitely no big deal. As long as customers are sure to check in with them immediately upon arrival to Nadi and confirm all arrangements, as well as call them (if possible) the day before any arrangements to confirm, all will go without a hitch.
- The resort alcohol and special excursion/activity fees do add up. The fact that you don’t see any of these fees until the last day also adds to the potential sticker shock. Obviously, the amount will vary widely depending on the couple and if they drink, dive, are into activities, etc., but just something to remind them to build into their budget.
Again, a fabulous trip, thanks so much for the great information and arrangements.
Don’t hesitate to share my contact information for anyone else considering Qamea Resort – would be happy to share our experience with them.Read Less...