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“Spectacular Island and 6 Star Views for Wedding/Honeymoon”

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Taveuni Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Taveuni Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 November 2011

My husband and I dated for nine years and decided to elope and get married at TIR. We did a lot of research ahead of time to ensure that we were selected the right place. After three flights, we arrived on Taveuni island and we're immediately transported into another world. This lovely island is about an hour flight from Nadi. It is very remote - so please know that going into it. There's not many modern conveniences. The people on the island are very warm and welcoming and seem genuinely happy living a simple life. Who needs material distractions when you live in paradise! This island is like heaven on earth!

We were picked up at the airport and driven a short distance to the resort and greeted with a lovely Fijian chorus welcoming us to the property. I have to say that check-in was a bit odd, as we were asked to sign some release (while we were jetlagged) absolving the resort of any responsibility for any lost belongings (not very comforting). We were then given a quick tour of our "villa" which was not exactly what we expected when we booked the room. Let me just say that the VIEW is easily a 6 star! We were on a cliffside that felt like we were hanging over the top of the ocean. It was stunningly beautiful. All I can say is WOW. One night I stood out there watching a rainstorm...spectacular. The room itself was a bit rustic and reminded me of a cabin - although not without charm. There was no tub (which we found odd in a place catered toward couples/romance). There was no clock, radio, television or ipod docking station and most of the time the safe wouldn't lock (not very comforting when they make you sign a release and you have wedding rings and other valuables with you). In addition, telephone in the room didn't work half the time and during the times it did work, you could rarely get somebody to answer! Very frustrating! I can live without most of those things, but one should have the ability to at least play some music in their room. An Ipod docking station is quite inexpensive. I'm not sure why the resort wouldn't just provide this? This was quite disappointing to us. We have both traveled extensively internationally and most properties that charge this amount of money should have more modern conveniences like this for their guests. The bed was comfortable and romantic with the mosquito netting over it. I loved the outdoor shower with a view of the ocean - it was quite impressive! It should be noted that there are insects/bugs that can be quite large at times and occasionally make their prescence known in your room or bathroom....this is not unusual in the tropics - but it happens.

Since the room wasn't exactly what we had expected, we just wanted what we had originally booked for our honeymoon, so we spoke to the owner/manager and requested that we be moved somewhere else that was more to our liking. This was a very tense and uncomfortable experience as she first said there was nowhere to move us - then she wanted to charge us a lot more for the room "transfer." She was not cooperative initially and we were actually considering checking out and going to a different property as we were uncomfortable with this behavior and did not want to deal with this on our wedding/honeymoon trip. We were told that there would be "no refund" if we departed which was quite upsetting as this amounted to thousands and thousands of dollars. It should be noted that if you book this ahead of time, I would advise against paying the balance in full on Paypal as we did (this option was offered as a discount to us instead of credit card option). If you do that, you are essentially "locked in" and if there is any issue/dispute, you have no recourse. We will never make this mistake again. We finally came to an agreement with the owner/manager and were able to transfer rooms in a couple days. She did make an effort to make us happy and transfered us to the royal villa and although the villa was more spacious, it still did not have a TV that was operable or any music and the outdoor "hot tub" that it had was ice cold. Very odd! They did bring in a small stereo and let us use it for the rest of the vacation (which was great)!

I'm attempting to be very fair in this review as we did love many aspects of the resort and were disappointed in others. The staff was great and very welcoming! We LOVED Sai and the guitar/kava boys!! They make an effort to remember your names and seem happy to see you and meet your requests. The food quality is very good - excellent at times -and very fresh! However some variety is DEFINITELY needed. Offering guests a variation of the same type of soup every day just isn't appetizing (pumpkin or curry or pumpkin again...) Also it would be nice if they offered more types of fish too. We had to request lobster and shrimp as it wasn't actually offered for dinner the entire time we were there. We were told it was expensive and/or not in season, etc... We understood this, but this place charges a lot, so we expected some of this for the price. We actually made some specific food requests and they were happy to oblige although I have to share a funny moment. We were craving a hamburger and asked them if they could make this for us. They said yes. When we were seated for dinner and they brought out our entrees, we were actually given a HAM slice on a burger bun! I will say that the restaurant staff is very quick to shut down around 9:30 - 10 p.m. - even if you're still not finished. They actually lock you out of the restaurant/bar and leave you on the deck. We experienced this first hand one night we were sharing a bottle of wine with another couple. Not exactly hospitable when you're spending money (especially when it wasn't that late). Many of the guests that were there during that time were European and had the same complaints as this was very early for them as well.

The spa isn't really what I would call a spa per se, but I will say that the massages were quite good and reasonably priced! I highly recommend the couples massage.

We did get married at the resort, but it was not on the day we had planned. On the day we had it scheduled, there was a torrential downpour and we decided we did not fly all that way to get married in a monsoon! The owner of the resort was quite shocked at this and was insisting that we do it anyway as they had the table "ready" in the restaurant and the bouquet prepared. Since this was our day, we wanted to do it at sunset on the beach - with the sun shining - NOT in a rainstorm. So, we agreed to go ahead and have our "party" anyway with the other guests in order to appease the owner as she seemed so upset. Again, this was a little off-putting as this is our wedding and she should've been trying to make us happy, not force us into doing something during a rainstorm. Anyway, we had a lovely little party with Fijians singing and playing guitar and drinking kava. We shared champagne/wine/dinner/cake with the other hotel guests and had an amazing night - even if we weren't actually married that night! The flowers and Fijian decor were lovely and the food was very good! It was a beautiful, memorable evening...

We tried to get married a couple days later, but the manager was unavailable and the staff didn't want to "wake" her. They also claimed they couldn't find the minister - frusrating for us because it was blazing sunshine! So, the next day after we returned from a two tank scuba dive, the manager approached us at 2 p.m. and asked if we wanted to get married that day. We are spontaneous so with only two hours to get ready - we scrambled and managed to do it. We were married at sunset on the beach as we originally wanted. I had Fijian "warriors" escort me down to the beach and we were serenaded by lovely Fijian girls. It was breathtaking, short, sweet and exactly the way we wanted it. We met some wonderful new friends at the resort that were our witnesses and guests and it was very special. Since we hadn't gotten married during the rainstorm, we were given our previous leis and bouquet to use and that was disappointing as they were already wilting and old. We were told that there weren't anymore "fresh" flowers available on the island (which I find hard to believe on an island as lush as this). Again, the owner/manager seemed very put out that we wanted fresh flowers for our wedding (we offered to pay for them), so we didn't want to push it. In retrospect, we were just uncomfortable asking for what we wanted for our wedding/reception because we were treated as if we were asking too much (when it reality it was very little)! Our requests were very simple and made out like they were insurmountable.

In the end, I have to say that we met some WONDERFUL people! It's a setting that allows you the opportunity to connect and interact with other guests and it was just an amazing experience! The island is stunning, the adventure walks and waterfalls are a must do. The scuba diving is excellent! We highly recommend Taveuni Dive. Most excellent, top quality dive operation!

I can give this property a 4 star, but it needs some updates to the rooms and more modern conveniences to make it a true 5 star. A fitness center would be a welcome addition. Also, I have to say that the management should try to handle guests in a more welcoming and embracing manner. We heard some of the very same concerns from other guests that were there, but were afraid to speak up. Part of the hospitality industry is making your guests happy and comfortable - guests do have expectations when they're paying above a certain dollar amount and TIR needs to work on giving guests what they want. It has the ability to be a 5 star resort, but needs to work on some of the rough edges first.

In retrospect, we probably would've made a different choice as TIR was lacking some of the amenities and standards we expected. But in the end it turned out very well and the people we met were very special and the wedding itself was lovely!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Katmo1864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TIREmployee, Front Office Manager at Taveuni Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2011

It is always difficult to respond to a negative opinion about something that is so personal. This is not a hotel. Our small resort is run by dozens of people all of whom are either family to the Cammicks (the owners) or long time employees, so this is painful to all of us.

Unfortunately, this guest was judging a Fijian Resort on a remote outer island in the middle of the South Pacific with a hotel in a large city. She felt upset & wished to leave within 12 hours of arriving because there was no Cable TV in the villa or sound system.

She phoned the travel agent who had booked her with us and said the resort had misrepresented itself, which the agent then said was untrue, as he had kept all written and voice messages with her. So her fiance spoke to us about leaving or staying. We said we did not want them to stay if she was unhappy, as they were to be married here and this was a very special time. So we waived our normal cancellation fee , a copy of which they had been given twice, once when booking with the agent and again on check in . We then advised him that two days would be the penalty and the rest would be refunded into their US account by the US agent. This was a loss of many hundreds of dollars for us but our guests satisfaction is always paramount

But, they then decided to stay.

She then wanted to change bures, this was impossible, as all other villas were occupied, the resort was virtually full. So we up graded them to the Grande Villa (our premiere villa) at no extra cost, as it was the only accommodation available at this time and we wanted , most of all, to try to make her happy.

Meals were very trying. The guest wanted café food, & we do not serve this type of food out here in the tropics . She rewrote the meals to her needs, but this was not a problem because it is a service we always offer. But I honestly do not think she appreciated how much extra work the chefs did and the effort required when she changed her mind just before the meals were served. In addition, the waitresses were very unhappy and upset. Maybe they are too sensitive but this is just a part of our culture. We always want to please our guests, as this response gives us pleasure in our work.

The wedding was included at no charge because the guests were here for 14 nights. Her dreams for what she wanted for this special day were being met, although we included much more than we normally include in a gift wedding package in an attempt to please the bride. When she cancelled the wedding 15 minutes before the start of the service this created enormous problems for all of us. Over 75 % of the staff had worked all day preparing exactly what she wanted . This is what we want to do, make their day special. The minister had arrived, the wedding cake was made, his lei and her beautiful bouquet flowers were done, the wedding site was prepared, the decks were decorated, the tables were set, the champagne was cooled, the nibbles for the champagne toast for all the guests were made, the choir were here, the entire village dance group were all prepared for the cultural dancing when she called our owner to her villa to call it off. It was her choice on whether she was married or not that day, and I respect this, but for all involved had we known two hours earlier a lot of effort could have been saved. For the resort staff to do it all again was another whole days work . So the couple decided to have the party without the actual wedding. This happened, and as she mentioned, it was a ton of fun and a great evening.

They did have a great wedding two days later, but the resort florist could not replace the orchids in her bouquet, nor did she have time to do so. To have the wedding on that day was decided at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and we had picked every orchid in this area for her original flowers, and the bouquet had been carefully kept in a cooler and was perfect.

By the way, I am Anne, writing this response. I am a member of staff and the manager of resort office. We the staff have worked here for an average of 10 years and the management are part of our family . We find the comments of this reviewer very unfair of the Owner/Manager and this is why after much consideration, I chose to write a response, as I witnessed the whole event.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 November 2011

We have been having a love affair with Taveuni Island resort for 4 years now and the only way my husband can get me to leave after our two weeks of pure bliss is to book again for the following year before we leave! 4 years ago we came to Taveuni Island armed with a wedding dress ,a cake topper and a few selected friends ... we explained to Do ( the owner and manager of the resort) we would like to get married,would this be possible? Nothing is ever a problem here so the team worked their magic and a few days later we had the most amazing day of our lives, ours was to be the wedding of everyone's dreams- we started with a delicious breakfast, then a couples massage, then a swim in the infinity pool gazing out to the sea- we headed back to our room (also to die for!) chilled in our private plunge pool then it was time for the groom to depart- (unknown to me was that at this point he had packed/shoved his wedding gears into his backpack! Do being one step ahead had noticed this and swiftly arranged for ironing to be done!!) In came the girls and I had my nails, hair and make-up done, the bubbles were flowing , the dress went on and I was ready to go! My Fijian warriors escorted me across the grounds and around the corner where there to meet me were the staff who had learnt my wedding march song and sang me down the beautiful isle of flowing white flags to an archway of fresh frangipani's , a beautifully presented groom and a breathtaking view of the the sun dancing on the ocean, we had our ceremony then cocktails and nibbles on the deck as the sun started to set ( this made for amazing photos!). We opted to have a Kava ceremony and traditional Fijian Meke before our divine wedding meal ( I say divine because every meal you eat here is and that's been consistent for 4 years in a row!) then after dinner we ate our awesome cake and danced the night away on the lawn under the stars.... It was a stress free dream day and this is where our our love affair with Taveuni island started - this special place now was the key holder to our most amazing and special memories, not just our wedding day but a whole week of creating special memories- Our first night as man and wife we dined in the lagoon bure overlooking the beach surrounded by fresh flowers and candles, it was here we decided that there could not be a more beautiful place in the whole world to be and we would come back and celebrate our first wedding anniversary and have dinner in the very same spot we had our very first meal as man and wife- So we did !! Plus we still had so much more of the actual island to explore .... One year later we returned back to the resort for a two week holiday and to celebrate our first anniversary- we had such a blast day tripping around to exotic locations, Kayaking , Relaxing & swimming !Our special dinner was as beautiful as we knew it would be and as we sat watching the sunset being serenaded by the band boys that familiar look passed between us... we had to come back next year! With still so much more to see and do we re-booked for the same time the following year, before we left we asked if we could plant a special coconut tree to celebrate our anniversary- as always nothing was a problem so we did.... we planted a coconut tree, It's still growing strong today :) The coconut tree was now our reason for going back year after year! We have just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and 4th two week escape to paradise...... Everything about Taveuni Island resort is Magical, Every room we have stayed in and been outstanding and super clean, every meal we have had has been divine, we love that we can be as isolated from or included with the other guests as we wish, we have never run out of things to try or places to visit ( when we can drag ourselves away from the pool and the beach and the grounds! honestly you just never want to leave!) and my husband says " the fishing's awesome too". I would recommend this resort with all of heart to anyone with anything special to celebrate - anyone getting married, honeymooners or even just an exceptionally relaxing holiday! We love Taveuni island resort, Taveuni island and all the people involved - even the guides that take us on daytrips!! See you next year everyone ... and for anyone reading this looking to book... DO IT ! You wont regret your choice xx

Room Tip: Every room we have stayed in has been amazing however if you can choose the Matalau Villa- it makes...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kylie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2011

A very special resort with incredible views, friendly staff and great accommodations. Very comfortable and a perfect place to re-charge. The scuba diving at Rainbow reef should not be missed; spectacular!

Room Tip: not a lot of activities at night. but then you really don't want them
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank craigr34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

My wife and I came here for Honeymoon back in September, 2011. We had the time of our lives and have been reminiscing ever since hoping to go back some day. The food was awesome, previous revues knocked the food, but I had no complaints. I love seafood, my wife does not, and both of us felt fully accommodated with a selection of gourmet meals. On top of that we enjoyed breakfast brought to out Bure every morning, which was delicious. The water sports are amazing as well. Though we do not scuba, we snorkeled where ever we could get ourselves in the kayak. The tours are good too. The honeymoon went quite well. If you are looking for someplace that is beach front, they do not have that, but they do have access to a private beach that your bure overlooks on a cliff. Also, it is on a bigger island so that has pros and cons too. Overall, we give an A+ and, like I said, hope to return sooner rather than later!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ryan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

Infinitive thanks for creating Paradise on earth and making it available for us to enjoy.
It was an absolute privilege to be part of this "family" for those two unforgettable weeks.
We hope we can come back one day and until then we will be coming back everyday in our memories.
Thank you again every single member of the Taveuni Island Resort family.
To have had this wonderful experience in our life's and to spend our honeymoon trip here was a priceless experience and an absolute gift.
Vinaka vakalevu

Tropical girl

Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank Gloria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taveuni Island Resort & Spa

Address: Matei | Taveuni, Taveuni Island, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Taveuni Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Taveuni Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Taveuni Island
Price Range: $667 - $2,443 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Taveuni Island Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This award winning resort is a perfect destination for those seeking a luxurious, romantic, adventurous location. This jewel of the Pacific accommodates just 14 privileged couples in large, private, beautifully appointed bures, each enjoying unsurpassed panoramic views. This is a verdant paradise for nature lovers and lovers of nature, home to dense rain forests, 100's of waterfalls & rivers, white sand beaches, world class fishing and diving and wonderful cultural experiences. Enjoy our friendly staff, organic foods and homemade pasta's & gourmet island cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taveuni Island Resort And Spa
Taveuni Island Hotel Taveuni Island

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