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Reviewed 25 August 2022 via mobile

We first visited Turtle Island in May of 2019. We bought a return plan and decided to use it now (instead of 10 years). To our surprise Rob and Landi were back as the general managers. More than 60% of the staff was still there and the new staff are just as amazing. Micka, Bill and our Bure Mama (Alissi) were still there too! What was amazing is how farm to fork they had become as a result of the pandemic. We ate some of the best food in recent years. Restaurants in the US and Mexico (we have been there too) are sub-par as they rely on distributors for just about everything. Turtle has a huge garden, chickens, pigs, bee hives and of course fresh fish. A visit to Turtle Island is not for everyone as it is very quiet
During the day when most of the 28 guests are at their private beach for lunch. There are no shops, golf or clubs. Come to enjoy the truly sincere people of Fiji. Bula!

Room tip: They do have different rates for different seasons. Check with them. Children only allowed twice a year.
Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank karenmD8922NX
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Island Manager, General Manager at Turtle Island, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2022

Bula Bula!! It was a pleasure hosting you all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re happy you had a fantastic time with us! Sota tale. Love from your Turtle Island Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2022 via mobile

Our first visit to Turtle Island was in 2016 (see my previous review). We were so taken with the sheer awesomeness of this resort that we booked a return trip before we departed that year! After three year’s worth of delays (thanks to COvid-19 and a medical issue), we finally made it back! I had no expectations that the Turtle Island family could top our previous experience, but they managed to do just that! By the way, I used the word “family” instead of staff for a very specific reason. I’ve never been to any resort in the world where the guests and “staff” develop a relationship that is tantamount to family! The Turtle family know you on sight and go about their daily routines with a completely genuine smile and pleasant nature that puts guests at ease from the minute you board the seaplane until you head off to the airport on the main island. Suffice it to say, they do it right.

Turtle Island is not cheap, but you get what you pay for! This resort attracts the kind of guests that enjoy interacting with each other on a personal level. Whether you are a multi-millionaire or a couple who has saved up for a once in a lifetime experience, everyone enjoys meals together (although private picnics and dining are common as well) and simply getting to know one another.

Gourmet meals are common and the all-inclusive nature of the resort is terrific! There is a rich Fijian culture to discover as well as opportunities for fishing, diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, or just laying out on your very own private beach (of which there are many!).

The exclusivity of this resort ensures you are well cared for during your stay. Each couple is assigned a “bure mama” to meet your every need during your stay (thank you Mama Leveti and Mama Lu for all you did for us!).

I can’t say enough about our Turtle Island experience! The happiness is infectious, the natural beauty is astonishing, the new friendships we made were real, and we will return!

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Ready2Jet
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Island Manager, General Manager at Turtle Island, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2022

Bula Bula!! It was a pleasure hosting you all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re happy you had a fantastic time with us! Sota tale. Love from your Turtle Island Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2022

From the moment you step off the sea plane, you'll feel like you've come home to the place your soul was searching for. I'm not exaggerating! As a photographer, I have seen some beautiful resorts and been to some amazing places. I've traveled around Fiji and am familiar with Fijian culture. Trust me when I say that this place is what you're looking for: 100% GENUINE PARADISE. Turtle Island combines the best of Fijian culture/hospitality with the most spectacular natural beauty, then wraps it all up for you with creative five-star service.

Maybe you've stayed in a place with butler service. There's no stiff-service-providing here; at Turtle Island you'll be introduced to your "Mama" or "Papa." Our Mama took care of our beachfront bure (villa), and our every need, from washing our clothes, to booking our desired activities and setting up our picnic lunch on a private beach. She wrote messages on our bed in flower petals, left us little notes and basically spent her entire day ensuring our happiness (her full-time job is to look after only one couple). She didn't hover, but she was there if we needed her with just a call on the hand-held radio. Want a milkshake whilst soaking in the in-room hot tub? No problem. Just call it in.

We had lots of options for meals. If we wanted to be alone, we could order breakfast in bed, or breakfast on the beach in front of our bure. We could choose from beautiful dine-out locations around the island for dinner, and we could picnic on a private beach for lunch. Or, for any meal, we could join the family-style dining at the long table, where we were seated with a host from the island and other guests. My husband is an introvert and wasn't sure he'd love the family style dining, but it ended up being one of his favourite things about Turtle Island. You will meet such interesting people here, and the atmosphere is laid-back, fun and relaxed. If you want solitude, you can have it. If you want social, you can have that too. It's the best of both worlds.

The food is primarily sourced from the island and the sea. Turtle Island produces much of the food on the island, including pigs, chickens, cows, honey, and a massive raised-bed garden and hydroponics system. You'll also eat a lot of seafood caught fresh from the ocean--definitely a highlight for us. I loved the food at Turtle Island, because it's healthy and island-grown, tastes amazing, and was beautifully introduced/presented personally by the chef who created it for us. One of the challenges of living on an all-inclusive island is pacing yourself with food/drink! (I'm up for the challenge though!).

As far as activities, we did the island tour first, which really helped us to understand the fascinating history of the island. If you bought an island, what would you do on it? Richard Evanson's vision created an amazing paradise, and his legacy is continued by his children. On the island you can also snorkel (beautiful snorkeling is just off the main beach), swim in the bathtub-warm water, kayak, SUP, subwing, sail, dive, or visit the nearby attractions. Relax in the sun in front of your bure, or book a private beach for as long as you want (we tried to visit as many of them as we could). The original "Blue Lagoon" movie was filmed here back in the day, and not much has changed. We felt like we'd stepped right into that idyllic tropical island paradise.

Photos can showcase the natural beauty of the island, but you'll just have to come in order to experience the warm love and hospitality shown by the Fijian staff. Many of the staff are from the islands and villages around Turtle Island, and they loved introducing us to their island home. The people of Fiji have so much joy, so much love, and are so gracious. Spend some time getting to know them! I cried when I left because I knew I was genuinely loved. What other resort makes you feel like that? You'll just have to come and experience it yourself.

Date of stay: June 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank LauraPittmanFiji
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Island Manager, General Manager at Turtle Island, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2022

Bula Bula!! It was a pleasure hosting you all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re happy you had a fantastic time with us! Sota tale. Love from your Turtle Island Family

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Reviewed 11 July 2022

My husband and I are just back from a week on Turtle Island in early July. We had the most magical experience! it is truly so hard to capture in words what makes this island and the staff so special. You feel like you have "come home". The island is stunning but the staff make you feel like family. The warmth, love and generosity is like we have never experienced anywhere in the world before and we travel a lot! We have also been to 4 other resorts in Fiji in the past and have never felt the need to go back. We have already booked a return trip to Turtle Island. For anyone planning a trip to Fiji, Turtle Island will be an experience that you will hold in your heart forever. ❤️

Date of stay: July 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Roving49702880734
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Island Manager, General Manager at Turtle Island, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2022

Bula Bula!! It was a pleasure hosting you all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re happy you had a magical time with us! Sota tale. Love from your Turtle Island Family

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Reviewed 2 July 2022

We stayed for 6 nights in June 2022 with our three teenage children aged 13, 14 and 15.

Our first issue - our family is very close and our kids do not particularly favour kids club. This proved to be quite difficult as all activities are segregated between kids club and adult activities only. We felt excluded therefore from most activities which was a great shame. The resort did end up providing two family activities which we appreciated. Most of the activities were excluded from us because we wanted to hang out with our children. I felt like we chose the wrong holiday for our family and that was a shame.

The second issue is that three of our family members are coeliac and require gluten-free meals. While everyone did try to accommodate this, there were obviously at least two known episodes of breaches in quality control which resulted in two family members having two days of severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
This was not deliberate but just a problem with kitchen and serving staff education that turned into a nightmare for us.

There were many other little things that were irritating and ‘ not as expected’ such as a faulty bath that didn’t work , no wifi in the burres , limited wifi in the gift shop only , no horse riding allowed on the beach , poorly maintained snorkelling equipment and SUPs and kayaks etc but the Fijian staff just smile at you and say BULA and most things are soon forgotten.

The staff are very friendly and obliging and the natural environment is also beautiful .

Our burre was large but very dim inside. It lacked luxury befitting a holiday experience of this level . My children were accommodated in small simple beds with foam mattresses and an old blue blanket ( think school camp ). The beds were actually too short for two of them. Oh well …. BULA. It is hard to be upset when the local people are genuinely kind and live very simply by comparison.

We were however overall disappointed with our Turtle Island holiday and would not recommend this trip for families with teenagers (who are not keen on kids club and love a bit of wifi)

I am sorry to say that we will not be returning. I think we would have felt differently if our kids had enjoyed their time. They felt like they didn’t belong to the ‘ group ‘ and consequently so did we.

Turtle island is an experience . I am truly sad to say that it is just not close to the 5 star holiday which is what we were anticipating. Sorry Turtle Islsnd .

Date of stay: July 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank GildaK7
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Richard Evanson Jr, Owner at Turtle Island, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2022

Hi Gilda

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are always striving for excellence, and welcome all feedback, be it positive or not, as it enables us to achieve and maintain the highest standards possible.

We are terribly saddened that you did not receive the experience you were hoping for. I reached out to your dedicated Travel Planner who assisted you with your booking arrangements, to see if all the necessary information was passed onto you when you inquired and booked your stay with us.

We try our best to ensure that those wishing to travel to Turtle Island are fully aware of what we offer, and the unique aspects of our experience. In my review of these communications, I confirmed that your dedicated Travel Planner had sent you all the information relating to our Fijian Bures, our family time program, and all other information you would require to get the most out of your holiday on Turtle Island.

For the benefit of other readers, I will elaborate on some of the points you’ve mentioned, sharing information which you might already be aware of based on the information already provided to you before and during your stay with us.

Yes, Turtle Island does not provide in-room WIFI by design, unless it is requested (and we do not promote that we do), as we try to offer our guests a chance to truly disconnect, and get the most out of their experience. That said, given our very high return rate, on rare occasions, some guests do need to have it, so we have made arrangements to accommodate this in those situations. It appears from your review that this was an important requirement for you, and we only wish you had made this known either on the island or when making your booking with us.

Turtle Island offers a unique Horse-riding experience where you get to explore a 500-acre island, riding through some 10 kilometers of roads and trails through the vast rainforests and jungles that cover the island. As is communicated to all our guests, we have 12 private beaches on our private island, 8 of which are reserved for the exclusive use of a single family (or couple) every other day - based on the number of families (or couples) we welcome at any given time, this means they are reserved every day. To ensure our private beach experiences are provided at the highest standards for the enjoyment of those using them, we typically do not allow horse riding excursions to enter these reserved private beaches. In addition, some beaches are not suitable for horse riding, and we take this safety concern into consideration. I hope you were still able to explore the rest of the island, from our longest beach on the island (a guest favorite) up to our hill tops, to enjoy the views overlooking the volcanic chain of islands that Turtle Island is a part of. This expansive experience is quite unique to Turtle Island.

Family time takes place on Turtle Island for only a few weeks of the year. During this time, we set up a Family club separate from the Adults, and each child gets their own personal full-time Bula Buddy or Nanny, whom also ensures that each child or teenager is able to do activities outside of those planned if they wish to, lending an element of customization for each child. Teenagers do have the option to go without a Bula Buddy should they so choose.

The family club is set up away from the adults’ area, with experiences also separated, so that parents wishing to spend some time as a couple are able too. Our family club is open to all family members, and activities are designed to suit the ages of the children on island, and parents are always welcome to join their children in these activities and planned experiences.

Separate from the above, each family (or couple) can plan their own private experiences as a family. Whether this is remote dining at one of the many picturesque locations around the island, Horse riding, private beach picnics, fishing excursions, and more. Enabling the freedom to our families to do things as a family, separate from the Adults only experiences, or the planned activities at our Family club. With having your own dedicated Bure Mama (dedicated concierge) attending to the needs of the Parents (or Couple), and each child getting their own Bula Buddy or Nanny, each family has the ability to have a customized experience outside of planned experiences, allowing them to get the most out of their stay with us.

As to the issues you have raised about poorly maintained activities equipment, bath and lighting issues - we only hope that you had raised this with our on-island management team, or your dedicated Bure Mama, so they could have attended to these matters for you.

For example, each of our couples are provided snorkeling equipment (snorkel and fins) on arrival, which they keep for the duration of their stay. Our team takes great care to check these before they are given out, and should you have received one that was faulty, or it became faulty whilst it was with you, we could have quickly replaced this for you.

As to the faulty bath and lighting issues in your Bure, we keep a full time on-island team of plumbers, electricians, joiners, carpenters, mechanics and engineers, along with many other tradespeople due to the variety of things we offer and provide on the island. It is regrettable that we were not informed of your bath issues, or the lighting issues, as we could have addressed these matters immediately for you. For example, we have had specific lighting requests in the past, and our joinery and electricians were able to make and install it per the guests’ requirements on the same day it was requested. We understand and appreciate that some guests may have varying expectations and preferences, and we will always do our best to meet them, or provide a suitable alternative.

Gilda, we are saddened that you are not able to recommend Turtle Island, and that you did not receive what you were expecting. Thank you for the feedback provided, we will certainly use it to improve our experience and standards further.

I notice that you did not respond to our Guest Feedback Survey we send out to each of our customers at the end of their stay, which allows guests to go into very detailed aspects of their experience. I invite and welcome you to fill that out, should you wish to share more detailed feedback on your stay.

We wish you and your family the very best, and hope you will find a more suitable property that aligns more appropriately with your expectations.

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