Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort Hotel

, Savusavu, Fiji
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Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort Hotel

, Savusavu
Savusavu, - Savusavu - Fiji Hotel Website | 885-0188
110 Traveller

Reviews - Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort Hotel

9/10
Best family holiday
Submitted by: Natalie in 17/12/07
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: Australia
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
Hi, I have never reviewed a hotel/holiday before...not because I have not traveled a lot but because most did not warrant my time. This however is very different. We took a 9 night vacation to Fiji.We've been before and were left feeling it could have been better. But with 2 children we didn't want to fly too far or have jet-lag to deal with so Fiji came up as an option. Starting off the first 2 nights at the Hilton on Denarau Island....enough said, I won't be back. Let me focus on what's worth while JMC resort.I was a little apprehensive, most travel agents I asked knew little to nothing about the resort. The website looked good but they all do. Some reviews were luke warm but my husband saw an article years ago in a magazine where the resident marine biologist was holiding a sea star for a child and this was the resort he wanted to take our 2 and 4 year old to. It seemed very expensive too (another part of my apprehension)but we went. There is a representative from the hotel who meets you at the airport and she advised us to speak to someone , whom within 20 minutes arranged an 8 seater plane for us to Savusavu. We left behind windly rainy weather, flew through some clouds and touched down an hour later with no breezes and perfect weather. Met by an eager JMC driver who handed us ice cold towels & water. The airport is a simple shack with cows grazing around the yard...my 4 year old found it hysterical that there were cows at the airport. A 20 min drive through an incredibly small, run-down little village (with a very smelly market) of savusavu and a bumpy sand road leads you to a tropical oasis. Welcome drinks, singing & nannies for each child there to greet us as we stepped off.I knew this was rated 5 star but there are different versions.....I was concerned about this version as this is an environmentaly friendly resort.There are no baths/aircons (unless you stay in the villa). I have high standards & am often left disappointed in Australia with regards to the ratings, many times there's an extra one star that got snuck in somewhere. This however is true 5 star, in true Fiji style. The Bure's do not have marble floors and verace fittings but there is nothing you will miss. You immediately get sent to a vacant bure where they order you some fruit platters and sandwiches (all inclusive even outside of meal times), whilst our kids got acquainted with their nannies we each had a complementary foot scrub. I have never had anyone care for my children & the thought of leaving them with nannies to me was absurd, withing 30 minutes of arrival my 4 year old was off with her nanny at bula club in the pool....and that's pretty much where she stayed for the next 7 days!!! She had a ball, crab hunting, frog hunting,snorkelling, trips on the glass bottom boat, nannies go everywhere the kids want to go from 8am-9pm!
I had problems leaving my 2 year old but finally realised that afternoon nap times for her 12-2pm meant nanny sat outside whilst she slept in the bure and we had a romantic 3 course fantastic meal with cocktails lying around the pool. Nothing was too much to ask. The staff here are friendlier than any other Fijians we've come across on previous trips. The smiles always felt genuine and assistance always available all you need to do is ask. Snorkelling right off the pier left our 4 year old and myself breathless, tropical fish in all the colours, sea stars right there, you need not even get into the water. My husband did a dive and really enjoyed it too. Within 24 hours we both felt like we'd had a week off!The resort is so well designed that you can make yourself at home around any of the 3 pools. We loved the quiet times at the couples only pool overlooking the sea, just as much as we did lying on the sun bed watching our daughter shooting down the slide at the family pool. Our 2 year old is a bit scared of water but the toddler/mushroom pool at bula club saw her gain alot of confidence. I loved having the nanny there to push her on the swing whilst I lay at the poolside! We took a trip to the private island and had a ball. A picnic lunch is taken out for you. Our kids loved the hermit crabs which are crawling everywhere......the snorkelling was great and the kids waded in the ocean on a huge sandbank, truly idyllic. I could rate the resort 10/10 but have to be aware of other's expectations....I suppose if you are looking for a pristine , squeaky white beach Australians are spoilt. Here the beach is not white , it's darker, it's not perfect...it's littered with nature- hermit crabs,leaves, sticks but for us these were the attractions as the kids loved every second. The beach was alive for them. Stepping out of your beach bure heading toward the water meant avoiding the huge crab holes...it's natural, it's beautiful..it's perfect but as I say may not be appreciated by all. We had a 2 bedroom bure & it was perfect. The fans kept us very cool and the design of the bure allowed for alot of cross ventilation. The food was truly a delight, I ate every course & didn't gain an ounce and that's impressive given the quality and quantity of food. Only negative was alot of french fries served with kids meals but having said that I requested rice and vegetables each night and that is what they got. The kids eat what you eat- fresh tuna, freshly made pasta's, chicken dishes etc They have a soup & a choice of 3 mains & 2 desserts every meal. They can eat with you or they eat at the club and you have a cocktail at the pool and watch a slide presentation before you are seated for dinner. You can do as much or as little as you like. There are no phones & no TV's in the rooms but the kids club and conference room have one. You won't miss it, walk on the beach, lie at the pool, snorkel, dive , sleep, take a guided tour of the resort, the gardens...it's all about you. WE left after the week and we were all sad. The girls still ask to go back and wow the food alone will make me return! One last thing I don't think it would harm the resort much to include a cappucino & a milkshake for free at meal times- paying for that was a little extreme. We will definately be back!!!!

Top Local Tips for Savusavu

Arrive early to airport Planes in or out of Savu Savu can vary as much as one hour early or late and still be "on schedule"

diving if possible, come certified, or become certified while visiting Fiji, the diving and sea life is some of the best in the world

Savusavu Market You must make the effort to go into town for the Savusavu market. The ride into town is free from JMC and you truly mingle with the locals. Your kids will love to see the fresh fish, fresh oils, etc. that are for sale. We later bought our oils/lotions from the airport when leaving Nadi and kicked ourselves that we didn't purchse the genuine stuff from the local folks - stored in reused shampoo bottles. A quarter of the price and a million times more authentic!

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