Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages
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Historical Traveler Reviews Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages Taveuni Island
Best place to stay in Taveuni
Talk about a fantastic place to stay. . . The nicest people, Ronna (the owner) so nice and helpful...Lagi, Serah, Petro, Elenoa, Kata, Lily.. Such great locals, always wanting to please you. They made our stay so incredible... It was Great food, Excellent prices and the best people that will bring us back to the Coconut Grove Cottages. We miss them as they became a part of our hearts. Oh... and the diving, snorkeling, kayaking,,,, it was fun too! See you soon !
From the welcome mango and papaya drink to the staff singing us a farewell song Coconut Grove was a wonderful place to stay. We would particularly recommend the Banana Bure which is closest to the beach and slightly more set aside from the main property (listening to the surf in bed is addictive).
Meals are served on the restaurant terrace with spectacular views of the neighbouring islands framed by Palm trees. Food was delicious and by far the best we came across on the island, although occasionally not all choices were available ( this was probably due to us staying off season) however we were always able to console ourselves with their exceptional fish curry. Good wine list and great breakfast.
We were initially disconcerted by the staff who seemed to make it obvious that service was pretty much over by 21.30, but you quickly learn that the day starts at dawn (usually with a dip in the sea) whilst the rest of the day is spent with excursions or lazing in the shade. By this point you are more than happy to hit the sack early. Beware the sun as it is much more ferocious than Asia and even after ten minutes you will know about it if you happen to miss a spot with the sun lotion.
On the subject of warnings we would also counsel the following: only the agile should venture past the first falls at Bouma and please do not dive with Jewel Bubble. They intimate that they are PADI registered but are not, and my partner required emergency hyperbaric treatment on our return to London after they ascribed her symptoms after a dive to a fictitious common complaint to do with a reaction to chilli pepper and nitrogen as opposed to the bends. This warning is given with a heavy heart knowing how much effort Ronna puts into supporting local businesses; but divers will know this is life and death stuff.
You will feel sorry for him, he will beg, follow you around and he loves it: but we defy anyone to get Kirby the dog to come back before he is ready once you have let him on the beach!
Finally try not to tell too many about this island and resort as it will only be fully booked next time we want to return. OL&JULES 06
The best lobster of my life
We stayed at Coconut Grove for a week. The food was really good. I did have the best lobster of my life there; my husband had the best lamb chops of his life. The staff was very pleasant. The "cottage" was roomy, comfortable, well-designed, airy, constructed with beautiful wood. The outdoor shower screened with banana trees was wonderful; we would have liked to take it home with us, banana trees and all. We went on a bird walk with a local guide who was knowledgeable and considerate. We went to a Sunday church service, in Fijian, where the singing was astoundingly beautiful.
Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages is a place where dreams become reality. As you arrive you will first be met by Grace, the grand dame and doberman of the resort. Next will come wayward Kirby, the young german shepherd...very anxious to have a new friend for the beach. Don't worry, this is but the beginning of a long line for greeting you. Each individual bure has its own special personality. All nicely appointed. I liked the outdoor shower. The beach in front stretches for miles. The reef is a short swim away with spectacular snorkling. The view from the deck is only surpassed by the food served there. All this is over seen by the owner, Ronna Goldstein, with a personallity bigger than life itself. To me, she is what makes Coconut Grove so special. Ronna will take you in and introduce the staff to you as if you were long lost family. She knows all on the island and takes great pride in introducing you to her "neighborhood." It was wonderful to get an insider's perspective of what to see and where to go. I too heard of the many incredible works Ronna is a part of on the island. Our week stay came all to soon to an end. Coconut Grove is a stay with an excentric aunt who wants to share all that she loves and cares for with her new found friends. Anyone can run a hotel. Ronna oversees a " Home for her personal Guests."
Loved Taveuni and Coconot Grove
We were fortunate enough to have been directed to the Coconut Grove Resort by a friend. Having looked at a number of accommodations on Taveuni while we were there, we fully appreciated the advice we were given. The owner of Coconut Grove treated us very well throughout our 12 day stay. We loved the food which was excellent, the best on the island in our experience and ultimately not that expensive for what we enjoyed.
Taveuni is relatively undeveloped island. In many ways it is not up to first world standards and could be disappointing if you come with the wrong expectations. For us it was a delight to live so close to nature on the beach in a simple cabin, meals served on the owner's covered deck. We came to admire the work and effort of Ronna Goldstein as she operated the coconut grove. As a sole proprietor Ronna has her work cut out for her meeting the expectations of fussy tourists on an island of limited resources where it is very difficult to get things shipped in. What Ronna has done is create a small service business on a remote island which brings in much needed income and opportunity for the native people of the island. We were most grateful that this is done in a way that tries to preserve and support the natural and cultural elements that are often being gobbled up in today's world. We were invited to the native villages and homes of Ronna's staff for dinner and entertainment while we were there. Experience of these people and their lives on Taveuni was a key part of what was a wonderful experience of authentic island culture. We were grateful to have been there long enough to get to know some of the people of Taveuni and to really appreciate the bridge that Ronna created from us to them. Our recommendation is to plan far enough ahead to arrange a long enough stay to get to know the people and culture of Taveuni. By the end of our stay Ronna had become a friend we admired for the work she does to support the island and its people. If you go with typical tourists expectations you may be disappointed. While our stay was not particularly expensive at $165 US a night plus food, initially the prices at Coconut Grove seemed some what high to us, but at the end of our stay we felt we had gotten the best value on the island. The accommodations are not luxurious in a manufactured sense. But if you love nature and spending time immersed in it, it can be wonderfully luxurious. We learned there are a range of accommodations available both more and less expensive near by, some of them run $700 to $5000 a night. In the end we saw that we were paying to support numerous people on the Island who live very simply and rely on the money we brought in to their very basic economy. Getting to know Ronna and what she does at the Coconut Grove gave us a much appreciated perspective on life and the challenges of an American business on a distant third world island. All of this was part of a wonderful time in a far away place. Go planning to make and be friends rather than just a customer and tourist is our advice.
A perfect piece of paradise
Three years ago we spent two weeks of our honeymoon in Taveuni, at Coconut Grove.
We really fell in love with this beautiful island, the wonderful bures, the views from the restaurant, the excellent food and the wonderful and lovely staff there.
So we decided to go to Taveuni for a second time and to spend 16 days at Coconut Grove again this summer. We enjoyed staying there every minute of our stay:
The island is marvellous, there are so many different things to do that we never got bored: We enjoyed the rainforest walk, the waterfalls, the waterslides, the kayaking, the beautiful singing in the Holy Mass, the snorkeling and the diving,and many more. The hammock for two is a place I miss a lot.
The bures at Coconut Grove are all comfortable and decorated with love and taste. Each of them is special and private and offers a gorgeous view and we enjoyed staying in all of them. Taking a shower in the honeymoon shower is unforgettable.
We really liked the food Coconut Grove offers at the restaurant. It is made with vegetables organically grown at their own garden. We had the two-meals-a-day- plan, loved all the meals and recommend taking it.
The staff are all good, friendly and nice people and they really do a good job. We enjoyed talking to them and laughing with them a lot.
Ronna Goldstein manages this little "piece of paradise" very well and she knows how to even improve the quality of her small resort. Ronna is a person with a good sense of humour and she does a lot for the people of the island. E.g. she did a lot of fund raising via Rotary Taveuni after a hurricane hit the island three years ago and did a lot of damage.
Fiji is different from Europe and from the United States. I think, if you go there with an open heart and an open mind and if you do not expect exactly the same you are used to at your home, then you can make so many beautiful experiences there you canīt have at home and you wonīt forget.
We hope to be able to go there again some time.
Coconut Grove Resort
My husband and I traveled to Fiji for the first time in October 2005 - what a wonderful way to celebrate our second anniversary! We spent 4 days on Taveuni, and stayed at the Coconut Grove cottages. We really enjoyed our stay, and would definitely book with Ronna again. Our bure (Mango) was spacious and airy, with a wonderful view of the water from our front veranda. There was a "family feeling" among the guests of the small resort and with the staff, who all quickly learned our names and provided wonderful service. Meals at the restaurant are excellent - definitely some of the best on the island! Coconut Grove is nice for animal lovers as well - Ronna's dogs and cats are very friendly. A word of advice: Spend more than 4 days on Taveuni. It's a beautiful, protected island with world-class diving and plenty to explore topside. -- Drena & Jeff, Gilbert AZ
A VACATION OF A LIFETIME
My family and I got back from our third trip to Coconut Grove cottages on the island of Taveuni in October (2005). We travel all over the world ( we spent the month of May in Spain and France) but when we want to stop the world and get off, we fly to see Ronna and her wonderful staff in the most restful and beautiful places on this earth-Coconut Grove. Ronna is a delight with a sense of humor that keeps us in stitches daily. We look forward to seeing her every day. The food is some of the best we have had anywhere (including the French Laundry in Napa, California). Do not miss the New Zealand lamb chops that are marinated and cooked to perfection. The fruits and vegetables are all grown in Ronna's own organic field that you can visit. The bures are private, beautiful, clean and sweet. We are used to staying at 4 and 5 star hotels when we travel, so we are very picky. There are no hawkers that want to bother you, yet if you want to snorkel, go scubadiving, boat, visit another island, hike to a waterfall, see the local village or dateline Ronna will happily arrange it for you in a day or that same day and the transportation will magically appear and wisk you away for a great time. The beach is right out your bure front door. It is pristine and a few steps away from one of our other favorite spots-the two person hammock.
If you are as lucky as us to visit Coconut Grove you will never ever forget it. It is as much fun as it is relaxing. It is a welcome refuge from the busy world we all live in. Go by yourself or take the person you love the most in the world and fall in love again. We do, everytime we go there!
Please tell Ronna you read KC's review and she will tell you her three favorite jokes and I promise you that your sides will hurt from laughing.
I cannot recommend enough staying at Ronna's beautiful creation, Coconut Grove Cottages and watching the sun sets that NO SNAP SHOTS can capture. After you have been met by her beautiful staff with flowers, had a cool drink and unpacked , remember I suggested that you close your eyes when you take in your first long deep breath so that you memorize it for remembering it whenever you need to when you return home. I promise that you will relax in a way that you haven't for a very long time.
I envy you. I send you good wishes for a vacation of a lifetime. And I look forward to reading your rave review when you return.
P.S. the first time we went there, I swear this is true...we were so relaxed that we missed our return home flight by 3 days!
Beauty & the Beast
We stayed here for 6 days of a 3 week honeymoon. Taveuni is a stunning, idyllic tropical haven & the Coconut Grove was lovely. Owner Ronna Goldstein was not.
After researching many Fijian accomodations online, we settled on Coconut Grove because the price point was ok with a good amount of privacy & quiet. We sent our deposit & reserved the Banana Bure - the newest & closest to the beach. Before we left, Ronna emailed us & asked if we could bring some items from the US to her, like coffee beans & filters for her coffee machine. We thought it was very odd, but told her we'd try to help.
We arrived at the airport in Taveuni with a taxi waiting. A 2 minute taxi ride brought us to Coconut Grove. As the driver unloaded our suitcases, he let the big one fall out of th van & the broke a bottle of red wine we had purchased in NZ earlier that trip. The driver promptly blamed the airline & left. Oh well, we're in Fiji, nevermind about the wine. Check-in was no problem & we were shown to our Bure. Ronna asked about the items she requested for before we set our bags down. We produce what we've brought & she tells us that we haven't brought the right coffee filters & won't be able to use them. She won't reimburse us for them either, even thought we've brought them from BOSTON & can't use them ourselves! She's a little crazy...
Coconut Grove is very nice - it's not the lap of luxury. The sheets are a little thin, there's no AC (but the tradewinds more than make up for it!), and it's very small. The only shower in the Banana Bure was the outdoor shower, so you have to shower with nature (i.e. lizards & moths etc.) & at night the frogs come out of their burrows & hang out on the lawn as you walk up to dinner - try not to step on them. There were 2 resident dogs while we were there - Grace & Kirby - very sweet & fun as long as you don't mind dogs.
The food was very good. We had the meal plan of 2 per day & we didn't need a 3rd meal ever. It's not an extensive menu, but there was always something tasty on the menu & I'm a fairly particular eater. The lemongrass ice tea was always refreshing & the fries delicious!
The beach was all ours! Gorgeous, flat water flowed out to the horizon with little in it's path but a couple of tiny, uninhabited islands. Snorkeling off the Coconut Grove beach was wonderful with thousands of causiously curious fish in a lovely, shallow reef. We also kayaked to a tiny island for a different view & felt like the only people in the world.
The staff is very nice, but a bit timid. No doubt due to Ronna's style of management. We met many young, lovely staffers, including Sera who was also my husband's masseuse. Once you start talking with them, they are very eager to learn about the other side of the world & what could be out there for them. You get the sense that they can't wait to get off the island & experience more of the world. They never mentioned anything about Ronna, but they seemed scared of her.
On our last night there we walked in on her yelling at 3 staffers because they weren't able to find a CD. She was very mean, calling them "ignorant girls" & telling them that they had lost all their "priveledges" since they couldn't find the CD. Very scary & inappropriate in front of guests.
Lastly, when we checked out, Ronna asked us to do 2 favors for her: 1) Give a package to a friend of hers who worked at the Nadi airport & 2) mail a letter to her sister once we got back to the US. She doesn't give you a chance to say no & I thought that it was an inappropriate thing to ask of guests....too cheap to pay for shipping, I guess.
If Ronna wasn't such an evil presence, I wouldn't have had any complaints, but she is too much! If you can ignore her, you'll love it.
Travellers to Taveuni Beware of some of the accommmodations!!!
Just recently, my husband and I travelled to Taveuni island in Fiji. I had read about the beauty and the pristine rainforests etc. about the island, which prompted me to go there, as well as the international date line crossing in the middle of the island.
The island itself did not disappoint me, however, the people running some of the accommodations were very disappointing. Since we did not realize that there were many more accommodations to choose from, we booked about 2 months in advance at this place called the Coconut Grove. Since the person who owns Coocunut Grove (Ronna Goldstein), did not have space for all the 13 days that we were originally going to stay, she referred us to May Goulding who owns Todra ni Siqa, for part of hte stay.
As a result, we had to pay a deposit of $500.00 USD to Coconut Grove and $200.00 USD to Todra ni Siqa.
Unfortunately, due to some unforseen work commitments, we had to change dates for the accommodation, and could stay for only 3 days at Todra ni Siqa (owned my May Goulding). She promptly refused us accommodation for the 3 days, and also did not give us our deposit of $200.00 USD.
If you book in advance, monies are asked to be deposited in USD and not Fijian dollars. However, when you land there, and then find an accommodation, you are charged in Fijian dollars. So, travellers, be aware of this scenario!!!
We would have found accommodation for the 3 days when we landed in Taveuni, however, Ronna promised us that she would put us up at the Coconut Grove for the entire stay (Ronna failed to tell May about the details of our stay - very manipulative).
I have no complaints about the bure that we stayed in - just in front of the beach, and although no air conditioning, the sea breeze compensated for the lack of it. However, her rates were pretty high ($165 USD per night), and although the food she served was very good, it was quite expensive. The fruits that grew in her trees (papaya, mango), she should have given it away, but she charged for it - other people who have bures let their guests pick the fruits in the garden for free.
Also, to our amazement, we found out later, that Ronna , at the coconut grove charged fijian dollars for a walk-in customer - what we paid in USD $165.00 she charged in Fijian dollars for a walk-in. SO, TRAVELLERS BEWARE - you should either negotiate to pay in Fijian dollars before you go, or do not pay a deposit, or just land there, and find the accommodation that best suits your needs!
Also, since Taveuni is a small island, everyone knows everyone, and Ronna does not have a saintly reputation - people roll their eyes when you mention her name and as to where you are staying. She seems to be the 'DRAGON LADY' of Taveuni!
TripAdvisor Reviews Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages Taveuni Island
Travel Blogs from Taveuni Island
... can see small houses and huts, several school buildings, empty tables tucked under palm covered fales and the sound of people not of our ship. On the beach and shallows we see our fellow passengers lounging in the sun and swimming in the inviting waters. With our snorkeling gear at hand, we first meander through the beachside village, checking out the houses and school. The people are in church right now although there are a few milling ...
Fijians call the coconut tree the Tree of Life. All parts are used. Milk and fruit are obvious. Branches are weaved into baskets, fans, toys, jewelry, brooms, rakes and thatch roofs. Breakfast for the locals consists of crushed crackers soaked in coconut milk. It was very ...
... other places. The rain was coming down even harder and the T-shirt-clad children were shivering. At least Sera and I had plastic covering us which formed some good insulation. The water was now forming a bit of a torrent, if you can have a bit of a torrent, and was ankle deep in some places. The rainforest was so beautiful and given that it is also home to some glorious birdlife it would have been wonderful to sight some birds but we couldn’t even ...
... hand and pulled me through - not a bad way to travel!
We got to the pool where the waterfalls were doing their falling and there was one little one and one bigger one. We climbed up on to some rocks and I just stood there loving the fact that there was not another soul around. You cannot reach the falls by foot or by boat so it really does eliminate a fair few people. I was chatting to Simone about how he must have spent his childhood playing ...
... booked for five hours’ time. I squinted quickly at TripAdvisor and rang a diving resort. They had a room and would pick me up that afternoon from Taveuni Airport.
The three of us headed to the airport. I left two bags in left luggage for the period I’d be in Taveuni, Justine left her bags in left luggage as she was heading back to Aus that evening and heading on elsewhere with Semi prior to her flight. Luckily their bus arrived ...