Matamanoa Island Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Ore At St George By Evrentals St. George
Matamanoa IS Paradise!!!
From the moment my husband and I arrived at Matamanoa in December 2004, we felt like we were in heaven. This resort was everything we had hoped for. Don't get me wrong, if you want 5 star luxury, this is not the place for you. You won't get fancy bedding, and luxurious table settings. However, if you are interested in having a relaxing vacation in a tropical paradise where serenity is the mainstay, then this is it! We stayed 6 nights here, and found that to be a good amount of time to make friends, enjoy the many activities available and bask in the warmth of the Fijian sun! The staff were lovely - very hospitable and approachable, and the beachfront bure we stayed in was very clean and comfortable. I am particularly fussy about cleanliness and insects. I didn't see many insects at all, considering we were in the tropics.
I would not recommend this resort for small children, as I don't think parents would get the full experience if they had to chase after little ones constantly. This is a great place to go as a couple, to enjoy each other, and the company of other adults. In a way, it felt like a beautiful summer camp, for grown-ups.
The food available in the restaurant was also excellent. I was a little hesitant to learn that it was the only place on the island to eat, but that did not turn out to be a problem at all. Everything was very nicely prepared, there was good variety, and the food was fresh. The breakfast, which was included in our rate, was fantastic! We did not go for the meal plan, and found that our final tab for the 6 nights, for food and liquor, was exceptionally reasonable. We ate a big breakfast, a light lunch, and then a full dinner. One of our favourites on the dinner menu was the "raw" fish that is cooked in vinegar (I think) and served in coconut milk. It doesn't sound as appealing as it tasted. It was divine.
The evening entertainment was also a lot of fun. We made friends with so many couples, we ended up sitting with about 10-12 others at dinner each night. The staff always put on a lovely ceremony during dinner, to welcome newcomers to the island and to say farewell to those departing the next day. Following that ceremony, there were activities such as the Mr/Miss Matamanoa contest, and the limbo contest (which I won!). These may sound a bit corny, but it was all good clean fun, and we looked forward to our evenings. The singing and music were really uplifting, especially with the sound of the waves and the warm night breeze.
I am attaching some photos we took while we were there. You can get a good idea of the beauty of Matamanoa. The island was so small that we were able to snorkel around it in just over an hour. The snorkelling was excellent as well. In fact, we went to Australia soon after and snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef, but were disappointed by it after our Fiji experience.
One other activity we enjoyed was a trip on the "Seaspray" to a village on another island, and then over to "Modriki", the island where the movie "Castaway" was filmed. A bit of a rocky boat ride at times, but still a wonderful day trip. If you like to buy local items, don't go to the village on a Sunday, as the market was closed. We particularly enjoyed meeting the local Fijians, especially the sweet little children.
In any case, have a look at the photos. Our favourite photo is included here. It shows my husband and I in the infinity pool. You would think that with the ocean surrounding us, we wouldn't venture into a pool, but we couldn't resist this one. It was gorgeous, and as you can see in the photo, the view from the pool was true paradise! We took so many photos, but these will give you a good idea of what the actual island was like.
One last note, if you are not a good sailor, and find it hard to ride in smaller boats, take a small plane from the main island to Matamanoa. The transfer to get to the island from Nadi was not my idea of fun as it included both a large catamaran (high speed) which wasn't too bad, but then a smaller speed boat that was quite bumpy.
Overall, this was an excellent resort and is highly recommended. It was well worth the money and the bumpy boat ride! If we can, we'd like to go back one day. BULA!!!!
Matamanoa - Want to go Back
I stayed at Matamanoa for a week in July, and absolutely loved it. I'm already thinking when can I go back. We were blessed with fabulous weather which of course does make it that much better.
The island, the beach and the sea are very beautiful, and give this island a real edge. The beach is your south seas dream - white sand, turquoise water, and as a bonus good snorkelling right off the beach.
The island itself is small, which means the resort only has about 35 rooms. Even though it was full when we were there, because the beach is circular, often when lying on the beach you couldn't see anyone else. If like me, you like peace and quiet, this is wonderful.
The bures were in a line right above the beach, which means fabulous views. The bures were large inside, and had outdoor chairs, sun loungers and a hammock. We did find the bure to be tired inside, time for a makeover, but it was perfectly clean. The location was so wonderful (we had sunset viewing from the bure), we felt this made up for the tired interior.
There is a new infinity pool and surrounding deck area - they have done an excellent job here. The pool is beautiful, and for those guests that chose to sit around it, the views are superb. We only used the pool a couple of times because we preferred to swim at the beach.
The food was fine - not spectacular, but typical of a Fiji resort. Breakfast is included in the tariff, and there was lots of fresh tropical fruit as well as cooked breakfasts if you wanted it. The one exception to the food was the Saturday night barbeque. With only one restaurant, it seemed to be the barbeque was compulsary, we never confirmed that. Anyway, we paid FJD $48 for a very average buffet and the meat was not good - probably not due to the quality, more due to the fact the chef seemed to be cooking in the dark. Next time I'd eat a big lunch and skip dinner!
There was one point raised in an earlier very negative review which I do agree with. The sun loungers by the rooms and on the beach are not very comfortable (the pool ones are). You can help the situation by using the cushions from the chairs in the room, or angling the loungers certain ways in the sand, but this is one thing they could certainly improve.
For the transfers, we went out on the helicopter, which I highly recommend. We came back by boat, and this happened to be the day the weather turned. You go on a small boat to Mana, and then connect to the main ferry. The main ferry was fine in the rough seas, but the small boat to Mana was very uncomfortable - not a pleasant experience!
Overall I would say Matamanoa is a place to go if you want a beautiful island with a stunning beach, a spacious and clean bure right by the beach, and a bit of peace and quiet for relaxation. It is not luxury, but I'm planning to go back!
We absolutely loved it! Best vacation ever!
I just recently spent three nights at Matamanoa Island Resort for the beginning of my honeymoon, and it was absolutely wonderful! The resort was just as picturesque (if not more) as their website shows, there were plenty of activities, and the snorkelling was better than I've ever imagined!
We took a water taxi from Nadi, and a powerboat transferred us the rest of the way to Matamanoa. Since it was low tide when we came and there was coral surrounding the entire island, we had to wade in to the beach in knee-high water. When we got to the resort, we were treated to fruit drinks while men carried our bags to our rooms. The weather was in the 70's and humid throughout our stay, and since we went in June (dry winter months), it never rained. I also insisted on wearing bug spray the whole time, but there weren't many mosquitos; my husband and I each got bitten once, and he wasn't even wearing any bug spray. I hear there's more mosquitos during the summer months though (September through May?).
We stayed at Bure #11, a beachfront bure with a breathtaking view of the beach from the back porch (see picture). The water was less than 10 yards away from the porch.
The horizon pool was beautiful (see picture), although we never swam in it but preferred to go snorkelling off the beach. The meals were awsome -- there was always a wide selection of foods in the menu, and my husband claims that the steak there was the best he'd ever had -- even better than our wedding reception at a nice Seattle restaurant!
During our four days there, we went snorkelling off the beach, snorkelling off a boat that dropped us off at the other side of the island, coral viewing on a glass-bottom boat, handline fishing, sailing, kayaking, and just reading. We also tasted Kava during a Kava ceremony and got serenaded by the band boys during dinner every evening. These were all complimentary activities! The next resort that we went to was nice, but seriously overpriced.
I will definitely go back to Matamanoa for an anniversary -- it's well-worth the money you pay to be there.
I've never come away from a holiday so relaxed in my life. From the moment I stepped onto the island, with tropical drink in hand and led to my bure, I felt completely rested. We were offered breakfast on our day of arrival as our room was not quite ready, we arrived by helicopter at 9am. Our room was divine, although not airconditioned but because of the sea breeze we never felt hot. There is a fridge in the room and each day it was cleaned, the floor mopped to get rid of the sand and fresh hibiscus put into each room - I will never in my life forget the fresh air smell - not a car fume anywhere! Snorkelling straight off the beach was absolutely amazing. Kayaking out over the coral in a glass bottomed canoe was great. The staff are forever keen to help out if you are unsure of something. The food was a delight and I looked forward to each meal even if i wasn't really hungry. The Crepes Suzette were the best i've ever had. You must try a blue lagoon cocktail at the bar - made with icecream and a taste sensation! The trip to the Staffs island was great, with a shell market to buy all your souveneirs - although the souveneirs are cheaper in Nadi, but at least you are supporting a community by buying them here. The trip onboard the yacht Seaspray to Mondriki island where Castaway was filmed was a terrific day out, with snacks, lunch and pick up and drop off at the island. Having travelled extensively through Europe, UK, Asia and Australia I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this holiday was the best I've ever had. Although if you're coming here for a party atmosphere this is the wrong island for you - honeymooners you won't regret paying that little bit extra to stay on this island
Absolute Paradise-Matamanoa Island Resort
Matamanoa Island Resort is fantastic. Great food, great people, great activities, just great!
Everything was well presented and clean. The bure was wonderful and so close to the ocean.
We would go back in an instant. Perfect honeymoon destination!
Fantastic Island - brilliant staff!
Matamanoa Island was our last stop on our honeymoon - we stayed here for 5 nights from 21st - 26th May and wish we could have stayed much longer.
From the moment you arrive on the island you are made to feel more like a friend than a paying guest. You are welcomed with a shell necklace, a drink and a song while your luggage is taken to your room.
We were staying in one of the Garden Hotel rooms which you reach by walking through reception and through a garden area of beautiful hibiscus trees and palm trees.
These rooms are cheaper to stay in than the bures and are smaller and more basic, but the accomodation is clean and there is still plenty of space. The rooms also have a fridge and separate sink from the bathroom and plenty of storage. Decoration wise they are slightly dated but as previously mentioned they are clean and comfortable.
The food was lovely, with a large selection at breakfast and plenty of choice at lunch and in the evening - makesure you have a song or two in mind for when the band come to serenade you at your table! We can also thoroughly recommend the crepe suzette - especially if made by Kara.
Every evening newcomers are welcomed by name and goodbyes are said to those leaving the next day which we thought was a really nice touch - and by the time that day comes you really feel like you are saying goodbye to friends. The staff are so friendly and will do all they can to ensure you have a great stay.
Definitely join in a game of beach volleyball - but beware the staff are all excellent!! Climb the hill - but do it in trainers not in flipflops like we did - the view is amazing. Go on a snorkelling trip and snorkel from the beach - both great. Watch the sunset from the beach - absolutely beautiful. Join in the evening activities - take it easy on the Kava but go mad on Monte Carlo dancing night!!
There is plenty to do on Matamanoa, but you're never forced into anything and if you want to just sit and sunbathe, read a book and take in the beautiful scenery I can't think of a better place to do so.
My husband and I went to Matamanoa for our honeymoon and fell in love with Fiji. The island is small but intimate, with a limited number of guests on the island. September was a little overcast but we still got really tan and relaxed. The beach was gorgeous, and the water was stunning. I have never seen water so clear. The activites were fun, and we never had to wait for a kayak or wind surfer. The daily snorkeling trips were the best activity, try not to miss an outing. If the water is calm they will take you out by the large rock where the best snorkeling is found. The food was great, and the fresh fruits are must. The island drinks are great and the hibiscus flowers were an added treat. Sunrise and Sunset were always beautiful. For an extra special treat get a bottle of wine, some of the plastic glasses from your room and climb to the top of "Mount Matamanoa" right before the sun sets and you will have the most breathtaking view of the ocean! (and nobody is ever up there!) Ping pong became a daily ritual; as did lying on the beach reading a book, listening to our ipod, and playing in the water.
The beach was wonderfully empty, most people stayed on the sun deck and near the new infinty pool. It was all the better for us! The staff was friendly and always ready to assist in any way. The trip to the staff's island was not a great as I had hoped, and for $70 per person I wouldn't recommend it.
There are no phones, no TV's and only small alarm clock radios. The silence is wonderful. You can really get away from the world and enjoy yourselves. I wold highly recommend Matamanoa Island, it's a great deal for your money and you get to stay out in the islands, it's a great memory we will always cherish.
I just stayed here and loved it! The water is so incredibly blue and the snorkeling is great right off the beach. The staff was incredibly friendly and the resort was beautiful. The resort is not a 5 star but it was very, very nice. The beachfront bures were clean and the grounds were clean. I did not have any problems with the cleanliness of the rooms or problems with anybody being rude. They were overfriendly if anything! The beachfront bures have a hammock where I spent many hours watching the ocean and the gorgeous sunsets. The food was just fine. Not great, not bad. If you are interested in trying Kava, ask one of the staff! They don't have an actual Kava ceremony, but the staff will make sure you get to try Kava! I also highly recommend doing the day trip to see the pottery being made. Mostly, the trip is about visiting the village and its people, and at the end you watch them make the pottery and they setup a little market where you can buy pottery and other assorted touristy stuff. I highly recommend Matamanoa, unless you are used to staying in super luxury hotels. And I wasn't bothered by the blue lounge chairs!
A Little Piece of Paradise in Fiji!!
My wife and I have stayed at over 9 resorts in our many trips to Fiji, and Matamanoa is terrific!!! The resorts in Fiji are varied, and after staying at places in Fiji in excess of US$400 a day, plus food, we were excited to try this resort.
Believe me when I tell you that yanks can be down right picky about their room and food. Well, we waited three months to get six consecutive nights in a beachfront bure and it was worth the wait. The bure was huge, cleaned spotless daily, and a with a view that was terrific. I have the pictures to prove it! I also almost forgot the fresh flowers arranged daily that were placed by our housemaid on the coffee table. It was a great place for happy hour with the Aussies and Kiwis we met there. With the 30 or so guest rooms and bures in total, you can meet most everyone if you want. The breakfast was very good and plentiful and the staff, including the friendiest dining supervisor, helped us with anything we wanted. The lunch menu was great and we especially enjoyed the wonderful apple pie and ice cream. Again the stafff was very attentive. Dinner was a time when the staff made everyone feel very special. We had delicious food and wine from a varied menu, and we enjoyed the singers who came around to serenade us at our table. They personalized the entertainment by taking individual requests at each table. The social director welcomed the new guests naming their home city every night and also said goodby to guests who were leaving the next day. It was the little things like that made everyone feel like one happy family. I got to be friends with some Italians even though their English and my Italian was minimal. The long beach is fantastic with soft white sand and no coral near the shore. The ability for anyone to swim and snorkle is so easy regardless of the tide. This is very unusual for a lot of beaches. I was even finally taught to windsurf after many fruitless efforts on previous trips. Well, the bottomline is that my wife and I had a terrific vacation and we would highly recommend Matamanoa to anyone. The friendly Fijian staff made us feel like family. Our visit was the first six nights of October.
Better alternatives to consider....
Please consider these words when looking at Matamanoa resort. My husband and I went to the resort in 2001 and had a good time. However, we have since returned (Oct 2004) and were very disappointed. It seems that the resort has recently been purchased by a new individual who appears to be riding off the coat tails of its old reputation.
First the positives - the beach is beautiful, there is great snorkelling and no children are allowed on the resort. However, some things to consider - the Bures are filthy (not just ours) and the cleaning staff are rude. Perhaps I am a high maintenance person, but you make the judgement: On the first night, I pulled back the covers to find the bedding full of pubic hair. My husband and I considered not saying anything and just sleeping on the top sheet, but then we decided to go to reception (it was only 9pm at night) and ask for a couple of sheets. The man at reception (the absolutely rudest customer service person I have ever met) asked us why we were bothering him and then told us that he would get housekeeping and asked us to go back to our room. We told him that all we wanted was a couple of sheets and that we would be fine with changing the bedding ourselves. Later we heard a knock at our door and opened it to find a screaming banshee of a woman who said "I just want to know what your big problem is and why I have to be woken up to deal with it." Whoa! I explained that we just wanted a couple of sheets and that we did not want to interupt anyone.... While this may not happen to you, it highlights the fact that customer service (even at a basic level) is not a concern for the staff.
Another thing to consider - the beach chairs. Although the beach is absolutely gorgeous, the new management has bought giant bright blue solid plastic (non-adjustable), L-shaped chairs that are impossible to relax on. OK, so what is the big deal right - just lie on the beach on a towel. Well, being a semi-remote island in the sun, the wind often picks up and whips across the ground. As your laying there, you can expect to feel small grains of sand constantly whipping your body. It really isnt a great experience. So, the blue plastic chairs are extremely uncomfortable, laying on the beach is maybe not a good option.... how about the chairs at the pool. Well, this is the whole point. The old chairs (from our 2001 trip) are all at the pool and are absolutely wonderful to lie in - wooden framed with nice cushy pillows and an adjustable back. How ironic that the new management just put in a new pool and would like to increase their bar sales and the beach chairs just happen to suck. I dont know about you, but I can lay next to a pool anytime - I go to Fiji looking forward to soaking up the sun on the beach.
I realize that I am writing a lot, so I will make the rest short. The food is absolutely horrible. Seriously, I can eat anything and love all types of food but this resort likes to take McCain frozen food and pass it off as a menu item.
I could go on about reasons why I wouldnt go back. Having been a big fan of this island in the past, it is sad to see things deteriorate. If you are in for a low to middle of the road resort (other than the beach/water), then spend your money. I would take a chance on another island resort that has a proven track record with the current management. It is a lot of money to spend for a semi-pleasurable experience. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you find relaxation, sun and great memories.
TripAdvisor Reviews Ore At St George By Evrentals St. George
Travel Blogs from Matamanoa Island
... an object say chair or table. Whoever was the slowest was out. All good fun, but we were shattered after!
Early rise on the second day as I did the Mantaray swim. The drums sounded around 7, meaning they had been spotted. Swimming with these amazing creatures was unbelievable. Definitely the best thing I have done this whole trip. They are so graceful, and come so close that you think they will crash into you. At ...
... and meet 3 new arrivals. Swiss Simon. Jed & German teddy. Dinner time and it was chicken soup and chicken salad. This time we opted out of the games as we were all so tired and instead told each other out nicknamed we had obtained on our travels and Sarah's took the biscuit. Wanky Sally. Apparently she gets quite aggressive with her hand movements opposing rock paper scissors! Time to get your rock on! Laura x ...
... water and snorkelled around and even saw Nemo. It a bit awkward with the fins cause I kept floating into people. It was good just drifting along over the reef. Relle has decided she has found a place where they work at her pace. She is actually very keen to open a Suncorp agency here, working on Fiji time naturally! After a scrumptious lunch we watched some culture dancing and then jumped back ...
... it would be and it really wasn't that much. $189FJD which is about £60 for the day with transport and food included so yep, we booked it! Ahhhh so excited! It was then a bit of wifi time before showers and then dinner. The hostel next to ours was more of a family/holiday hotel so the restaurant was a bit nicer. The menu had anything and everything on so my filter was price. To be honest though as soon as I saw it, I didn't care how much it cost. ...
... there wasn't a lot of vegi options!) and the night life sounded interesting! Moss explained how he'd ended up with a bandaged wrist after the recent Fijian knife dance night and the two english girls in our dorm spend two days on pain killers asleep on the floor after a hammock pile on gone wrong the night before...!
That night we saw for ourselves as we got to try Kava! It is a traditional Fijian drink brewed from the root of a tree and drunk from ...