The Royal Hotel
The Royal Hotel is a classic accommodation—it’s the oldest operating hotel in the South Pacific. It has dorm facilities as well as regular rooms. Constructed in the 1850s, it has been managed by the Ashleys, a local part-European family, for two generations. Never mind that the hot water isn’t so hot or an American Express card is an unknown entity there. The ‘Royal’ is the place to stay in Levuka. It’s loaded with atmosphere, found in such particulars as an old-style balcony facing the cliffs, polished brass shell casings for ashtrays, a long staircase, a haunted room and a century-old billiard table in excellent shape. The hotel has 14 rooms in the main structure, each with two single beds, a shower stall, and toilet. There are also four modern cottages built in 1998, which have modern amenities and if you want a bit of comfort they are the best place to stay in town. Three meals per day are served in the dining room for guests only if you book in advance. Prices are F$33 ($15) double; F$55-F$77 ($25-$34.50) cottage. (www.royallevuka.com)
Brand new on the scene is the New Mavida (pronounced Mah-vinda) which is on the site of what was the old Mavida Guest house, a past favorite of old Levuka hands. The New Mavida has a look reminiscent of the colonial architecture that characterizes the old capital. Situated a short distance away from the War Memorial, New Mavida has two deluxe rooms on the first floor facing east to Wakaya Island and 9 single/double rooms. All of the rooms are self contained with air conditioning, toilets and showers. There is a dormitory that accomodates up to nine people and ideal for backpackers. The two deluxe rooms cost F$120.00 per night, single F$.90.00 and dormitory F$30.00. Rates are inclusive of a full breakfast. New Mavida has a small bar for guests only and a kitchen for additional meals if required. Rates will include breakfast of eggs, sausages and toast and of course tea or coffee. Those who prefer can have cereals with fresh fruit in season and fresh juice. Lunches and dinners include roast or curried chicken, fish and chips or taro or fish simmered in coconut milk etc. Internet facilities are available to guests. For reservations email email@example.com.
I’ve also heard good things from Fijiguide readers about Levuka Homestay, a B&B run by Australians John and Marilyn Milesi. These are clearly the most comfortable digs in town. Although it’s a new building it’s constructed in the colonial style, in keeping with the historical architecture of the old capital. It is constructed of wood along the side of a hill, affording excellent views through a lush garden. The interior is decorated with Fijian artifacts and memorabilia. There are four spacious rooms – three are air-conditioned with queen size beds, and one room has a double bed and single bed. The rooms sport louvered windows, polished wooden floors, fluffy towels, ceiling fan, air-con, fresh flowers, refrigerator, and hot showers, The food is excellent. Breakfast (which is included) is freshly made fruit juice, local fruit, meusli, a cooked breakfast, tea or coffee. Prices are F$120.00 for a single room, F$135.00 for a double room and F$40.00 for an extra person in a room. (www.levukahomestay.com).
Ovalau Holiday Resort
Ovalau Holiday Resort is located on the ocean side, three kilometers outside of Levuka nestled between the verdent hills and the sea. It’s a small property (as you’d expect to find in Levuka) It consists of two bedroom garden bungalows. They are self-contained with a double bed in each bedroom and one single bed in each unit. Each bungalow has ceiling and stand-alone fans and an outside deck. The kitchenettes have a gas stove, refrigerator and are well fitted out with glassware, cutlery, plates and cooking utensils. There is a restaurant on the premises and probably the only swimming pool in town. There’s also a 4-bed dorm. Activities including trekking, scuba diving, kayaking, village visits. Rates are F$35/66/86 (single, double, triple) and $F12 for the dorm. (www.owlfiji.com/resort.htm)
I’ve also heard good things about Bobo’s Farm, which is located on the north west side of Ovalau in the Rukuruku Valley. Run by a local family, Karin and Bobo like to say their farm is “environmentally and ecologically as friendly as possible”. A backpacker retreat, it’s a great way to understand rural Fijian life first hand. It’s located in a lush valley where everything grows and is only a ten minute walk to the seashore. They have one guesthouse, which has 2 bedrooms with shower/bathroom, living room and kitchen. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, fishing, rainforest treks or village visits. Rates are single room F$ 35 per person double room F$ 25 per person. (www.owlfiji.com/bobosfarm.htm)