Recently Stuart Gow, one of Matava's directors, sent me an update after the recent storms hit Viti Levu. One of his comments was that the recent flooding had impacted Viti Levu's Western side, leaving the rest of the island, and for that matter the outer islands, such as Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu, unscathed.
Stuart's missive reminded me that it had been far too long since Fijiguide had covered Kadavu. With that in mind here's an update on Matava, one of Fiji's cutting edge eco-resorts, located on that island.
Matava, which rests on the South East side of island overlooks the world famous Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef.
The site for Matava was chosen because of the natural source of spring water that never runs dry. The area facing the resort, including a small island, is a Marine Reserve with excellent snorkeling. The small island has three white sand beaches which our guests use. You can snorkel over, kayak over (Kayaks provided free) or they can drop guests by boat.
Guests are collected from Kadavu airport for the 45 minute boat ride to the resort in a large comfortable custom built transfer boat. Surrounded by rainforest, the resort's accommodation bures are traditional thatched Fijian bures with en-suit bathrooms and private sun decks with spectacular views out over the coral lagoons and barrier reef.
At the heart of the resort ten bures, split evenly between
Honeymoon and Oceanview, are nestled in private gardens a few minutes walk from the main bure complex. (See photo at left).
The is a large comfortable guest area with fully stocked bar, dining terrace and front deck overlooking the lagoon. Also on hand is a small library and guest charging area for laptops, cameras, tablets. Wi-Fi is also available in the main bure.The resort has a Satellite communications system (VitiSat) that is relatively expensive so access is not free. Like many hotels, they sell tokens for one, two or three hours which go for 10/20/30MB at F$20/30/40.
They serve a variety of international dishes with most dinners being ‘themed’ such as Thai night or Indian night. There is a "traditional" Fijian
night where they put on lovo. All the guests are involved in its preparation which entails weaving chickens and fish into palm fronds, etc), cooking and
removal of the food from the underground oven. Lovo night also includes a Kava ceremony and singing from staff and a village band. Lovo night usually includes a "meke" a dance and chanting performance by local children with donations going to the school.
Much of the veggies comes from the organic garden and for many guests the highlights are the salads and the equally fresh fish. The restaurant often serves plates of succulent yellowfin sashimi and Kokoda. Nobody ever lost weight at Matava!
All staff. including senior Managers. are Fijian and most from local villages. Apart from traditional Fijian nights at the resort, they encourage guests to visit the local village, see the waterfall there, take guided walks with local guides, see the local school (some guests have even taught a class !). We arranged for a group of dentists to visit, they dived in the morning and spent the afternoons giving free dental care to local villages.
Management feels strongly about contributing to the local community and will encourages guests to to the same whenever possible.
(Stay tuned for Part II of the Matava review in a few days).