July 15, 2024
  • Menu
  • Menu

Taveuni Accommodations & Dining

Home » Destination Fiji » Taveuni – Fiji’s Garden Island » Taveuni Accommodations & Dining

Taveuni is among the least developed islands but Taveuni accommodations do not lack for diversity and offer farm-to-table culinary practices.

Dolphin Bay Retreat

Dolphin Bay Retreat is a backpacker/scuba diving operation located on Viani Bay, a remote 30 minute boat ride from Taveuni. The DB Retreat is on a private island that I used to visit before it was developed. It’s exquisite.  Accommodations consist of four private bures and three safari tents. The bures are built from bamboo and hard wood–local materials. They each have double or queen size spring mattress beds and, are fitted with mosquito nets. A table and chairs are on the patio and, lounge chairs front the bure.

Hammock on the Beach at Dolphin Bay Retreat
Hammock on the Beach at Dolphin Bay Retreat (courtesy  Dolphin Bay Retreat)

Each single tent has a single bed with mattress, locker box, solar lamp and small patio area. There are mosquito screens on all sides of the tents. Each double tent has a large area with standing – room space, a double bed with inner spring mattress, mosquito screens, lock box and patio area. ‘Jungle Tents’ share bathrooms and showers. Water comes from rainfall, so amidst a drought you may have to do with bucket showers.

All accommodation is ocean front, only a few meters from the beach. Snorkeling and diving are great—you’re only a few minutes from the Rainbow Reef, one of the premier dive sites in Fiji. Tents start at F$25 per person per night and bures start at F$150 per night. Meal plans ($115 per night) are separate.

Raintree Garden

Main House on the property

Raintree Gardens is a one acre eco resort located in the heart of Matei, directly across from a white sand beach and a few minutes walk from Matei airport.  Airport transfers are offered free of charge.  Accommodations consist of two houses, each house can sleep a maximum of 4 people and consists of 2 bedrooms with Queen sized beds, a bathroom, a kitchen and spacious deck for enjoying the ocean view.  Laundry is also available on the property. 

Beach Park across the road

Guests can wander the grounds and pick fruit, vegetables or herbs from the gardens.  Audrey’s Beach is located directly across from the house and there are 4 small islands with beautiful reefs that can be easily kayaked to and explored.  One island has a nice sandy little beach great for picnics.  Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking right in front of the property is amazing and if you book a tour with Taveuni Ocean Sports, they provide guest pickup right from the house. 

You too can learn how to make fresh lolo

There is a grocery store on either side of the house within a few minutes walking distance.  Right next door is a little organic ice cream shop perfect for hot days where you can also find other local organic products like soap, chocolate, tea, fruit, massage oil and more.  There are several restaurants located close by and the owners offer their own menu featuring local ingredients as well as a selection of menus from local businesses.  The owners are from Hawaii and live full time in Fiji, a few minutes away from the property.  Prices change seasonally, check the website (raintreefiji.com) for the latest rates.

Other Taveuni Accommodations:

Lavena Lodge, near the waterfalls, offers some very cheap, basic  bures in the village for those that want to stay overnight.


Perched on a hill Makaira has Wonderful vistas of the sea
Wonderful vistas can be had at Makaira (Rob Kay photo)

One of best values on the island is Makaira, which is perched on a cliff with a spectacular 180 degree ocean view overlooking the Somosomo Straits.  There’s a white sand beach, a two minute walk down the hill. Inshore snorkeling is phenomenal due to a reef restoration initiated by the owners and guests. 

The property is located in Matei, a 15-minute walk from the airport just opposite the Tramonto Restaurant (heading towards Waiyevo). Run by Roberta Davis and John Llanes (both Hawaii natives) it’s situated on four acres of former coconut plantation.

One of the best things about the property is that the staff and management will go out of their way to make your holiday a special occasion. Several years ago my friend Shirley Daniel (from Hawaii) composed this video which illustrates my point–Christmas at Makaira.


There are four well appointed private accommodations.

The newest addition to Makaira is the Orchid, which is also the least expensive unit.

The newest and least expensive at USD $145 is the Orchid, which is ideal for single or a couple on a budget. Perched high on the bluff overlooking the coastline, it captures both the garden and ocean view with cool tropical breezes. Partially fronting the unit are Golden Palms filled with a profusion of birds and butterflies which make for great neighbors. The new accommodation offers the same level of privacy that is the hallmark of Makaira. The lower story of the building is not inhabited to ensure peace and quiet for Orchid guests.

The Orchid has plenty of room, is self-contained and offers a wonderful view.

The Marlin and the Villa are single bedrooms with king sized beds. The fourth accommodation (the Grander) is configured as a two bedroom, two bath, ideal for up to 4 people. All units include phone, spacious bathroom, kitchenette and an indoor (as well as) outdoor shower.

The Grander Suite has a king sized bed and 400 sq meters of space.
The Grander Suite has a king sized bed and 400 sq meters of space. (Rob Kay photo)

The Marlin is priced at US$182 per night. The Grander and the Villa are both priced at $US250. A 10% discounted rate is applied to 7 days or more for all accommodations.  (All prices exclude tax).

All of the accommodations are a two-minute walk from a brilliant white sand beach just below us the property. If you tire of the birds, the bees and the butterflies, there’s excellent snorkeling (see below) to keep you entertained. 

The Grander Suite at Makaira has a master bedroom but can be converted into a 2 bedroom 2 bath
The Grander Suite has a master bedroom but can be converted into a 2 bedroom 2 bath accommodation that can accommodate 4. (Rob Kay photo)

Restoring the Reef

One of the things that separates this property from any other on Taveuni is the dedication of the owners, Roberta Davis and her husband, John Llanes, to the restoration of the reef located just offshore. This became particularly important after 2016, when Cyclone Winston delivered a powerful blow to Taveuni’s terrestrial and underwater life. The Cat 5 storm destroyed a large portion of the reef and Roberta responded by organizing coral reef gardening. She engaged her guests as well as locals who understand how much their livelihoods depended on a healthy reef system. The result of all her work has meant that the reef and the sea creatures who depend upon it have rebounded in just three years. Makaira continues this practice and many guests come away with the satisfaction of having contributed to the greater good.

Makaira's mission is to maintain the reef--they grow coral in a nursery used to replenish damaged reefs.
Makaira’s mission is to maintain the reef–a practice that it engages with guests. They grow coral in a nursery used to replenish damaged reefs.


The Makaira staff offers a variety of services including restaurant, massage and laundry. These individual services are provided by staff members as entrepreneurial ventures. Fees are paid directly to the staff, independent of the resort. 

An on-site restaurant, Rosie’s Sea View, operated by a local concessionaire is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (See full description below).

The units are fully self contained with kitchenettes complete with basic utensils.

The late John Llanes points to a gaggle of birds devouring bait fish.,
The late John Llanes points to a gaggle of birds devouring bait fish., a sure sign that tuna are close by. He formerly operated the Sea Afare is a 33′ sport fishing boat. (Rob Kay photo)

Makaira operates sports fishing and snorkel charters. (The Sea Afare is a 33′ custom built boat is designed for every type of angling technique).  The boat’s captain, John Llanes, has over four decades of international fishing experience.Two fishing kayaks are available for rental. (More fishing details in Taveuni Activities page).

A experienced  massage therapist is available   


  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free Wifi
  • Free airport transfers
  • Private dipping pools off the deck of all 3 of our accommodations
  • Private phone in each accommodation with free local calls
  • Flat screen TV and DVD player with hundreds of free movies on  USB to enjoy for a change of pace .
  • Kitchenette
  • Refrigerator and double gas burner
  • Premium King size Beds Or  a king and 2 singles for the Grander
Every bure on the property at Makaira is self-contained such as the Marlin
Every bure on the property is self-contained such as the Marlin, pictured above. (Rob Kay photo)


  • Request a kava evening for a fun time with the Makaira family
  • Gorgeous white beach below us that stretches for a third of a km with amazing snorkeling
  • Free snorkel lessons
  • Free use of snorkel gear and beach towels
  • Free introductory snorkel tour of the area out front or anytime you want to have a guide out front
  • Free lessons in coral gardening-create your own little reef.
  • Free glass bottom kayak and additional 2 person kayak
  • Dipping pool for those time you don’t want to stray from makaira to the beach and to just nap, or read and enjoy the massive ocean views.
  • Cabana bure on the point with a large lounging bed, barbecue and picnic table for our guests enjoyment.
  • All the coconuts you can eat, our fabulous staff will be happy to cut them open for you.
  • Coconut Craft lessons-Learn how to make a coconut hat, basket or how to weave a coconut leaf for a roof in case you ever find yourself on the Survivor show.

Sea View Restaurant

Rosie’s Sea View Restaurant indeed has a sea view
They don’t call it Rosie’s Sea View Restaurant for nothing. (Rob Kay photo)

The Sea View Restaurant, located on the hotel property, is Makaira’s ‘in-house’ eatery and is also open to the public (see description at the bottom of the page). The chef is an adherent of ‘Farm to Table’ cuisine which fuses traditional Fijian produce and ingredients with modern cooking.

The tiny restaurant has a marvelous view of the Taveuni coastline and an intimate setting

A full 3 course dinner is around $F50 per person.

For dinner you’ll need a reservation by 2 pm even if you’re staying on the property.

Recommended Up Market Accommodations

Taveuni Palms

Beach Villa deck view at Taveuni Palms
Beach Villa deck at Taveuni Palms (Rob Kay photo)

Taveuni Palms is an immaculately maintained 5-star property with great ocean views and only two villas, (the Beach Villa and Horizon Spa Villa) that are reminiscent of the of the old TV show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. It’s something for honeymooners of a certain demographic and, there’s room enough bring your best friends.

The Beach Villa has two bed rooms/two baths and a splendid outdoor shower and private swimming pool and a private beach.

The Horizon Spa Villa has three bed rooms and three bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms are in the main Villa and the third bedroom is in a detached, air conditioned bure a few steps away. The Villa has two bath rooms both sporting outdoor showers. One of the outdoor showers has a bath. The additional bedroom has an indoor shower. It also features a private infinity edge swimming pool and a luxury spa pool.

Available Amenities

Amenities include personal chef (who will gladly give you complimentary cooking lessons), personal boat, personal captain. Other amenities entail personal double kayak, stand up paddle board and snorkeling from your private beach. Dolphins swim past the villa’s each morning so make sure you keep a look out.

When possible all food is derived from resort’s own garden, all organically grown. Management will send out a questionnaire prior to your visit  get their food preferences and design a menu around that. Typical menu items would be lobster or coconut crab, blackened yellow fin tuna, taro chips, sashimi, create a four course meal. If you’ve got the means and really, really want to be left alone, I would consider this property. Price is $1,500.00 + tax per house per night for 2 persons.

(The photo of Taveuni Palm’s private beach is featured at the top of this page).

Taveuni Island Resort & Spa

Poolside Lounger at Taveuni Island Resort & Spa
Poolside Lounger at Taveuni Island Resort & Spa

Taveuni Island Resort & Spa, near Matei Airport, is a family run operation and remains one of the better boutique resorts in Fiji. The resort is situated on a bluff overlooking the sea and the vista is spectacular—one of the best on the island. It has 11 well appointed ocean view bungalows all of which have been expanded and undergone upgrading recently with extras such as new tile floors, king-sized beds, air conditioning/fans, private outdoor rock showers, and festive floral arrangements.

Culinary Delights

Several million dollars have been spent on the property and it shows. The food and presentation are excellent. Every meal I had ranged from damn good to superb. All the chefs (some whom are Fijian) and have been very well trained. Same goes for the staff, which is very attentive. The vast majority come from the local village.

The dinner I had there was poached fish with curry lolo (coconut) sauce with locally grown vegetables such as pumpkin, mashed kumala (local sweet potato) and Fijian spinach (tubua). Very simple but everything cooked to perfection and everything killer-fresh. That’s because they have their own 50 acre organic farm and grow all their herbs and vegetables right there. That includes dill, basil, eggs, papaya, avocado, salad greens, lettuce, hot chile, bok choy, tomato, beans, pumpkin, tomato, cilantro, basil, bell pepper, mint, spring onions, banana, lime, lemon mandarin and probably much more.


The cliff side horizon pool is one of the outstanding features at the resort. The small powder white beach is a short one-minute walk away from the steps of your bungalow. Activities include hiking, kayaking and diving. Prices begin at US $1050 per bure per night for the Luxury Ocean Villas and US$2,495.00 per night (per couple) for the Grand Matalau Villa (with its own staff and chef). Each category of villa has a separate package with different inclusions for each. Rates are inclusive of all meals, accommodation, transfers to and from Matei airport and 20% hotel tax.

Other stuff:

The private white sand beach on the property is rare for a Taveuni resort. Snorkeling offshore is excellent and they have the requisite kayaks that you can take out. Diving of course is world class in the Somosomo Straights. Taveuni Ocean Sports handles the dive concession.

Paradise Taveuni

Aerial of Paradise Taveuni's ocean front.
Aerial of Paradise Taveuni’s ocean front.

Paradise Taveuni is on the far (south-west) end of Taveuni-about an hour drive from the Taveuni Airport, near the village of Vuna.

Formerly a tumbled-down backpacker hangout called Susie’s, it’s been completely transformed into an unpretentious property with every amenity you could ask for and, excellent diving.

Ostensibly it’s a dive resort but I think it’s a great place if you just want to read a good novel and eat very good food. It’s run and operated by an Australian couple, Allan and Terri Gortan. The couple has managed resorts in Fiji for over a decade and it shows.

Allan is a trained chef and that clearly manifests itself. They have incorporated everything they’ve learned and created, I think one of the best little properties in Fiji. I say “little” because there are only 16 rooms.


All are elegantly appointed and air conditioned. Each accommodates 2 to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children and they have family rooms with 2 bedrooms – perfect for larger families. They are luxurious without being over the top–each has indoor and outdoor showers, a king size bed in the private bedroom, and lounge room.

The resort has been recently redesigned due to extensive damage caused by TC Winston in Feb 2016, however you would not tell this, unless you heard the story yourself. Terri gives a weekly presentation about the cyclone and the community spirit that assisted in the rebuilding of Paradise back to it’s former glory.


The cuisine I sampled was very good. Paradise also has an organic farm and hydroponic garden on site and on the 10 acres nearby the Resort, owned by Paradise, they also have a Pig Farm and Chicken Farm. The Resort has supplies of fresh organic free range eggs each morning for your breakfast plate and is becoming self sufficient with most Menu items. Allan likes to use local ingredients and features Indian, Fijian and even Italian cuisine. Meals and airport transfers are included in the nightly room rate.

Bedroom at Paradise Taveuni's
Room are comfortable and elegant without being over the top. (Rob Kay photo)

The reef just off-shore from Paradise Taveuni is great. Unlike other resorts in Fiji, the reef is immediately below the resort and it is at sufficient depth to allow snorkeling and diving at both low and high tide. Access is easy: just step down from a cement dock into 3 meter deep crystal-clear water. The highlights of the reef are clown-fish in anemones, blue ribbon eels, lionfish, montipora bommies, and a very friendly lunar wrasse.

A coral regeneration program is in progress as the house reef was damaged by the 2016 cyclone. Resort Guests – scuba divers and snorkelers – can assist in the re-growth of the reef even have the chance to name restored coral reefs after guests that sponsor the growth of the particular area.

Paradise operates a Dive Shop and fleet of Dive Boats
Paradise operates a Dive Shop and fleet of Dive Boats (Rob Kay photo)

Dive Shop

Paradise owns and operates the Paradise Dive Shop and fleet of Dive Boats. They are a safe, family run operation that employs local Dive Professionals and captains who have grown up in these waters. Paradise Dive visits the Rainbow Reef everyday according to conditions and Guests requests. The Great White Wall, noted as one of the Top 10 dive sites in the world is best dived on a slack low tide from 7 am-1 pm to see the soft white coral wall. PADI Dive Courses are offered from beginner diver to Dive Master.

Matangi Private Island Resort

Matang's horseshoe-shaped private island
Matangi’s horseshoe-shaped private island is a short boat ride from Taveuni

Matangi Private Island Resort situated on a horseshoe-shaped, 240 acre private island of the same name located 10 km off the north-east coast of Taveuni. It’s owned and operated by Noel Douglas whose family has been in Fiji for 5 generations. The property ranks as one of the finest mid range accommodations in Fiji. The demographics of visitors include empty nesters and some honeymooners. Many of the guests tend to be North Americans.

The Beachfront bures are constructed from native wood and constructed in a round Polynesian motif.
The Beachfront bures are constructed from native wood and other materials in a round  Polynesian motif. (Rob Kay photo)

Matangi has a total of twelve Beachfront bures including three Tree House bures–all with splendid views across the Tasman Strait, facing the neighboring islands of Qamea and Taveuni. Most are constructed in a round Polynesian style. All are built from local materials such as hardwood, bamboo and coconut thatching and can withstand 160 km/h winds. They have constructed a large beautiful dining hall, in the Tongan “round lodge” style. Adjacent to this new edifice was built an infinity pool. The view from the pool’s edge looks out over the Tasman Strait. There’s also a spa, with an over-the-water deck, that provides great vistas.

The bures at Matangi are well maintained, and extremely comfortable.
The bures at Matangi are well maintained, well appointed and extremely comfortable. (Rob Kay photo)


Matangi’s meals regularly feature fresh fish and other seafood, locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit and, freshly baked bread. The Douglas family have been early supporters of Fiji’s farm to table movement and are able to grow most of their own vegetables to feed guests.

A large selection of Australian and New Zealand wines and champagnes are available.


Diving in the area is superb, as is snorkeling. Other aquatic activities include sailing. The island has nature trails, bush walks, caves, inlets and great bird-watching. This is a wonderful place to stay, especially for honeymooners who really want isolation.

The only caveat is that if you want to spend some time sightseeing on Taveuni (the nearest large island), you’ll have to take a 30 minute boat ride to get there. In other words, you’re isolated on Matangi but perhaps with the right company, that’s not a bad thing.

Prices start from US$750 + 25% tax per night and range to US$990 + 25% tax per night per couple including all meals. (These rates are valid for the new 01 April 2020 – 31 March 2021 season). Stay 5/Pay 4 and

Stay 7/Pay 5 Specials apply all year round.

Noel Douglas inspects juvenile vasua
Noel Douglas inspects juvenile vasua, which he and his partner Claude Prevost are growing on Matangi. (Rob Kay photo)

Bringing back the vasua, Fiji’s giant clam

Matangi’s owner, Noel Douglas is both an entrepreneur and a steward of the marine ecosystem. With this in mind he has partnered with Civas Pearl founder, Claude Prevost, to grow two species of giant clams or vasua as they are known in Fijian. Vasua, which are native to Fiji waters, have been over harvested in the wild and have become endangered. Few people have successfully been able to breed the clams so in a sense, it’s an experiment with no certain outcome.

Nonetheless, Douglas and his partner are adamant about the project which could potentially re-introduce the endangered specie and bring them back from the brink. It would take a tremendous about of resources to raise and then reintroduce the clams but they have come up with ingenious way to raise funds. Of the two species they are attempting to raise, one is the giant clam and the other, a smaller version that is coveted by aquarium hobbyists.

Claude Prevost is shown here with a sterling specimen of vasua
Restocking the reefs with vasua is extremely important for the health of the reef system. Claude Prevost is shown here with a sterling specimen. (Rob Kay photo)

Douglas would raise money by selling the smaller clams and using the profits to stock the reefs with the traditional, large vasua. Douglas and Prevost believe this would be a win-win for everyone, particularly Fiji’s inhabitants, who depend on the marine ecosystem for their livelihoods. They are awaiting final approval from the government for permission to export.

One Reader…

Scott Putnam of Redding, California writes:

“For those seeking an active diving vacation, Matangi is the perfect destination. Even with a full house (which is rare these days), there are usually only 4 people scuba diving at any one time. The service is par none. Unlike many of the other dive operators in Fiji, the Matangi boat follows the divers’ bubbles. Upon surfacing, a hand is immediately extended to assist you out of the water. There is no waiting for the boat and no effort is expended swimming against a current to reach the boat. In addition, the dive masters are keenly observant and very protective of their wards. Of course, this extra attention may just be a by-product of the drift diving environment, but I’ve seen other non-Matangi divers surface n Somosomo Straits with no boat (other than ours) in sight. One thing that no one ever writes about, but which is a unique experience for those of us from the Northern Hemisphere, is the night sky. As you know, Fiji is very dark on a moonless night. Matangi is pitch black. There are few lights here and guests navigate by torch/flashlight. While one must be careful to not step on a toad, a chance look upwards stops visitors in their tracks. There are millions of sparkling lights visible, the Milky Way is in full majesty,and you can see the Southern Cross, Alpha Centauri, and the Magelleanic Clouds. It’s unbelievable, spellbinding. ..”

Qamea Resort and Spa (Located on Qamea)

Beach Front at Qamea Resort and Spa - Taveuni Accommodations
Beach Front at Qamea Resort and Spa

Qamea Resort and Spa is a 15-minute boat ride from the Taveuni’s airstrip. It’s situated on a small cove fringed by a white sand beach (see below) a kilometer in length. The hotel is nestled at the jagged volcanic cliff which rises steeply behind the property. It can accommodate only a maximum of 34 guests (12 years of age and older) at one time so you’re not going to be overcrowded nor overrun with young children (as often occurs at other resorts.)

Bures and Villas

The seventeen (650 sq ft) Beachfront Bures have thatched roofs and with 20 foot ceilings and hand polished local mahogany hardwood floors.There’s also a 1,200 square foot honeymoon Villa. All structures are situated just a few steps from the water and all have verandas and face the beach.

The are also two Premium Villas, each over 1,600 square feet, including private swimming pools overlooking the beach. The attention to detail is very impressive. Bathrooms have imported European fittings, heated towel rack, hair dryer and outdoor river stone courtyard showers.

Among the more interesting amenities is a spring-fed swimming pool. There is also a large restaurant/ lounge bure with a verandah overlooking the which makes for very pleasant dining. The food I had was very, very good.

Diving is perhaps the biggest attraction and the resort has its own dive operation.

Qamea is a comparatively large island and has plenty of room for hiking. There are also organized visits to the local Fijian village of Vatusogosogo. Prices start at around US$750.00 double occupancy including continental breakfast.

Recommended Eateries on Taveuni

Sea View Restaurant

The Sea View Restaurant is an intimate eatery perched on a hillside with a splendid, 180 degree ocean view of the Taveuni coastline. Located five minutes by auto from the Matei Air Strip if you have a an auto take the road that says Makaira. It’s located on the hotel’s property. If you walking, you’ll see a sign on the mountain side of the road that says ‘restaurant’. Just take the path, only a few steps up the hill.

Shrimp curry with lemon grass and coconut cream at Rosie's Sea View Restaurant
Sea View has a wide repertoire including this shrimp curry with lemon grass and coconut cream. (Rob Kay photo)

The eatery is located at the left side bottom of the property and has stunning views. It’s the only place I’m aware of where you can get fine dining (open to the public).

A full 3 course dinner is around $F50 per person.
(They have had great reviews in TripAdvisor).  

The menu, depending on availability, is always fresh and can include lobster, filet mignon, fish (such as mahi mahi and yellow fin tuna), Kokoda (fish marinated in lemon juice and served with coconut crème), Indian curries, and the like. Isoa also can do vegan and vegetarian dishes such as stir and hummus. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch. For dinner you’ll need a reservation by 2 pm.Reservations must be made by 2 pm. Call  738-1273 or 985 9132.

Tramanto Restaurant

Vista from Tramanto
Vista from Tramanto.  (Rob Kay photo)

Perched above the sea, on the roadside, is Tramonto Restaurant. A 15-20 minute walk from the airport, towards Makaira Resort, it’s a local style eatery that serves alcohol. It’s a good place to meet locals. It’s subdued in the daytime (they serve lunch) but in the evenings it’s more of a bar or pub type environment where locals go to imbibe and perhaps watch a rugby game on television.

They serve pizza, fish and chips, and local dishes.

Vistas from their deck is outstanding. Food and service can vary.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar