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Ovalau Accommodations

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New Mavida

Frontage of New Mavida Guest House (Rob Kay photo)

The New Mavida (pronounced Mah-vinda) was built on the site of the old Mavida Guest house, a past favorite of old Levuka hands. Situated a few meters away from the War Memorial, it’s a large, expansive edifice, with nine generously sized rooms (single or twin) of various bed configurations for F$86.40.  You can also get a triple room for F$162. All of the rooms are self contained with air conditioning, toilets and showers.

There is a separate dormitory that accommodates up to nine people and ideal for backpackers for F$27.

Very comfortable digs at the New Mavida (Rob Kay photo)

All tariffs include breakfast which entails eggs, sausage 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. There’s also hot water. Consider the Mavida midway between the relative luxury of Levuka Homestay and the minimalist quality of Clara’s Lodge or a similar budget property.

Hold onto your hats, there’s free internet. (Just don’t abuse it, says management).

The Royal Hotel

Yes, it really is the oldest operating hotel in Fiji. (Rob Kay photo)

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.

Clara’s Holiday Lodge

Clara’s Holiday Lodge is a good option for backpackers. (Rob Kay photo)                                                                                    

Clara’s Holiday Lodge is a rambling home located right on Beach Street a two minute walk from the heart of town. It’s the largest budget hostel in town and can accommodate up to 40 people.

It’s clean, well maintained and rooms have ceiling fans. As with most budget accommodations, washing, shower and toilets are separate facilities. (Col water showers only).

Typical room at Clara’s Holiday Lodge (Rob Kay photo)

Room rates are F$25 for a dorm room, F$40 for a single, F$55 for twin and $75 per night for a family room that can accommodate up to three people. Breakfast is included in the tariff. For F$15 dinner is also available if you order before 10 am. Laundry service, for F$15 is also available.

Clara and her niece Rae, who operate the place, are efficient and friendly. Contact them at Email

Levuka Homestay

Lounge at Levuka Homestay (Rob Kay photo)

I’ve been getting positive reports about Fijiguide readers about Levuka Homestay, and finally had a chance to visit. There’s no question that if you are interested in a bed & breakfast accommodation in Levuka this is the place to go. (It was rated No. 1 Bargain Hotel in Fiji for 2014, 2015 and again in 2019 by (Trip Advisor) as well as the No. 2 Bargain Hotelin the South Pacific for 2019. It’s certainly where I plan to stay the next time I visit.

Operated by Australians John and Marilyn Milesi, the couple came to Levuka looking for a lifestyle change rather than seeking fame and fortune.

What they have created are clearly the most comfortable digs in town. Although it’s a relatively new building by Levuka standards, it’s designed in the colonial style, in keeping with the historical architecture of the old capital. It blends in with the hillside environs, affording excellent views through a lush garden.

Levuka Homestay is a cut above anything else on the Island. (Rob Kay photo)

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$167.00 for a single room, F$188.00 for a double room and F$32.00 for an extra person in a room.

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.

Typical room at Ovalau Holiday Resort (Rob Kay photo)

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.

Bobo’s Farm

Bobo shows off his long beans. His home is a veritable garden of Eden. (Rob Kay photo)

Bobo’s Farm is situated off of Rukuruku Bay in a region so fertile near the Lovoni Crater area, it boggles the mind. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Levuka so it’s fairly isolated—tucked amidst a lush jungle and the sea.  You might say that Bobo’s Farm is a study in sustainability but even that doesn’t do it justice. It’s an ethno-botanist’s dream come true.

He has planted in the neighborhood of 30 species of fruit and vegetables on his property—all of which go to feed his guests. He told me that he is totally self-contained in the food department.

What he can’t grow, he’ll net in the nearby stream (prawns and fish) or he’ll catch in the ocean (fish, lobster and crab).  Just to name a few items, Bobo and his wife Karin cultivate taro, yams, limes, passion fruit, oranges, mountain apples, coffee, cocoa, tomato, beans, (Fijian-style) spinach, chili  and papaya just to name a few.

Luxuriant gardens surround Bobo’s estate. (Rob Kay photo)

Alas he has only one bungalow with two identical rooms, each with double beds. There are two bath rooms (both with hot water shower) one in the cottage and one outside Bobo’s own home, about 20 meters from the bungalow. The cottage is self-contained so you have the option of making your own meals or dining with the family.  There’s a small lounge with books and games and a deck.

There are a plethora of activities such as a hike to the waterfall, a water slide, snorkeling, a village visit, fishing and of course a tour of the farm.

If there was some kind of award for a low carbon foot print, Bobo wins hands-down. In addition to growing his own, he’s got solar powered electricity and of course he composts all his food waste turning it into a rich mulch.

Bobo’s cottage is simple but comfortable. (Rob Kay photo)

Prices start at F$ 70 for a single room and whole cottage goes for F$140 for a double or F$170 for four. The meal plan is F$58 per person (F$ 29/children 2-10 years).

The Baystay

The Baystay is situated directly on Rukuruku Bay. (Rob Kay photo)

The Baystay is located on Rukuruku Bay, the northwest side of Ovalau about 15 km (about a 30 minute taxi ride) from Levuka. The property, which is tucked between the shore and the rain forest, is spread over an acre of lush vegetation and vegetable gardens. It offers spectacular water frontage, with Rukuruku Bay at your feet.

There are two-self-contained bungalows on site, which are ideal for a couple. Amenities include fans, daily maid service and hot water.  A BBQ area is near the water’s edge which makes for a great picnic area.

Baystay bure can handle up to four. (Rob Kay photo)

If you don’t feel like cooking, your hosts Arnold and Julia (who have resided in the area for decades) will provide meals. There’s wonderful snorkeling nearby on the bay and hikes, led by local villagers, to Lovoni Crater, a waterfall or nearby Tomuna peak. There’s also kayaking and fishing in the bay.

Price is F$120 for singles or double and F$40 for an extra person. You can contact them at +679 929 5820 or at lizaditrich@hotmail.com. (The family also owns the The Sailor’s Home, a budget property in Levuka which is highly regarded).


Levuka may be the old Capitol but it’s not the culinary capital of Fiji. That said, you can get decent, wholesome meals.

One of the better option is Kinman’s Uptown Restaurant (Kim’s Paak Kum Loong) is located upstairs in the Westpac Bank building. They offer a variety of tasty, Chinese fare including chow mein, stir fry, and fried rice. They will prepare vegetarian dishes or if you’re omnivorous,  you can choose from chicken, prawns or pork. The author sampled the Kinman’s Special friend rice (with chicken, prawns and pork in the same dish) and an excellent prawn curry while a rugby game between France and Wales played on the television.

Consistently good food is the hallmark of the Whales Tale (Rob Kay photo)

The Whale’s Tale, a long-time Levuka institution, serves up a variety of local and ‘European’ dishes. Fresh fish is always available, and the ‘local’ Indian curries are consistently good. The restaurant offers a convivial, easy-going atmosphere that attracts both visitors and locals.  Prices are in the $F15 to $20 range.

The Horizon Restaurant with its green roof on the edge of town, perhaps 50 yards past Morris Hedstrom’s, is hard to miss. It’s a large rambling structure and serves both Chinese and Indian dishes. Attached to it is the Koromakawa, a bar that is quite popular with locals. On the weekends it’s going to be noisy and smoke-filled but you’ll get a taste for local entertainment. Other than the Horizon, tjhe Levuka Club, on the opposite side of town, perhaps a bit more sedate, is also a good bet.  The popular Ovalau, a local institution, was damaged during Cyclone Winston and is rumored to be on the way back. Time will tell.

For a more extensive look at Ovalau accommodations visit the Official Guide to Levuka and Ovalau Island.

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