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Here for over 20 years, the Nukubati Private Island offers a totally private island experience and the only way to dive the Great Sea Reef which lies 30 minutes offshore.
This is a tiny, simple, eco-friendly island resort and is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It is very remote and getting there involves a journey down an "interesting" road. That is part of the charm. It is a small, private island covered in palm trees and dense foliage, with the dramatic backdrop of the mountainous island of Vanua Levu.
There are just seven bures on the island including three for honeymooners. The rooms are simple but spacious and tastefully furnished. Each has a separate living area, outside area, and all are just steps from the small but pretty beach. They are all designed to blend into the natural surroundings and with the environment in mind.
The main area of the hotel is called the Pavilion and it is a lovely, open plan space where all meals are served. There is a library area, lots of board games and a comfy seating area in which to relax. It is all open-sided with views over the sea.
The resort operates an all-inclusive policy which means all food and drink is included. Meals are simple but nice. This isn't a resort for serious foodies but it is all good and wholesome using local ingredients. There is a different set menu for each meal. Meals can also be taken in the bures, set up around the island or as picnics. There is also a sandbank about a 15min boat journey away for romantic breakfasts or picnics.
Evening entertainment is pretty low key and most people tend to head to bed pretty early though there are kava drinking evenings once a week which is certainly fun to try.
The staff is excellent and incredibly friendly. As it is such a small place, everyone calls you by name and it has a really intimate feel. It is all very relaxed and no dressing up or pretence. And no kids under 12 are allowed so this is very much geared towards couples.
Diving is done on the Great Sea Reef, with most sites being around a 30- to 40-minute boat ride from the hotel and this is the only place from which to access the reef. It is so remote that they are still discovering sites.
The diving is very good without being world-class. The quality of the water is very good, the coral healthy without being pristine and good marine life. The dive centre is basic but the team is good and has been diving here for over a decade so know what they are doing.
The diving setup and sites are not to the standard that you can find elsewhere in Fiji but the overall experience including where you stay make it a place worth considering.
The Nukubati Private Island offers the only access to the huge Great Sea Reef. Remote, rustic and completely away from it all.
Tom, Original Diver