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Taveuni Palms Resort 5.0

Taveuni Island, Fiji

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Luxurious and exclusive boutique resort is the best on Taveuni 
  • Each villa has two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a private pool, and a private beach 
  • Each villa is equipped with a personal seven-member staff 
  • Room rates include all meals and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Free snorkel equipment, mountain bikes, and kayaks to borrow  
  • Free cooking lesson and option to have dinner in a local village 
  • Spa treatments are available in a small spa room 
  • Free one-hour flight recovery massage upon arrival 
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout 
  • Staff greets all guests with traditional songs and flowers

Cons

  • Extremely expensive rates based on double occupancy, though villas can fit four people 
  • May not be suitable for travelers with limited mobility 
  • Alcohol costs extra 

Bottom Line

Undoubtedly Taveuni’s most luxurious (and smallest) resort, Taveuni Palms offers unrivaled privacy and excellent amenities in a gorgeous natural setting. The resort’s two villas feature full kitchens and living rooms, outdoor bathrooms, private pools, and private beach access -- and come equipped with a personal seven-member staff who greet guests via song and attend to every need. Taveuni Palms’ all-inclusive made-to-order dining is some of the best we’ve ever encountered, though alcohol isn't included. Travelers who can afford to splurge on the resort’s quadruple-digit room rates won’t be disappointed with Taveuni’s stellar service and excellent array of excursions and activities. But for those who need watch the wallet, the nearby Remote Resort is another perfectly luxurious boutique all-inclusive option with a private beach and gorgeous rooms. 

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Scene

An exclusive resort that caters to the wealthiest travelers 

The arrival process at Taveuni Palms Resort -- like everything else at this exclusive property -- is unforgettable. Staff members gather around the front entrance to welcome guests with traditional Fijian songs and salu-salus (intricate Fijian leis), and immediately escort them to their private villa, where welcome drinks await. Taveuni Palms is comprised of two ultra-private villas, which are each equipped with their own staff. During your stay at Taveuni Palms it’s entirely possible that you’ll never encounter another guest, as both villas have their own private pool and beach access. The resort caters to all kinds of travelers, from honeymooners, to families with children, to friend groups, but extremely expensive (four digits) rates mean the majority of guests have no problem spending loads of cash.  

Location

Beachfront on Taveuni, minutes from the airport 

As its name suggests, Taveuni Palms Resort is located on Taveuni, one of Fiji's larger islands. Known as the garden island, Taveuni is a lush paradise with diverse flora and fauna -- including prolific bird life. Taveuni is well liked amongst travelers for its laid-back lifestyle and stunning natural scenery, but it should be noted that this lush paradise tends to be rainier than other parts of Fiji. 

The hotel itself is located on a sloping hill that levels off at the beach. The Horizon Villa is located at the top of the hill, while the Beach Villa is closer to sea level. Neither villa is ideal for travelers with limited mobility, though staff members are eager to lend a helping hand if necessary. Taveuni Palms is a mere two-minute drive from Matei Airport, Taveuni’s tiny airstrip. In order to reach Taveuni, international travelers must first fly to Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu, then take a 55-minute domestic flight to Taveuni. We strongly encourage travelers to stay a night or two in Nadi before heading to Taveuni. This helps ease jet lag and frustration, since domestic flights in Fiji are often severely delayed. 

Rooms

Two gorgeous villas, each with a private pool and private beach access -- and a full staff

If Crate and Barrel ever decides to create a Fiji collection, Taveuni Palms will likely be featured in the catalogue -- at least, that’s our guess. The resort’s two villas are luxuriously appointed with modern decor and amenities, but still have a casual island feel. Attractive wicker sectionals are topped with palm-frond print pillows, photographs of Fijian landscapes adorn the walls, and seashell chandeliers hang from the white-washed wood beam ceilings. Massive birds of paradise arrangements and perfectly placed hibiscus only add to the tropical vibe. The decor strikes the perfect balance between elegant and comfortable. The villas’ large kitchens feature stainless steel appliances and natural stone counters. Fridges are stocked with an endless supply of beer, wine, Champagne, and soda, and staff members occasionally drop by with mid-day snacks or fresh fruit smoothies. Bedrooms are a bit on the small side, but feel quite romantic thanks to the gauzy white drapery hanging around the beds. Each bedroom has a queen-size bed and an ensuite bathroom, with stunning outdoor showers. Taveuni Palms isn’t a massive property, but the resort has done an incredible job of ensuring each villas’ privacy. Villas are so private, you won’t even know there are other guests at the resort. The only sounds you’re likely to hear are waves crashing along the shore line, and Nora Jones playing from your in-room Bose sound system. 

Though both villas are individually decorated, they are stylistically similar and have the same amenities -- including private pools and private beach access. However, the villas have different layouts, which may appeal to different kinds of travelers. The Beach Villa sits on a small slope that overlooks the beach. The villa is perched on the slope, while its private pool and beach are located a few feet downhill. The Beach Villa is surrounded by a gorgeous deck, that features hammocks, lounge chairs, and a white chair swing. At the Beach Villa, the pool feels very separate from the villa itself. It’s surrounded by a gorgeous deck, with a covered daybed, cushioned outdoor sectional, and lounge chairs. The Beach Villa’s pool is a few feet from its private beach -- the largest on property. 

The Horizon Villa is situated above the Beach Villa on the property’s highest point. The Horizon Villa has a large outdoor deck with an infinity pool. Unlike the Beach Villa, where the pool feels separate from the apartment, the Horizon Villa’s pool is a few steps from its main living space. Staff members tell us that this layout appeals to families with young children, since everything is contained in one area, while the Beach Villa’s layout is more attractive for groups, since it’s a bit more spread out. However the Horizon Villa’s beach is small and has an awkward layout that might be a challenge for people with limited mobility. Thanks to severe damage from Cyclone Winston in 2016, the Horizon Villa’s beach was completely washed away. The hotel has done an excellent job of creating a makeshift tiered-beach, but guests must walk up and down a ton of stairs to reach it. 

Additionally, Taveuni Palms has a small studio-style room called the Spa Room. The Spa Room is adjacent to the Horizon Villa, and can be rented by Horizon Villa guests for additional space. Staff members tell us the Spa Room is often rented by groups of friends, or families with teenagers who need room to spread out. The Spa Room cannot be rented independently, only as an addition to the Horizon Villa. When it’s not being rented, the Spa Room is transformed into a massage cabin, where guests can book treatments during their stay.

It should be noted that room rates are based on double occupancy, even though both villas can accommodate four people. Groups with more than two people will have to pay additional nightly fees for each person. 

Features

An excellent array of excursions, and fantastic all-inclusive dining 

Since Tavenui Palms focuses on privacy and discretion, there really aren’t any communal amenities. There is a reception room at the hotel’s entrance which houses a small boutique, but this is probably the only place guests might run into each other. 

Like many Fijian resorts, Taveuni Palms offers an incredible array of activities and excursions, a few of which are included in the hotel’s all-inclusive rates. Upon arrival, guests are treated to a free hour-long flight recovery massage in the comfort of their room. The hotel also has free kayaks, snorkel gear, and mountain bikes for guests to use during their stay. Guests can take advantage of a free cooking class with Taveuni’s chef, and enjoy a free lovo dinner at a local village. The village visit and lovo dinner are highly recommended for travelers looking to experience authentic Fijian culture. During the visit, guests will take part in a traditional kava ceremony and will be welcomed with a meke -- a traditional dance show. Other (paid) excursions include horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking, birdwatching, and even surfing. 

Calling Taveuni Palms’ all-inclusive dining exceptional would be an understatement. Words like glorious and divine come to mind when we think about the resort’s incredibly delicious and beautifully presented meals.The food we ate here was amongst the best we sampled in Fiji, and the variety of options is almost overwhelming. Prior to arrival, guests are asked to fill out a form indicating food preferences, allergies, and intolerances. The resort’s on-site chefs then prepare tailor-made menus for each individual guest. And if you don’t see something to your liking, staff members will happily fulfill your requests on demand. Almost all of Taveuni Palms’ produce in grown in the hotel’s organic garden. Most other ingredients are locally sourced, including exceptionally fresh fish.

Meals are served in one of five locations around each villa. Guests can also make special requests, like a picnic lunch on the beach or a romantic candlelit dinner by the pool. Though menus are designed individually for each guest, we can give you an idea of what to expect. Breakfast options include items like muesli and spiced porridge, three-egg omelets and eggs Benedict, mango French toast and coconut banana pancakes. Breakfast is served with coffee, tea, fresh fruit juice and an assortment of homemade pastries like cinnamon rolls, coconut scones, and papaya bread. Lunch options might consist of wahoo fish tacos, Indian spiced chicken wraps, Fijian curries, and of course, kokoda -- Fiji’s ceviche-like national dish that features fresh fish and vegetables marinated in coconut milk. Dinner is a four-course affair. During our visit, we were treated to cassava fries with almond pesto, pumpkin soup, freshly caught wahoo, and a local lemon tart.  Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages are not included in the resort’s all-inclusive meal plan. Taveuni Palms has an array of alcohol options -- ranging from local beers, to top shelf liquor, to imported Champagnes -- and all are expensive. 

Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. 

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Address

P.O. Box 51, Matei, Fiji

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