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Reviewed 27 June 2018

My family and I take one big $$$$ vacation a year. We're all certified divers. We usually dive in Mexico and the Caribbean. This year we decided to get out of our comfort zone and dive in the South Pacific. We booked the "shark dive" with Beqa Adventures on the main island of Fiji. (This is a must - do this dive!). And, we heard impressive things about the Rainbow Reef in Tavenui, Fiji. All the multi -star resorts in Tavenui (there are only a few) were booked solid. So, we decided to take a gamble on Vacala Bay Resort. Why a gamble? Because we like our privacy and we were a bit worried that it was a B&B. Instead, Vacala Bay Resorts was one of our best family vacations ever. And, although price was not our top consideration, it was about 50% less than the exclusive "booked" resorts.

When you arrive in Taveuni, Paul will be there. He knows everything and everyone on the island. If you're a diver, Julie, the owner of the best dive shop on the island, will pick you up in the morning. If you want to explore Bouma National Park or hike the Lavena Coastal Walk, Paul will arrange the guides and transportation. (No need to rent a car.) Whatever you can imagine, Paul puts it together for you. I attempted wind surfing, what the heck, and Paul's a certified wind surfing instructor. If you like sailing, Paul will take you to a deserted island. The snorkeling is epic.

As far as diving, you know it's good when at least one dive master from the US or Australia dives with you on the Rainbow Reef. These seasoned divers aren't traveling this far unless it's absolutely the best. My sixteen year old daughter thought it was the best diving of her young life - even better than the world famous shark dive. Incredible live coral, sharks, walls, schools and schools of fish.

Final thoughts: Helena, Paul's significant other, partner, wife, confidante, is the best personal chef I have ever experienced. (Granted I haven't experienced a lot of personal chefs, but a few.) Her food is crazy good. This is a foodie's wet dream - and she cooks so much of it. I would recommend that you tell Paul and Helena to leave the leftovers in the fridge and just snack for dinner a couple of times. Give them the night off. (They live in the sailboat in the Bay when they have guests.) If not, you'll gain five pounds like I did. But, the dinners are hard to pass up - elaborate affairs with several courses - and it's all inclusive.

Paul and Helena work so damn hard to make your vacation the best. Sit back, enjoy it, do a lot of diving and water sports, take the waterfall hikes, eat too much, drink too much, try wind surfing, paddle boarding, hiking. No gamble here.

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank jamesrcannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul N, Owner at Vacala Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2018

Wow James I can only say Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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Reviewed 13 June 2018 via mobile

First the view; it is so stunning that I sent a picture home that was so pretty it started a panicked rumor at work that we never coming back. Paul and Helena were excellent hosts with great suggestions if you want to leave the villa ( and you may not) my suggestion consider taking a sail with them on the 45 foot cat. Paul and Helena took us on an overnight sail and dive to the Ringolds that we will be talking about for the rest of our lives. If you haven’t chosen a place yet just go here

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Bubbaduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul N, Owner at Vacala Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

It was our pleasure having you and Gary here for your 45th wedding anniversary and we wish you many more! We hope to see you again soon in our little slice of Paradise!

With warm regards,

Paul and Helena Negro

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Reviewed 18 October 2017

We stayed with Helena and Paul for 8 nights in Taveuni - 4 nights at their Villa (Vacala Bay Resort) and 4 nights on 'Looping', their yacht. Its hard to know where to start but here goes....
Villa
The Villa is modern and luxuriously appointed with the most spectacular view over the beautiful azure water of Fiji. We (2 adults and 2 teenage boys) arrived in the morning after a night in Nadi and we were met by Paul at the airport in Taveuni and after several emails between us I felt i already knew Paul and felt like I was meeting a friend. The drive to the villa was only 5 minutes and we were greeted by Helena and her team singing a Fijian welcome.

Once settled, we soon realised that Paul and Helena were really lovely down to earth people who are genuinely happy to welcome you to their home. Their warmth and generosity are evident from the beginning and nothing was too much trouble.

We were really trying to avoid the package "Fiji Resort" style holiday and have a more intimate experience and we absolutely found it. On the beautiful Taveuni and spending time with Paul Helena, Ana and Pini we found a great place to relax, enjoy amazing food and wine.....and squeeze in a little exercise - the hill from the beach to the villa certainly got the heart rate up, and we loved the opportunity to do something after such beautiful food prepared by Helena and her team. Helena spent considerable time and effort to source local fresh food and create gourmet meals from anything she touches!!. Helenas breakfasts had the teenagers mesmerised......
Should probably mention the lovely and gentle Taka - Helena and Paul's Rhodesian Ridgeback that is such a sook and loves nothing better than to sit on your feet and revelled in the attention.....Also loved the kayaks and the opportunity to explore the bays - if you are going on the boat don't forget to ask if the kayaks can come too.......

Looping - the boat
After an extra night in the villa due to the weather we were finally on the boat...cruising here we come...the boat was the perfect size for the 4 of us to live in comfort. The sailing was amazing and the weather divine. Even one slightly seasick teenager raved about it! Highlights of the sailing included FANTASTIC snorkelling, incredible corals and fish that rival if not surpass the GBR and pristine water quality. Paul knew all the great spots and took the time to educate us about Fiji and what the various reefs, atolls and islands held.

The isolated beaches and Ana's ability to climb a remote coconut tree for a green drinking coconut were amazing... as was the fresh skipjack tuna sashimi after catching it fresh from trolling on the boat. AND Paul's tempura fish - also caught fresh that day from the boat.

What Paul and Ana produced from the tiny galley on the boat was unbelievable and so much better than the other places we have stayed in Fiji (and may other places).

So to sum up... Go Go GO and our tips are:
Take plenty on sunscreen, your appetite and a mind set to relax and enjoy the beautiful location on offer.....

Congratulations Paul and Helena - you have nailed it!!
Leone and Paul (and the teenagers).....

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MoocowSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul N, Owner at Vacala Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2018

Aww you guys were so lovely Thank you! we hope to see you again next year!! Thanks again!

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Reviewed 13 October 2017

The title really says it all. This stunning resort will take your breath away from the moment you open the front door. With hill top ocean views, a big open yard, unique swimming pool and the contemporary white villa makes it a "must" for your accommodation stay in Fiji.
It's a privately run resort by the most wonderful couple and friendly staff who made us feel so much at home especially with the stunning meals they prepared every day for us. They went over and above to make us comfortable and get the most out of our trip especially with our day on the Catamaran! Safe to say this is the best place we have ever stayed and it topped off our whole Fiji trip by a long shot.

Thanks Paul & Heli! Hope to stay with you again in the future.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean views!
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Beth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul N, Owner at Vacala Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2017

It was our pleasure Beth and we very much look forward to seeing you again at Vacala Bay!

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Reviewed 7 September 2017 via mobile

Vacala bay is a very special and amazing place. A very contemporary white villa with 2 bedroom, swimming pool and a fantastic open kitchen/living room boasting spectacular sea view. Paul and Heli really make the difference: not only skilled chefs and sailor, they're the most lovely host I've ever found!
Well,we arrived as guests and we left vacala bay as friends.
They also have a nice catamaran to wonder around rainbow reef,meet mantas, fishing....
Vacala bay is the best choice we could make!

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank butterfly067Italy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul N, Owner at Vacala Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2018

Thank you so much! It really was our pleasure to become friends!

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