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All reviews nigel and carol the cottages dive boat dive master rainbow reef somosomo strait soft corals safari tent outdoor shower fish small resort vanua levu cookies friendly dogs minute boat ride every meal bush walk
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Reviewed 19 September 2018

This is the place to come for true rest and relaxation. You can do as much or as little as you please with the usual activities on offer. The resort is small ,rustic and it is somewhat of an adventure to get there!The cottages are very comfortable with plenty of hot water and privacy. The quiet connection to nature is blissful - imagine sitting in a hammock with the gentle waves lapping at your feet and the island dogs sleeping next to you for companionship. I read 4 books in 5 days - a measure of how peaceful I felt. Kayaking through the mangrove forest to see the mudskippers was an experience....especially with the dogs Missy and Blue swimming alongside us. Bera treated me to 2 amazing massages in the spa hut - fell asleep both times to the gentle sound of the waves in the bay. I cannot say enough about the kind and friendly staff...they truly make the place feel like home. I am very grateful that we decided to venture to this little piece of Paradise.!

  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Wally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2018

Sau Bay has 3 cottages, one larger family size cottage, and a large glamping tent. You expect some privacy given the small size but we lucked out and were the only guests there for 7 out of the 8 days. It felt a bit weird to have the place to ourselves and to know that everything they were doing was just for us but they certainly didn’t skimp on things because of it. The resort is nicely landscaped with lots of waterfront, plenty of places to lounge/sit scattered around the grounds/beach which would’ve provided some nice privacy regardless. Lots of nice comfortable seating in the dining area and large attached patio as well.

The cottage was very nicely furnished and decorated. Size was big enough for us. The room has both an indoor and outdoor shower which was nice. Plenty of hot water but the temperature fluctuated quite a bit, especially in the indoor shower. They had a mosquito net which they set up over the bed each night while you were at dinner as well as a mosquito zapper that went in the outlet but it seemed unnecessary since all the windows had screens and we never had a problem with mosquitos in the room. Despite not having any food out in our room we did have a bit of a problem with cockroaches (killed 2, found 2 others already dead or dying) but it’s the tropics so it’s just something you just have to accept.

Food quality was very good but not as tasty as what we had at Coconut Grove the week before. We went with the lighter meal plan which was more than enough food for us. They usually gave us two options for lunch and three for dinner which is more than you’d expect for a small resort like this where there aren’t any outside diners. Our first lunch was really good with impressive presentation but the chef needed to leave for a family emergency and the replacement chefs definitely didn’t seem to be quite as good but they still did a nice job and had nice presentation and flavors. The main issue we had is that much of our food came out a bit cold. The last evening they did a big lovo feast (cooking food with hot stones in an earthen pit) and we got to help some in the cooking preparation and it was really nice that they still did it even with us being the only guests (they made a ton of food but the staff would be eating it as well). The lovo was very good with really impressive smokey flavor on some of the food. They use a ton of coconut cream in their menu and although I’m not a fan of coconut when I have it back in the states, here it was fresh and delicious. During the lovo we also got to see just how much work it took to make all of that cream (it’s a lot of work, and it’s surprising how often they use it given the work involved).

They’ll serve you dinner wherever you’d like and one morning we asked to eat outside on the main deck for dinner but they instead set up a magical dinner for us out on their beautiful standalone covered deck. They braided fronds around the poles and tucked in all sorts of flowers and plants. They put tea lights all around the table and used giant leaves for placemats. It was absolutely beautiful, a lot of work (we saw our divemaster weaving those fronds earlier in the day) and just an amazing experience.

We did the hike up to the “top of the world” from the resort and it was beautiful but steep and challenging. They offered to send a staff member to be our guide but we chose to trust the traditional 4 legged guides; we rallied the 5 dogs when we wanted to start the hike and they led the way. I wouldn’t say they were the most reliable guides but between the 5 of them they did a good enough job and it was really fun to do the hike that way. The path was a bit overgrown but that was because they hadn’t cleared it recently due to all the rain.

We did a village visit which wasn’t the most exciting since we pretty much just got a walking tour of the village and there wasn’t a ton to see but I’m still glad we did it. We showed up while a village meeting was still partially going on and I think they might’ve done a bit more if that wasn’t going on.

We had kava at the resort twice, once at our request where they were really doing it “for us” and again during the lovo night when it was more for the staff. It was a fun experience, tasted better than expected, and didn’t seem to do much to us besides make our tongues a bit numb. It was fun to see both sides of it, one time with nice guitar playing and singing, and another where the staff was more just being themselves and acting how they’d normally act when they drink kava.

We flew into Taveuni and out of SavuSavu because the flights out of SavuSavu were cheaper/at better times. I don’t think their website mentions it but you should be aware that although the boat transfer to/from Sau Bay is the same price for either airport you have to pay cash for a taxi separately and it’s $30 for Taveuni and $120 for SavuSavu. They provided that information once we had booked with them but at that point we had already made our flight reservations. I think the total cost was still cheaper flying out of SavuSavu but it’s worth mentioning.

We did a snorkel trip to see the mantas but it was so crazy choppy that day that we didn’t last long but we did see a few mantas even in our very short time in the water. It was a long boat ride from the resort in the opposite direction of the diving but we made the most of it by doing a bit of snorkeling in a protected area on the other side of the island with the mantas. The snorkeling was quite good and was probably the best visibility we had all week.

We dove 6 days and did 2 tank dives each day with the exception of one day where we did 3 tanks. The third tank is free when they do it which is really nice. I think they’ll pretty much do a 3rd tank anytime you want so long as they don’t need the boat for something else, and as the only people in the resort I’m sure we could’ve done 3 tanks almost every day if we wanted. On the 3 tank days they pack a picnic lunch and you eat it on a deserted beach which is awesome. A cyclone had come through the area just a few days before which caused the visibility to be really bad (30-40’) but we still enjoyed ourselves. A category 5 cyclone tore through a couple years back which also did a lot of damage and things definitely haven’t fully recovered yet but again, the diving was still nice and there was a ton of fish life. The Great White Wall lived up to its reputation as one of the top dives in the world even without us being able to see far enough to see it in all its glory. The current is frequently strong, hard to predict, and inconsistent in its strength and direction. This is not a destination for new divers. The divemaster Carl did a very good job of checking out the current and picking dive sites accordingly. We had one dive where the current got crazy unexpectedly halfway through the dive (>5 knots, updrafts, downdrafts, etc.) but Carl handled it well and nobody can predict things perfectly (also, I asked if we could do a wall dive that day and although he said he was thinking of doing one anyways he might’ve just been trying to satisfy the request). All dives were live boat and the captain did actually follow our bubbles when he could which isn’t the case for all captains. The dive boat is a nice metal boat with plenty of space and shade, especially for the small groups Sau typically has. It sounds like they almost always have just 2-4 divers on the boat but the boat is way bigger than the “6 pack” most places usually use for small groups. Carl was good at pointing things out underwater and was better than most when it came to adjusting to our preferred speed underwater (slow). My only real complaint would be that Carl touched the reef a lot more than I’d like to see, especially with his metal pointer, but Fiji doesn’t have the marine park type protections and mindset of most places we go. Overall I’d highly recommend the dive operation, especially for people who like smaller groups.

We stayed at Coconut Grove which is another small resort on Taveuni and listed some comparisons between the two resorts in that review. In the end we loved Sau Bay and would love to come back. You really felt like you were staying with family at times, but with family that was super nice and would go to great lengths to make sure you had an amazing time.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ScubaBucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2018

We stayed with the resort for seven days for our family retreat, we had an amazing time thanks to Carol, Sara and the amazing staff there.

The resort is located on a tranquil beach with lush garden, tastefully-designed cottages, inviting hammocks and happy dogs, everything here says paradise. We love the room, the food, the amenities, and mostly importantly, the staff. We love it that everyone here treat you as family, they do not just provide and respond, they think for you, and they share with you. In the same time, they are also highly professional across the board, from the punctual transportation arrangement to the refined dinner settings.

The resort offers a lot of activities besides chilling on the beach. The snorkel excursions are great - it's fascinating to see those big manta rays swimming by. Kayaking into the deep mangroves in the dusk feels other-worldly. And another favourite of ours is hiking with the amazing dogs, they literally lead us all the way to the top of the hill.

We really couldn't ask for more, the experience is beyond our expectation.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank xyangt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SauBayFijiRetreat, Owner at Sau Bay Fiji Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2018

Bula from our family to your family!
It was so fantastic to meet you all and lovely to see a young couple travelling with parents and enjoying family time!

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and learning about your interesting lives.

Thank you so very much for your wonderful review and words of praise for your stay. It is certainly heart-warming to know that we exceeded your expectations.

Our dogs love all the guests and especially doing their guiding on the hike and joining in on the kayaks!

We certainly hope that you will return to your Fiji home again.
Sota Tale
Your Fiji family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2018 via mobile

Thankyou to evyat Say Bay who made our stay so wonderful.

Unspoilt beaches and reefs made for excellent swimming and snorkeling. Jumping on the paddle board for a pre breakfast paddle is something that I will remember for ever.

If you really don't like dogs then maybe you should look elsewhere. They are super friendly and enjoy hanging out.

Just a great place.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Blackfrogblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SauBayFijiRetreat, Owner at Sau Bay Fiji Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2018

Bula Blackfrogblack!

Thank you so much for your terrific review - the dogs certainly enjoyed sharing the little part of paradise with you! Fortunately people do read reviews; todate everyone visiting have loved our four legged rescues!

We hope that you return one day to our shores for a 'topup' of your Sau Magic.

Vinaka
Your Sau family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2018

Tastefully decorated room, friendly dogs, lovely walks, snorkelling and diving were spectacular. Thanks Nigel and Carol and your staff for making our weekend special.
We also loved the outdoor shower. Meals were enjoyable and Sara's service was excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Annie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SauBayFijiRetreat, Owner at Sau Bay Fiji Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2018

Bula Annie,
Thank you for your great review and kind words. We enjoyed having you visit and managed to relax for a weekend. We hope that you are able to return again during your stay in Fiji!
Your Sau Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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