Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji
What We Love
- All-inclusive rates include return airport transfers, all a la carte meals, afternoon tea, bottled nonalcoholic beverages, most resort activities, a children's club and more
- Alfresco, lantern-lit restaurant overlooking the infinity pool and the Koro Sea
- World class diving at Namena Marine Reserve, considered one of the planet's best dive sites
- Every child under five gets their own free Fijian nanny, while buddies are assigned to over five’s
What To Know
- None of the bures have air conditioning; they're cooled instead by louvers and ceiling fans
- Bures are traditional Fijian accommodations with simple, colorful interiors. Fans of luxury or designer chic should perhaps look elsewhere
- The family pool at the Bula Club does not face the ocean, which can be disappointing for the many guests with children
- Bookings require a three-night minimum stay
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
The son of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel, was so enamored of this five-star eco resort that he agreed to put his name on it. Built completely out of local materials on a former coconut plantation, the 25 traditional thatched bures sit on a beautiful curve of beach on the island of Vanua Levu. There’s a beachy bar where you can kick back with a book and a cocktail, hammocks strung invitingly between swaying palms, and rustic beachfront spa huts where Fijian masseurs will lull you into a blissful slumber to the soothing sound of lapping waves.
Bed and Bath
The bures are spacious, with high vaulted ceilings and large wooden decks for alfresco lounging. Interiors feature colorful bedspreads, polished wooden floors and louvers to let in the tropical breeze. Showers overlook the tropical gardens, and bathrooms are stocked with Pure Fiji products. Oceanfront and Point Reef Bures have prime beachfront locations, steps from the water’s edge; privacy is requested by placing a wooden coconut on your front deck, or outside your door.
Guests can dine alfresco in the adults-only dining area overlooking the Koro Sea, or with family on the opposite side of the infinity pool. Chef Raymond Lee’s appealing Fijian, South Pacific and Asian–inspired menu has a strong focus on fresh, locally caught seafood, New Zealand lamb and organic produce grown on-site. A traditional lovo (a barbecue using an underground grill) is served once a week. The Bula Club, considered the South Pacific’s best kids club, will keep children entertained from morning to night, with crab hunts, beach picnics, sandcastle building and more. Free activities are available daily, including yoga, market visits and snorkeling expeditions, alongside paid-for excursions to renowned dive sites including Grand Central Station and Alice in Wonderland, led by the resort’s excellent dive team. An on-site marine biologist teaches guests of all ages about the area’s unique underwater world.
In the Area
Saturday is the day the locals traditionally shop for freshly caught fish, crabs and prawns, and piles of fresh vegetables and fruit grown by local farmers, at the bustling, colorful Savusavu Farmers Market, the hub of the small township. Hike to a waterfall and take a cooling dip in a jungle pool at Waisali Rainforest Reserve, about 12 miles north of Savusavu town. Take a tour to see a working pearl farm established by marine biologist Justin Hunter, and afterward take the opportunity to buy lust-worthy pearls from the J. Hunter Pearls Fiji showroom.
How to Get There
There are vacations, and then there are sojourns into a world of adventure, exploration, nature and cultural immersion – the overall impact of which is so profound, you might well call it life-changing. This is how I would describe our time in Fiji at JMC. Reading all of the overwhelmingly positive reviews here beforehand we expected the resort to inevitably disappoint in some regard, but it never did; everything about it – from the kindness of the hand-picked staff who worked tirelessly to look after our kids as their own, coordinate adventurous activities at the drop of a hat and be our enthusiastic tour guides, to the meals that could only be described as culinary delights – was amazing and entirely worthy of the praise you see here. We travel a fair amount but we can honestly say we’ve never stayed anywhere like this before, and we’ve certainly never encountered a place that manages to strike the delicate balance between luxury and eco-consciousness the way JMC does. The result is an experience that leaves you feeling enlightened, refreshed and good about yourself and the world. A special thank you to Manu and Toki, the best “buddies” any rambunctious kids could ask for; to Julia, Meli and rest of the Bula Club leaders for their patience and energy; to Johnny, Mika and the fellows at the dive shop (Geoff and Dan) for their endless enthusiasm for nature and encouragement to get out in it; and to everyone who smiled our way and gave us a warm greeting at every turn. Vinaka!
My 13 year old daughter and I were having an innocent stroll on the beach just before 5pm on 20th June just outside of our Burre (Villa). I was walking 30metres ahead of her while she is walking slowly behind me. We were both in a relaxed mood considering we are on our holiday at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji at Lesiaceva Point. This beach is 99.99% used only by Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji Hotel Guests. There are no locals using it and since your hotel only has 24 Bures for lease, you can safely assume that the beach is pretty empty and deserted most of the time.
This lady walked towards me and my daughter with her 2 mid-size dogs which is around 50cm in height. These 2 dogs are wild animals let loose and on the beach with no dog harness or leash and due to that, these 2 dogs attacked my innocent daughter ferociously, each one attacked and bit each of her leg. Please see attached pictures for her bloody wounds.
After this vicious attack, I took my daughter back to my Bure (#10) to wash up and let my husband and Mum for help. We then brought her to the Hotel main reception for immediate medical assistance. My daughter was bleeding profusely.
We wanted her to get a Rabies shot. but the GM insisted Fiji is rabies free.
We then insisted on her getting a Tetanus shot and the GM reluctantly agreed (all by phonecalls. The GM did not personally show up and attend to this matter himself considering he is the GM of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji and the 2 dogs were his Dogs, the lady on the beach is his wife!
GM send us back to our room to wait for the doctor to come to us. We waited for over 1 hour and Doctor finally came to treat her wounds and to give her a Tetanus shot. Even till then, the GM of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji did not once show his face. Since the incident, my daughter was crying in pain and shivering in fear. In public, she tries to put up a brave front but in private she suffers from high anxiety and crying due to the vicious attack fromthe GM's dogs.
24hours after the incident on 21st June, the GM still DID NOT appear in front of my family to apologise personally to us. I had to personally confront him, then he finally apologised to me (repeatedly), while also repeatedly saying “I understand how you feel but I can only apologise, there is nothing else I can do for you.”
That is when I said "I need you to be RESPONSIBLE for this dog attack. This incident happened in your resort and these 2 dogs belong to you! I did not pay $20,000 Fijian Dollars to stay in Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji for a holiday with my family, only for my children to be bitten by the GM’s Dogs!"
I demanded that he writes me an email on this matter on (1) To acknowledge this attack at your resort (2) To take responsibility for any medical (physical or psychological) expenses that occurred DUE TO the Dog Bites. I needed this email to feel assured that I do not have to stress over any further expenses occurred due to this.
However, what is most upsetting of all and I am extremely appalled by the bad management of this entire incident by the GM.
All the JCM Fijian staff were all so caring and concerned over my daughter and over us. All of the Fijian staff gathered around us constantly and comforted us and gave empathy and care, but no the GM of this fine establishment.GM displayed poor leadership and lack of basic empathy and concern for another fellow human being, much less your paying hotel guest who was bitten by his dogs. A
The success Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji enjoys and why the guests enjoy staying there is due only to (1) the Fijian Staff and (2) the Location.
If not for this unfortunate incident, this family holiday would have been one of the best we have experienced, The food was excellent most of the time. The service was top notch 100% of the time because the locals are just so loving and warm and caring and positive happy people.
My only wish is that JCM replace their useless GM with a GM with great leadership and integrity.
In all my 40 years working in the travel and tourism industry, I felt so special and so lucky to be given such a gift of this Fiji resort for our 40th wedding anniversary and it couldn’t have been celebrated any better than this.
Luxury bure’s throughout the resort, gourmet/healthy meals to be deserving of 5 hats , conversations that bond us to your beautiful Fijian people, occasional informative mini sessions on the environmental management everyone is so keen to observe and be part of, endless water activities to choose from and not to mention the dedication to children from 0 to 14, carefully managed to be mindful and respectful of adults only too (us). This resort suits everyone who wants to be private, yet feel that you are the most special guest at the same time. the Fijian people are so lovely, warm and caring.. I absolutely loved our stay - and you will too! I am going back asap - see you there!
What a wonderful experience! Couples need not be put off by the family friendly aspect of this resort. Because we wanted a quiet couples holiday we spoke to Randy, the wonderful USA Cousteau rep. He was able to guide us to a timeframe when school aged children from other countries would be in school and therefore not at the resort. During our trip in late May, there were some preschoolers who were well cared for and mostly unobtrusive. It is important that this lovely resort can help youngsters learn an appreciation of the ocean and give their parents a break. That said, you will find the oceanfront bures more quiet and worth the extra cost. Some of the garden bures get some noise from the children’s Bula Club.
During slow periods at certain times of the year the resort offers a few special packages. We were totally thrilled with the Romance package. To get two extra nights and other perks made it really worthwhile.
We have snorkeled in many different places and this has been one of our best snorkeling trips. We took two boat trips out to reefs but I found the snorkeling off the pier to be more enjoyable. No rush, plenty to see, many varieties of fish and even some interesting coral. There is unfortunately some bleached coral from a previous cyclone. You will see if you snorkel off the pier that the resort is trying to grow some coral. It’s a slow process but shows the attention that is paid to the underwater environment.
Mika and Kula from the activity center are my snorkel angels! They showed us where to go and kept an eye on us. I also enjoyed the two slide shows. I never knew that algae growing inside of coral gives coral its color! If the algae dies the color is gone.
Mario is a real gem! He taught us about kava ceremony etiquette before we went with him and others to the village. You may volunteer to receive the kava if you want to try it. Mario lives in the village and takes a group there each week. We were greeted by a group singing and later there was dancing and a basket weaving demonstration. This trip is definitely worthwhile. Mario also took us to the Saturday market in SavuSavu which was quite an experience. There were stalls full of vegetables and large freezers full of fish, lobsters and crabs. I wanted to buy some painted Tapas cloth and he helped me find it at a store he took us to.
The day we were leaving Jean-Michel arrived in the morning. We were fortunate to be able to meet him. I thanked him for such a wonderful place and experience. He said that it is the Fijian people who make it so special! And it is true, the people if Fiji are warm hearted and caring.
If you are looking for a special trip with both relaxation and adventure, this is your place! Book it!
We had a couple of issues with housekeeping when we first got there. They corrected the problems. The cost of staying at the resort is not cheap. That ends my list of complaints.
Our favorite participant activity is snorkeling. Although the resort specializes in diving (Cousteau- ring any bells), they also have daily snorkeling trips and a pier from which you can do great snorkeling right in front of the resort. One of the guides, Kula, recognized that we wanted to go slower than others (partially due to our age, partially it’s our style) and took us to Split Rock (a nice snorkeling location) on our own. Another guide came over in a boat to make sure we were OK, but we didn’t even know he was doing that. Their service, along with that of the people in the restaurant, the front desk, everyone, was exemplary.
Very comfortable accommodations, plenty of room.
The food ranged from good to great. Three meals were served per day with three courses; for us it was too much. It is true that the portions aren’t big, but there was plenty of food for us.
We booked the romance package, 6 nights for the price of 4, it included all the excursions, equipment, food, $500 Fiji in credit. They baked us a cake with our choice of frosting for our last dinner (20th anniversary celebration).
The resort provides a free short foot and leg wash plus massage. We later got simultaneous massages which were excellent. Emily was my masseuse.
We also took a trip to the village which is associated with the resort and participated in the kava ceremony there. Thanks to Mario for providing so much information about his village and for taking us there.
We live in Oregon. It’s a long way to the resort, and as I noted, not cheap. But we may very well return. Special place!