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Julia Riley

Botaira - The perfect honeymoon to disconnect!

Review of Botaira Resort
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 10 Dec 2018
My husband and I stayed in the Executive Deluxe bure at Botaira for our honeymoon. We had taken two years to plan our wedding from across the country, had near 200 guests, and were very much looking forward to escaping for a week afterward.

From the beginning of our experience, Botaira did not disappoint! Finau helped us to book our time there and transportation to and from Nadi, and was patient as we figured out our exact travel schedule. Once we arrived, there were only a handful of staff onsite since there were not a lot of guests when we stayed. In fact, my husband and I were the only guests at the resort who were not there to volunteer at the neighboring village. We practically had the place to ourselves, and it suited us just fine!

The lodging was delightful – big and spacious in the deluxe bure with an open bathroom that still offers privacy. We didn’t see any rodents or bed bugs (not saying it didn’t happen to others, but our trip was pest-free). There were some geckos that made their way into our bure, but that didn’t bother us at all.

The food at Botaira is incredible and cooked to perfection. We had to ask Wati, our main contact at the resort, to give us smaller portions because we did not want to waste food. It worked for about a day, and then he told us we were getting full servings regardless because they wanted to make sure we had as much to eat as we wanted. (By the way, Wati is the best!) On our last full day, we were treated to a picnic lunch and a very romantic sunset dinner with lobster and reef fish. I could go on for days about the food – I would probably go back for the menu alone!

There was no internet, no tv, and very little technology at the resort. The power is shut off twice a day to conserve, and the water pressure is very low. THIS WAS PERFECT FOR US! We got exactly what we wanted and MORE by staying at Botaira – we were able to disconnect, explore nature, nap when we wanted, write in our travel journals, lay in the hammock, and snorkel every single day out on the reef in front of the resort. It was so laid-back and relaxing, and the staff took care of everything we needed.

When we decided to do a scuba excursion, the staff at Botaira arranged the whole thing with a resort on a neighboring island. All we had to do was tell them when we wanted to go diving and they took care of the rest. We also took advantage of the free activities at the resort, like the coconut workshop and the hikes to the island hilltop.

The weather forecast called for rain all week, but we only experienced a light misting ONCE after dinner. It was partly cloudy during the week except for one day when the sun was out in full force. My husband and I agreed that we both preferred the clouds – we still got tan without being too hot the whole time!

Thank you so much to the entire staff at Botaira for being an absolute pleasure to work with!
Date of stay: October 2018
Room Tip: The executive deluxe bure is made of concrete and beautiful on the inside
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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      3 - 8 of 290 reviews
      Reviewed 2 October 2018

      Our party of five stayed in the oceanfront bures the second week of August. We knew not to expect flashy accommodations and had a few concerns after viewing some bad reviews but none of our fears materialized. The staff was super friendly and helpful and the beach and home reef one of the best in the Yasawas. Yes, there was a problem with water pressure (none) and the food, althogh mostly good could have been more plentiful as could the supply of juices for drinks though the beer was cold. The bures were kept immaculate though in need of upkeep, I.e. holes in the screens and broken beach furniture. Nevertheless, we all had a great time and hope Botaira continues to rebuild after the cyclone devastation.

      Room tip: The last bure on the beach has the lowest water pressure.
      Date of stay: August 2018
      Trip type: Travelled with family
      2  Thank broys
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 20 September 2018 via mobile

      Stayed two nights in a beach front Bure. Bure large and well equiped. Even had a fridge. Snorkelling and coral beautiful. Meals tasty and varied. Staff really friendly and happy to oblige if any activities were required.

      Date of stay: September 2018
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      1  Thank chrisnH8534OA
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Alumita S, Owner at Botaira Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2018

      Dear Chris,

      Thank you for the good review......ii takes a good hearted individual to appreciate and be contented....the outcome is happiness and satisfaction and that's the least requirement for one to enjoy ones holiday.
      Your good comments is much appreciated and if at anytime you wish to return do advise me personally and we will give you and travel companions some friendly rates.

      All the best and take care.

      Alumita.....Manager....679/9335232

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 9 August 2018

      We were concerned about staying here given the polarising reviews. But we booked it 5 months in advance, made sure we got the beachfront superior deluxe Buré and had low expectations so thought we’d be OK.

      The main reason we chose Botaira was the reports of good snorkelling right off the beach with low tide access - there’s a cement walkway through the rocky shallows (not through coral), out to deeper water. The snorkelling is pretty good – see my photos. The reef is still recovering from the cyclone that hit in 2016, but there’s some good coral, a fair amount of the usual beautiful coral reef fish, although there is bit of a lack of big fish, and we only saw one turtle. The pontoon in the middle of the bay with diving platform is really cool to use as a rest point between snorkels. The bay itself and beach are absolutely gorgeous and peaceful.

      We also liked the idea that it was owned and run by local Fijians and that it was quite small with 7 beachfront Burés (and 5 others behind those).

      The staff are lovely, and the food was OK – if a little basic sometimes for what you are paying. The place is a bit run down. Another couple we were talking with describe it as like the Fawlty Towers of the Yasawas – not a good comparison for the price you are paying!

      Day 1: Bad day. On arrival we were told our room was not ready yet. So, we had lunch and waited. 2 hours later and that changed to the room is not available. WTF? Turns out another couple were so angry and disappointed the their beachfront Buré that they were upgraded for free to the Super deluxe Buré, and were refusing to move out for us – no one having told them that there was another booking. And all the beachfront Burés were occupied. Very disappointing. We had no choice but to stay in one of the Burés behind the beachfront ones for that night. Water pressure in shower very low and sometimes no water and after staying there I can confirm Botaira has a vermin problem. What a sleepless night. There were up to 4 geckos in the room calling, I understand there is not much to be done about them. But at 3 am we were woken by a banging sound coming from the bin in the bathroom – turns out a mouse or small rat had gotten into the bin and was now flinging itself against the bin lid trying to get out. We let it out. Tried to go back to sleep and be positive about the fact that the next day we should be in one of the beachfront Burés.

      Day 2: Bad day. Visited Manta Ray passage in the morning – awesome, well worth the short boat trip. Did some snorkelling – finally got into the beachfront Buré at about 5:30 pm. Later after dinner we hit rock bottom – there is a tiny trickle of water from the shower. We both wanted to leave the next day – upset about paying resort prices for this experience.

      Day 3: Good day, however, there are Rat or Mouse dropping on the floor – we’d had overnight visitor. This actually doesn’t worry me too much (as long as they don’t get stuck in a bin!), but I know it will totally repulse some people. No geckos. We patched up a hole in one of the screens with a water bottle that we thought was the entry point. Lovely to be finally on the beachfront. Lying in the hammock, reading with the water 10 metres away was idyllic. Did some more snorkelling and Kayaking.

      Day 4: Good day 2, no overnight visitors this time. Hole patch seems to have worked. Water pressure in shower still dreadful. At least the toilet does flush. We compensate for the shower buy getting a bucket of water and a jug.

      Day 5: Another good day. We even had some hot water in the afternoon. Luxury!

      Day 6: Good day no. 4. However, another couple have a problem with their Seaplane booking. Since we are leaving on the Seaplane the next day – I decide to get it checked. The seaplane was booked and confirmed through Botaira. I have all the paperwork and emails saying it’s booked. The manager callas the seaplane company – they don’t have our booking and are completely booked out, as are the other seaplane company that services the Yasawas. Great. Now the only way back for us the next day is the resorts speedboat. Sure the “speedboat” has a big engine, but that’s about the only thing that fits my definition of speedboat. See photo. We go to sleep hoping that seats on the seaplane will miraculously turn up.

      Day 7: No seats on the Seaplane. We have to take the “speedboat”. The marine forecast is for moderate to rough seas! We leave as early as possible to try and avoid the waves getting worse later. What follows is a 2.75 hr harrowing, soaking wet, white knuckled trip that was the worst boat trip of our lives. Woeful.

      I really didn’t want to write this. I wanted to come back from Botaira and write that all the bad reviews were just precious people. Parts of our stay were wonderful. But on the whole I can’t recommend it. The staff and management are trying – but it just seems to be missing that last 30% of attention to detail in just about all aspects of staying there that makes paying prices like this worth it and makes for a wonderful stay. Unfortunately, I have to say: pay a little more and go to one of the other resorts in the Yasawas.

      Date of stay: August 2018
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Sleep Quality
        • Rooms
        • Service
      9  Thank Wrighto123
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 5 August 2018

      I booked one of the cottages in March for our upcoming trip in August. I read the below reviews about bed bugs and rats in the room. This alarmed me to the point of cancelling my reservation. I have emailed Botaira Resort 4 times over the last week to cancel my reservation. There has been zero reply from them. I have since put a freeze on my credit card to ensure they do not charge me for my cancellation. I'm not sure what is going on at this resort. At this point, I think this place should be avoided given the alarming reports and the lack of response I have experienced.

      Date of stay: August 2018
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      4  Thank Sara K
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 22 July 2018 via mobile

      If you take pleasure in sleeping with rats in a very rustic hut while eating prison style slop-like food, this is the place for you! This hotel was a total disappointment for my family and I and what was more disconcerting was the lack of concern the manager had when I told her there were rats in our hut. Her response, ‘there’s nothing I can do.’ There’s absolutely no water pressure in any of the huts and what’s worse is that our solar panel was hidden underneath overgrown trees on the roof which meant cold showers for all of us. I didn’t wash the sea out of my hair for the three nights we were there because there wasn’t enough pressure to get the shampoo out. The pillows are made from cut up pieces of foam that were stuffed in a sack. Beach towels were like sand paper on the skin. We have been to a handful of hotels in during our month in Fiji and were surprised to see how unhappy the staff seem to be at this resort. We’ve had amazing service at all of the hotels and have been so well cared for until we landed here. The bottom line is....if you’re expecting premium accommodations like that which they advertise, you’ll most definitely be disappointed and possibly angry that they are getting away with charging $425 a night. They claim they are spending half that amount on food but I can assure you, that isn’t the case. If you like heaps of rice and tiny portions of protein, then all will be well. They served very small portions and if you ask for more, they tell you that it isn’t possible. My 10 year old son can make food taste 30 times better than what is being served. The activities director repeatedly no-showed for activities that he had planned. My kids went out on a fishing trip where they caught a giant fish that they ended up giving to the captain so he could feed his family. The next night that same fish was served to us at dinner. If you’re traveling between June and August, you can expect that 80% of the huts are occupied by teenagers who are involved with volunteer projects on the island.
      The upside: it’s a beautiful cove where the hotel sits. There are many hammocks sprinkled around the hotel for your enjoyment. A few kayaks to tool around the sea in. A dock in the middle of the bay with a 25 ft diving board attached to it. The sunsets are simply amazing. It’s a 5 minute boat ride to the area where the manta’s come and go at high tide. All that said, I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone. I would highly recommend blue lagoon resort, coconuts and barefoot kuata. The staff, food and accommodations at these resorts are a 1000% better than the unhappy people working at Botaira.

      Date of stay: July 2018
      Trip type: Travelled with family
      4  Thank staceyglick
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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