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Shirelle S
Brisbane, Australia

Hidden gem among the islands!

Review of Botaira Resort
4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 30 Sept 2019
I stayed two nights at this resort in May this year with my mum and we have to say that this resort offered the best reef we have seen among the islands for snorkelling, we were mindblown! It is very natural and the oceanfront bures were large and nicely decorated, right by the beach.

The staff was super friendly too and as it's a family run business very accommodating towards our needs.

So if you're after a quite, peaceful holiday and you want to spend a lot of time snorkelling, this is perfect.

We do have to say however that in comparison to the other resorts in that price category that the cleanliness could be improved a lot and that in regards to similar meal plans, this one is really far behind. We spoke to the staff about it during our stay, as the value for money is not appropriate. After numerous conversations - and some promises on their behalf that they took back only hours later - they did cook us some different food and it was certainly okay. We didn't let this ruin our stay but it's good for others to be aware of it. When you ask you will get some better meals and we loved that we got fresh coconuts whenever we asked :-)

Again, we loved our stay and would definitely come back as the staff were super lovely but it's not a 5/5 due to cleanliness and quality of the meals.
Date of stay: May 2019
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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      Reviews (290)
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      1 - 6 of 290 reviews
      Reviewed 8 August 2019

      The bures here are large and surround a large grassy area. There are plenty of hammocks but no loungers. The bures at the back are surrounded by flowers. This place has more space than virtually all the other places in the Yasawas. The bathroom area in my bure needed an upodate, but worked fine. You can get over the fringing reef at any time. The coral is nothing special but I did see several sharks and a turtle, which made up! There is a very nice ridge walk (45 mins each way) which you can do witrhout a guide: strongly recommended.The staff were fantastic and the beer reasonably priced.
      So far, so good. There were only two other people there during my three days... which takes us to a possible reason. The food is overpriced for what you get... plenty of it, but poor compared with Octopus or Barefoot Manta, for example. Coffee was not on offer which is an absolute must.
      I enjoyed my time here but the price of food is an issue.

      Date of stay: June 2019
        • Location
        • Sleep Quality
        • Service
      3  Thank Mike S
      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 11 December 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!

      Room tip: The executive deluxe bure is made of concrete and beautiful on the inside
      Date of stay: October 2018
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Sleep Quality
        • Rooms
      2  Thank juliariley
      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 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.
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