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Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort on Kadavu, Fiji

Updated on October 14, 2017
stephhicks68 profile image

Stephanie loves to travel. She has written numerous articles with tips, photographs and information on places to visit.

Green Travel in Fiji at Matava, Kadavu Fiji

When it comes to green travel, there is one place that you should place on your (recyclable) bucket list right now: Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort.

Located on the island of Kadavu, south of the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji, Matava was once a backpackers' rustic collection of burés. In 2000, the current owners of the resort, purchased the property and upgraded it to the 3.5 star resort that it is today; its the only star-rated resort on Kadavu.

So, why is Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort so green?

Its not just the ample precipitation that falls on the island, nor the warm, tropical temperatures that hover around 80 degrees F year-round. Matava is 100% off-grid. Electricity requirements are minimal and met with solar power generated by panels installed around the resort. You won't find electrical outlets in your room, but trust me - it's a luxury you probably will not miss.

Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort is small and intimate. Only 22 guests at a time can be accommodated. Organic meals are prepared on-site and served community style. Beautiful, tropical flowers and landscaping greet you each day, as well.

Front of Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Front of Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source
Comfortable beds at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Comfortable beds at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source

Getting to Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort

When I was at Matava in November 2010, the weather was not very cooperative! I arrived on Kadavu on a Saturday via airplane from Nadi International Airport. I jumped into a small pickup truck, which transported me to a small bay with a couple of fishing boats.

To call it a marina would not be 100% accurate. Kadavu is rustic and remote; the few roads that cross the islands are rutted and unpaved. We parked the truck and I took my bags out and placed them in the shallow mud, while my guide pulled the exposed, fiberglass fishing boat towards the side for our boarding. By this time, the rain was coming down. But we did have plastic bags in which to place the luggage and other items we wished to keep dry.

It was a 1-hour boat ride in the rain and wind from the airport to Matava. Actually, however, it wasn't bad. The rain was warm, and any water that splashed into the boat was also warm. Certainly not used to that, coming from the Pacific Northwest.

On the trip over the Great Astrolabe Reef (the world's 4th largest barrier reef and Fiji's largest living organism), I spotted a group of spinner dolphins and flying fish. Seriously! I thought I could die now and be happy.

Wahoo Fishing at Matava, Fiji

Solar panels installed on the rooftop of the lodge at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Solar panels installed on the rooftop of the lodge at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source

Fiji Travel: Cons

  • Travel time/hassle - about 10 hours flying time from the West Coast of the U.S.
  • Spotty cell phone coverage
  • Remote and off-grid areas can be difficult to reach geographically and via technology
  • Bugs and lizards - its the tropics, after all
  • You'll have to go home at the end of the trip!


Fiji Travel: Pros

  • Warm temperatures year round
  • Warm ocean water for swimming, diving, snorkeling
  • Great people - Fijians were named world's most friendly in 2008
  • Lush, green vegetation
  • Tropical flowers
  • Delicious, fresh and organic food
  • Ample recreational opportunities: hiking, swimming, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, diving, snorkeling, sailing, jet skis, cruises and so much more!
  • Affordable shopping and excursions
  • Amazing photo opportunities

Matava: Eco Resort in Fiji

Day dawns on the bay near Matava, Fiji
Day dawns on the bay near Matava, Fiji | Source

Things to do at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort

  • Photography
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Bird-watching
  • Visiting a local village
  • Sunbathing
  • Relaxing
  • Climbing and swimming in a waterfall

Accommdations at Matava, Fiji

After I arrived at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort, I was shown up to my buré (an individual room). It was spacious and comfortable with a queen sized bed, mosquito netting - so you can leave the windows open at night - and two bedside tables.

A sitting area in the front included a pair of chairs and another table. An open air closet with hangers was also provided.

Because the resort is eco-friendly, it uses minimal electricity and is 100% off-grid. Each of the rooms includes only three lightbulbs - one above the bed, one in the bathroom, and one on the front porch.

Many windows and skylights allow in natural light. And, in the evening, you can take one or two of the kerosene lamps from the lodge up to your room for reading or relaxing.

The bathroom was outfitted with a dual-flush toilet to conserve water (less water for less waste, if you know what I mean). An open shower, sink and several towels are all that you need. Lest you are wondering about hot water - yes! You can get a nice, warm shower any time of the day.

Meals are served 3 times a day, at communal tables in the main lodge - breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 1:00 and dinner at 7:00. Let the resort know in advance if you have any food preferences or restrictions because the meals are served from a pre-selected menu each day.

Each buré is individually sited. Narrow, steep steps take you to your room, so watch carefully so you do not slip or fall. Rooms include a comfortable bed and large front porch on which you can sit, sleep or take photographs.

A programmable safe is also included in each room, if you wish.

Matava, Kadavu Fiji

Ready for fishing in Fiji
Ready for fishing in Fiji | Source
Breakfast table set at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Breakfast table set at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source
Solar panels power the operations at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Solar panels power the operations at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source

Why Stay at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort?

For those that are interested in green travel, Matava, Fiji is the perfect combination of comfort and conservation. Spacious rooms and gourmet rooms allow you to feel pampered. But, you can take comfort in knowing that the resort is involved in a number of environmental initiatives and has won several eco awards:

  • Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award, Marine Environment Category (World Travel Show 2010)
  • Excellence in Tourism Award (Accommodation Budget 1999)
  • Project Aware Marine Environmental Award
  • Founder: Shark-Free Marina

Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort also believes in the concept of "paying it forward." It supports several important causes:

  • Saving sharks
  • Educating villagers about environmental preservation
  • Minimizing energy use
  • Working to establish and maintain marine reserves
  • Coral reef education and preservation

Not only is Matava involved in education and raising awareness locally concerning environmental issues, but the resort also has resources for its guests to review.

Beautiful tropical flowers around one of the bures at Matava, Fiji
Beautiful tropical flowers around one of the bures at Matava, Fiji | Source
Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort from the beach
Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort from the beach | Source

Year-Round Fun at Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort

The guests that stayed with me at Matava were there for the deep sea diving. A couple from Washington State (USA) and Australia were very excited about the diving excursions offered by the resort.

If you'd rather fish or snorkle, that can be arranged too!

For me, the highlight of my trip was our walk to a nearby Fijian village. About 45 minutes each way, we passed several groups on their way to church on Sunday. The villagers were so open and friendly! Our guide showed us plants that are used for medicinal purposes, as well as those that need to be avoided.

After church, we hiked to a nearby waterfall. With the assistance of several young men, we climbed the slippery rocks and jumped into the pools of water. Never mind that it was pouring rain - this was pure paradise! I only wish my camera was waterproof (I didn't get any photos as a result).

The beautiful Fijian children are worth a new hub in themselves.  Stay tuned and I'll write more about their friendliness and hospitality!

Preparing to go scuba diving at Matava Resort in Fiji
Preparing to go scuba diving at Matava Resort in Fiji | Source
View from my room at Matava, Fiji
View from my room at Matava, Fiji | Source

The Fiji Islands

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Small Fishing Boat - we rode in on this from the airport to Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort
Small Fishing Boat - we rode in on this from the airport to Matava Fiji's Premier Eco Resort | Source
The grounds at Matava Resort on Kadavu, Fiji
The grounds at Matava Resort on Kadavu, Fiji | Source

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks

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    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Kalmiya - some videos I shoot myself, but most I find on YouTube. I'm with you on the bugs. In fact, I suffered bed bugs while in Fiji (and of course wrote a hub about it!)

      Its definitely beautiful there! Best, Stephanie

    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 4 years ago from North America

      Your travel hubs are great! Thanks for all the great photos and multiple videos; where do you get your videos?! I'm not so great with bugs so the deep tropics, which I think are fascinating, might be tough, though beautiful.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi RTalloni,

      Yes, the cold dark days of winter leave me longing for Fiji again too! It was such an adventure and the people were amazingly welcoming. Definitely a sight to see modern technology (solar panels) on thatched roofs. It was the only source of electricity though! Best to you, Steph

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Oh my. After living most of my life in Florida, it's going to be in the low 20s here in the Carolinas tonight and you have me reading about the warm tropical waters of Fiji. I nearly melted with the beautiful thought. :)

      You had a marvelous trip--so funny to see the solar panels in the thatched roofs, yet exciting to think that the resort is doing that. I'm looking forward to your other Fiji hubs!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Wow - what a great adventure! Looking forward to more of your articles on traveling in the Far East. Cheers, Stephanie

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      I agree, it is a great time. I'm a bit busy now in Vietnam, planning a holiday to Phu Quoc Island (off the coast of Saigon) and then Laos! But, Fiji is never far from my thoughts.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks travelespresso - might be time to plan a new trip to Fiji, huh? Matava really is a great place to stay and get away from it all. If you enjoy diving, its an excellent spot!

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      This is a great hub Steph. Your enjoyment of the holiday and the resort shines through in your writing.

      It's far too many years since I visited this island paradise.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi MPG Narratives - you should definitely go! Kadavu is so nice - really a get away from everything. I thoroughly enjoyed the service and food at Matava! Off to go read your Fiji hubs too - Cheers, Steph

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Oh lucky you visiting this resort. I featured it in one of my Fiji hubs but haven't had the chance to go there yet. Definitely in my bucket. Great photos too.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Prasetio - Fiji is a lovely country - so green, so friendly and a tourist's haven! Cheers to you, Steph

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      great information from you. This is nice resort surrounded by beautiful scenery. I'll put this resort on my travel list, if I go to Fiji someday. I love all the picture. Beautiful my friend. You did a great job. Rating up!

      Prasetio:)

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Karanda, Isn't Fiji great? I feel like I could return again and again and see new things each time. Plus, I'd like to see some of the other islands, as well. Definitely return to stay at the eco-resort. Yummy food and great location. Best, Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Sweetie Pie - Yes, I have several articles on Fiji at PeachyGreen! Many more to come in the days ahead. I've covered Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort in detail, so its time to move on to some of the other fantastic green places I've been! Cheers, Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image
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      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hey Purple Perl, so glad you could take a virtual vacation to Fiji and the eco-resort! Definitely put it on the list of places to go - Steph

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Steph, loved the photos and the write up. I visited Fiji a couple of years ago and would have to agree they are a very friendly people. I wish I'd known about this resort, ah well, I'll have to go back one day, hah. Yes please.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I have been following the pictures of your journey on Peachy Green, and I must say I wish I could have visited Fiji too! I have also enjoyed reading about the eco-friendly resort, which is a good trend in many ways I believe!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Hey Steph, I was transported just reading your hub. Will go there some day! Thanks for sharing! Voted you awesome!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Peggy - I was having issues with my videocamera while in Fiji. I did get some GREAT footage of fire walking ceremony, but that will be for a future hub. Would love it if you would come and keep me company on a future visit. ;-) Cheers, Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Sherri, SJerZGirl and Audrey!! It was so amazing to get the opportunity to be invited to Fiji and write for the tourism agency. I am with you Sherri - would love to retire in a place like that and just write hubs from now on out!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting - cheers all, Steph

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Fiji looks so beautiful. Afraid the closest we have gotten is Hawaii. Loved the videos. Did you create them also? If you go back and need someone to carry your bags...let me know. :-)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Beautiful and nicely done, Steph.

    • profile image

      SJerZGirl 6 years ago

      I think that area is one of the most beautiful in the world! I love tropical flowers. But, I'm hesitant about that long flight required to get there.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What a stellar review, Steph. Twenty-five years ago we treated my mother to a vacation downunder, with the last stop on the way home, Fiji. Although there were no cell phone connections then, there were "land lines" and we were able to order up a wine and fruit basket at her hotel for her to share with her companions.

      She felt a strong connection to the people there and came home with wonderful memories. As for me, since then, my dream is to retire there, wearing nothing but a grass skirt, writing Hubs on the beach. LOL...what a sight!

      So happy for you that you are able to experience this treasure of a place first-hand.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hahaha Amy - I was really trying to be a good sport riding that boat in the rain. Once we got to Matava, however, all was better. ;-)

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      It looks beautiful! I'm not sure I would be such a good sport about a boat ride in the rain, lol, but I guess it was all part of the adventure! Terrific photos! :)I'm looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hey Zsuzsy! Yes, its definitely a bucket list item! I really enjoyed meeting so many nice people in Fiji, too. Best, Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Astride, the solar panels powering Matava in Fiji are really cool. Everything about the place feels comfortable and relaxing. Cheers, Steph

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Steph, Matava is going into my bucket for sure. Thanks for sharing your holiday. Super great pictures too.

      hope you and the gang are well

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • Astride Knighted profile image

      Astride Knighted 6 years ago

      Matava Fiji's Premier Eco-Resort looks really awesome. I really like the idea of the resort being eco-friendly with solar power.