As Covid19 shut down the world, I found myself in Fiji. For 5 weeks I stayed at Tavola Villa. The villa has an amazing view overlooking Savusavu Bay. The property is on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji. The villa is incredible, and all the rooms are inviting and facing the sunset.
I stayed in one of the guest bungalows for 3 weeks. It’s cozy and comfortable with one side being a bedroom and the other side being a private lounge. I loved waking up as the morning light brightened. And sometimes you wake up and the first thing you see is a rainbow, which is magical.
I stayed in the master suite for 2 weeks. It’s on the main level, so the verandah is just out your door, and the infinity pool is steps away. I enjoyed swimming in the pool in the late afternoon or early evening, lounging in a hammock and spending many late evenings on the trampoline marvelling at the stars.
While at Tavola, I became a certified diver with Cousteau Resort, which is just down the road. Once certified, I went to several dive sites, all spectacular. I saw turtles, sharks, mantas, groupers, soft corals, clown fish, eels, cabbage coral and barracudas. And I even ventured into caves, with my GoPro in one hand and my flashlight in the other. The diving in Vanua Levu is not to be missed!
In addition to diving, I regularly went snorkeling and kayaking. It’s a quick walk through the jungle canopy to get to the beach at the edge of the property. I really enjoyed taking a kayak out, tethering it to a buoy and then snorkeling from that spot. On my last swim, I invited Jaco and Luna, the villa dogs to join me. I so enjoyed their company and certainly wish I could take them home!
Monica is an amazing host and very bright. She takes time to speak with the guests and is helpful in 1001 different ways.
I am so happy that I could stay at Tavola, especially in this unique time of a global pandemic. I traveled throughout Fiji, and Tavola is prettier than Fiji itself. It’s an incredibly special private villa nestled in the heart of an abundant Pacific Island paradise. Tavola feels like home, and it’s truly hard to leave.
I had the greatest pleasure (and honor) to stay with Monica and her dear family for a full 10 days and emerged quite literally a new version of myself, more focused on the present moment and all its glory. The property is literally perfect - aesthetically pleasing from every vantage point, brilliantly architected and expertly layered with the details that make a house a home. In lieu of writing a novel about my stay (which I may well do!), here are the highlights and what's not to be missed:
-- Enjoy a massage on the back deck of your bure before slipping into the infinity pool at sunset
-- Savor each morsel of the meals. Monica's a brilliant chef who expertly marries local ingredients and spices to make meals that leave you feeling vibrant.
-- Spend time in every hammock. Bring extra books.
-- Meditate on your back porch.
-- See the sunset or sunrise from the top of the property - it's stunning
-- Enjoy the ocean view from your shower
-- Get out and explore! Go on a jungle trek, see a waterfall, visit the secret castaway beach, and check out the town which couldn't be a more well-preserved enclave of local charm. Monica and team are an encyclopedia of where to explore.
-- Pay attention to the music that surrounds you. Even this detail is expertly crafted.
The perfect place to get away from it all. For my not nearly long enough stay, I was treated like family by the owner and staff, and was able to forget about everything and relax. There were also plenty of activities to fill the time we get like moving. The snorkeling and fishing were fantastic. From the gorgeous views to the delicious fresh food, it was bliss. I can’t recommend it enough. If you do go, make sure to take advantage of the delicious passion fruit and golden tea.
Tavola was the perfect place to holiday with our four teenage boys. Monica and her team made our stay so special. It was such a treat to stay in such beautiful surroundings - incredible views across the water and tranquil gardens. The views were breath taking from the master bedroom and it was so nice to wake each morning looking across the ocean. The infinity pool was well used by the whole family but particularly the boys who spent many hours swimming and just hanging out with each other. I can not talk enough about Monica and her wonderful team. They were all so helpful, warm and friendly. Monica was a great source of knowledge as to what activities and sights we could see and experience. There were so many things that you could do at Tavola, you were spoiled for choice - kayaking, snorkeling, early morning fishing, or just relaxing. Monica prepared our wonderful meals which was such a treat. We were so thankful that we could spend our family holiday at Tavola with Monica and her team. It was the right blend of fun and relaxation in a very luxurious and incredible setting. We hope to return again some day.
Tavola Villa is an intimate experience like no other. Located in beautiful Savusavu Bay, the property provides no shortage of breathtaking, panoramic views, with an absolute favorite of mine being the incredible sunsets. The villa is elegantly designed and constructed with Vesi (an indigenous Fijian timber); the spaces feel open, inviting, and bright.
Without a doubt the best part of my stay was the intimate, family experience. From the moment I arrived, I felt like a family member, not a guest. From delicious meals eaten together, to explorations out to town and beyond, I've never felt so at home while travelling. One of my favorite memories was going out to get my PADI Open Water Diving certification at nearby Jean-Michel Cousteau resort. The Tavola team generously helped me organize the process, and went above and beyond to ensure that my experience was nothing short of amazing, even joining me for a dive!
As a resort, Tavola provides guests with luxury, comfort, and a chance to enjoy the beautiful stillness of island life, well worth the money. However, the intimate, family experience they've managed to cultivate is priceless: you won't find a place like this anywhere else.
'A Tavola' means 'family table', and what we experienced was the most magnificent setting for our 'family table' - beyond what we could have ever dreamed or imagined. We came to Tavola desperate to restore, reset, talk, dream and listen; and that is exactly what we did! The property is stunningly beautiful, and is designed in a way which allows for an effortless flow of the days and nights to unfold around you. Whether we were sitting for hours at night around the outdoor dining table, or talking over breakfast, as it seemlessly slipped into lunch, around the kitchen table - we felt the peace, tranquility and soul of Tavola engulf us. We would often jump out of our seats to try and capture a rainbow or sunset or the way the light danced on the water in Savusavu Bay. Every room, every space at Tavola, exemplified the same feeling of rest and ease, that wrapped around us like a comforting blanket and housed memories that will stay with us for a lifetime. The rhythm of our days at Tavola, was what dreams are made of! We sat, we dined, we swam in the breathtaking infinity pool, we stood on top of the mountain, we snorkelled, kayaked, chased waterfalls, visited villages, laid in hammocks, slept, went out on the boat, laughed, talked, cried, sang, and laughed some more. Our time at Tavola has left an indelible mark on us all, and we are richer for the time spent there. This is truly one of those places, that you can't quite believe you have had the honor and privilege of being part of. The Tavola family became our family, and like a sweet, summer breeze, they added a dimension to our stay that has to be experienced to understand the profound beauty.
Gary and Georgette
My trip was a wonderful experience. Monica Laurence, the resort owner, is a gracious hostess. We had our own bungalow in her boutique hotel called Tavola. She oversees and/or makes every meal herself, with local foods (including fruits from the property such as papaya, banana, mango, passion fruit, etc.). The staff were friendly and efficient. All in all, the accommodations and food were excellent. Max capacity at Tavola is about 12-15 people, so it is an intimate and very much unique cultural experience which large resorts do not provide. The resort provided activities, which included kayaking, snorkeling, hiking to some special waterfalls, visiting a cocoa and micro agriculture farm, and bocce ball.
Our host Monica was accommodating, knowledgable, and a total pleasure. The entire property is beautifully maintained and the rooms are updated with Fijian style decor and architecture.. Not to mention they spotlessly clean! The indoor/outdoor living areas and hammock spots are perfect for relaxing in. If you don't feel like relaxing, the pool, nearby boat house, and beach offer plenty of adventure and fun. Tavola was an incredible place to stay. The staff are friendly and genuinely warm people. The location was just far enough from civilization for that perfect “Getaway” feel. At only $6.60 FJD (Approximately $3 USD) for a cab into town, and a 30 minute kayak ride to the Cousteau Resort, the location was still very convenient for the essentials. I would definitely recommend Tavola to anyone looking to stay near Savusavu!
Tavola Villa was a gorgeous location and home to spend 10 days with close family and friends to celebrate my birthday. The property is picturesque with amazing views of Savusavu Bay, privately enclosed by luscious green vegetation and beautiful gardens. We had four young children and six adults with plenty of separate living and sleeping spaces for down time and personal privacy.
Unlike a resort, we had the benefit of being able to relax freely around the home (as we would in our own) and enjoy each other's company without the distraction of other guests, as well as the stunning infinity pool, views, lounge areas and gardens - that a higher end resort would offer. With a mix of tasty local and western menus, no meal or dessert was ever the same. Delicious, light and healthy. And if you're keen... a morning or afternoon fishing trip with Captain Jack will see you contribute a Tuna or Skip Jack to your evening meal. Thanks, Jack, for your determination to find us the right fishing spot – it sure was worth it!
Monica and her staff were very attentive and willing to assist in any matter to help make our holiday as fun, enjoyable and care-free as possible, even helping with the kids when the adults wanted some 'adult time' or a day trip out.
I was delighted and very appreciative of the effort that went into the preparations for my birthday celebration(s). Monica and her team organised a fun afternoon treasure hunt across the expansive property that kids, and adults alike enjoyed, followed by a traditional lovo dinner that evening. I was gifted with a very precious and handmade lei and head-piece, made by Ima. A very special and thoughtful gift that I will treasure - thank you Ima and the team once again!
We can highly recommend this property to large groups seeking a unique setting, privacy and the benefit of a close proximity to town, villages, waterfalls, diving and the beach! The perfect location for an amazing get-a-way! Thank you Monica, Viv, Ashia, Ima, Mere, Tristian and Jack!
If you need somewhere to unplug, relax and simply enjoy the surroundings, this place is it. When I first walked through the doors of Tavola Villa, I could not believe the scenery. The views here are breathtaking and off the beaten track, this place allows you to literally sit back, relax and unwind.
Fishing, diving, waterfalls and hiking the countryside are also on your doorstep and a visit to the local markets is a must. I'm already looking forward to my return, and to tell you the truth, I am craving the gorgeous chocolate cake served poolside in the afternoon. This time I might like to have it in a shady hammock as I indulge in a great new book! I loved my evening strolls at sunset, the perfect way to close a peaceful day before enjoying dinner with a chilled wine.
Looking forward to making this an annual pilgrimage!
Tavola Villa is the most relaxed yet fun time I’ve had on a holiday! Which is why we chose Tavola Villa again. You know you’ve arrived in paradise when you see the beautiful gardens, stunning views with breathtaking sunsets. Fishing with Captain Jack didn’t disappoint with a mixed bag of Yellowfin Tuna, GT’s and Wahloo which was excellently prepared and cooked by our chef. The abundance of tropical fruits on the property made breakfast fresh and healthy getting you ready for the day. Whether it’s chilling by the pool overlooking Savusavu Bay watching the yachts go by, a trip to local waterfalls including a short hike with a refreshing swim, or experiencing the Savusavu markets and town.
We went out snorkelling off the beach area with kayaks from the boatshed which was great fun and to the lighthouse in the longboat where we saw reef sharks and lots of fish and coral. As soon as I leave Tavola, I find myself already planning my return! I simply feel great when I’m there.
Early in the New Year I was lucky to stay at Tavola Villa with some great friends.
Savusavu is like old Fiji with a very relaxed pace so with no schedule we got up on our own time. We started our day with a morning smoothie made with freshly picked passionfruit, bananas and papaya from the tropical gardens that surround the villas. The outdoor dining table by the pool is a great spot for breakfast and you get an amazing 180 degree view of Savusavu Bay. You could sit there for hours watching local dive and fishing boats, the ferry from Viti Levu, and in summer a number of visiting yachts use Savusavu Bay as safe harbour as well.
When things got a bit hot we would jump in the pool to cool off, if we wanted more to do we could grab a couple of Kayaks from Tavola's boatshed to explore the bay and go for a snorkel. We were also taken out on the Villa's longboat for a fishing trip to the outer reef. Plenty of other activities are around Savusavu as well, such as waterfalls to visit and some local shopping but we didn't stray too far from the villa as it was a short trip.
The main lounge is stunning but we were enjoying the outdoors too much to spend much time in there. The villas are really comfortable with a large bi-folding door that opens almost the whole length of the wall giving it a great indoor/outdoor feel. The beds are super comfortable and the bathroom has the nice open Fiji feel with a massive rainfall style shower.
The staff were all so friendly and we are looking forward to booking another trip.
Thrilled to experience the beauty, tranquility and adventures of Savusavu in Fiji earlier this month staying at the gorgeous Tavola Villa.
There my son and I experienced so many magical memories in our relaxing two week vacation and we are already keen to return again.
Perched up on the side of a hill, Tavola Villa is surrounded by manicured gardens, palm trees, tropical fruit trees, interesting birds and a spectacular 180 degree view over the Savusavu Bay with a palm tree lined beach easily accessible below out the front of the property.
In addition to the views from our quiet bedrooms, our favourite place to take it all in was on the deck in front of the lounge and dining areas surrounding the fabulous infinity pool. The infinity pool was perfectly positioned for a quick dunk to cool off after reading in the hammock or taking a leisurely swim while looking out over the trees, the colourful tropical plants and the scenic bay below.
Whether eating a sumptuous breakfast on the deck with hand made jams and juices, or dining next to the pool at night when the sky would turn on the most breathtaking sunsets, we were often surprised and delighted with the magic of Fiji in this stunning location.
To the credit of Tavola Villa owners and staff, we were also pleasantly surprised with the exotic flavours and variety of food, often including freshly picked passionfruit, bananas, pineapples and papaya straight off the trees on the property.
The property overlooks the most beautiful bay in the middle of a mountainous and lush green tropical island, together with amazing coral reefs that were calling out to us daily to come and enjoy snorkelling, kayaking or optionally diving, as just a few of the fun water sports on offer.
In addition to the range of water sports, we also chose to explore a bit more of the island one day with a fun hike to a waterfall where my son and I spent the afternoon relaxing and swimming in the freshwater pool in the middle of a tropical jungle.
Each day we were excited to start our day in the tropical paradise of Tavola Villa with thanks also to the owners and attentive staff who were very friendly and took care of our every need. They appeared at just the right time to discuss our next delicious meal, or help plan our next local adventure with a boatshed full of water sports equipment and a powerboat too to take us out to our coral reef adventures.
Not sure I need to mention this but the coral reefs in Fiji and the abundant marine life needs to be seen to be believed!
Thank you for an incredibly relaxing holiday filled with amazing experiences and priceless memories!
Until our next visit to paradise in Savusavu, Fiji ...