After much debate, Steve and I finally settled on our end of year trip in November 2018 and we decided this year to go big or go home. So, we booked a 7 night stay at the Matamanoa Island Resort in late November and we are very excited. Unlike our 2017 trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora, we splurged on business class airfare roundtrip, flying through San Francisco to Fiji. We then take a ferry to the Mananuca Islands, which is where Matamanoa Island is located.
As you can see from the picture above, Matamanoa is a small private island resort and there is nothing else on the island except for the one hotel. How did I end up choosing Matamanoa? It ticked a lot of boxes for me and Steve – it’s adult only so no kids, it’s private and quiet, it still has wifi, the food looked great and gets good reviews on tripadvisor, the rooms have private plunge pools and are individual cottages (or bures as they call them) and it has an amazing white sand beach and snorkeling. Finally, while it’s not cheap by any means, it wasn’t crazy expensive like Royal Davui or Laucala Island. I also liked that we could take a boat there in one hour rather than having to take a seaplane or helicopter ride.
We booked a beachfront bure with a private pool for our entire stay. I love that each room is a cottage with separate living room, bedroom and a large outdoor deck with sunbed, patio and pool area. You can also walk about 10-15 yards and be on the beach. The hotel has about 30 rooms so peace and quiet are also guaranteed.
Many of the island resorts I looked at did not have that white sand beach with great snorkeling, which is what I wanted for this trip. A lot of the islands in Fiji that I looked at were missing that beach factor. Matamanoa is actually surrounded by a private marine reserve and the snorkeling there, which you can do just walking right into the water from the beach (no boat necessary) is incredible. Look at that water below.
Matamanoa is a little over an hour via ferry from the main island where you fly into Fiji. There are several island groups around, including the Yasawa Islands which are further out and require a seaplane for the most part. The Mamanuca Islands, which includes Matamanoa, are a little closer. The Mananucas also includes Monuriki Island, also known as the Tom Hanks “Castaway” Island because that is where they filmed the movie. Our hotel will take you there for a day trip so that will definitely be on our to do list.
We’re very excited about this trip. Earlier this year, Steve and I decided that we really need to start planning and executing on some of the bigger trips that we have wanted to do for a long time but keep back burnering due to “not enough time” or “this is cheaper” attitudes. We’re not getting any younger and we’re doing better financially than we ever have been so what are we waiting for? Next year I am already looking at Asia and South America. I think we’re going to really enjoy ourselves this trip!