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Dive Review of Lalati Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Beqa Island

Lalati Resort, Jul, 2005,

by Sylvia Seaberg, CA, USA . Report 2098.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Solomons, PNG, Palau/Truk/Yap, Vanuatu, Belize, Red Sea, Australia, Bali, Hawaii, Saba, Bahamas, Grenadines, Virgin Islands, Mexico, California
North/South
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 74 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 75 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits enforced by computer. Dive master was preoccupied with keeping divers in a tight group. His "assistant" was an annoyance rather than an asset, although the constant windmilling of his arms was amusing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Subjects for UW are endless, both macro and wide angle. Boat has rinse tank. Resort has no camera facilities.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We were a group of 16 divers who chose Lalati as an add-on after 10 dive-packed days in the Solomons. We were looking for some R&R at a deluxe resort that offered diving and a Fijian experience; this is exactly what we found at Lalati, a true gem of Fiji. After a long but scenic drive from Nadi we boarded a ferry and 45 minutes later arrived at Lalati Resort on Beqa Island. Our luggage arrived before us and was waiting at our bures. The resort is beautiful, spacious, scenic, well-maintained, a true paradise. Bures are large and comfortable. The 5 beach bures have two bedrooms, each with separate doors leading onto the expansive porch and also into the luxurious bathroom. This helped maintain privacy since, due to our group size, some of the couples needed to share their bures with a single. Each bure has its own dedicated rain water tank and composting toilet, very ecological. You are requested to use the biodegradable toiletries that the resort provides, no problem as they are of the highest quality, Pure Fiji. Comfy robes are hung in the bathroom for the guests to use. Weather was hot, sunny and dry until the last two days when it clouded up and rained. We were told that overcast and rain was common and we were lucky to have so much sun.

The staff is outstanding. Managers Clint and Jane are friendly and omnipresent but not intrusive. The local staff from Lalati Village are beautiful, friendly and seemed truly interested in our well-being. The food rivaled any 4-star restaurant and the gourmet quality was maintained at every meal throughout our entire week. We were amazed. The staff did everything they could to satisfy us, including one or two extra beer runs Clint had to make to the main island after realizing we were a particularly thirsty group. At night the local musicians entertained us with their music and kava ceremony. One of our group is an accomplished guitarist and he was immediately adopted by the band and jammed with them nightly. The bar is well-stocked including an impressive selection of wines. Dining is open air in the protected common area, absolutely lovely, but prepare for mosquitos. They have an assortment of repellents at the bar but bring your own if you like a particular kind. They do try to keep the skeeters at bay but it's good to be prepared.

Diving in Beqa Lagoon is spectacular. Water temperature was cool after the Solomons but the visibility was superior. Our dives were virtually current-free and surface conditions were calm. The sites we dove featured dramatic pinnacles and swim-throughs with colorful soft corals, anemones, magnificent sea fans and a variety of creatures that was breath-taking. These included ribbon eels, anemone-fish, nudibranchs, reef fish, shrimps, sharks and many, many others. Photographs do not do UW Fiji justice. Resort boats (2) are rustic but comfortable and take divers directly to the nearby dive sites. Resort crew totes gear to and from boat so divers do not lift a finger. Our dive master was preoccupied with keeping the group tightly together the first dive. We requested that he not be so militant and he did back off. To be fair, we were a large group which perhaps made him nervous. He was more relaxed the second day and everybody, guide included, had a more enjoyable time. His assistant was a different story. He was one of the worst divers we have ever seen, up and down like a cork with arms waving wildly throughout, often tugging on our hoses to get our attention; nothing we said could get him to stop. His antics have made a priceless addition to our trip video, however. Dive masters on both boats were excellent at finding critters and made sure that the photographers had every photo op possible. Dive shop on the resort is well-equipped with rental gear and those of us with skins or 3 mm wetsuits were able to rent thicker suits.

Shore diving was pleasant (and free), but visibility was poor at 10-20 feet. Once was enough and we felt that snorkeling was a better option. There is much to see off the resort, (ask to see Jane's UW photos of their reef) but superior snorkeling is found across the bay at Clint's point. It's fun to kayak over, roam the beach and snorkel the reef. Learn from our mistake and don't wait until the last day to snorkel this point. Another recommended kayak excursion is deep into Lalati lagoon past bat island and through the mangroves at high tide, a very cool experience. Other activities that we enjoyed were hikes up the mountain, water skiing, and a day trip out to Frigates for surfing (costs extra). The resort also boasts a pool and hot tub, perfect after diving and snorkeling, and a day spa (costs extra) that was heavily utilized by our group to great satisfaction.

Lalati is a very special place that far exceeded our expectations. When our ferry departed to take us home the entire staff stood on the beach and sang a farewell to us...a moving experience indeed. I would, and will, return to Lalati Resort.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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