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

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Norman Paley, AK, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4858
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Caribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

currents, no currents  
Water Temp
26   to 27    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
6   to 30    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
This resort was closed for half of 2008 and reopened at the start of 2009
under its third owners who have maintained many aspects of the previous
operation, based on a read of old Undercurrent reports, to the benefit of
the guests. We arrived just before first light and our van driver was there
waiting for us. You take the van for 2.5 hours from Nadi airport to Pacific
Harbour, then a boat for 30 minutes to the resort.  On arrival the staff
greets you at the wharf singing you welcome.  The resort has large, nicely
finished bures with a large veranda, two bedrooms, and a large washroom
with comfortable robes.  The bures are well maintained and positioned to
afford some privacy.  The landscaping is well maintained and attractive. 
Eventhough the vegetation was lush and it rained heavily every evening
during our stay, there were very few mosquitoes and no sand flies, unlike
on other islands/atolls we have been on in the Pacific.  The resort has a
infinity pool/hot tub area with a fine view onto the lagoon.  The food,
served in an open air plan dining area also with a view onto the lagoon, is
gourmet and outstanding, which is especially amazing considering the remote
location and the fact that Fiji was once a British colony.  The food for
breakfast was always served at individual tables, but lunch and supper was
sometimes served at one large table, depending on the wishes of the guests.
 Breakfast was either an egg dish or pancake/French toast selection with
fresh fruit and juice.  There are two choices for lunch and supper, usually
one vegetarian and one meat or one meat and one seafood.  Very friendly
staff.  Also friendly locals who walk across the front beach of the resort
each morning and evening going from their villages to their plantations. 
The island has no vehicles and the only way of getting around it is by boat
or on foot.

We saw some sun during our visit, but mostly cloudy days with heavy rain at
night, enough to fill the water tanks which had been getting low after 3
months of drought.  The water supply is rainwater and the toilets are
composting, no trouble with either.  The power, generated on site, would go
off two or three times a day, but was turned on again within a minute or
two.  An engine cooling problem the current owner is working through. 
Voltage is 110/60 Hz, a bit incongruous for this part of the world, it will
eventually be changed to the local 220/50 Hz.

Diving was within 10 to 20 minutes of the resort, mostly pinnacles in Beqa
Lagoon.  They have two dive boats, but the smaller one was down for repair.
 The larger boat is a covered catamaran, roomy, but lacking a rear dive
deck.  Water entry is by giant stride off the side, with exit up a ladder
lowered at the rear after passing up your flippers.  Dive briefings are
brief, but well guided if you want to have small creatures pointed out
(larger ones are easier to spot...).  Most dives started at 60 to 80 ft and
moved slowly upwards to 10 ft, so safety stops were built in.  Once the
dive masters get to know you they relax and everyone just enjoys the
diving. Colorful and varied soft corals and sea fans and a large variety of
fish life.  One of the last dives was off several pinnacles with a moderate
current on the surface, which the group felt was manageable, but which
ended up stronger at depth.  The dive masters quickly re-evaluated the dive
and turned it into a drift dive; it ended up being one of our most
enjoyable.  Did a couple of afternoon dives off the resort wharf (15 to 30
ft visibility), saw many juvenile fish at several small coral heads.  Also
did one night dive saw a pipe ghostfish and a gigantic lobster.  Dive shop
picks up gear on arrival and takes care of it during the stay, rinsing and
storing it after each dive.  The aluminum 80 tanks were filled somewhat
variably between 2700 and 3000 psi.  No nitrox, but none required.  Hot
chocolate, water, and excellent banana bread are served on the boat between
dives which remains moored at a dive site.

The resort has several kayaks and we did an interesting afternoon trip
during high tide paddling down Lalati lagoon past Bat Island and going
through a narrow man made passage in the mangroves to reach the ocean side
of the island.  Quite a unique environment and pretty neat to paddle
through it.  Also pleasant to kayak across the bay in front of the resort
and roam the beach on the other side.  No beach in front of the resort,
just tidal flats, but there is a beautiful beach just a 15 minute walk away
with fine snorkeling along the drop-off.  On departure the staff gathers
together at the wharf and sings you farewell, a very pleasant ending to a
relaxing holiday.
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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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