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

Lalati Resort, May, 2009,

by Norman Paley, AK, United States (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 4858.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Australia, Caribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas currents, no currents
Water Temp 26 to 27 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 6 to 30 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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