5 reasons why Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji is amazing for travel with kids

Fiji’s eco-luxury Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has long been recognized as having one of the world’s finest and most innovative Kid’s Club programs. Guests enjoy incomparable hospitality brought to life by the adept and endearing long term staff in this iconic resort.

Here are 5 of the best reasons why this experience, set on utopian Savusavu Bay is a one of a kind for our younger folk and their parents alike: 

1) Dedicated nannies. 

Children under six are paired with their own Fijian nanny for your entire stay. This complimentary service spans from 8am until 9pm daily. Heartfelt bonds are formed here naturally. On arrival, kids are met by their nannies and swept away to the children’s own “Bula Kid’s Club”, allowing guests to check-in and absorb the stillness of the surrounds.

Luxurious Oceanfront view by twilight
Luxurious Oceanfront view by twilight, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
Fiji Marine Biologist - Johnny Singh
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Marine Biologist, Johnny Singh

2) Kids will learn while having fun.

Kids aged 6 – 12 years can join the “School Under the Sea”. This is curated by the resort’s own Marine Biologist and provides a myriad of fun learning activities based around ocean ecology in the Cousteau tradition. Busy days lead to calm and restful nights. 

JMC PADI Diving
Learning the PADI Open Water SCUBA diving course

3) Teenagers are not forgotten. 

The resort teen program will engage them in an authentic and meaningful way. An abundance of activities cleverly designed around cultural and environmental themes are hosted by entertaining Fijian characters making your teen’s trip unforgettable. Bucket list quality snorkelling and diving are very popular, along with hiking and exploring the surrounds of the lush Island of Vanua Levu.

4) Parents spend meaningful time together. 

A remarkable combination of both family and couple time is easily attainable and plentiful, providing precious flexibility for adults to do as they please either with the kids or as a couple, allowing a deserved rest for everyone. Trips to the resort’s own idyllic private island are a popular family activity, while a romantic dinner for two on the pier end is highly recommended for couples.

5) Multi-generational travel experiences are enhanced. 

All the stress of traveling with kids disappears, and special occasions with three generations flow harmoniously.

Bula Kids Club, Aerial Shot
Bula Club aerial view, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

TripAdvisor reports:

Jacquelineo711 wrote this on TripAdvisor in January of 2022: “But that kids club! They would take the kids from 8:30am-9:30pm. Every. Day. They would bath/shower them, dress them, feed them (3 course lunch and dinners!) take them on excursions, swim with them, take them snorkelling (including night snorkelling), night creature hunts on the beach, bonfire on the beach with marshmallows. The list goes on, and on, and on.

Daniel C wrote this on TripAdvisor in January of 2022:  “[The Bula Kid’s Club] includes a beautiful pool and cool waterslide, tennis/volleyball and basketball facilities as well as an amazing tree house all set in the lushest tropical gardens. The buddies have boundless energy and do everything that we as parents are usually too tired to. Every day has a different program that not only entertains but teaches facts about the ocean and Fijian life.

CJB922 wrote this in a TripAdvisor review posted in August of 2019: “Our 7 year old daughter was teamed up with Sereana and enrolled in the School Under Sea program. The program was brilliant with her learning about the marine environment and also doing activities like coral and mangrove planting along with the offsite excursions to learn about the Fijian culture.

Julia H wrote this on TripAdvisor in January of 2021: “The kids club was an absolute kids paradise!

Dining in Fiji Resorts at its very best

“Dining in Fiji Resorts at its very best”

The cuisine at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji’s North features a constantly evolving Modern International menu that will certainly be a highlight of your stay.

Food ought to be one of the main decision points of where you choose to stay while on holiday! One does not need to be a “foodie” to notice the difference between a dish that you only speak over at the table, compared to one that you can’t help but speak about! The quality and care taken with menu planning and sourcing of ingredients re-inforces Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort as one of Fiji’s ultimate destinations for couples and families.

In 2022, the recently reopened resort boasts a brand new and upgraded culinary experience, supremely crafted by Executive Chef, Raymond Lee, and newly hired Assistant Chef, Gerard Marr, under the watchful eye of General Manager, Bartholomew Simpson, seasoned hospitality professional.

“Our ability to hand-select fresh fruit and vegetables from the resort’s own plantation, combined with seafood from surrounding fisheries, allows local produce to shine. This is carefully supplemented from many bespoke suppliers and allows the resort to boast a vibrant and constantly evolving Modern International menu”, said Bartholomew Simpson, General Manager.

TripAdvisor features recent guest testimony:

“The restaurant has the most beautiful sea and pool views one could wish for and the food is truly worth 3 Michelin stars. Every meal is a gustatory experience I have yet to match elsewhere. The presentation and choice of menu is faultless and designed to cater to all tastes. Overall, we have had a most extraordinary if not the best holiday ever.”

“The food is exceptional, not only because of its taste and quality but the fact that it is so well balanced that you can eat 3 courses meal after meal and not feel like you’re over doing it.”

“The food was the highlight of the experience. The ingredients are locally sourced, fresh, and expertly prepared. It was by far the best food we had during our time in Fiji.”

“Everything exceeded our expectations. We all have highly discerned pallets, and I would have to say that I had the best culinary experience that I have had in years.”

“Around our table the cocktails, steaks, and seafood were all gourmets. The hospitality was 5-star.”

ocean front bure floor plan

Tasting plates inspired by French, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai cuisines feature during lunch, adding complexity to the menu, while it remains approachable and not overly rich.
Char Siu Bao, Black Bean Spareribs, Pot Stickers, Savoury Custard & Duck San Choy Bao feature on the Chinese tasting plate in February 2022.

Avocado cradled Yellow-fin Tuna Poke with bitter greens, radish, finger lime and miso glaze certainly caught our attention unexpectedly.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Szechuan Pepper, Beetroot Puree, Local Spinach, Toasted Hazelnuts & Jus simply confirmed the fact that we must return soon!

The distinct creamy Soursop Sorbet is unforgettable, and the Papaya Mascarpone Tart with lime syrup and house-made vanilla bean ice-cream was also in the same league.

bure windowview

The dramatic mountain backdrop across the utopian Savusavu Bay is a sight to behold and a true million-dollar view enjoyed from all dining areas. 

Separate Adult dining features in the layout of the resort and throughout our meal in the adult’s only restaurant we were not aware there were children present in the family dining restaurant adjacent to the slightest degree. Fijian nannies most adept in childcare play an integral role here, and the resort staff is amazingly attuned to this subtle capability of providing a refined experience for adults, which distinctly sets it at a caliber above other hotels of its kind.

Pier end dining is highly recommended over dinner, providing an iconic romantic experience under the stars, and surrounded by the coral reef adorned Savusavu Bay. The water below is lit and emanates a gentle blue glow, through which fish school.

In the main bure, candles and gentle flames adorn the tables and the surrounding gardens by evening. The views of the flickering flames light the cooling night and bring a romance and calming comfort to the end of a full day.

Excellent service is purveyed by the friendly and engaging staff. This is a location to die for, offering a peerless menu. All that separates you from what may be the best getaway of your lifetime is securing a booking

Total immersion in traditional Fijian dances and songs

Fiji has a vibrant and unique indigenous culture with a range of mesmerizing and inspiring traditions. We invite you to become immersed in South Pacific island life.

One of the most inclusive and entertaining Fijian traditions is Meke (pronounced meh-kay). Meke is a traditional story-telling dance incorporating music and movement to send messages from one village to another. Fiji did not have the written word before Western influence so historic events and important information specific to a village were taught to the young and preserved for future generations through these songs and accompanying dances.

Meke is a joyous and uplifting thing to see. You will love it. Small rotating groups take turns to dance while the those who are not dancing clap and sing to provide the musical accompaniment. Singers encourage and celebrate the active dances and you can expect howls of laughter and very happy faces.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort works with Vivili and Waivunia villages and invites these talented communities to visit the resort to share their culture with guests. It is a special and uniquely Fijian form of entertainment and a great deal of fun to watch these exotic performances. It is not possible to watch and not feel the elation built within you.

We also have the pleasure to offer our guests the opportunity to hear Urata village choir, who perform on Sundays at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji, bringing their angelic choral songs and hymns to wonderful and soothing life. Urata village choir is an exquisite collection of singers who have grown up together and over years of practice and natural ability blend their voices with an inspiring and impressive result. This simply must be heard to appreciate how good they are.

You don’t have to wait for us to bring more of Fiji to you at the resort. There are also adventures and excursions outside the resort which we offer and encourage.

We look forward to sharing these beautiful, exotic parts of Fijian life (and so much more!) with you during your stay at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

3 steps to getting a private island in Fiji and 3 reasons you deserve it

Here are three steps to having a private island with three reassuring reasons you deserve the experience:

First, allow a scene to be set. You’re in Fiji, the sun is shinning, you’re standing on a sand beach with the warm ocean lapping at your feet, teeming with colourful marine life. You look up to intermittent white clouds dotting an otherwise clear blue sky. Light shimmers on the gentle waves all around you and as you look around you confirm that you and your loved ones are the only people there. This is not a TV show. It is not a trick. You’re on a private island in the South Pacific Ocean. It looks like paradise and yet it is all yours. You haven’t won the lottery, it just feels like it.

You have options. What will you do? You might snorkel, you might lay on the beach, you might explore the land and its plants and trees. Are you hungry? Because a meal was prepared by a masterful chef. Probably best to do all of the above. Will you share this rare luxury with the world on social media, or maybe you’ll only message your nearest and dearest. No matter how you use this time, there are simple steps to make it your reality.

Confirmation you deserve it

We hope you can accept this: You are awesome. So is your family. You deserve wonderful experiences. You deserve to know amazing things are real and available to you. The more unusual the experience is the more our minds take it in, the deeper the memory and the more lasting the connection. Your children and your spouse deserve these exceptional memories too.

You won’t be buying a private island, you’re visiting. It is a treat. What is fundamental to a private island experience is what it removes. There is no competition. There is no comparing yourself with those around you. There are no demands of your attention because everything there is the experience. There is no judgment. There is only this and your belonging there. It is liberating. These are all things you deserve, because we all do.

A Private Island brings privacy. This might seem obvious but the reality of it is rare. You are outside and maintaining privacy. You can be alone, or with those you love most. You can shout and dance and sing without being enclosed and without being viewed. It is freedom. Embrace your inner child and live with abandon.

Fiji Private Island Beach

So, how do you make this happen?

Three simple steps:

1. Fly to Fiji. You can learn about flights to Fiji with Fiji Airways https://www.fijiairways.com

2. Secure a place at the award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. JMC Online Availability and Booking

3. After you arrive at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, inform staff you want to experience the private island exclusive to resort guests. There are four sessions a day and can include meals if that is what you want. The resort staff will arrange everything for you and will do all they can to ensure you have the Private Island experience you want.

Molau yalewa (Fijian: Molau yalewa)

Molau yalewa (Fijian: Molau yalewa)

Phyllanthus cordata (Phyllanthaceae)

 

Characteristics

Evergreen shrub or tree, 3-7 m tall, spreading crown. Grows in dry forests, ridge forests, pastures and along roadsides, at elevations up to 900 meters. The plant flowers and produces fruits all year round.

Distribution

Endemic to Fiji.

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

This species is noteworthy for its pollination mechanism, which involves a symbiotic relationship with moths of the genus Epicephala. This closely parallels that found in Yucca species.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea sp. (Nyctaginaceae)

Characteristics

The genera Bougainvillea contains 18 different species, all of them thorny ornamental vines, shrubs or trees. The flower-like inflorescence consists of large, colourful, sepal-like bracts (special leaves) which surround three simple waxy flowers. Leaves alternate. Bougainvillea is frost-sensitive and drought-tolerant, making it ideal for warm climates. Its high salt tolerance makes it highly adapted in coastal regions.

Distribution

Native to South America from Brazil to Peru to Argentina. Cultivated in tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean regions around the world.

Natural Medical Properties

The plant contains pinitol, which is helpful in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes.

A study of aqueous and methanolic extracts of the leaves has shown good glucose tolerance and significantly reduced intestinal glucosidase activity, with regeneration of insulin-producing cells and increase in plasma insulin.

Results suggest a potential for the development of new nutraceutical treatment for diabetes.

Did you know?

Many of today’s bougainvillea are the result of interbreeding among only three out of the genera’s eighteen species. Currently, there are over 300 varieties of bougainvillea around the world.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

Hanging lobster claw

Hanging lobster claw

Heliconia cf. rostrata (Heliconiaceae)

Characteristics

Evergreen, perennial herb, up to 2 m tall. Leaves large, banana-like, leathery, dark green. In spring and summer, showy flower clusters (inflorescence) hang from the stem. Each inflorescence is made up of bright red bracts, each tipped with yellow and green, with yellowish-white flowers inside. The inflorescences last for weeks and are excellent in flower arrangements.

Distribution

Native to Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica and Ecuador, in lowland forest and thickets. Naturalized in Puerto Rico. Currently, this is often used as a specimen for tropical gardens around the world.

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

Other Heliconias (e.g Heliconia cf. psittacorum, #82) grow in the upright position and their cup-shaped flower bracts store water and nectar for birds and insects. This plant, however, has downward-facing flowers. The plant can still provide nectar to birds, especially hummingbirds.

“Hanging lobster claw” is the national flower of Bolivia.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

False Kava (Fijian: Yaqoyaqona)

False Kava (Fijian: Yaqoyaqona)

Macropiper timothianum (Piperaceae)

Characteristics

Shrub, 1.5-3 m tall. White flowers and red fruits.

Distribution

Grows in Pacific islands like Fiji and Samoa

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

Close related (same subfamily) to Kava (Piper methysticum) and Black Pepper (Piper nigrum).

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

Screw pines (Fijian: Vadra, Voivoi)

Screw pines (Fijian: Vadra, Voivoi)

Pandanus sp. (Pandanaceae)

Characteristics

Tropical shrubs (1 m) or trees (up to 20 m) with candelabra-like branching and spiny adventitious roots. Leaves and fruit resemble those of the pineapple plant, although they are not closely related. Pandanus are dioecious (male and female flowers produced on different plants).

Distribution

Native to Old World tropics and subtropics.

Natural Medical Properties

A drink made from the aerial roots is given for four days to treat an illness known as “crazy child”, in which the eyes wander. Asthma and back pains are also treated with a filtrate of aerial roots. Liquid squeezed from above ground aerial roots and inner bark is employed in the treatment of heart attack. Fish poisoning is treated with fluid pressed from above ground aerial roots.

Did you know?

Although Pandanus plants are called “Screw pines” or “Screw palms”, they are not closely related to pines or palms.

Pandanus has multiple uses, like source of food and raw material for clothing. Basket weaving and shelter.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

Breadfruit (Fijian: Buco ni viti, Uto buco)

Breadfruit (Fijian: Buco ni viti, Uto buco)

Artocarpus altilis (Moraceae)

Characteristics

Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree, up to 25 m tall. The large and thick leaves are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. The fruits are 0.25-6 kg and very important in standard diet of Pacific islands. All parts of the tree yield latex, which is useful for boat caulking. The tree is monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. It is closely related to Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and Mullberries (Morus sp.). Pollination occurs mainly by fruit bats.

Distribution

Native of tropical Asia (New Guinea, Maluk Islands, Phillipines). Spread by Austronesian voyagers around 3000 years ago into Micronesia, Melanesia (e.g. Fiji) and Polynesia. Therefore, Breadfruit is not native to the Pacific islands.

Natural Medical Properties

Liquid squeezed from the bark is given to remedy chest pain and vomiting resulting from heart trouble. Pressed liquid from the stem bark is employed in the treatment of pain in the maternal postpartum infections. Pressed fluid of the roots is utilized in the treatment of respiratory ailments which include difficult pained breathing. A filtrate of new unfolded leaves is employed as a remedy from fish poisoning.

Did you know?

During Captain Cook’s Endeavour expedition in 1769, Sir Joseph Banks and others saw the value of breadfruit as a highly productive food for slaves in British colonies (up to 200 fruits per season and tree). Therefore, William Bligh sailed as captain of HMS Bounty (“Mutiny on the Bounty”) to the Pacific to collect Breadfruit plants. The introduction in the British colonies was not entirely successful, as most slaves refused to eat the new food.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species