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 classic Fijian dishes you can cook at home

Everyone returning from their getaway at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort praises our fresh food based on classic island recipes! No wonder – food is important to Fijian culture as a way for communities to gather, share stories and celebrate what the islands have to offer.

Whether you are missing your holiday stay on the tropical islands or want to warm up your taste buds with some post holiday treats, here are three easy Fijian dishes you can cook at home:

1) Kokoda

Kokoda is the Fijian version of ceviche, the raw fish dish cured in acidic juices. You use lemon or lime juice to soak any fish of your preference (though snapper suits best). Red onion, chillies, and tomatoes are kokoda staples, with this blend then soaked coconut milk.


  • 1kg fresh fish, skinned and cubed.
  • Juice of 10 limes and 3 lemons.
  • 2 medium-sized red onions, finely diced.
  • 3 red chillies, finely diced.
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomato.
  • 4 cups coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


First, you need to dice the fish into small cubes, carefully removing any bones.

Then, you mix the fish, citrus juices and chilli in a bowl and leave to marinate for two to three hours, or until the fish is opaque.

Next, drain the juices from mix and add your onion, tomato, spring onion and coconut milk.

Lastly, mix well and serve!

2) Goat curry

Goat curry is enjoyed by both Fijian-Indians and Native Fijians, and is the perfect example of the nation's rich culinary history. Lamb or beef can also be used as a substitute.


  • 8 cloves of garlic crushed with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin.
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder.
  • 5 small red chilies, crushed.
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  • Half a cup of coriander, chopped.
  • 1kg goat or lamb, cut into 3cm cubes.
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped.
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 eggplant, diced.
  • One third cup of natural yoghurt.


Mash the garlic and salt together, adding water to make a paste. Add the dry spices and chilli and continue pounding, adding water to the mix as needed.

Transfer the paste to a large pan and add half of your coriander. Add two cups of water and cook over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.

Add the meat. Stir to coat it and partially cover the pot, stirring occasionally. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Add half of the chopped onion, the potatoes and the eggplant, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Lastly, add the rest of the chopped onion, stir in the yoghurt, and sprinkle the remaining coriander on top. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Coconut chutneyFresh grated coconut gives the chutney a rich creamy texture.

3) Coconut chutney

A classic side with any Fijian curry, this chutney is rich in flavour and can last in the fridge for  several weeks! Plus it only takes a minute to make, so you'll be ready in no time!


  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut.
  • 1 cup coriander, chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced.
  • 1 green chilli with the seeds and stem removed, minced.


In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least one hour to blend the flavours.

For more about Fijian dining at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, check out the website!

Our quick guide on how to experience Fiji like a local

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has everything you need for an idyllic island getaway – crystal clear seas, activities for the whole family, and all the hospitality of our sunny staff. However, for those with an intrepid spirit and desire to see a little bit more of Fiji, look no further. Check out our quick guide on how to experience Fiji like a local.

Look beyond the islands

Many travellers never see more of the mainland than what's visible from the shuttle bus window on their way to one of Fiji's 300+ islands. However, the nation's metropolitan centres – Nadi and Suva – have a lot to offer for tourists looking for a taste of day-to-day Fijian life.

Nadi's Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is a sight to behold, and the main place of worship for the island's many Hindus. The city is also home to a number of markets selling everything from fresh produce to local artworks and carvings. Nadi is a short 10-minute drive from the international airport, and is also reachable by bus or taxi from the nearby resorts.

Suva, meanwhile, has an array of green spaces that put paid to the notion that the city has nothing to offer. The Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve is a wildlife haven, while the Thurston Gardens offer visitors an escape to a tropical garden paradise right in the heart of the city.

Respect Fijian village traditions

Seeing a real Fijian village should be high on your To-Do list when in Fiji. However, did you know that most communities require visitors to participate in a gift-giving ceremony before they can enter? Known as a sevusevu, these welcomings are part of historic Fijian traditions.

Kava is the most common form of gift, and should be presented to the head of the village on arrival. When presenting your sevusevu, dress conservatively and avoid wearing anything on your head, like sunglasses or a hat. The head of the village will meet you, share a smile and a few sips of kava, and then welcome you in to explore.

Those who don't bring a sevusevu may not be welcomed into the village. As such, it's best to use a guide who can organise your sevusevu and guide you through the local customs.

Fijian customsThere are particular customs you need to follow when entering a Fijian village.

Say 'bula'' to everyone you meet

The Fijian greeting may wear thin after a while, but it is genuinely used so widely on the island by locals and tourists alike that it's almost second nature. Fijians are also naturally friendly, so many will greet you with a loud 'bula' to ask how you are enjoying your time on the islands and what you plan to do. Respond with a smile and a bula of your own – it's that easy!

For more information on how you can live like a local during your stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, contact our friendly team today.

Diving the Gorgeous, Unspoiled Namena Marine Reserve in Fiji

Just 40 minutes away from the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort by boat, the Namena Marine Reserve is considered to be one of the top ten dive sites in the entire world. Its brilliantly clear, unspoiled waters are home to thousands of fish species and invertebrate types, as well as hundreds of marine plant specimens and species of coral.

Go on an adventure
The biodiverse waters offer the chance to swim, snorkel, and dive with friendly bottlenose and spinner dolphins, or gentle giants including pilot, minke, sperm, and humpback whales. The many different diving and snorkeling options give you the chance of an experience of your lifetime, as you watch sharks, barracuda, and trevalis swim unconcernedly by, free from predators or fishing rigs.

Bump-heads, grouper, and coral snakes weave in and out of soft corals, as you glide effortlessly up chimneys riding the warm currents, or plummet hundreds of metres down to the depths of vertical drop-offs. All of this and more is possible when you dive at the Namena Marine Protected Area (MPA) as a guest of Jean-Michel Cousteau.

The Namena Marine Reserve and its near-shore Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs), are managed by the 10 village chiefs from the District of Kubulau. They are "qoliqoli,", an area of sea where customary native fishing rights hold sway, providing sustenance and a livelihood for the local people.

Although the Namena reefs were put in peril in the 1980s and '90s due to significant increases in commercial fishing, leading many to fear for the reefs' destruction, the chiefs of Kubulau rallied against the threat. They collectively created the Namena MPA, placing a total ban on fishing starting in 1997. Today, the beautiful experiences remain available thanks to their swift action to protect their pristine waters.

Master a new skill
If you don't yet hold any certifications, you don't have to miss out. Our half-day resort course is held regularly at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, giving you the chance to learn the foundations of scuba diving, become familiar with the gear, and learn basic scuba skills in the safety of a pool.

We also offer snorkeling certification, and once you've earned certification, you can join the excursions to the Namena dive site and explore from the end of the pier in safety. Don't miss out on this chance to enjoy one of the unspoiled winders of the world book your resort visit and an accompanying excursion today!

Authentic Fijian dishes to try on your trip to the islands

One of the best ways to get to know a new locale, immerse yourself in the culture, and experience the unique pleasures that it has to offer is by eating the local food. Between the abundance of fresh seafood, the wide array of unusual produce, and the innovative cooking methods and techniques, there is no shortage of delicious fare to indulge in on the Fijian islands, whether you're on a romantic Fiji getaway or a family vacation. Unsurprisingly, the cuisine highlights the food that is naturally available including seafood, root vegetables, coconut, citrus and tropical fruits, as well as chicken, pork and lamb. And many of the dishes you'll find on local menus are recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Ready to discover the flavors of Fiji? These crave-worthy dishes are definitely worth seeking out while dining around the islands.

Baigan Valo
Making this Indo-Fijian fusion dish entails cutting an eggplant in half and stuffing it with fresh fish before steaming it. It is typically topped with a drizzle of rich coconut cream before serving.

There's hardly a better way to experience Fijian cuisine than by enjoying a lovo — a traditional feast that entails wrapping fish, meat, and vegetables in banana leaves and then slow cooking them for several hours in an underground fire pit. Since a lovo is typically only prepared on special occasions (like weddings, holidays, and special festivals), it can be hard to come by. Luckily, at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, we bring the traditional Fijian lovo to our guests every week — Executive Chef Raymond Lee relies on centuries-old recipes and serves the lovo buffet style, so you can enjoy your fill of this hearty feast firsthand.

If you're a ceviche fan be sure to try this Fijian take on the raw fish dish. Kokoda is made with fresh fish (usually mahi-mahi or snapper), which is marinated in lime or lemon juice, and then typically mixed with coconut cream, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and chillies. It's often served in a coconut shell or traditional kava bowl and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a light lunch.

To prepare this dish, taro leaves are stewed in coconut milk to create a warm pudding — the ultimate comfort food — which is usually served as a side, or appetizer, much like a soup. Occasionally, seasonings like ginger, garlic, or nutmeg are added to enhance the flavor.

Taro leaves are boiled and mashed to create this dish, which might remind you of stewed spinach. Palusami is often served with coconut cream, and occasionally, chunks of lamb.

To find out more about the delectable cuisine Fiji has to offer, check out our diverse dining options at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

Why might you be interested in a vacation in Fiji?

There are countless reasons why you might be interested in taking your next vacation in Fiji, specifically at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. We offer the best amenities, activities and cuisine that you can find in this tropical island oasis, and you can find rest and relaxation, whether you're travelling by yourself, with your partner or with your whole family.

If you still need a little more convincing and are not completely won over by the fact that you will be pampered, wined and dined, and can find your own piece of paradise right here in Fiji at our luxurious resort, here are a few other reasons why Fiji should be your next vacation destination.

Get a taste of Fijian celebrity life
Famous Fijians are known for their kindness, athleticism and talent – get a little taste of their life and culture and embrace some of your favourite celebrities' ways of life. Some famous Fijians include professional golfer Vijay Singh, WWF wrestling superstar Jimmy Snuka and members of his wrestling dynasty, and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy star Craig Parker. Enjoy the island the way these natives, among many others, know how to.

Rich with culture
If you're a history buff, the island of Fiji will surely hold a special place in your heart. With origins dating back approximately 3,500 years, the island nation has played host to the Tu'i Tonga Empire, Polynesian culture, Dutch settlers and English navigators. These influences converged and the results can still be seen today in Fijian culture. The major tenants of the Fijian people include hospitality, friendship and music, all of which are very important elements of the way of life at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

You can also take part in a complementary excursion at Nukubalavu, a traditional local village. Here you will spend the afternoon with the Village Chief and watch a dance performance to get a better sense of what daily life and culture is like for the people who live on the island.

Explore a new world
If you vacation in Fiji, specifically at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, you will be able to explore the hidden depths of the seas by taking advantage of everything offered by the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Centre. Divers of all experience levels can have special, new, and exciting experiences at the Namena marine reserve site. Here, they can see various species of fish and coral and different types of physical environments.

Fun facts to know before your first Fiji holiday

If you've never been to Fiji before, you're in for a treat. White sand islands, swaying palm trees and year-round warm weather. Here are some interesting insights to help make your first visit to Fiji as perfect as the scenery.

6 fun facts for your first visit to Fiji

1) Fiji is made up of over 300 islands

Fiji is one big chain of tropical islands, only around 100 of which are inhabited. The two biggest islands – Vanua Levu and Viti Levu – host the vast majority of the population and are the region's international travel hubs. A range of light aircraft and boats connect the other islands.

Hundreds of tropical islands make up Fiji.Fiji is a country made up of hundreds of tropical islands.

2) Traditional music, singing and dancing are a huge part of the culture

Fijians are often called the happiest people in the world. Maybe it's because they're always singing and dancing – you'll even be serenaded at Nadi airport as you disembark your international flight.

Expect to hear a Fijian tune whenever anyone arrives or leaves the resort, and make sure to take in one of the spectacular evening cultural shows.

3) The underwater scenery is just as impressive

Hailed as the coral capital of the world, Fiji's reefs are mighty impressive. One of the most popular options for visitors is the Namena Reef, complete with a huge variety of fish and a colourful collection of coral.

Colourful coral reefs in Fiji.Fiji's waters are home to colourful coral reefs.

4) Kava is the national drink

Kava is the country's traditional drink is mad from the ground root of a plant in the pepper family. It's believed to cure headache and stress, as well as help you sleep. As an important social and cultural custom, it's usually consumed as part of a ceremony and you may well have the opportunity to join in during your stay.

5) Bula and Vinaka

The Fijian words for "Hello" and "Thank you" are just two of the words you'll hear warmly exchanged between old friends and new all the time when you visit Fiji. However, there are actually three main languages in region – Fijian, Fiji Hindi and English. The English language is taught in school, so you'll find it easy to communicate with locals.

"Bula" is a local Fijian greeting.Say "Bula" to your new Fijian friends.

6) Christian culture

Fiji's main religion is Christianity, but there are also a number of Roman Catholics and Hindus too. In fact, one of the major landmarks in Nadi is the colourful Sri Siva Subramaniya temple. For Fiji's Christians, Sundays are typically a day of rest, with the vast majority of locals putting on their finest to attend church.

Of course, depending who you speak to, rugby is a local religion too.

Are you ready to book your Fiji hotel? The Jean Michel Cousteau Resort offers sustainable, eco-luxe accommodation with plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Find out more today.

The Family Resort in Fiji Where New Friendships are on the Menu

When you have been to Fiji you leave with a leading memory: ‘The Fijian people’. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, a Family Luxury Resort, is located in what Fijian people call “The Friendly North”, famed for the openness and warmth of its residents.

When there is such natural beauty in Fiji, warm weather, world class coral reefs, marine life and lush landscapes, why is it guests comments are about the friendly Fijians? Comments like, “The staff at the resort made for an exceptional experience and we can’t wait to go back.” and “I saw people actually cry when they left this place, it is so wonderful.”?

We’d like to introduce some of our heartwarming staff, who are so easy to connect with.

Fiji Marine Biologist - Johnny Singh

Johnny Singh is a resident Marine Biologist and Naturalist. Say what now? Yes, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji is the only resort to employ full-time marine biologists to help visitors appreciate Fiji’s best diving and snorkeling and to understand the Cousteau philosophy. Johnny is from Fiji, studied here and also in Australia, where he earned his master’s degree from James Cook University.

Johnny is passionate about the environment, conservation, sustainability, and educating guests of all ages about the environment. At Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, he plays four key roles:

Guest Education Informing guests about Fiji’s natural heritage, snorkeling (both day and night trips – can you spell bioluminescence?), evening presentations, all to guide guests of all ages in how to help protect the environment through action and advocacy in our daily lives.

As Environmental Coordinator. Johnny’s resort projects include integrated landscaping, creating renewable energy sources, organic gardening, recycling grey water for wetlands, composting, and more. He also ensures the resort uses eco sensitive products.

Research With the belief that we must understand something before we are able to protect it, Johnny conducts reef checks at dive sites in order to assess the health of the reefs. Guests and other volunteers are always welcome to join Johnny on these reef checks.

Local Outreach Johnny takes his educational tour on the road and visits local schools, giving presentations, sharing knowledge, and helping future generations of Fijians so that they are aware of the importance of preserving their local environment.

Not only is Johnny a delight to be around, he’s responsible for restoring mangroves in the area, repopulating nearby reefs with giant clams, and measuring the benefits of marine protected areas.

If you think this work sounds all very hip and new, Johnny Singh has been doing this work at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji for fourteen years! When asked what project was his favourite, Johnny said, “I love all of it.”

As an example of how close guest connections run with those who work at the resort, Johnny’s daughter connects with a young past guest every Sunday to chat over Messenger. The family has been back to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort five times and when away, one of their children communicate weekly with a friend made in Fiji.

Fiji Resort Sraff - Veiwili

Veiwili began his career at the resort as a trainee in our Food and Beverage area (restaurant). He has become one of the superstars on the floor (that’s serving floor, not dance floor -although he probably lights up a dance floor too!).

We’re so glad and grateful to have him in the team. Veiwili grew up in a fairly remote and isolated part of the island we are located on. Something about where he originates from contributed to this special person you are sure to gravitate to.

Fiji Resort - Talei

If you’ve been to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort before, there is a good chance you remember Talei and her wonderful and welcoming smile. Talei has been at the Fiji Family Luxury Resort for nearly two decades. After running our world renowned Bula Club (Fiji’s best educational, interactive and fun Kids Club) for fourteen years, Talei is now in charge of running our restaurant (more about our fine dining experience and organic menu).

Talei would love to meet you and share in your experience. Learn how to receive a complimentary night’s accommodation

Celebrate Fiji Day in style at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort!

October 10 is one of the most important dates on the calendar year and a day that has great significance for Fijians all over the world. This is more commonly known as Fiji Day.

Find out why this day is so important and what you can expect to do on your stay at our five star Fiji resort.

What is Fiji Day?

Fiji Day commemorates two very important dates in Fijian history. The first signifies the events that occurred on October 10, 1874. On this day, Fiji's nominal king and warlord, Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau and fellow Fijian chiefs ceded to Great Britain, and the British took control of the islands as the Colony of Fiji. This life-changing decision was influenced by Cakobau's desire to increase trade within the Commonwealth islands as well as promoting civilisation and Christianity. 

However, nearly 100 years later in 1970, a constitutional conference was held in London. In this meeting, attendees agreed that Fiji should become a fully-fledged sovereign and independent nation, under the Commonwealth of Nations. Later that year on October 10, Fiji's colonial status was removed, and the country became an official democratic state.

While the original signing over of rights may seem strange to celebrate, the event was significant in the fact that it protracted the process that culminated in Fiji's official independence.

Find out how you can celebrate Fiji Day at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Fiji Day is one of the most important dates in the Fijian calendar. Are you ready to celebrate?

How do people celebrate Fiji day?

As well as the day itself, locals also celebrate Fiji Week. During this time, people immerse themselves in various religious and cultural event that celebrate Fiji's great diversity and fascinating story. Each year, a different theme is chosen by organisers that ties in with Fijian traditions and independence day itself.

Visiting at this time of year is a great way to immerse yourself in Fijian culture and celebrate alongside locals and staff of our five star Fiji resort. Here, expect plenty of dancing, presentations and partaking in the various cultural activities we have to offer. Join in on a visit to the local Nukubulavu village and meet some of the local residents, as well as the village chief himself. Back at the resort, experience a traditional Fijan lovo feast – an underground cooking sensation that the whole resort can get involved with.

Here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, we're proud of our heritage, and we love sharing it with everyone who chooses who to stay with us. Find out how we can make your Fijian holiday one to remember by getting in touch today.

Uncover the legends of Fiji

We love sharing tales of ancient tradition with guests at our story-telling nights here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. But where did the inspiration for such fables come from?

Degei – the creator of Fijian life

Where better place to start than with the supreme snake god of Fiji himself – Degei. In the beginning Degei lived alone with his companion Turukawa the hawk. One day, Turukawa went missing and Degei went in search of her. After finding Turukawa, Degei was disappointed to find that the hawk had spurned him after finding a mate. The next day Degei returned to the spot and was shocked to see Turukawa's abandoned nest – inside were two eggs.

Degei rescued the eggs and nurtured them at his own home. After several weeks, the eggs hatched and revealed two tiny human bodies. Over time, Degei raised the humans and taught them how to fend for one another using crops he provided. One of these crops is believed to be kava (yuqona). 

Years passed and the humans learnt to bring new life into the world. Degei then led his people through the oceans to Vuda – the first Fijian settlement. However the God didn't stay, and instead continued his travels further north to the Nakavadra mountain range where he chose to reside. To this day, the snake god is often offered the first bowl of yaqona (kava) as a sign of respect and thanks.

Discover the legends of Fiji at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.Are you aware of Degei the snake god and creator of Fijian life?

Shark god and protector of the oceans

Protecting the ocean is one of our biggest passions here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Thankfully, we're not the only ones who want to see this underwater paradise flourish. According to Fijian legend, there's another protector of the reefs and ocean life, and he goes by the name Dakuwaqa. 

Dakuwaqa, the shark god, not only looks after the ocean and all in it. Legend states that he also protects fisherman from the dangers at sea. It's believed that he has the ability to morph into anything, however his true form is that of a half human, half shark. His presence is still celebrated today, with fisherman known to pour a glass of kava into the ocean before venturing out on trips.

Want to learn more about the fascinating tales of the islands? At our story-telling evenings, guests of all ages can enjoy hearing about Fijian culture and legend. Get in touch with the team today to find out how we can make your holiday to Fiji one to remember.