Bula Bula and Hello,
We want to say thank you for booking your Fiji vacation with us at Vale Sekoula. We are looking forward to your stay here on Taveuni Island. You probably have already learned so much about our place and the island of Taveuni from the websites, but we want to remind you to check out our FAQ page. If you have any questions that are not answered there, feel free to message us in the apps, email us, or text my wife and I at 1.714.313.4449. As a new visitor to our home and the island, we are including the following check-in instructions to provide helpful pointers for your comfort and safety:
1) UPON ARRIVAL by plane, our caretakers Vinna or Robert will meet you at the Matei airport. The house is just a 2 minute walk down the road, directly across the street from the airport. If you have a lot of luggage or scuba gear, we can arrange for a taxi to take care of that for you just give us a notice before arriving. We should already have your flight date and times. If there is anything our caretaker has missed or you need anything at all, please reach out so we can help solve any issues that might arise. We are here to help make your vacation the best possible.
2) COVID TESTING & Travel Insurance? As of September 1st Fiji is no longer performing covid required tests. If you need a test for any reason, email grant at firstname.lastname@example.org, he can help you during your stay.
Covid-19 Travel Insurance: Check your airlines if you need this. To enter into Fiji they were asking all passengers to Fiji to have Covid-19 Travel Insurance, but please check with your airline before you arrive. $39.99 for 15 days. Here is the link to purchase https://www.fijivisitorsinsurance.com
3) CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT times can vary based on your flight times. We are very flexible if we don't have guests on the same day. We can help accommodate your schedule to keep you comfortable and stress free! Normal check-in time is 4pm, and normal checkout time is 11am. Please let me know your flight arrival and departure.
4) HOUSE ELECTRICAL POWER is 240volts (the same as Australia and New Zealand). If you are visiting from the USA, we should have enough converters to meet your needs. The power for our home is supplied by solar with batteries and a generator. If you leave the house during the day, please turn off all lights and fans to help us to conserve resources. And while at the house, please only operate fans and lights in rooms that are occupied. There are also bedside fans for you to use at night if you like. Here is a link to get familiar with fiji outlets. https://www.worldtravelplugadapter.com/fiji/.
GENERATORS- Most homes and hotels in Fiji run generators a few hours a day. Our home generator is a good distance from the house, so your probably won't hear it. If the neighbors happen to be home, you may hear their generator in the distance once a day for 45 minutes or so. We just want to give you a heads so you know.
5) KAYAKING and PADDLEBOARDS are available at the house and free to use. Please be careful launching the kayaks from the cement launch, if its wet, it is slippery!!!!! Please do not drag kayaks. Only launch them into the ocean during higher tides. Only use the kayaks between 1.5 hours before high tide and no later then 1.5 hours after high tide. This is to avoid getting stuck out on the shallow reef. The water is shallow in many places on lower tide and there is risk damaging the bottom of the kayaks on rocks and hurting the coral, the reefs or your feet. Example: If high tide for today is at 9am, only kayak between 7:30am to 10:30am. This is 1.5 hours before and after high tide! See daily Tide Chart- https://www.seatemperatu.re/oceania/fiji/taveuni-island/tides.html
Do not paddle out on windy days, it can be hard to get back to the house. Please take a life jacket and use it. There are a few islands to visit offshore, Famous Honeymoon Island, the 3rd island, has a beach on the right side with amazing snorkeling on both sides of this island. (25 min paddle) If you don't want to paddle, Vinna can hire a boat to pick you up and drop you off. Approx. $60+FJ dollars round trip up to 6 people. Vinna will even pack you a picnic lunch with advance notice. Approx $10-$15FJ per person. Ask Vinna the menu options the day before! Please keep an eye on the weather and the currents! You can check wind and tide times on website links in the guest book located on the kitchen counter. Please be aware of the high and low tide times for each day. The paddleboards should be used by those who have experience.
6) SNORKEL GEAR is available at the house and free to use. Located in the large cabinet next to the TV you will find snorkels/masks and lifejackets. Snorkel Fins are in black bins. We only offer a few sets and the fit is not always guaranteed. You might consider bringing your own. When finished using them, please rinse the snorkel, masks and fins in the fresh-water outdoor shower by the pool and allow them to air-dry before putting them away. Our favorite spot to snorkel is the 3rd island. Takes 25-30 minutes. Pull kayaks up on the beach at island number 3! Be careful not to let your kayak drift away. Snorkel the entire island, but keep an eye on the currents and wind. Reef Shoes are nice to have, but old sneakers can work good for hiking around rocky shorelines. Snorkel visibility is not great from the backyard, snorkel is the best further out closer to the 4 islands you see in the distance.
7) CARETAKERS Vinna and Robert, live just down the road, they are at your service to help with anything you need. Upon arrival, they will show you the house and hand you the keys. They will give you a tour of the house as well as their contact info when you arrive.
8) LOCAL TRANSPORTATION is best using a taxi. It is convenient and inexpensive. Most likely, Aggie or Samir owners of Aloha Travel will be your dedicated driver and guide. They know everything to do and everywhere to go. They will assist in getting you out to all the waterfalls and sites, as well as shopping and restaurants. Taxi drivers also give you great information about the area. They usually wait for you to shop or hike. We normally text or call them when finished at any restaurant. Here are some approx rates to prepare you:
Approx rates for a Family of 2-4 people. 5-8 people plan approx $20FJ more.
-Round Trip from the house to Tramonto's Restaurant- $15 FJ
-Round Trip 1/2 day Shopping Trip- $100 FJ
-Round Trip 1/2 day Bouma Falls- $140 FJ
-Round Trip from house to The Dive Cafe- $15 FJ
-Round Trip 1/2 day Shopping and WaterSlides- $120 FJ
-Round Tip Full Day Levena Coastal Walk- $180 FJ
Total $570 FJ or roughly $285 US Dollars. This was our Taxi Fees for the week.
Prices subject to change based on current gas prices.
9) FOOD AND BEVERAGE Our kitchen does have a drip coffee pot and an small expresso machine. If you are a coffee lover, we suggest bringing your own coffee! The locals don't really drink it and the stores do not carry ground coffee or coffee beans. Only Instant coffee.
You can get coffee and Lattes at most restaurants. We like morning coffee at The Dive Cafe.
There are food items available for purchase at a nearby convenience stores. Satish convenience store is very small but a 5 minute walk. There is the Sun City grocery store just a little further down the road, has most items to meet your needs. Sun City is a 12-15 minute walk. (make a left when exiting our gate) Larger grocery stores are 25 minute taxi drive into the main town. The Property fruit trees such as our house Pineapples, coconuts and Mangos grow each season, Do not pick without asking Vinna which ones are ready to harvest. She can pick a few for you that are ready for you to enjoy. If you crave a certain fruit ask Vinna and she can normally get you some down the road.
10) FIJI MONEY- Taveuni takes Fiji dollars. Some places will take credit card but may charge a 3% fee. Don't rely on credit cards. We recommend exchanging money into fiji dollars at Nadi airport. You can get Fiji dollars at our Bank in Somosomo on Taveuni, 25 minute taxi ride. Check bank hours. Here is a current exchange rate website:
11) HOME COOKED MEALS by our caretaker are amazing! Just reserve in advance with Vinna, she will tell you what's on the menu and current pricing in Fiji Dollars.
Dinner for 4 can range from $15FJ-$30FJ per person. 2022 prices. The Refrigerator is not stocked, but Vinna does include a few bottles of Fiji water for when you arrive. Vinna does use the very lower freezer box for her weekly meats and fresh caught fish. If you request a meal from Vinna, she sometimes needs to use these items from the very bottom freezer.
12) LOCAL RESTAURANTS are available nearby. The Dive Café and Coconut Grove have great food, as well as Tramontos which has an amazing sunset view! (Go at Sunset)
We recommend you make reservations the day before for your meals at Tramontos and Coconut Grove. Use our phone in the kitchen to call local places. One of my favorite things to do if you like to walk in the mornings, is to head out the front gate, turn right. walk 15-20 minutes to The Dive Cafe for Coffee or Latte or breakfast, Get a taxi back if you like! The views are the best! Coconut Grove is a 2 minute walk 3 doors down, make a left when you leave our gate. Tramonto's is a 25 minute walk. or call the taxi!
13) FIJI DANCERS AND MUSIC can be arranged to perform at the house! Reservations are a must! Vinna will help you get this scheduled. Ask her about the price, which is very reasonable. There is also a great Lovo dinner, dance and kava ceremony at The Dive Cafe on Wednesday evenings! Make reservations a few days in-advance.
14) LOVO DINNERS for families are a fun way to enjoy an authentic Fijian style feast. Vinna can arrange this for you. Check with her on pricing.
15) SWIMMING POOL is open 24 hours a day! Use caution and supervise your children at all times because the pool has no safety gate. Additionally, use caution on the pool steps. The last step down is a longer drop than the others and it will catch you by surprise! We also have a great outdoor shower next to the pool. Please understand that our pool is the only one in Matei area, local families and local kids are not permitted to swim in the pool unless Vinna or Tony give written permission! Only you the paid guest can use the pool.
Don't forget to ask Vinna about booking a pool side massage, you will love it. The tile can be slippery when wet. Quiet hours 10pm-8am!!!!
16) LAUNDRY & HOUSE KEEPING is available with the washing machine in the laundry room. Vinna can help and will do your laundry as needed. Most of Fiji does not use dryers, so everything must be dried on the clothesline. It is normal to see towels or sheets on a clothes line in Fiji. Vinna stops by when you are on an adventure and will cleanup and make your beds. She will wash anything you like. You can also request an extra cleaning.
17) HEAT AND SUN- Yes you are on a tropical island, please drink lots of water and wear sunscreen. Ceiling fans and floor fans work well at night. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room or leave the house. Reminder most homes on Taveuni do not have air conditioning. We have a refreshing pool, fans and an ocean breeze.
18) BUGS?- Matei does not have too many, depending on the time of year, but really only a few. Insect repellent can be helpful for evenings/mornings or hiking in the jungle waterfall areas. We like to spray below the knees and our ankles in the mornings and evenings. To avoid bugs indoors, please close all doors around sunset time. Vinna can also give you coils to burn on the back deck if sitting out in the evenings. Vinna does keep some bug spray in the house, but if you run low or run out, ask Vinna for more. We do offer bug nets for the beds, but you probably won't need them, unless you leave the back doors open at night!
19) LIZARDS AND OTHER CRITTERS are local residents in this tropical environment. You may encounter some of them in and around the house. It is possible you could see a spider or a Gecko Lizard. They are no harm, but we ask to store all your food away (sealed) in the upper kitchen cabinets or refrigerator to not attract them into the house. Don’t leave any open food items out on the patio or anywhere in the house. If food is left out, or you leave dirty dishes, the ants will come marching. Ask Vinna to spray if you see ants or a bug problem. We do have extra ant spray in the laundry room if needed.
20) RAINFALL is usually a daily occurrence. Sometimes there are sudden and short-lived cloudbursts and frequently have steady rain showers. We have umbrellas available near the front entry for your convenience, to take with you on your adventure. Sometimes we have wind and rain! Please shut the glass windows on east side of the house to avoid wet floors inside the house. (The east side windows are next to the dinning table and kitchen stove wall as well as the garden bedroom). We also provide a few walking sticks for your trip to The Lavena Coastal Walk! Please return them when finished.
21) DOMESTICATED ANIMALS are “free range” in Fiji, so you may encounter a friendly dog, a cat, and even a chicken. Some animals just wander around. Our home does not have any animals, but one might show up! The neighbor dog could pay a visit. They are friendly and trained to not go inside the house. If you want her to stick around, keep petting her! (do not feed them)
22) SAFETY PRECAUTIONS for you to be aware of: The bathroom and laundry room floor are 1 inch lower than the main house floor. Many floors are done like this for draining reasons. So, as you walk into the bathroom or laundry room be prepared for the dip, and when exiting these rooms be careful not to stub your toes or trip! Our floor mats do help.
Fire extinguisher and first aid kit are by the front door entrance. BBQ is in the front of the house. Please roll it out away from the house before cooking. Most of our doors can slam shut by the wind, most interior doors we use the rock door stoppers to avoid load door slamming. Most exterior doors have either back hooks to keep them open or rock door stoppers. During the day we like to keep both double patio doors open for some very nice airflow off the ocean.
23) INTERNET AND TV are available. There is a Smart TV in the living room. Vinna will share the internet password with you and will show you the TV remote. We are in a rural setting, so be patient if the internet or even your phone signal drops. It is a normal occurrence on Taveuni. Overall we have great internet. I recommend calling your cell phone provider and telling them you will be in Fiji and would like to know the plan they have so you don't have unexpected charges.
24) MUST DO during your stay if you like adventure- Rock water slides, 30 minute Drive.
Lavena Coastal walk and waterfalls- 1 hour drive, then hike 1.5 hours on the coast to a swim up to an amazing waterfall! Bring hiking stick! Request a boat ride back, or hike another 1.5 hours back! Bouma Falls, 35 minute drive, plan on swimming in the falls! First waterfall is an easy 10 minute beautiful hike. 2nd and 3rd waterfalls if your in good shape! Bouma falls and Lavena Coastal Walk cost a little money to visit, Around $35FJ per person. all money supports their local village. Don't forget to Snorkel or scuba dive rainbow reef and the famous white wall. I recommend a fishing adventure! Get picked up by boat from the backyard and reel in a fish of a lifetime. Ask for Bubba, he gets me on the fish!
25) RELAX and enjoy the views and the people! Vinna and your tour guides will ensure that you get the most out of your visit. If you want to do all the best and see all the best in Taveuni, just let them know and they will do their best to fulfill that desire.
26) CHECKOUT- The day before you leave, let Vinna or Robert know your flight time.
I also recommend walking over to the runway the morning of and let the airport know your flight time and tell them you are staying at Vale Sekoula. This will make sure they don't leave without you and they can call you if the flight changes. Check-in your luggage at least 1 hour before flight!
My wife and I want to welcome you to Fiji and our home, Vale Sekoula! (www.walkingonwaterfiji.com) Vinaka, Thank you,
Tony and Katie 1.714.313.4449 cell#