What can I say about this place that hasn't already been said? It is truly amazing in every way, and I think is the only place we could have gone to with children where we could have had a real rest.
Let's start with the booking.....I had been keen to try JMC ever since a travel agent friend of mine told me about it. But then I checked the prices on-line - yikes! Even though everything bar alcohol and a few excursions were included, I couldn't justify the price. Eventually though, we were keen to go on an international family holiday (me, husband, and kids ages 7 and 5) so I did my research and found what appeared to be a great place in the South Pacific. When I went to my travel agent friend and told him what I wanted and what my budget was, he steered me towards JMC telling me this is the place where we should go if we wanted a break, and for the kids to have the best time ever. I can tell you that using a travel agent really is valuable, as he was able to get me JMC for my budget plus 3 dives and 3 massages, and a beachfront Bure. Sold!!!
This place truly is second to none. We were greeted at Nadi Domestic Airport by the lovely Bella from JMC. A short plane ride and we were on Vanua Levu and in paradise!
We were greeted at the airport at Vanua Levu and whisked directly to the resort. Stepping off the courtesy bus, our kids were identified by name by the ready staff, and taken to the kids club! All before we had even checked in! At check-in we were offered a room upgrade which we ended up taking, but our original room was just as fantastic. JMC really knows how to treat their guests. Our original room wasn't ready, but they had a day room all prepared for us so that we could freshen up as we waited. No problem as we took the upgrade!
The rooms here feel very traditionally Fijian, but very elegantly appointed. There is no air-conditioning, but the bures have louvres all around, and are fully screened. There are fans as well. We come from a warm, sub-tropical climate so we are used to the heat. We found it very warm in Fiji, but we had no problem sleeping with the fans. And we hardly spent anytime in our Bure anyway as we were out and about all day. The turn-down staff also light mosquito coils in safety boxes so you are protected at night from mosquitos - we didn't have a problem in the room. Also, Pure Fiji products are for use in the bathrooms which was a lovely touch.
Every day there is a schedule of activities that runs from 6am-9pm approximately - one for the Adult's/older teenagers, one for the older kids, and one for the younger kids. You are never at a loss for things to do. But you can also just spend your days lazing by the many daybeds by the pool or water. And that view! Savusavu Bay really is a sight to behold! I fell in love!
The kids club here is really at a level I never even thought possible in every way. They have 3 pools! Yes, you read that right! 3 pools, just for the kids! And the care! My youngest had a nanny, Veronica, and my eldest shared a buddy, Solomon, with 4 other kids, but honestly, I could have sworn Solomon was just her buddy. They were so incredible with the kids but it was more than that.....they were just so attuned to what you needed, and nothing was ever a problem. If our girls wanted to be with us, then they could at any time, but they mostly didn't want to be with us! They were having too much fun! 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. It was exhausting just seeing how much the kids were up to but they had an absolute ball!
As for our experience, well, everything was just perfect. To the food, the drinks, the staff, the location, the snorkelling, the best, the water. And that list goes on too! A big thank you goes to so many of the staff - Kitty, the gorgeous Operations Manager who felt like a Mum to be, Julie, Gabby our amazing bartender, Mario, our escort who even took us to the airport on his retirement day during the work Christmas Party (so lovely of him!!!), Paulini our waitress. And so many more. There are 200 staff who work at this resort so it is impossible to name them all. So many of them are largely unseen but work to make this resort the special place it is. Thanks to all of you for your hard work. It was appreciated every single day!
And lastly, a big thanks to Johnny, JMC's resident marine biologist. Not only did our girls undertake the ocean conservation program for the kids at JMC, but we were educated too with Johnny providing us with informative presentations about the environment most nights. Thanks Johnny. You made our girls feel very proud that they can now be ambassadors for the ocean too!
When we had to leave, I actually had tears in my eyes. I am so grateful to have had this experience, and can't wait to save my $ to get back here again. Thank you JMC! You really did make my trip the most memorable ever!