Firstly the good:
Has access to a lovely private beach, the grounds are well manicured, the hosts picked us up from the airport and seemed nice enough. My daughter spent probably 3 hours on the swing in the grounds too, content as could be and importantly, the grounds are in the lee of the trade winds. From a transport point of view, it's close enough to walk to Matei's conveniences although to be honest, you're probably going to need a car on this island at some point anyway.
Now the not so good:
Was infested with ants which wasn't the be-all and end-all, but having Ant-Rid (or equivalent) sprinkled over the food preparation surfaces in the kitchen was a definite concern.
As were the 3 cockroaches we found on the floor of the kitchen. And they were the three we found. The owner's response here was that cockroaches were common and that we should just expect them. This wasn't a satisfactory answer to us as we stayed in 5 other places during our 3 weeks and none of them had a problem.
Worst of all were the bed bugs though. I spent the remainder of my 2 weeks with welts that flared up the next day until beyond the end of my trip.
As an additional aside, the access to the private beach is trickier than it needs to be (stairs falling apart giving way to a slippery steep dirt slope). If you are comfortable on this type of terrain you will be fine, but it's by no means a pleasant stroll.
We only stayed one of our booked (and paid for) 4 nights, forfeiting the remainder because we couldn't put our family through more nights of this level of uncleanliness.
We asked for a partial refund and got an incredibly disappointing response: "I'm sorry that Karin's Garden didn't provide the standard you expected in a third-world-country" - simultaneously conceding that their property is probably okay by 3rd world standards (although everywhere else we stayed was proof that this is rubbish) and insulting the local Fijians who - contrary to Peter's opinion - certainly know how to run clean accommodation.
Steer well clear (unless you are an entomologist).
wonderful burre wonderful view, everything we needed, very cosy and comfortable . Peter managed to hire a 4x4 for us, which you def need to see the island. 20 mins walk to the local supermarket for your basic needs, 15 to the lovely garden restaurant, and 20 mins the other way to the most beautiful beach and another fabulous restaurant, try the homemade pizza !
Karin's Garden is a beautiful, bright, spacious 2-bed, 2-bath bungalow. Some of its charm includes: polished wooden floors, louvered windows to let in lots of light, a large verandah to sit out on and enjoy the garden and the ocean view, a kitchen with all the crockery, cutlery and utensils you will need, 24 hour hot water for showering and washing up. It is spotlessly clean and fresh, with daily maid service (except Sundays). The well-equipped kitchen is a great bonus given that Taveuni in general and Matei in particular are not all that convenient for eating out, especially at night when the lack of street lights can make walking around tricky, especially if its raining.
Peter and Karin are excellent hosts who will pick you up from and drop you off at Matei airport (only 3 minutes drive away). Peter also drove us to the supermarket on first arrival so that we could stock up on essentials for our stay. The supermarket itself was surprisingly well-supplied by Fijian standards and this allowed us to cook tasty meals which we then enjoyed on our verandah. One evening we tried Karin's cooking, which comes highly recommended and does not disappoint.
For sightseeing, Peter put us in touch with Hari, who drove us to the sights and also arranged a snorkelling trip to the nearby islands.
Karin's Garden is also well located, 10 minutes by foot from the airport, 15 minutes to a decent bakery and 20 minutes to the supermarket. While it has direct access to a beach, the path down is steep and can be slippery in wet weather. But an easily accessible white sand beach is only 10 minutes walk as you head away from Matei. There is a good pizzeria at the entrance to this beach.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
|Kitchen & utensils||Bathroom cleanliness|
|Other facilities & amenities||Service|
|Friends getaway||Older travelers|