It also has a dedicated marine biologist on staff

Picture this: You’ve just endured a long flight from the U.S. (about 11 hours from SFO) and a small plane takes you from Nadi Airport on a journey over lush, green mountains and some of the most gorgeous turquoise-blue ocean you’ve ever seen. Your family vacation to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is just beginning when you arrive at Savusavu Airport on Fiji’s second-largest island. The smiling staff members are there to welcome your family and transport you to the resort that will become your home away from home for the duration of your stay in Fiji.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is an eco-luxury property with a focus on cultural immersion and environmental education but in our opinion, the star is their kids’ club program—Bula Club. We’ll get into the nitty gritty details below, but trust us, it’s the main reason families return year after year.

Marine education and activities are also a huge focus at the resort and that’s evidenced by the fact that they have a marine biologist on staff and a dive center on the property. You can even get scuba-certified when you arrive to take advantage of the diving program while you are there. Night snorkeling, kayaking, and days by the pool are all on the agenda.

What’s it like to stay at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort?

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort bure
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

The minute you arrive at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (JMCR), you are welcomed with music and a tropical beverage before you are whisked off to the bure you will call home for your stay. Here you’ll get your welcome foot massage as you take in the sounds of the waves crashing offshore in Savusavu Bay.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort bure

Bures are wood-and-straw huts and there 25 to choose from with many different layouts available for families. You’ll find larger split-level bures where parents have a king bed and there is a section for the kids to sleep as well. A 2-bedroom layout includes a separate bedroom with attached bathroom that’s perfect when traveling with older kids.

No matter what layout you choose, they come with an outdoor deck and hammock that’s perfect for relaxing while the kids are at the Bula Club. You’ll love the indoor-outdoor feel of the bures where you can enjoy the sounds of the waves as you drift off to sleep.

What’s included with your stay at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort?

Jean-Michel Cousteau is an all-inclusive resort and your rate includes meals, non-alcoholic beverages, transfers from Savusava Airport, daily Bula Club for the kids, and tons of on-site activities like yoga, snorkeling, eco-walks, marine biologist talks, and so much more. Perhaps the best perk is the laundry service that will get your washed and folded clothes back to you in 24 hours. It’s a great way to keep your luggage to a minimum.

What is the kids club like at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort?

Just wait to be blown away. The Bula Club at JMCR offers care for kids from 2 months old up to age 12. There is a dedicated Bula Club just a short walk from the front desk where you’ll find water play areas, a pool with a mini water slide, sports courts, a kitchen and outdoor dining area, a playground, a zipline, a trampoline, and a hut where children can nap. It’s pretty much a kid paradise and we can understand why the kids love going here!

Care for babies and toddlers: For the littlest visitors ages 0-5, a dedicated nanny is assigned to each child for the duration of their stay. This nanny is available to provide care for the child from 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m. daily, after which one nanny is assigned per bure until 9 p.m. The nanny will stop by the breakfast table to make arrangements for the child for the day and find out what the family’s preferences are for napping, dining, and activities.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort dance performance

Care for kids ages 6-12: Kids in this age group are assigned a buddy during their stay. Buddy groups can have up to five kids and they have activities at the Bula Club throughout the day including games, water play, cooking classes, gardening, and so much more. They can participate in a Junior Chef Program where they visit the property’s organic garden, harvest produce, and assist kitchen staff in preparing lunch or dinner.

Kids can also participate in the resort’s amazing School Under the Sea Program. A daily schedule of activities centers around the day’s marine theme such as coral planting and sea creatures. Activities for the day can range from snorkeling, educational activities, a rainforest and waterfall tour, a local school visit, crafts, and learning about aspects of Fijian culture. Kids who complete the program get a “graduation” ceremony and a t-shirt to take home with them.

The Nannies/Mannies & Buddies: During our time at the property, we could really see the bond that formed between the nannies/buddies and their charges. Families told us that they returned to the resort year after year and their child would request the same buddy each time. There were even a few tears shed by kids when leaving the resort and having to say goodbye to their buddies. It really is a magical program with very caring people on staff who have worked at the resort for many years.

What activities are available at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort?

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort basket making

You can stay as busy or as relaxed as you’d like at JMCR. Every evening you’ll receive an agenda for the next day’s activities that could be anything from beachside yoga to night snorkeling. We recommend booking an afternoon at the spa and getting the Koko Rapture massage where you are massaged with fermented cacao paste and wrapped in banana leaves. It’s just as heavenly as it sounds!

Fijian Culture: There are many opportunities to learn about Fijian culture throughout your stay. The resort offers weekly village visits where you can meet local Fijians, purchase crafts, participate in the cava ceremony, and learn about their traditions. On-property activities during our stay include basket making, a Fijian lovo meal, and a cava ceremony amoung others.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort marine biologist with kids
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Marine Activities: Savusavu Bay offers an underwater world that is waiting for you to explore when you visit Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. On the day we arrived, we enjoyed lunch and then immediately changed into swimsuits to head out on the afternoon’s snorkeling excursion, just a 10-minute boat ride away. The resort’s marine biologist accompanied us in the water and used a writing board to tell us the names of fish and creatures we spotted.

Scuba diving is available on-property for an additional fee and you can even get scuba-certified if needed. Other water activities included kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and our favorite—night snorkeling. We even got to see some bioluminescent creatures when we turned off our underwater flashlights!

Throughout our stay, the marine biologist presented talks about the coral reefs, sharks, and fish that make up the Fijian waters. She took us on a walk to the mangroves at the end of the property to talk about their importance and showed us how the property is actively replanting the mangroves (this is a favorite activity of the children).

Getting to Fiji

Fiji Airways flies direct from LAX (10.5 hours) and SFO (11 hours) to Nadi Airport. From there you board a much smaller plane for the hour-long flight to Savusavu Airport where you are greeted by friendly JMCR staff who will transport you to the property. The only real tricky part of this journey is navigating from the international terminal to the domestic terminal at Nadi Airport but the resort has someone there to meet you and walk you over (and the airport is quite small). If you have a lengthy layover at Nadi Airport on your way home, it is worth it to pay to get into the Fiji Airways lounge as it had lots of seating and offered a nice buffet and bar selection.

Final Thoughts


Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji. A magical place! #jeanmichelcousteau #fiji #travel #travelbucketlist #traveltiktok

♬ September (Dreamy Version) – JU$t

One of the most impressive things about our visit to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort was how long the staff members had been working there—some of them over two decades! We really felt like we were joining their community when we visited and we heard many stories about how the property supported their staff members through difficult times, truly valuing them as people and not just employees. It was clear that the property placed a strong focus on supporting not only the staff but also the local community, which is rare for resort properties like this.

We could see why people rave about what a magical place Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is, and why they return year after year.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Savusavu, Fiji

Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort but all the opinions belong to the writer. 

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