Staying in a Treehouse Bure in Fiji

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If sleeping in a newly built double-bed cabin between the trees of a private island in Fiji, metres away from the beach sounds like it would cost an arm and a leg, you’d be wrong.

On Nanuya Balavu in the stunning Yasawa chain of volcanic islands, just northwest of the main island, this is classed as a budget experience. Yes, really!

After a busy few days island hopping the Yasawa’s, including snorkelling with wild manta rays, I wanted a couple of nights of respite from shared dorm rooms (it’s a hard life, hey). My brief was an affordable but comfortable cabin for one, with an interesting view or some sort of defining character. I found both of these things in the Treehouse Bure at Mantaray Resort, costing $95AUD (£54/$67USD) per night. I’ve spent way more on crappy motels in Victoria than that!

If I had a little more money to spend, larger and slightly more luxurious beachfront or jungle bures are also available to live out your best Fijian life. But alas, I am a tight arse. Plus the idea of being amongst the trees as an self-confessed dendrophile suited me just fine.

‘Bure’ is the Fijian word for a traditional hut or cabin. Typically they would be made from wood with a straw roof. These days fortunately it can simply mean any small house, with or without an adjoining bathroom.

In my instance, the Treehouse Bure was simply one modern room with shared facilities a short walk away through the trees (which had the most pleasant compostable toilets I think I have ever seen – and smelt!)

Staying in a treehouse cabin with a sea view in the Yasawa Islands was not only a practical option for a budget solo traveller in Fiji, it was blissfully comfortable and felt like a treat to boot. Here’s a little more about my stay and an independent review of Mantaray Resort in Fiji.

The room – Treehouse Bure

treehouse fiji

Clustered conveniently behind the main bar and lounge area at Mantaray Resort, in a brimming tropical garden, are a series of wooden cabins on stilts.

Although almost identically built, each one appears to have its own character through slightly different heights, positions and surrounding vegetation.

For each, wooden steps lead up to a small wooden balcony with two chairs, ideal to hang out before dinner or dry out towels and swimwear in the warm sea breeze. Just 20 metres from the beach, the Treehouse Bure means you really got the best of both worlds.

sea view
The slight sea view from my room – I’ll take it!

Through a glass sliding door is the room – basic, there’s no doubt about that – but freshly decorated and attractively fitted out. For example, hand set cooling pebble flooring which is a practical option when you’re often returning wet from the various ocean activities.

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For optimal temperature control, there are also large, attractive wooden louvred windows on all sides of the room and a multi-speed fan above the bed.

Above the extremely comfortable double bed is a piece of local art, which is unique to every room. Mine was a pretty quirky caricature of men playing guitars in a white boat (which I initially thought was a white bathtub which would give it a wholeee different meaning…)

Like with every hotel in Fiji, you are welcomed with fresh flower decorations, and an immaculately serviced room. Upon arrival at the resort you are presented with a refreshing welcome drink (often a fruit juice or fresh coconut) and a smiley welcome song sang to you (which you participate in by shouting ‘Bula’ back at the end).

fiji flowers

One thing Fijian’s know how to do is hospitality – I don’t think I have ever felt so welcome and spoiled as a tourist anywhere else in the world!

The stay at Mantaray Resort

More than simply a room

Beyond the room, Mantaray Resort is a beautiful and secluded island resort with many activities to partake in.

Aside from swimming with manta rays either here, or from neighbouring Drawaqa Island, there are free SUP’s, kayaks, snorkels, sunrise hikes and many cultural activities put on to keep you entertained such as jewellery making, cooking demonstrations and traditional dance shows. 

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An activity board on the Activities Bure shows daily activities and paid tours can be arranged with the hunky and softly-spoken activity manager, such as diving or visiting a local village.

activity bure

One evening we watched a performance where said hunky activity manager was putting on an ancient warrior dance in a traditional grass skirt with some other staff. Niiice.

It was such a privilege to get in peek into the tribal history of Fiji, which we learnt actually involved cannibalism back in the 1800s! The last person to be ‘eaten’ was missionary Rev Thomas Baker, the only known missionary in the archipelago to be killed and eaten, along with seven of his Fijian followers. You can even see the soles of his shoes which survived the cooking at the Fiji Museum in Suva if you’re into that kind of stuff!

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– Delicious Traditional food

Although a bit of a trek to get to as it was perched on a hill at the back of the resort, the restaurant served some of the most delicious food I had on my stay in Fiji.

The highlight by far was the traditional buffet, with many of the dishes we had observed being cooked 4 hours prior in a traditional underground Lovo oven.

lovo oven

The oven is essentially a pit dug into the ground and filled with hot coals. Above that, palm leaf stems create a base for placing whatever foods you wish to cook – in our case chicken, a whole fish woven in palm leaves, root vegetables and a whole pumpkin.

On top goes large banana leaves or plastic sacks, and then the whole thing is covered in soil until no smoke can be seen leaking from the ground. Once covered, you would have no idea anything was even there!

The result was probably the most delicious grilled fish I have ever had in my life and chewy cassava with an utterly moreish smoky, earthy flavour. 

plate of food from Fijian buffet

The hangout areas

Of all the accommodation I stayed at in Fiji, the communal areas were certainly the largest at Mantaray Resort. A spacious deck on the beach is the main ‘hub’, with clusters of outdoor seating and comfy bean bags.

Behind the deck is a large bar with an extensive cocktails list, and an attractively styled covered lounge area with plenty of sofas for when afternoon showers hit.

mantaray resort

This beachfront bar and lounge area is the only place on the resort with Wi-Fi, so it naturally becomes where people gather and socialise. Plus, it has the showstopping view of those crystal clear Fijian waters.

Of course you need not hang out by the bar all day when you have paradise on your doorstep. Running along the beach are various hammocks tied to palm trees and sun loungers, ideal for reading or having an afternoon doze in the shade.

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Although Mantaray Resort potentially was not as sociable for solo travellers as nearby Barefoot Manta is, staying in a Treehouse Bure to finish my stay in Fiji before my flight, offered the tranquility I desperately craved.

The whole offering was very different to the other accommodation I stayed at in the Yasawa’s. Some people I met said they thought it was atmosphere-less which I thought was a little harsh, especially considering post COVID, the resort is only running at about 30% capacity. A bit hard to create atmosphere when the place is more than half empty.

But what you do get with the resort being so quiet and travelling to Fiji in 2022 is excellent, personal service and a tranquil setting for a paradise getaway in Fiji.

Interested in staying at Mantaray Resort in a treehouse, beach or jungle bure? Click here for more info.

More posts about Fiji:


unique Fiji accommodation
treehouse bure fiji
Mantaray resort

*This is an independent review of my Treehouse Bure accommodation at Mantaray Resort in Fiji. I stayed as a paying guest and all opinions are my own.*

Going to Fiji Soon? Don’t forget these essentials!

Flights: compare and search for the cheapest flights using Skyscanner

Accommodation: hotels to hostels, glamping to apartments, I always use

Tours: to find the best group tours and activities (with up to 20% off), use Viator

Visa: don’t forget to check the entry requirements for the passport you are travelling with on the Fiji government website

Inspiration: how about Lonely Planet’s Guide to Fiji, or to kick-start your next adventure, Lonely Planet’s top 500 places to see… ranked?

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9 thoughts on “Staying in a Treehouse Bure in Fiji”

  1. I always wanted to visit Fiji and this is a nice reminder that I really should! Also, now I need to try their traditional food and fish 😍

  2. I love that you refer to yourself as a tightarse!! Haha as a fellow Aussie, I feel this word isn’t said enough around the world hahah! You definitely found a great bargain at such a wonderful looking spot!
    I have always wanted to go to Fiji, looks so relaxing!

  3. That’s really cool the way they cook the food over the coals like that. The food looks delicious! What a cool place to stay. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have had Fiji on my bucket list for years and NEVER have I heard about the missionary that was eaten! Thank you for sharing, I would be so mad if I missed this on my trip!

  5. Mantaray Resort sounds perfect! I love that they have hammocks scattered along the beach. That’s where I would be spending my time.

  6. Staying in a treehouse in Fiji looks like a lot of fun & what a great view! A perfect place to sleep after exploring a tropical paradise.

  7. The food looks incredible! Did it taste as amazing as it looks? I looove the treehouse too- especially the piece of local art for each room!

    I think you may have found one of the coolest places to stay in fiji. 🙂

  8. Treehouse Bure really sounds like a wonderful stay – would love to pay a visit here whenever I’m in Fiji! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. This looks like an incredible experience. I’ve always wanted to try something like this but haven’t found a good place yet. Thanks for the tips!


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