We’re so lucky to have Fiji on our doorstep. Not only is it a beautiful island paradise, it also caters to so many different types of travellers, from adventure-seekers to flop and drop tourists, families right through to couples.
I was recently lucky enough to get away from it all with a long weekend in Fiji, which is the perfect amount of time to soak up some sun, experience some local culture and return home feeling relaxed.
With many of my clients in mind, I set about to explore the best that the island had to offer. I spent my first night at Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, a resort designed like a traditional Fiji Village. Catering for everyone, the resort has a wide range of different room types, from the spacious Plantation Family Bure to the Beachfront Bures.
This hotel’s signature though, the Talai Service – a traditional butler service with a South Pacific twist -- is available to guests in Deluxe Ocean View rooms, Suites and Bures. The Talai service includes complimentary arrival drinks and champagne with canapés delivered to your room every afternoon. The Talai butlers are even available to unpack and press your clothing, recommend tours and activities, and make restaurant reservations.
For families staying at the Outrigger, the kid’s club is a must and with the Lomai package, it’s fantastic value. While the kids are busy, adults who want a bit of a RNR can find it at the newly opened adults-only pool which offers a peaceful escape with day beds, a swim up pool bar and a selection of tapas from the poolside bistro. For even more relaxation, the Outrigger’s Bebe Spa is located on what the locals call "Heavenly Hill," providing the purest ocean views from the lounge and all treatment rooms.
At sunset, you can also enjoy the view from the Kolokolo Bar which serves contemporary cocktails, tapas, champagne and oysters while you soak up the views.
Needless to say, my stay at the Outrigger was a blissful one. One memory that will stay with me is the traditional Fijian FarewellSong Isa Lei that the resort’s staff sing to every guest on their last day. Be aware that the sentiment can, like myself and other fellow travellers, leave you in tears.
After my relaxing stay, the Sigatoka River Safari was a great change of pace. On the safari we were taken to an authentic Fijian village by jet boat. This journey can be as adventurous or laid back as you like but I highly recommend you get the driver to do a few spins. You will get wet and probably scream a bit but the adrenaline rush is well worth it. After our wild ride we reached the village where we were treated to a Kava Ceremony, a local lunch and even some dancing.
During lunch we were told a lot about local life. One thing that I’ll always remember is learning about how the kids of the village get to school. Because they have to cross the river to reach school, when the water is low they have to wade across with their belongings held above their heads. Once on the other side of the river they then change into their uniforms and head off to school. As if that isn’t challenging enough, when the water levels are high, the kids have to cross the river on makeshift rafts or swim across with their belongings in buckets.
Following the safari, I spent the next two days at the spectacular Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa. For couples, the Club Intercontinental is a must. Set up on a hill accessible by golf buggy, the Suites and Club area offer sweeping panoramic views of Natadola Bay.
From the butler service to the private infinity pool and exclusive club privileges such as afternoon tea, sunset cocktails and canapés, the club is a little slice of heaven. The resort’s suites are also spacious with spectacular views from your balcony and private plunge pool.