Place of con­nec­tion

Holiday with Kids - - Fiji -

Our ferry glides into the crys­tal­clear waters and we are met with a post­card panorama of par­adise: the palm trees are sway­ing, the sun is shin­ing, and the beach is so white it’s al­most blind­ing. Beam­ing Fi­jian staff mem­bers dressed in all the colours of the rain­bow are lined up on the shores clap­ping, sing­ing, wav­ing and strum­ming gui­tars.

“Bula! Wel­come to Cast­away!” they holler in uni­son as our small group steps off the boat laugh­ing and smil­ing – their en­ergy is pos­i­tively con­ta­gious. Dig­ging my toes into the sand I am greeted with a lei, a hand­shake and a warm “wel­come home”. Ush­ered into The Water’s Edge Res­tau­rant, I am met with a plat­ter of fruit – and an even fruitier cock­tail – and told to “re­lax and feel the sun­shine for a mo­ment”. I don’t have to be told twice. With lug­gage in hand and still dressed in the out­fit I wore on my flight, I’m stretched out and set­tling into the slower paced is­land life.

I’m es­corted to my room by yet an­other smil­ing face and ev­ery passerby on the way stops to chat with me – and not just the staff, but the other guests too. I al­most trip over my own feet as a young girl darts be­tween my legs, tugs on my pants and whis­pers “Bula!” be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing into the pool area.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions in­clude beach­front, fam­ily, is­land and ocean view bu­res – all tra­di­tion­ally in­spired, spa­cious and stylish – and all with small de­tails of Fi­jian charm, such as the thatched roofs and rat­tan in­te­ri­ors.

The orig­i­nal name of Cast­away Is­land – Qal­ito – means “place of con­nec­tion” and this adage still rings true 50 years later. With no tele­vision, no phone and no room ser­vice, it’s just Fiji and your fam­ily to keep you com­pany, but in the best way pos­si­ble.

The warm­est of ‘Bu­las’

You can walk any­where on the is­land so that’s how I de­cide to spend my af­ter­noon. Mak­ing tracks be­tween beach and bure I soon start to recog­nise the staff mem­bers. Some have been work­ing here for the bet­ter part of their lives, the is­land truly a sec­ond home to them.

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