Everyone gets a piece of paradise
A Fijian resort featuring ‘adult-only’ areas may have enhanced its facilities but it still offers everything a family needs for a top holiday, writes Kim Culyer
THE longest, loudest and proudest “Bula” I heard – which sounded more like “Boooolarrr” – came from the gatekeeper at the Outrigger on the Lagoon.
He bellowed the traditional Fijian welcome as each vehicle passed, then fell about laughing with delight at the guest reactions.
The Outrigger on the Lagoon is on the Coral Coast of Fiji, about an hour from the airport. It takes up 16ha of manicured tropical gardens and has been transformed since the “new” managers arrived from Australia.
The addition of “adult only” areas has changed the feeling of the resort. While it is still a family destination,it now offers so much more. Last year it hosted nearly 300 weddings.
The new adults-only pool is set away from the main resort and has an additional lap pool and swim-up bar. Wedding receptions are usually held in the thatched-roof open-aired pavilion, with this pool and its surrounds in the background, and there is a chapel high on a hill with the Coral Coast as a backdrop, providing spectacular wedding photography options.
The Outrigger has three adults-only dining venues. The Sundowner Bar sits on the edge of the sand and each morning I enjoyed breakfast here while watching the local fishermen go about their business.
There is also the Ivi Restaurant, which was voted Fiji’s best fine dining restaurant in 2012. Head chef Priya recently won the Best Chef in Fiji title.
I couldn’t resist when she invited me to a private cooking course. We started with how to prepare reef lobster ceviche (lobster marinated in lime juice), followed by seared sea snapper, kumala cake and tropical salsa.
The snapper is sauteed in coconut milk with onion, tomato and spinach, while the kumala cake is sweet potato cooked and mixed with herbs and spices and made into patties. The dish put together with the salsa, mint and lemon juice is simply divine, and I won’t even begin to tell you how fantastic the lobster was.
I was full, or I thought I was, until Priya began showing me her banana vaku lolo – banana, coconut, sugar and cassava (a carbohydrate dense tapioca) mixed together, steamed in banana leaves and served with coconut caramel sauce. Yum!
The Day Spa, know as Kalokalo Bar, is the other adultsonly area. This bar/lounge is