FIJI HITS THE SWEET SPOT – NOT ONLY ON THE COURSE
Fiji – a Pacific paradise so close to home that I never tire of visiting this beautiful place.
We travel to Fiji for the Fiji International and discover luxurious places to stay.
Every time I land at Nadi airport I remember a little girl a few years ago saying, ‘you can taste the warmth' as she felt the warm breeze wrap around her when she disembarked the plane. Fiji is one of my favourite holiday destinations and over the last couple of years, I've met several people who have never been there – something I find surprising, especially when it's so close. It's only a three-hour flight away and at this time of year there is no time difference so travelling there is a breeze.
Over the last couple of years, I have met several people who have never been there – something I find surprising.
Fiji is only a three-hour flight away and at this time of year there is no time difference so travelling there is a breeze.
There are some great accommodation choices, great golf courses and plenty of activities to choose from when you want to do something different. What more could you want?
This year I made my annual trip to see the Fiji International golf tournament at Natadola Bay Championship Golf course and then had an extra couple of days to enjoy this stunning destination.
Natadola Bay Championship Golf Club is about a 1 hour drive from Nadi so I prefer to stay not too far from the course. This year it was at Yatule Resort and Spa, a small boutique hotel with only 36 bures right sitting right on the beachfront of Natadola Bay. With its pristine white sand and clear blue warm waters, it is an idyllic spot. The result? A quiet relaxed place to stay, perfect if you just want to get away and have a low key relaxing holiday.
The comfortable rooms overlook either the beach or the pool. My beachfront bure let me enjoy the stunning sunsets and fall asleep to the sound of waves gently lapping the shore.
While the restaurant and bar are quiet, the food is good (I had an extremely tasty and beautifully presented curry that I could have happily eaten every night) and service is friendly.
After leaving Yatule I experienced something truly Fijian. A visit to ‘Flavours of Fiji' cooking school. What a great day. This is not so well known as many other things you can do in Fiji but it is a fantastic way to experience a little bit of Fiji. Situated on Denarau you can either start your day at the school with a trip to the Nadi markets or if you want a little sleep in you can miss that and arrive for the cooking classes. Fiji cuisine is influenced by the native Fijian, Indian and Chinese cultures. At the cooking school's simple spacious room we all had our own work stations and got to make and then eat several Fijian and then
After leaving Yatule I experienced something truly Fijian. A visit to ‘Flavours of Fiji’ cooking school. What a great day. This is not so well known as many other things you can do in Fiji but it is a fantastic way to experience a little bit of Fiji.
Indian recipes using local produce. You don't need to be a great cook as everything is explained simply and you are not rushed in your creativity. Soon after I got back to NZ all the recipes arrived by email so now I have a few more amazing meals to tempt my families taste buds with. I even have the certificate telling me I am now ‘officially a local master cook'.
Before coming home I was treated to a night at the new Fiji Marriott Resort, Momi Bay Resort. WOW – what an amazing place.
The resort opened in April this year and is already proving to be a popular accommodation choice for visitors and I am not surprised.
The grand entrance with its high ceiling is breathtaking, as is everything about the resort. My lagoon view bure was oh so luxurious and comfortable. With its king size bed, bath, separate shower and seating area I was feeling very spoilt. To make the most of my view across the quiet lagoon I lay on the chair on my deck and contemplated the idea of spending the night sleeping there making the most of the warm balmy breeze. The bed won out and what a great night's sleep I had.
If you really want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury there are overwater bures. While overwater bures may be relatively common in other countries this is the first resort on Fiji's main Island of Viti Levu to have them.
The restaurants provide a variety of quality delicious dining options at various locations around the resort and the dress code is casual – just what you want on holiday.
If you want to do a bit more than relax by the water, whether it be outside your room or at one of the pools, there is plenty on offer.
At Quan Spa, I was treated like an honoured guest from my first step inside the doors of this quiet, peaceful oasis until I left. After a very short wait I was taken to my treatment room. There, I was able to shower before lying down on the bed, a treat in itself rather than getting changed in the same room as everyone else and then waiting again before being taken to a treatment room. I came away from my massage feeling very pampered and unable to fully describe it as I spent the whole time struggling to stay awake as the aches in my muscles were soothed away by expert hands. For me that covers all the aspects of a great massage experience. I left wishing I had time to go again.
If you want something with a bit more adventure there are plenty of other activities on offer at the resort. I was lucky enough to join a snorkelling trip out to the nearby coral reef. Before arriving at our snorkelling spot, we were taken to the world-famous Cloud Break surfing area. With its constant wave activity, it was easy to see why this is an area for experienced surfers. I consider myself to be a confident swimmer so was looking forward to getting into the warm waters. Fear not though if you are a beginner as the attentive staff will look after you no matter what your swimming ability. The coral provided an interesting and constantly changing backdrop to the numerous beautifully coloured fish and starfish, I wish I could have stayed in for a lot longer than I did.
I may have only had one night at Momi Bay but I departed feeling as if I had had a relaxing break of several days. It made me fall in love with Fiji all over again.
For all of you who have never been to Fiji, make this the first choice of destination for your next holiday and for those who have been before, I know you will be planning to go again. With the warmth of the people, great weather, warm seas, white sandy beaches, fantastic accommodation choices, lots of different activities for all the family to join in and some world class golf courses this sound like a destination heaven – it is!