We rediscover the joys of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and why it is becoming such a popular destination for many reasons.
Oreminded me why it is such a great place to visit when it is cold and wet in New Zealand. Travelling with my husband we flew with Fiji Airlines. The complete, warm and helpful service makes you feel as if you have arrived in Fiji before you even land. A great start to the trip.
If you have not been to Fiji before it is a very short 3 hour flight from Auckland or 3 hours 55 from Christchurch. It is in the same time zone as NZ so there is absolutely no adjustment at this time of year and there’s no jetlag to deal with.
So, a few hours later we arrive from about 6 degrees to 28 degrees to the new international terminal at Nadi. Immigration was a breeze and about 20 minutes from touchdown we were outside looking for transfer to the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.
The lunchtime/afternoon flight arrives in the very early evening, so it is a simple drive along the Coral Coast. The road is busy and as you drive through the villages you get an idea of what the Fijian way of life is like.
Just about an hour after leaving the airport we pass through Sigatoka and a few miles on we turn off the main road, into a side road and we see a military style barrier in front of us protecting the entrance to the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort. Then you hear a massive ROAR of ‘BULA’ from Oesa, a giant of a Fijian man, as he opened the gates for us. If you ever watched the movie Platoon and you remember the wild character at the end farewelling Charlie Sheen – then that's it!
As we arrive at reception we feel the warmth and friendliness of the staff that we know is a characteristic of Outrigger Fiji. Knowing that this is not my first visit they welcome me home!
It didn’t take long and we were soon following our bags to our room on the top level of one of the wings that stretch out from the lobby. Wow, what a pleasant space. With a view overlooking the Coral Sea and the sound of the waves landing on the reef we were already starting to feel relaxed.
As we were unpacking our bags there was a knock on the door and we opened it to find our Talei Service Butler outside waiting to offer us bubbles and canapes. This is a standard service enjoyed by the Ocean View rooms, Suites and Bures - what a welcome to Outrigger Fiji.
There are several dining options and as one of us had never been here before I made sure he got to enjoy all of the choices. From the resorts main dining bure ‘Vale Ni Kana’ which serves themed buffets at night through to Ivi, the award winning intimate formal dining
restaurant – a great place for a quiet romantic dinner. Choose the Kokoda (a national dish) or the Caesar salad and you will enjoy the spectacle of the dish being made in front of you. As for desert - the Crepes Suzette is also made at the table and apart from the fact that it is delicious, is worth ordering just to watch the theatre of peeling the orange and setting the alcohol alight.
In between these two restaurants there is Baravi beside the resorts main swimming pool offering an Asian inspired menu, and then my favourite - the Sundowner Bar and Grill.
Sundowner is appropriately named as this is the perfect place to have a predinner cocktail (there are plenty of exotically named choices) and watch the sunset. More often than not, you will be rewarded with a stunning coloured sky and some great photos as the sun finally sets on an island paradise.
A good part of our day while on holiday was spent relaxing at the adults only Vahavu. We’d start with breakfast and then stretch out by the pool on one of the comfortable loungers. In the afternoon I indulged in a cocktail. I could have used the swim up bar but I stayed on my lounger enjoying my book as I was served by the amazing Tamarisi. She looks after everyone, paying attention to detail and ensuring that her guests are well looked after.
One thing we became aware of was the transformation that Vahavu underwent almost every afternoon as staff quickly and efficiently transformed it into a stunning wedding reception venue.
With lights, flowers and sheaths of flowing white gauze it became a glorious place to celebrate a wedding on a warm tropical Fijian night.
It got me wondering just how good having a destination wedding would be.
This year Outrigger Fiji will be hosting over 200 weddings and after looking at what they offer I am not surprised. You can have your wedding on the lawn or beach, but the most popular venue is in the beautiful hill top chapel – ‘Bure Ni Loloma’. The sweeping panoramic views of the Coral Coast and out to the Pacific Ocean have me oohing and aahing every time I have gone up the hill. →
Bure Ni Loloma wedding chapel.