My Visit to Beautifull, Warm Fiji

Dec 19, 2019 Avatar Hilton Smith Hilton Smith

My recent trip was to a famed honeymoon and romance destination in the South Pacific I had visited only briefly many years ago. This time would be serious.

Ten days in Fiji was a trip to paradise, a land of 333 islands with accommodations and adventure for all manner of tastes and budget. I experienced five distinct resorts, a structure I would not recommend for clients because island hopping is not the easiest here. This was more of an inspection trip for me; for the normal traveler, I would recommend no more than two resorts in that time frame.

Fiji has all the requisites for sun, fun, and active pleasures, both in and out of the water. All manner of water activities and walks and hikes around the resorts can keep you busy. The service is warm, friendly, and a bit slower, but you get used to that. Connectivity varies from resort to resort so be prepared to turn off your devices and power down yourself to relaxation mode.

These are wonderful people who take pride and will serve you well. That was universal for each of our stays along with amazingly fresh cuisine. Also remember that the Fiji Islands are tidal, so beaches and snorkeling areas will vary greatly between high and low tides.
Our journey began with Fiji Airways non-stop 11-hour service from LAX to Nadi, the only true international airport. We flew economy outbound and business class on the return. The service on the oneworld carrier was consistently good, and while the business class seats on the A330 are not completely lie-flat, they were comfortable. Coming soon are two new A350-900s, which will have the latest lie-flat product.

The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa about 90 minutes for the airport was our first stay. This is a large resort on many acres designed for all types of travelers. There are some family areas and adults-only areas as well. Our upgrade to Club InterContinental was very worth it with a one-bedroom suite and daily access to the large Club Lounge for breakfast and afternoon offerings. It is on a nice beach when the tide is in.

Our second resort was much different. A 90-minute ride to Denarau Marina and then a two-hour ferry ride with stops set us up at the luxurious Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji, an adults-only resort of about 45 bures, nine of which were actually overwater. Our individual beachfront bure was perfect next to the pool and main building. The resort was indeed beautiful with service and food and a spa of impressive quality. We had generous interior space and our outdoor furniture was almost all the way to the beach. There are helicopter and private speedboat services that could eliminate the longer transfers.
Next, we went back to Denarau Marina and then about a 2.5-hour drive to Pacific Harbour and the beautiful Nanuku by Auberge Resort. This resort is vastly different than the others in that most of the accommodations are large villa and residence designs, very good for families and couples traveling together. We had a stunning room with two beds and 2.5 bathrooms in a private beachfront area with its own pool and jacuzzi. A designer kitchen, dining area, plenty of outdoor area, and a large living room added to the luxury. Fiji is well priced with this and all-inclusive meal plans are included or available practically everywhere.

On final overnight stay came after a drive on to the Suva Airport, a flight to Taveuni, and then wet landing at both ends of a 20-minute boat ride to the private island of Matangi. This is adults-only with only 12 bures, but the island is all yours with a very nice spa, outdoor water sports of all types, and island hiking up and down the inland hills. The food, especially the seafood, was especially fresh, and the service some the best we experienced. The bures were fine and comfortable, either beachfront or treehouse.

We then headed back to Taveuni Marei Airport for our Twin Otter flight to Nadi, a scenic flight at such a low altitude. We had a day room at the Hilton Fiji Resort, which was fine, but typical of the more mass market four-star resorts in and around Port Denarau. These are good for families, but you will get so much more out of your Fiji holiday if you expand to one of the outer islands.

This was an impressive trip that sold me on this tropical paradise far away but well worth the fight.
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