Blue Lagoon and Beyond, Fiji

In Asia & The Pacific, Editor Picks by LA Travel Magazine

Getting There: Fiji Airways offers daily, non-stop flights from Los Angeles for more information and booking visit www.fijiairways.com.

Culture

If it’s a true authentic Fijian experience you’re looking for then Nanuku Resort & Spa is the place for you. It all starts as you pull up to the resorts entrance and experience an unexpected warm welcome by a traditional Fijian warrior tribe. Each guest is paraded in by the welcome song performed by a group of warriors and staff while pounding on their tribal drums. It is hard not to get emotional thinking this arrival was performed especially for you!

Once settled into your villa guests are met by an appointed staff member who is there just to make sure you have the best stay possible. Upon arrival guests are presented with a long list of activities to experience while visiting the resort and it is highly recommended that you try as many authentic activities that you can fit in. A few of our favorite activities include the traditional Fijian Meke dance performed beachside, the ancient kava ceremony where you drink a calming sedative with the natives, an invigorating hike to a beautiful waterfall located nearby or the ½ day trip over to Nanuku’s private island.

The staff at Nanuku is always ready to accommodate your every need throughout your entire stay. You truly do feel at home here and after a few days you feel like you are part of the Fijian tribe. There are many daily activities you can try off property as well.  We suggest a trip to the market to see how the locals make their living, a stop at the local crab farm or to really delve into the culture visit one of the local villages, with permission of course.

Nanuku is the perfect getaway for couples whether for a honeymoon, anniversary or a rekindling love affair. Start the day off with a private yoga session on the beach; explore the grounds by fruit safari and see how the Fijians live off the land with an abundant supply of exotic fruits you can then savor at breakfast. Don’t miss the traditional Fijian Bobo massage in room or on your outside deck, the sound of waves crashing just steps away intensifies your state of relaxation.

Kana (Let’s Eat!)

One of the most memorable parts of your stay at Nanuku will be the fabulous Fijian cuisine served at the resort. Start off the day off with an exotic fruit platter picked right from the property, fresh each morning. The chefs at Nanuku are experts in bringing you the best natural foods from Fiji and serving them in a way you will never forget. The presentation of each dish is truly memorable.

The people of Fiji eat all their foods fresh from the ocean or picked off the trees every day, this is truly the best and healthiest way to enjoy the island’s cuisine. There are a number of different locations to enjoy your meals.  Dine poolside with a customized menu that changes daily based on what is fresh that day, let the chefs prepare a meal for you right inside your villa or choose a deserted island picnic with a bottle of champagne.

Whether it is the assortment of adventurous activities available, authentic Fijian ceremonies, romantic escapes or fine Fijian cuisine, Nanuku resort is truly a memorable and cultural experience one will never forget. The big challenge is trying to hold back the tears as you leave the resort saying goodbye as the entire staff sings farewell, can be very overwhelming.

Ilakolako Talei (Adventure)

Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa is the perfect blend of authenticity, adventure and relaxation. As you enter the resort you instantly feel at home as you hear the traditional Fijian welcoming song combined with their signature foot massage and welcome coconut drink. You have arrived, it is time to sit back and let the staff at Koro Sun take over and lead you on a vacation you will never forget. There is no coincidence that the TV show “The bachelorette” was filmed here with the mixture of rustic landscapes, edgewater accommodations and activities will keep you talking about your experience for years to come.

Otela, Icili (Accommodation)

If a romantic getaway is in the cards make sure you book one of the Edgewater Bures.  These rooms are the newest addition to the resort and were designed with honeymooners in mind.  Open the door and gaze into the blue lagoon water right underneath your feet. At any given time you will see schools of fish, endless coral and turquoise water that makes up the lagoon. Each bure offers a private beach area with a ladder that leads directly into the water below. These bures offer the perfect romantic getaway with king sized beds, no tvs, and an amazing view right into the enclosed lagoon. As you leave your Edgewater Bure you are only steps away from the adult’s only pool giving you all the privacy you desire while on vacation.

Seganaleqa, Marau (No worries, be happy!)

The activities at Koro Sun Resort are what keep so many people coming back here time and time again. Each day there is an activity board in the main lobby area that can easily help you decide on an itinerary for the day.  Join other guests in waterfall hikes, visit local villages, join a shopping tour into the nearby town or take a guided kayak tour to Bat Island. This is a favorite for many of the guests. Join a guide and kayak across the beautiful blue ocean to the outer reef where you can snorkel with sharks, turtles and various tropical fish all before visiting Bat Island. Once you arrive at the island you set your kayak onto the rocks and hike the rocky formation until you reach your destination; a stunning grotto that leads you to the inside of the island. Dive off the rocks into the crystal green ocean water and if you’re lucky you can find an indigenous cowrie shell which is absolutely spectacular to the eye.

Spa

If it is a one of a kind spa treatment you’re looking for then the Rainforest Spa is absolutely for you! Just a short 15 minute hike through the tropical Fijian rainforest and you reach your spa destination which is nestled far away from any noise or stress of the outside world. The only noise you will hear is the chirping of crickets and the sound of the stream flowing just outside the spa walls. The “Banana Wrap Massage” the resorts signature spa treatment is a bucket list spa experience in and of itself. Lay side by side with your loved one as the therapists scrub your body with brown sugar and then wrap you in banana leaves used to detoxify the body of all its unwanted stress. The treatment is then continued with a full body coconut oil massage and your only wish will be to have someone carry you back to your bure as you will be in a state of utter relaxation.

The Lovo-A Traditional Fijian Feast

The infamous Fijian “Lovo” dinner cannot be missed. Watch the staff as they prepare your dinner over a period of many hours cooking the food to perfection.  The menu offers a combination of chicken, fresh fish and locally grown vegetables that will melt in your mouth as they hit your tongue.  You truly can’t say you’ve been to Fiji until you’ve attended this cultural feast.

Luxury

If you are seeking full blown luxury then Yasawa Island Resort is the place to go. Fly from Nadi airport in the resorts private plane and experience one of the most amazing flights ever. As you slowly float over one of the most beautiful islands in the south pacific you can see below luxury is awaiting your arrival. Just when you think your senses are at a maximum, the experience turns up a notch with an exhilarating landing. The pilot steers the plane towards a grassy hill and floats along the ground until he stops right in front of a deserted beach. You wouldn’t be human if your heart doesn’t skip a beat here!

As the plane door opens you are greeted by a group of staff and young children from a nearby village who love to welcome each and every new guest to the resort. Upon landing you receive a token on hospitality-a lei of Fijian flowers and a fresh coconut drink. You are then escorted to the resort by shuttle where you are once again welcomed by the Yasawa staff. Drop your bags and relax as they sing a traditional Fijian welcome song and check you in. It is now time to fully relax; no cell phones, no TV’s, no ATMs just pure rest and relaxation. Meet your fellow guests and staff members at Manasa’s bar for happy hour before dinner, (Manasa by the way is the resorts longstanding bartender who has been there since the resort opened). Make sure you have one of Manasa’s special Fijian concoctions which keep the guests coming back year after year!

Da kana! (Bon Appetite)

Dining at Yasawa is all about location, location, location. The staff is more than happy to prepare a meal made for two beachside with your feet in the sand, poolside at moonlight or even a picnic for two on your own deserted tropical island. There is something very special about dropped off to a secluded white sandy beach with nothing but an umbrella, snorkel gear and a picnic custom made for two. Stay as long as you like, the staff will come and get you whenever you are ready to return to the resort.  The experience is truly magical.

Activities

With no tvs at the resort it is an easy choice to spend your days outdoors maximizing the fresh air and sun during your stay. Start your day with a game of tennis followed by a morning swim in the beautiful turquoise waters of the south pacific. After lunch grab your snorkel gear and slip into the water once again right in front of the resort to explore an amazing reef that will have you thinking you are in a giant aquarium. Meet up with some fellow guests for a game of beach volleyball and then head off to enjoy an open air massage at Baravi Spa.

An absolute must on the activity list is a visit to the Blue Lagoon Caves. Relive scenes from the famous 1980 movie “Blue Lagoon” as you swim through amazing limestone underwater caves. If you are the adventurous type you may opt to swim underwater through a narrow passageway to get to explore a second cave. Don’t worry there will be a guide in the second cave with a flashlight guiding you inside which will be invigorating to say the least.

The 332 islands of Fiji have so much to offer it can be difficult to get a true taste of Fijian culture in just one visit.  The many islands all offer something different and Nanuku, Koro Sun and Yasawa are great examples of the diversity that Fiji offers travelers. Whether you’re a scuba diver seeking incredible reefs and underwater adventure, honeymooners in search of the perfect romantic getaway or a travel guru knocking off items on your bucket list, Fiji is a destination that truly has something for everyone.