The next stop on my trip was Matangi Private Island Resort, which is on the island Tavueni. It’s accessed by a domestic flight to Tavueni, followed by a fifteen minute road transfer and then a fifteen minute boat transfer – it’s important to wear trousers that you can roll up as you’ll have to wade through water to get to the boat! The islands in the north are very lush and much greener than in the south – there are no cars, and lots of villages, with a very traditional way of life. The resort itself is family run and has a relaxing feel. All the bures are sea-facing, but three are treehouses with great views. Inside their style is very natural, with wooden floors, walls, and roof, quite rustic. All have iPod docking stations, complimentary water and cookies, but no TV in the room. The four poster bed is air conditioned, but the rest of the rooms have only ceiling fans.
As far as the outside goes, there is a big pool area with sea views and hammocks scattered along the beach. The restaurant is open plan with a buffet breakfast and hot a la carte options for both breakfast and lunch. There’s also a bar, where there is twice weekly local entertainment. There is a spa being constructed at the moment, but you can still have treatments in your villa. Overall Matangi is a great experience, I’d say four stars, which makes it perfect for a twin centre holiday or clients looking to see a bit more of Fiji.
I then headed to Likuliku, which is on Mamanucas. This is accessible via helicopter, seaplane, or South Sea Cruises from Denarau. I wouldn’t suggest the last option without booking a Captain’s Lounge as it takes two hours. The beach is a large horseshoe with all villas beachfront and some water villas. There’s also a small island at the end of the main jetty with sand bar for welcome drinks and managers’ cocktail party every Friday. The resort has a large feature infinity pool, a small gym, and a small spa. There is a daily land and water activity schedule in your room.
The garden beachfront bures still have a seaview, but are set slightly closer to the main facilities and further back from the water. All the bures are the same inside, it’s just the location and pool that are different. They each have a private plunge pool. The water villas also have glass TVs though for DVDs only. Inside, the bures are split level, with open plan floors. They’re traditionally styled, thatched outside and very spacious with wooden floors and walls and contemporary textiles and furnishings. Each villa has its own sunloungers in front as well.
Likuliku felt, to me, like a more international resort than a friendly Fijian one. You’ll have to dress up more for dinner and drinks. It’s perfect for couples wanting an international standard of accommodation, who are more active and not looking for an informal feel.
My next stop was the exclusive, lovely, and expensive Wadigi Island. This is a tiny private island surrounded by an amazing reef. You can hire the entire island just for a couple or sleep up to six people, with more potentially on request. The villa is open plan with lounge areas, large ensuite bedrooms – a real home away from home. And it’s not over the top fancy either, it’s tastefully styled with ceramic tiled floors, white walls, traditional art work, high ceilings, and modern bathrooms. The villa has TV, DVDs, and wi-fi, and there is also a small pool area, though it isn’t really large enough to swim in. You can have massages in your room as well. There is no set menu; the chef talks with you about what you like and don’t like and arranges a menu for you around this. Drinks are also included. The activities are mainly water based with lots included. The island would be ideal for complete privacy and relaxation if money is no object!
On the more generally accessible side of things was Matamanoa, which is accessed by helicopter or South Sea Cruises. The resort has a beautiful sandy beach with clear water, good for swimming off shore. There is accommodation in garden or beachfront villas, however I would recommend the beachfront villas. They’re very spacious and clean but quite simple, with a traditional Fijian design. The resort has one restaurant with a bar overlooking the pool and beach. The food and drinks are very affordable, with dinner from £10 for a main. This is more social than some of the other islands, it’s less of a honeymoon style, but it’s a great affordable experience of Fiji, with more of the emphasis on the island with a large array of activities. It also has a great spa built into the hillside with open plan treatment rooms. I’d recommend it for younger honeymooners or those who are a bit more social.
My last stop was Tokoriki, which was also on the Mamanuca Islands. It’s again accessed via helicopter, seaplane, or South Sea Cruises. There is a beautiful long stretch of beach here too, with all villas scattered along with sea views on either side of the main facilities, with hammocks in the gardens. There are two room categories, with one closer to the waters’ edge and open plan with bedroom and sitting area leading to decking. The sunset pool villas are huge with a large outside decking area – they have a big pool and a separate lounge. The rooms are very stylish, again natural and Fijian.
The resort has a lovely pool area, with two pools, one mainly for dining. There is a large restaurant, shop, and bar area which is also open plan. It has lots of Fijian art and a great atmosphere with a band made up of local staff singing. They were very good! In terms of eating, it was cheaper to buy food than prepay for full board, which is worth keeping in mind when booking. There is a spa, tennis courts, water sports, land-based activities, and a chapel for weddings and Sunday service. Tokoriki is a great choice for couples and honeymooners – it was really on a beautiful island and it’s worth the extra money and luxurious feel.
As always, if you have any questions or want to hear more about any of the resorts, feel free to ask for Lyndsey on our phone line, 01494 678 400.