In September, I visited Fiji to have a look at the resorts and hotels we’re selling so I could get a better idea of what and when to recommend to our wonderful clients. I thought it would be a good idea to share my observations on our blog as well.
I started off at Royal Davui, which is south of the main island is Beqa Lagoon. The resort is accessed via a 30 minutes flight from NAN in a five seater plane or on a 3 hour road transfer; then a 30 minute speedboat crossing got me to the actual island. The island is tiny and a speedboat navigates you around on arrival. It’s only 15 minutes to walk round at low tide only; the island is also very steep and hilly, not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
As for the accommodation, the villas are very private and scattered around the island – the main difference in upgrade is location. The interiors are very modern and contemporary with a real “wow” factor. All of them have heated private pools, four posted separate bedrooms with air con, an iPod with a docking system and surround sound, but no TV – there are however portable DVD players on request.
The resort has one main restaurant with tables spread out and secluded – all meals are a la carte with some theming. There are no restrictions on food if you go full board, including in villa. There’s also one bar with cocktails from £9, wine from £15 a bottle, and £2 soft drinks. There is also a spa, daily activity board and a watersports centre, but no gym – non-motorised watersports are free but diving and excursions to Bequ or the mainland cost extra.
In my opinion the Royal Davui would suit everyone! The island is beautiful, the accommodation is fabulous, and there’s a real wow factor with affordable prices once there for such a high standard.
Next stop was Vatulele, which is south of the main island. The only option for getting there was a 25 minute flight on an 8 seater plane with a grass landing, then a 10 minute bumpy road transfer in a 4×4. The island is large with a lot of dense vegetation; there are four local villages and the hotel – nothing else. It also has big (not poisonous) spiders as it is a very natural island – so it’s truly best suited for nature lovers, not those who would rather not see any bugs at all!
The hotel itself has a Mediterranean feel and is very spread out – villas are HUGE and very private with sea views and a big private garden with 2 sun loungers. The villas are very, very rustic with all browns and beiges inside, no colour at all, high vaulted ceilings with wooden beams, terracotta floor tiles, and open plan rooms. The resort is shower only, with a TV for only DVDs. All the villas are the same inside but two have a private pool which is not heated.
The beaches, however, were amazing, with very wide, white sand, turquoise waters, and the only access is from the hotel so they’re very private. This is the main selling point! The restaurant is all a la carte and included in the rates – your table can be on the beach or in your villa at no extra cost. There is no main pool, but there is a spa with some treatments and there are daily excursions to local villages. You can also have breakfast or lunch on a private island at no extra charge. Vatulele would be perfect for the person who wants to get away from it all and enjoy some time in a very natural location, but not for the couple who really wants to be pampered and have everything as luxurious as possible.
I also stopped at a couple of quick places on the way. First was Fiji Orchid in Nadi, which is best used for a day room or overnight for flight connections – it’s only 15-20 minutes from the airport. There are six identical bures, all very stylish in white and neutral colours. There is a lovely large pool area with a spa at the end. The reception is temporarily under construction – the check-in temporarily takes place at the bar for the moment. That bar area / lounge is more like someone’s home with big sofas and a large verandah with chairs. It’s boutique style overall and works really well with the hotel style of the outer islands for an overnight or day room.
I also stopped at the Westin Dennarau in Nadi, which I would hesitate to recommend. It’s part of a large modern development with large hotels on two stories in blocks. The rooms were very basic and I didn’t feel it was up to the standard of other Westin hotels – especially given it was full of Australian families on a cheap holiday. It just didn’t feel Fijian, and as a result I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’ll be back next Monday for the second half of my September 2010 Fijian trip – don’t miss it! As always, if you have any queries about these destinations, please give us a ring at 01494 678 400 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.