I’m itching for yet another holiday (what’s new Singapore) but anywhere is going to be really hard to live up to my recent trip to Fiji. The islands stole my heart from the moment I got off that direct Fiji Airways flight and it’s been a struggle sorting through all the photos and memories.
A beach holiday or island paradise to me used to mean booking a ticket to Bali or Phuket or the most popular of them all, the Maldives. Fiji has totally changed the game and I’m pretty sure anyone on my Instagram would agree.
I promise I’ll get to all the fun stuff that you have to check out when you’re out there, but first things first: accommodation. Here are three unbelievably idyllic Fijian resorts that will set the tone for your trip to paradise.
1. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Located on one of the main islands of Fiji called Viti Levu, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is your home away from home. The 5-Star Resort sits along the famous Coral Coast and you’ll feel the warm Fijian hospitality from the moment you arrive.
A grand open-concept lobby awaits, and the friendly staff croon away in traditional song to welcome guests. Not forgetting the Bula man who stands at the entrance, impressing us daily with a booming “Bula! Bula! Bula!”.
Bula is the standard greeting in Fiji and you’ll hear it about a hundred times a day.
If the warm welcome at Outrigger doesn’t already get you into the holiday mood, the sweeping view of the resort surely will. Laid out like a traditional Fijian Village, opt for the rooms that are housed in private Bures, which are essentially wood and straw huts.
Plantation Bures are situated more inland and provide a cosy space for you and your family.
The rooms are spacious and fitted with traditional Fijian ceilings, featuring intricate Masi designs. This is exactly what you’d want to come home to after a day of exploration and fun.
Couples should definitely book the Beachfront Bures which allow for magnificent views of the ocean, and multiple hammocks!
You can look forward to romantic evenings watching the sunset with a complimentary glass of champagne or beer and canapes. This Talai (butler) service is available to those staying in deluxe ocean view rooms, suites or bures, and it was a wonderful way to wind down the day.
Aptly named, the Coral Coast might be a little tricky to go for a swim in, but with a sprawling tropical swimming lagoon in the resort, you can go for a dip anytime. The kids will love this!
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort even has a Meimei (nanny) service for children six months or older. Parents, you know what that means – spa day!
The award-winning Bebe Spa Sanctuary is set on a hilltop, with amazing views of the entire resort and the coast. Each room is a little private escape from reality and I highly recommend the Fijian Bobo Massage which combines fluid strokes from the hands, elbows and forearms.
A day of activities or relaxation is bound to get you hungry and the resort boasts five restaurants and bar options to take care of that. Dine with the kids at Baravi Poolside for a more casual meal or spend a romantic evening with your partner at the famous IVI Restaurant.
Voted Fiji’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the 2012 Excellence in Tourism Awards, IVI Restaurant will deliver a truly memorable Fijian dining experience.
It’s where I got my first taste of Fijian Ika Kokoda, one of the most popular dishes in Fiji.
Other must-try dishes include the Coconut Lime & Chilli Infused Lobster and Fiji’s Deep Sea Snapper & Shelled Mud Crabs, both of which featured incredibly fresh seafood and stunning flavours.
If you’ve had an early dinner, end the day off at the Kalokalo Bar with cocktails and a view. It’s one of the top 10 bars in the South Pacific and I could see why – that Pina Colada served in a fresh coconut was the best I’ve ever had.
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is luxury accommodation with lots of heart. The hospitable Fijian staff will make your holiday unforgettable and the sense of community is unparalleled. The resort also features an incredible line-up of activities to experience the best of Fiji!
Prices: Rooms start from 377 FJD (approx 255 SGD) per night
2. Castaway Island Fiji Resort
Fiji is made up of 333 islands so you can imagine how many resorts there are to choose from. There’s one that truly stands out from all the others though – Outrigger’s Castaway Island Fiji Resort.
Hop on a South Sea Cruises catamaran for an easy transfer to Castaway Island from Viti Levu’s Denarau Marina. The island is approximately 30km away and you’ll spend an hour and a half in comfort on the catamaran.
The private island resort is amongst Fiji’s Mamanuca Island group and it truly felt like I was being whisked away for some much needed downtime. There are fixed transfer timings and everything was right on schedule, with the resort boats coming to get us from the catamaran.
We were welcomed with a big handshake and smile from Resort Manager Steven, who was singing on the beach alongside his equally enthusiastic staff. This is exactly what Fijian warmth and hospitality encompasses and we knew we were going to have an amazing few days.
The view from the island is stunning, with rich tropical rainforest that’s surrounded by white sandy beaches and clear waters of the South Pacific.
Now, you’re probably wondering if the island was where the Tom Hanks movie ‘Cast Away’ was filmed. The resort just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, so the movie was actually named after the island but was filmed at the nearby Modriki Island that guests can visit on a day trip.
You can however, see the actual paddle that was used in the movie hung above the bar at Castaway Island.
You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of accommodation, with 64 spacious bungalow Bures scattered around the island. Some are inland, some have an ocean view, but all are never too far away from the beach.
The Bures boast natural rattan and local timber furnishings, with high vaulted ceilings lined with hand painted tapa cloth, again with the unique Masi designs.
Some of the Bures have been newly renovated and others updated to ensure that guests have the best and most comfortable stay possible.
There’s even a three-bedroom Family Bure that can sleep 10 people! The rooms are combined but feature privacy sliding doors and different sections so that everyone has their own space.
If you’ve snagged a Beachfront Bure, you’ll be waking up every morning to this incredible view, and the feeling of having your own private beach. One of the best things about the resort is that (wait for it) there’s no in-room WiFi available.
This is truly an opportunity to disconnect (just like Tom Hanks) and enjoy everything that Fijian island life has to offer. And don’t worry, you can still surf the net in communal areas.
Castaway Island is surrounded by the clearest waters, but the resort also features swimming pools and one is even adults-only, creating that extra bit of privacy and peace.
We loved spending evenings at the Sundowner Bar with delicious pre-dinner drinks, whetting our appetites with wood-fired pizzas that were to die for.
Fiji gave us some of the best sunsets that we’ve ever seen and watching the sun go down from the stunning Restaurant 1808 was the icing on top of the cake.
The award-winning restaurant uses organic produce and herbal infusions to combine the best flavours of Asia, featuring Fijian and Chinese cooking techniques.
We loved way too many of the dishes but must rave about the Tamarind BBQ-d Fish and Duck Kokoda which was a twist to the classic.
I left Castaway Island with a heavy heart but a big smile on my face because the resort culture is contagious. The staff treat you like family and you’ll soon forget how long you’ve been away.
Trust me when I say that this is one resort that you’ll want to return to time and time again.
Prices: Spacious Bures starting from 1,026 FJD (approx 692 SGD) per night
3. InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
InterContinental is an international hotel brand renowned for luxury and hospitality, and you can expect no less from the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. The stunning resort is located on Natadola Bay – the longest stretch of natural, white sandy beach on Viti Levu.
This is THE place to book if comfort, ease and elegance is what you’re after. The resort’s 266 rooms are spread across the vast property, each promising privacy and sophistication.
Seasoned travellers will appreciate the Club rooms which are nestled on a hill, offering a 24-hour Itokani Butler Service which the resort is famed for. It’s a resort within a resort and you can get from place to place via buggies.
The Club InterContinental lounge is extremely exclusive and you’ll experience a Fijian holiday in style from the moment you arrive. Club room bookings enjoy a separate and private check-in/check-out from the lounge, where you can relax by the infinity pool with a view like this.
The Club InterContinental Two Bedroom Suite is the epitome of spacious living, with a dining and lounge area that’ll make you want to stay here forever.
The master bedroom is linked to a balcony where you and your loved ones can relax in a bath, soaking in the surrounding greenery and serenity.
All bathrooms are equipped with elegant amenities that feature the finest, natural Fijian products to make your stay that more comfortable.
Enjoy the rooms but make sure you don’t miss out on everything else that the resort has to offer. Indulge in pre-dinner drinks (this seems to have become a thing) and take in some of the daily activities available.
Participate in a traditional Fijian dance or witness the daily fire lighting ceremony at the Kama Lounge which faces the ocean.
A beautiful sunset also means that it’s soon time for dinner, and InterContinental Fiji promises unforgettable dining experiences.
There are five restaurants and bars around the resort but you must check out Navo which offers award-winning fine dining overlooking the lagoon and the sacred island of Navo.
You can look forward to fresh, premium seafood and delectable cuts of meat, plated to perfection. The service was stunning and attentive, reminding us once again of InterContinental’s reputation.
The resort takes advantage of the beautiful Natadola bay and boasts three large swimming pools, with unbeatable views.
You’ll only want to peel yourself away from that deck chair to sample some of the diverse lunch options available and if you’re inspired, you can even sign up for a cooking class.
Learn how to make the traditional Fijian Kokoda (or raw fish salad) that I’ve been raving about from the chefs at InterContinental Fiji. Keep an eye out for the recipe in my next article!
I mentioned that the Club InterContinental lounge is an experience like no other, and every evening you can watch the magnificent sunset while enjoying canapes and cocktails.
The sunset canapes and cocktails are served from 5.30pm till 7.30pm every evening, and we enjoyed them so much that we even skipped dinner on one of the days!
Our unbelievable trip to Fiji was coming to an end, and InterContinental Fiji sent us off with a Queen Cleopatra Bathing Ritual. The bath is rich in protein and vitamins with healing benefits designed to improve your overall complexion, leaving the skin pure and soft.
After days out in the sun, this was a much needed, soothing end to our wonderful stay. If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in a resort that takes care of your every need, get down to booking a room at the incredible InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.
If these three resorts haven’t tickled the travel bug in you, I don’t know what will. Fiji is a direct flight away from Singapore and needs to be on your travel itinerary for 2017.
Check out flights on Fiji Airways today and say hello to the new ultimate beach and cultural destination!