A review of some of Fiji’s best resorts by our specialist travel agent, Jules Stabback.
No one knows the extraordinary Fiji Islands like we do. Part of living up to that promise is that we are continually researching, reading and, most importantly, visiting the Fiji Islands and the resorts.
There’s such a difference to speaking to a travel agent who can just pull out a brochure, to speaking to a specialist who has been to the places that are being recommended. We pride ourselves on the fact that every team member travels to Fiji, and if one member doesn’t know about one resort, then someone else does. We talk, compare and make recommendations based on our knowledge, not based on a pretty picture in a brochure.
The recent winter school holidays took me to a number of amazing properties. Travelling as a family of four – teenagers in tow, and at our final stop as a multi generational family we were to discover four different, yet wonderful resorts. At each stop my thoughts were who will this appeal to? What is unique about this resort? Who of our past clients would love this? How can we tell new clients about the wonders of these places?
Kokomo Private Island was the first stop for myself and my 17 year old daughter so we could enjoy some very special mother/daughter time.
Newly opened and adopting the true meaning of unstructured luxury, Kokomo is everything and more that you can possibly imagine for a truly special break. Set in the Kadavu region of Fiji, surrounded by the Astrolobe Reef, Kokomo is reached on an amazing 45 minute seaplane journey. We flew due south east over the mainland with the stunning highlands out the left hand window and highlights such as the mouth of the Sigatoka River and sand dunes as we crossed over to the ocean. The remaining trip was a kaleidoscope of blues as we crossed the ocean until we saw “the big island” of Kadavu and a few islands north of that, the familiar shape of Yaukuve Island upon which sits Kokomo Private Island Resort.
Kokomo Private Island Resort is an exceptional addition to our luxury resort offerings.
In all my years of travelling to Fiji I have never had a welcome quite like the one at Kokomo. Think goosebumps, happy tears and a smile that you might not have felt for some time if you live the busy lives we all live nowadays. Not just one song, but five or six, not just a handful of staff, but every member, including chefs, housekeeping, gardening, management and everyone in between singing, clapping and truly welcoming you to the island. To say it was amazing would be an understatement.
We were in a one bedroom beachfront villa. Villas are located on either side of the island – we were on the main resort side, but both sides offer amazing views and all villas offer direct beach access as well as private infinity pools. Villas are one, two or three bedroom, or if you are travelling as a large family, perhaps a multi generational get together you can choose one of the residences. Set on the higher parts of the island you can stay in a 3, 4, 5 or 6 bedroom residence. When we were there the six bedroom residence wasn’t occupied, so yoga was held on the deck every evening – yoga with that view was really something to write home about.
Dining at Kokomo is a treat… and the desert bar is open all day!
Dining at Kokomo is a treat. Kokomo’s rates include all your meals – even if you decide to sit by the resort pool, located at the very middle of the island, and have a glass of wine with a chacuterie plate from the divine deli, wood fire pizza, or desert (the desert bar is open all day). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served in the Beach Shack, the hub of the resort. Or choose to immerse yourself in the eclectic design of Walker D’Plank where chef Caroline will cook you whatever you want. Ask her what’s been picked from the five acre farm, or what’s been hauled from the Ocean and then decide on what you would like.
From Kokomo we flew back to Nausori airport just out of Suva and drove up to Pacific Harbour to Nanuku Auberge Resort. Here we met up with husband and 15 year old, surf mad son, Hugo. To say our son was excited to be so close to Frigates surf break was an understatement. Needless to say Hugo headed out the next day for a full day surfing this world class surf break and was “pumped” to add that to his list of surfed breaks in Fiji. More info about Fiji surfing holidays »
Nanuku is an amazing option for multi-generational families holidaying together.
Nanuku is another of Fiji’s luxury resort offerings, and an amazing option for multi-generational families to holiday together and experience one of Fiji’s most culturally appreciative resorts. When you arrive at Nanuku you will receive a greeting that is usually reserved for the chief (or Ratu) of the village – complete with drumming, the blowing of the Davui (or conch shell) and an escort through the main resort. Encompass this cultural offering when you are at Nanuku – learn how to cook like they do in a village, how to catch wild boar in the highlands, even how the Fiji 7’s train on the Sigatoka sand dunes. Take a shark dive in Beqa Lagoon, glamp on Nanuku’s private island for the night, or even take a medicine walk, or bilibili ride on the local river.
Nanuku is building a whole new category of accommodation – they will be known as the Auberge villas and will be a great addition to the already great range of accommodation. These villas will be able to be combined to create multi bedroom residences with private pools, courtyards and wonderful spaces for families, grandparents, and places to even put teenagers so they won’t bother you. The Auberge villas will be open in November. We stayed in a duplex suite – teenagers upstairs, adults downstairs with private pool and view across to Beqa Island. To say it was fabulous would be an understatement.
Always following the surf, we headed out to Malolo Island Resort. From here the surf breaks surrounding Namotu and Tavarua are nearby and daily trips can be booked from Malolo.
Malolo is one of Fiji’s best family resorts… and suitable for kids of all ages.
I have been visiting Malolo for too many years to remember and can say without doubt it is one of Fiji’s best family resorts. Not just for young families either – if you have active teenagers then the water activities, and ease to get to the surf really fit the bill, as well as the teen lounge as a gathering place. What did stand out for us though was the fun that the younger kids were having. There were several multigenerational families at the resort – grandparents were enjoying the peace of the adult dining area at night, and were often spotted at the later breakfast hour after parents and littlies had been up at the crack of dawn for breakfast and kids club. The sound of joy coming from the Malolo Kid’s Club was one that I wish I could have bottled and saved for a day when I need a lift. The laughter was constant. There was singing, clapping, chasing and adventuring all day long. Even when not in the kids club families were around the kids pool, Dads kicking a soccer ball on the grass surrounding the kids pool, or the slightly older kids down on the beach playing volleyball. Such happiness is hard to get in a digital world – but turn the access off and real fun can be had.
Malolo is a delight – there is just no more to say than that!
All these stays were relatively short, but our next stop was a seven night stay at Paradise Cove Resort in the Yasawas after picking up our oldies at Likuliku Lagoon Resort on our Sea Fiji water taxi. Usually accessed either via scheduled launch (about a 2.5 hour trip from Denarau) or a quick seaplane or helicopter trip Paradise Cove has been open for five years now and I have visited every year since its first birthday. This has to be testament to a great resort. Paradise Cove is five star, family friendly luxury that has really had no teething problems since opening. Managed by an experienced team you will find a professional group of staff who have been there for a long time.
Again, like us, Paradise Cove had a number of multi-generational families staying. The beauty of this resort is the variety of accommodation to suit the needs and requirements of a variety of guests. We stayed in a two bedroom beachfront villa, the oldies in a Paradise Suite with plunge pool – located well away from the family end of the resort. The two bedroom villas are wonderful for families of any age. Connected by a shared huge bathroom the second bedroom has its own access so, teenagers in particular, can come and go when they please without disturbing parents in the main bedroom.
A great addition is ‘The Cove’ – the adults only santuary.
A great addition to Paradise Cove is The Cove. Located behind the one bedroom beachfront villas, and Paradise Suites, The Cove is an adults only sanctuary. Even though the resort is not huge, when there are lots of families there, and if it does feel a bit too family friendly, then retreat to The Cove for absolute peace. The Cove features two pools, beautiful sunken lounge areas, one with fire pit for evening drinks, a small bar and eating area. Surrounding the decking are the Cove Villas. Adults only accommodation in the same style as the rest of the resort with beautiful outdoor bathrooms, but peacefully tucked away in this quiet zone. To be honest I wasn’t sure about The Cove, but having spent many afternoons there, dunking myself into the pool and then retreating to my book and lounge chair, day bed or beanbag, it is a very, very good addition to an already wonderful resort.
Like all these resorts dining at Paradise Cove was a treat. Simple things like grilled fish for lunch were a highlight for me, having eaten my way around Fiji for two weeks – but the choices were vast and the specials board for lunch boasted amazing Fiji chefs curry, lots of fresh fish, salads, and wood fired pizzas. Dinner was always begun with amuse bouch, the three course broken up by palette cleansers usually of some wonderful fruit sorbet, with the evening finishing around the Kava bowl singing and listening to the band boys strumming out tunes. The bar and band stay there until the last guest leaves. Trust me, that’s never late. A tip though, definitely stay with the boys, but on your way back to your bure why not drop in at The Cove for a nightcap around the fire pit. A beautiful way to end your night.
And a very warm thank you…
It was quite a trip – and it’s always hard to come back to cold old Sydney. We miss our friends at each of the resorts we visited. Isabel misses Lesli from Kokomo who made her daiquiri every day, we miss Ollie at Nanuku our wonderful breakfast buddy, Ratu at Malolo who anticipated every need – arranging for Hugo to have breakfast before he headed out each morning on the 0600 surf boat, and of course the team at Paradise Cove who we have known for so long it would be hard to just mention one of them.
To them all, Vinaka vakalevu for your kindness during our stays – to you, our readers, past and future clients, thank you for reading through this little blog – I know with confidence that we can certainly arrange a holiday for you that will leave you feeling how we feel when we visit Fiji. A part of a family and culture that is one of the most welcoming in the world, who will embrace you, welcome you and make you a part of their whole being – even if it’s for a few short days. Come, discover Fiji with us. I know we can design the very best of experience for you.
More information about Fiji luxury holidays
Fiji is the most perfect place on earth. The islands and their waters are pure and pristine, just as they were generations ago. The sands are white, the waters warm and the tropical rainforest is lush and shady. Fiji offers everything from total relaxation to fun adventure. The Fijian people are welcoming and friendly, and they encourage you to enjoy their island home. They are family oriented and find joy in helping you celebrate your time in Fiji. Throughout the Fiji Islands you will find a friendliness experienced nowhere else in the world.
No-one knows these extraordinary islands as we do! We are specialist Fiji travel agents and can organise every aspect of your island escape. Whether you’re planning a family holiday, tropical wedding, romantic escape or honeymoon, adults-only getaway, group holiday with friends and family, island cruise or corporate retreat, we can help. Be sure to check out our Fiji package deals and travel discounts.
Our team understands that sometimes an ‘off-the-shelf’ holiday package isn’t good enough. Perhaps you want a Fiji holiday that’s unique and personalised and that is exactly what makes us different. We believe that every holiday should be special and dedicate ourselves to creating Fiji holidays that will create long-lasting memories.
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