Our newest trip with Fiji Airways introduced us to the opposite aspect of the world from our London workplaces, the place we managed to take some nicely wanted relaxation earlier than heading all the way in which again. We had been fortunate sufficient to remain within the award successful Likuliku Lagoon resort (one in every of our Top 10 Destinations for 2014), set on the Mamanuca archipelago simply 25kms west of Vitu Levu, the mainland of the group of over 300 tropical islands within the South Pacific.
On arrival to Nadi, our transfers had been pre-organised by the resort, and we had been welcomed on the airport by the switch consultant. With a couple of hours to burn as a result of actually early arrival of the LAX flight, we had been really useful to go to a close-by airport lodge to seize a chew to eat earlier than the solar was up and we may get throughout to the island. Now, there are 4 attainable methods to get to Likuliku, by the shuttle catamaran that has the lodge as a cease on a route of resorts, that takes about 2 hours (not a foul strategy to see all of the islands) or a non-public speedboat, that can whisk you to the resort in simply 45 minutes each from the close by port. Nonetheless, what we actually advocate is the opposite two choices. Both by helicopter, the place you arrive to your tropical paradise as should you had been some type of James Bond villain, or our really useful choice of Seaplane. The seaplane and helicopter each depart from Nadi Worldwide airport, and inside 10 minutes from test in, we had been on the seaplane, that sat 8, strapped in, being given a security briefing from our pilot, who in shorts and barefoot, was the laid again pilot that all of us secretly wish to be.
After a fast take off, our home windows had been full of the view of the crystal clear aqua blue seas, coral reefs, abandoned islands and sand bars had been all our view as we skirted above the ocean at 500ft. We made a rapid cease off at a close-by resort, feeling responsible (for a really quick time) that we had been staying in final luxurious in comparison with this lodge, earlier than whisking off to Likuliku. All in all, the journey took about quarter-hour, and was totally pleasant.
On touchdown on the ocean, we had been greeted by a vista of the resort, remoted by itself sandy bay, this felt so eliminated and remoted from the remainder of the world, it was among the best arrivals at a lodge we’ve got each had. As we departed the aircraft, we had been met by a launch from the resort. Our baggage and ourselves had been greeted on the boat earlier than the aircraft began up once more and headed off into the large blue yonder.
Because the sound of the plane engine pale away, the silence was full of singing and music of our greeting occasion on the jetty on the resort. Each visitor is welcomed with tune at Likuliku, it’s the very core of Fijian tradition, to sing, dance and rejoice others, and the pure heat and enthusiasm of the employees was evident with out even stepping meals on shore. With an enormous smile, the welcoming ceremony was the proper strategy to begin our keep. Understanding the journey we had, the employees instantly guided us to the restaurant with a chilly towel and refreshing cocktail earlier than sitting all the way down to a full hearty and contemporary breakfast while our test in was accomplished for us, and baggage taken to our Bure (a standard Fijiian dwelling).
From this level we had been left to our personal gadgets, and whisked throughout to our deluxe beachfront bure on the far finish of the island, the place one of many employees launched us to our room. The entire ‘villa’ for the most effective use of the phrase was expansive, luxurious and heavenly. All of the rooms have an enormous quantity of privateness, and provide a big residing and sleeping space, with giant king measurement beds, (or twins) outdoors deck and toilet space, which affords his and her sinks, outside and indoor showers (or within the case of the overwater villas a big Corian tub giant sufficient for 2) The rooms begin on the Backyard Bure stage, which provide the above, and sit only a few steps again from the seaside, nonetheless with a sea view, then a beachfront bure, which provide the identical, however actually on the beachfront. Then the luxurious beachfront which we had been had, which featured an outdoor plunge pool, (which was the temperature of a shower!) and on the prime quality, the ten overwater bures, every with its personal ladder down on to the pristine coral reef beneath.
The eating within the resort was pleasant and superbly introduced, led by a New Zealander head chef, stunning contemplating the restrictions of working a kitchen of this stage on a distant island. The resort was all inclusive (minus drinks) providing buffet breakfast within the morning together with a menu of predominant breakfast choices, together with a mud crab omelette which was pleasant, and contemporary inexperienced coconut water straight from the coconuts themselves.
Lunch was a distinct affair, starters had been small however completely fashioned (and don’t take small as a damaging, after a couple of days, the quantity of feeding meant smaller parts had been good!) and the restricted decisions of three programs meant that high quality may very well be high notch. The fish dishes particularly had been past extraordinary. Deserts had been additionally out of this world.
Dinners nevertheless had been the star of the present right here at Likuliku, usually a la carte, other than two nights per week the place both a Fijian feast is placed on the place the meats and sure dishes are cooked within the conventional earthen ‘lovo’ oven, wrapped in Pandan leaf – pleasant! One evening per week is the de-gustation menu as nicely, which is 8 programs of high-quality eating, normally underneath the celebrities, (climate allowing) each of those are a break from the standard a la carte menus. To accompany the menus is an in depth, and fairly priced wine and cocktail checklist, and we even tried pushing their cellars to breaking level over our keep, and but they by no means ran out of our favorite bottle!
We had been fortunate sufficient to check out the spa on the resort too, set amongst the mangroves behind the over water bures. The newly constructed spa is the most recent addition to the 7 12 months previous Likuliku property, and options a considerable amount of therapy rooms and a employees of 8, ensuring that you’re at all times able to reserving a therapy, that are each enjoyable and fairly priced.
All of the non-motorised actions on the resort are free, lead by the actions workforce, together with all the primary water sports activities. However the fantastic component to this resort is their assist of their atmosphere, you’ll be able to go to the native village that the resort contributes in the direction of, tour the historic factors on the island, conventional dancers and you may even take a drugs stroll like we did, exhibiting all of the totally different flora across the resort and the way they was once utilized by locals for his or her medical necessities. Additionally nicely price a go to, is the Honeymoon island, a small island simply off the shore, which could be visited with a totally stocked picnic for a little bit of privateness for a couple of hours. The coral reef there, like across the resort is wonderful. It’s by far among the finest we’ve seen and higher than that discovered on Hadahaa, one in every of our earlier sizzling motels. So many fish, and such an exquisite number of coral and sea life. If see life isn’t your factor, be at liberty to check out the endangered Iguanas the resort has discovered and is defending, and even spend a while with the resort supervisor’s pleasant canine. Coco.
The perfect place by far to go to the coral reef is from your individual ladder on the over water villas, whose additional advantages additionally prolong to a day by day deal with being delivered to your bure each afternoon and personal solar deck wanting over the calm pacific seas. Different touches we liked had been the glass ground and under-bure lighting, which means you may have a look at the ocean life all evening lengthy from the consolation of your bure should you required. The over-water bure, like the remainder of the small resort, affords wifi, (no video streaming) and a 500 robust DVD library, good for a wet day, (though anticipate no TV stations – good for actually letting go of the skin world)
What may by no means be imparted in print, is the extent of service that we acquired on the resort. It’s by far among the finest we’ve got ever acquired on the earth. It’s real, caring and welcoming, and while the lodge tries to ask friends to forgive ‘Fiji time’ which is thought throughout the island as a ‘slower’ lifestyle, the employees are quick in responding to requests, and genuinely take pleasure in what they do.
In abstract, We had such a problem in leaving the place after 10 days there, we’ve got already deliberate to return and we advocate you do the identical! No marvel it retains successful awards, and after being sung the standard farewell tune of the Fijian tradition, that some folks have returned a minimum of 14 occasions. Possibly this actually is a bit of piece of heaven on earth.
We booked straight with Likuliku Lagoon. www.likulikulagoon.com Rooms begin at FJD$1790
Public Areas 8/10
Lasting Impressions 9.5/10