When people ask me where I’d like to go on my honeymoon, my first response is always Fiji (now I just need to find a husband). There is something about the image of Fiji’s crystal blue waters and private bungalows that screams (or seductively whispers) romance. Add a touch of quiet relaxation and exotic locale, and you’ve got the perfect island getaway.
Frontline agent Carissa Cummings ventured to Nadi, Fiji, for a personal vacation— but when you are a travel agent, there is no such thing as “just a vacation.” Coastline Travel agents are always on the lookout for the best destinations and products for our clients. Even while relaxing, we can’t help but take note of our surroundings: “how is the staff treating guests? How is the spa atmosphere and amenities? What types of activities are nearby, and what kind of client would enjoy this?”
That being said, Carissa had an amazing time in this tropical paradise. The weather was hot and breezy, perfect for an Oceanfront Room at the Intercontinental Fiji Resort (a 5-star Virtuoso property). And when I say oceanfront, I really mean it— the water is literally 20 paces away from the room. Since this is a Virtuoso resort, accommodations came with exclusive amenities, including daily breakfast and a traditional massage in their signature spa. Carissa enjoyed the hotel’s amenities and picturesque beach surroundings. There was always something to do, from snorkeling to paddle boarding (side note: Carissa enjoyed paddle boarding so much that she paddled too far out in the clear blue waters and had to be transported back by boat!).
Though Fiji is known to be a romantic destination for couples, the Intercontinental is actually quite family friendly. Along with the large family pool, there is a kid’s club program that offers a ton of fun activities for younger travelers. Kids can partake in island cooking, craft making and face painting. Honeymooners, don’t fret – they do have a quiet adult-only pool on property as well.
While you may want to simply lay out on the white sand beach and sip on a cocktail, there are plenty of excursions for more active explorers. Carissa suggests taking a South Sea Island Day Trip, which includes a day under the sun aboard a high-speed catamaran. Upon reaching the island, you can explore the colorful reefs with snorkel gear, swim amongst tropical fish and enjoy lunch while watching a traditional dance performance. This is a great way to take in the Fijian culture. Or, if you’re an animal lover, take a trip to Kula Eco Park, a 28-acre property with walkthrough enclosures and epic marine displays. Viewable wildlife includes iguanas, colorful birds, tropical fish, starfish and sea turtles. The parrotfish were charming, per usual.
The island cuisine was another highlight of Carissa’s trip. Fijian food consists of a delicious fusion of Indian and Indonesian fare, with basics such as rice, taro and fish. One unique dish Carissa tried was Fijian Ceviche, called Kokoda, with fresh white fish, shrimp, chilies and coconut milk. Yum! The Intercontinental itself hosts three chic restaurants and a cocktail lounge (which has an “amazing happy hour!”). While on the topic of food and drink, Carissa described an unusual custom the Fijian people partake in: The consumption of Kava root. This plant root is a relaxant/sedative with hallucinogenic properties. Popular in the Oceania region, the root is typically ground up and either chewed or blended with hot water to make tea. Fijians traditionally drink Kava tea (called “yaqona”) both day and night, casually or ceremoniously. It is often offered to travelers as a ritual of welcoming. Kava tea drinking is a social event and acts as a bond between participants who enjoy the relaxing effect along with quality conversation. When visiting Fiji, you may be asked, “E dua na bilo?” which translates to “try a cup?” If you don’t mind mildly numb lips (it is an anesthetic!) and perhaps a sleepy sensation, go for it!
All in all, Fiji is an excellent island destination for couples and families alike, with an abundance of enjoyable activities and relaxing settings. The rich marine biodiversity makes Fiji a paradise for divers, as well. If you are interested in traveling to this beautiful island, here are some great travel tips to take in mind:
- For a more diversified holiday, visit the outer islands instead of staying only on the mainland.
- Skip Denarau— this is a tourist-laden, manmade island that hosts many resorts. It is close to the airport and therefore convenient, but lacks any real Fijian culture.
- Remember that islanders run on “Fiji Time”— meaning that they are a bit more relaxed when it comes to schedules. Here in the states, we are so used to our fast-paced society; you may have to be patient with the slower way of Fijian life.
- When purchasing flights, try to book air on an A-330, which are the newer jets flying to Fiji. They are much more comfortable than the archaic 747s.
- Don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular Fijian sunsets. They are breathing taking and sure to be a highlight of your trip.
If you would like to speak with Carissa about her trip, email her: email@example.com, or call (800) 448-2374.