A Fijian Escape – Part One

Cities: Likuliku Island Resort & Spa

We left San Francisco on board Air New Zealand’s 747 in their Premier Business Class section. The seats are in a “herringbone” configuration on either side of the plane facing towards the windows in the forward part of the plane and then facing outwards, side by side in the middle. The service was fantastic with very attentive and social flight attendants. Sleeping was easy on board for this night time flight to Auckland.

We land pre-dawn and connect with our ongoing flight to Nadi, Fiji. This flight is only 3 hours! Upon landing we are met by our partners, Island Hopper, who transfer us quickly to the helicopter base and within 20 minutes of landing we are in the air again across the crystal blue lagoons towards Malolo Island and Likuliku Lagoon Resort & Spa.

Cameron, our pilot explains the islands as we pass by on this 10 minute flight. We do a fly by the resort and it all looks beautiful, pristine and welcoming. We landed at their heli port and are met by Sala, the Resort Manager with drink and Fijian necklace in hand and several of the staff singin beautiful Fijian songs, and we are shown to our overwater bungalow.

Likuliku was the first resort to have overwater bungalows in Fiji – we have been to many Tahitian resorts that have them, so this will be a treat for us.

There are 10 overwater bungalows, 18 deluxe beach bungalows with their own private plunge pools overlooking the beach and 10 beach bungalows. The deluxe and beach bungalows are the same size, just the plunge pool is the difference. All 3 categories are exceptional inside, as you can see from the pictures.

Linda and I settled in, opened the bottle of Veuve Champagne and watched the amazing sunset from our balcony deck. You really feel like you are on a cruise ship in these bungalows. There is a high tide shift of over 6 foot each hours (or so), so at times the coral below your bungalow is almost all exposed, making it easier to see both the coral and colorful fish. Parrot Fish were in abundance along with a cute bright blue star fish and large eel.

The meals are all served in the main bure, with both inside and outside tables. There is no room service here. There are two tables on small terraces over the beach and right on the water, perfect for honeymoners and true romantics!

The Aussie Chef currently here did a great job over the two days we stayed with a varied menu daily of very fresh and palatable dishes.

Fiji is lucky with its climate that most produce is always fresh year round, not to mention the fish being caught each and every day. I love crabs and the Crab Omelet was my preference each day!

Like in all Fiji, the Fijians are so friendly and helpful. Every time you walk past – “Bula” is said with such enthusiasm. Bula means Hello, G’day, Cheers and whatever really… it is wonderful.

We visited to village which is close by and met with the Chief and the council of the tribe. We were fortunate to share a Traditional Kava ceremony with them. Kava is a drink made from a root of a local plant – it has to effect of numbing your tongue and mouth. One man is charged with making the kava in these large wooden bowls and then another serves it to the Chief first and then the remainder who are all seated around a circle. As you are given the bowl, you clap once, say “Bula” and then drink, then clap twice.

This shows respect to the land and traditions of the Fiji people.

The one thing that really amazed us here in Fiji is that the tribes all live by consensus. If there is to be change within the village, it has to be a consensus, or it doesn’t change. The communal spirit of the tribes is so encouraging to me, and something that we all should strive to achieve in our lives. Within the village, all are related and no one is left out, there are no orphans within the Fijian people. If someone needs something, they go next door; if they need help to build something, the whole village assists.

Activities from sea kayaking, scuba and snorkeling, swimming in the ocean or pool, hikes and a great spa all combine to make a stay at Likuliku so enjoyable and restful.

Steve Anstey is the General Manager at the resort whom I’ve known for a number of years – initially through his role as General Manager at Silky Oaks Lodge in Australia and now sending Swain clients to the Fijian paradise of Likuliku.

I suggest a stay of at least 5 nights, if not longer and once you are on “Fiji time”, it is hard to say good bye, but alas we did and flew back to Nadi by helicopter to connect with our next adventure.


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