Late last year I renewed my love of Fiji with a week on the magical Northern Islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu. Already in love with Fiji and what it has to offer, I wasn’t prepared for falling in love with the country all over again, but that is exactly what happened.
The flight by FIJI LINK (Fiji Airways) from Nadi to the “Garden Island” of Taveuni was part of the experience: we were treated to incredible views of gorgeous atolls and coral reefs. Upon landing at Taveuni’s Matei Airport I quickly realised this part of Fiji was nowhere near as commercialised as the main island and immediately felt relaxed and excited about what was to come. Our group was heading first to Matangi Private Island Resort so we boarded a waiting mini-bus for a scenic 20-minute drive to a boat landing to meet the water taxi to the island. We travelled along a mix of sealed and unsealed roads and the turquoise-blue water on our left and the rainforest on the right were pleasant distractions from the odd bump along the way.
My first and lasting impressions of Matangi Private Island Resort were “wow!” The greeting from the staff singing as our boat came into the beach gave me goosebumps and a sense of being “welcomed home”. This adults-only slice of paradise has a gorgeous mix of rooms to suit all budgets from bures to three unique tree houses; I was lucky enough to be staying in one of the latter for the night.
The split-level tree house had everything a couple could wish for, including a large private sun deck, an outdoor lava rock shower, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a spacious bathroom with dual hand basins and a private king-size day bed. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just enjoying a quiet escape from the fast pace of life back home, Matangi Private Island Resort provides the perfect escape.
If you feel active there are white sand beaches, walks up through the hills, amazing snorkelling, and diving in the marine reserve that surrounds the island. For a special treat you can book a private picnic at nearby Horseshoe Bay, which is listed in the book, 1000 Places to See Before you Die.
Matangi Private Island Resort’s friendly staff will look after you with beautiful food and amazing spa treatments and as they bid you farewell you will be left with a beautiful memory of a truly special spot
Next was a stay across the bay at the delightful Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji on Qamea Island. Another beautiful song welcomed us to this jewel in the north and “barefoot luxury” is how you would describe this adults-only resort. The understated elegance of its 12 oceanfront bures and villas makes you feel comfortable and relaxed and the island makes you feel like you have just stumbled upon an undiscovered paradise.
Another group of amazing staff caters to your every whim. From yoga on the beachfront to a visit to the local village, from snorkelling or diving in the clear waters to relaxing on the white-sand beach or enjoying an amazing spa treatment in the only Guinot Institut Spa in the South Pacific, the choice is yours. Couples especially will love this authentic Fijian experience with the most amazing touch of luxury.
A visit to the Bouma National Waterfall Park was a pleasant surprise and I would highly recommend this as a day trip which can be done from many of the resorts in Northern Fiji. The cool waters and natural surroundings feel like you have escaped to another world. It’s a very romantic spot for honeymooners or even a great spot for a surprise proposal – just don’t drop the ring!
Our next stay was at the boutique Paradise Taveuni Resort. This small, intimate property on Taveuni Island offers 16 bures and a relaxed but elegant atmosphere that is perfect for couples, families or groups of friends. The resort offers an authentic Fijian holiday experience and is family-friendly, and the ability for guests to dive, snorkel and swim from the water’s edge of the resort is a great advantage. So too are the all-inclusive rates which offer fantastic value for money, and the resort’s food is exceptional. As we bade farewell and boarded the boat for our next adventure I certainly left a piece of my heart there.
The place that literally took my breath away was the all-inclusive eco-friendly Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort at Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu.Everything has been thought of at this amazing resort and from the moment we arrived we were again treated like part of the family, which happens everywhere you go in Taveuni and Vanua Levu.
The resort is family-friendly and laid out in such a way that 90 per cent of the time you would never know there were children staying there. Dinner under the stars by the main pool was a highlight and I wished my fiancé had been there to share it. Speaking of couples, a trip over to the resort’s private island is a must-do: it is the most amazing spot in which to celebrate your engagement, marriage or anniversary or just spend time with that special person (or people) in your life!
All too soon it was time to bid farewell to my unforgettable Northern Fiji famil experience. This part of Fiji is a hidden jewel that I highly recommend to any couples wanting the ultimate romantic getaway or to families wanting something different. Having become recently engaged, the difficulty I have now is deciding which spot in this earthly paradise would be perfect for my honeymoon!
Where is your favourite place to stay in Fiji? Let us know in the comments.