Still pinching myself that we’ve now been to Fiji. As expressed in previous posts about exotic island locations, I never thought I’d ever venture to anywhere as remote (and turquoise) as the South Pacific.
In true #firstworldproblems fashion, we had to make the difficult decision to pass up attending a wedding of two of our dear friends who were tying the knot in Italy this September. The ceremony was planned for one day after our own five year wedding anniversary, so we thought it would be an amazing excuse to get back to Europe. But Brett’s new job, the cost of flying literally across the world, and at least three weeks of hotel nights (you know, to make the long journey worthwhile!) dictated otherwise. We just couldn’t swing it. We were pretty heartbroken.
But what we could afford – and this still blows my mind – is four nights in Fiji as consolation. Though it’s far from almost anywhere else in the world, Fiji is one of the closest destinations to New Zealand.
We even had a flight upgrade to use, so after three blissful hours in first class pods on Air New Zealand and a quick ferry trip, we found ourselves (on our actual anniversary) on the remote island of Mololo. Well, Mololo is actually one of the closest islands to Port Denarau (where the mainland resorts are) but feels a world away.
Side note: My advice to anyone booking a Fiji getaway is to weigh the travel time to get somewhere more remote like the Yasawas with the length of your vacation. You may have to build in a day on Denarau depending on flights and ferry schedules.
We stayed at Lomani, a boutique adults-only resort with all inclusive activities and breakfast. Brett and I don’t relax well, so we wanted to make sure there were plenty of things to do in case we had trouble switching off. Bonus that Lomani was incredibly beautiful and private feeling. We had a Beachfront Bure that didn’t skimp on the luxury… and the outdoor shower added just the right amount of over-the-top.
We tried our very best to spend as much time reading in daybeds by the pool, drinking Vonus (our local beer of choice) on the beach, getting massages and taking advantage of breakfast in bed.
However, we also went running and SUPed every day, hiked to the small lookout and around the island, rented bikes and had dinner at a neighbouring resort one night. Thanks to our perpetual restlessness.
We also ventured to Cloud 9 – a floating bar pontoon bar where tropical drinks run you over $50 USD but the woodfired pizza is surprisingly decent. Our resort took the resident shuttle boat over – after warning everyone of big waves and seasickness. The wind was relentless, but it was still an incredible experience.
Don’t get me wrong, Fiji was such a cool place to visit and we’re so thankful for the opportunity. But I just can’t possibly give it marks as high as Hawaii or Tahiti for beauty or Bali for adventure and affordable luxury. The trip was the perfect way to celebrate five years of married adventures with much-needed forced relaxation, but the high price points on the resorts do not match the service level you’d expect. But maybe that’s just the American in us.
This was one of the most expensive per-night accommodations we’ve ever stayed in. The people were absolutely divine in their intentions (like they serenaded us goodbye!) but we found ourselves in a couple of frustrating situations (think stranded with flat bike tires) that would have been unacceptable other places in the world. That’s just island life I suppose – so next time, I think we’d lean in to it and stay in a more authentic and local spot with lower expectations to match. That’s probably the better way to travel anyway, eh?
Thanks for a beautiful anniversary celebration, Fiji!