Fiji is one of the most popular Pacific Island holiday destinations for Australian travellers. For a start it’s only a few hours flight from east coast cities. But it’s real popularity lies in the ease with which Fijians welcome visitors to their tropical shores. The traditional greeting of Bula rings across the country as Fijians open their arms to strangers as though they are long lost friends. It’s just the sort of friendly atmosphere that encourages romance.
Where to stay
Laucala Island Resort is unquestionably Fiji’s most exclusive (and expensive) island resort. Twenty five plush villas are a masterful blend of traditional design and luxurious comfort spread across an island owned by Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz (of Red Bull fame). Attention to detail is exquisite from the moment you check into the exclusive Nadi Airport hanger before boarding the private jet flying you to paradise. Beachside Plantation Villas with private pools start from $8,000 per night. If your budget for love is limitless, the premier Hilltop Residence comes with your own chef and chauffeur.
Either way Laucala is made for indulgent romantic interludes – the sort of place to create memories to sustain an eternity of love. Think private dinners, whether poolside on your villas deck, barefoot and candlelit on the beach or beneath palm trees in the coconut plantation, nothing is too much trouble at Laucala. Choose from the resorts fleet of boats (including a submarine) to explore tropical waters, while away pleasurable hours in the spa or roll out the red coconut (meaning ‘do not disturb’) and and enjoy your luxurious villa’s facilities.
Peninsula villa by Laucala Island Resort
Likuliku Lagoon Resort is the home of Fiji’s only overwater bungalows, on Malolo Island in the Mamanuca (pronounced Mam-a-noo-tha) Islands. Naturally, you’ll arrive by boat and Coco the Resort Dog, a super friendly golden Labrador, is likely to be on the dock to greet you, tail wagging profusely. Overwater bungalows are the room of choice for loved-up couples but there are also a handful of beachfront bures equally special. Some come with their own plunge pool, others with a beachfront deck and daybed. All come with fabulous outdoor bathrooms. Overwater bungalows by Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Jean Michelle Cousteau Resort is well-known as a family-friendly resort thanks to one of the best kids clubs on the planet, JMC is equally popular with honeymooners. Particularly those with an interest in scuba diving. World famous Somo Somo Strait is a short boat ride away, where diving (and snorkelling for that matter) is spectacular.
If you’ve got deep pockets, check into "The Villa" with its own swimming pool, one pavilion houses a living room and kitchen while the other is romance HQ. The bathroom will knock your socks off. The double overhead rainshower has a glass door to the outdoor garden shower plus there’s a stone inlaid tub.
But don’t be thwarted if your budget is more modest. Honeymoon Point Bure comes with a spa tub on the deck while other bures have plenty of romantic touches. Jean Michell Cousteau bungalow by Fiona Harper
Things to do
MV Reef Endeavour is Captain Cook Cruises flagship vessel, departing from Denarau Marina on various cruise itineraries year round. There are few holidays more romantic than sailing off into a tropical sunset with your loved one. Romance packages include a special breakfast in bed, couple’s massages, sparkling wine as well as a vowel renewal ceremony (if that’s on your agenda). The Yasawa Island cruises are a favourite, especially for first time Fiji visitors or cruise newbies. Village visits, traditional lovo feasts and cultural dances all come with big Fijian smiles. If you want to explore further afield, Lau Island cruises will take you into the little-visited Lau Group in eastern Fiji. Here you’ll come close to finding the ‘real Fiji’ which is, in a word, extraordinary.
Captain Cook Cruises supports community initiatives such as the education of young Fijians, contributing to schools across the country. Many are in remote villages with little or no electricity and rely on generators or solar systems to power basic needs. Not only will your romantic cruise do wonders for your love life, you’ll be helping Fiji’s future generations. MV Reef Endeavour by Fiona Harper
Food & Drink
Coffee fiends should pull up a chair on the veranda at La Parisienne at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa for the ‘best coffee in the country’. If you’ve a hankering for intimate fine dining, Sofitel’s V Restaurant is one of the few Fijian restaurants capable of sophisticated French flair. It helps that chefs have at their disposal a vast market garden within the hotel grounds with an astounding variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit.
Dine a la carte poolside on a candle lit linen-draped table beneath coconut palms on the beach or at Rocks Bar at Vomo Island Resort. Reef Restaurant offers signature dining wherever it takes your fancy. Want to watch the sunset until the very last sliver of pink leaves the sky? Book a private table on the beach, complete with your own butler and chef and you needn’t miss one moment of Fiji’s glorious evening light show. Romantic sunset dinner by Vomo Island Resort
One of the best dishes you’ll find on many Fijian dishes is kokoda (pronounced ko-kon-da). A beguiling dish that goes perfectly well with Fiji’s tropical climate, fresh fleshy fish is marinated overnight in lime, lemon juice and coconut cream. Team it with a fancy drinks with an umbrella in it (actually, Fiji Bitter goes equally well with kokoda) and you might just have found foodie heaven Fiji-style.