I traveled to Fiji at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 with my (now ex)boyfriend, and I can honestly say I have never been more relaxed in my life. 2011 was a rough year for me so I was in desperate need of an escape…and Fiji ended up being just what the doctor ordered. I spent the entire two weeks I was there with absolutely no agenda or itinerary. I woke up when I wanted, ate what I wanted, and chose to spend my days how I wanted. It was incredible, but let me tell you…island fever is REAL. Two weeks is a little TOO much relaxation for even me, and that’s saying a lot because I’m probably one of the laziest people I’ve ever met. If I could have changed anything about the trip I would have probably cut it down to about 10 days, but complaining about being in paradise for too long is definitely a #firstworldproblem so I’ll shut up now.
We started the trip with a week on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. We flew into Nadi and took an hour shuttle ride that passed through some of the country’s most substantial sugar cane plantations to my hotel located on Natadola Beach. Nadi is the main hub for travelers so this is where your trip will start and end whether you’re traveling to one of Fiji’s many islands or heading out to go home.
Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa – This resort is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in, even to this day. It’s not particularly luxurious or anything, but everything from the grounds to the staff are all first class. Fijians in general are incredibly warm and hospitable people, but everyone at the Intercontinental went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. Which is pretty important considering this is the type of resort you don’t really leave. It has everything you could possibly want: multiple restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, an incredible spa with every amenity imaginable, several different pools for all types of uses, a gym in case you’re the type of person that works out on vacation, and of course the beautiful beach the hotel is nestled on. This is the part of the trip we splurged on as it wasn’t exactly cheap, but it was definitely worth every penny.
Biausevu Waterfall – The concierge at the hotel set up an all day hike for us that led to the beautiful Biausevu Waterfall on the Coral Coast. Our amazing tour guide, Chimmy, picked us up from the hotel and took us to a small village to start the hike. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip as we were able to get away from the resort vibe and immerse ourselves into the culture (as best as we could with the short amount of time we had) and see what the real Fiji was all about. This hike is definitely a must if you ever find yourself on Viti Levu!
We spent the second half of the trip on Tokoriki Island. To get there we shuttled back to Nadi from the Intercontinental and took a boat to to Tokoriki. Although Viti Levu is technically an island, Tokoriki gives you more of the island feel as it’s fairly small and is home to only two hotels.
Amunuca Island Resort – Luckily for everyone in the world, this hotel no longer exists. But this is where we stayed so I might as well mention it. Looking back it’s pretty hilarious how bad this place was. The room was a joke, the staff gave zero fucks, and I remember eating an inordinate amount of Pringles that week because the food was THAT BAD. The one redeeming quality Amunuca had was its location, which ended up making up for most of the negatives. Tokoriki Island is an absolute dream with the most beautiful white sand beaches and clear, blue water. We spent most of our time on the beach and in the ocean…tanning, jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, etc…so the fact that our hotel sucked didn’t really take away from our experience.
Monuriki Island – The watersport hut at the hotel hosted tours to different nearby islands every day so we chose to visit Monuriki, where the movie Castaway was filmed. The island itself is stunning and once we got there we had a few hours to ourselves to explore and swim. One of the things I couldn’t help but laugh at was the island’s proximity to its neighbors. Tom Hanks literally could have just swam to a hotel and called his wife. Ugh. 😉
Tokoriki Island Resort – On one of our kayak trips, we discovered Tokoriki Island Resort – the only other hotel on Tokoriki Island. The drastic difference between this resort and ours was comical and we immediately regretted not doing better research because Tokoriki Island Resort is AMAZING. I swear even the air felt different on its side of the island. The grounds were spectacular and the staff actually enjoyed being alive. We came here for dinner the night after our discovery and the food was just as delicious as expected. If I ever go back to Fiji this is where I will be staying and I recommend you do the same!
When I was initially planning my trip I juggled with the idea of possibly traveling to somewhere other than Fiji, like Bora Bora or the Maldives. You probably can’t go wrong with any of those options, but I am SO glad I chose Fiji. There is so much more to this beautiful place than just the beach and turquoise waters, and having the opportunity to see parts of the country Google doesn’t show and meeting the sweet locals that were beyond proud of their homeland was something I will cherish forever. If you ever have the chance to visit this amazing country you should absolutely take it.