Fantastical Fiji

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This is a place that can say without blushing that “the living is easy.” Active guests will enjoy the pleasant hiking trails through a rainforest leading to a mountain where views of the island group stun. Several nearby beaches are excellent for swimming, snorkeling or beachcombing.

A more intimate retreat is Navini Resort off the island of the same name off Nadi. Uncrowded and unspoiled beaches that are simultaneously desolate and inviting ring the tiny island.

With a mere 10 bures facing white sandy beaches and the sapphire-colored water of the bay, Navini seems designed for seclusion and relaxation. The resort goes out of its way to pamper and its staff (36) outnumbers guests. It’s set on a diminutive island so small that one can easily stroll around it in about 15 minutes.

Navini was declared a protected marine sanctuary 17 years ago and is considered to have one of the finest coral reefs in the country. Guests can see an astonishing variety of fish swimming on the reef only a few feet from the sand. Scientists often visit to study sea turtles laying and hatching their eggs in the powdery sand.

The bungalows are delightful, airy and comfortable. Rates run from about $325 per night dbl for a 1-bedroom cabin, to approximately $440 for a 2-bedroom villa.

Befitting its romantic aura, Navini ranks high for honeymooners who like its private and idyllic setting. The resort offers a deluxe honeymoon bure hidden among a tropical garden. It’s all hand-carved coconut wood and furniture with a verandah dominated by an open-air spa. In addition, honeymooners have the option of sailing to a deserted island for a daytime picnic or enjoying a candle-lit dinner on the beach.

Prices for the honeymoon suite vary depending on amenities.

Outrigger on the Lagoon just may be Fiji’s most complete resort. It sits on a 40-acre garden facing a stunningly beautiful stretch of sand known as the Coral Coast, about one hour from the airport at Nadi.

Its attention to detail is evident from the moment guests check in and are welcomed with champagne and canapes. Butlers are available to unpack luggage and press clothes accordingly.

With 207 rooms and 47 individual bungalows, the Outrigger offers conveniences that lesser resorts lack. The bures all have vaulted ceilings, painted bark cloth and artwork made by locals. It has a huge swimming pool, fitness center, fine restaurants and other amenities to make a stay in Fiji a memorable experience. Rates begin at approximately $190 per night dbl for a superior room and rise accordingly.

The Outrigger on the Lagoon is home to Bebe, one of the most famous spas in the South Pacific. Named after the Fijian word for “butterfly,” it is celebrated for the indigenous ingredients and singular techniques from Fiji’s past.

Bebe Spa overlooks the resort from what locals call Heavenly Hill and is set in the middle of a lush garden with spectacular views of the bay.

No matter which type of accommodation one chooses, most will leave the island nation feeling that, for once, the fantasy of the South Seas just might be for real here.