I have to say it does irritate me slightly when in response to a question if a person has been to Fiji, they respond, oh yes, I have been to Fiji, and they go on to say they have been to “Denarooo” meaning Denarau on Fiji’s main island Viti Levu.
While there is nothing wrong with Denarau with some great resorts with my favourite being the Westin, which has a really good Fijian feel, especially for a major international hotel, while many of us realise, but others sadly do not, there is another Fiji, so near just a short flight away, yet culturally and an experience wise the real Fiji … and so far away.
When I was in Fiji recently, I found the real Fiji, tucked away on a private peninsula, an idyllic resort overlooking the blue shimmering waters of Savusavu Bay and the Koro Sea, with my hidden gem, the idyllic Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, the quintessential tropical island vacation experience for families and couples, where guests enjoy Fijian luxury in a boutique resort built like a traditional village on 17 flourishing acres of a former coconut plantation.
To those in the know, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji is one of the South Pacific’s most renowned resort destinations, an award-winning, five-star Fiji resort and spa, located in heavenly surroundings combining great activities, with luxurious bures and outstanding food, with when Jean Michel Cousteau first came to this resort, he knew he had found paradise, discovering pristine coral reefs, spectacular landscapes and seascapes, the friendliest people, and one of the premier dive destinations in the world, with the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Centre’s unique approach to the environment bringing to life the bond between ocean, land and culture.
From the moment I arrived at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort’s I felt that I was in the home of a friend, with everyone at the resort working attentively to ensure all the guests had a truly wonderful experience, with their warm, welcome and genuine, heart caring smiles of all the Fijian staff.
The main resort building with its soaring roof and all 25 bures are crafted from local timbers, each traditional thatched, yet providing the ultimate in Fiji accommodation with privacy and comfort with rattan furnishings, a plush king-size bed, oversized bathrooms, private decks with garden or ocean views, rates include all meals,
bottled non-alcoholic beverages and round-trip transfers between the resort and Savusavu Airport and even better news that the bures have no telephones or televisions, however if you need to stay connected, there is complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access.
There is a wide range of spacious bures, ideal for couple or families including, the garden bures, surrounded by tropical gardens with exotic flowers and include a large deck with outdoor table and chairs, the oceanfront bures offering stunning bay views, a spacious split-level deck, lounges and an inviting hammock, the deluxe oceanfront two bedroom and two bathroom bures, the oceanfront 2-bedroom bures and the secluded, split-level point reef bures designed to provide one of the most romantic getaways Fiji has to offer, the honeymoon point reef bure has a spa on the deck overlooking the ocean and the luxury villa sumptuous, with a walled garden, private infinity pool, day bed pavilion, king bed suite with sunken bathroom and Jacuzzi, outdoor shower and so much more.
Amazingly, the Bula Club provides an inclusive dedicated nanny and they are awesome friendly Fijians, for each child aged 5 & under and a buddy at a maximum 1 to 5 ratio for children 6 – 12 from 8.30 am to 9.00 pm
Other than my favourite pastime of lazing by the pool drinking a cocktail or wine, there are heaps of things to do at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with complimentary activities including snorkelling orientation and expeditions, a fantastic Savusavu Farmers Market trip which I went on and really enjoyed, plus an excursion to a Fijian village, a rainforest and waterfall hike, mangrove excursion and hobie cats, paddle boards and kayaks, and more, plus a medicine walk and Eco walk, yoga, jogging and mountain treks.
The resort even has its own naturalist with the resort serious about its commitment to create a sustainable environment and a full-time Marine Biologist Johnny Singh, with entertaining evening presentations, diving excursions, and even night dives or snorkelling!
You can even go to your own private Island just 10 minutes by boat where you can relax, snorkel, kayak and enjoy a picnic in complete seclusion and the resort chef will prepare a gourmet picnic lunch and chill a bottle of champagne for you, now that is style!
Diving is high on the agenda at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with Fiji known as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World,” and much of it found near the resort, with the area known as the “World’s Best for Diving” by Harpers Abroad and diving at Namena, widely acclaimed to be one of the best dive sites in the world.
In the restaurant overlooking Savusavu Bay or al fresco poolside I experienced great Fijian cuisine, South Pacific and Asian-inspired delicacies and outstanding desserts, while musicians serenade guests with traditional Fijian songs, Fijian versions of old favourites and even invite you to participate in a Kava Ceremony.
For romantics, you can enjoy an intimate dinner under the stars at the end of the lantern-lit pier, surrounded by the gentle lapping waves of Savusavu Bay and dining under a blanket of stars.
Pampering your body and soul with one of the resorts unique beachside spa treatments, or a rejuvenating massage in your bure, is also a special experience with the resort recently using “Nui Health Fiji” pure virgin coconut oil harvested locally by the people of the Wailevu Village.
Without doubt, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort offers very different and also very special Fijian experiences of superb quality, but with a touch of local character and charm that being located in Savusavu, a tad off the beaten tourist, this excellent resort provides, that other may not.
Please join me on my visit to the stunning Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu, Fiji, by clicking on the video box below:
For more information on Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji, visit www.fijiresort.com
Written by John Alwyn-Jones