The Fiji Islands

The Fijian People Extend a Warm Greeting of “Bula”...

Scattered amid the balmy waters of the South Pacific are the more than 300 coral isles which comprise the Fiji archipelago... home to a gracious, dignified people whose rich culture reflects a living tradition of sincere hospitality. The Fijian people are considered their country’s greatest natural resource, as visitors to the islands from around the globe soon discover. Once guest are greeted with a warm smile and a heartfelt “bula,” which literally translates as “good health” and is used to say hello, goodbye, thank you and I will miss you,” they know they’ve arrived for the most unique, refreshing adventure imaginable.

Living is good in the Fiji Islands. Uncrowded and unspoiled, this cluster of islands is packed with unique experiences; coral reefs, mangrove forests and natural limestone grottos wait to be explored. Scuba diving in Fiji is among the best in the world, with a profusion of tropical fish that live, undisturbed, in the protection of colorful offshore reefs.


Arriving in the Fiji Islands is a pleasure in itself aboard Air Pacific, Fiji’s national flag carrier. Air Pacific offers non-stop 747 service from Los Angeles to Fiji’s International Airport in Nadi, on the main island of Viti Levu. Air Pacific crew members and service staff are well-versed in the warmth of the Fijian spirit, making every flight a pleasant and hospitable experience.

Upon arrival in Nadi, it’s a short jaunt to the international-class resorts of Denarau Island. One of the area’s finest is the Sheraton Royal, on the palm-fringed shores of Nadi Bay. The Sheraton Royal’s five-star facilities include beachside accommodations, an intimately landscaped pool area surrounded by coconut palms and tropical plants, three restaurants and not-to-be-missed Fiji-style entertainment including firewalking and “mekes,” traditional Fijian songs and dances presented as a living art form.

Guests take advantage of the adjacent 18-hole champ­ionship golf course at Denarau Golf & Racquet Club, where sand bunkers and greens take shape in the form of marlin, crab and even a wily octopus. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the golf course is designed around the island’s extensive tidal waterways; pure, natural seawater continually flows into these waterways, enveloping players with the scent of the sea and creating a spectacular water hazard.

Unique and challenging for players at all levels, the layout at Denarau is set among thousands of coconut palms and massive beds of tropical flowers. The open-air design of the Denarau clubhouse is planned around a series of courtyards, leading guests to a restaurant, lounge and complete pro shop. Ten tennis courts, four lighted and six natural grass, round out the club’s facilities.


Vatulele Island Resort

The ultimate in private resort living is found on the romantic isle of Vatulele (Vah-too-lay-lay), at the exquisite Vatulele Island Resort. Situated 30 miles off the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, Vatulele is a 12-square-mile island shaped something like a footprint in the sand. A coral reef completely embraces the limestone island, creating a protective lagoon along the mile-long beach that fronts Vatulele Island Resort. With no other “western” development on the entire island, it’s very hard to imagine a more intimate hideaway than the 16 hand-crafted villas of Vatulele.

Here is a destination for those who think they have seen and had it all. Each of the identical 2,000-square-foot villas, or Fijian “bures” as they are known, is nestled amid coconut palms on its own private stretch of white-sand beach. Natural materials form Vatulele’s unique architecture, an intriguing blend of Mediterranean influences with Santa Fe adobe and Fijian thatched roofs. Designed ideally for couples, the bures have spacious sitting rooms, king beds in adjoining raised bedrooms and private terraces with hammocks fronting the beach.

Everything about Vatulele is designed to promote relaxation, warm friendships and a general sense of well-being. There are no monetary transactions on the island, nor are there telephones, newspapers or television. All meals, beverages and activities are included in the room tariff, and staff members are not permitted to accept individual tips.

The food is extraordinary, centered around locally grown fresh produce and seafood and served on an outdoor terrace overlooking the lagoon or, by night, tables are set under the stars and lit by lanterns and candlelight.

Guests will leave Vatulele Island Resort with renewed spirits and a true appreciation for the warmth of the Fijian people, And they’ll want to say “vinaka,” (thank you), for the genuine graciousness of their Fijian hosts.

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