How to Spend It ... in Fiji
If money was absolutely no object, here's how to splash your cash in the pretty islands of Fiji
With 333 islands, Fiji is a sight to behold from above. Treat yourself to a 55-minute Ultimate Indulgence scenic flight with Heli-Tours Fiji, which takes in Modriki Island, aka Castaway Island from the Tom Hanks film, the Yasawas and Mamanucas, dramatic gorges and waterfalls in Evans Range, the surf meccas of Cloud Break and Wilkes Passage, and the iconic Sleeping Giant mountain. About $780.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom Hilltop Residence on the exclusive private island of Laucala, owned by Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, will set you back $82,665 a night, plus tax. For your money you’ll get unbroken views of the neighbouring islands and South Pacific from your spot on Nawi Hill in the middle of the island. Included in the price tag is daily dining either in the residence or at the resort restaurants, house wines and spirits, your own golf cart for exploring, laundry and dry cleaning, mini bar and health bar per bedroom and lounge, infinity pool, yoga deck, 90-minute spa treatment, and activities from horseback riding to underwater scooters. Set among lush tropical rainforest, the resort, which has just 25 villas on about a third of the island’s 12sq km, also has an 18-hole golf course, chapel (handy for those island weddings), cultural village and pool bar. There are a range of rooms available or, if money really is no object, you can rent the entire island for up to 72 of your closest friends for a mere $267,000 a night, plus tax. During your stay, you can enjoy deserted white-sand beaches, spot rare birds and animals, and opt for as much seclusion and privacy as you desire. To get there, you’ll need to take your own plane, or catch the resort’s King Air B200 from Nadi International Airport (50 minutes).
Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva
This grand dame is Fiji’s oldest luxury hotel, dating back to 1914, which has hosted the likes of the Queen, aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and writers Somerset Maugham and James A. Michener. To really evoke those days of ye olde colonial grandeur, book into a Heritage Room or Suite on the hotel’s first floor, which open on to a huge veranda that wraps around the building. A recent refurbishment has seen modern facilities added too, including a 25m pool, fitness centre and a spa. A night in the premiere suite, Royal Suite 1, with views of Suva Harbour and a spa and spacious living area, costs about $1800.
. . . But of course, those sparkling turquoise waters are where you want to be. Aboard Unique Charters’ 16m sailing catamaran there is a choice of four elegant cabins and two bathrooms to accommodate up to eight guests. The entertainment area of the boat, at the covered aft deck has a large table, built-in bar, fridge and icemaker, there are bean bags on the foredeck for luxuriating in the endless sunshine, and included are airport transfers, all onboard meals, village tour fees, and the use of onboard snorkelling equipment, paddleboards and an inflatable doughnut. Itineraries can be tailored to suit your interests, making this a truly bespoke experience. About $2400 per night.
Natadola Golf Course
The Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course Beach on Fiji’s Coral Coast must be one of the most spectacular places to tee off in the world. The 18-hole links style course, open to those of all levels, is situated within an impressive landscape, taking in beautiful beaches, the coral reefs and surf breaks of the Pacific Ocean (which you’ll see on 15 of the 18 holes), as well as, of course, the rolling perfection of the immaculate greens. Afterwards, kick back at the clubhouse and drink in more breathtaking scenery over a cold beverage or two in the open-air bar and restaurant. Note that parts of the course are currently being redesigned, so you won’t be able to play it in its entirety until after the Fiji International on August 17-20. A round will set you back about $170 and includes a cart.
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