Fijian Resorts Renovate and Rededicate
PHOTO: The Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa’s new floating bures add a new wrinkle to Fijian tourism. (Courtesy of Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa)
It all began with the rebranding of the tourist office and the airline. In late 2012, former Tourism Fiji, Chief Executive Rick Hamilton, spearheaded a new direction for the country’s tourism. At about the same time Fiji Airways emerged out of its old Air Pacific chrysalis. In Fact, both TF and TA seem to be pursuing ambitious parallel trajectories in recent years. Both organizations are operating with completely new strategies. It seems like the leadership exhibited by the airline and the tourist office is inspiring other tourism stakeholders to rededicate to the country’s tourism.
Last year, some 692,630 international visitors arrived in Fiji including 61,924 from North America. Recently, the president of Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Dixon Seeto, said in New Zealand that he is expecting more than 700,000 visitors this year. Fiji’s on a roll, with Fiji Airways sporting a revitalized fleet with new wide body A330s and refreshed B737 aircrafts as well as a new CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Viljoen who comes over from Air Mauritius to replace Stefan Pichler, who went over to airberlin.
In May, the Koro Sun & Rainforest Spa, located at Savusavu on Vanua Levu, unveiled eight new Edgewater Floating Bures. These 380-square-foot thatched roofed accommodations literally float over the lagoon. “This is a type of accommodation where guests can relax on a veranda with a day bed that overlooks the beauty of the water, kayak or snorkel from their own private deck, and have easy access to and from the lagoon right at their doorstep,” said owner, Jack Young.
The new bures float within the Koro Sun Marina on the “adults only” peninsula. Each bure features a built-in king size captain’s bed, lounge, countertop bar, refrigerator, air conditioning, soft indirect lighting and recessed reading lights; a private deck with a day bed, and a private dock . Each bathroom has a rain shower complete with wooden benches, countertops and Pure Fiji line of personal care amenities. Artwork depicts 19th Century Fijian mariners on catamarans in the open seas.
The 50-room Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa also offers more traditional bures and deluxe villas. Each stay is all-inclusive with three-course gourmet meals daily, at two restaurants and three bars, afternoon tea, airport transfers from Savusavu Airport to the resort along the coastal Hibiscus Highway and non-motorized water sports. The Rainforest Spa has a range of services, including its signature Banana Leaf Body Wrap.
One of the Koro Sun & Rainforest Spa’s neighbors on Savusavu, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, recently completed a series of major upgrades and enhancements to its facilities, accommodation and public areas. The upgrades began in 2012 and encompass several million dollars of improvements, including enhanced facilities, accommodations and public spaces and new oceanfront two-bedroom bures. The new bures have spacious bedrooms, ranging from 37 to 44 square meters, with private bathrooms and views of Savusavu Bay.
The new bures provide more flexibility and privacy for two couples or families to share accommodation, with private entrances and separate en-suite facilities. An outdoor deck provides seating, chaise lounges, and a double hammock. Other enhancements include a porte cochère at the main entrance, an extension of the family dining area and a new pier with underwater lighting for viewing tropical fish at night. In keeping with an ongoing effort to reduce the resort’s carbon footprint, all the lighting throughout the bures and central areas was converted to energy-efficient LED fittings. The resort also took this opportunity to carry out upgrades to the infrastructure, including the systems that allow for ongoing sustainability practices.
In April, the Vomo Island Resort reopened after a major renovation that completely gutted the villas and added new bathrooms with free-standing bathtubs and separate showers. Bedrooms now feature Dynasty Heavenly beds and sustainable handcrafted teak furnishings made exclusively for the resort. The signature Rocks Bar has a new look as well featuring a teak deck, bar and luxurious daybeds to enjoy the iconic Fijian sunset with cocktail in hand. The Rocks Bar’s dinner service now has an outdoor show kitchen offering an eclectic array of signature grilled specialties, along with a new half million dollar kitchen in the main house serving the Reef Restaurant.
The Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji now has a new and highly innovative website at nanuku.aubergeresorts.com. The website is the final component of a rebranding exercise commenced last November when the luxury, all villa boutique resort came under the management of the Auberge Resorts Collection. The new sitw was designed to simplify booking with “Push to chat” and “Push to talk” functions allowing clients to engage directly with the resort’s staff.
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