If you’re looking for escapism and a chance to completely unwind Fiji has it all …333 paradise islands scattered across the clear turquoise waters of the South Pacific ocean, all year round sunshine, luxurious resorts where your every need is cared for and world class spas to match offering an outstanding mix of local and international treatments.
Fiji is rapidly emerging as the South Pacific’s top spa destination with a new spa resort just opened adding to its already impressive portfolio. Laucala (www.laucala.com) is an ultra-exclusive, luxurious private island resort in the North East of Fiji. Perfect for those seeking total privacy, Laucala is set on a beautiful white sand beach with just 25 bungalows or bures and a fantastic hilltop spa with views over the sea. At the heart of the spa is a spa garden where you can learn about one of Fiji’s ﬁnest collections of tropical ﬂowers, herbs, spices and fruits, all of which are used in the spa products. You can even create your own essential oils in Laucala’s distillery from flowers you pick around the garden.
Laucala joins a list of luxurious resorts known worldwide for their extraordinary levels of service, spas to make even the most stressed out traveller unwind, and breathtaking island settings.
On the northern island of Vanua Levu is Namale (www.namalefiji.com), Fiji’s most renowned spa resort, set in 325 acres of swaying palm trees. The 10,000 sq ft spa is set on a volcanic cliff and has a huge hydrotherapy room as its focal point with Jacuzzi, four soaking tubs, a steam room and waterfall shower, all with stunning views over the ocean and Namale’s famous blowhole. The spa offers an extensive range of western treatments in its huge treatment rooms, using Aveda and Pure Fiji products as well as providing Shiatsu, Thai massage and local massage therapies.
Qamea Resort & Spa (www.qamea.com) on the nearby island of Taveuni, recently opened its Jungle Spa on a steep hillside deep under the island’s rainforest canopy offering a full range of Guinot therapies.
The highlight here has to be the ‘Qamea Night of Decadence’ a couple’s private spa package. Having been escorted from their bure by Fijian warriors with flaming torches couples are greeted at the spa with champagne in the early evening. As well as a selection of treatments each couple has private use of the spa and all its facilities for the evening making it ideal for honeymooners or discerning spa enthusiasts. The evening ends with the warrior escorting you back to your bure for a romantic candlelit dinner.
Also in the outer islands is Yasawa Island Resort & Spa (www.yasawa.com) an exclusive retreat on one of Fiji’s most remote and unspoilt islands. The fabulous Bavari Spa has spa pools and indoor and outdoor treatment areas just metres from the ocean’s edge. Here they source treatments and techniques from around the world and adapt them to local Fijian products and symbolism. Hot rock therapies use black volcanic pebbles to reflect the fiery rift that created Yasawa Island and its signature massage, the Baravi Rhythm, is performed by two synchronised therapists, working in rhythm with the sound of the waves.
Other island spa resorts include Matamanoa (www.matamanoa.com) which recently opened the Veidomoni spa built on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Mamanuca islands chain. Wakaya Beach Club (www.wakaya.com), loved by celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, with it’s impressive water’s edge ‘Breeze’ spa offering private spa packages and full spa menu including sensational massages utilising a hybrid Shiatsu/Swedish technique. Likuliku (www.likulikulagoon.com) is home to the Tatadra Spa meaning ‘House of Dreams’ where you can drift into a dream-like state with a Fijian-style massage or select any number of natural beauty and body treatments using local Pure Fiji products. Jean Michel Cousteau’s Fiji Resort (www.fijiresort.com) is renowned for massages in its spa overlooking the private marine park and numerous smaller outer island resort spas add to Fiji’s draw as a major attraction for luxury spa enthusiasts.
On Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, the recently opened Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa (www.ichotelsgroup.com) on Natadola Beach has a world class spa nestled among water features and aromatic gardens. Its modern and traditional treatments use indigenous plants and herbs that have been used to heal for generations. It also features a Wai Water Zone offering gas, liquid and solid aquatherapy treatments – including Fiji’s first Ice Room.
Nearby is the Outrigger (www.outrigger.com) with its Bebe Spa featuring seven treatment rooms, health bar and beauty centre all with breathtaking direct ocean views. Bebe’s signature massages ‘Totoka’ and ‘Dro Tani’ combine hydrotherapy and aromatherapy and the spa uses both Pevonia Botanica and the locally produced Pure Fiji range.
On Denerau Island, close to the international airport at Nadi, the Westin Denerau Island Resort & Spa (www.starwoodhotels.com) houses Fiji’s largest spa. Nestled in lush gardens with beautiful lily lagoons, highlights of the ‘Heavenly Spa’ include two live in spa suites, a Vichi shower treatment room, a hydrotherapy room and a 25 meter infinity pool. A comprehensive range of treatments using Thalgo products are on offer. Also on Denerau, The Hilton Fiji Resort & Spa (www.hilton.co.uk) and the Sofitel (www.sofitelfiji.com.fj) with its Mandara Spa offer an extensive range of Pevonia Botanica and Elemis treatments respectively and the Radisson’s (www.radisson.com) Harmony Retreat Spa has recently been refurbished.
Getting to Fiji has never been easier with a new flight route starting last year via Hong Kong and island hopping or spa hopping when you’re in Fiji is made easy by a fleet of seaplanes, helicopter or speedboats. UK tour operators will do it all for you though, for example Bridge and Wickers, Carrier and Turquoise Holidays all offer packages to the top spa resorts the paradise island nation has to offer.