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It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
2013 was kind of strange year. There was some good, quite a bit of bad, and a lot of just plain weird stuff happening (globally and personally.) Which is why when we were flipping through the year's Killer Views, we found ourselves drawn to the views that were far, far, away. Like this one and this one.
You can read Jetflyboy's full report on Tokoriki Island Resort here or you can just drool over more of his photos from the resort below. Say it all together now, "We want to go to there."
Fiji is paradise; end of conversation. In this super tropical location in the middle of the South Pacific, you can only imagine that a hotel will capitalize on the best it has to offer: lush terrain, crystal blue beaches and sunset that make you look forward to the sun going down. In the island nation, there are only a few better locations for catching all of those points mentioned and more, Sheraton Fiji Resort.
Most of the resorts on the island have beach frontage, but the Sheraton is lucky enough to be placed on the corner of the island so it can brag about having double beach-front property. Each room is positioned to take the best advantage of, at least, patio views of the Pacific; and while ours was a bit interrupted, it was still nice to wake up and see the surf.
One of the best parts of the entire resort, besides the Flying Fish restaurant, is the open-air lobby that opens up to a gigantic pool, then on to the beach and then on to the open Fijian waters. Perfectly positioned to frame the breath-taking sunsets that casts an orange and red light onto the pool and outdoor diners.
Another amazing part is a little-slice of Fiji, a group of beautiful ladies selling their jewelery, clothing and wood-carvings right on the lawn. On agreement from the hotel, the pop-up shop is full of not only great Fijian souvenirs, but a warm "bula!" and a peek inside the local culture.
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Go with us as we escape on a private island about 75 miles off the coast of mainland Fiji that will make the shoulders of even the highest strung relax just a bit. We're talking about Tokoriki Island Resort in the outer surroundings of the Mamanuca Islands--where it takes a 90 minute catamaran ride and fishing boat transfer to reach. This boutique resort is the quintessential definition of Fiji-time because there is little to worry about since the only thing you might be late for is snorkeling.
One very important feature of Tokoriki is the staff. Arriving on the island to a hearty BULA!, wooden bead lei and a traditional island song made us feel like we had truly arrived somewhere special. Bordering a personal concierge, we were escorted to our hut and shown around the grounds. Mysteriously, it made us feel familiar, as if we had been here before; that's what Fiji does!
Sit back, relax and soak it all in. This killer view comes to you via the mega-tropical destination of Fiji. A grouping of 333 islands that has an abundance of views like the one above at Tokoriki Island Resort and even more warmth from its people.
We hopped on a fast catamaran at the port of Denarau in Nadi, the capital and headed off the mainland to the Mamanuca Island group just about 70 miles off the coast of the island's second largest city. After 90 minutes of passing coral strips like Beachcomber and South Sea Island, we finally made it to our volcanic paradise and, instantly, our stress levels were carried off with the tradewinds.
We tendered via a little fishing boat and stepped foot on the island after wading through ankle deep sea water. Warmly welcomed with a wooden lei by staff dressed in Masi shirts and sulu skirts, we had a feeling we could get used to this. And we did. It was easy to get settled in and soak up the tropical surroundings and private beach before exploring.
Stay tuned for the full review, with heaps of photos. You won't be disappointed. For now, just imagine this is just outside your window.
Disclaimer:We are traveling as guests of Air Pacific and Tourism Fiji, but rest assured all of our opinions and photos are our own.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for HotelChatter]
Back in 2006, we reported on an underwater hotel being built in Fiji known as Poseidon Resort Mystery Island. Though, aside from a few other press reports and a dinky little photo, details were a little, er, mysterious.
Now, things seem to be picking up again for the all-suite, bubble-shaped hotel 40 feet below the surface. Last week, Design-Milk posted a bunch of new photos of the place, showing off the hotel's en suite aquariums, and shimmer-y public spaces. The article states:
"The company has completed all of the necessary design and engineering for the subsea structures and is currently working to secure the capital necessary to begin construction."
It goes on to say the resort will take two years to complete once construction begins. Which means, we might end up seeing a race to the finish between this place and Dubai's much larger, even more elaborate Water Discus Hotel.
Last one to build an underwater hotel is a rotten turtle egg!
We may not know whether unlucky-in-love Bachelorette Ashley Hebert will give her final rose to Constantine, Ben or J.P., but we can tell you where she'll be shacking up with them in tonight's episode. The jilted bachelorette—damn, you, Bentley—will take her remaining men to Namale resort in Savusavu, Fiji.
Ashley and her suitors will head to the luxury all-inclusive hotel for the first overnight dates. She'll have plenty of places at Namale to get some romantic private time, including private villas, walks to nearby waterfalls and a spa.
All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen will be taking us on a guided tour of the globe’s most exclusive, luxurious, over-the-top vacation retreats in our new Private Islands Series. We’ll venture from the Bahamas to Fiji, from Africa’s crystalline Lake Tanganyika to the emerald waters of Cambodia, and everywhere in between. That is, everywhere you can be ruler of your own little island.
Our next island isn’t actually an island you can rent out completely—unless you wanted to spend your entire trust fund, and those of your extended social network—but we thought to include it since, to even get an invitation to visit, you have to fill out an application and be accepted. It is, however, a private island owned by a single person…upon which there’s a gorgeous, ultra-exclusive resort.
We’re talking about Laucala Island, just off the coast of the Fijian island of Taveuni. Yes, this is pretty much at the end of the earth, so it’s a rarefied environment with a rarefied clientele into which we imagine seamlessly insinuating ourselves. Fun fact: it’s also the largest private island in the southern hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing privacy and discretion during a stay here.
Not scared of a drop of political instability? While the debate rages whether or not travel to Fiji is sensible or safe at the moment, it might be your chance to have the wedding of a lifetime. During the first five months of 2007, Malolo Island Fiji is offering you a free wedding. (And incidentally, their website is full of notes from current and recent guests saying there's no threat from political incidences on Malolo).
If you book five nights or more, you'll get the celebrant, documents and help with the paperwork in Nadi, a bottle of sparkling wine and a choice of location for your wedding including romantic beaches and gardens. Already married? They've thought of that too, and you get the same deal for a renewal of vows ceremony, without all the irritating paperwork.
And if you're bringing family or friends with you and they also stay five nights or more, they'll get a free upgrade on their accommodation. Although we tend to think that the whole point of getting married on Fiji is that you can leave the family hassles at home.
· Malolo Island hotel reviews [TripAdvisor]