Discover Fiji


A cluster of more than 300 tropical islands, Fiji is a nature-lover’s paradise, teeming with wildlife and covered in a thick carpet of exotic greenery. Often called the ‘soft coral capital’, it’s also diver’s dream, topping the bucket list of many an enthusiast. The vast majority of the population live on the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, which make the others ripe for a little exploring.


Some of the Mr & Mrs Smith indulgent Fijian hotels even have an island all of their own.

If the views of Fiji's peak-dotted interiors and jewel-like islands don't wow you from your seaplane or speedboat, then the underwater scenes of soft coral, Technicolor fish and reef formations will.

Dolphin Island Fiji Islands, Fiji Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)





For a real rockstar retreat, escape to exclusive-hire Dolphin Island boutique hotel, perched on a petite isle just north of Fiji's main island Viti Levu. With tropical-modern interiors by stylist Virginia Fisher, it boasts just four elegant rooms, a gorgeous entertaining bure, a romantic sleep-out boudoir and a 13-acre playground of gardens and beaches. Offshore, aquatic adventures beckon, including top-notch diving, snorkelling and sailing.

At Dolphin Island all meals are tailored flexibly around you, so you can eat when, what and where you like. Convivial host Dawn Simpson cooks up a storm, making lipsmacking use of fresh fish, tropical veg, mangoes and pineapples to create impressive canapés, main meals and desserts. Dine formally at the eight-seater table at the back of the Main Bure or lounge on the sofas around the central coffee table if you'd rather graze. Both are top spots for admiring the glam Pacific interiors, which mix trad Fijian art, war clubs and graphic pillar and roof decorations with a bold orange, white and black palette, contemporary cushions and covetable shell and fish accessories. For airy dining, aim for the terrace or the smaller tables out by the pool.

You can swim or snorkel right off the beach opposite the hotel, with clear, shallow, warm water and coral reefs harbouring a mesmerising mix of sealife. Sporty types can commandeer a sea kayak and explore neighbouring islands, with a picnic on board, or race alongside dolphins on the resort's Hobie Catamaran. It's worth strolling to the Hillside Sleep-out Bure on the east side of the island even if you don't plan to kip there, as you can see ancient, circular Fijian fish traps offshore and get a feel for the local flora and fauna.

With poolside sunloungers aplenty and 13 acres of sandy shores to wander, it's hard to leave your exclusive Dolphin Island playground. Serious divers, though, may be tempted to stray, as staff can arrange world-class dives and snorkelling with specialised operators around pristine Bligh Water to the north, so named as Captain Bligh (of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame) was cut adrift near here. You'll find some of the best diving off Fiji's main island in these parts, with colourful tropical fish, vibrant soft coral and sea fans. If you fancy catching your own dinner, go on a two-hour hand-line fishing expedition to sheltered reefs nearby, where snapper, coral cod and sea trout are yours for the taking. Four-hour trawling trips to outer reefs for sport fishing can also be arranged, if hooking walu, mahimahi, tuna and trevally is more your speed. Adjacent island Nananu-i-Ra is also known for windsurfing, and offers a few trekking trails and scenic look-outs. Culture vultures can take in the local mainland sights on Dolphin's Suncoast Tour, visiting a village, the famous Church of the Black Christ at Naiserelagi, Rakiraki township, a sugar mill and the tomb of the last cannibal chief Udreudre, or customise their own tour. You can also learn to make Fiji's black-and-rust patterned tapa bark cloth at a village craft class. If you'd prefer a spot of pampering, Dolphin Island's therapists can treat you to an in-room or alfresco massage (there's no spa, as such), including a Traditional Fijian Massage, with long, circular strokes, or a pep-you-up Papaya Facial. En route to or from Dolphin Island, you can also swing by the coastal town of Lautoka, which has a regular food market and souvenir-shopping opportunities.


Royal Davui Island Resort Fiji Fiji Islands, Fiji Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)





If the button-cute private island, ivory-white shores and pure blue sea at casual, adults-only sanctuary Royal Davui Island Resort Fiji don't knock your dive socks off, then the adrenaline-rush scuba action will. We love the laid-back pool scene, tree-entwined outdoor restaurant and hedonistic happy hour for cocktail sessions.

Flaunting outdoor wooden decks embraced by a majestic, ancient banyan tree, the Banyan Restaurant & Bar perches on a platform near reception and is airy, inviting and informal. You can dine undercover at the back of the space, but we reckon it's more atmospheric eating alfresco. Sea views come as a standard, with modern Pacific dishes to match, including local, seasonal produce and lip-smacking kokoda - Fiji's answer to ceviche.

Snorkelling and diving are the big draw here. Snorkelling is free, so just pick up gear from the marine centre and explore the vibrant reef fringing the island. Free guided snorkelling excursions are on offer, although trips to the outer reef cost extra. Gratis sea kayaks and paddle boards are also up for grabs.

Beqa Lagoon is renowned for some of the best diving in Fiji, with more than 13 sites within half an hour of the resort. PADI-certified scuba courses are available, or bring your dive certificate if you're already experienced. Believe it or not, sharks are a big part of the appeal, with the Big Fish Encounter shark dive a major highlight (shark wranglers and feeders will lay the bait, while you stay back and watch the feeding frenzy). Expect to see soft and hard corals, and sculptural fans on other dives, as well as rainbow-bright tropical fish. Night dives around the house reef will also appeal to the intrepid. Sounds a bit scary? Then just join in with feeding the resident soldier fish off the jetty pier (ask the restaurant staff for some bread).

Beyond the free, all-inclusive activities, there is a raft of other fun distractions, at extra cost. Game-fishing fans can go hunting for the big boys – tuna, mahi, wahoo, makerel, sailfish and marlin – on a 30-foot cruiser with Freedive Fiji Charters (www.freedivefiji.com), or there's local fishing available on Royal Davui's resort boat. Surfers can catch waves at Frigate Passage, one of Fiji's best breaks, or try your luck at 'skurfing', which involves being towed behind a boat on a surfboard. Sailing types will enjoy the Hobie Cat. On dry land, choose between three ivory-white beaches, or treat your partner to a champagne beach picnic on a secluded sandspit (book 24 hours in advance). Sporty folk can team up for a game of soccer, volleyball or touch football, or there's bocce and croquet for the more refined. Twice-weekly visits to Naceva Village on neighbouring Beqa Island are a good way to get a feel for Fijian culture. You can also team a village trip with a hike up a peak, trek to Dakuibeqa Waterfall or attend the village church on Sundays. Further afield, slake your shopping lust with a day trip to capital Suva, a laid-back town where you can pick up Fijian handicrafts, check out the vibrant food market and pop to the culture-toting museum (the hotel can arrange the boat ride to main island Viti Levu, car and guide). Pacific Harbour, on the mainland, is Fiji's extreme sports capital with Davui offering adventure activities such as a half-day trip to enjoy Zip Fiji's vertiginous zipline thrills, high above the jungle canopy. Whitewater rafting on the Upper Navua River or kayaking on the Luva River are full day trips for aqua fiends.

If relaxation is more your thing, the gorgeous 10-acre island grounds, lush with flora and fauna, are a little Eden for snapping and strolling. At the small spa, body-boosting treatments involving local ingredients include the rejuvenating Island Wrap, a 50-minute therapy drawing on coconut, natural sugar cane and cocoa butter, and 60-minute tropical massage Sugar Glow. Avoid jetlag with preventative Travel Ritual pampering, a face, hair and scalp massage. You can also request in-room treatments.


Vomo Island Fiji Fiji Islands, Fiji Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)






Set on a dinky, crocodile-shaped island in the easy-to-reach Mamanucas, jaw-dropping Vomo Island Fiji offers pure shores, a crystal-clear sea and a second mini isle for romantic picnics. Sleekly designed with stylish local touches, it's also that rare thing: a sophisticated Fijian escape that seamlessly integrates children into its seductive setting. Snorkel, paddle board, hike up the hill or circumnavigate the whole island – it only takes around two hours.

Stylish Reef Restaurant is set around the hotel's sleek, linear pool with soothing sea views and a choice of covered or open-air dining. Trained in Napa Valley, executive chef Erwin Joven – and well-travelled, Italian chef de cuisine Michele Bellotto – whips up fresh, eclectic dishes that star local produce (including fish and seafood, dressed with 'raw' sauces) and reflect his Filipino/Asian heritage, his formal culinary training in Napa Valley, and the seven countries he has lived in. Sip on free soft drinks and juices during meal times, or order a tipple off the global wine list, backdropped by mellow tunes. A local acoustic band sometimes supplies the sounds.

With its butter-soft beaches, dreamy ocean and pool, Vomo Island Fiji has all activity bases covered. Adventure hounds will love the pristine snorkelling. Just swim out right off the beach or join a free, guided daily excursion at 11am to explore local reefs; May to October is manta-ray season, and guests can book a guided excursion to the Yasawas channel to see fevers of them float by.

Watersports, including windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, stand up paddle boards, single- and double-kayaks, and glass-bottomed kayaks, are all included in rates. The resort's in-house dive centre offers snorkelling lessons and trips, deep-sea and local fishing and Padi scuba-diving courses of all ilk (including Bubble Blowers courses for 8–12 year olds). Or you can ride thrilling surf breaks at famed Cloud Break, and take a more sedate sunset cruise or visit Yalobi or Yamata villages (both a 30-minute boat ride away) to learn about Fijian culture. Active types can work up a sweat over tennis (flood-lit at night), badminton, golf (on the 9-hole, par-3 chip and putt course) or a volleyball match with the staff, or enjoy a spot of croquet or petanque.

If you're very lucky, you'll see baby turtles hatching on protected pockets of beach (May to July is hatching season). There's also fish-feeding at 10.30am daily at the Activities Bure. Spa fiends can savour treatments in Kui Spa, where there’s a pampering mix of massages, facials, and foot and hand therapies, as well as beauty essentials. There are two couples' treatment rooms too.

Our top tips include taking the 15-minute walking trail up the island's main peak, for gorgeous views over the reef, outlying islands and ocean. Request a private picnic on deserted Vomo Lailai island, nearby, where you'll discover a tiny beach, day-bed and dining platforms for lounging in peace (staff will drop you off by boat with a two-way radio, drinks and a champagne picnic). You can also arrange picnics elsewhere on Vomo Island, which boasts lounger-dotted beaches on both sides, so you should always find a breeze-free spot. For cultural capers, don't miss the weekly Lovo Night, when there's a meal cooked in an earth-oven (lovo), meke dances, stories and songs, and a torchlit kava ceremony, Fiji's national, slightly narcotic drink which is shared among guests with ritual flourishes. You can also arrange island-hopping tours around the Yasawas or Mamanucas after your Vomo sojourn; try the Yasawa Flyer or South Sea Cruises.


Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji Islands, Fiji Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)






With diving run by the son of legendary scuba-pioneer Jacques Cousteau, shoreside eco-retreat Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is all about underwater exploration, and even boasts a marine biologist. The free Bula Club for kids and dawn-to-dusk nanny service means families flock to this coastal sanctuary on tropical Vanua Levu Island, too, while adults-only dining and the seductive spa will please romantics.

Chef Raymond Lee keeps the pans flipping at the open-air restaurant, which stars international and Fijian cuisine that's strong on locally caught fish and seafood, and organic produce from the hotel's garden. Typical dishes on the daily changing menu include New Zealand lamb or chargrilled wahoo with sweet corn and prawn salad. Set under a soaring temple roof, the dining area serves up appetising sea views, too, or you can dine out poolside or in a separate adults-only sanctuary. Musicians may serenade you come evening, and there’s a weekly Lovo Feast, where traditional Fijian food is cooked in an earth oven. Don’t miss the tasty afternoon tea. You can also request a beach or island picnic, or a private barbecue by the pool.

With a striking shoreside setting on Savusavu Bay watersports are a big attraction here. Enjoy sea kayaking, paddle boats, glass-bottom boat rides, or sailing on the resort's impressive catamaran.
Underwater action is also spectacular, given the pristine waters, colourful fringing coral reef and clutch of 13 local dive sites, as well as protected marine areas further afield. The hotel's dive operator L'Aventure Jean-Michel Cousteau offers PADI-certified diving courses and packages, a full-service dive shop with gear to rent or buy, and trips accompanied by a resident marine biologist. Cruise the walls and canyons of Shark Alley, gasp at the coral heads of Namena or join the team to explore new, as yet unnamed, sites. Popular spots include Nsonisoni Pass, a drift dive where experienced divers go with the current flow along a wall alive with purple soft coral, large barracuda and small sharks. Snorkellers can get their kicks on guided boat trips or night safaris.

Eco fun continues on land, care of nature hikes, mangrove tours, reef-flat walks, and rainforest and waterfall hikes. Cultural immersion includes the weekly lovo dinner (with dishes cooked in an earth oven), Fijian story-telling, trad medicine walks, and palm-leaf basket-making sessions. Beyond the resort, you can head out on visits to nearby Nukubulavu village, local church services, clam farms or Savusavu farmers' market, especially lively on Saturday mornings.

Don't miss a trip to Savusavu's acclaimed black pearl farm for gifts for friends (or your good self). Start your tour at J. Hunter Pearl Farm’s (www.fijipearls.com) showroom on Naverea Road in Savusavu, which kicks off with a presentation on how to culture pearls. Afterwards take a 40-minute glass-bottom boat cruise out to their marine farm to see the oyster production process, which includes implanting, cleaning and harvesting at different times of the year. Bring your own gear to snorkel over the farm, where you can see oysters suspended on lines below the water. Wrap up back at the showroom for a spot of shopping. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort offers pearl-farm excursions.

Savusavu boasts the only natural geothermal hot springs in Fiji, reputed to offer healing properties for your skin and bones. Locals also use the warm, volcanic springs for slow cooking, and a concrete pot has been built to form a stove. Find it by the beach at the west end of town where steam rises from underground, with more springs between the school and sports field

Tennis, volleyball, rugby and beach larks round out your day. Then again you could just recline in a hammock, or hit the beachfront spa, which will pamper you with Fijian-inspired treatments and serene sea views. Free daily yoga at dawn ticks our start-the-day box, with stargazing or a chance to join a kava ceremony (Fiji's shared, slightly narcotic ritual drink) the perfect way to wrap up the night.

You'll need to pay for scuba diving, and other activities not covered by rates such as deep-sea fishing, a private island picnic, trips to the pearl farm, mountain-bike hire, use of Savusavu Gym and guided kayak trips to rivers in Vanua Levu's interior.


Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji Islands, Fiji Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)





Romantic, adults-only Likuliku Lagoon Resort boutique hotel in Fiji seduces with the country's only overwater bungalows, spacious beachfront bures and sea views. Smart dining, stylish design and a serene spa up the luxe factor, or let loose with snorkelling sessions, jungle walks or a spot of island-hopping.

Food enjoys a star turn at Likuliku, with gorgeous gourmet treats care of accolade-garnering, Australian executive chef Shane Watson. Served in airy, beachside restaurant Fijiana, dishes run the gamut from local to global via creative fusion feasts, with fresh-caught seafood and tropical fruits the standouts. Breakfast is one of the best in Fiji, including DIY-juices, house-blend muesli, fresh coconuts, gourmet breads and pastries, and hot dishes such as mud-crab omelette with chilli and papaya relish or twice-cooked Gruyère cheese souffle. Loosen that belt...

Bag time in Likuliku's impressive Tatadra Spa, set in a serene spot on the east side of the grounds where the forest meets the ocean. Treatments draw on local Fijian produce, such as the Dilo Foot Rescue for soothing tired paws. Both solo and couples pampering is up for grabs, with a chill-out room with outdoor terrace for recovering afterwards. You can also request treatments in your room.

Naturally, there's aquatic action aplenty at Likuliku, starting with the inviting main pool as well as gentle swimming and free snorkelling in the pretty lagoon surrounding the resort (Likuliku means 'calm waters' and the lagoon was once a safe harbour for tribal war canoes). Time your forays for when the tide is high, as water levels can vary dramatically during the day, with the seabed sometimes exposed. There's easy snorkelling off the beach or main jetty thanks to Malolo Island's fringing reef, or check out the tropical fish right below the Over-water Bures (guests in these rooms can just descend a ladder to plumb the depths, but be careful at low tide). The immediate area is a protected marine reserve, declared a sacred no-fishing zone by the local chief, so you should see lots of rainbow-bright fish as well as cobalt starfish. You can also pay for snorkelling sessions at sites further afield; just consult the guys at the activities bure, who can also give you a basic snorkelling lesson. Scuba diving is handled by an outside operator, PADI-certified Subsurface Fiji (fijidiving.com), so visit the activities bure and they'll hook you up, with dive trips departing twice daily. With over 44 dive sites in the area, you'll find adventures to suit all levels, from calm inner reef dives to deeper, oceanside explorations beyond Malolo's barrier reef. Popular dives include buzzy shark sightings at the world-famous Supermarket, wreck-scoping at B26 Bomber and Salamanda Shipwreck, swimming through submerged pinnacles at Gotham City, cavern hopping at Vomo Caves, the sheer wall at Bird Rock, and drift dives at Wilkes Passage. As well as jaw-dropping hard and soft coral, you may see barracuda, turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and moray eels. Beginners can take a half-day introductory course, kicking off in the resort's pool, before progresssing to the ocean. Longer Open Water and Advanced Dive courses can also be yours. Serious surfers are in luck, too, with iconic breaks just a short boat ride away, including Cloudbreak, Restaurants, Namotu Left and Wilkes Passage.

Action fiends can try their luck at waterskiing, wakeboarding or the bizarre-sounding kneeboarding, at extra cost; non-motorised watersports are free, including kayaks and windsurfing boards. Jetskiing is available at a nearby sister hotel on the island a short boat trip away. Handline fishing or trolling on the inner or outer reef for giant tuna or trevally will appeal to budding Hemingways. Island-hopping trips, sandbar picnics, dolphin safari/surf sightseeing tours to Cloud Break and sunset cruises (with a tasty antipasto platter) may also float your boat – literally – or you can choose to circumnavigate Malolo Levu and Malolo Lailai islands. The lagoon is a turtle-breeding area and Fijian waters attract migrating humpback whales in season.

Back on dry land, check out the island's nature trails and guided bush walks, including Jonas's Look-out and the ridge track to Naroba Point, or enjoy a shoreside stroll along Naivaka Beach. Likuluku offers walks with a local medicine man who can explain the beneficial properties of plants and flowers. Culture vultures can visit Malolo's two villages, including Yaro – home to the island's paramount chief – where you can attend Sunday church services, and Solevu, where you can drop in at a school. You can also discover ancient archeological sites dotted across the island, with strong religious significance to the indigenous population, including Yadra, a magic wishing cave occupied by a spirit god.

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