All-Inclusive Resort Surrounded by Rainforest and Tropical Reefs
Like much of Vanua Levu, Fiji's second-largest island, the 150-acre property of Koro Sun Resort was once a coconut plantation cultivated for its copra, or dried coconut meat. Today, the palms shading the landscape are more prized for their beauty than their fruit. But Koro Sun Resort remains rooted in its agricultural heritage, as evinced by the organic vegetable and herb gardens that provide ingredients for the resort's all-inclusive restaurants.
The onsite Rainforest Spa also draws from local harvests with signature treatments that incorporate coconut shavings and banana leaves. During couples massages, therapists knead muscles with coconut oil beneath a lush rainforest canopy of mangroves, ferns, and orchids. The thick, tropical forests extend to the beachfront, and beyond that, an equally stunning landscape lies just beneath the waves: jewel-toned fish and songbirds in wetsuits dart through a brightly colored coral labyrinth spread across dozens of world-class dive sites, all accessible through the resort’s dive school.
Koro Sun’s secluded lodgings earned the stamp of approval from producers of The Bachelorette, who chose to film an episode of the show here. Fit-for-TV accommodations include the bures—native-style huts—built with natural accents such as russet wood and wicker. The ocean-view two-bedroom bure overlooks the beach on one side and the gardens on the other, and the Raintree two-bedroom bure touts a private plunge pool. During the days, complimentary activities illuminate Fiji’s cultural and environmental landscapes: a garden tour centers on native plants, and a visit to a village school showcases local education.
Savusavu, Fiji: Tropical Island Melting Pot
Modern Fiji embraces a vibrant blend of cultures. British colonization introduced European influences as well as a sizeable Indian population, and American expats who came for the coconut harvests stayed for the islands’ unrivaled natural beauty. Fiji’s melting pot culture is evident in Savusavu, a booming town on the island of Vanua Levu, where old-school yacht clubs line the marina beside curry restaurants with fare as spicy as a telenovela set in a pepper factory.
Despite its varied demographics, Fiji remains firmly rooted in tradition. Cultural demonstrations often involve fire walking and meke, a narrative-based communal dance. During both rituals and social events, locals still sip the customary drink, alternately called yaqona, kava, and grog. Derived from the root of a pepper plant, the mildly intoxicating brew is said to numb the lips and tongue.