When you sail around the headland of Malolo Island in the Mamanucas and view Likuliku Lagoon Resort for the first time, ten overwater bungalows set the scene from what you’re about to experience, which is unique for this part of the South Pacific.
Don’t be too concerned if you didn’t book an overwater bungalow, because there’s another 35 located right on the beach. All bungalows feature traditional Fijian designs and natural materials, with luxuriously appointed furniture, double bathrooms, outdoor showers, lounges, daybeds and plunge pools. There’s also air-conditioning, fast Wi-Fi and flatscreens to keep you busy should rain set in.
From the beach in front of your villa, the lagoon awaits and it is loaded with tropical fish and coral in clear turquoise waters, while a ten-minute boat ride away you’ll find several uninhabited islands that are ideal for snorkelling.
Those with the need to speed should take a jet ski and snorkel tour out to Modriki Island, where Tom Hanks's Cast Away was filmed, go windsurfing around the lagoon or diving nearby. Those looking for super-relaxed beach break will enjoy the butler service by the pool, or a massage at the end of the beach in a bure (hut) right on the golden sands.
Likuliku is an all-inclusive resort (sans alcohol and some watersports) and at some properties in the South Pacific that doesn’t necessarily mean great quality food. Here it certainly does, with the kitchen helmed by former Print Hall executive chef Shane Watson, who has recently returned to the property for his second stint since it first opened in 2007.
Watson’s signature dish? Local mud crabs, for breakfast in an omelette, and fried for lunch and dinner. Enjoy the claws over a glass of Akarua Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand. Watson also offers kitchen garden tours and cooking classes for those seeking some culinary action in the middle of the South Pacific.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort is a kid-free property, so prepare for a break minus babies crying, children yelling or playing games here, there and everywhere. However, if you’re looking for a child-friendly getaway, neighbouring hotel Malolo Island Resort, run by the same company as Likuliku, offers just that.
Fiji Airways flies direct to Nadi. In Business Class on the widebody Airbus A330s, expect a signature rum cocktail, flatbed seats, top Australian wines, entertainment on demand, pillows, blankets and local fare, including a must-have coconut chicken curry from acclaimed chef Lance Seeto.