Category

Blog

Malolo Lailai – The Island of the Resting Sun

By Blog

Katonimana: Fiji’s legendary beginnings

Mythology and anthropology agree that the beginning of settlement in Fiji stretches back almost three and a half thousand years ago, when Melanesian voyagers sailed west and settled the Pacific islands of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji. Legend has it that the great seafaring warrior Chief Lutunasobasoba sailed his giant double-hulled canoe Kaunitoni in search of bountiful seas and rich lands where his people could finally rest.

Alongside families, warriors, and skilled craftsmen, legend has it that the Kaunitoni carried something truly precious: the Katanimana, the Box of Blessings. Rounding the outer edge of what is now Malolo Island, Malolo Lailai’s larger western neighbour, rough seas caused the Katonimana to be lost to the ocean. Believing its loss to be the will of the Gods, Lutunasobasoba ordered that the Katanimana should not be retrieved, and called the area Likuliku, a name the lagoon still bears to this day.

Many Fijians believe that their islands’ prosperity and peace is due to the presence of the Katanimana, buried in the seabed, bringing them good fortune.

Na Siga e Dromu i Malolo: The Island of the Resting Sun

The first Europeans came across the prosperous Fiji Islands in 1643, completely by accident. Abel Tasman stumbled across Fiji on his way to discovering the Great Southern Continent, and James Cook sailed through in 1774 in search of the same place.

The first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians were shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements, some decades later. Sandalwood traders and missionaries came by the mid 19th century. Tensions among indigenous Fijian tribes, and between local Fijians and settlor communities, ebbed and flowed throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. The British pressured the beleaguered indigenous Fijian leader to cede control in 1874; in 1970 following the establishment of cabinet government, the British finally granted independence to the Republic of Fiji.

Bula in Plantation Island Resort

The Nadroga chief Ratu Kini sold the uninhabited island of Malolo Lailai in 1872 to John Thomson for cotton planting. After some time as a cotton, coconut, and copra plantation, the island was sold in the 1960s to Richard “Dick” Smith, Sir Ian MacFarlane, and Reginald Raffe, who parted ways in the early 1970s to develop their own parts of the island. It was then that Plantation Island Resort was first developed as a lush resort where travellers could come to seek adventure, relaxation, and some time away from the world. Plantation Island Resort celebrates its 50th birthday in 2019, and we’re so happy to share our journey with you.

Fiji Waether

Fiji weather

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

What it’s like and how to manage it

Fiji is a magical place, with sand, surf, and sun aplenty. But what does ‘endless summer days’ really mean? Fiji’s tropical climate means that there is little change in temperature from season to season, with most months reaching highs of 30C/86F, and the water remaining a balmy 26C/81F. But there are still fluctuations in temperature, rainfall, and – most importantly – mosquito activity, so read on and be prepared for Fiji’s tropical climes, no matter what time of year you travel.

Wet season: November – April

Unlike the continents to the north and south of the globe, the equatorial region where Fiji is situated doesn’t have four seasons in the classical sense. Instead, the year is divided into two seasons: the wet season, and the dry season.

Fiji’s land mass is quite small, so “wet” season is a bit of a generous term. The wet season is characterised by heavy, brief local showers and contributes most of Fiji’s annual rainfall. Annual rainfall on the main islands is between 2000mm and 3000mm on the coast and low lying areas, and up to 6000mm in the mountains.

The wet season is much more humid as well, so don’t forget your insect repellent. Be sure to choose one without Deet, as it can react badly with many sunscreens and become toxic.

Dry season: March – December

The dry season is the most popular time to visit, so it’s peak tourist season in most of Fiji. One of the reasons this period is so popular is that May – October is the best time for underwater activities, when visibility is at its highest. Highs in this season remain in the high-mid 20sC/70s-80sF, and rainfall and humidity are lower – though those insects are still lurking!

The constant sun is taxing on your skin, so be sure to pack plenty of your favourite sunscreen. Use something nourishing and lightweight on your face, and grease-free over your body – you’re more likely to reapply if you love your sunscreen and the way it feels on your skin. Be sure to choose a sunscreen that’s friendly to the reefs.

Self-care in tropical climates

Be sure to eat plenty of those beautiful local tropical fruits – they’re high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help keep your skin rejuvenated. Fresh fish and eggs are high in protein and antioxidants, and can stimulate collagen growth, keeping skin elastic and preventing wrinkles.

Keep your skin clear by rinsing off in a cool shower and using gentle cleansers each evening to get rid of the day’s dirt and sweat. Don’t forget your hair – gently wash out the salt water and apply a hair mask weekly to combat sun and salt damage.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. With year-round temperatures solidly in the ‘warm’ category, and a humid tropical climate that will make you sweat, it’s crucial that you replace the moisture you’re losing.

Get that Fiji Glow

Get that Fiji Glow

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Relax, reflect, revitalise and rejoice with Plantation Island’s spa treatments and hair salon

Fiji is a stunning tropical destination that you won’t want to miss – with sunshine all year round and temperatures averaging between 26 and 31 degrees Celcius, there’s never a bad time to travel.

But all that sun, saltwater, and humidity can take a toll on your skin, hair and body. That doesn’t mean you should stay indoors — with a little care and a few precautions, you can enjoy Fiji to its fullest.

Massage

Relax and ease into Fiji time with a luxurious massage. Whether you need a quick 30 minutes to ease your travel-induced muscle stiffness or have hours to while away on a deep tissue massage, our massage menu has a full- or half-body massage treatment for you.

Beauty rituals

Keep yourself looking your best with our extensive range of beauty rituals. From revitalising facials to brow tinting, mani/pedis, and hair removal, you can revitalise your look easily with Plantation Island Resort’s Beauty Rituals spa menu.

Hair treatments

All that swimming, sunbathing, and Fiji adventure makes for a great holiday – but summer activity can take a serious toll on your hair. Tame your tresses and keep your locks shining with our protein treatment, or get ready for a big day with our full menu of hairdressing services. It’s easy to keep your hair in tip-top shape with our Hair Treatments spa menu.

For the kids

Plantation Island is a family resort, so of course our spa has a treatment menu just for kids! Whether you’re after a mother-daughter manicure, matching facials, or traditional Fijian braids, you and your kids can relax and reconnect with matching spa treatments designed just for them.

Accommodation - Ocean View Hotel Room

Dreaming of that perfect ocean view

By Blog

There are many highlights on a trip to Fiji – the beautiful food, the friendly people, the endless potential of every day – but nothing is as good as that first sight of the Pacific Ocean when you step out of your room every. Single. Day.

Every time, it catches your breath a little bit – the sparkle of sun on the waves, the fresh, salty smell of the air, the sheer potential for adventure and relaxation that the sea holds.

But why wait to experience that moment? Step out of bed, stumble over to open the curtains, and breathe in the splendour of the ocean in one of our brand new Ocean View Hotel Rooms.

Located within touching distance of the ocean, each Ocean View Hotel Room boasts stunning views of Malolo Lailai Bay from the balcony or patio. It’s the best view on Mamanuca Island, and it’s exclusive to Plantation Island Resort.

Each room features a split-level design and Plantation Island Resort’s timeless décor, making stunning use of locally-made indigenous handicrafts and arts. The queen-sized bed shares the upper level with a bathroom, giving you and your partner the illusion of privacy while the kids enjoy a slumber party on the two easily-converted day beds in the lower level.

Our brand-new Ocean View Hotel Rooms will be part of an all-new resort precinct, including an Arrivals Bure, restaurant, pool and bar, so everything you need to make your Fiji holiday a dream is right at your fingertips.

Experience the charm and delight of uninterrupted Malolo Lailai Bay views in our brand new Ocean View Hotel Room, available from 1 September 2019.

Discover the best Fijian souvenirs and cultural keepsakes

Discover the best Fijian souvenirs and cultural keepsakes

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Fiji’s culture is rich and diverse, and its food, culture and language come from a range of sources including its Polynesian and Melanesian roots and its Indian, Chinese, and European immigrant history.

But while Fiji is truly a modern melting-pot of food, culture, and language, its traditional handicrafts are firmly rooted in its Polynesian and Melanesian heritage. These beautiful craft wares can be found throughout the Fijian islands, with different areas known for different forms of craftsmanship, including weaving, pottery, crafting, pearl fishing, and more.

As you stroll the towns and marketplaces looking for that perfect gift or keepsake, keep an eye out for the Made in Fiji stamp – that way you’ll know your Fiji souvenir is locally-made and supporting Fiji’s economy.

Fabrics and woven products

Traditionally the domain of Fiji’s women artisans, woven products range from the soft, bright sarongs or sulus worn by every Fijian and holidaymaker around to the traditional, stiff Tapa cloth wall hangings, bags and baskets made from the bark of mulberry trees and then adorned with traditional designs in black and rust.

Wood carvings

Fiji’s craftsmen are most famed for their stunning woodcarving work. From cannibal forks to yaquona bowls, face masks to spears and clubs, you’ll find the perfect wooden keepsake to remember your time in Fiji. Pair your Tanoa drinking bowl with a kava kit for the perfect Fijian gift, and be sure to check that all wooden keepsakes have been properly lacquered and treated so they don’t get confiscated at Customs!

Fijian pearls

Fijian pearls are something else, lustrous and shiny and with colours found nowhere else in the world. J. Hunter Pearls farm their pearls off the coast of Viti Levu, and offer educational tours of their pearl farms where you’ll learn about the history of pearling in Fiji. There’s even a snorkelling tour if you bring your own gear.

Pure Fiji beauty products

The coconut is just about the most versatile vegetable on the Fijian islands, and well-known throughout the world for its healthful and antibacterial properties. Pure Fiji harnesses South Pacific Islanders’ ancient knowledge of the coconut’s beneficial properties, using all-natural, all-local coconut milk, coconut oil, and flower extracts to produce products that hydrate your skin and beat back skin-dulling bacteria and inflammation.

Celebrate your new beginning in paradise

Celebrate your new beginning in paradise

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

If you’re a lover of travel, the beach, or romantic destinations, a destination wedding or honeymoon in stunning Fiji is probably your dream wedding. Scattered across miles of turquoise sea, this nation of 333 volcanic islands exudes tropical charm. There’s something intimate and romantic about gathering your nearest and dearest to stay together, adventure together, and celebrate together as you and your loved one begin the rest of your lives as a married couple.

Destination weddings can seem daunting to plan and execute flawlessly, but a little research can go a long way. Once you’ve established your budget, check out local hotels and resorts to see what they offer. Plantation Island Hotel is one of Fiji’s best family-friendly resorts, so you don’t have to worry about what to do with the little ones. They offer a range of wedding and honeymoon packages to suit all tastes and budgets, and best of all, their in-house wedding planners will work to fulfil your every wedding wish – they can even marry you!

Bringing a dozen or so of your favourite people to one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world can be less expensive than throwing a big to-do back at home. Marry on the sand with the sea as your backdrop, or in a historic limestone church or chapel, before returning to celebrate surrounded by tropical flowers under the stars. If your wedding party books 50 nights of accommodation between them (that’s only 13 people at four nights each!), you and your brand-new spouse will receive a free night’s accommodation at Plantation Island’s luxurious couple-only sister resort, Lomani Island.

A tropical resort with all the trimmings, Plantation Island offers a stunning backdrop to your perfect day celebrating your wedding surrounded by your loved ones and the bright turquoise sea.

For more information about throwing a wedding at Plantation Island Resort, check out our wedding flyer and previous posts.

Join a community of holidaymakers

Join a community of holidaymakers

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

You already know that this nation of 333 volcano islands, atolls and reefs is one of the world’s friendliest – but did you know that this warm, welcoming spirit extends across oceans? Whether you’re planning your dream Fiji holiday with the family, or you want to keep that holiday spirit going once you return home, become part of a wonderful holiday community at the Plantation Island Resort Facebook page.

From the smiling “Bula!” you receive when you check in to your resort, to the friendly “Bula!” you get when you check out our Facebook page, the staff at Plantation Island pride themselves on the little online community they’ve built on social media.

Share your funniest and fondest memories with fellow travellers who’ve been where you are. Post photos, laugh with others, and relive the memories through our videos and competitions.

This year is a very special year at Plantation Island Resort. November 2019 marks 50 years since the resort first opened its doors in 1969. We’re connecting with old friends and sharing the stories of those who remember their time on Malolo Lailai fondly under the hashtag #plantationturns50. Submit your stories to gsm@raffehotels.com, or comment on the stories of those you’ve travelled with and those you’ll never forget.

We’d love to celebrate our 50th anniversary with 50,000 Facebook likes – and we need your help. Pop over to our Facebook page and like us, or share our stories with your friends. Everyone needs a little bit of paradise in their lives, and you can share in the bliss every day with the Plantation Island Facebook page.

Different room categories at Plantation Island Resort

Different room categories at Plantation Island Resort

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Whether you’re travelling with the family, with friends, with your beloved, or just travelling solo, where you stay can set the tone for your whole holiday. From scrumptious breakfasts to fluffy towels, every detail needs to be just right so that you and your travel companions can sit back, relax, and bask in your Fijian paradise.

Just beachy

Wake up, step outside, and feel the sand between your toes in one of our Beachfront Bures. Set just back from the sugar-white sands of Malolo Lai Lai bay, our beachfront bures are the perfect setting for your ocean adventure. Go immediately from pyjamas to bathers and back again – you’re on holiday, you deserve it!

Garden Oasis

The calls of exotic birds, the scent of bright tropical flowers, the sun warm on your face – no, it’s not a particularly vivid dream. It’s the setting of our beautiful Garden Bures. With studio or two-bedroom options, a garden bure is the perfect place to retreat from the bustle of the resort and enjoy a private moment with your travel companions in your very own garden oasis.

A view of paradise

There’s nothing quite like waking up, making a cup of coffee, and taking it out to enjoy your very own ocean view. Listen carefully and you’ll be able to hear the sweet sounds of the Pacific Ocean as you watch the waves gently caress the beach. What better place is there to sit back and forget about your cares?

Poolside charm

When you’re holidaying in a tropical paradise, you probably want one of two things – to be relaxing in the cool blue water, or to be lounging by its side with a chilled beverage and a good read. With our Poolside Rooms, you can do both, as many times as there are moments in the day. Falling into the rhythm of island life goes hand in hand with falling into an enticing pool just outside your room.

Different room categories at Plantation Island Resort

Nurturing Fiji’s most important ecology

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Some of Fiji’s most spectacular scenery can be found beneath its sparkling waters. Underneath those warm waves lies an entire world of colour and life, and to experience it is to experience the best that Fiji has to offer.

Fiji’s coral reefs hold great cultural significance to indigenous Fijians and are relied upon for subsistence fishing, coastal protection, and income generation. Fiji’s coral reef system is one of the most extensive in the world, no small feat for an ecosystem that sustains more than 25% of all marine species. Despite covering less than 0.10% of the globe, coral reef systems remain crucial to our understanding of the Earth’s oceans, and bring in billions of dollars in tourism every year.

But Fiji’s coral reefs, like those around the world, are under stress. Rising temperatures, coral bleaching, soil erosion, fishing activities, and coral-eating Crown of Thorns starfish, are just a few of the things causing stress and damage to Fiji’s most important natural resource.

Plantation Island Resort knows how important Fiji’s coral reefs are, and are committed to protecting and propagating them as much as possible. Our coral gardening project, undertaken in partnership with Corals for Conservation, combines preserving our underwater ecology with educating people about its importance. Planting coral is one of the valuable steps in which Plantation Island Resort is protecting and enhancing our marine reserve for generations to come.

Guests can learn how coral grows and propagates and become involved in the conservation process by rooting coral fragments onto artificial cords for propagation and replanting.

Our coral nurseries are then scattered all around the reefs surrounding Malolo Lailai Bay, allowing them to grow in their natural environment before being transplanted onto the reefs themselves.

As you snorkel, keep an eye out for our coral gardens – they’re the future of Fiji’s great reefs.

McLennan

Plan your next event in Fiji

By Blog

Plantation Island Resort offers an elegant array of options for you to hold your next event. Is your office due for a team getaway? Or are you planning a conference and you are looking for the perfect tropical backdrop? We are here to help!

Plantation Island Resort’s Conference Centre is located in the centre of the facility, and boasts options for small groups up to conferences of 200 people. It’s easy for everyone to get to and our function rooms are both beautiful and practical, incorporating natural lighting and high ceilings for an airy feel, lending a relaxed air to your event.

Of course there is ample accommodation for your whole group to stay right here at the resort for the duration of your event. From stand-alone or duplex bures or friends or soon-to-be friends to luxury hotel suites for the boss, we’ve got a range to suit everyone. (A bure, if you’re new to the blog, is a Fijian word for a small hut or cabin, and we use it to describe our standalone rooms that can accommodate several adults. They come in various sizes depending on how many people you want to share with.)

We boast a range of flexible meeting rooms and upscale facilities for any number of different events. Our catering team are happy to talk to you about what will work for your particular event, and our dedicated events team can walk you through the amenities you may have use for, including audio-visual equipment and attentive service. In between meetings and presentations, we ofcourse have our resort amenities and recreation options, as well as lovely dining areas and relaxing vistas.

We, of course, have our conferences and functions package available on the website, but our events team is also available for you to chat to and to help you create your perfect Fijian conference experience.

Redeeming Benefits

Congratulations!

You are eligible to claim these benefits

  • $100 Food & Beverage Voucher per stay
  • Complimentary WIFI during stay (2 devices)

To redeem these benefits, please quote your Plantation Family Membership Number with your Travel Agent or our Resort when you make a booking.

Contact Us

Redeeming Benefits

Congratulations!

You are eligible to claim these benefits

  • $100 Food & Beverage Voucher per stay
  • Complimentary WIFI during stay (2 devices)
  • Guaranteed upgrade to the next available room category at time of booking

To redeem these benefits, please quote your Plantation Family Membership Number with your Travel Agent or our Resort when you make a booking.

Contact Us

Redeeming Benefits

Congratulations!

You are eligible to claim these benefits

  • $100 Food & Beverage Voucher per stay
  • Complimentary WIFI during stay (2 devices)
  • Guaranteed upgrade to the next available room category at time of booking
  • An extra $50 Food & Beverage Credit per room per day (on top of other available offers)

To redeem these benefits, please quote your Plantation Family Membership Number with your Travel Agent or our Resort when you make a booking.

Contact Us