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Fiji’s must-try culinary adventures

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It’s said that a nation’s culture is most truly expressed in its home life and in its food – and Fiji is no different. Thousands of years of the Fijian peoples’ life, experience, and adaptability are expressed in a myriad of dishes found around the island. Whether you prefer a five-star resort restaurant or a meal cooked at home with love, the best way to get to know Fiji is by eating it.

Curry

Between the late 1800s and the early twentieth century, Fiji’s sugarcane plantations were worked by Indian immigrants, brought over by the colonising British. In the century since then, Indo-Fijian curries have become a staple of Fijian home life. Island-style chicken, goat, and fish curries differ subtly from their Indian cousins, but are no less delicious. Try one of Fiji’s acclaimed resort restaurants to get the best on offer.

Palusami

Palusami is a traditional dish found throughout the Pacific islands, though each nation does it slightly differently. In Fiji, dalo (taro) leaves are wrapped around a delicious filling of onions, tomatoes, and thick coconut cream, then layered together in a dish and baked until cooked through and absolutely delicious.

Nama salad

On those days you just can’t stand the thought of something warm, there’s nama salad to keep you eating and loving island life. Made with fresh vegetables and sea grapes, nama salad is unlike any salad you’ve ever eaten before – much like the rest of your Fijian food adventure.

Kokoda

It’s hardly an article about Fijian food if it doesn’t include kokoda, Fiji’s answer to ceviche. Plump white kingfish is mixed with lime juice and left to cook in the acid, then combined with coconut milk, coriander, and more lime juice for a fresh, creamy entrée that will change the way you think about island eating. Find it served with cassava chips at your local restaurant.

Cycle Fiji and see the best Malolo Lailai has to offer

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If you want to see Malolo Lailai, the best way is to bike. Cycling is a fun, efficient and easy way of getting around our amazing island. It also allows you to see a part of Fiji that’s often neglected – its countryside – while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint and burning off that excess plane energy.

Most roads in Fiji are unsealed, and best suited for mountain bikes. Plantation Island has partnered with Bula Bikes to give you the very best options in Beach Cruisers. We also offer free maps to help you experience Malolo Lailai island and its many dining options, shopping outlets, secluded beaches, amazing views, and points of interest.

Biking on our island is safe and easy, thanks to the flat landscape and multitude of paths and sand roads. The best time to cycle around Fiji is in the drier season, May to October. The humidity in the wetter season can make cycling a battle to stay hydrated, and the drier season tends to be cooler as well.

Be sure to map out your route before you go, and keep an eye out for traffic while you bike. Some travellers report respectful drivers and safe roads, while others note that cycling’s lack of popularity in Fiji has made for dangerous drivers. Be alert for any vehicles, and when in doubt, pull over.

Cycling around Malolo Lailai is the ideal way to settle in to Fiji’s sedate lifestyle. You can hire bikes for the length of your trip, and bike baskets, locks, helmets and lights are all included in the cost of your hire.

Take a break from the beach, and see the uncrowned jewel that is Malolo Lailai’s interior countryside.

Not your Grandma’s schoolies trip

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You’ve done it. You’ve sat through a year of the most demanding classes of your life, sweated through the exams that could determine your future, and have emerged blinking into the sunlight, eager to throw off the yoke of high school and do nothing but party for a solid week. But where will you go? How will you celebrate? How could you possibly forget the year you’ve just had, even for a minute?

Schoolies is something that every school leaver looks forward to, and if there’s any way to forget about school, it’s by spending your time on an island surrounded by seven kilometres of soft golden sand. Your standards for an island getaway will forever be changed, once you’ve set foot on the Fiji Islands and seen their serene waters, their sugar-soft sands, and experienced their once-in-a-lifetime schoolies pool party!

You’ll have the entire resort to yourselves so there’ll be no interruptions by outside guests or visitors. Your resort rates will include heaps of activities, including tours, traditional crafts, and watersports. Spend your mornings snorkelling and your afternoons lazing by the pool, before wrapping up your day with cocktails and dancing. Plantation Island offers great walks and hiking, and there’s nothing quite like working up an appetite before hitting the resort buffet.

Plantation Island Resort offers six-night packages for a schoolies week crammed full of fun and enjoyment. There’s no doubt that Fiji will have everything you want for your trip of a lifetime, including the biggest pool party you’ve ever seen.

Schoolies is held in November-December annually, so get away from home and do schoolies week in style! Travel to Fiji, and toast to the long-awaited start of real life. Bookings can be made through Unleashed Travel.

Have you ever spent Christmas on Mamanuca Island?

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December in Fiji is a wonderful time of year. With the wet season just around the corner, temperatures climb to 35°C/95°F. Visitors flock to enjoy the last of the good weather before the rains come, and the resorts overflow with holiday vibes and good cheer. And, of course, there’s Christmas!

Christmas in Fiji is a unique experience. It’s a major holiday, and as in other countries, Fijians celebrate this time of year singing carols, visiting friends and family, and cooking and eating amazing food. These traditions spill out into resort life, where staff will welcome Christmas morning with a piece of cake, a walk in the sunshine, and a chorus of Christmas carols.

Friends, food, and carols

Christmas in Fiji is not the time to relax alone with a book and a cocktail. Resorts around the Island plan a full day of Christmas activities, where guests can gather together and share the cheer of the season. Many resorts offer a Christmas mass, an essential part of Christmas celebrations for the many religious Fijians celebrating the holiday, and the day is filled with sunshine, games and activities, talent quests, and even a visit from Santa!

Food and cheer are the real stars of Christmas time, and your resort will offer you a Christmas feast you’ll never forget! With a selection of fresh local seafood, traditional Fijian curries and lovo, and a carving station bursting with succulent turkeys, hams, and roast meats, you’ll find a new standard for your Christmas feast in Fiji. Made with only the freshest local and imported ingredients, Christmas dinner will be the star of your Fijian food journey.

Christmas in Fiji – the values and fervour stay the same, but the celebrations are out of this world. Come December, the Christmas spirit takes over this happy island nation and celebrations go into overdrive. Come join us for a bright summer day of new friends, family, food, and cheer.

Coconut kids club

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Traveling as a family can be tough. Your adventurous kids want to be out in the ocean, your quiet kids just want to sit by the pool, and at some point you want to feel like you’re on holiday as well! But how to manage all these competing desires? You can’t be everywhere after all, and you and your partner want some time together as well. Enter the Coconut Kids Club.

Activities for all ages

Kids of all ages will be swept away by the holiday magic offered by Plantation Island Resort’s Coconut Kids Club. Each day offers a range of activities to keep your kids occupied and having fun from 10:30am – 8:30pm. Better still, there’s activities to ensure even the shyest of kids have a blast. With offerings ranging from traditional crafts such as coconut boat making and meke preparation to tie dye, beach games, and evening movies, your kids’ time in Fiji will be their best holiday ever. They may even find their new best friend!

You deserve the holiday you’ve dreamed of

Fiji is famed as a place of natural wonders, where hiking, snorkelling, surfing and water sports reign supreme. Even the slowed-down resort afternoons spent getting pampered or sharing a cocktail and a book with your loved one are best enjoyed to the soundtrack of the ocean, knowing that the shrieks of delight you can hear come from activities supervised by trained professionals. Your holiday is your time too. You deserve to enjoy it.

Best. Holiday. Ever.

Whether your kids love running around playing beach games or sitting in the shade making crafts, Coconut Kids Club has something for them. Take advantage of the best that Plantation Island Resort has to offer, and give your kids time to be kids – and give yourself time to be an adult.

Coconut Kids Club is free for all resort guests. So give yourself, and your kids, the best Fiji holiday ever, and spend some time getting to know the best of Fiji with the Coconut Kids Club.

Run away and get married in paradise

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A destination wedding is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new life together. How can you believe that your relationship will be anything but a dream when you cement your union on soft white sand next to gentle waves, under the bluest sky you’ve ever seen. When you return home, you’ll have the most magical memories, and while you’re there, it will be a beautiful, relaxing start to your marriage. You won’t even have to travel for the honeymoon – you can stay right at the resort.

There’s a wedding package for every budget and every style. We can organise a simple beachfront ceremony with a sit-down dinner for a small party, all the way up to a buffet dinner, drinks package, Fijian warrior escort and choir at the ceremony. We’ll organise the venue set-up and decorations, as well as flowers and sparkling wine to toast the happy couple.

Our wedding planning team is accustomed to caring for any couple’s desires. You can work with us to customize the colors and style to match your needs. We even have registered celebrants on staff so that you can get married at the day and time you want. We have pre-set packages, but we encourage you to come with your own ideas to make your wedding truly yours. We’re here to work with you. We will also take care of wedding licensing processing and onsite registration.

Start as you mean to go on – surrounded by loved ones, with no worries from the outside world, standing amidst the beauty of one of the most beautiful places in the world

What is Kava?

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Kava is a central part of Fijian culture. But what is it? How is it made? Why drink it – and does it taste any good?

Kava comes from the root of the yaqona bush, a relative of the pepper plant. It is consumed in various ways throughout many Pacific Ocean cultures, including Vanuatu, Polynesia and even some parts of Australia. Traditionally, it is chewed, or ground or pounded into a pulp and mixed with a liquid to drink. Kava has a sedating, slowing-down effect of the nervous system, and can sometimes even induce euphoric feelings.

When visiting Fiji, you’ll be greeted with the Kava ceremony, an essential aspect of the welcoming culture of the country. After work, relaxing in the afternoon, pretty much whenever, small groups of family and friends will share kava from a communal bowl. The Fijian preparation usually involves pounding sun-dried kava root into a fine powder and mixing it with water to form what is known as grog, which is then drunk from a bilo, the shorn half-shell of a coconut. Prepared this way, with the dried root, kava is not as strong as a fresh preparation, which itself is not as strong as chewing it straight. In this way, it’s a gentle, relaxing drink. Grog is a ubiquitous part of socialising and storytelling in Fiji, especially among young men. It can, however, leave your mouth and tongue feeling a bit numb. The best way to chase a bilo is with a sweet or a spicy snack, to wake up the tongue and mouth after the numbing effects of grog. After a few hours, you’ll feel delightfully relaxed.

Kava is a central part of Fijian culture. Whether or not you choose to indulge, know that it has been a part of Fiji and its people for a long time – and Fijians are some of the happiest people on earth.

How to Speak Fijian

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When you go on holiday to a country where the main language isn’t your first – and if you’re reading this, your first language is probably English, so this happens a lot! – it’s a great idea to learn some words or phrases in the language of the native people. It helps you to avoid any communication mishaps, as well as connecting more deeply to the country and the people you’re visiting. Who knows, you may even make some new friends or learn some tips you otherwise would have missed! Here are some phrases that might come in handy when you stay with us – it’s time to learn some Fijian! 

“Bula” – this is a word with many meanings. It means welcome, good morning, or good afternoon. It is also an informal way of saying hello, and an exclamation made when drinking, like Cheers! If you want to use it a little more formally, you can say “Ni sa bula.” If you want to say good evening, you can say “Moce” or “Ni sa moce”. 

“Vacava tiko?” – How are you?

“Sa bulabula vinaka tiko” – This is a response to “How are you?” It means something like “I’m well, thank you.”

“Ia bula”/”Ia ni bula” – Nice to meet you

“Vanuinui vinaka ki na siga ni kua” – Have a nice day! 

“Tulou”/”Jilou” – like the English “Pardon” or “Excuse me”, these are used when you want to excuse yourself or apologise for invading space.

“Ni vosota sara”/”Ni vosoti au” – these are more general ways to apologise.

And if you want to learn any more Fijian while you are here, you can ask “Na cava na kena vosa vakaviti ni …?” which means “How do you say … in Fijian?”

So many people in Fiji are friendly and happy to help, so bust out your confidence and practice some Fijian with the locals!

 

Celebrating International Housekeeping Week at Plantation Island Resort

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In the second full week in September, we celebrated International Housekeeping week at Plantation Island Resort! As you can tell from the name, International Housekeeping Week is a week where companies and organisations worldwide celebrate the hardworking staff that keep our buildings clean and well-maintained.

Housekeeping staff have some of the toughest jobs in any hospitality company. They are the true heroes, keeping everything in tip top condition so that our visitors can relax and enjoy their stay without worrying about making beds, washing dishes or cleaning up after anyone. We do that for you!

We took this week last month to thank our hardworking staff for their outstanding service to our beautiful resort. We want to make sure that they know just how much we appreciate them and everything that they do. In a place as beautiful as Fiji, it’s hard to concentrate on anything but the sun, sand and waves – yet our team stay focused on making sure our visitors are as comfortable and their rooms as clean as possible.

As you can see, we all had a fantastic week, and we also teamed up with our sister resort Lomani Island Resort to have a huge celebration, because that’s how grateful we are for their presence in our resorts – hugely. And it’s reflected in our visitors, too – we see your posts and comments on social media! You love our staff just as much as we do, because they are so lovely and welcoming.

Even though International Housekeeping Week is over, it’s always nice to hear a lovely word from our visitors – so say hello to our staff if you see them and thank them for a job well done. They deserve it!

Massage on the beach

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Every Fiji holiday is different. Whether you’re after an undersea diving adventure, a cultural cruise of the things that make Fiji unique, or just a few days relaxing on the beach with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other, Fiji has a holiday for you. The one thing all of these holidays have in common is that they’re all about you.

But even when that’s not the case – when you’re holidaying with the whole family or your best friends, and your days become a blur of activities and cocktails and reapplying sunscreen – even then, you can steal a little pocket of paradise just for yourself, one hour at a time.

Every day has a few little pockets of quiet. Sunrise. Sunset. Those lazy hours in the middle of the afternoon, when all your planned activities are done but there are still hours of delicious daylight ahead, bursting with promise. These are times of stillness and reflection, and what better way to relax and meditate than with your own beach massage?

Ask your concierge to book you a beach massage at one of those precious still times of day, and embrace everything that’s pure Fiji. Listen to the hush of the waves, the crunch of the sand as your qualified massage therapist works all the tension of the everyday world out of your body. Breathe in the scents of sea air and coconut oil; close your eyes and let your thoughts drift away on the fresh ocean breeze.

There are all kinds of holiday in Fiji, just as there are all kinds of holidaymaker. But whether you’re an adventurer, a spa aficionado, or a reader of books by the beach, there’s nothing more Fiji than embracing those quiet, still moments with your very own beach massage.