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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.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year

By | Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Last month, Plantation Island Resort joined with millions of Chinese people and friends of China around the world in celebrating Chinese New Year. This year, the new year landed on Tuesday 5th February, and we celebrated the beginning of the year of the Pig!

Plantation Island Resort celebrated Chinese New Year with a selection of traditional Chinese dishes available alongside delicious and specially prepared Fijian favorites. At the resort, families and kids enjoyed a full day of activities and fun to celebrate the diversity of cultures, faiths and ethnicities that abound in Fiji in general and at the resort in particular. Fijians love to celebrate this diversity throughout the year, and now, during spring with its beautiful weather is a great excuse to bust out the fireworks and all the best food.

There were of course a selection of traditional Chinese dishes, alongside delicious and specially prepared favourites of the resort.

The Pig in Chinese culture symbolises wealth and good fortune. People born in the year of the pig are often optimistic and enthusiastic, as well as being practical and hardworking – much like the staff of Plantation Island!

Truly, we celebrated generosity and a year of good fortune for all – and for you, too.

Kids on Tour

Kids on Tour

By | Blog

Family holidays are a great way to see the world, show your kids some amazing sights, and create memories that will bolster your family’s relationship for years – even decades – to come. But holidaying with kids isn’t easy, and keeping them entertained? Well, you don’t need to be told that that can be a full time job. That’s why it’s important to choose family-friendly accommodation, where you and your partner can enjoy your break just as much as the kids do.

Many Fiji resorts offer fantastic kids’ activities, and Plantation Island Resort is no different. Tucked into the old plantations of Malolo Lailai island, Plantation Island Resort has created a kids’ activity program that offers adventure and wonder for kids of all ages.

Kids activity program

From arts and crafts to beach games, movie nights, and Fiji cultural experiences, the staff at Plantation Island resort have developed a week-long kids activity program that will suit kids of all ages and activity levels. Just register your kids on arrival and enjoy blissful days in paradise, rounded off with a dinner filled with stories of your kids’ Fijian adventures.

Kids crèche and indoor activities

Not all kids love running around on the beach – indeed, not all kids can. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t have their dream Fijian adventure. The Plantation Island Children’s Creche and Indoor Activity Centre features games and toys for kids of all abilities and languages, all overseen by a qualified crèche attendant.

Mini golf

Is it really a resort holiday without a round of mini golf? Channel your kids’ competitive streaks into something lowkey and fun at the Plantation Island mini golf course.

Fun in the sun

Don’t fancy leaving the resort today? Keep your kids’ spirits high with a few hours in the outdoor playground or waterpark. There’s rides and slides available for kids of all ages, and the playgrounds are suitable for kids aged 0-5 or 6-12.

 

Fiji’s must-try culinary adventures

Fiji’s must-try culinary adventures

By | Blog

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

Cycle Fiji and see the best Malolo Lailai has to offer

By | Blog

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.