Plantation Turns 50

Enjoy summer in Fiji

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

The not-so-wet season

Fiji’s climate ranges from tropical to equatorial, meaning that beautiful sunshine, mild to warm temperatures, and light, localised rainfall are always a feature. Like all tropical countries, Fiji doesn’t experience four seasons the way more northerly and southerly nations do – Fiji’s climate is instead divided more generally into “summery” and “wintry” – the wet season, and the dry season.

If you know anything about tropical climates, you may be picturing the wet season to be a months-long tropical storm, with occasional breaks in the rain to allow the clouds of mosquitoes to feed. In Fiji, nothing could be further from the truth. The wet season in Fiji is instead characterised by hot mornings, soft afternoon rainfalls, and great surfing.

The average temperature in the wet season can rise to 30°C/86°F in summer, not much higher than the yearly average of 25°C/77°F. Water temperatures are also quite steady, averaging around 27°C/81°F throughout the year. In Fiji, you can leave your wetsuit at home.

Most of the wet season’s rainfall occurs in heavy, brief downpours, usually in the afternoon. Annual rainfall on the main islands is between 2000mm and 3000mm, but on smaller islands such as Malolo Lailai, the average rainfall is more like 1500mm to 3500mm.

The short storms and higher rainfall make the wet season the ideal time to surf in Fiji. Fiji is home to some of the world’s best breaks, including the world-famous Cloudbreak and Restaurants. Both have been home to the Fiji Pro, a staple of the Men’s and Women’s World Championship Tours.

Your resort will also have a range of great activities designed to make the best of Fiji in the summer. Ask your concierge when you check in for the best advice on watersports, resort-based activities, and local crafts to while away a rainy afternoon.

Pack light clothes made from natural fibers, a sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, and a light raincoat or umbrella.

Celebrating 50 years of Fijian hospitality

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

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, and since then the Raffe family have carried on a proud tradition of local excellence, warm hospitality, and a truly Fijian experience for each and every visitor.

Plantation Island Resort derives it’s name from its time as a cotton, coconut, and copra plantation between the 1870s and 1960s, when it was sold to developers Richard “Dick” Smith, Sir Ian MacFarlane, and Reginald Raffe, who developed the island and its resorts in response to the tourism boom of the mid-Twentieth Century. The three men parted ways in the 1970s, each to develop his own part of the island into the lush resorts you see today. The Raffe family is proud to continue Reginald’s tradition of hospitality, adventure, and relaxation, offering a warm Fijian welcome to all who set foot on the island.

The islands of Fiji have a long history of welcoming travellers, from the original seafaring warriors travelling with Chief Lutanasobasoba in search of a safe place to rest, to the adventuring Europeans who landed here in the 17th Century, to the visitors we welcome today from all corners of the globe. Every guest we host is part of the Plantation Island Resort family, and we’re proud to welcome each and every one of you with a warm and friendly “Bula!”

Whether you’ll be with us in person or in spirit, we at Plantation Island Resort invite you to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Join in on the exclusive guest deals and community celebrations alongside our staff, or submit your stories, photos, and fond memories at the Plantation Island Resort Facebook page. We’d love to celebrate with you, and keep that holiday spirit going for the next 50 years.

Sustainability at Plantation Island Resort

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

At Plantation Island Resort, the community we live in and the environment we prosper under are important to us. That’s why we support a number of environmental and sustainability initiatives throughout the resort, to protect and improve our beloved Fiji.

Coral gardening

Fiji’s coral reefs, like those around the world, are under immense stress from the impacts of pollution, invasive species, and the climate crisis. Plantation Island’s coral gardening project, in partnership with Corals for Conservation, aims to bring attention to this issue by getting guests involved in the restoration and protection of the coral reefs surrounding the Resort.

Guests can learn how coral grows and propagates and get 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 Lai Lai Bay, allowing them to grow in their natural environment before being transplanted onto the reefs themselves.

Trap Neuter Release with Animals Fiji

Plantation Island Resort is proud to work with Animals Fiji on their Trap Neuter Release program. This program allows us to ensure that the stray cats and dogs of Malolo LaiLai Island are responsibly desexed, to prevent invasive species adversely impacting on local flora and fauna. We also feed them regularly, ensuring Fiji’s native small birds and rodents are kept safe.

Say no to plastic

At Plantation Island Resort, we’ve cut out a number of unnecessary plastic from the premises. From straws for your cocktail to bags for your souvenirs, you’ll no longer be offered these non-reusable plastics on your stay with us.

Instead, paper straws will be available from our bars and restaurants upon request. Help us eradicate straw use altogether by drinking straight from the glass, or if you need a straw, kindly request a paper one from our friendly staff. Since we first eradicated plastic straws in October 2018, we’ve already prevented the use of approximately 130,000 plastic straws – straws that may well have ended up in our pristine oceans.

As for carry bags, every guest and staff member will be offered a reusable canvas shopping bag to use for the duration of your stay at the Resort. Use it to bring gifts, souvenirs, and the always-necessary extra sunscreen back from our general store to your room, or bring them with you on your adventures around the islands so you’ll always have a carry bag on hand.

Ultimate Girls Week Away

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

Text the women you love: ‘We’re going to Fiji!’

You work hard, you nourish others, and you put yourself at the end of your list. Give yourself permission to put yourself first with the 2020 Ultimate Girls Week Away, hosted with pride by Plantation Island Resort. Nourish and awaken your soul with a whole week of inspirational speakers, workshops, panel discussions and the ultimate healing hub.

This week-long program offers workshops, talks and panel discussions facilitated by fabulous women from all across the globe, covering a variety of topics to suit all personalities and interests.


The best way to foster a deeper understanding of both ourselves and our world is by embracing and learning about the world’s different cultures. Beginning with a traditional Fijian Elders Blessing and Fire Dance, you’ll have the opportunity to truly embed yourself in Fijian culture, from village visits to resort activities and browsing traditional Fijian crafts in one of our two local market nights.


When was the last time you sat down with a great novel? Escape from those books whose purpose is to tell you how to live your life, and pick up one that will show you how to embrace it. We encourage you to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls before embarking on your Ultimate Girls Week Away.

Keynote speaker Elizabeth Gilbert invites you to embrace your longing to live a more creative life. Over two days, she’ll show you that everyone is invited to live a more creative, fulfilled life – one that is guided by curiosity instead of fear.


You don’t have to be a ‘good girl’ to be a good person.

The key ingredients for any type of awakening is a new environment, eye-opening experiences, and a supportive, like-minded community. The Ultimate Girls Week Away is designed to awaken the fire within you and nurture your soul. With passionate and knowledgeable facilitators from around the world, a holistic approach to wellbeing, and experiences to challenge and embrace the person you are now, the Ultimate Girls Week Away creates a safe space for you to be yourself, and gives you the tools to keep that space alive for yourself into the future.

Plantation Island - Loyalty Program - Plantation Development

A new chapter for Plantation Island Resort

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

We are thrilled to announce that Plantation Island Resort’s $16 million upgrade is now complete and ready for its first guests.

We’ve upgraded the Arrivals precinct to feature a large Arrivals Bure where guests will be offered a seamless arrival experience. We’ll welcome you right off the Malolo Cat in an Arrival Bure which features stunning views across the Mamanuca waters – you’ll know for sure you’ve arrived in paradise! The new space draws inspiration from the massing, materiality and planning of a traditional Fijian village, with light, rustic and traditionally Fijian design.

The brand-new Tavola Restaurant and Bar, is complete with a new menu designed by renowned Fijian Executive Chef Mo Arun. The new menu will be light, fresh, and traditionally Fijian, with Asian flair and cultural touches from all around the Pacific Rim and beyond.

Adjacent to this new restaurant and bar will be a new beachfront pool, which will bring the total number of pools available to residents up to four.

We have also built 40 new rooms. These rooms will offer couples and small families the option of a hotel-style room, locating them right in the middle of the action and creating a point of difference to the stand-alone bures that make up most of the other accommodation around the resort. Thanks to a beach widening project, all of these new rooms will boast spectacular views of Malolo Lailai Bay.

Environmental protection has been at the forefront of our minds throughout this renovation project, beginning with an extensive beach improvement program across our beachfront to repair areas of erosion and remove years of built-up silt across the sand flats. A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, carried out at the project’s inception, has ensured the success of the beach improvement program and ensured that all our efforts to improve our guests’ experience have been carried out in an environmentally-forward way, including through the continuation of our own coral planting program.

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of these new developments, and hope you’ll visit us soon to share in all of Fiji’s wonders.

plantation development

Plantation Island - Loyalty Program

Relax – you’re on Fiji time!

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

What is Fiji time?

From the moment you land on the tarmac, you’ll notice two things about Fiji and Fijians: they’re always ready to greet you with a smile and a friendly ‘Bula!’, and they don’t exactly run to a strict schedule.

If you’ve ever been to Fiji, been interested in Fiji, or are thinking about coming to Fiji, you’ve probably heard about Fiji Time. Like many cultures in the world, Fijians have a pretty important relationship with time: Americans are always running out of it, Italians run their days on a pretty measured roster of work-rest-work, and Fijians… well, they’re more interested in the journey than in how long it takes to get somewhere. No one worries about going to bed at a certain time or counting the hours until they have to get up and go to the next thing. Fijians simply enjoy each passing second in the present moment.

Embracing Fiji time – or indeed, getting through a Fiji holiday without getting irritated or frustrated – means being patient and letting go of that ever-present need to Get Things Done. When you make plans to meet someone or do something, state a time and then expect everything to run at least ten minutes late. People will arrive in their own time, the weather might cause your itinerary to change, or an activity might take far longer than you originally planned for. Don’t stress! Embrace the moment you’re living in, here in beautiful Fiji, and let the day take you where it will.

Embracing Fiji time will give you a renewed appreciation for the things that really matter in life – the people you’re with, the place you’re in, and the adventure you’re experiencing.

Fijians always have time to talk to others, to discuss village needs or to plan upcoming events, and generally don’t worry about getting too much done today. If it isn’t done today, well, maybe they will do it tomorrow, or even later. Don’t worry about time; it will eventually get done, and if it doesn’t, it’s probably not that big a problem anyway.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Plantation Island - Loyalty Program - Turama

Malolo Lailai – The Island of the Resting Sun

By Blog, Plantation Turns 50

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.


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, Plantation Turns 50

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.

Redeeming Benefits


You are eligible to claim these benefits

  • $100 Food & Beverage Voucher per stay
  • Complimentary WIFI during stay (2 devices)
  • Invitation to Returnees Cocktail Party every Wednesday

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


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 (subject to availability)
  • Invitation to Returnees Cocktail Party every Wednesday

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


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 (subject to availability)
  • An extra $50 Food & Beverage Credit per room per day (on top of other available offers)
  • Invitation to Returnees Cocktail Party every Wednesday

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