Honeymoon Guide: Fiji
WHY WE LOVE IT
Fiji is like Mother Nature’s gift to newlyweds. Over 300 islands—most of them uninhabited—are sprinkled with deserted beaches, lush horticulture, and unexplored coral reefs.
Bures: The traditional thatched-roof hut (pronounced "boo-ray") is the dwelling of choice for many resorts’ private honeymoon accommodations. Perfect for pretending you’re castaways.
Friendly Fijians: Expect to be greeted with the traditional "Bula!" wherever you go.
Underwater paradise: Fiji’s coral reefs are unspoiled, healthy, and colorful. Once you get a look at what’s in the water (including Fiji’s famous bright-blue starfish), you won’t want to get out.
Must Buys: Sulus, the colorful lengths of fabric that both men and women wear wrapped in various creative ways; pure Fiji coconut lotions are creamy and very fragrant; tanoa bowls, from which the regional beverage, kava, is served; woven mats and fabrics from local villages.
WHEN TO GO
Fiji’s dry season runs from May to October, which coincides nicely with most wedding dates. Temperatures tend to be a bit cooler during these months, too. Fiji has no off-season, however, so don’t wait for rates to drop.
WHERE TO EAT
Dining in Fiji is a bit different than it is in other honeymoon spots, because you’ll most likely be taking most of your meals at your resort. Luckily, the resort restaurants are among the country’s best. Since almost every traveler to Fiji passes through Suva and Nadi, we’ve included some good restaurants in those cities, too.
TIKO’S FLOATING RESTAURANT
Stinson Parade at Sukuna Park, Suva
Some travelers might dismiss Tiko’s as being too touristy, but we think it’s a great deal of fun. The restaurant is actually situated inside of a small ship retired by the Blue Lagoon Cruise line. Atmosphere is what it’s all about here, although the seafood dishes are tasty, too. (Note: Diners prone to seasickness should come prepared for a rocky evening—the boat bobs up and down as other ships pass.)
OLD MILL COTTAGE
47-49 Carnavon St., Suva
This is a great place to grab a lunch of homemade Indian, Fijian, and European dishes in a simple, comfy setting. It’s a favorite of diplomats and civil servants from the nearby U.S. embassy and Fijian government buildings who fill up on curry dishes and local specialties like young octopus in coconutmilk dressing during the weekdays.
The Wakaya Club is one of Fiji’s finest resorts—which is saying quite a lot, as this country is home to a disproportionate number of the world’s best resorts. The restaurant mirrors Wakaya’s general excellence, with fresh fish caught off the island, and fruits and vegetables plucked from the resort’s gardens. A visiting-chef program lures a steady stream of gourmet luminaries like Charlie Trotter and Nobu Matsuhisa to Wakaya’s kitchen.
Yet another glamorous resort with another renowned kitchen, Turtle Island cultivates a four-acre organic vegetable garden, bakes fresh bread daily, and carefully selects wines for their extensive 3,000-bottle cellar. Menus may feature an exotic Mongolian barbecue one day, and a more familiar roast-pork entrée the next.
CHEFS THE RESTAURANT
Sangayam Road, Nadi
Chefs is arguably Fiji’s best stand-alone restaurant. The elegant tropical decor, the top-notch service, and the ambitious menu are all more of what you might expect to find in a bustling Australian city, as opposed to small, touristy Nadi. Dishes range from the familiar (you can get a good hamburger here) to the much-better regional choices like freshwater clam in wild-banana cream-and-coconut sauce.