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Few places conjure up visions of a Robinson Crusoe-like deserted island more than Fiji, the remote archipelago of approximately 300 islands located roughly 1,500 miles north of New Zealand in the South Pacific. Since it was first sighted by Europeans in the 17th century, Fiji has captured imaginations as a magically beautiful tropical paradise, made even better by the gargantuan warmth and hospitality of the Fijian locals, who greet visitors by saying, "Bula" (which means "welcome home")—and sincerely mean it.
And what a home it is: Mountainous islands fringed with pristine beaches and ringed by thriving coral reefs. Native hibiscus the size of dinner plates blooming everywhere, with butterflies and birds making the lush jungle into a colorful kaleidoscope. Palm trees arc out and up over the sand. Gentle waves lap the shore. And vivid, watercolor sunrises and sunsets unfold like a symphony. It’s a fever dream of a landscape, both the perfect backdrop and the ideal playground for the most romantic trip of a lifetime.
Here, find our top recommendations for planning an unforgettable honeymoon in Fiji.
Meet the Expert
Piper Fenton is a Virtuoso Travel Adviser and a principal at Remarkable Honeymoons, an independent affiliate of World Travel, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Fenton spent years working in hospitality in Fiji and has traveled there many times, gaining intimate, first-hand knowledge of the destination and the culture.
Planning Your Fiji Honeymoon
“Fiji is the ultimate location for the secluded, romantic honeymoon,” Fenton enthuses. She cites two primary reasons: First, the locals. “The people of Fiji are the most warm and welcoming islanders I’ve ever met,” she says. “They genuinely care about visitors to their country, and most who leave Fiji go feeling as though they’ve really bonded with the locals. Tears are not uncommon for guests when checking out.”
Second: The superb hotels. “The resorts are small, remote, and very unique. There are a few “big box” resorts on the main island. In my opinion, you can go to those types of resorts closer to home. If you want a more authentic secluded setting, get off of the main island! Often you will need to take a boat, seaplane, or helicopter to get to your resort.”
- Language: Although there are three official languages—Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and English—the fact that the country relies heavily on tourism from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States means that nearly everyone speaks English.
- Currency: The Fijian dollar hovers around $0.45, making it easy to do the conversion in your head (divide by two for a rough estimate).
- When to Go: May to September is the best time to visit Fiji. October through April is not only the rainy season but the hottest, with a greater likelihood of cyclones.
- How Long to Spend: Fenton explains, “When you fly to Fiji, you’ll usually depart Los Angeles at night and arrive two days later, in the morning. The flight is around nine hours, but you lose one day when you cross the International Date Line. On the return flight, you leave Fiji late in the evening and land back in Los Angeles earlier on the same day (around noon). Therefore, if you are in Fiji for seven nights, you’ll be away from the U.S. for nine nights.” In other words, it’s a long way to go, so we suggest planning a minimum of 12 days—a total of three for traveling and nine on the ground.
- Getting There: Fiji Airways is the primary carrier and partner with American Airlines in the U.S., as well as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. Most international flights arrive in Nadi. From there, you’ll need to catch a seaplane or ferry (easily arranged through your resort) to your island destination, but we recommend the seaplane because the ferries are both slower and more prone to cancellation due to bad weather.
- Must-Pack: Fenton says, “Beachwear is just fine during the day, and at night, resort casual. However, if you want to visit a Fijian village, we recommend covering your shoulders. Fijian Villages are often found down a path from the beach (i.e., no roads – often you will take a boat to where you can walk in),” so pack one pair of comfortable walking shoes. “The resort will also make sure you bring a gift (usually the pepper root that they use to make the drink kava), but I give clients an extensive list of things to bring as gifts for the locals. From notepads, pencils, books, and sugar-free candy; they appreciate it all. On my last trip, I left three pairs of shoes for the staff, and all of my magazines, as they have a difficult time getting new things, and they love reading materials.”
Where to Stay During Your Fiji Honeymoon
Most of Fiji’s honeymoon-worthy hotels are located on one of the country’s 300 islands and therefore tend to be completely self-contained. Most are also all-inclusive. Fenton points out: “The traditional accommodation—most often a standalone cottage with lovely gardens, and almost always on the beach—is called a bure (pronounced boo-ray). Outdoor showers (completely private) are the norm, and the best resorts in Fiji range in size from one accommodation to maybe 25 or 30 others, maximum.” It’s also common for each couple to be assigned a concierge, or “Bure Mama,” to schedule and arrange all activities, meals, and special requests, yet another thing that makes a Fiji honeymoon so welcoming and intimate.
What dreamier place could there be than the island where Brooke Shields filmed The Blue Lagoon? This adults-only Eden-like resort encompasses 500 acres with room for only 28 guests in spacious bures. Meals can be enjoyed communally or in private, and couples are assigned exclusive use of specific beaches on a rotating basis. The upscale Gilligan’s Island vibe means group beach games like volleyball and “Fijian bocce,” entertainment by a local children’s choir or fire dancers from a neighboring island, and a traditional nightly kava ceremony where guests and staff socialize (and get slightly buzzed) together.
Kokomo Private Island Resort
Nestled in the pristine Kadavu islands, this paradise set on 140 acres and ringed by the Great Astrolabe Reef, has 21 villas, each with its own infinity pool. Its “Dock to Dish” fishing program supplies three on-site restaurants, and premium diving, fishing, kayaking, yachting, and snorkeling opportunities abound. Rates include an introductory spa treatment, and one discover scuba dive, and the team loves to spoil honeymooners with castaway beach picnics on uninhabited atolls, sunset cruises, sailboat charters, and the option of having all their meals delivered to their villa.
Fenton points out that “this lovely, adults-only property offers some really nice extras if booked through a Virtuoso agency. These perks include (over and above everything else they offer), a 60-minute couples massage, a private dining experience, and an upgrade on arrival if available. While it is a tiny resort, all the villas include a private plunge pool and a view of the water (some with sunrise, others with sunset). There’s plenty to do at the resort, but you can also plan an excursion off the island for ziplining or white-water rafting.”
Located on the Koro Sea on the north coast of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island, this former coconut plantation is 525 acres of nirvana where romantic activities take top billing, from a private picnic at the base of a waterfall to horseback riding on the beach. There are magical spots for private, torch-lit dinners, and a 10,000-square-foot spa. “One really special thing to do at Namale is to book Moonlight Magic,” says Fenton. “They close the spa. You can bring your own music, or they’ll provide it. Then, there are a series of couples’ treatments with champagne, etc., and the evening ends with having full run of the place, with the aromatherapy pools overlooking the sea, all open air. Afterward, the staff brings dinner to your Bure, where it will be set up on the deck under the stars. One of the most romantic evenings I’ve ever experienced with my husband!”
Jean Michele Cousteau Resort
Also in the north of Vanua Levu, set on Savusavu Bay, this meal-inclusive resort allows families but has adult-only areas. Given the resort’s namesake, it’s not surprising that they have a marine biologist on staff to take guests on daily excursions. “It’s a beautiful spot,” Fenton says. “One of my favorite things is going to the end of the dock and seeing the school of sardines. They look like the water is boiling.” Off-site activities include a rainforest and waterfall tour, a trip through a mangrove swamp, or a visit to the local farmer’s market.
Mantangi Private Island Resort
“Another lovely spot, it’s adults-only and they have not only beachfront accommodations but also treehouses,” Fenton says. “The resort is reachable by boat from the island of Taveuni, and it’s meal-inclusive, but beverages are additional. The resort is set on a fantastic, horseshoe-shaped bay for amazing snorkeling, and the entire area is also fantastic for diving. For those interested in getting certified, Fiji is a great place, as the water is warm and it’s usually quite a bit less expensive.”
Matamanoa Island Resort
A deluxe, adults-only, private island with only 47 accommodations, located only 30 kilometers from the airport in Nadi on the Mamanuca Islands. (The surroundings might look familiar to fans of Survivor, which frequently films there.) “It’s more budget-friendly but still a solid 4-star property,” according to Fenton. “Their Bures with plunge pools are comfortable and beachfront. Again, this resort is accessible by boat or air from the main island, and it can be booked with breakfast only, but it makes more sense to include dinner, as well. There are no outside restaurants nearby, which is often the case in Fiji, but lots of nice outdoor spots to dine for couples seeking privacy.”
Lomani Island Resort
An adults-only, family-owned and operated boutique property, also located on the Mamanuca Islands. Its name means “Love”—does it get any more romantic? “They do a fantastic job of making honeymooners feel special,” assures Fenton. “Their sandbank picnic is really beautiful. As the tide goes out, sandbars rise up, and it’s gorgeous to watch. There are other resorts, off property, on the same island where guests can go to dine if they like, and couples can opt for three meals daily or just simply breakfast.”
Como Laucala Island
Part of the luxury chain that operates some of the most sybaritic and seductive resorts in South Asia and the Pacific, this private island has 25 residences that are like private homes, cantilevered out over the water or tucked into a hilltop in the rainforest. A private yacht can take guests for a sunset cruise. Well-marked paths lead to three different, magnificent waterfalls. Their stable of well-trained horses allows guests to swim bareback in the ocean, and the food is superb. Everything you’d expect from one of the world’s swankiest hotel brands.
Things to Do During Your Fiji Honeymoon
Fiji is a haven for all water sports, but it’s a special delight for divers—who will marvel at the health and biodiversity of the coral reefs—and deep-sea fishermen—who will pull in Spanish mackerel, wahoo, skipjack, and other sport fish, and then enjoy the unusual experience of bringing the entire catch triumphantly back to feed the whole island or village.
In addition to water sports and fishing, hiking opportunities abound, whether you explore hidden waterfalls in the jungles or summit peaks overlooking the ocean and surrounding islands (pro tip: do this at sunset).
Fenton recommends visiting a Fijian village, too. "Appropriate clothing is required, as the Fijians tend to be modest. Often, the villagers will sell their handmade wares, which could be tapa clothes, kava bowls, or other nice handmade wood pieces.” (Masi—a type of painting on tree bark in three basic colors—black, brown, and burnt umber—makes a beautiful and easy souvenir to transport home.) “The resort will equip you with a gift of kava for the chief,” says Fenton. “It’s the traditional offering.” Kava is a root that’s ground into a drink inducing a mild euphoria. During a daily ceremony, everyone gathers around a communal bowl, often carved like a turtle. The host offers a choice of “high” or “low tide” (a full or half cup), and after accepting it, the guest claps once and yells, “Bula!” Then they drink the kava in one gulp, if possible, clap three times, and say “maca” (pronounced “maw-thay”). It’s the quintessential Fijian experience.
Can't-Miss Romantic Experience: Fenton says, “One of my overall favorite things is a private beach picnic, where you’re dropped off on a deserted beach with a radio, so you can call to be brought back,” (or for more rose). Most honeymoon resorts offer this type of excursion!
Where to Eat During Your Fiji Honeymoon
“In Fiji, the only resorts I recommend are those that are remote and off of the main island,” says Fenton. “As a result, they have their own restaurants, so, when someone wants to dine ‘out,’ (away from the main dining room) they would request a private table. All the best resorts have special locations, on the beach or a hilltop, for private dining.”
“When people are waiting for their flight home, most of which leave very late at night, some people will get a dayroom in Nadi to bridge the time,” she says. “You can drop your luggage and go shopping and have dinner.” Among the most highly recommended restaurants: Australian celebrity chef Lance Seeto’s KANU.
Budgeting for a Fiji Honeymoon
When it comes to budgeting for your Fiji honeymoon, keep in mind that this is a splurge trip—many people who travel here may only do it once in their lifetime as it's so far from the U.S., and the flight prices are steep (think between $1,000 and $2,500). “Most resorts in Fiji include meals, and the dollar goes quite far, meaning prices are more reasonable for beverages, excursions, etc.,” explains Fenton. “There are a few resorts that include alcohol, but they’ll either be in the five-star category (more expensive), or the budget category (not really what I would recommend for an occasion like a honeymoon)."
Another thing Fenton suggests keeping in mind: Tipping is not the norm in Fiji, but many travelers give to a staff holiday or community fund, which is dispersed among everybody in the community.