Throughout our travels, our family has stayed in a lot of different places. Cottages in small towns, condos in high rise buildings, little units overlooking vineyards, large apartments hovering over bustling streets, and cramped hotel rooms where one kid is relegated to the floor (sorry Ali). We’ve gotten used to pretty much every kind of cost-effective housing situation imaginable, but “luxurious” has never been an adjective we would use to describe our accommodations.
That is, until Volivoli. The resort hooked us up with a great off-season rate so we could experience this amazing place on the north side of Viti Levu island with our Fiji friends, the Summerlins.
The weather was perfect, the beach was beautiful, the guys went scuba diving, while Diana and I relaxed with the kids. It really couldn’t have gotten much better. Our little cottage was called a bure, the Fijian word for the wood-and-straw structures once common to these islands. However, this high-end, luxury room complete with air conditioning and an amazing view bore little resemblance to the traditional huts local tribes once built here. Simply looking out the door to our ocean vista was a phenomenal experience.
Our first night at the resort, we watched a traditional dance performance. The Fijian meke combines dance, song and story-telling. The routines display women’s grace and femininity while the men demonstrate strong, warrior-like movements. At the end we all ended up on our feet dancing our way around the restaurant.
One night the adults went out for a sunset cruise around the small islands off the coast. Our guide Geraldine served us drinks and appetizers as she shared facts about the area and pointed out some of the nearby mansions, like the island you can rent for $10,000 per night.
Volivoli resort provides free access to a lot of activities. The older kids worked on their snorkeling and kayaking skills, and Ali further honed her new swimming strokes. One thing I will always remember about Fiji is the fact that our youngest kid, who refused to go underwater for the first six years of her life, has suddenly turned into a little fish while we’ve been here. Look ma, no floaties!
This weekend was definitely a splurge for us, but so worth it! We had a great time with the Summerlins in a true Fijian paradise. To top it off, we got some great insight for our upcoming trip to New Zealand. Both the friendly resort owners and the Kiwi guests we met during our stay gave us some great advice for when we land in New Zealand later this month. Until then, there’s still more fun to be had here in the land once known as the Cannibal Isles.