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Return To Paradise Resort Samoa - The Most Relaxing Experiences That Samoa Has to Offer
Posted 23 Jan 2017

Whether you’re in the mood to soak up some rich Samoan culture, enjoy traditional cuisine or savor a luscious spot of authentic Kava drinking, there is a relaxing experience to suit any craving on our beautiful sun drenched island.

Imagine landing in Samoa and being poolside within an hour with a cocktail in hand – that’s what you can do at Return To Paradise Resort Samoa.

return paradise samoa

 

Sun, Sand and Serenity

The resort is exquisitely positioned right by the ocean, which means a white sand walk through an expanse of paradise is a just a few steps from your bed. Dip your toes in the crystal clear sea as you skip along our flat tempered underwater rocks.

Traditional Experiences Filled with Samoan Culture

Let your curiosity draw you into the wonderful traditions of the Fa’a Samoa, a phrase which translates into “The Samoan way of life”. Or immerse yourself in one of our tailored excursions and activities like a visit to the famous ToSua Ocean Trench, one of the most photographed places in Samoa. If you're feeling creative you can learn about the adorable art of lava lava printing, basket weaving or traditional Samoan wood carving.

return to paradise samoa

If local food and produce is more your thing, you'll love visiting the fresh water springs and ocean piers that are within walking distance of the resort. Have expert guidance in fishing our local waters. Bring your catch back to the resort and our resident chefs will have it prepared and cooked for you to enjoy in a dining experience atop of one of our stunning, yet tranquil beachfront balconies.

Relaxation like You've Never Known It Before

If sitting back and taking in the sights is more your cup of tea, our fantastic location offers countless ideal spots to settle down, pitch up a beach chair and watch the glorious sun set pour over the calm elapsing waves and soft sands. Then stroll back over to the center of the beach front to enjoy one of our specially choreographed fire dance performances, a pillar of Samoan culture.

Villas & Accommodation

return to paradise resort samoa

With a number of accommodation options for all budgets, the Resort is truly one that you should not look past. The Presidential Suite is a favorite for honeymooners and couples looking to get some time away. For families, there is the 2 and 3 bedroom beachfront villas that is perfect! You won’t be disappointed when you choose to stay at the Return To Paradise Resort in Samoa.

Samoa is a beautiful country with so many activities and cultural settings that make it a gem in the Pacific. With the Return To Paradise Resort, you have the true embodiment of the Samoan culture, beauty and its people. Choose the resort as your next Samoan holiday destination.

By Aulden Warbrooke And Jade Lee Continue Reading
Tagged: Family, Resorts, Relaxation, Romance
Together, Barefoot – Our Favourite Place To Be! Tropica Island Resort
Posted 8 Nov 2016

Planning a vacation with your spouse, closest friends, or just a long haul adult only break? While it may not be the first thing you look into when picking a hotel/resort, opting for an adult only resort can make a big difference in your overall luxury travel experience. That’s where Tropica Island Resort fits the bill perfectly.

Hero Shot

The Tropica Island Experience

Nestled into a private sheltered bay on the beautiful sun drenched island of Malolo, Fiji’s adult only Tropica Island Resort is only a short distance from Nadi International Airport but seemingly worlds away, promises a haven of romance, privacy and fun. Leave the kids and cares behind - it’s all about you and your better half.

Getting to this dreamy haven, we boarded an inter-island transfer catamaran from Port Denarau Marina (departs three times a day) at 9.00am which took 2 hours via other islands – this would normally take 55 minutes direct otherwise. Mid and lower decks provide air-conditioned comfort while the open-air top deck provides magnificent views of the surrounding islands and resorts along the way. Professional speedboat and water taxi transfers are also available on request one way or return, or alternatively for something really special a number of companies operate a seaplane transfer which will have you at the island in 10 minutes.

Relaxation & Rejuvenation

Arriving to the island, we were welcomed by the resort staff and their beautiful singing by the pier. Armed with a tropical welcome cocktail to toast our arrival to Paradise, guest manager’s Nancy and Joe made us feel right at home and part of the Tropica family at that moment. We were given a quick introduction to resort facilities and ushered along the sandy and scenic lush garden paths to our unique Beachfront Bure set alongside a white sand beach and coconut palms. Our Bure has an intimate unpretentious atmosphere and sits in quiet gardens with their own beach access and stunning panoramic views across the ocean and neighboring resorts. Waking up to the sound of the Pacific waves outside our Bure was absolute bliss.

swing on bure

While endless water views from our own beachside sun lounges or hammock are undeniably romantic, cuddling on our very own verandah swing also has its own dreamy appeal. Plenty of space for lounging on the grass too but definitely great for sand, sea and sun lovers - all about R&R!

Thanks to a recent renovation, the resort boasts 12 fully refurbished Beachfront Bures, 4 Deluxe Beachfront Bures and 14 new resort rooms - all with air conditioning. A boutique stocks a range of resort wear, jewellery, handicrafts, souvenirs, pharmaceutical and toiletry items.

Attentive customer service and welcome from the friendliest staff on earth is unrivalled. They love to sing, dance, play, laugh and share in the Fijian culture and they will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

The Perfect Setting

sunset bar

The open-air restaurant and bar with top-quality international and local cuisine and intimate, incredibly attentive service and complimentary water sports are just some of the features of this hideaway. The resort definitely offers total relaxation as we soak up the sun in the fresh water horizon pool overlooking the turquoise waters of the pacific. It is peaceful, intimate and perfect for relaxed sunbathing as we sip on a cocktail. The ultimate serene setting! Free wifi is also available throughout the resort so you can post those real-time updates on social media. Sure to make anyone jealous.

Here, the water is always warm, and we’re on Fiji Time (at your own pace). There’s lots of fun events, from Beach Bocce played frequently, to the landscaping team teaching you to weave, husk coconuts, climb a palm tree, drink fresh coconut juice or extract herbal remedies – lots always unfolding.

There’s always a romantic atmosphere for couples especially so at night when the resort is lit with bamboo fire torches combined with soft singing of both English and Fijian classic songs from the staff throughout dinner. Happy Hour is between 6pm-7pm and no other perfect place to relish in this then from their sunset bar. We indulged ourselves in a few of their scrumptious cocktails, watched a picture perfect sunset and enjoyed the rest of the evening with their talented in-house band. Plenty of opportunities for romance — savour a romantic candlelit dinner for two on the pier dock reserved only for private dinners, a long stroll on the beach, or endless sunset views from ‘The Point’.

The resorts speedboats are ready to whisk you away to a private picnic with white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, or escorted snorkeling and diving day excursions or if you prefer even a sunbathing session for two at a nearby sandbank. Serenaded sunset cruise with champagne and canapés is also on the cards. Rustic relaxation reign supreme!

pool shot

Surfing and day trips to the infamous Cloud 9, Cloudbreak and Tavarua Island can be arranged too with fishing trips tailored to your requirements and experience.

After experiencing one of the resorts popular day trips to Modriki Island, where the famous Castaway movie starring Tom Hanks was shot, it was a great way to unwind, relax the mind and body at the Resort’s Day Spa. Their range of products and treatments using local Fijian skin and body care products definitely promises total rejuvenation and wellbeing. Heavenly pampering couples massages, radiant facials and luxurious spa manicures and pedicures, was a great way to start our sensory journey to body and mind rejuvenation. Options are endless, soaking in coconut and cinnamon aromas, indulging in an exotic body polish cleansed with fresh sugar cane crystals, whatever treatment you choose, their professionally certified therapists ensure you leave feeling relaxed and revitalized.

For couples looking for a dream place to get married with breathtaking sea views of the Pacific Ocean receding into the horizon, the resort offers to help you craft the perfect wedding or honeymoon experience.

The resort is undoubtedly an ideal place to stay for adults looking for fun, or to celebrate those special occasions – whether it be a wedding, special anniversary, birthday or just a family or friends getaway. Romantic? Undoubtedly. Unique? Absolutely!

Seize the opportunity and make the very most of your luxury holiday and go to a place where you and your partner have only dreamed of visiting - Tropica.

This place will make anyone feel very special! Place Tropica Island Resort at the top of your next Fiji holiday and you won’t be disappointed.

[Images supplied by Tropica Island Resort]

By Tui Ganilau Continue Reading
Tagged: Resorts, Relaxation, Romance, Honeymoon, Rejuvenation
Cruising the Yasawa Islands with Blue Lagoon Cruises
Posted 3 Nov 2016

Our decision to holiday within the magnificent Yawasa Islands was sparked by the amazing stories that come from anyone that has ever visited this small group of islands in Fiji. Their stories describe a place of vast untouched beauty, numerous islands bordered by long white sandy beaches and surrounded by an ocean coloured in various shades of blues and greens. It really sounded too good to be true. For the uninitiated, the Yasawa group is an archipelago of about 20 volcanic islands in the Western Division of the Fiji Islands. There are many ways to explore the Yasawas. However, if you’re looking for an experience that provides you with first class comfort, effortless travel, five- star service, lots of great food and plenty of opportunity to do as little or as much as you want- choose Blue Lagoon Cruises.

Cruise
Blue Lagoon Cruise

The Perfect Escape

Looking to escape the cool winter months, our holiday began with a 3 hour flight from Sydney Australia where the weather was muggy, chilly and wet. Fiji as an overall holiday destination was an easy choice for us. Besides Fiji’s famous exotic beaches, sunshine, friendly people and generous currency exchange rate; it was the short travel distance, affordable and frequent flight options by Fiji Airways that made our choice a winner. Ultimately this meant more money to spend on any extra activities we wanted. Touching down in Fiji, I recall the Captain’s welcoming words “Ladies and gentleman welcome to Fiji, home of the Olympic Sevens gold medal champions”. This announcement was received with deafening cheers and thunderous applause by all the passengers. Two days prior to our arrival, Fiji had made history by winning the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament. It was also the island nation’s first ever medal in any Olympic event. With all the positive energy and hype from the nation’s recent win, we couldn’t have timed our getaway more perfectly. There was no doubt that the enthusiasm and energy of the locals were at an all-time high.

Adventure Awaits

Upon arrival in Nadi, we were shuttled to Denarau Marina where we checked-in for our cruise at the South Seas counter. At that point, the afternoon itinerary was handed to us and our luggage taken by front desk where it was tagged and allocated our room number. Admittedly like most travellers we were a little cautious about misplaced luggage, so when it left our hands we were a tad bit uneasy. Our nerves were quickly put to ease as we were reassured by the polite concierge that our luggage would be handled with great care. Our job at that point was to simply unwind and enjoy the start of our Fiji holiday. After a brief 30 minutes exploring the Denarau Marina shops and restaurants, we departed on board the Cougar 2, a high- speed transfer catamaran. During our transfer, we were spoilt with soft drinks, nibbles and best of all - champagne. The scenery on the transfer was breathtaking as we cruised past numerous smaller islands known as the Mamanuca group of islands. About forty minutes later, we arrived at our rendezvous point, the Sacred Islands.

Adventure Awaits
Fiji Princess

The Sacred Islands

The Fiji Princess, our cruise ship, was docked in the turquoise lagoon and awaiting our arrival. On board the ship we were greeted by the local crew and briefed by Apisai the cruise director about cruise safety procedures. It was difficult paying attention as we had been served lunch and were in awe at the breath-taking backdrop of the Sacred islands. We could easily see why they called it the Sacred Islands because besides its complete isolation from other islands, it was untouched and we were the only ones there. In the middle of lunch I remember thinking that, if for some reason we didn’t reach the Yasawa group of Islands then that would be okay, because this was already paradise in itself. This was a sobering thought because the cruise hadn’t even begun. We spent the rest of that afternoon swimming and wandering the beaches, while other passengers went kayaking and snorkelling the lagoon. For some odd reason the famous beach image from the 1953 romantic drama “From Here to Eternity” kept coming to mind. It felt like we were in an iconic piece of paradise. After a couple of hours enjoying Sacred Island it was back on board the Fiji Princess to freshen up for happy hour and the Captain’s dinner. The à la carte menu was locally inspired and was nothing short of 5-star quality. Singing Fijian island tunes and 1980’s music, the friendly Blue Lagoon crew eased us into our first night on board. Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10am and offers just about everything that would be desirable on any breakfast menu. The omelettes whisked up by the talented young chef were a go-to meal for us every morning. The daily intercom announcements will ensure you don’t miss any pre-scheduled meal or activity. And in the likelihood that you do miss breakfast - don’t worry because there is always morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner to look forward to. The Blue Lagoon staff have a saying, “the more you eat the better you float”. True to their motto, no one ever went hungry on board.

Traditional Fijian Lovo
Traditional Fijian Lovo

The Beautiful Nanuya Lailai Island

Early morning on the second day we pulled anchor and voyaged our way towards Nanuya Lailai. This is home to Blue Lagoon Cruises very own private beach. Nanuya Lailai is encircled by two other islands, creating a beautiful sheltered lagoon. Standing from the top deck of the ship you can see straight through these crystal clear waters to the bottom of the ocean floor. The stern of the ship is tied to a coconut tree roughly 25 metres from shore. On the beach you have massages on offer, a beach bar, and sun loungers. You will not be short of activities either with fish feeding, snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding to look forward to. Our evening activity was also spent back on this private beach where we enjoyed cocktails and kava under the stars, traditional Fijian lovo food and entertainment by local neighbouring villagers to a Fiji traditional meke dance. Offered on the third morning and perhaps one of the highlights for us was the hike over the hill to the other side of the island. Don’t get us wrong, the first two days were magnificent but the guided hike gave us a good insight into everyday local island life. Local village plantations, old island bures (thatched houses) and the 360 degree breathtaking views of the island hilltops were unforgettable. It was a point where we found ourselves questioning the madness of living in big cities when the simplicity of places like this exist with people that showed so much ease and contentment with their lives. The hike ended with a cup of lemon leaf tea and cakes by the beach at Lo’s Tea Shop.

Meke
Traditional Fijian Meke

The Infamous Sawa-I-Lau Caves

Later that afternoon we set sail for stunning limestone Sawa-I-Lau caves. This was another natural wonder to behold and something you simply can’t miss on your trip. Made from limestone, these caverns are a combination of fresh and salt water. A large hole above the caves is its only light source and its surrounding walls give an eerie echo with every sound made. There are cool Fijian legends about these caves. The waters aren’t shallow either, with a bottom of at least 12 feet deep. Its lots of fun with a bit of courage and adventure involved. Let’s just say the Blue Lagoon Cruise wouldn’t be complete without it.

Sawa-i-Lau Caves
Sawa-i-Lau Caves

All good things must come to an end

Our fourth and final day was spent at Drawaga Island. We attended a local village school where Blue Lagoon community initiative “Vinaka Fiji” volunteers work. We thought this was a cool way to give back and support the local village communities, particularly its children. The shell markets at Drawaga were also buzzing with cool souvenirs on offer. The evening ended with dinner and a party night but for us, a quiet game of monopoly was all we had energy for as we turned in for our last night of the cruise.

Drawaqa Community
Drawaqa Community

The package we chose was a 4 night wander cruise package and we would highly recommend the same. Besides the mesmerizing islands and all its beauty, it was the hardworking and happy staff of Blue Lagoon Cruises that made this trip so enjoyable. Definitely a trip that is worth doing at least once in your life.

 

By Aulden Warbrooke And Jade Lee Continue Reading
Tagged: Adventure, Resorts, Leisure, Relaxation
Places to Stay in Port Vila, Vanuatu
Posted 19 May 2016

In our last piece from our trip to Vanuatu, we give you an insight into the accommodation that we were treated to. No doubt – they were all amazing and something we would have no qualms about returning to.

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Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa

Grand Hotel and Casino

Port Vila has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all travellers and budgets. Of our six-night stay in Port Vila, the first two were spent at the lavish Grand Hotel and Casino. The hotel is hard to miss with its towering structure overlooking magnificent views of Port Vila Harbour. A glass of wine watching the sunset from our high- rise patio was the perfect way to relax after a long day of adventure.

Grand
Grand Hotel & Casino, Vanuatu

The service was most commendable along with a great range of breakfast and dinner options. The famous Vanuatu beef is a must try as the chefs grill it to absolute perfection. It will definitely challenge all your ‘best steak’ experiences. The location, class and elegance of this hotel make it a fantastic accommodation option.

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Grand Hotel & Casino, Vanuatu

Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa

Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa is only a ten minute drive from Port Vila’s main town centre. If resort style accommodation is more your preference then this would be the perfect choice, especially for families and couples. The views out to Erakor Lagoon are breathtaking. They have a wide range of kids and adult activities so there is always something exciting to do.

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Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa

Our stand alone bungalow accommodation was perfect and a welcome change from our usual room accommodation. The local band that played during the Saturday night buffet dinner was understated and truly deserving of celebrity status. The perfect way to spend our last evening in Port Vila.

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Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace is truly a unique place to stay. It is the newest accommodation provider in Port Vila. It opened in early March this year with an enthusiastic team that were welcoming and keen to ensure our stay was comfortable. The hotel is small but is located prominently on the foreshore overlooking Mele Bay which gives guests in ocean view rooms, a magnificent view.

There is a restaurant in the hotel that serves authentic Chinese cuisine. However, other food options are conveniently only a short distance walk from the hotel. Although it has only come from small beginnings, Crystal Palace is sure to attract its own clientele and flourish.

In the words of our Vanuatu hosts, “Tankyu tumas” (Thank you sincerely) for reliving this journey with us. We hope your stories and experiences of Port Vila will be just as wondrous and memorable as ours!

By Aulden Warbrooke And Jade Lee Continue Reading
Tagged: Resorts, Leisure, Relaxation
A Guide To Planning Your First Family Holiday To Fiji
Posted 6 May 2016

Gearing up for your annual family holiday and looking for the best place to go? If relaxing is high on the agenda, then a sojourn to the South Pacific will tick all your boxes. In Fiji, you’ll be greeted with warm smiles, warmer weather and some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. With family-friendly five star resorts, child minding services and exciting activities all within easy access, rest assured your Fiji itinerary will be overloaded with fun for the whole family.

Family Cycling Plantation Island
Family cycling, Plantation Island, Fiji

Here’s a lowdown on all the things to keep in mind when planning your first family holiday to Fiji.

Essential Information

It’s important to tick off all the necessary travel admin before jetting off as a family.

Kids On Fijiairways
Kids on-board Fiji Airways

• Make sure your kids have a passport with more than six month’s validity.
• Look into hotels and resorts that permit children (some are adults-only).
• Check with your doctor about any pre-trip vaccination shots required (especially for younger children)
• Pack all the essentials like nappies, wipes and baby formulas. Whilst you can purchase these in supermarkets and pharmacies in Fiji, it’s best to bring your own supplies as they can be expensive.

Best Resorts For Kids

A family holiday is exactly that, a holiday for the whole family. So when it comes to booking accommodation, keep in mind who you’re travelling with. Here are our picks of the top family-friendly resorts in Fiji.

Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa

Shangri La Fijian Resort
Lagoon swimming pool, Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa, Fiji

If it’s not the Shangri-La’s stunning views that will win you over, then their range of kid-friendly services and facilities certainly will. Every day the hotel runs the Little Chief’s Club, which is catered to kids between 4 – 12 years old. The club’s activity coordinators entertain children with a wide variety of fun activities, including crab racing, scavenger hunts, pottery making and even Fijian singing lessons. Activities take place at the children’s pool, playground or at the beach – meaning your kids will never be bored. The hotel also offers child-minding services - just in case parents want to sneak in a date night or relax with a couple’s massage.

Sheraton Fiji

Fijian Bure Shereton
Fijian Bure, Sheraton Fiji Hotel, Fiji

At Sheraton, parents have the luxury of taking a well-deserved break whilst resting assured that their little ones are entertained and well taken care of. The resort’s LaiLai Kids Club is renowned as one of the best in Fiji, offering a comprehensive daily program of educational and fun activities. Whether it’s Fijian language lessons, fish feeding, dancing or face painting, there’s bound to be something for every child. The Club is free for all kids; however, a full evening program is available with the Kid’s Club at the cost of FJD 25 per child, per evening.

Outrigger Resort

Outrigger Beach Resort
Outrigger Beach Resort, Fiji

Now it may sound clichéd, but at Viti Levu’s Outrigger Beach Resort, kids actually do come first. Being family friendly is the focus at this 5-star resort and the options are pretty impressive. For the tiny tots there’s the Kids Club (3-12 years), which specialises in Fijian games and poolside activities. Meanwhile the Teen Activity Program is designed to impress even the most hard-to-please teenager. They’ll be making spears, exploring sand dunes and hiking through the rain forest.

Fun Activities For Kids

Beachside Fun

Banana Boat
Banana boat ride, Plantation Island, Fiji

Fiji’s beaches alone will keep your little ones happy. Think soft white sand, warm waters and plenty of marine life to play with. Banana boat rides are particularly fun and is an activity the whole family can participate in.

Snorkelling

South Sea Cruises
South Sea Cruises, Fiji

Mana Island is filled with colourful fish, making it a popular beachside location for easy snorkelling. Young children who aren’t strong swimmers can join in on the fun too! South Sea Island allows guests and children to marvel at the incredible underwater marine life via a semi-submersible.

Kula Eco Park

Kula Echo Park
Kula Eco Park entrance, Fiji

Allow your kids to get up close and personal with the wild side of Fiji with a fun day trip out to Kula Eco Park. Enjoy a family nature walk through acres of natural forest to explore the forest canopy and to witness Fiji’s spectacular bird, reptile and marine life.

Tips For Travelling With Kids

Kids Playing Plantation Island
Kids playing with sand, Plantation Island, Fiji

• Pack your kid’s favourite toys, which can help them to settle into a new location. Utilise toys as rewards on the plane to keep them calm and occupied.
• Fiji has a tropical climate and so it’s a good idea to watch your water intake. Pack water bottles to keep the kids hydrated at all times.
• If your child is a fussy eater, pack some tinned food or their favourite snacks – you never know when that might come in handy.
• When travelling with young children, make a note to bring your own car or booster seats.
• Don’t plan too many activities in the first two days as they are often write-off days. Young children require time to adjust to a new environment and so expect some chaos at the beginning of the trip.
• Don’t be afraid to use the nanny services available at the resort. Most of these child minding facilities offer a wide variety of kid-friendly activities, bound to keep your little ones entertained, while you jet off to a relaxing massage.

By Jennifer Liu Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Adventure, Family, Resorts
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