When you arrive into one of Fiji’s international airports, you are likely to be immediately whisked away either by boat, helicopter or small plane to one of the outlying islands. With over 300 to choose from, the options are endless. But the newly opened Nanuku Resort on the south side of the mainland is trying to change that, by offering honeymooners an island experience without having to leave the mainland itself.
They pride themselves on being a triple threat by providing luxury, culture & adventure all in one. I headed to Nanuku Auberge to see just how these three can come together to provide the ultimate Fiji experience.
Just when I thought I had heard it all, a resort in Fiji claimed to boast a combination of luxury, adventure, and culture. As broad topics, these three pretty much sum up what travel is about: spoiling yourself a little (or a lot), experiencing new things, and learning about a new culture through language, history, food, and much more.
Immediately I was intrigued.
Prior to my visit to Nanuku I had visited a number of luxury hotels as part of my job as a full time travel blogger ‘in search of the creme de la creme of the world’s destinations and experiences’. Needless to say, I’ve seen quite a lot in my travels. But what I haven’t seen is a luxury resort that manages to offer more than a private butler, selection of up to 8 different pillows, and turn down service at precisely 7.00pm every evening. These things are highly enjoyable, of course.. and I’m very fortunate to have stepped foot inside some of the world’s leading luxury hotels. But to offer guests luxury AND adventure AND culture is something quite unique.
Combining Luxury, Culture, and Adventure
If I were to review this resort on its’ ability to combine the three of these seamlessly alone, I couldn’t fault the product on offer here. Sure, this hotel is not the most luxurious in Fiji and sure, there are probably more adventurous resorts to visit (i.e. glamping or eco lodges). But for certain, Nanuku has managed to offer guests a unique experience of combined luxury, culture, and adventure.
Why is it such a breakthrough?
As with any industry, the luxury travel industry aims to please its’ customers. Hotels, resorts and tour operators all aim to give the guests what they want, all the while making the experience a memorable one. They want their guests to return, to tell a friend, and to share their experience on social media. Luxury resorts typically consider their product to be flawless – but often this is not the case.
A butler on call, a pillow menu, and a scent of lavender on your sheets in the evenings will only go so far. For such an experience, you could be anywhere in the world. You could even just check-in to a hotel in your hometown.
But for an hotel experience one will never forget, will share with their friends, and will shout it from the rooftops combined with smoke signals for anyone and everyone who will listen, then a hotel needs to offer something more. Something unforgettable.
Combining adventurous activities to encourage people to try new things is what travel is (and should be) about. Simply by having the option to go paddle boarding in the ocean or jump on a jet ski and cruise to a deserted island is what made this hotel unforgettable. Not the free mini bar or movies (though sure, they were warmly welcomed!).
Cultural displays like a kava ceremony in the evening and being educated with a background to Fiji’s history is what made me knowledgable in the history and culture or Fiji. Now those simple facts and experiences pop up in conversation and lead to me referring to ‘that hotel’ in a new light – not just for the amount of diet cokes I consumed in support of the cause for free mini bars (or at least cheaper, please, I just don’t have self control).
This isn’t your average hotel review, but it wasn’t an average hotel. It was anything but. It was the first hotel I visited that offered me a well-rounded experience combining an array of activities like zip-lining and jet-skiing, along with ceremonies, local food tastings, and the added comforts of home.