Welcome to our second annual round-up of luxury destinations in the Pacific, from jewellery to boutique resorts right through to spectacular new hotels and private island destinations, we’ve got them covered.
The Pacific has always conjured images of beachside perfection, palm trees, clear water and the simple pleasures of life, and indeed there are many simple pleasures to be enjoyed in this corner of the world from shabby chic, rudimentary seaside shacks to unspoiled village visits. But there are now many luxurious and more opulent offerings in both accommodation and shopping choices for sophisticated travellers to the region. Here we take a tour of some of the best.
There are any number of picture-perfect luxury island holiday experiences on offer around the Pacific, from boutique resorts, to major hotel chains to private villas with bespoke activities to match. Take the tour …
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
An unparalleled paradise awaits guests visiting the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay. Located near Nadi, Fiji and perched on the blue waters of Momi Bay, the five-star resort is the ultimate island retreat. Check in to one of the over-water villas and check out of the ordinary.
The hotel features an array of luxury facilities, including a jaw-dropping infinity pool, three on-site restaurants, a fitness centre and the Quan Spa. Begin your day with breakfast at Goji Kitchen and Bar, sip on poolside cocktails at the swim-up bar and wind down with a sunset dinner at the Fish Bar.
While many guests prefer to spend their days relaxing at the hotel, the property is close to top attractions like Cloud Break and Sigatoka River Safari. The resort also features over 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, making it a great choice for a large meeting or conference in Fiji. Book your trip to the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay and prepare to experience the easy luxury of island living. www.marriott.com
Pure Fiji Day Spa, Suva, Fiji
Walking across floating stepping-stones (pictured left) to enter what feels like a true Fijian tropical garden, lush and fresh, a green paradisiacal wall of palms and orchids is the perfect luxurious island spa escape.
Pure Fiji products are recognised world-wide for their indulgent qualities so it’s no surprise the spa encompasses all things the brand is famed for. Natural plant-based products are hand made on-site to ensure your experience will leave you feeling refreshed and revived.
On arrival enjoy a soak in a fragrant coconut milk bath, a cleansing start to the spa journey. You can sit and enjoy a refreshing cold drink whilst making your choice of treatments to indulge in. Not surprisingly the range of full body rituals on offer is large; the selection will ensure you visit this beautiful oasis more than once.
Pure Fiji will see you enjoy treatments ranging from Hot Stone Therapy, LED Light Therapy, Scrubs and Wraps, to manicures, pedicures and waxing. After your treatment all clients have access to showers to freshen up, with Pure Fiji treats to extend the experience and naturally, hairdryers and towels are provided to ensure you step out feeling lighter, fresher and more relaxed.
The full spa menu can be found at www.purefiji.com/spa and make sure you fill your home with these beautifully fragrant products, made with love in Fiji.
Malamala Beach Club and South Sea Cruises
And now for something completely different … in fact a world first in indulgence – a private island beach club. And what an island, it’s a picture-perfect tropical island just a short 25-minute boat ride from Port Denarau.
You can enjoy Malamala Beach Club with a day pass to experience white sand beaches, butler service, beachside cabanas, a resort-style infinity edge pool, and views across the Mamanucas from Fiji’s best located island.
Malamala Beach Club offers a delicious Lance Seto a-la-carte menu, with light bites to tame your craving or Pacific inspired meals and shared platters, an array of hand crafted cocktails and a club like atmosphere with laid back tunes mixed all day long.
Loved your day and want to visit Malamala Beach Club again? Return visits are available. Just present your original day pass and enjoy unlimited discounted transfers from Port Denarau with South Sea Cruises. Malamala Beach Club, Fiji’s newest, and the world’s first, island beach club! All this unique luxury starts at just FJ$169 per person including transfers.
J Hunter Pearls,Fiji
It will probably surprise you to know that J Hunter Pearls, which is world renowned for stunning jewellery featuring the rare Fiji pearl, originated in a small coastal town on Vanua Levu. Their jewellery can now be found all over Fiji.
Established by Justin Hunter on his return from the USA in 1999, his mission then was to ‘produce pearls in beautifully distinctive hues that were also larger than what was traditionally grown’. He says today that ‘with a small yearly output, those pearls have put the brand – as well as Fiji – on the world pearling map’.
Since its inception, the company has worked in close partnership with local communities on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island, to produce its prized pearls, thereby ensuring the benefits are spread around. In addition to paying yearly leases to traditional fishing rights owners where the company’s two pearl farms are located in Savusavu and Kioa, the company provides much needed jobs for local people and scholarships to deserving students. This gives them the resources to improve their villages whilst still retaining their traditional way of life.
J. Hunter Pearls is rightly proud that it has come such a long way from its very humble beginnings. Today it can be found alongside some of the leading luxury jewellery brands worldwide. And they like to think the beauty of the pearls is more than skin deep. For, besides their unique, natural hues – unmatched anywhere in the pearling world – it is the story of how they are grown that truly sets them apart. www.fijipearls.com
VOMO Island Resort, Fiji
Vomo’s enviable accommodation includes 32 beachfront and hillside villas, all with large verandahs, deep tubs, separate showers, L’Occitane products, luxury king size or twin beds, WiFi, walk-in robes, patio or sun lounge furniture and a sofa.
For those wanting total privacy, there are four residences, with three or four bedrooms, private pools, full kitchens and a butler.
Guests here can have their meals prepared at home, delivered from the Vomo kitchen or dine in the restaurant.
Vomo’s Kui spa is staffed by Balinese therapists and often booked out days in advance.
The spa is a stroll away from the bures and residences, near the island’s golf course. And if eating, snorkeling, diving, swimming and lounging is not your thing, there’s also a fully equipped gym and 100 acres to explore.
Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, Fiji
The spectacular Grand Pacific Hotel is the Grande Dame of Suva’s hospitality industry and rightly claims to be where ‘elegance meets history’.
With its colonial Raffles-esque main building, the Grand Pacific has been at the heart of Suva’s social life and high society since its opening in 1914 when the room rate was eighteen shillings and sixpence per night. Since then it has hosted royalty, actors, authors and aviators and an opera singer – specifically Burt Lancaster, Somerset Maugham, James A. Michener, Charles Kingsford Smith and Dame Nellie Melba. It has also enjoyed a glorious revival after a multi-million dollar renovation and re-birth in time for her centenary year.
The original 37-room main building built by the Union Steamship Company was restored to its former glory and a modern new wing expanded the accommodation to more than 100 rooms. The splendid galleried foyer with its louvered doors and antique brass ceiling fans gives on to an elegant verandah overlooking the pool and Suva Harbour. Here you can sit on white rattan chairs and enjoy the hotel’s happy ‘hours’.
Building on the achievements of the past year and as a part of the ongoing program to further improve the services and facilities of this iconic hotel, GPH announced the completion of the first stage of upgrades to the Heritage rooms in the original building.
These refurbishments have been undertaken to recognise the rich history of Grand Pacific Hotel and to honour some of the many illustrious guests who have graced the hotel with their presence over the decades.
If it was once good enough for HM and her consort, then after the restoration it’s good enough for a return visit and even if you’re not a resident of Buck House, you’ll feel like royalty here. www.grandpacifichotel.com.fj.
Six Senses Fiji
Six Senses Fiji is yet another glamorous addition to the Fiji portfolio of luxury holiday options. Set on the beautiful Malolo Island, which is a 35-minute boat trip or a 10-minute helicopter ride from Port Denarau, the resort offers a lot.
There are 24 villas, all with private pools, as well as 11 residences with private infinity pools and fully equipped kitchens with large outdoor decks and BBQs. Every villa and residence comes with a ‘private GEM’ or Guest Experience Maker which translates into a personal Fijian host for the duration of your stay.
Apart from the built pleasures, the setting includes a private beach with an ‘all-tide’ pool and any number of water sport choices for guests who want to snorkel, scuba dive (take a PADI course while you’re here), jet ski or hire a catamaran.
The proprietors take their eco credentials so seriously they have their own water bottling plant to save transport and eco waste; they are also 100 per cent solar powered with the largest micro-grid in Fiji to use Tesla batteries.
The food choices are equally impressive, with Tovolea restaurant and bar lounge, the RaRa Café and bar along with the TeiTei Pizzeria, a gourmet deli and an ice creamery. There’s also an outdoor cinema and cultural tours and excursions to keep you occupied.
Tamanu on the Beach, Vanuatu
Wake up with the sand between your toes and the waves of the Pacific at your doorstep. Just 20 minutes out of Port Vila, Tamanu on the Beach is located on its own private white sand beach and, more importantly, away from worries and care.
With only 15 modern French Caribbean-style villas, Tamanu on the Beach is peaceful, private, romantic and secluded – every luxury you need.
Indulge yourself with a villa with your own private pool, set only metres back from the white sand beach. Villas are spacious and beautifully styled with high ceilings, subtle lighting and modern bathrooms.
Get a taste for Vanuatu at the in-house restaurant, which is well known for its superb food with a mix of locally inspired dishes using fresh locally sourced produce.
If you’re shopping around for the perfect wedding location, Tamanu on the Beach offers a purpose-built wedding chapel right on the beach, and a dedicated wedding planner to make your day as special as can be. The resort can organise weddings for couples wanting to escape on their own, or for friends and family to come along too.
Visit www.tamanuonthebeach.com for bookings and information.
Eratap, Efaté, Vanuatu
Eratap Beach Resort offers absolute waterfront villas situated on a stunning private peninsula with three different beaches. The peninsula forms a natural divide between the ocean and the lagoon, allowing for excellent access to a large range of water activities including some of the best snorkelling and surfing on Efaté, uninhabited islands and a beautiful lagoon plus waterways for kayaking.
The resort is adding two new deluxe villas to its portfolio this year. These new villas will be set right on the stunning main beach, with both to have private pools plus two ensuite bathrooms, two outdoor showers, separate loungeroom buildings and covered decks. Ideal for couples, groups of friends or a family.
The resort’s restaurant is situated just metres from the sea and offers outstanding dining right on the sand. Looked after by the highly experienced head chef Kazu Miyano – a Japanese chef trained in France – the cuisine is renowned for its variety and quality. Bookings recommended, phone (678) 35 560. www.eratap.com
The Havannah Resort, Efaté, Vanuatu
The ultimate in beachside indulgence, the Havannah adults-only resort is the epitome of luxury and modern Pacific style offering couples an escape to their own private haven. With only 17 villas, this fabulous boutique resort is the height of exclusivity.
With superb views of the crystal blue Havannah Harbour and surrounding islands, waterfront villas offer private plunge pools, a private deck and daybed with outstanding vistas across the water. The Deluxe Waterfront villa has its own 7-metre infinity swimming pool overlooking the harbour, private dining pavilion with BBQ and a separate sun deck area with sun lounges.
The Havannah offers activities galore to keep you entertained during your stay, including a daily sunset cruise, stand-up paddleboards and hobie cats, snorkelling, tennis, kayaking and some fantastic diving spots right at your fingertips.
The in-house Arôm’Essence Day Spa is set in a tropical garden amongst lush foliage and cooling water features, and offers a full range of body treatments and massages to enable you to unwind and rejuvenate.
Ratua Resort & Spa, Santo Vanuatu
Ratua has been described as the land that time forgot. The multi award-winning resort is the only resort in Vanuatu with a private airstrip, just four minutes south of Santo by air, or 30 scenic minutes by transfer boat.
The resort offers luxury eco-tourism, a stunning spa and 13 handcrafted 200-year-old Indonesian villas in classic teak wood plus two luxury African marquees in private beach settings – all eclectically furnished and styled with antiques.
Guests can swim with sea turtles and enjoy one of the best coral reefs in Vanuatu, all protected along with a host of fish life in the island’s marine sanctuary.
There is a range of activities, from cycling to stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, horse riding around the island and even swimming with the horses in one of two lagoons. Or simply walk the island amongst the free roaming pigs, goats, cattle, sheep and ducks.
Wi-Fi throughout the resort allows you to stay connected to your own reality should you need to – or totally switch off and escape into Ratua Time.
Vanuatu Bijouterie, Port Vila
Local girl Estelle Milfirer is a woman of many talents. With years of experience in art and design, five years ago Estelle turned her hand to designing jewellery when she and husband Tal purchased the long established Vanuatu Bijouterie business in Port Vila.
All her work is custom and hand made in Vanuatu; her team led by master jeweller Michael Mayue has a combined experience of more than 80 years in jewellery making and together they source the very best Tahitian pearls, gemstones, silver and gold to make rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, charms and bangles that are highly sought after throughout the Pacific and Asia.
A regular and award winning exhibitor at the biggest jewellery fairs in the region, Vanuatu Bijouterie prides itself on being unique and exquisite. Quality is assured with rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces and bracelets made to order.
Estelle’s designs are inspired by Vanuatu – not simply the stunning hues but local architecture and symbols as well. Her charms include nakamals, Mother Hubbard dresses, coconut palms and marine life. She says she never stops looking for inspiration.
The full circled boar tusk is unique to the Melanesian culture and cultivated exclusively in the islands of Vanuatu. It takes 8-20 years of cultivating the pig to achieve full circled tusks.
The boar tusks sourced by Vanuatu Bijouterie are a particularly beautiful base for a jewel encrusted bracelet along with tam tam amulets. The tusks are polished and dipped in gold at the ends, some with gemstones added, others with her hand picked Tahitian black pearls. They are a collector’s item and a status symbol.
Estelle works closely with clients to ensure each item is as individual as its discerning buyer and she encourages buyers to be involved in the production process.
Vanuatu Bijouterie’s gallery and showroom has a large viewing glass so visitors can see her designs being crafted on site. It’s a great store to visit, learn more about the history of Vanuatu jewellery and browse the ever changing range of items.
View online at www.vanuatubijouterie.com or on Facebook.