Visitors Guide W
If your name is Bill Gates, Pierce Brosnan, Celine Dion, or Nicole Kidman, you might happen to mention The Wakaya Club if asked about Fiji. Yes, it’s Fiji’s most expensive resort. Absolute privacy is taken for granted here, and Wakaya is one of the few places around Fiji where you can swim discretely nude. The nine luxurious bungalows are everything you’d expect for upwards of three thousand Fiji dollars a day. And if an extra couple of thousand more for return charter flights from Nadi might make you blink, The Wakaya Club isn’t for you. You could also find charges for sport fishing and massage added to your bill, but everything else other than government taxes is included. Also don’t come expecting to socialise with the rich and famous as these folks like to be left alone. The Wakaya Club is part of the business empire of David Harrison Gilmour, who also created the fabulously successful Fiji Water bottled water brand. Gilmour is something of a philanthropist, and you may see words of thanks to him painted on the sides of ambulances and educational facilities throughout Fiji.
Situated on Viti Levu’s most Northern point (2 hours drive from Nadi Airport), Wananavu has the feel of an island resort with the convenience of the mainland. The fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and windsurfing (own gear required) are all top class.
WARWICK FIJI RESORT
The Warwick Fiji is located beachfront on the Coral Coast, midway between Nadi International Airport and the capital city of Suva. There are 250 rooms and deluxe suites, including the exclusive Warwick Fiji Club, and the private balconies have ocean or mountain views. Somehow it still manages to feel like a ‘small’ resort. The resort works well for couples and families and the Wicked Walu seafood restaurant is on it’s own little island connected by a causeway that is lit by flares each evening.
The Warwick is a favourite of ours. While Fijians are famous for being friendly, the staff here are just the friendliest (some of them have been there for many years and it is obvious as soon as you arrive that they love the resort and the guests). Couples can marry on the beach or on Wicked Walu. Brides can also choose to arrive for the ceremony on a decorated bamboo raft (Bilibili).
Contact us regarding The Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa
Fresh water reticulated in Nadi, Suva, Lautoka and other major towns has been treated and is safe to drink from the tap. This also applies to hotels and resorts. Bottled water is also readily available. Some resorts use artesian water for bathing, but provide drinking water separately. If this is the case, visitors will be advised.
The Waterfront is on Lautoka’s foreshore with views of the harbour and you can catch a great sunset from the aptly named Sunset Bar. The newest addition to The Waterfront Hotel is Fin’s Restaurant.
The romance of the tropics’ Fiji has long been a favourite destination for honeymooners and couples wanting a romantic break and it’s becoming increasingly popular for weddings or the re-affirming of vows. Apart from the romance, it is so inexpensive compared to traditional weddings and you don’t have to compromise to please the in-laws, family and friends. In fact, you could take half a dozen guests and still be way in front compared to the cost of a wedding at home with the trimmings.
On the documentation side you will need:
- Original birth certificates
- Decree Absolute (divorce papers) if relevant
- Officially witnessed consent of your father if you are under 21
- Death certificate of deceased former spouse
- To present yourself together at the Registry Office when applying for the licence (which can be obtained within one working day). This must be done in Fiji. Registry offices are in Suva, Nadi, Sigatoka or Lautoka. If marrying at Namale Resort registration must be at Savusavu.
- Registration offices are open between 9.00am and 3.00pm Monday through Friday. Registration formalities take about 15 minutes.
- The fee is FJD$25.00 and the license is valid for 21 days.
- All ministers in Fiji belong to a certain church so there are no non-denominational ministers. For Catholic weddings the requirements include a Letter of Freedom sent well in advance, approximately 2-3 months out, to the Fijian Priest along with the Baptism Certificate. Your normal pre-wedding studies must be completed with a letter from your priest.
Wedding packages in Fiji start at less than $1000 for a simple ceremony that includes the celebrant, documentation, flowers and a few tropical extras – and for as little as $2000 you can have traditional warriors, a choir and a romantic dinner for two under the stars. Small Guide Travel has two specialist Fiji wedding consultants – visit www.resortweddings.com.au for more info.
Once the Royal and operated by the nearby Sheraton, the Westin has undergone total renovation and is a nice upmarket resort option on Danarau Island.
It can rain in the tropics. And that rain can turn to sunshine within minutes. Chances are you will have fine weather but, in case of rain, travel with a positive attitude – the water is still warm for swimming, you are still enjoying “island time” and, if forced indoors, you can enjoy the company of strangers and go home with business cards and unfulfilled promises that you will keep in touch. This is more aimed at American visitors than Australians and New Zealanders. Sorry to generalise but the major resorts have an interesting policy – American tourists are harder to please. In the event of a double booking they always choose the Aussies and Kiwis to “bump” to another resort because they know that these guests will shrug and accept the free drink or upgrade and basically say, “crap happens, might as well enjoy it.” As the tropical saying goes, “whatever the weather, have a nice day” (see Climate) Oh! A bit of trivia – in the movie, Singing in the Rain, the ‘rain’ didn’t show up as rain when they used water, so they used milk!
Unlike some parts of the world, there’s no way visitors can arrive and hope to find bar work to subsidise part of their holiday. The issuing of work permits isn’t done lightly and usually will only be given to people who are filling a role that a local person couldn’t (example, a teacher’s job may require current Australian or New Zealand qualifications or a resort manager with several years experience in a similar position). While it is a very relaxed country, immigration laws are pretty tough.