Nanuku Resort Highlights Fijian Culture and Adventure
On Nadi, the mainland of Fiji, a true island experience awaits. Nanuku Resort and Spa is located two hours driving distance from the Nadi airport. Nanuku will arrange for a private car transfer to pick you up and greet you with a flower lei, a cold face towel, and Fiji water for the drive. You can also choose to take a 20-minute scenic charter flight from Nadi to Nanuku’s private airstrip. Either way, you will arrive in style.
I traveled by car and we drove along the coastline, seeing all sorts of things from gorgeous waterfalls and shorelines to animals and fascinating people in villages and cities along the way.
When we arrived I was taken by surprise when Nanuku’s Fijian warriors jumped out to greet us in full costume. A conch shell was blown, and there were grass skirts, clubs, spears, and body paint all around us. As I walked into the resort, I was offered a coconut drink, a lei, and an amuse bouche. It was quite a dramatic entrance, first the greeting accompanied by a walk through a tunnel-like entrance, with the bar to my left and the restaurant to my right. I came out on the other end to a bright, sun-filled, grassy pool area where another Fijian warrior banged on a drum to announce my arrival.
Prompt check-in and an escort to my private villa were fantastic, and a full explanation was given of all the great amenities in the villa. I even had my own plunge pool. Each villa is assigned to what the resort calls a “Villa Momma,” who takes care of all your in-room needs. I didn’t get to see my Villa Momma much, however, as I was on a pretty tight schedule of activities for the next two days.
Nanuku is unique with its accommodations; it is built for large groups but also able to accommodate couples and singles. The villas can sleep up to 17 people comfortably, and a main villa is centered between two smaller buildings. The main villa is equipped with a full kitchen and dining room as well as a pool and outdoor seating area with an upstairs. The two smaller buildings are like upstairs and downstairs apartments, except without kitchens. They are completely private from one another.
I instantly felt comfortable in my room as I unpacked and prepared for dinner. Every evening at Nanuku, guests are invited to a torch-lighting ceremony. Two men in traditional Fijian costume float in the pool on a bamboo raft, announcing sunset by blowing a conch shell. Another man bangs on a drum, and the torches around the area are lit. Then it’s cocktail time! Pre-dinner cocktails are served before dinner at the bar.
Nanuku organizes day trips for guests to experience the local culture. They offer morning breakfast safaris, trips to a local village, private island picnics with snorkeling, and, for the super adventurous, shark diving. During my trip, we visited the Navua market and village. It’s always fun getting to go into an area and shop with the locals. Fresh fruits and vegetables were abundant as was the fish selection for the day.
After returning from the market, I took advantage of the plunge pool outside my villa. It was refreshing and completely private, the only sounds were the birds and the breeze blowing through the trees. I was invited to a coconut demonstration by the main pool later in the afternoon, which was an interesting and informative lesson about coconuts and all their uses. From food to furniture and jewelry, the coconut is quite a useful fruit and is the center of the Fijian diet.
Later in the evening, I sipped cocktails with other guests and watched a firewalking demonstration. This was no Tony Robbins, mind over matter blah blah blah. This was the real deal done by men who grew up in a long line of firewalkers. No tricks or frills here; these men really walked on fire!
Found on the Tourism Fiji website:
“Legend has it that over 500 years ago the men of Beqa Island were given the gift of being able to walk on fire by an eel in exchange for its life. Today the descendants of these warriors carry on the tradition, observing the same strict rules of taboo as the ancestors.
Beforehand, the men chant and sing traditional Fijian mantra in preparation for their walk across the red-hot stones. Following the firewalking, you will have the opportunity to sit down with these warriors and join them for a traditional Fijian kava ceremony.”
Nanuku Resort and Spa has it all: great cultural entertainment, day excursions to suit all levels of adventurers, and privacy without leaving the mainland of Fiji.
I hope you will visit some day.