Australian-based luxury travellers heading to Fiji will likely spend a night on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu before heading off by plane or boat to a resort on one of the country’s many smaller, far-flung islands. On the way home, again because of transfer scheduling, they often do the same. Until Nanuku opened in early 2014, the options on Viti Levu were limited for anyone hoping for a boutique luxury resort experience. In fact, Nanuku is still the closest you’ll get to a private, villa-style, South Pacific island retreat without having to make the trip across water to one of the half-dozen or so of Fiji’s more than 300 smaller islands where the most luxurious properties are.
No shortage of luxury at Nanuku, though. The property, now operated by Californian based luxury boutique resort company Auberge Resorts, is built on Viti Levu’s best beach, in the heart of Fiji’s soft-adventure capital the Pacific Coast, just more than two hours’ drive from Nadi International Airport. With a limousine transfer on offer, the drive is a chance to take in the villages and tropical landscape. However, if Nanuku is your final Fiji destination and you’re staying longer than five nights, included in your tariff are return air transfers for two from Nadi to Nanuku’s private airstrip.
Master bedroom at the Grand Villa | Nanuku Auberge Resort
Nanuku offers 12 villas and four suites. For families and groups of friends there are spacious beachfront residences with private pools and landscaped lawns, outdoor living rooms, outdoor day beds, yoga pavilions, luxurious ensuites with spa baths, spacious air-conditioned indoor living and dining areas, and nannies, butlers, chefs and a kids’ club. For couples, there is all of that – plus quiet, child-free spaces… and yoga instructors, a spa, fitness centre and a bar that swings into gear before dinner.
There are six huge residences altogether, five spaced out along the beachfront and another on a volcanic outcrop with sweeping island and ocean views. Each residence gets a golf cart to whisk its occupants around the resort’s gardens up to the main restaurant and spa.
The Lomana day spa has indoor and outdoor treatment pavilions and uses the local Pure Fiji products. You can take your massage or spa treatment in your villa. Likewise, on the occasions you’d prefer not to take the buggy-ride across to the resort’s Kanavata restaurant, dining in your villa is an option. Or perhaps lunch across the water on a nearby private island, or at any of a number of other private-dining locations throughout the property. Kanavata restaurant is worth the effort though, if only for the beautiful views. The long table is an option if you’re feeling lucky and want to take your chances on dining with strangers (Treasurer Joe Hockey was a guest during our stay, but he didn’t make an appearance at the long table). The food is Pacific – fresh, local (some ingredients are organic, harvested from the resort’s garden) and seasonal, with an emphasis on locally caught seafood. With limited ingredients in the Pacific, it’s down to the chefs to apply imagination to what is available and the team at Nanuku do an amazing job of serving up delicious cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Relax at Lomana day spa | Nanuku Auberge Resort
Fiji’s best golf courses are on your doorstep and soft adventure abounds. You can snorkel the surrounding reefs; go game fishing for wahoo, giant trevally and mahi mahi; feed sharks in Beqa Lagoon (about 20 minutes offshore from Nanuku); or take a hiking safari to the Waisese Waterfall. Other excursions include jet skiing, ziplining and river rafting. Or you can partake in cultural activities such as witnessing a kava ceremony at a local village, all of which can be arranged from the resort.
Or you could just stay poolside at Nanuku, eat delicious food and have fruit cocktails delivered to you on trays with decorative flowers.
Nanuku blends into the natural scenery