Kris Shannon checks into a Deluxe Beachfront Bure at Likuliku Lagoon Resort on Fiji’s Malolo Island.
The commute was almost as enjoyable as the room itself. Located 25km from Nadi International Airport, Malolo Island was accessible to this traveller by a 40-minute speedboat ride at dawn. Bouncing over those deep blue waters and watching the sun start to rise was probably preferable to your typical taxi ride. But if that sounds too slow, guests can also opt for a chopper, as the resort is equipped with a helipad
Check-in experience: As the roar of the speedboat's motor began to die, the welcoming committee sprang to life. Being greeted by a musical trio and a glass of fruit juice was certainly a speedy way to slip into the island spirit.
Room: The room created mixed emotions for me. On one hand, I wanted to explore the crystal-clear waters, coral reef and sandy beaches. On the other, I didn't want to leave the spacious and extremely well-appointed room. It was all I could do to reach the deck but thankfully, once there, I could cool down in the plunge pool — like a deep, cold jacuzzi.
Price: At $1850 a night, it's certainly steep. But, as is often the case in life, you get what you pay for.
What's so good about this place? As John Travolta pontificated when explaining the charms of Europe to Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, it's the little differences. Like the bottomless jar of cookies in the room. Or the waived hiring fee for kayaks and snorkels, extras that are often charged as such at other resorts. Or the golf-cart ride to reach the rooms, almost a necessity given the sprawling and sparsely-populated nature of Likuliku.
And the bad?
Um, the fact I had to return to reality?
A room with a view? It's called a beachfront bure for a reason. Of course, the view could have been even better, with Likuliku the only resort in Fiji offering over-water bures ($2130/night), where tropical fish can be seen swimming under the coffee table
What's in the neighbourhood? Very little, thankfully. Around the cove there's a family resort, but that's far enough away to avoid the dreaded sound of children enjoying themselves.
Food and drink:
At a restaurant with even better views than the rooms, guests dine from an inclusive set menu that changes daily. The exception, if you're lucky enough timing-wise, comes on a Sunday, when it's curry night and plate after plate of Fijian-Indian fusion provides just about all you can eat.
The bed: Predictably opulent, with the sole problem arising when I had to wake and catch a flight after only a few hours' sleep.
Bathroom: Quite bathroom-like. The outdoor shower was a real highlight.
Noise: Minimal. Privacy is a big deal at Likuliku. The outdoor bed — yes, there's an outdoor bed — can be concealed with pull-down curtains on all sides.
Value for money: That's the $2000 question. I'm tempted to say yes, but at the same time I can think of more important things to justify that kind of cash.
Perfect for: Couples looking for a little more luxury than a traditional Fijian getaway.