Michael Neilson checks into Volivoli Beach Resort on the Sunshine Coast of Viti Levu, Fiji.
I step off the boat after a short trip from a nearby island and staff greet me on the picturesque sandy beach. It is a short golf cart ride up to reception, weaving among the lush tropical gardens where check-in is as smooth as you like.
The "Sunshine Coast" of Viti Levu. Volivoli is perched on a small peninsula, a stepping stone to diving mecca of the Bligh Waters. Beyond diving, the Sunshine Coast truly lives up to its name with glorious all-day sun, surrounded by tranquil, inviting waters. I had been told before arrival that not many Kiwis made it to this coast but my stay was surrounded by voices from home. Perhaps encouraging this was that the owners of Volivoli were Kiwi expats - from Twizel - and the relaxed Kiwi style perfectly complementing the Fijian style.
The room: Premium Ocean View Villa. Spacious, grand, private, yet all with a sunset view of the Pacific Ocean. Along with a comfortable bed, couches and outdoor loungers, the room has a fully equipped kitchen, even a washing machine. Perfect for couples on a diving mission and if you feel like a little alone time away from the restaurant and bar.
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All you could want of a bathroom - toilet, double basins, shower, all kept immaculately clean.
Food and drink: Lounge bar, pool bar, beach bar - life is tough, eh? They are stocked for every cocktail you can think of, and a vast range of Fiji's finest rums - there's something special about sipping a pina colada while on a tropical island - and happy hours are staggered throughout the day. The restaurant has a delicious range of Fijian-style fare - can't go past the coconut fish dishes - alongside staples of exceptional burgers, steaks, curries and salads. There are options for all diets and all are top quality. Each meal was accompanied by a "wow" from guests. Breakfast includes a continental buffet and cooked meal of your choice - the perfect start to the day.
Wi-Fi at F$50 (NZ$36) for three days' access.
Value for money:
Good value for the location and level of service.
Would I return? Fiji has much to explore but the diving was so good I'd struggle not to come back for more.