Tale of 3 Spas in Fiji
Pam Grout shares her blissful spa journey on the enchanted island
When Pure Fiji’s bath and body products, which are used by such celebrities as Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and even Eddie Murphy, made the list of SpaFinder’s top 10 spa products in the world earlier this year, I decided it was high time to try out some of Pure Fiji’s products, in a trio of resorts and spas in Fiji.
Getting rejected by Brad Womack on the 15th season of The Bachelor may have been the best thing to ever happen to Ashley Hebert. Not only did she get her own show (season seven of The Bachelorette), but she was able to invite suitors to a 3,000-square-foot villa at Fiji’s Namale.
And she’s not the only celebrity to have had her name carved into a huge piece of wood at this all-inclusive luxury resort on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. Russell Crowe, Donna Karan, Meg Ryan, Edward Norton, and Tom Selleck are just a few of the stars whose names have been carved and hung from the doorway of a Namale bure (Fijian cottage), just one of many special touches guests can expect at this remote getaway on the Koro Sea.
Owned by motivational speaker/author Tony Robbins, Namale has its own private waterfall and a bowling alley where guests can bowl barefoot. Namale’s slogan, "Separate Yourself from the Rest of the World," is no exaggeration. It has 500 acres, 200 of which are protected rainforest, and 19 bures and villas. Each bure has a thatched roof, Fijian hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, infinity pools, and hanging beds.
A giant Buddha greets visitors near a bridge that leads to the 10,000-square-foot spa, painstakingly constructed from native wood, rock, and palm thatch. From the hydrotherapy room with hot tubs, steam rooms, plunge pools, and a waterfall pool, guests can look out over the Koro Sea.
Namale’s cuisine is everything one would expect, but served in unexpected places like beside its waterfall, in a cave, and on a private cliffside balcony complete with a Jacuzzi. Namale surprises each couple with a private, special dinner somewhere on the property.
My favorite feature of Namale is the stone each guest receives. When a guest checks out, he or she is invited to carve a note into the stone, a memory that stays on this property in paradise forever.
Located on the Coral Coast’s Heavenly Hill, Bebe Spa offers gorgeous panoramic views of the coast and surrounding jungle from each of its seven treatments rooms. This $3 million spa, a short golf cart ride up the hill from the Outrigger on the Lagoon, offers all the traditional treatments (plus a lot of nontraditional treatments, such as myoxy caviar facials and green coffee body wraps), as well as free yoga and meditation classes.
Bebe Spa also offers waxing, henna, and Bo Derek-style braiding, a ‘do seemingly chosen by all 242 tweens swimming in the resort pool. The spa’s treatment rooms, which are off-limits to kids, are suspended from the main structure and have private balconies, open-air showers, and/or sunken spa baths and have won the spa’s architects kudos for innovative design.
I chose the Bobo massage, a uniquely Fijian massage that employs the elbows and forearms and, of course, lots of coconut oil.
The Outrigger on the Lagoon offers a two-page sheet of daily activities, from coconut-themed shows demonstrating how to eat and drink coconuts and free scuba diving lessons to pool aerobics and a butler who delivers free champagne and canapés to every guest room each night.
With seven restaurants, the five-star family resort wows in the culinary department. In fact, executive chef Shailesh Naidu was recently named president of the Fijian Chefs Association, an honor richly deserved judging by the tableside presentation at Ivi, the resort’s most formal offering, where I happened to be seated one table away from Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the Fijian president.
Royal Davui Island Resort
Royal Davui Island Resort, an exclusive, family-run island resort in Beqa Lagoon, has nabbed pretty much every award, from TripAdvisor to Condé Nast, for being one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Not only do a handful of guests get the entire 10-acre Ugaga Island to themselves, but each of the resort’s 16 villas, perched on the edge of the island with knee-weakening views of the coral reef, is secluded and intimate.
Guests enjoy private meals on their balconies, midnight skinny dips in personal plunge pools, or a duo of massage therapists who will happily set up tables in the spacious outdoor living rooms overlooking the crystal clear Pacific Ocean.
The spa, like the island itself, is small and intimate, but it’s huge in quantity of available treatments. Try the Dilo Rescue Wrap if you find yourself getting too much sun on one of the island’s sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, or diving trips.
Every morning at breakfast, a joyous affair under the restaurant’s monstrous Banyan tree, you’ll be presented with the entire day’s menu. It’s customized daily depending on which fish and fresh produce, 90 percent of which is locally sourced, happens to be available.
The best part of Royal Davui is the staff, each of whom refers to each guest by name. They will drop whatever they’re doing to teach you how to play Sequence, one of the resort’s many board games, and will invite you to a nightly volleyball game, known familiarly as Fiji vs. "The Rest of the World."
Hospitality was provided to the author by Namale, Bebe Spa, and Royal Davui Island Resort.
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