Dana’s trip to Fiji was hosted by Air Pacific and Tourism Fiji, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own.
We all have our favorite family-friendly destinations, but there’s a special sense of excitement that comes along with heading some place new, especially when you’re traveling with your family to Fiji. I was lucky enough visit the newest luxury family resort added to the Ciao Bambino Hotel Collection, Yasawa Island Resort & Spa.
Getting to Yasawa Island
Fiji has 333 islands, a third of which are inhabited. Its national airline, Fiji Airways offers 7 direct flights per week from Los Angeles, with connections from throughout the US and around the world. You’ll be excited from the moment you touch down in Nadi, but the best is yet to come.
Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is reached via its own private grass airstrip. The Resort will make arrangements for the 35 minute island hopper style flight from Nadi. Though small, my full flight of eight, including the pilot, was one of the more memorable flights I’ve ever taken.
Once you’re buckled in, you’re buckled in for the flight. No getting up to move around, so let kids run and go to the bathroom before you board. Flying at about 2,000 feet, the views begin at take-off and never end. It is much noisier than the typical commercial flight. There are headphones on board, but if your kids are sensitive to noise, think about having your good travel headphones in hand when you climb into the plane. It doesn’t matter how old you are, walking on the runway and climbing on to a plane like you would get into a car, is just a fun way to jump start a vacation.
Yasawa Island Resort & Spa has just 18 luxury bungalows, called bures, which is Fijian for sanctuary. Each is steps away from the beach – the pristine white sand you’ve seen so many pictures of. The air-conditioned bures are spacious and airy, decorated in contemporary Fijian style, with a thatched roof, plantation shutters, and a huge sun deck with outdoor shower. There’s also a personal hammock and private beach hut on the edge of the beach closer to where the sand meets the waves. Families will enjoy the breathing space the bures allow. The outside shower makes beach clean-up a snap and keeps sand from taking up residence in everyone’s beds. The bathroom design and layout also helps eliminate traffic jams. A separate toilet area and double sinks keep vacation harmony.
Yasawa might be remote and isolated, but there’s so much to see and do, kids won’t have a moment to be bored. Swim and explore the famous Blue Lagoon caves. Go snorkeling. Have a family picnic on a deserted beach where you can snorkel and search for sea shells. But you don’t even have to leave the resort if you don’t want to. Launch a glass bottom kayak from the beach or grab snorkel gear and dive in, a beautiful reef worth exploring is just feet away. Families can also go sailing or take a short hike to the lookout with a view that is guaranteed to impress.
So much of life here revolves around water, but carve out some time to be dry and visit the nearby local village of Bukama. Much of the resort staff lives there. It is a village in every sense of the word and may cause even a well-traveled kid to stop and reflect. If it’s Sunday go to church and be amazed by the choir. Bring your camera. Kids love having their picture taken and everyone, young and old always seems to be smiling and waving.
All meals and snacks are included at Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, so when someone gets hungry or thirsty, you just go place your order. There’s no dealing with money or charging to accounts. Tweens and teens will love the independence of not always needing mom or dad to get a drink and may actually enjoy a lunch or two without parents in tow.
Ultimate Spa Bonus
Yasawa Island Resort is home to Fiji’s first beach front spa, so if you’re a spa lover you’re in for a treat that’s relaxing for your body and wallet. You can indulge in a treatment or two during vacation or seriously spoil yourself with the Ultimate Spa Bonus. For a little less than $240 USD per person you receive one spa treatment per night of your entire stay. Seven nights = seven treatments. So the longer you stay, the more relaxing the deal. Choose from massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing and an assortment of other options.
Ultimate Dive Bonus
Divers have reason to smile too. The Ultimate Dive Bonus is a one-time charge of about $275 USD. It gives divers two, one tank dives per day for their entire stay. Just like the Spa Bonus, the longer you stay, the better the deal.
Children 12 and older are always welcome at Yasawa Island Resort & Spa. Children under the age of 12 are welcome during Family Weeks, when the Resort shifts into full family mode offering non-stop kid-friendly activities. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see the hermit crab races. From what I heard they’re almost legendary. I guess it just means I have to go back.
Want to Know More? Read the review of the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa now part of the Ciao Bambino Approved Hotel Collection. Our Check Availability Form goes right to the hotel for best possible rooms and pricing. If you go this route, our family travel expert booking service will help ensure all needs are met and answer any outstanding questions.
Photos by Dana Rebmann