A Guide to the Top Accommodations for Romance, Family Travel, and More
The South Pacific nation of Fiji is a dream destination for many travelers, honeymooners, divers, and families seeking fun in the sun, paired with a cultural vibe. Two of the top reasons to visit Fiji are to experience the warm hospitality of its people and to sleep in a thatched-roof beach bungalow called a bure (pronounced boo-ray).
Bures, also called vales (vah-lays), "houses" in Fijian, are set along beaches or are tucked amid lush foliage (unlike in Tahiti, where most rooms are overwater bungalows set atop the lagoon). Bures range from basic to luxurious, with nightly rates of $250 to $5,000 (most are $500 to $900 per night, typically including all meals and some beverages). Here are 15 bure options, from affordable to extravagant.
Matangi Private Island Resort
With just 11 bures on its 240 acres, Matangi Private Island Resort, which is located off of Taveuni in the Northern Islands of Fiji, offers room to roam, either on foot or by kayak.
But you may not want to venture far from your luxurious 750-square-foot, air-conditioned Beachfront Bure with its romantic canopy bed, private veranda, and outdoor shower.
Matangi has four Beachfront Bures, plus three 650-square-foot Oceanview Bures, three 850-square-foot Treehouses, and one 1,600-square-foot Two-Bedroom Bure.
Royal Davui Island Resort
Set on a postcard-perfect, 10-acre private island on Beqa Lagoon in Fiji, adults-only Royal Davui Island Resort is designed for romance. With just 16 luxurious and spacious king-bedded, contemporary vales in four categories, all with air-conditioning, separate living and sleeping areas, Jacuzzi spa and outdoor shower, and private plunge pool, Royal Davui is a popular choice for honeymoons and vow renewals. The diving is superb here, so it's also great for scuba fans with a big budget.
The vibe on Castaway Island, a 174-acre private island in Fiji's Mamanuca Group, is a bit more lively and family-friendly as there are a total of 66 bures set at the ocean's edge or hidden amid tropical trees and plants. Available in Beach, Ocean View or Island categories, all bures feature vaulted ceilings lined with patterned tapa cloth (made from tree bark) and decorated in traditional island style with separate sleeping and living areas. All have king-sized beds and most have two additional daybeds with a sliding privacy screen, making them ideal for families. There are three restaurants with a la carte pricing.
Among the most exclusive and expensive (nightly rates start at $3,800) resorts in Fiji, 4.6-square-mile Laucala Island is rustic luxury taken to the max. Its 25 residences, more expansive private villas than bures, feature beautiful carved and polished wood details and are exquisitely decorated in authentic Fijian style with luxuriously modern touches. Private pools, a personal "tao" (Fijian for "my friend") to look after your needs, and effortless indoor/outdoor living make Laucala's luxury a one-of-a-kind indulgence for those who can afford it.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort
One of the newest luxury properties in Fiji, Likuliku Lagoon Resort offers the islands' only overwater bures (whereas there are hundreds of overwater bungalows in Tahiti). Set over a turquoise lagoon in the Mamanuca Islands, the 10 Overwater Bures measure about 650 square feet and feature traditional architecture and materials such as polished wood and richly patterned fabrics. Each has air-conditioning, a king-sized bed, a private deck and a "bathing pavilion" featuring a bathtub with lagoon views. In addition, there are 18 Deluxe Beachfront Bures, featuring a private plunge pool and direct beach access, and 17 Garden and Beachfront Bures with private courtyard and outdoor shower.
Qamea Resort and Spa
Located on a private 100-acre island in Fiji's Northern Islands, Qamea Resort and Spa accommodates just 34 guests (aged 15 and older) in 11 Beachfront Bures and two Honeymoon Bures (which measure 800 square feet and feature expansive beach and lagoon views), in addition to a Honeymoon Villa, two Royal Beach Houses and a Two-Bedroom Royal Beach House. All have soaring, woven-bamboo ceilings, air conditioning, and polished mahogany floors, gauze-draped canopy beds, and private verandas, while the Honeymoon Bures have a private outdoor daybed and plunge pool.
Mana Island Resort
Occupying 300 acres on Mana Island in Fiji's Mamanuca Group, the affordable Mana Island Resort features a mix of 97 air-conditioned bures and 62 rooms and suites. There are five bure categories, the most romantic of which are the seven spacious Honeymoon Bures, located on the more private South Beach and featuring a king-sized bed and Jacuzzi tub. Six smaller Beach Front Bures also have a Jacuzzi tub and a deck. There are 12 Oceanfront Bures, 20 Ocean View Bures and 52 smaller and budget-priced Island Bures. Meals are priced a la carte.
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Located on the Coral Coast of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, the 40-acre Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort offers a combination of 207 affordable yet well-appointed air-conditioned hotel rooms and suites as well as 47 traditional thatched-roof bures. There are four bure categories—Beachfront, Ocean Breeze, Plantation Family, and Plantation—all featuring distinctive hand-painted masi cloth vaulted ceilings and measuring 538 square feet. Bure guests are also entitled to the resort's Talai butler service, with complimentary champagne and canapes delivered to your bure every afternoon. Meal pricing at the seven restaurants is a la carte.
Namale Resort and Spa
Overlooking the Koro Sea on Vanua Levu in Fiji's Northern Islands, the relaxing, luxurious and all-inclusive Namale Resort and Spa is set on 525 acres of rainforest and features a world-class 10,000-square-foot oceanfront spa and 14 air-conditioned bures (there are also three villas and the ultra-exclusive Dream House). Bures at Namale come in three categories: the four Garden Tropical Bures are tucked amid lush foliage; the Ocean Tropical Bures feature water views and some have spa baths for two and private beach access; and the five Honeymoon Bures are built on lava pinnacles with amazing views, luxurious decor, a tub for two (and three have private plunge pools).
Nukubati Private Island
Located off of the northern coast of Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu, and overlooking the Great Sea Reef, Nukubati Private Island is an intimate and luxurious couples-oriented all-inclusive property with just four suites and three bures—all facing west for a full view of Fiji's legendary sunsets. Featuring white walls, airy decor, and louvered windows to let in the tropical breezes (Nukubati has a carbon neutral credo, so there is no air conditioning), the bures have a large covered veranda and a private rear patio.
The Wakaya Club & Spa
Another of Fiji's ultra-exclusive, all-inclusive private-island resorts (and a favorite of seclusion-seeking celebrities), The Wakaya Club & Spa is set on 2,200 acres in the Lomaiviti Group facing the Koro Sea. It features 10 exquisite waterfront bures measuring 1,650 square feet. Each features vaulted ceilings and walls covered in traditional woven bamboo, air-conditioning, a bedroom with a four-poster king-sized bed, a bathroom with a large soaking tub and outdoor lava rock shower and eclectic decor that includes Tibetan rugs and Asian decorative art.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort
Attracting a mix of honeymooners, families and scuba aficionados, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort is set on a 17-acre coconut plantation on Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu. The 24 bures and one villa are built of local wood and feature king-sized beds, rattan furnishings, louvered windows, and overhead fans (there's no air conditioning due to the resort's eco initiatives), plus a private deck. They are available in Gardenview and Oceanfront categories, measuring 440 square feet, as well as Oceanfront Suite Bures, measuring 540 square feet, and Point Reef Bures, two-level bures measuring 750 square feet. The top accommodations are the Villa, and the Honeymoon Point Reef Bure, which is secluded and has a spa tub for two.
Vomo Island Resort
Set on a pretty, 225-acre private island in Fiji's Mamanuca Group, the luxurious and increasingly eco-conscious Vomo Island Resort features 29 air-conditioned villas as well two larger residences. Beachfront Villas are surrounded by foliage for privacy but are just steps from the sand, while Hillside and Garden View Villas sit near Mt. Vomo and most have sweeping land and ocean views. All feature chic and contemporary Fijian decor, a Jacuzzi tub, and private decks.
Lalati Resort & Spa
Offering upscale accommodations at relatively moderate rates, Lalati Resort & Spa is set on 10 acres of Fiji's Beqa island and offers 10 villas, none air-conditioned, in four categories. Most affordable are the Seaview Cottages, with large bedrooms, sitting areas, and outdoor lanais, while the most extravagant is the secluded Beachfront Honeymoon Villa, which has a polished wood interior, a romantic four-poster bed, three sitting areas, and a private courtyard with hot tub, day bed, outdoor rock shower, waterfall, and doors that open to a sea view. There are also an Oceanview Honeymoon Villa, which also has a private Jacuzzi courtyard; and five spacious and airy two-bedroom Oceanfront Villas.
Vatulele Island Resort
Set on a 12-square-mile island in Fiji's Southern Islands, where the only other inhabitants are about 1,000 Fijians in four local villages, the all-inclusive Vatulele Island Resort features 19 air-conditioned bures and two premium villas. All bures are staggered along the edge of the beach on the South coast and are designed in a Santa-Fe-meets-South-Pacific style and feature king-sized beds and outdoor showers. There are three categories: Beach Bures, which are at the far end of the resort; Deluxe Beach Bures, which are set more than 60 feet apart from each other; and Deluxe Beach Bures With Pool, which have an infinity freshwater pool off the terrace.