There are lots of accommodation options in Fiji and over 300 islands to choose from; after a month of extreme packing and preparation we wanted to have a bit of R&R so decided to venture off the main land but not spend all of our time in transit. We found Plantation Island Resort just an hour boat ride from Nadi to Malolo Lailai Island, picked up some local Bounty Rum at duty free and kicked off “island time” with cocktails on the porch of our Garden Bure (cabin).
Plantation Island Resort was like a mini club med with a lineup of new activities each day. In true Robin and Kevin fashion we filled the day with snorkeling, tennis, hiking, mini golf, swimming, kayaking, wind surfing, cocktails, ping pong and a host of other entertainment from the kids club talent show to scouting the best spots for sunsets. Each morning we began with a short run along the beach. Still being slightly jet-legged, we had the benefit or early morning wake ups and the beach to ourselves.
After a half day of learning how to wind surf, we could both safely sail back to the resort, without the assistance of the rescue boat We also took a Fijian cooking class in which we learned how to make coconut milk from a freshly picked coconut and were rewarded with a nice sample (actually more like a mini meal) of the coconut white fish stew. On one of our walks around the island we discovered an outdoor sailor bar out on a spit that provided wood and grates to BBQ your own food. We met a couple who had been sailing since 2008 on a 44’ catamaran who introduced us to some ‘interesting’ folk and shared sailing tails of cannibals and the like.
Many of you have asked how we were able to save up enough to go on this trip, so we’d like to give a few examples of how to live ghetto fabulous while on an island resort!
• Buy kids branded sun block for half the price and double the SPF protection
• Go to an island with multiple resorts and stay in the cheapest one, then take a leisurely stroll down the beach into the expensive resorts and use their beach side pool and comfier hammocks and chairs
• Order a fruit slushy and add your own duty free liquor -- what you save on the cost of one drink pays for a whole bottle
• Get a Capital One MasterCard and a Charles Schwab ATM/Visa card -- you’ll have no money conversion fees and get refunded for all of your ATM transaction fees
• Find a local shop and buy portable food such as Curry and Roti (indian style burrito) and have a picnic on a different beach every day – we spent less on food for our entire trip than we would have spent on one day of an all-inclusive meal plan
Pictured below is one of the pools we visited and a sunset dinner at a dock we found across the island.