Most of my travelling has been the adventurous kind; traversing with my backpack through different countries and experiencing a slice of local life. However, on our yearly family holiday, my extended family wanted a relaxing holiday of doing nothing but lazing by the pool and eating scrumptious food served at specified times without worrying about costs or transport.
And that's how we ended up at Naviti Resort, Fiji – an all-inclusive resort on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, the largest of the Fijian islands. Nadi International Airport is tiny, but we got the island welcome with a wreath of white flowers presented around our necks upon arrival. The trip to the resort was quite long as Fiji Island is large and you don't see much along the way – mostly thatched roofs on wooden houses and a vast area or green farmland throughout our 90 minute drive.
The cost for the all-inclusive holiday was very reasonable (around $125 per person a night including all activities on the resort, three meals a day and all-inclusive drinks). I wasn't sure what to expect, but the resort made a great first impression with neatly trimmed hedges, landscaped gardens and a beautiful water feature at the front of the entrance.
Once you enter the resort, you start to relax immediately with traditional music playing in the background and a refreshing welcome drink. Not all guests are on the all-inclusive package so those who were had to wear a paper bracelet each day to distinguish their status.
For dinner, you have the choice of three different restaurants – Bamboo Terrace Chinese restaurant right next to the golf course, a buffet restaurant and a romantic restaurant with three course meal. If you feel like dining in, you can choose from the all-inclusive menu or pay a little extra for specials like fresh fish and mud crabs.
We arrived quite late so it was a delightful bonus that we could waltz in to the buffet restaurant and start eating immediately. It was seafood night and the variety was great. The menu changes on a daily basis and there are designated theme nights throughout the week. There was free nightly entertainment, so after a delicious dinner, it was time to watch a traditional Fijian dance.
The resort includes free activities like a huge swimming pool with a swim-up bar where you can claim your drinks. Alcoholic drinks like wine, beer and spirits were only available at certain times but there is no limit to how much you can drink.
I was spoilt for choice for things to do, preferring to spend most of my time on the beach, swinging on a white hammock, relaxing. If you are the adventurous kind, you can book kayaks, go snorkelling, play a game of lawn tennis on one of their four tennis courts or play beach volleyball. My package even included free green fees on the landscaped nine-hole par 3 golf course and a sunset cruise.
Your kids can also play to their hearts' content with organized kid's club activities and indulge in unlimited ice-cream (may want to keep an eye on that, though). Teenagers have their own teen club.
The all-inclusive package includes a shopping trip to Sigatoka although there is a gift shop on the premises as well from which I bought most of my souvenirs.
If you are tired of lazing around the pool, Naviti will help you organize a trip to Suva. Break up a week of indulgence with a little local culture to see how Fijians live. You can also organize an excursion to the local village and school as well as a Sigatoka Valley tour also known as the 'salad bowl of Fiji' for an eco-day trip aboard a custom made jet boat which visits a different village every day of the week.
If lying by the pool, sipping on drinks is still too stressful for you, you can soothe your worries away with a relaxing massage. At the end of the beach, there is a local village with souvenir sales, hair braiding and massage services. If you are the type of person who prefers a relaxing holiday where you don't have to lift a finger, Naviti Resort in Fiji is the place to be.