Casual take on tropical
Bijou island in Beqa Lagoon
Get this when you book through us:
A drink each at the Banyan Bar
Rates from (ex tax)$944.26 If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (FJD2,462.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (FJD2,462.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Casual take on tropical
Bijou island in Beqa Lagoon
Get this when you book through us:
A drink each at the Banyan Bar
10am, flexible subject to availability. Check-out, 1pm.
Double rooms from $944.26 (FJD1,970), excluding tax at 25 per cent.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (FJD2,462.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates include all meals, freshly baked loaf of banana bread on arrival, sunset canapés and entertainment each evening, weekly beach barbecue and kava ceremony, non-motorised watersports and select activities.
There's a small Pure Fiji spa here for pampering (try the Dilo Rescue Wrap if you get sunburned), but it's hard to tear yourself away from beach lounging and ocean ogling. Look out for the Davui Daily newsletter at turndown, which lists spa treats, the menu and tide times for the following day.
Spa, watersports centre with dive shop, CD and DVD library, boutique, free WiFi in main bar/restaurant and library, gardens. In rooms: iHome music system, pillow menu, minibar with cookies and cakes, Fijian coffee, Jacuzzi spa bath, open-air shower, Pure Fiji toiletries, private deck with plunge pool.
All vales are spacious, modern and embrace the outdoors, with Jacuzzi spa baths, louvred roofs, glass doors giving onto sun-decks, and plunge pools. For sunset sea views opt for a seductive Premium Plunge Pool Villa on the west side of the island. Spa fiends may prefer the Island Pool Villas nearest the spa, best for access to the southern beach. For sensational 360° lagoon views and a generous outdoor dining deck, you can't beat the romantic Royal Davui Pool Suite.
Wander down the steps from the restaurant, and you'll reach the curvy, palm-fringed outdoor pool, surrounded with shady loungers (just run the SOS Emergency Cocktail flag up the pole if you're feeling thirsty). Soak up rays and sea views, safe in the knowledge that the only likely stress here is of the coconut-falling-on-head variety.
Bring clothes that can double as a fancy dress costume, as Davui likes to throw a party (during Smith's stay Halloween turned the bar into a sea of flamboyant vampires and ghouls). On a practical note, you'll find a torch, mossie repellent and a woven beach bag in your room, so no need to bring your own.
Free activities include use of kayaks, catamarans, paddle boards, snorkelling gear and guided island snorkelling tours (diving costs extra).
The hotel is a romantic adults-only escape, so leave the kids at home.
Royal Davui strives for 'responsible luxury', serving regional produce to support the local community. Bedroom <i>vales</i> were built from sustainable timber and have been positioned to avoid cutting down old-growth trees, with all wastewater recycled to use on the garden. The hotel is also mindful of impacting on the surrounding reef eco-system, which is a marine sanctuary.
Score any table on the deck facing the sea. The pick of the bunch is the one right at the front that boasts its own individual platform. Romantics can request dining in-room or on the beach.
Chilled out by day, glammed up by night, but the mood is pretty casual.
Flaunting outdoor wooden decks embraced by a majestic, ancient banyan tree, the Banyan Restaurant & Bar perches on a platform near reception and is airy, inviting and informal. You can dine undercover at the back of the space, but we reckon it's more atmospheric eating alfresco. Sea views come as a standard, with modern Pacific dishes to match, including local, seasonal produce and lip-smacking kokoda - Fiji's answer to ceviche.
Occupying the beating heart of the restaurant, the Banyan Bar is a funky, tropical affair, surrounded with stools for sociable sips and flanked by lounging sofas and chairs. Freshen up with a Banyan Punch, or try a how-very-dare-you Kava Bloody Mary, guaranteed to make your lips go numb. Bands often play at night, so expect a mix of Pacific sounds with a reggae twist.
Dinner is served until 10pm, which is also when the bar calls it a night. Don't miss happy hour from 5pm to 6pm, segueing to evening canapés from 6pm to 7pm.
If you fancy the privacy of your villa deck, room service is available from 7am to 10pm. Enjoy toast, cereal and fruit for breakfast, order off the menu for lunch or dinner, or get a gourmet picnic hamper delivered anywhere on the island.
Fly into Nadi International Airport (www.airportsfiji.com) on Fiji's main island Viti Levu, which receives regular flights from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and North America. Handy carriers include Fiji Airways (www.fijiairways.com), which code shares with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Air New Zealand and Korean Air. From there, the hotel can arrange twice-daily plane/launch transfers to the resort, kicking off with a 20-minute flight from Nadi to Pacific Harbour, followed by a 30-minute launch ride across Beqa Lagoon. You'll need to make sure that your flights align with the departure times. Transfers from Nadi leave at 9.30am in the morning, arriving in Davui at 10.30am; 3.30pm from Nadi (arriving in Davui at 4.30pm) in the afternoon. Transfers from Davui to Nadi leave at 9am, arriving in Nadi at 11am in the morning; 3pm (arriving 5pm) in the afternoon. Transfers cost FJ$960 per person return, but are the quickest and most popular way to reach Royal Davui.
It's a 180-kilometre drive from Nadi Airport south to Pacific Harbour, following the Queens Road along the Coral Coast. Royal Davui can arrange a road/launch transfer with a private SUV pick-up with driver from Nadi or Suva airports, connecting with the fast launch from Pacific Harbour to the hotel. If you'd rather self-drive, Avis (www.avis.com.fj) has an office at the airport and can hook you up with a hire-car. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes make a fun stopoff en route.
Snorkelling and diving are the big draw here. Snorkelling is free, so just pick up gear from the marine centre and explore the vibrant reef fringing the island. Free guided snorkelling excursions are on offer, although trips to the outer reef cost extra. Gratis sea kayaks and paddle boards are also up for grabs.
Beqa Lagoon is renowned for some of the best diving in Fiji, with more than 13 sites within half an hour of the resort. PADI-certified scuba courses are available, or bring your dive certificate if you're already experienced. Believe it or not, sharks are a big part of the appeal, with the Big Fish Encounter shark dive a major highlight (shark wranglers and feeders will lay the bait, while you stay back and watch the feeding frenzy). Expect to see soft and hard corals, and sculptural fans on other dives, as well as rainbow-bright tropical fish. Night dives around the house reef will also appeal to the intrepid. Sounds a bit scary? Then just join in with feeding the resident soldier fish off the jetty pier (ask the restaurant staff for some bread).
Beyond the free, all-inclusive activities, there is a raft of other fun distractions, at extra cost. Game-fishing fans can go hunting for the big boys – tuna, mahi, wahoo, makerel, sailfish and marlin – on a 30-foot cruiser with Freedive Fiji Charters (www.freedivefiji.com), or there's local fishing available on Royal Davui's resort boat. Surfers can catch waves at Frigate Passage, one of Fiji's best breaks, or try your luck at 'skurfing', which involves being towed behind a boat on a surfboard. Sailing types will enjoy the Hobie Cat.
On dry land, choose between three ivory-white beaches, or treat your partner to a champagne beach picnic on a secluded sandspit (book 24 hours in advance). Sporty folk can team up for a game of soccer, volleyball or touch football, or there's bocce and croquet for the more refined. Twice-weekly visits to Naceva Village on neighbouring Beqa Island are a good way to get a feel for Fijian culture. You can also team a village trip with a hike up a peak, trek to Dakuibeqa Waterfall or attend the village church on Sundays.
Further afield, slake your shopping lust with a day trip to capital Suva, a laid-back town where you can pick up Fijian handicrafts, check out the vibrant food market and pop to the culture-toting museum (the hotel can arrange the boat ride to main island Viti Levu, car and guide). Pacific Harbour, on the mainland, is Fiji's extreme sports capital with Davui offering adventure activities such as a half-day trip to enjoy Zip Fiji's vertiginous zipline thrills, high above the jungle canopy. Whitewater rafting on the Upper Navua River or kayaking on the Luva River are full day trips for aqua fiends.
If relaxation is more your thing, the gorgeous 10-acre island grounds, lush with flora and fauna, are a little Eden for snapping and strolling. At the small spa, body-boosting treatments involving local ingredients include the rejuvenating Island Wrap, a 50-minute therapy drawing on coconut, natural sugar cane and cocoa butter, and 60-minute tropical massage Sugar Glow. Avoid jetlag with preventative Travel Ritual pampering, a face, hair and scalp massage. You can also request in-room treatments.
Royal Davui Island Resort is the only hotel on the island and is all-inclusive, so unless you're up for a swim, you'll do all your eating and drinking here.
At Pacific Harbour's jetty itself, you'll find a very casual, local café if you need to rehydrate at a shady table.
If you're hanging around at Pacific Harbour, waiting for the launch boat to Royal Davui, kill some time at the stylish bar at the Pearl South Pacific (Queens Road), a sleek modern hotel near the jetty. The alfresco Beach Bar offers light Med-style dishes, canapés and cocktails served out on the slate lounging area beside the sea, with a barbecue on Sundays. There's also the chic Foyer Bar, informal daytime Bistro by the pool and Mantarae Restaurant, which serves contemporary Pacific fusion fare with panoramic views of Beqa Island and the ocean.
Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from a stay at this private-island idyll, a full account of their castaway capers will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Royal Davui Island Resort in Fiji...
Think the Swiss Family Robinson on WiFi and you'll get the Royal Davui picture. There's loads to love about this casual castaway hotel, perched on its own dinky tropical island just off larger Beqa Island in Fiji's southern Beqa Lagoon. It ticks all the usual Fiji natural-wonder boxes – blissful pure shores, white-sand beaches, fish-flocked coral reef and flora-dotted jungle interior – but there's a more youthful, fun, relaxed mood afoot here. Guests are encouraged to mingle at evening canapés sessions and cocktail happy hours, there are regular parties and bands in the bar, and you're bound to make friends on the many dive courses, snorkelling excursions and watersports jaunts up for grabs.
Don't worry, though, privacy is assured, with just 15 secluded modern villas (dubbed vales, the Fijian for 'home') spread over the lush 10-acre grounds, sporting serene sea views. All come with romantic mosquito-net-draped beds, comfy living areas, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi spa baths, open-air showers, and private dining decks and plunge pools. Beyond your room, you can easily get away on your own, too. How does a gourmet picnic à deux on the island's pretty beaches or a seductively remote sandbar sound?