Chi Time

Shangri-La Fijian Resort’s Chi Spa Village feels like paradise

By: By Dawna L. Robertson

The Details

Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa
The resort is located 45 minutes from Nadi International Airport.

Yanuca Island, Sigatoka, Fiji Islands
Dusk Till Dawn Package: Priced from $295 (single) and $455 (double) per night.
Fijian Bobo Spa Experience Package: Priced from $225 per night (single or double), based on a minimum three-night stay.
Both packages are available until Dec. 25.
Resort Rack Rates: $225–$890 through March 31, 2010.
Commission varies.

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I was in heaven. Wisely scheduling my Bobo massage at a time that’s predictably rainy for the season, I found the cloudburst tickling my bure (bungalow) roof, a soothing lullaby that swept me into a state of boundless bliss. However, I refused to surrender to my natural tendency to doze off because it felt so divine to be awake, and I didn’t want to miss a single stroke.

Spa treatment at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa // (c) Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
Spa treatment at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa

This was my first taste of the Chi Spa Village at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa, the only property along Viti Levu’s Coral Coast with a white-sand beach and blue lagoons that are evocative of the South Pacific.

Poised on the private 109-acre Yanuca Island, the legendary Fijian has distanced itself from other
island properties with the opening of Chi. The secluded village, removed from the 442-room main resort, is Shangri-La’s brand of signature spa-within-a-spa concept. It’s no surprise that Chi has quickly become a hit among honeymooners and couples longing for some well-deserved hedonist pampering.

The tranquil village boasts the largest spa bures in Fiji, a half-dozen oceanfront and rainforest-rimmed bungalows designed with indulgent touches like relaxation areas, private garden patios, sunken tubs or Jacuzzis, herbal steam rooms and outdoor showers. Interiors complement the concept of Chi, utilizing unique accents that reflect local architecture and materials, as well as Himalayan art and accessories.

Chi extends its appeal with adults-only packages that let couples bask well beyond the treatment in their private bure. Good for regrouping after the long flight from LAX, the Dusk Till Dawn package covers four spa treatments per person and light spa cuisine served in-room for dinner and breakfast. More serious spa junkies can amplify their escape with the multiple-night Fijian Bobo Spa Experience, which provides a massage and daily breakfast per person.

Those staying in the main resort can also experience Chi with single treatments or a half-day series of body wraps, massages, facials and water therapies.

With massage setting the tone of my visit, everything else at the Fijian was pure paradise as well. The resort’s ample amenities include a trio of pools (one reserved for adults), a nine-hole executive golf course, tennis courts, a fitness center, beach massage bures, a shopping arcade and an oceanfront chapel that’s ideal for destination weddings.

And for water enthusiasts like myself, the Sea Sports Center serves up a slew of aquatic options, training and equipment rentals. While I jumped into troll fishing, kayaking and snorkeling, other temptations include banana-boat rides, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving with PADI certification, jet-skiing, water-skiing and windsurfing.

The Fijian is also a convenient springboard for visiting Nadi’s Sri Siva Subrahmaniya Swami Temple and the markets in both Nadi and Suva, where vendors hawk everything from colorful produce grown in nearby Sigatoka’s fertile "salad bowl" region to stunning jade and pearl necklaces. If your clients are into eco-culture, they can also hop aboard a Sigatoka River Safari that ventures into Viti Levu’s interior to visit a traditional Fijian village.

With my yin and yang rebalanced, I was revved up and ready to take on all the diversions luring me away from the Chi Spa Village. But my Bobo afterglow will certainly draw me back again — both mentally and physically.