VANUA LEVU, Fiji We mistakenly entered Namale resort from the back
gate, but who could tell? The road that wound through the 300-acre
property, on the northern island of Vanua Levu in Fiji, enchanted
us from every direction.
After sighting a couple strolling along a nearby footpath and
passing several beautiful wooden buildings, we arrived at the
reception bure (a traditional thatched-roof Fijian bungalow), where
the staff greeted us with native songs and music.
While Namale struck us as the kind of place Hollywood
celebrities might favor, the resort caters to couples from across
the U.S. and often serves as a business retreat for companies.
“When I go back to Fiji, and I most certainly will, I will only
stay at Namale,” said one honeymooner. “Everything was perfect from
the moment we arrived ’til the moment we left.”
The deluxe luxury resort has just 16 private accommodations,
ranging from romantic beachfront bures to two-bedroom, oceanfront
Our stay began with an official tour via chauffeured bula
(“welcome” in Fijian) golf cart. Our first stop was the dining
facilities. The staff met us in the breathtaking dining room and
lounge, built in traditional Fijian style with thatched roof and
high ceiling timber posts. Guests can dine indoors, or outside on
the terrace while overlooking the stunning Koro Sea.
Delicious three-course meals with a tropical flair are included
in the resort rate. In the evenings, guests can mingle over
cocktails in the cozy lounge.
Of course, guests can also enjoy their meals in the privacy of
their own bure, or at other outdoor locations. This is good to
know, because when we saw our accommodations, we wondered if we
would ever leave.
Our beautifully designed bure, with its palm wood accents,
conjured up notions of a fantasy tree house. Each bure and villa at
Namale is completely secluded, and includes a private deck.
Though tempted to remain in our hideaway, numerous outdoor
activities also beckoned. The staff can arrange for a wide array of
watersports, as well as horseback rides, mountain biking and
The cliffside Namale Spa features an indoor stream with
footbridges that traverse the 10,000-square-foot facility. One
giant room, with windows overlooking the ocean, contains six
bathing pools and oil-scented baths. Spa treatments can even be
enjoyed outdoors on private balconies.
Other resort amenities include swimming pools, a boat marina, a
conference center and the Kava Bowl recreational facility, which
offers bowling, virtual golf and movies.
“The resort was perfect for me. It offered enough interaction
with other guests and plenty of activities if we so desired, but
also afforded Camille and myself our own private escape,” said
newlywed Mike Brown.
Most visitors to Namale are likely to have the same
Prices, which include meals, beverages and activities, range
from $640 to $1,800 per couple. The resort can also accommodate
children 12 and older.