Lalati Living

Lalati Resort & Spa on Beqa, Fiji, offers guests a unique respite as well as a strong sense of community By: Monica Poling
The beachside bar at Lalati Resort & Spa on Beqa // © 2010 Lalati Resort & Spa
The beachside bar at Lalati Resort & Spa on Beqa // © 2010 Lalati Resort & Spa

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Lalati Resort & Spa
www.lalatifiji.com
Lalati Resort & Spa pays 10 percent commission and also offers special incentives or larger commissions to top-selling agencies.
There is an old Fijian proverb that states “Each bay, its own wind.” Although the proverb generally refers to the distinct personalities of people here, the same sentiment holds true for Fiji’s myriad accommodations.

The great beauty of the Fijian Islands, and perhaps the largest challenge for travel agents, is that each resort offers a unique experience for travelers. In particular, when clients are seeking an intimate, small-resort experience, agents will find themselves facing many excellent options.

Among those options is Lalati Resort & Spa, a small, four-star resort located on Beqa (pronounced Benga) Island, a 45-minute boat ride from the shores of Pacific Harbor. With just eight bures (bungalows) and two villas and its location on an island largely devoid of cars, roads and even telephones, the resort ensures that guests can get away from it all.

Beqa Lagoon’s clean waters and its 190 miles of hard and soft coral have given the island a must-see status among snorkelers and divers. It has been listed on numerous top 10 lists and is also featured in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

Beqa Island is also the birthplace of Fiji’s firewalkers. Although firewalking ceremonies are now fairly common throughout Fiji, the firewalkers themselves continue to hail largely from Beqa. This sense of pride in the island’s rich history is evident with the staff at Lalalti, all of whom either descend from firewalkers or have been trained to do the ritual themselves.

The island’s history notwithstanding, what largely gives Lalati its character is the tone set by owners Brad and Susan deGeus. Perhaps because the deGeus’ live on the property, so guests enjoy a strong sense of community and are treated more like visiting family than as hotel guests. Furthermore, because the deGeus’ are Americans, guests from the U.S. enjoy small conveniences not readily found elsewhere in Fiji, including electrical outlets that work with American appliances.

What also sets Lalati apart, especially among resorts in its category, is the attention paid to cuisine. Meals, which are included in the price of the stay, are an ever-changing mix of local fare and international specialties. Most of the produce is organic and grown on site, and the seafood is also locally caught.

In keeping with the resort’s family-style ambience, most diners eat together at a large group table, with the deGeus’ often joining them, and the meals turn into a convivial sharing of the day’s activities.

Because the resort caters heavily to honeymooners, it does offer several tables for two, so newlyweds can also enjoy quiet time to themselves. Guests can also request special arrangements, such as a private dinner served on their lanai or a picnic-style meal served on the neighboring, private island.

Seaview bures start at $1,188 for a three-night stay for two people, which includes airport transfers, all meals, non-motorized sports, weekly village visits, weekly lovo nights and weekly kava ceremonies.

The resort is currently offering a number of packages, including two free nights when booking any three-night (or longer) package. Guests must book by Nov. 30, and travel must be completed by April 30, 2011.
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