Blue Lagoon Cruises’ ship, the M.V. Fiji Princess, sailed from Port Denarau late last week with an entirely new look following an extensive three-week refurbishment.
Improvements include new contemporary deck furniture, high-quality tiled flooring and refreshed cabinetry and joinery in public areas and more items added to the boutique.
The 34 Hibiscus and Orchid cabins on board Fiji Princess have also had a makeover, with new bed runners, pillow and ottoman covers, lampshades and air-conditioning units.
Awesome Adventures Fiji has launched three new short tours ideal for travellers basing themselves on the mainland as part of its new programme for 2019-2020.
Castaway Island, Fiji was named Property of the Year at the annual Outrigger Resorts’ global Po‘okela Awards held recently in Hawaii.
Fiji’s small, independent hotels are reminding agents they still have plenty to offer clients who are not necessarily looking for high end resort accommodation.
Theresa Singh, general manager Fiji Independent Travellers & Backpackers Association, says the organisation’s aim is to ‘reintroduce all of the little forgotten three-star properties’ in Fiji.
Singh says association members include Nadi Bay Resort, Smugglers Cove, Ratu Kini Dive Resort, The Beach House, Bounty Island, Uprising Beach Resort and more.
‘The majority are a combination of backpackers combined with private suites and sometimes apartments. They appeal to independent travellers who want good service without having to spend a lot on their accommodation. The guests also get an authentic Fijian experience.’
Singh says the ‘traditional’ style of backpacker accommodation still exists on a small scale in Fiji, with many properties looking to convert dormitories into private ensuite rooms.
‘In saying that, we get volunteer and school groups plus university students who still want that backpacker experience.’ She says all members are commissionable and are encouraged to engage with both the online and traditional trade.
‘On the other hand we are telling the trade that while we may not be big luxury properties, we are definitely offering genuine service and a real local experience.’
The development of 14 new villas with private pools at First Landing Resort and Villas is already generating plenty of interest amongst travel wholesalers, says resort manager Amanda Braddock.
The increased inventory will come on line late this year and include six one-bedroom garden, six two-bedroom ocean view, a three-bedroom and a duplex. Braddock says all will have full swimming pools –‘not just a little plunge pool’.