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A Fiji Honeymoon: An Insider's Look

Aruna Halpin is one of the top Fiji travel specialists at TheBigDay Travel. Aruna shares her insider's knowledge of Fiji in the following interview.

In Fiji, where can we get the most for our money?

Fiji offers a wide variety of places to stay, from low budget to world-class. You'll benefit from bulk rates by taking a package tour instead of paying the higher "rack rate" the hotels charge.

You will get the most for your money at Qamea, Tokoriki, Matamanoa, Namale, Malolo, Maravu, Castaway, Mana, Jean Michel Cousteau and Matangi.

Where do the celebrities go when vacationing in Fiji?

Wakaya Island - Canadian industrialist David Harrison Gilmour bought the island for US $3 million, and in 1990 opened The Wakaya Club, with nine spacious cottages starting at USD $2,000 double plus tax, all-inclusive (five-night minimum stay).

The service is excellent, the snorkel superb, and there's scuba diving, nine hole golf course, a swimming pool, and an airstrip for charter flights (USD$1,200 roundtrip per couple from Nadi). Only game fishing and massage costs extra.

As you might expect at these prices (Fiji's highest!), it's all very tasteful and elegant-just ask Pierce Brosnan, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Celine Dion, Bill Gates, Nicole Kidman or Burt Reynolds. It's sort of a country club for the rich and famous, rather than a trendy social scene.

When compared to Hawaii or Mexico, what sets Fiji apart from other destinations?

Fiji's comparatively inexpensively priced vs. that of destinations such as Tahiti and Hawaii. The largest resort in Fiji only has about 400 rooms - very small in comparison to most hotels in Hawaii.

One of Fiji's main attractions is the many small islands scattered around the coral reefs. Resorts on these small islands are quite common, especially in the Mamanuca Group, visible to the west of Nadi Airport. Beach side villas and traditional thatch bures are the most popular style of accommodation in Fiji. English is widely spoken. The snorkeling and diving are some of the best in the world. All in all Fiji is very exotic, quiet and serene.

What's the best time to go to Fiji?

Fiji (http://www.thebigday.com/TravelShop/Fiji.asp) enjoys a tropical climate year-round. If you're coming from North America, you should try to set out between April 26th to June 17th, or July 19th and August 26th, because that's when airfares on Air Pacific and Air New Zealand are at their lowest levels.

The airlines have made late April to August their low season because that's winter in New Zealand and Australia, their main destinations, but by a happy coincidence June to October are the coldest and driest months in Fiji. You'll miss the hurricane season, which runs from November to April. The hotels/resorts offer low prices in February and March as most are vacant.

Do you suggest any "hidden gems" in Fiji?

In recent years, smaller luxury resorts have multiplied in remote locations such as Vatulele Island, Royal Davui Island, Toberua Island, Taveuni Palms Resort, Beqa Island, and Wadigi Island.

Prices at the "boutique" resorts begin at several hundred dollars a day and rise to four figures, so some care should be taken in selecting the right one.

Submitted by:

Aruna Halpin

Aruna Halpin is one of the top Fiji travel specialists at TheBigDay Travel (http://www.thebigday.com). Aruna lived in Fiji for over 20 years, and was recently married there as well. Aruna shares her insider's knowledge of Fiji in the following Q&A session.


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