Barefoot Kuata reopens on Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Barefoot Kuata offers a deliberately back-to-basics approach to Fiji holidaying, which is not to say the Yasawa Islands property is devoid of creature comforts. It's just that peace, tranquility and nature are the priorities, with unfussy and unpretentious being its calling cards.

The property, a favourite with divers and which re-opened in early July, has welcomed guests back with accommodation that, though affordable, offers a step up the luxury scale: 10 new beachfront bures, built during the COVID-19 travel hiatus.

The bures join a collection of 23 existing lodgings, including a couple of dorms sleeping six, three swimming pools, a restaurant and bar.

However it's the water surrounding Kuata Island, part of the volcanic Yasawa group, which lies northwest of the main island, Viti Levu, that is, of course, the greatest attraction. Barefoot Kuata has its own private beach and fringing reefs offer spectacular diving and snorkelling.

The resort's aquatic offering includes perhaps the zenith of diving, the chance to encounter sharks, with bull sharks the main attraction but other species such as tiger and hammerhead recorded.

Those not wishing for such encounters need not worry – it's a boat journey out to a specific deeper water location for those who do (and it's a well orchestrated excursion that keeps divers out of the sharks' way).

The island has plenty of spots for snorkelling with less confronting but nonetheless spectacular sea creatures to be seen.

And even for those who just fancy a paddle, the new bures are a short hop from the water's edge and have views from all angles, including from the open-air bathrooms and the beds, which are positioned for sunrise vistas. Sleeping arrangements can be adjusted to accommodate families, with beds for a third or fourth guest.