One of the best things about staying at Vomo (and trust me, there are many) is once you land in Fiji, you're mere moments away from this glamorous five-star island resort. Most guests arrive at the private island in rock-star style with a 15-minute scenic helicopter flight skimming low over the Mamanuca Islands. This means no overnighting in Nadi, no boat transfers or hanging around the airport waiting for connecting flights. Winning.
Once you land on the crocodile-shaped isle, you are greeted with an enthusiastic Bula welcome song and a cold scented towel. In every direction are swoon-worthy white sands, pristine coral reefs, and hammocks strung invitingly between swaying coconut palms. Change your watch to Fiji time.
The resort's chic main restaurant and bar overlook the pool to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. Spaces are decorated with dreamy shell chandeliers, lanterns and local Pasifika touches; barefoot luxury at its best. Smartly dressed staff attend to guests reclining on sun lounges shaded by white parasols, or seated for lunch at tables dressed in white linen. The hedonistic 87-hectare island also offers the swanky adults-only Rock Bar which clings to a black volcanic rock on the island's western side overlooking Vomo Lailai (little Vomo island). Open at night, the bar delivers up arguably Fiji's best sunset viewing, along with fabulous cocktails (try the coconut mojito). A new restaurant will open here shortly with a Pacific Rim tapas style menu, while an adults-only pool is slated for late 2017. Next to the main hub is the wonderful Vomo Kids Village, accessed via a fun suspension bridge. There's also a gym, and the luxurious Vomo Kei spa, staffed by Balinese and Thai therapists, tucked away behind lush foliage.
The deserted Vomo Lailai can be booked for the day as your own private island. A short boat trip transfers guests, along with picnic supplies, to the smaller island. You then radio the resort when you're ready to come back.
See also: Twenty reasons to visit Fiji
Vomo offers 28 resort villas and four luxury holiday residences. Two of the swish three and four-bedroom residences are new, built at a cost of more than $6.5 million. They offer lavish interiors, private sun decks with double daybeds, an outdoor bath off the master suite, private infinity pools and butler service. The palatial new residences were unveiled when the resort reopened on September 1 following a 28-week closure and a $13.5 million spruce up after Cyclone Winston.
The majority of Vomo's accommodation hugs the beachfront, with the gentle lapping cerulean sea steps away across soft white sand. Guest rooms received a complete makeover in 2014 and feature polished boards, chic handcrafted furnishings, deep bathtubs, outdoor dining decks, and sun loungers. Each boasts a king bed with crisp cotton linen, a pillow menu, L'Occitane amenities, and complimentary wash and fold laundry service, Wi-Fi, soft drinks and water.
Exceptional cuisine (possibly Fiji's best resort dining) is a big part of the Vomo experience, with a focus on fresh seafood and produce from the resort's organic herb, vegetable and fruit garden, complimented by a terrific wine list. Think dishes like Yasawa lobster and mud crab frittata served with Billiecart champagne, and that's for breakfast! Other dishes might be a modern take on nasi goreng, red snapper sushi, buffalo mozzarella salad, jungle curry of freshly caught fish, or a chilled island-grown coconut yoghurt soup.
The PADI Ocean Play dive centre, with brand spanking new equipment, led by Jacques Louw, offers fantastic diving to sites like Coral Gardens and White Rock, minutes from the resort. There are also snorkelling safaris, stand-up paddleboards, trips to Cloud Break, private picnics, deep sea fishing and more. The kids' club keeps kids entertained morning to night and offers its own dedicated chef. Alternatively, hammocks, cabanas and swing chairs entice the less energetic.
Rooms start from $FJ2375 for two people per night in a Hillside Villa inclusive of meals, non alcoholic beverages, Wi-Fi, laundry, non motorised water sports and more. The resort also offers stay seven, pay five offers outside peak travel periods. See vomofiji.com.
Vomo delivers sophisticated, barefoot luxury with warm, Fiji hospitality, attention to detail, exceptional food and wine, stunning sunsets and amazing snorkelling and diving. The fact it seamlessly accommodates families – one of the rare five-star Fijian resorts that does so year-round – means we're already planning our trip back.
A tie between the molten sunsets viewed from Vomo's famous Rock Bar, and stepping straight from my beach villa into the sea.
At peak times the pool is full of squealing, happy kids (not great for relaxing), but when the new adult pool opens there will be nothing left to quibble about.
Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Vomo Fiji and Navigate Oceania
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