Fiji

Old Nov 23, 15, 1:39 pm
  #31  
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laucala rates include inner reef diving and discover dives
presumably the inner reef is not best in the area?

north rates include >
"Scuba diving..and snorkelling..around North Island and Silhouette dive sites"
"Scuba diving courses"

great to hear Epicura!

[MD] Christoph Ganster "career started with the Rafael Group of Hotels, in his native Germany and in Miami"
edit - thanks Five Star Traveller for correction, i posted too quickly
speaking of Andrew Thomson, he is ex amanresorts and regent

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Nov 23, 15 at 3:40 pm
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Old Nov 23, 15, 3:29 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
I did not do any snorkeling but I think it must be good. We made a tour around the island on a jetski and the reef is pretty amazing. Rainbow reef is also close by and friends did go there for snorkeling and were very impressed.

I did go for the submarine, aka snorkeling or diving for lazy people . We passed 2 sharks (which I missed by the way because they dived under the submarine) although I did see 2 very large turtles, one was following us. Was a very special experience and I did feel relaxed and comfortable.
Thank you. Did you see a lot of fish while on the submarine? I assume it only dives the inner reef.

Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
I've just read a tripadvisor review that indicted the snorkeling was poor compared to the Maldives, Bora Bora, etc. The GM responded and acknowledged a coral bleaching event. This would be consistent with what I've heard about Fiji.
That's a shame, although bleaching has also severely affected a large number of Maldives reefs in my experience. Many have recovered somewhat since the El Nino, so perhaps Laucala's reef will also be better in a few years. Fiji does seem to have some of the best dive spots in the world, so perhaps it's a reason to take up diving.

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post

GM Christoph Ganster "career started with the Rafael Group of Hotels, in his native Germany and in Miami"
I thought Andrew Thomson was still general manager. Says here Christoph is in managing director role.

https://ehotelier.com/people/2015/08...aucala-island/
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Old Nov 23, 15, 5:25 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post

As a data point: my husband is by far not an emotional type. But even he was crying when we left .
+1 for us. My husband gets stir crazy on tropical islands. But not at Laucala. He's keen to return too (as am I)!
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Old Nov 23, 15, 11:10 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
Apart from the fact that I gained at least 5 pounds ? Honestly, no.
That sounds like a diet, compared to some of our holidays

Glad you had a fantastic time. I really cannot wait to go and am looking forward to this more than North Island and Fregate.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 9:49 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
That sounds like a diet, compared to some of our holidays

Glad you had a fantastic time. I really cannot wait to go and am looking forward to this more than North Island and Fregate.
Haha . And I am sure you too will have an amazing time, enjoy it!

Re the inner reef etc: the included activities are indeed for the inner reef, which means within a radius of about 1,7 km from the island. The submarine ride is also within this radius. I am a total underwater dummy so I am not going to comment the quality of the inner reef. I have been to Seychelles and Maldives but can not compare activities from this specific point of view. However, for the experts, have a look at http://www.dive-the-world.com/diving...ji-taveuni.php . The Great White Wall and Rainbow Reef figure on the list of top diving sites in the world, Rainbow Reef is UNESCO World Heritage. These sites are located near Taveuni, which is only 25 minutes by boat from Laucala. Friends went to these sites for a dive and they told me it was stunning, also for snorkeling. I have no idea how much Laucala would charge for this but in my experience in general extra's are quite fairly priced.

Anyway, IMHO it's the whole package that makes Laucala so special. For this kind of money one could easily book a top notch hotel, have lunch and dinner at a Michelin * everyday and still have some budget for activities. But Laucala has it all, concentrated on one beautiful island with breathtaking scenery and a very private, intimate atmosphere.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 4:56 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
Anyway, IMHO it's the whole package that makes Laucala so special. For this kind of money one could easily book a top notch hotel, have lunch and dinner at a Michelin * everyday and still have some budget for activities. But Laucala has it all, concentrated on one beautiful island with breathtaking scenery and a very private, intimate atmosphere.
Laucala really does seem like a dream experience and no doubt one of the very best resorts in the world. Of all the resorts in the world, only North Island in the Seychelles can potentially top it. Certainly, these two are the ultimate in luxury beach resorts and in a league of their own.

Last edited by Five Star Traveller; Dec 12, 15 at 1:27 am
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Old Nov 28, 15, 3:52 pm
  #37  
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What about Wakaya Island?

Everyone seems to agree that Laucala is tremendous, but it obviously isn't within everyone's travel budget.

I wonder that Wakaya Island never gets any mention. I've heard nothing but good things from the few we know personally who have been--good food, good service, extremely private, great scuba/snorkeling (less bleaching here, though some), etc. It isn't cheap, either--but compared to Lauacala it is!

Anyone with feedback on Wakaya? We've considered doing a combination Laucala/Wakaya holiday in the coming years, partly because of the luxury of both and partly because both are so close to great diving.
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Old Nov 28, 15, 4:13 pm
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Here's a review from someone who visited both Wakaya and Laucala on the same trip. I've included a short summary, but the full reviews are in the links. His conclusion indicates Wakaya is a great resort and well worth visiting but that it would be unfair to measure it against Laucala's extremely high standards. I would definitely do Wakaya first if you are combining with Laucala.

I had hoped to conclude the “Fiji Island Throwdown” with a comparison of the Wakaya Club with Laucala Island, given their ostensibly similar target clienteles, their similarly astronomical rates and all-inclusive pricing philosophies, and the fact that both are owned by billionaires, but in the end there is none to be made. Laucala is so vast and grand and opulent, its ethos so thoroughly wish-fulfilling, as to defy any comparison and place it in a category of its own. This isn’t to say that Wakaya doesn’t have its own unique charms — intimacy, old-world simplicity and human scale among them — but it rather pales by comparison to Laucala.
http://spoiledguest.com/2015/05/09/f...e-wakaya-club/

http://spoiledguest.com/2015/05/10/f...aucala-island/
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Old Nov 28, 15, 4:32 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Five Star Traveller View Post
Here's a review from someone who visited both Wakaya and Laucala on the same trip. I've included a short summary, but the full reviews are in the links. His conclusion indicates Wakaya is a great resort and well worth visiting but that it would be unfair to measure it against Laucala's extremely high standards. I would definitely do Wakaya first if you are combining with Laucala.



http://spoiledguest.com/2015/05/09/f...e-wakaya-club/

http://spoiledguest.com/2015/05/10/f...aucala-island/
Thanks--I missed those! Sounds like Wakaya Club is a great alternative or good first stop if we want to have an extended Fijian holiday. Hopefully, the Wakaya re-furb happens sooner rather than later...and the Laucala impact makes Wakaya refurb and add improvements as suggested to keep itself more competitive. Of course, it is about half the price of Laucala!

We'd previously been to Turtle Island--which we hated (too rustic with uneven service and horribly homophobic ownership as I'd mentioned previously, with horrendous food)--and Vatulele Island--which we loved (the Point is tremendous, as is the Pink House, with good food and service, and great diving, but it has been shuttered until ownership/receivership decides what to do with it unfortunately). So Wakaya and Laucala are the obvious choices for our future visit.
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Old May 17, 16, 11:17 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
If one does not dive (and one doesn't but adores floating and swimming in tropical waters) does it make any sense to choose Fiji over Tahiti/Bora Bora which is much less of a hassle to get to from California.
Hello all, I now am seriously considering a Fiji respite at Laucala. As noted herein, the flight time from LAX is around 11 hours which is no worse than flying to Paris from SFO (my home "port").

Considering late March / early April for eight nights. We are of a certain age and are neither surfers nor divers but enjoy tranquil snorkeling. Mostly we want to cavort in a calm sea and enjoy the beach. Is the specified time good for this? A little rain is fine; a lot rain is not.

Eight nights -- sufficient to make the transfer from NAN and recover from jet lag and enjoy most of our time ?

Advice on airlines? Fiji Airlines offers two non-stops out of SFO but those flights may be seasonal. Most flights connect through LAX.

Any insights, suggestions welcome.
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Old Aug 1, 16, 8:46 pm
  #41  
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I'd originally booked ten nights at Laucala in May 2017. But we've moved that up to September, next month. So excited!
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Old Aug 1, 16, 10:10 pm
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Fiji is lovely in September. You will need a light jacket in the evening as it can cool off a little but water temps will be 26-29 degrees so very nice for snorkelling.

Not sure how you are travelling (J or Y) but all flights from the US land at about 5am in the morning. The airport is currently under construction but the reps for Laucala are usually very prominent after customs and immigration.

Enjoy Fiji.

Just for your reference "Laucala" is pronounced "L-oow (as in that hurt) - tha-la. The "c" in Fiji is pronounced as a "th" sound.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 12:12 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
I'd originally booked ten nights at Laucala in May 2017. But we've moved that up to September, next month. So excited!
Might see you there. We're there 29th Aug > 5th Sep
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Old Aug 2, 16, 3:38 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Might see you there. We're there 29th Aug > 5th Sep
Originally Posted by KatW View Post
I'd originally booked ten nights at Laucala in May 2017. But we've moved that up to September, next month. So excited!
Alright ! Excited for you too
Which airlines are you on ?

Looking forward to your TRs & Updates , thanks .
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Old Aug 2, 16, 4:05 pm
  #45  
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21 Sept - 1 Oct for us. Flying Fiji LAX/NAN/LAX, Virgin SFO/LAX/SFO.
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