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The publication of the Pacific

islandtime

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Vanuatu

A new energy Tokoriki Island Resort, Fiji

Resort Spotlight


THE YASAWAS- FIJI THE NATURAL PLAYGROUND

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The magic of good service If there’s one thing we remember from a holiday, it’s the way we were treated. So it’s no surprise then, that every resort, airline, tour operator, constantly tells us how great their service is. The trouble is, setting a high standard and maintaining it, is easier said than done. Memorable service is something that builds over time. It is nurtured by passionate leaders who foster a customer-first culture. And it’s performed by staff who genuinely care. In this issue we experienced service of this rare quality at Tokoriki Island Resort in Fiji. Professional, polished, personal and delivered with a healthy dose of Fijian humour. Elsewhere in this issue, Scott Lee, Islandtime writer/man of adventure takes in Tok Tok, Vanuatu’s annual travel trade showcase. And of course we bring you travel industry news from all across the Pacific. We hope you enjoy the read.

Resort Spotlight Tokoriki Island Resort, Fiji.........................4 Vanuatu........................................................... 30 Cook Islands...................................................14 Tahiti..................................................................22 Fiji.......................................................................24 Solomon Islands.......................................... 29 American Samoa........................................ 30 Samoa................................................................31 Queensland....................................................32 Niue................................................................... 34

Matt & Fran

New Caledonia............................................ 36 Hawaii.............................................................. 38

Double Happy Here’s to our two latest Islandtime winners. Kathy picks paradise Kathy Jameson, Director at YOU Travel New Lynn in Auckland, correctly picked our mystery pic as Ramada Resort Port Vila. Well done Kathy, you’ll love 3 nights kicking back in this fantastic Vanuatu resort, and exploring Port Vila and its surrounds.

Megan swaps mountains for sea

CAN YOU PICK PARADISE?

WIN 3 NIGHTS IN NOUMEA If you can pick this lovely spot overlooking Anse Vata Beach in Noumea, you’ll WIN 3 nights in a one-bedroom apartment for two, plus daily breakfast. Good luck! Email your answer to info@islandtime.co.nz, subject line: Paradise is….

Prize is for accommodation only. Prizewinner must pay for flights, transfer and taxes. Winner will be drawn 31 October 2018. Voucher must be used within prior to 30 November 2019. Black out period applies: 23 December 2018 to 02 January 2019. Please contact sales4@ramadanoumea.com for reservation, subject to availability at time of booking.

PUBLISHER Fran McDermott fran@islandtime.co.nz Mobile: 64 21 557 170

Island Media 11A Seaside Ave Waterview, Auckland 1026 New Zealand www.islandtime.co.nz

EDITOR Matt Taylor matt@islandtime.co.nz

ACCOUNTS Lisa Watson islandtimemag@gmail.com

COPY EDITOR Mark Barratt-Boyes

ISSN 2382-1248 (Print)

Arrowtown-based Megan Lowish, Travel & Cruise Specialist with Travel Managers, is the lucky winner of the Ultimate Tropical Chill which includes Air NZ flights from Auckland to Niue and 3 nights at the Scenic Matavai Resort. What a prize. And what an amazing contrast from the equally dramatic Queenstown Lakes district.

COVER: Lelepa Island, Efate Vanuatu ©Kirkland Photography - Vanuatu Tourism CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fran McDermott, Matt Taylor Mark Barratt-Boyes, Scott Lee, Nellie Gow

DESIGN & PRODUCTION MacWork Design & Print Email: blair@macwork.co.nz www.macwork.co.nz

ISSN 2382-1256 (Online)

South Pacific National Tourism Offices AMERICAN SAMOA VISITORS BUREAU Ph: +1 684 6999805 Email: info@americansamoa.travel www.americansamoa.travel

NEW CALEDONIA TOURISM NZ Ph: Sally 09 368 1191 Email: s.pepermans@nctps.com www.new-caledonia.co.nz

NIUE TOURISM OFFICE NZ NZ Ph: 0800 359 437 Email: niuetourism@clear.net.nz Aus Ph: 1300 136 483 www.niueisland.com

COOK ISLANDS TOURISM NZ Ph: 64 9 366 1106 Email: nzmanager@cookislands.travel Aus Ph: 61 7 5504 5488 www.cookislands.travel

TONGA VISITORS BUREAU Ph: (676) 25 334 Email: info@thekingdomoftonga.com www.thekingdomoftonga.com

NORFOLK ISLAND TOURISM NZ Ph: 021 752 223 Email: Sally@UniqueTourism.com Aus Ph: 61 2 9211 6590 www.norfolkisland.com.au

SAMOA TOURISM AUTHORITY NZ Ph: 64 9 379 6138 Email: samoa@samoa.co.nz Aus Ph: 61 2 9440 0377 www.samoa.travel

TAHITI TOURISME NZ Ph: 0800 TAHITI (824484) Aus Ph: 61 2 9233 4920 www.tahitinow.co.nz

TOURISM FIJI SOLOMON ISLANDS VISITORS BUREAU NZ Ph: 64 9 376 2533 Ph: + 677 22442 Email: infonz@tourismfiji.com.fj Email: info@sivb.com.sb Aus Ph: 61 2 9264 3399 www.visitsolomons.com.sb www.fiji.travel

VANUATU TOURISM OFFICE NZ Ph: 021 704 730 Email: new.zealand@vanuatu.travel Aus Ph: 61 2 9028 5086 www.vanuatu.travel HAWAI’I TOURISM AUTHORITY NZ Ph: 64 9 977 2222 Email: dwalshe@hawaiitourism.co.nz www.hawaiitourism.co.nz Aus Ph: 61 2 9286 8936 www.gohawaii.com/au

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Resort Spotlight Tokoriki Island Resort, Fiji

A special connection Every so often, a kids-free weekend is just what the doctor ordered. In this case it came with an indulgent dose of Fijian adults-only luxury at Tokoriki Island Resort.


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At the top end of the accommodation market, there’s an assumption that luxury resorts deliver an experience that reflects their premium price. In most cases they do. But while first-class accommodation, a picture postcard setting and impeccable service are the norm, each has its own distinct character. At Tokoriki Island Resort, it’s very much about relaxed island luxury with a personal touch. Professional, polished and at the same time, friendly and fun.

Everyone knows your name Remember Cheers, the long-running American sitcom from 1980’s. If so, you’ll recall Cheers bar being the place where “Everybody knows your name” - a place where you always felt at home. Tokoriki Island Resort has taken a leaf out of that book and run with it. The maximum number of guests on the island at any one time is 72, but somehow every staff member remembers your name from the day you arrive. Hi Matt. Hi Fran. How has your day been Matt? Is there anything I can help you with Fran? It’s amazing how much effort each staff member puts into making your time on the island special and knowing your name is a reflection of that. It’s not to say that the service is casual either. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The staff are five-star efficient, but they also take a genuine interest in who you are and where you come from. And of course it comes with a big Fijian smile. Needless to say you’ll leave the island feeling like you’re one of the family.

Peace lives here Tokoriki Island Resort is set up for pure relaxation. The villas are all absolute beachfront. They sit amongst lush meticulously maintained gardens that provide a tranquil setting that instantly puts you at ease. And the beautiful foliage provides a natural screen between each villa, so you can sit back on the deck, or dip in the plunge pool and not see another soul all day. In front of each villa there’s a private track to the beach, which means guests never have to walk past their neighbour’s villa.

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Food glorious food Running a restaurant on an island resort comes with its fair share of challenges. For instance, there’s no popping down to the shop if you’re running low on something. While some island resorts can struggle to produce first-class cuisine on a consistent basis, the team at Tokoriki Island Resort seem to create dish after amazing dish with relative ease. (Although I’m sure their success comes down to a lot of hard work and careful planning). They deliver variety, freshness and creativity. And with a Fijian head chef who spent a number of years cooking in Vietnam, there’s a fabulous Asian twist running through the menu. On top of that the resort has a charming teppanyaki "hut" called Oshii, where four couples can sit back and enjoy the live culinary entertainment along with the delectable Japanese cuisine.

Fly in. Fly out The Fijians have got island transfers well and truly sorted. Out of Port Denarau there are numerous ferries running back and forth to the islands in the Mamanuca Group. Tokoriki Island Resort is one of the stop-off points. When the ferry arrives it sits just off Tokoriki’s fringing reef, and the guys at the resort will pick you and your luggage up and whisk you back to the resort in no time at all. The other more extravagant transfer option is going by helicopter with local operator Island Hoppers. Yes it’s a luxury, but here’s the thing. If you’re having a quick break on the island, and want to make the most of every hour – you can get on board at Nadi International Airport and 12 minutes later you’ll be touching down on the Tokoriki Island Resort jetty. I say do it!

Spa bliss Step inside Tokoriki Island Resort’s spa and any lingering stress you arrived with will melt away. Tranquil ponds mix with lush tropical green, stepping stone walkways and the sound of trickling water. The resort has also come up with an unlimited three-day massage package. As the name suggests, guests can enjoy Fijian bobo, bamboo and aromatic massages, head, neck and shoulder massages, and hand and foot massages to their heart's content. You’ll be floating on a cloud all day long.


A tree for Number 10 At the end of any resort experience, the big question is – would you go back? The real question should be "Did you go back?" At Tokoriki Island Resort this gets answered time and time again by an exceptionally high number of devoted return guests. One Kiwi couple have set the resort record by staying more than 50 times! That’s a tough number to top, but plenty of guests have stayed at the resort more than 10 times. And on visit number 10, the resort holds a special ceremony where that couple get to plant "their" tree in a garden, alongside the trees of other guests who have made double figures.

Leading from the top In any business or organisation, success always starts at the top. And at Tokoriki Island Resort they have two first class managers leading the way. Rob Ring and Patrice Belle are the Australian couple who have led the resort team for the last seven years. It’s fair to say the whole feel of the resort reflects their passion for great service, meticulous attention to detail and their relaxed way with people. Seven years is a long time for any management team to stay in one place, but when you talk to Rob and Patrice it’s abundantly clear that the resort is their home, rather than workplace. The staff are family, rather than employees. They really do love it there and it shows.

An adults only haven With a not a kid in sight, Tokoriki Island is heaven for honeymooners and couples in need of a romantic getaway or recharge. Everything about the experience is exceptional, from the stunning setting to the memorable service. The only real downside is sooner or later you have to leave.

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© David Kirkland photography VTO

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© David Kirkland photography VTO

© David Kirkland photography VTO


VANUATU A new energy in Vanuatu The Vanuatu Tourism Office held its annual tourism showcase over two days at the end of August at the Warwick Le Lagon in Port Vila. Fifty-seven international buyers and 55 Vanuatu tourism operators met to swap ideas, make contacts, negotiate rates and hear about the latest products and trends. Islandtime’s Senior Writer, Scott Lee, attended...and here are his impressions. September/October 2018

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Port Vila © David Kirkland photography VTO

There was a really positive buzz to Tok Tok, and it was obvious that many operators are now enjoying strong growth after a challenging few years. And you could say it’s been a team effort. The Government, the Vanuatu Tourism Office, the airlines, Airports Vanuatu and private operators are working closely together with short, medium and long-term strategies to increase the number of visitors. New resorts have opened and new activity operators have started up. Established resorts have taken the opportunity to refurbish and add more rooms, and there seems to be a new energy to the whole destination. They say that adversity brings out the best in people, and there is obviously a realisation within the Ni-Vanuatu staff and general population of the value of tourism to their economy. (Tourism makes up 60 percent of the GDP.) Everywhere I went I could honestly say I was warmly welcomed with a genuine smile and helpful suggestions on how I could get the most from my time in Vanuatu.

The runway update

Port Vila © David Kirkland photography VTO

The question on everyone’s lips was, “When will the runway at Bauerfield Airport at Port Vila be fixed?” The answer was, “By April/May next year.” Airport Vanuatu reports that they have finished resealing the runway at Esprito Santo and started work on Bauerfield. Negotiations are underway with Air New Zealand to resume direct flights once the repairs are complete. Meanwhile, Air Vanuatu has announced highly affordable low-season deals for January and February from as little as $499 return, and they have increased capacity for next year’s high season.

Waterfront winner The Port Vila waterfront has been completely rebuilt with assistance from New Zealand Aid. There is now a waterside promenade from the old marketplace around to Chantilly’s On the Bay. The concrete wharf has been totally rebuilt with new pontoons for the water-based activity operators and an attractive wood and stainless steel handrail running all along its 1000 metre length. An area the size of two rugby fields has been landscaped with seating areas, and a large, traditional-style fale housing the craft market has been added, along with a children’s play area. The old Nambawan Café and activities base has been redeveloped and the whole area is kept immaculately clean. It is now a real showcase for Port Vila and a favourite haunt for visitors.

Nambawan Café, Port Vila © David Kirkland photography VTO

www.nasamaresort.com 10

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info@nasamaresort.com

+678 28009


Ramada Port Vila

The open-air restaurant has already gained a reputation as an iconic South Pacific eatery and is a favourite of expats and tourists alike. With its fine cuisine and comprehensive wine list it is an ideal dining option for a change from bustling downtown, or as a final stop on an anti-clockwise trip around the island.

Tamanu on the Beach

Cuisine and you in Vanuatu

© 2017 Kirkland Photos

For sports fans they offer “the best sports bar in Vanuatu,“ with a large flat-screen television. There’s no better place to watch the All Blacks beat the Wallabies … again. The Ramada also caters for conferences, with three modular conference rooms and a ballroom that caters for up to 140 people.

Situated on three kilometres of white, sandy beach on a peninsula 20 minutes from Port Vila, it is both secluded and private. There is a new swimming pool and spa, and a large beachfront chapel. Built in Caribbean style, it’s all-white, luxuriously appointed and has a relaxed, laidback atmosphere.

Come experience Vanuatu! Just over three hours away in our little corner of heaven, you can experience our French inspired cuisine, delicious tropical fruits and fresh seafood that will tantalize your taste buds. You can eat yourself silly or just laze on a white sandy beach and soak up the warm weather. E

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Don’t wait, book now!

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www.airvanuatu.com airvanuatu@airvanuatu.co.nz Like us on Facebook:

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Port Vila’s newest resort is an 80-room beachfront property on beautiful Erakor Lagoon, just five minutes from downtown. The resort offers studio rooms, junior suites and large twobedroom apartments.Ideal for couples or family groups, there’s a swimming pool, a swim-up bar, a Jacuzzi, a children’s pool and a fitness centre, as well as a lounge bar and a restaurant specialising in Pacific cuisine with a French flair.

New owners, new managers, 15 new fales and a complete refurbishment will make this fivestar beachfront resort a favourite from now on.

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Ramada Port Vila

Tamanu on the Beach

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Turtle Reef Turtle Reef is Vanuatu’s latest on-the-water tour. Departing from the beachfront Wahoo Bar on beautiful Havannah Harbour, the 2.5 hour tour includes a scenic boat trip to the resort’s own private beach on Lelepa Island, coral viewing in comfort, swimming and snorkelling, with all gear supplied. The boat is Vanuatu’s largest glass-bottomed vessel, and the sheltered waters of Havannah are home to the endangered Hawkesbill turtle. The tour returns to the Wahoo Bar in time for guests to enjoy lunch.

Breakas Beach Resort Breakas Beach Resort, always a favourite with Kiwis, was totally refurbished following Cyclone Pam in 2015. The beach which the resort is famous for was nearly totally washed away, but it was brought back to its former glory after many weeks of manual labour.

Situated on Pango Peninsula, Breakas is only 10 minutes to downtown, yet it’s quiet and secluded. It has an excellent restaurant specialising in local seafood and Italian dishes, and as an adults-only property it is ideal for a romantic holiday.

Wahoo Bar With a beachfront location, huge decks, a pontoon and a great swimming beach, the Wahoo Bar is a must-visit in Port Havannah. Totally refurished and with new owners it’s a very popular lunch stop or late afternoon hangout. The extensive seafood menu changes daily and depends on which fish the local charter operators or villagers bring in. Facing west towards Moso Island the sunsets are everything you could hope for. Turtle Island tours leave from the Wahoo Bar Jetty and give the clients ample time for lunch before heading back to Port Vila.

Staff used wheelbarrows to move tonnes of sand from where it ended up to where it was needed, and additional staff were employed to fix the fales and tidy up the gardens. Today Breakas is in absolutely pristine condition. It offers well-appointed beachfront and garden fales with private outdoor showers. Swimming, snorkelling and paddleboards are available, and the best surf break in Vanuatu is about 100 metres from the resort.

Breakas Beach Resort

© David Kirkland photography VTO

Explore Vanuatu with the people that know it best When you’re booking tours and transfers in another country, it pays to go through a local operator with an intimate knowledge of the country and a proven track record of delivering a quality service. In Vanuatu that operator is Evergreen. Vanuatu’s leading indigenous inbound tour operator has been on the ground for almost 20 years, and over this time they’ve built up an extensive network that spans all the major tourist islands. The best tours in the best places, and the best transport to get you there. But being a great operator isn’t just about getting people from A to B. At Evergreen they treat each guest with genuine care and warmth. So that along with seeing the best spots that Vanuatu has to offer, they do so in the company of passionate guides who love showing what make these islands so magical.

Why Evergreen?

• Almost 20 years in operation • Intimate local knowledge and caring staff • Handling agent for all major international travel agents • Extensive range of half day, full day and interisland tours • Exclusive operator of Mele Cascades Waterfall Tour • Modern air-conditioned transportation options

Indeed, Evergreen is the place where you see the real Vanuatu. Not the one that they don’t write about in guidebooks, but the Vanuatu that comes from the heart.

Find out more at www.evergreenvanuatu.com or sales@evergreen.com.vu 12

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Around the island drive Every visitor to Efate should take a day and drive around the island. It’s a scenic gem with sea vistas, coconut and banana plantations, thick rainforest and open farmland. There are plenty of interesting places to stop and really experience the vibe of Vanuatu. It seems that every village has a unique attraction that they are happy to share. From waterfalls and swimming holes to pristine beaches there’s something around every corner. There are small, village-run cafes on the beach at regular intervals or five-star dining options at the end of the journey as you get closer to Port Vila. It’s an easy drive but the road is a bit rough in places so a larger four-wheel-drive is recommended. Watch out for people, dogs, pigs and chickens, it’s a bit of a gauntlet. Take cash as most attractions cost about vt500 (NZ$6).

© David Kirkland photography VTO

The Beach Bar © David Kirkland photography VTO

Reefers Rum Bar © David Kirkland photography VTO

Great dining spots in Vanuatu The Beach Bar

15 minutes from town. Selection of affordable food, including woodfired pizzas. Famous Friday Night Fire Show, Tuesday Night Movie and Pizza Night and Sunday Kustam Karnival.

Francesca’s Beach Club Located on Havannah Harbour, near Port Vila. A newly built restaurant and bar with some unique architecture, thatched roves and an open kitchen where chefs cook modern Italian dishes using local fresh produce. Private Beach Booths are also available.

The Blue Marlin Club

Overlooks Port Vila. Matt Lambert, the International Head Chef/ Manager, leads a team who offer a five-star menu created by Matt, along with five-star service. Number 1 on Tripadvisor, with five-star reviews.

Reefers Rum Bar

An island-style restaurant and rum bar located on Vila Bay, with great views. Is known as a “foodie” venue. The signature dish is King Prawns and Squid Ink Gnocchi. Casual lunches and dinner or romantic dining.

Exotic Thai

The Kesorn Exotic Thai restaurant in Port Vila offers freshly cooked Thai meals with a South Pacific twist. Relax and watch the sunset at the Horizon View Bar and Restaurant while enjoying lunch looking over the harbour or dining under the stars.

Le Café du Village

Has a great setting overlooking Iririki Island. The FrenchMediterranean dishes are traditionally prepared using fresh, local produce. The restaurant is open for breakfast, light lunch on the grill or an a la carte dinner. Or stop by for a coffee or a drink at the bar.

Banyan Bar

The casual Banyan Beach Bar is located by the water. Sip on a cocktail while watching the sunset. Enjoy the beach booths, bean bags and sand between your toes. Now also serves wood-fired pizzas.

Food Station

A collection of three casual restaurants located on the Port Vila waterfront offering low-cost dine-in or takeaway meals. Sushi Shiro, Tyrone’s Kitchen Pizza and Pasta and Burgerwave. Open from 10am to 8pm daily.

Orovy Beachfront Restaurant Located at the northwestern corner of Emua Village, in the north of Efate Island. Locally owned. Great views of the offshore islands floating on Undine Bay. Ideal for lunch, a snack, or a cold Tusker while watching sunsets from the beach.

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Cook Islands

Check your clients’ passports Visitors to the Cook Islands who are on a holiday or a vacation are reminded that they must have at least six months validity on their passports beyond the contemplated period of stay, and a return ticket. This allows them to stay in the Cook Islands for up to 31 days, except New Zealand citizens automatically qualify for a 90-day stay. The advisory comes as a result of numerous people arriving without the required six-month validity on their passport. Those attending business meetings, conferences, exhibitions and sports activities, including tournaments, may also travel as bona-fide visitors. “We ask that you, as your client’s advisors and travel agencies, ensure your clients have the right documentation and passport validity to prevent them from being refused passage at the airport check-in, or being stopped at the Cook Islands border and being denied entry,” says Robert Skews, Managing Director of Turama Pacific. He says his company takes no responsibility, nor will it be held accountable, for clients who may be denied entry. “Clients denied entry will be regarded as a 'no show' and a full cancellation policy will apply,” he says.

Life experiences list runs hot and cold Milos Benek’s career in hospitality and event management has seen him work in an enviable variety of some of the world’s leading tourist centres. His new role is Food and Beverage Manager for the Nautilus Resort. Milos, who is known as Milo, has spent 11 years in the hospitality industry, working in Miami in the United States, Saint Tropez in France, Bodrum, Turkey, Dubai, the La Plage Beach Club in Ibiza and Blanco Beach Club in Portugal. Before this he worked for the global five-star Marco Polo Hotels in the Philippines and in China. When Milo was managing his restaurant in Saint Tropez, he says he had the opportunity to rub shoulders with royalty and aristocrats. Prior to entering the hospitality industry, Milo managed the biggest event company in Slovakia as director of operations. Milo says his passions are his family - he became a father again in August - followed by wine and sport, as he participated in two Winter Olympic Games.

Wedding chapel put to new use after fire A fire on July 29 at the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort has destroyed the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill and three other bungalows. Heavy machinery was on the site soon after the fire was extinguished to remove all the debris. In the meantime, the Wedding Chapel at Kuriri Point is being used as a temporary Beach Bar & Grill, and is open for food service from noon to 2pm, and for bar service from noon to 5pm. Room 11 is being restored, but all the Premium Beachfronts are back to normal, and the Spa Polynesia, gift shop, tour desk, gym and other services are operating as usual. Staff met with clients who are travelling to Aitutaki and staying at the resort to ensure the rooms they are staying in were not affected. The Bounty Restaurant continues to offer a full range of restaurant and bar services, and the Activities Hut has its usual programme of daily activities. All the watersports equipment is available.

Everything you need to relax & recharge

• Absolute Muri beachfront location • 4 spacious air-conditioned, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom luxury villas • Superb attention to detail • Fully equipped designer kitchen • Continental breakfast delivered to your villa daily • Infinity Pool, Spa/Jacuzzi • Private outdoor living space with BBQ • Kayaks & snorkelling equipment • Plenty of dining choices just a stroll away • No children under 12

P: + 682 55720 E: manager@crystalbluelagoonvillas.com www.crystalbluelagoonvillas.com 14

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Local legend takes last cross-country trek After 33 years and 5000 walks, there is little that Pa Teuruaa hasn’t seen on his trekking tours across Rarotonga as he helps visitors to identify leaves and herbs used in traditional remedies. His enthusiasm has never waned, and Pa’s Cross Island Trek has been one of the Cook Island’s leading eco-tourism ventures for decades. His reputation has attracted scientists and medical people from around the world, and the Dalai Lama has acknowledged Pa’s spiritual connection to Rarotonga. On May 10, around 40 walkers and well-wishers gathered to mark the milestone with the unveiling of a plaque placed near the entrance. “Trekking in the mountains started when I was four years old,” Pa says on his website. “My grandmother would send me to gather and count leaves and herbs for traditional healing.” The treks began in 1987, when his girlfriend (now his wife) sketched a picture of Pa standing on top of two mountains. “Next day, the hotels and motels were alerted to a new activity of hiking.” Pa’s nephew, Bruce Goldsworthy, is now leading the cross-island hiking tours, while Pa will concentrate on the nature walks.

Chef likes freshness, flavours and colour Austrian chef Phillip Nordt’s 30 years of experience in hospitality, including managing large hotels, is reflected in Manuia Beach Resort’s menus, which emphasise tropical colours, freshness and flavours at his restaurant, OTB. The experience starts as soon as you are seated, as the dining room is set directly on the beach on firm sand, and the tables might need a jiggle to level them. Phillip’s food combinations are based on macrobiotic principles and usually avoid combining starches with protein.

Welcome to Palm Grove, your private piece of paradise!

There is a big emphasis on fish. Entrees include ika mata, while the grilled mahi mahi main course comes with a rukau (local spinach) risotto, and the tiger prawns are flambéed and served with a gazpacho coulis. Meat eaters can order lamb tamaki for an entrée, then feast on “New Zealand steer”.

Beachfront and garden bungalows Onsite restaurant and bar Personal wedding co-ordinator Rarotonga’s quiet southern coast

The standard wine list is complemented by a reserve selection featuring some of New Zealand’s best labels. OTB has entertainment four nights a week, and there are special evenings on Fridays and Sundays. The three-course special dinner menu is changed every day.

PO Box 23, Rarotonga, Cook Islands p:+682 20002 e: beach@palmgrove.co.ck www.palmgrove.net

www.muribeachclubhotel.com Phone: +682 23000

RETREAT | RELAX | REVIVE

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Cook Islands

Family plot transformed into new resort Iaveta and Ruta Short originally decided to build two family houses on some land they owned on the shore of Muri Lagoon. “But as the family already own homes on Rarotonga, it made sense to build a new Moana Sands complex to add to and complement the two other Moana Sands properties in Titikaveka,” the couple said at the opening of the adults-only resort on May 31. All the 24 guest rooms in the new two-storey Moana Sands Lagoon Resort have unobstructed views of the lagoon from a patio or balcony. There are 22 Deluxe Lagoon Studios and two Lagoon Suites, all airconditioned with all the amenities one would expect from a resort group, complemented by a modern Polynesian décor. The resort’s centerpiece is the saltwater swimming pool, complete with sun-lounging deck and a swim-up pool bar. Guests will also be able to enjoy the sunshine and views from the Laguna restaurant and bar, which opened on July 16. The resort is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible, including an advanced sewage system, a wastewater treatment plant, a huge underground water tank to capture rainwater, and solar power panels. The Moana Sands Lagoon Resort complements the Moana Sands Group’s existing portfolio of the Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel and Moana Sands Beachfront Villas, both in Titikaveka. “We are grateful for the support of landowning families who have been behind us from the beginning of the project,” the couple said.

If you prefer the best of beachfront luxury with all the extra space of a villa layout, Te Vakaroa Villas are the perfect choice.

the finer things in life P: (682) 25590 or (682) 55020 16

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E: tevakaroa@villavacations.co.ck

Separate, spacious villa sized bedrooms All villas absolute beachfront Heated jacuzzi and large pool No children under 12 Complimentary breakfasts Complimentary Sky Pacific TV Complimentary 120mgb WiFi Complimentary snorkel equipment and all non-motorised water sports eg kayaks Gated property with a maximum of 18 guests Fruit platter and a bottle of wine on arrival AWARDED TRIPADVISOR’S CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE 2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017

www.tevakaroavillas.com


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Cook Islands

Resort opens for busy season Island Hopper Vacations has advised that Mangaia Villas, which is perched on the shores of one of the oldest islands in the Pacific, will re-open for business on October 1. Mangaia is honeycombed with intricate cave systems enclosing formations of stalagmites and stalactites, and is the ancient burial place for ancestors of the past. The self-contained one-bedroom villas with full kitchens and open-plan living provide a tranquil setting after a day of exploring the island. Another attraction is that Mangaia Villas provides an excellent viewing point for watching the whales that swim past during their annual migration between July and November. The daily rate for a one-bedroom villa includes a tropical breakfast. Air Rarotonga operates a scheduled service from Rarotonga to Mangaia three times a week.

New owners fulfill their dream When the owner of the Royale Taikitumu, Bill Rennie, decided to sell, John and Rose Dunn jumped at the opportunity to purchase. They had stayed at the resort several years ago and liked its peaceful ambience, shelter from the trade winds, close proximity to the reef and the quality of the beach. John himself is a Cook Islander through his greatgreat-grandmother, who migrated to New Zealand in the 1840s, and over the last decade he says he has reconnected with Rarotonga while visiting in his work as a surgeon. “Over this time our family has developed a deep affection for the Cook Islands. It was always our dream to have a place of our own. “It’s business as usual, ” says John, “with no disruption to reservations or services.” Their broad plan is to incrementally update, modernise and offer new services, while the longer-term vision is for more extensive improvements. “Rose has a refined and organic design aesthetic,” he says. “She has created awardwinning homes in Auckland and is the patron of Tautai, which supports and nurtures Pacific artists.” While new to the tourism industry, the couple have owned and run a private hospital in Auckland, “and obviously some of the service skills transfer.” Their four adult children can also add their own skills to the venture. The resort managers Tim and Lucile Meyer will continue to contribute their experience and knowledge, John says, and are supported by the resort’s loyal and longstanding staff, led by Mii.

Email Reservations : res@nautilusresortrarotonga.com Ph: +682 25125 www.nautilusresortrarotonga.com 18

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Cook Islands

Have some free wifi with your coffee The Tamanu Beach Resort at Aitutaki has announced further enhancements to their guests’ experiences for next year. From April 1, 2019 the resort will include an a la carte breakfast with barista coffee daily along with 1GB of free wifi per room per stay. “We are always looking to improve our product, says the General Manager, Nick Henry. “The new breakfast inclusion gives our guests a wider choice, and the extended wifi offer will more easily allow them to share their Aitutaki experience and stay connected with friends and family.” Tamanu’s accommodation will also see improvements. In 2017 it added outdoor showers to 12 of the bungalows, and by April 2019 the 10 one-bedroom bungalows will have new bathrooms complete with indoor and outdoor showers.

Marathon winner was a local Eighteen months of planning went into the inaugural Pursuit in Paradise – Aitutaki Marathon on May 1, and the race was topped off when Cook Islander Kelly Pick took first place. Her time for the 42.2 kilometre race was three hours, 36 minutes and 37 seconds. Nearly 150 local and international runners took part, including from New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Scotland and the United States. “Coming up the summit of the hill and looking out over the Aitutaki Lagoon was magic. That kept me going,” Kelly said. Various events were held over the five-day schedule, including a half-marathon, a 10 kilometre run and a fun run. The marathon was organised by Turama Pacific Travel Group and managed by Destination Management Cook Islands, with Tamanu Beach Resort hosting the briefing and prizegiving. “The success of the marathon wouldn’t have been possible without the help from the Aitutaki community, who were behind us all the way,” said a spokesperson for the event. The date for next year’s marathon has already been set and will be held from March 25-28. The event is open to everyone, including corporate groups and families, and for varying levels of fitness. DMCK says it has a variety of accommodation and travel packages available for Aitutaki and Rarotonga.

Paradise,

by true definition. Situated on the majestic Titikaveka Beach, Royale Takitumu is the epitome of serenity, luxury and intimacy. With three different room categories available, there are luxurious abodes to suit every need, and by welcoming guests ages 18 and over, Royale Takitumu guarantees you a blissful and quiet stay here in our little paradise.

www.royaletakitumu.com

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Several of the Garden Bungalows already have views of the lagoon “and in 2019 we are offering four additional lagoon view bungalows, providing guests with more options of guaranteed lagoon views,” Nick said. The improvements follow on from the 2017 renovations and the opening of the new Day Spa & Tranquillity Garden in 2018. The improvements also come with new low season offers and deals for agents who wish to have a famil at the resort.


Cook Islands

Resort serves up new suites for couples Couples staying at Club Raro Resort for the first time, or maybe going back to enjoy another break, now have another option when it’s time to consider where they want to stay. On July 1 the resort launched its 16 new Tamure Suites, with bookings open from August onwards. The suites bring a new dimension to the room inventory for Club Raro, and are also suitable for singles and long-stay holidays. The tariff will be pitched between the Poolside Rooms and the Studio Apartments in price. Tennis players will find the Tamure Suites occupy the space which was formerly the tennis courts, while the name reflects the resort’s earlier name before it was Club Raro. Each suite on the ground floor has a patio, while guests staying in the suites on the first floor can enjoy the sun from their balcony. The décor reflects a fresh, tropical Polynesian influence, with light, bright colours. The suites are of studio layout and will sleep up to two adults and one child, or three adults with an extra person rate applying to the third adult. As usual, all the suites are airconditioned, with a ceiling fan, and there is a television with satellite channels, a refrigerator, room service and a daily maid service. The area is undergoing landscaping to provide privacy and to enable guests to have their own areas to enjoy cooking a meal on their own barbecue, or for private functions.

Modern style. Maximum space. Welcome to Pacific Palms Villa Rarotonga There are some fine accommodation options spread across the beautiful island of Rarotonga. But very few offer the style, space and convenience of Pacific Palms. Indeed, this standalone designer beach house sets itself apart. Tucked away down a quiet lane, just a few minutes walk from a spectacular blue lagoon, the stylish three-bedroom property is the ideal choice for extended family groups, or two or three couples. Complete privacy is guaranteed, and with local shops and a café close by, stocking up on supplies couldn’t be any easier. And when you factor in a price that’s easily affordable when split between guests, staying at Pacific Palms makes even more sense.

P: +682 74767 E: enquiries@pacificpalmsvilla.co.ck www.pacificpalmsluxuryvilla.com

Features include: • Spacious open plan living • Full equipped entertainer's kitchen • Three air conditioned double bedrooms • King sized beds • Walk-in wardrobes • Large ensuites • Private swimming pool • Lush tropical gardens

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Tahiti

Yoga over a blue lagoon Imagine a yoga class in a luxurious resort in Tahiti, at the very end of the pier stretching out over a lagoon, isolated and silent except for the sounds of nature. That was the inspiration behind the private classes now available at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. The resort says those who have already experienced the classes have commented on how rejuvenating it is, and how it leaves them full of positive energy. The private yoga classes can be organised upon request, individually or as a couple. Beginners as well as those who are already experienced in yoga will challenge themselves over the lagoon's crystal blue waters. The unique experience is hosted by Stéphanie Bertreux, the spa manager, who trained for yoga vinyasa in Bali at Blissology Yoga school, certified by Yoga Alliance. Stéphanie’s mantra is “Nothing to prove, everything to share.”

Tea or tapas Those early evening hunger pangs before dinner are well satisfied at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort, which is serving a tapas menu on Fridays and Saturdays. Guests can choose between three tapas from a selection of seafood, meat, vegetarian or sweets, and are served for two people. The resort also has a new offer at the Spa, an afternoon tea. The Tea Time and Spa includes chef’s pastries, followed by an Outdoor Polynesian Massage of 60 minutes.

Food truck fare Tahiti style In recent years the food truck movement has taken off worldwide, but in Papeete they’ve been a staple for many years. Visitors just need to make their way to Place Vaiete (near the docks) from 6pm onwards. There they’ll find dozens of food caravans serving up all manner of gastronomic delights. Plastic tables, chairs and cutlery are set-up and the atmosphere is very relaxed, with lots of locals enjoying the food and the view. Needless to say, it’s a must-do that your tastebuds will thank you for!

© Grégoire Le Bacon

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Tahiti

Tahiti is a surfer’s paradise In August the World Surf League rolled through Tahiti with the Billabong Pro once again being held at Teahupoo – the site of some of the planet's most dangerous and spectacular waves. While giant swells didn’t arrive in time for the contest, there were still plenty of barrels on offer with Brazilian Gabriel Medina winning the contest. But while waves like Teahupoo are the domain of experts, French Polynesia also offers waves that your average surfer will love. The island of Huahine (about 200 kilometres west of Tahiti) has a variety of reef breaks that can be accessed by paddling from the land, or by hitching a ride on a boat. And because Huahine has a small population of just over 6000, the crowd factor is much lower than Tahiti.

Sky high in Moorea You can be as excited as you want to be on the aerial courses at Tiki Parc Moorea, with its rope courses, zip lines and bridges set in tropical jungle inland from Opunohu Bay, up in the trees with the light forming on the mountains. The first level, Tiki 1 is a high walking platform that children as young as four can participate in. Once the guide buckles you into your safety lines and briefs you, you’re on your own. And once you start you have to finish. Tiki 3 and Tiki 4 have some high rope challenges and zip lines to get the adrenalin buzz going, making them a great bonding exercise for couples, or parents with children aged 12 or over. A new, special thrill is a giant swing. Some points are up to 20 metres above the ground, balancing on a platform only half a metre wide, but the guides ensure you are always safe, and can hold a camera or phone to take photographs. The latest thrill, introduced in July, is a swing jump into the void from a height of 20 metres. Allow a half-day, and take a lunch. For another wide-angled, not to mention wide-eyed thrill, guides at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea will strap you into a parasail harness on Moorea Lagoon, tether you to a rope tied to the back of their boat, then set off at some pace. As you ascend as high as 150 metres above the lagoon, the mountainous terrain will spread in front, while below, you may glimpse dolphins, fish and lots of other marine life swimming in the clear water. Between July and November you may even see humpback whales.

Village reveals Tahiti’s true spirit In the sparsely populated area of southwestern Moorea, well away from the resorts, is the revamped Tiki Village, where visitors can discover the Polynesia of yesteryear and appreciate traditional Tahitian life. Families live in the village, which features 20 traditional dwellings, or fare. Each fare reveals a different aspect of Tahitian life, such as musical instruments, fabrics, craftwork, making baskets, a temple, and a place where food is prepared and cooked. There are also workshops. Try weaving a basket or tray, make a poisson cru of raw fish with coconut milk, blow into a flute, or pu, beat a drum or paint a pareo, their wraparound skirt. The Tiki Restaurant also includes poisson cru and other seafood, along with chicken cooked Tahitian style, and flambeed bananas for dessert. Visitors can arrange for a guide to take them beyond Tiki Village, with stops to try local plants and herbal treatments, and hear old stories and legends. The Polynesian evening is the highlight for many. It starts with a traditional greeting, before guests are invited to a meal cooked in a Tahitian oven, or ahi ma, followed by exciting rhythms and colours as the troupe reveals the spirit of Polynesia, the mana, in song and dance.

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Live Exquisite www.stregisborabora.com | reservations@stregisborabora.com | Banner SRBB 11 - Live Exquisite.indd 1

stregisborabora 24/08/2018 17:47:59

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Fiji

Planning starts for 50th birthday celebration General Manager Alex Wilson and his team at Plantation Resort are working on an initiative to enhance the guest experience as part of the resort’s 50th anniversary next year. It was first opened in 1969 by Reg Raffe as the Plantation Village Resort, its original name, with six rooms. “So it’s important to keep things fresh and find new ways to keep our guests happy and introduce new activities and experiences for them to enjoy,” says Alex. The resort has a couple of new experiences for guests. Alex, who is a keen kayaker, has introduced the new, complimentary GM Kayak Trip, where he takes a group kayaking from the resort to the sandbar every Sunday. Plantation Island Resort’s inaugural Market Day was held on July 21, with stalls, food and music. The resort says it is considering making the market a regular event.

Nanuku’s new couples experience is the "bee’s knees" Inspired by wild honey harvesting from the Nanuku Bee Hive, Nanuku Auberge Resort has created a unique three-part adventure for couples. The journey begins by visiting Nanuku’s Beekeeper, Peter, and his 2000 roaring bees including the Queen Bee, Adi Kamica or "Sweet Queen". Safely suited in protective clothing, guests learn about Fijian honey making and the Nanuku Hive. Afterwards, guests are treated to either a luxurious Honey Firming Facial, or a massage in Nanuku’s Lomana Spa. Last but certainly not least, the adventure is completed with a honey-based cocktail at sunset followed by a five-course honey-themed degustation dinner for two at Nanuku’s Kanavata Restaurant or one of the many Destination Dining venues, such as Treetop Dining or Cliffside Dining. Excuse the pun, but life will never be so sweet!

InterContinental cuts plastic straws InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa has announced the launch of a Plastic Straw-free campaign. Recent trends of increased plastic use across Fiji have seen a threat to the marine life and ecosystem. In an effort to conserve and protect the environment, this green initiative by the InterContinental Resort & Spa will account for the elimination of more than 50,000 plastic straws annually. The resort is also involved in a variety of local projects including marine conservation initiatives such as coral planting, and Reef-ology – where guests are educated on the importance of coral reefs and the issues impacting the marine ecosystem. The South Pacific General Manager at InterContinental, Andrew Davidson, says "taking meaningful steps to eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items will help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals as environmental stewards. Biodegradable paper straws will now substitute plastic straws and be provided to our guests only upon request across all our outlets".

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Fiji

Volivoli adds Oceanfront Villas Sitting on the northern tip of Viti Levu (about 2.5 hours drive north of Nadi) Volivoli Beach Resort is a boutique resort for travellers who really want to get away from it all. The property has recently expanded its accommodation with the introduction of four new luxury Oceanfront Villas. Situated at the front edge of the property, a stone’s throw from the beautiful Coral Sea, the two-bedroom villas offer expansive views, large patio areas and private swimming pools. With that extra bedroom and separate living areas, these villas are ideal for families, groups of friends and honeymooners looking for extra privacy and space. And the relaxed atmosphere that Volivoli is known for.

Just steps from the pristine sands of Malolo Lailai in the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji. Sits the iconic Musket Cove, a four star island resort which blends the barefoot ambience of a tropical island with the warm hospitality and traditions of the Fijian people.

Ph. +679 666 2215 events@musketcovefiji.com

musketcovefiji.com

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Fiji

Retreat is moving with the times Crusoe’s Retreat is changing rapidly these days, with lots of extensions and additions and more to come. The new Taki Beach Bar and Grill waterfront dining space is proving to be a popular spot for guests to relax and enjoy the sunsets. Another addition is a hot pool with space for up to 20 people. A thatched roof over the pool ensures guests can relax there whether it’s sunny or raining. The overhaul includes smaller details, such as changing the pathways to ensure more privacy for guests who sit on the verandas of their Seaside Deluxe Bures and enjoy the ocean view. Another change is the re-branding of the former Dive Crusoe’s to Coral Coast Divers to acknowledge the allure of the Coral Coast. Scott says corporate team-building is proving popular, as the resort offers snorkelling, kayaking, ziplining, waterfall treks and other activities. He says the changes are bringing Crusoe’s Retreat closer to his vision of a perfect Fijian sanctuary.“It feels like there’s new life being breathed into the place. The atmosphere is really relaxed.” And finally, the website has been refreshed. Future plans include new waterfront palapas, with thatched roofs and open sides, and revising the gardens for a lush, tropical feel.

A flight of fancy Searching for an amazing way to start or finish a holiday in Fiji? Pacific Island Air has created a magical overnight package with Nanuya Island Resort in the Yasawa Islands. Guests can arrive on a seaplane after a scenic flight over the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, with a commentary from the pilot en route. There’s a welcome and drink on arrival, a welcoming dinner (alcohol not included in the package price), and an overnight stay in a twin share Treetop Bure. The following morning includes breakfast, a half-day tour to Sawa-I-Lau caves, a “morning tour experience” or spa treatment and a typical Fijian farewell before being whisked away on the return flight. Pick up and drop off at Denarau and Nadi hotels is included in the package.

Radisson ignites new fire show Raddison Blu Resort has taken guest entertainment to a new level with Denarau’s first fire-on-water show. Performed at the top of the resort’s own waterfall, this spectacular live fire show features running water around fire-twirling Fijian dancers and minimal mood lighting. Needless to say, the performance has an overwhelming fiery glow! “If you are looking for something really unique and different with fire performance, consider heading down to Radisson Blu Resort for some fire-on-water action,” says Charles Homsy, General Manager at the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji. We’re sure the show will prove very popular.

Day 5: Nadi to Beachcomber Island, arrive at this amazing island late morning, just in time for lunch. Day 6: Beachcomber Island, spend a day doing activities or relaxing on your tropical paradise! FJ$2,035 dorm / shared beds Travel time: 11 days / 10 nights Day 7: Beachcomber Island to Blue Lagoon Resort. Your first experience of the amazing Yasawa Islands Group. Arriving FJ$2,350 double / twin private Departs from Nadi: Wed & Sat mid afternoon to take in the amazing beach and activities on Check out our website for more detailed pass itineraries, Fiji information, planning tools, terms Day 1: Nadi to Robinson Crusoe Island including Nadi Town, jungle boat offer. & conditions, see what our passengers say about us and their adventures, and to book online! trip and the afternoon on the island including a snorkelling trip to Day 8: Spend your day at Blue Lagoon Resort at leisure www.feejeeexperience.com or email us on enquiries@feejeeexperience.com a nearby reef! Day 9: Blue Lagoon Resort to Barefoot Manta. Enjoy your afternoon Day 2: Robinson Crusoe Island to Uprising Beach including the scenic snorkeling, swimming, or participating in one of the many Valid for travel until 31st March 2019 Coral Coast and the famous rainforest trek before a swim at the resort activities. mile long Uprising Beach. Day 10: Your last full day, go diving, or snorkeling with the Day 3: Uprising Beach Resort to Golden Point Resort including Suva city Mantarays! tour, Nasautoka Highland Village, school / orphanage visit and Day 11: Barefoot Manta to Nadi depart bilibili rafting. Day 4: Golden Point Resort to Nadi including Ba Town, and then onto the Sabeto Valley, where you can soak in natural mud pools – Fiji style!

FEEJEE FIVE

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SHANGRI-LA’S FIJIAN RESORT & SPA DISCOVER A PRIVATE ISLAND PARADISE.

An easy 45 minute drive from Nadi, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa is a Coral Coast sanctuary in a world of its own. Set on a 109-acre private island with 442 rooms, suites and bures all with ocean views, it’s a place where you can lounge on natural white sandy beaches and play in the protected crystal clear lagoon. With a choice of 6 restaurants and 5 bars, it promises varied dining experiences throughout the Resort. CHI, The Spa ensures that you leave absolutely soothed and if you have family in tow, our kids club crew will provide them with endless entertainment and activities – both educational and cultural.

Ph (679) 652 0155 www.shangri-la.com


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Solomon Islands

New direction for marketing the Solomons abroad Solomon Islands’ destination marketing has taken a “seismic shift” with the introduction of a new “Solomon Is” brand and a new name for the NTO. A key component sees The new logo for Tourism Solomons features an iconic the Solomon Islands Solomon Islands’ dugout canoe Visitors’ Bureau being renamed Tourism Solomons, and the NTO’s familiar sun, island and sea logo being replaced with a new logo featuring an iconic Solomon Islands’ dugout canoe. Describing the initiative as a “seismic shift” in the destination’s international marketing direction, Tourism Solomons’ Chief Executive Officer, Josefa “Jo” Tuamoto, says the Solomon Is branding has been purposely created to be versatile. He says it covers every niche the multi-faceted destination offers, and sets the Hapi Isles apart from its South Pacific neighbours. “We are confident the new branding truly characterises the destination’s identity, message, image and positioning,” Tuamoto said. “It will provide the platform for the Solomon Islands to optimally market itself in the international arena for the next decade or more.”

Strong VA performance The Solomon Islands has rounded off Q2 in style, with June 2018 visitor arrivals growing by eight percent over the same period last year. The results follow a strong May 2018 result, which saw an 8.21 percent upswing in international visitors. Figures released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office show the May-June figures take the Solomon Islands visitor intake for the period January-June to 13,317, a 17 percent increase over the 11,306 recorded in 2017. The biggest increase across June again came from New Zealand - up 17.8 percent.

Our Pacific Fatboys Resort special Fatboys Resort in the Western Province has combined with Our Pacific, Solomon Airlines and Qantas to offer a six-night stay with lots of extras. These include a daily continental breakfast, a welcome drink on arrival, a free guided walk and tour of Gizo, free wifi and return boat transfers. The offer also includes one night pre and one night post-Fatboys stay in executive accommodation at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara, and airport-hotel transfers to and from Honiara International Airport. The special offer is available for travel until December 15 but must be booked by November 30. Conditions apply.

New cruises open up remote islands The Florida and Russell Islands archipelagos - two little-known but culturally rich island groups in the Solomon Islands - will be easier to experience following the launch of a new cruise ship programme. The new Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises heralds a long-awaited return to dedicated smallship cruising in the islands. The company plans to operate six adventure itineraries in 2018-2019 operating ex-Honiara. It has employed the 30 metre MV Taka to operate the six and seven-day cruises. Departures have been timed to dovetail with Solomon Airlines’ Brisbane-Honiara services. Both island groups are also rich in Second World War history, and passengers will gain valuable insights into the infamous Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 via the many wrecked United States and Japanese aircraft, warships and relics which literally litter the seabed. Prices are for quad-share accommodation and will include all meals and all activities. Conditions apply.

Minimum standards for tourism accommodation The Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Solomons, Josefa “Jo” Tuamoto, has applauded a move to introduce a national Minimum Standards and Classification for Tourism Accommodation programme. He said the move by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture & Tourism was “a major step in the right direction” for the destination’s tourism industry. The main thrust behind the programme is to implement what is seen as an essential improvement of standards in the tourism accommodation sector. The minimum standards are a set of measurable criteria that outline items and services that must be in place for a tourism accommodation to operate according to internationally recognised standards. The release of the programme was timely in view of the efforts the Solomon Islands has gone to in recent times to increase its profile on the international tourism stage, Tuamoto said. “This long-awaited but carefully laid out programme will act as a catalyst for the local tourism accommodation sector to take a holistic approach to service excellence. It’s definitely a major step in the right direction for the destination’s tourism industry.” The programme was officially launched by the Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo.

Solomon Is. Freedom NEVER FORGET, NEVER AGAIN

Pictured at the launch of the Minimum Standards and Classification for Tourism Accommodation programme in Honiara (from left to right): Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo, the Deputy Director of Tourism, Ms Savita Nandan, and Australian Volunteer International’s Bjorn Svensson.

Solomon Is. Epic visitsolomons.com.sb September/October 2018

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American Samoa

Funds will help solve coral problem American Samoa has been awarded funding to study the coral reefs in the waters off Ofu and Olosega islands in Manu’a. The reefs are currently suffering from problems caused by algae growing over the coral. “So we were awarded US$179,000 to do a study of how we can clean it out and why this happened,” said Marine and Wildlife Director Va’amua Henry Sesepasara. The grant followed a presentation to the 40th Meeting of the US Coral Reef Task Force held in American Samoa in midAugust. The Task Force was established in 1998 to lead US efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems around the world. Marine scientists have predicted that coral reefs worldwide, including those within the National Park of American Samoa, will suffer substantial mortality over the next 20-30 years due to global warming. More than 50 delegates attended the conference.

Sanctuary is now a virtual reality

Accommodation limiting tourism growth

What is it like to go diving in American Samoa? You can now experience its underwater treasures from your own home, says the National Marine Sanctuary American Samoa.

Limited visitor accommodation in American Samoa is one of the challenges for Hawaiian Airlines in growing the local tourism industry, says the airline’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ingram.

The sanctuary can now be experienced in augmented reality or virtual reality via the website Google Expeditions, creating the illusion that the viewer is exploring and swimming underwater. It is now one of 800 virtual reality and 100 augmented reality tours available on Google Expeditions. The virtual dive can also be experienced through VR viewers at the Tauese PF Sunia Ocean Centre in Utulei. It is a good option for visitors who can’t travel to the outer islands to visit the sanctuary.

In an interview with Samoa News he said the airline’s sales team was working with local tourism “on opportunities to present at different travel conferences ... travel packages for the territory to help stimulate tourism. “I think one of the challenges we see with how much [tourism] can grow is, we still have a very limited inventory of accommodation overall in American Samoa,” Ingram said. For a tourist to visit, “one has to be aware” of the destination. Ingram was in American Samoa as the leader of a Hawaiian Airline delegation from Honolulu who met with the Governor and visited the airline’s local workforce. Ingram said his company could help generate awareness of American Samoa as a visitor destination. But once they were aware, visitors needed to be able to understand the infrastructure in terms of accommodation, rental car services and other amenities. “And that is beyond the scope of what we operate,” he said. “We have a good relationship and have a good dialogue with the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, on how we can bring different constituents in the tourism sector together.”

Music helps unite two Samoas Visitors, friends, families, fans, musicians and artists from near and far will be travelling to the Samoana Jazz & Arts Festival of 2Samoas from November 9-11. It will be the usual colourful mix of music, culture, discussion, jams and workshops, but with a strong underlying message. The aim is to build the festival into the Pacific's premier annual pilgrimage. It combines two countries - east and west - into an annual weekend festival of the 2Samoas. It will open in American Samoa and close in Samoa. For the first time since the festival started in 2014 Samoana will feature on 2Fridays, 2Saturdays and 2Sundays - in 2Samoas. “We aim to provide a world-class musical and arts experience within our thriving Samoan cultural environment for patrons, audiences and artists – creating economic development benefits to the peoples of the Samoa Islands,” say the organisers. “We are one people, one language, and one culture, showcasing all the things we are, in celebration with others from around the world. New Zealand will be represented again by Edwina Thorne, who has appeared in every festival since it began. She will teach, mentor and entertain the audiences with her improvisations, flair and talent.

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Samoa

Taumeasina Island Resort Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa offers a relaxing, tropical island paradise, yet is within easy access to sightseeing, shopping and entertainment in Apia township. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic scenic mountains of Upolu as you swim in the cool waters of the lagoon, relax by the two resort pools, or enjoy a refreshing beverage at the Manu bar. Taumeasina offers spacious two and three-bedroom self-contained villas and a range of hotel rooms, all with a private balcony or patio and remarkable water views. Dining is a taste sensation with a great selection of a la carte menu options and buffet dinners. When a little indulgence is on the agenda, visit the Fofo Samoa Day Spa and enjoy a relaxing massage or an invigorating facial. And for those with energy to expend, the Activities team will welcome you to join in the daily fun. The resort specialises in romantic weddings, and also has first-class facilities for your next conference or event. The staff are attentive and aim to ensure your holiday experience exceeds your expectations. Talofa and welcome to Taumeasina Island Resort - your Samoa holiday awaits!

www.taumeasinaislandresortsamoa.com

Samoa’s Premier Island Resort

Escape to paradise and experience a relaxing getaway at Taumeasina Island Resort. Offering deluxe island hotel and villa accommodation, 4 star facilities and services along with world class dining, it’s everything you want in a holiday and more!

P: +685 61000 E: info@taumeasinaislandresortsamoa.com www.taumeasinaislandresortsamoa.com September/October 2018

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Queensland

New adventures at Tangalooma Island Tangalooma Island Resort has added to its array of activities with a new Aussie Jet Boat Tour and Southern Safari. For adrenalin seekers, the new jet boating experience offers the opportunity to see some of Moreton Bay’s most stunning scenery while experiencing the thrill and excitement of the purpose-built jet boat. For a more laid back experience of Moreton Island there’s the Southern Safari Tour, which will take you to all those hidden island gems embedded amongst the lush national park. A few of the Safari highlights include exploring the eastern beaches, the Second World War Rous Battery site, Mirapool lagoon, the Big & Little Sandhills, Kooringal Township with an island lunch at the Gutter Bar and the Normandy and Fairlight Wrecks.

Chef is keen on local suppliers Executive Chef Bradley Martin has spent a lot of time with local suppliers as he prepares to lead Daydream Island Resort’s dining operations when it reopens later this year. The resort closed for a A$100 million redevelopment in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. “I have been meeting local farmers and producers in the Whitsundays region and am excited by the quality of food that surrounds us,” says Bradley, who is classically trained in European cuisine and Asian fusion. “My food is prepared with love and respect and my menus will show this through simple yet modern dishes,” says Bradley. He will oversee the opening of three restaurants; Graze Interactive Dining, Infinity, which includes a private teppanyaki suite, and Inkstone Kitchen and Bar, and four bars; Lovers Cove, Barefoot Bar, Tonic and Silica. Bradley also plans to share his food at the local Lions Airlie Beach community markets and host weekly cooking sessions with local schools. A passionate Queenslander, Bradley will bring his extensive resort experience to the island, most recently as Executive Chef at Taumeasina Island Resort Samoa. Daydream Island Resort will have 277 rooms, a large pool and deck, and a Living Reef, a free-form coral lagoon with underwater viewing and a turtle rehabilitation centre.

Underwater art in the Whitsundays Langford Reef in the Whitsunday Islands has become home to an installation of underwater and inter-tidal art. The artworks include fish, a nudibranch and a crab. The aim is to provide a new experience for people travelling to the Whitsundays. A trial installation of the artwork is being funded through the Queensland Government and Federal Government’s $7 million Tourism Recovery Fund, with the hope to recover the marine tourism industry after Cyclone Debbie. Tourism Whitsundays General Manager, Tash Wheeler said this was a great outcome for both the Whitsundays and Queensland, having secured the first underwater sculpture in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which both visitors and locals can enjoy. This has been a mammoth effort of collaboration by many parties; the State and Federal Governments, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Whitsunday Regional Council and Reef Ecologic should be congratulated on their efforts in making the underwater artwork possible.

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Queensland

Something for everyone at Hamilton Island Perfectly located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is nestled amongst the 74 Whitsunday Islands just off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Enjoy the beautiful weather, natural surroundings, flora and fauna, and pristine beaches. With over 60 activities to choose from, an exciting year-round calendar of events and a variety of bars and restaurants, there truly is something to suit all ages and interests. During your stay, indulge in a luxurious spa treatment, take on 18-holes at the championship golf course or join the complimentary group activities. For further convenience, guests and residents have access to an IGA Supermarket which offers fresh fruit, vegetables, deli items and everyday groceries. Plus, those travelling with children under 12 years can take advantage of the Kids Stay and Eat Free program available at selected accommodation and restaurants. Catering to families, couples and groups, Hamilton Island offers a wide selection of accommodation options from the freestanding Palm Bungalows to breathtaking views at the Reef View Hotel and the self-catered Holiday Homes. If a romantic escape is more your style, choose between the adults-only oasis of Beach Club, or world-class luxury at qualia. Offering packages to suit every travel style and need, you’re truly spoilt for choice on Hamilton Island. Plus, with commissionable rates on Hamilton Island Explore experiences, including tours to the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, visiting Hamilton Island firsthand has never been so easy.

Where in the world would you rather be? R E L A X | D I V E | S A I L | G O L F | L I V E | P L AY To book, call +61 2 9433 0444 or visit hamiltonisland.com.au

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Niue

Keeping Niue clean, green and pristine Following on from the successful launch of a programme to phase out single-use plastic bags by next July, Sustainable Niue is expected to be operating a plant to recycle waste on Niue by the end of next year. The collection and segregation of recyclable items began at the start of this year, so processing could start as soon as the facility is ready. The Niue Recycling Facility will start with glass and plastic bottles, before expanding to other materials such as aluminium cans, paper and electronic waste. Glass is currently crushed and used to fill potholes, and a shredding machine for green waste is being trialed. Niue is future-proofing its pristine image and environment, with the goal of keeping the small, island nation a beautiful spot to live in and for holidays.

Discover a new spot With great fishing and deep blue waters only metres offshore, anglers in Niue can spend more time doing what they love - fishing, not travelling. Locals report that the fishing has been outstanding recently, with wahoo, yellowfin tuna, marlin, giant trevally, mahi mahi and sailfish among common catches. Niue has several professional fishing operators running established, safe and reliable charters, with all equipment supplied. They often customise charters to customer’s requirements. For a unique Niuean fishing experience, visitors can try fishing the traditional way from a vaka, or canoe.

Namukulu Cottages offer six spacious, deluxe self-contained cottages/studios, all featuring private decks with BBQs. A beautiful, secluded location within minutes of five of Niue’s most spectacular snorkelling sites. Enjoy panoramic views of the sea, explore the pristine reef or cycle through lush forests right from your Namukulu doorstep.

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+(683) 4533 relax@namukulu-cottages.nu www.namukulu-cottages.nu


Niue

KaiNiue almost close enough to taste Foodies need to get in quick to experience Niue’s biennial KaiNiue Food and Wine Festival in early November. The event promotes the use of local Niuean food, ingredients and cuisine, prepared by special guest chefs. This year the chefs are Rex Morgan, the co-owner of Wellington’s Boulcott Street Bistro Restaurant and host of Maori Television’s Kitchen Kura; Jeremy Rameka, the co-owner of Pacifica, Cuisine magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year, in Napier; and Ant and Lou Bentley from the Akaroa Cooking School. Festival events include master cooking classes, lunch at the New Zealand High Commission and a gala dinner. www.kainiue.com

Did you know? All about uga The uga (pronounced oonga) crab is native to Niue and the adults live on land - in the bush, not the sea. They come in a range of colours, from deep blue to vibrant orange and red (when cooked). Uga eat coconuts, dehusking them with their giant claws, making them pound for pound one of the strongest creatures on earth. This also gives their flesh a delicate coconut flavour. Coconut crabs are found throughout the Pacific but Niue is one of the few places where they are still common enough to be hunted. It’s a delicacy, only cooked for special occasions, as each crab requires a lot of preparation for a small amount of meat. Niue banned all exports of uga a few years ago, so you can only find or eat them when you are on the island. Visitors to Niue have the chance to go on an uga hunt, providing the opportunity to see uga in their natural habitat, have the lifecycle explained and see first-hand some of the methods used to capture them. They will also learn why they are of such cultural importance to Niueans. For the brave, you may get the chance to hold one, for the lucky you may get the chance to try some!

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You won’t find the average traveller in Niue. What you will find is one of the world’s largest raised coral atolls; unspoilt, majestic and waiting for you to explore. www.niueisland.com

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New Caledonia

Become a bougna gourmet What culinary specialty gathers Pacific islands such as Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and New Zealand? It’s traditional cooking using hot stones in the ground, and it’s called a bougna in New Caledonia. On September 29 and 30 the Le Meridien in Noumea will be showcasing three different ways of preparing a bougna and pairing it up with New Caledonia’s other specialty, French wines! Guests will also be invited to discover local cultures and traditions through activities such as a botanical visit of the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, and weaving and sculpture workshops at Le Méridien Ile des Pins and Sheraton Deva. This will be followed by an evening buffet dinner feast featuring local dance performances.

Nouvata Resort create family haven Families take note. A new premium room category is now available for bookings at Nouvata Resort Noumea. The spacious 90 square metre floorplan is perfect for family groups, plus it comes with a large furnished balcony offering panoramic views over Anse Vata Beach and the surrounding lagoon. One king bed, one single bed and up to two rollaway beds provide plenty of sleeping options. Rooms are equipped with individual airconditioning, or guests can just pull back the sliding doors if they prefer natural airflow. A big bonus is the separate kitchenette with a microwave, fridge and tea/coffee facilities – which gives families the chance to whip up snacks and meals using all the delicious French-sourced delicacies to be found in Noumea.

LE MERIDIEN ILE DES PINS T +687 265 000 lemeridieniledespins.com

#DiscoverNewCaledonia Less than three hours from Auckland

QUINTESSENTIAL ISLAND ELEGANCE Discover an exclusive haven of breathtaking natural beauty and elegant island comfort. To learn more, visit lemeridieniledespins.com S 22° 39’ E 169° 29’ DESTINATION UNLOCKED

©2018 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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New Caledonia

Enjoy dining discounts with GLP Hotels For all the food lovers out there planning to visit New Caledonia, this special offer could be just what you’re after. Stay at any of the GLP Hotels (Hilton Noumea La Promenade, Nouvata Resort or Escapade Ilot Maitre) and you will receive a 15 percent discount when dining at Equilibre Restaurant at Nouvata, La Terrasse Restaurant at Nouvata and Escapade Island Resort Restaurant. The discount is valid on full-price meal options, excluding breakfast, beverages and theme evenings. It is recommended that reservations are made in advance and organised through the reception desk at the hotel where you are staying. Bon appetite!

Action aplenty in Noumea A holiday in New Caledonia doesn’t have to be all lazing at the beach or lounging by the pool. For those wanting to get out and about, Promenade Tours in Noumea offer a range of activities and excursions. Visitors can relive the colonial era of New Caledonia on the Heritage Tour - beginning with a hotel pick up, the six-hour adventure kicks off with a coffee stop in the city, then continues through the colonial suburb of Faubourg Blanchot with a visit to Maison Cellières. A guide will take you through Chateau Hagen then on to a famous local restaurant for lunch. The tour offers an array of scenic viewpoints. If you happen to be in Noumea on the first Thursday of any month and feel like a night out, enjoy a tapas evening with live music on Duck Island – located five minutes from the shores of Anse Vata Bay. The taxi boats leave from the local beach from 6pm onwards and return from 8-11pm. Entry includes return boat transfers, two vouchers for tapas, two drink vouchers and entertainment with a local DJ.

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Hawai’i

Kona Coffee Festival is the ultimate fix The Big Island (Hawaii) is the home of Kona coffee, and from November 9-18, the 48th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will celebrate this world-famous brew. There are a host of activities to see and do. They include a Kona Coffee Cupping Competition, Lantern Parade, hands-on cultural events, Kona Coffee farm and mill tours, art exhibits, and the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant and more. The cultural heritage of Kona’s coffee industry is built on the multi-generational farmers, mainly of Japanese descent, who established coffee plantations in the Kona District along with the native Hawaiian host culture who had earlier ties to growing coffee in Kona. The award-winning festival is recognised as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawaii and is a must-see for those staying on the Big Island. Find out more at www.konacoffeefest.com

Strong numbers from NZ

Take a ride on the wild side If you’re looking for a first-hand volcano experience, try this action-packed adventure with Volcano Bike Tours. Their new tour welcomes guests to Kilauea volcano's East Rift Zone in the Puna district of Hawaii Island. Highlights include viewing portions of the area's renowned Red Road.

Hawaii Tourism Authority figures released at the end of July have highlighted growth from the New Zealand visitor market. Supported by an increase in air service, visitor arrivals rose in both the first half of 2018 (+39.1% to 37,663) and in June (+29% to 9,180). Great stuff.

The guided tour also includes a hike to a black sand beach and a chance to catch the glow of lava in the evening sky. A comfortable hybrid bicycle, helmet, rain poncho, water, snacks, lunch, an interpretive guide and van support are provided. www.bikevolcano.com

The more tours the merrier Hawaii Island-based KapohoKine Adventures has recently launched eight new tours. The adventures include opportunities to follow British explorer Captain James Cook by foot and zodiac boat, a look at the island's paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage, visits to sacred heiau (temple) sites, tours of the Hilo and Puna coastlines, road tripping the plantation towns of the Hamakua Heritage Corridor, waterfall discoveries and lava boat adventures. There is literally something for everyone and they are all an amazing chance to soak up the local culture and stunning natural environment. www.kapohokine.com

©KaphoKine

Take a hike on Maui Tucked away on the 6,000-foot elevation of Haleakala volcano’s verdant southwestern face, Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area is home to several of the island’s coolest – literally and figuratively – forest hiking trails. A loop trail combining four of the trails – Polipoli, Haleakala Ridge, Plum and Redwood – takes hikers through some of the most scenic sections of the forested area populated by stands of non-native California pine, cypress, cedar and even redwood trees, accompanied by a soundtrack of native bird songs. On clear days, a lookout on the Haleakala Ridge Trail reveals a view of the island of Hawaii across the Alenuihaha Channel.

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AS IF AN

OCEAN VIEW WA S N ’ T E N O U G H

EXPERIENCE OUR ROOM & BREKKIE PACKAGE Includes an ocean view room, welcome drinks for two, daily breakfast at 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, guaranteed early check-in at noon and no resort charge. 5 night minimum stay required.

At the Prince Waikiki, the infinity pool and ocean merge while our personalized service helps everyday life vanish into the horizon.

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Our tropical paradise awaits you Experience barefoot relaxation at our beautiful 63 FarĂŠ (bungalow), child free resort. Located on a private beachfront cove at Pango Peninsular in Port Vila, you will find welcoming smiles and your own space to unwind. We are famous for our beachside dining and outstanding cuisine, come and join us. Book today through your preferred wholesaler.

Islandtime Sept Oct 2018  

Looking for a luxury adults-only getaway? In this issue we put the spotlight on Tokoriki Island Resort in Fiji, a 5-star boutique retreat wh...

Islandtime Sept Oct 2018  

Looking for a luxury adults-only getaway? In this issue we put the spotlight on Tokoriki Island Resort in Fiji, a 5-star boutique retreat wh...