There are few experiences more exciting than clamoring into an island hopper plane and taking off to an unknown destination. Mo and I buzzed over to the island of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island, for a weekend getaway at Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa. From the sky, I could see electric blues and greens radiating from the cobalt-blue sea, the colorful landscape of Vanua Levu in the distance.
Our plane touched down at a miniature airport with a landing strip that runs perpendicular to a nearby beach.
“Before September 11 in the United States, there was no fence around the airport. Now, security has gotten much stricter,” a local told me. I was surprised to find that the happenings in a country oceans away could affect a little island in Fiji.
Now, a chain link fence protects the airport’s parameters. It can easily be hopped over. A concrete block and open-air seating area with a small bathroom on its side makes up the airport’s main hub. Within thirty minutes, we were out of Suva, the chaotic capital of Fiji, and in the quiet island paradise of Vanua Levu.
Overview of Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa
Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa is a spacious resort with a blend of suites, villas, and bungalows set on a 160-acre retreat, complete with a kids’ club and aptly named rainforest spa tucked away behind a canopy of greenery. Onsite, there are two restaurants (one on the water, one in the main welcome area), an activities center with kayaks, standup paddleboards, and snorkeling gear, as well as an onsite dive shop.
The most unique rooms at the resort are the floating lagoon
rooms that rise and fall with the tide, reached by a dock and decorated to
resemble the inside of a houseboat.
Spanning out from the property are the edgewater bures and
villas, spacious and private accommodations that each have a ladder leading into
Life at the Resort
Mo and I checked into edgewater bure number 8, our home for the few two days. The resort handed us an itinerary made up of two days of activities—with a full-body massage thrown into the mix as break.
Our first excursion started at a nearby waterfall. But first, we had to stop at the local village’s community center to hand over a sevusevu, a gift of kava, to the village elder. Already adapted to Fijian life, Mo got comfortable and nearly settled in for a few hours of grog drinking. But there was an itinerary to follow, and a waterfall to be seen.
A lush trail of green and red foliage led to a small
waterfall that poured into a chilly pool. Spray from the fall drifted into the
air, intermixed with the sunlight and created a rainbow.
Back at the hotel, cold rum punch and cold beer awaited us
at the seaside bar. We swigged a few back before walking a few steps away to an
exclusive dinner set on the shoreline.
Normally, I’m not much of a romantic. I scroll past rom-coms
on Netflix and have never been one to request red roses. However, when you see
a table made up of white linen, a bottle of champagne sitting in an ice bucket,
rose petals, candles, and nobody else in sight, it feels as though you’ve been
hit with Cupid’s arrow.
And when the dinner started to feel a bit too romantic,
thanks to a playlist featuring songs like Shania Twain’s “From this Moment” and
Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” our host kindly turned the volume
down on request.
After dinner, we lounged under the starry sky on our outdoor
daybed, tempted to spend the whole night outside.
In the morning, we woke up to warm sunlight and threw on our swimming suits and went for a snorkel at the reef outside of our room. Later, one of the activities managers led us by kayak to a reef further afield, surrounding a floating dock prime for lounging and taking a quick break. Lionfish, anemones, bright blue starfish, corals, and fields of sea grass drifted past us as we snorkeled in the shallow water.
In between our time in the ocean, we walked for five minutes along a trail to Koro Sun Resort’s Rainforest Spa. Tucked away from the main area of the resort, the spa is a quiet retreat from any semblance of city life. Their signature spa treatment was a banana leaf massage.
The massage therapists massaged us with coconut oil. This was followed by a sugar scrub and clay body mask. Finally, the massage therapists wrapped us in banana leaves, which allowed the mask to soak into the skin. After a warm shower, my skin felt supple and refreshed–a swift change from its sunburned and sea-salted state.
As for the rest of the time, we took turns in the hammock, went for yet another snorkel, and drank beers with the resort’s charismatic barman, Rups.
Our stay in Savusavu may have been short and sweet, but I’m already
looking forward to going back.
Tips for Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa
You’ll want to fly into Savusavu, the closest airport to
Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa. Take note that there are only limited
flights on the weekends. Check the websites of Northern Air for flights
directly, as these flights do not always come up on flight search engine
websites like Skyscanner. Fiji Airways offers flights as well (that will show
up on Skyscanner).
My favorite rooms of the property are the edgewater bures.
Rooms 8, 9, and 10 seem to have the best combination of views and privacy.
However, you will be a short walk away from the main building.
The lagoon bures are floating—meaning that you might feel a
bit unbalanced walking around them. Chances are, you’ll get used to it. They
aren’t as spacious as some of the other rooms—but when will you get to chance
to sleep in a floating room?
This region is rightfully famous for scuba diving. Plan your
trip so that you don’t miss a day of diving. At a minimum, venture out on a
Wear a rashguard and leggings to avoid getting a scorching sunburn. This way, your massage at the Rainforest Spa will be relaxing rather than painful. I’d plan a treatment towards the afternoon so that you have the full day for activities and plenty of time to enjoy the beach.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may
make a commission on any bookings at no extra cost to you. I was a guest of
Koro Sun Resort and Spa as part of an assignment for an outside publication.