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20 Jul 2017

The Remote Resort, Fiji

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Just one month after we returned back to London from our New Zealand trip, we headed back out to Auckland. Yes. We're a little mad. This time, however, our journey wouldn't stop there...from London to Milan (we spent a day in Milan eating pizza and outlet shopping - not too shabby a layover if you ask me!), Milan to Doha, Doha to Auckland (the longest flight in the world! 17 1/2 hours) and finally Auckland to Suva, befuddled, jetlagged and tired we hopped on a boat to our final destination - the Remote Resort, Fiji. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Qatar Business Class
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Qatar Business Class
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Qatar Business Class
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

As our boat pulled closer to the resort, a couple of figures came into sight and the sound of singing began to drift over from the deck. We had our own little welcome party!

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

We were shown to our Oceanfront Retreat villa which is the one facing the deck, just to the right of the photo above (second from the right). This and the villa next to it are I think the two best options on the island - first of all, they're the only two with air conditioning (!), whereas the others embrace a more 'open all the doors and windows' policy. It gets extremely hot during the day however and air conditioning for me is a must in such humid, hot weather - not to mention it's a tropical country, there are lots of insects. I'll get onto that in a minute...

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OCEANFRONT RETREAT VILLA
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Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Each villa comes with its own plunge pool - ours was having issues with the filter and was looking a little murky, but to be honest...who needs a plunge pool when the ocean is right in front of you and looks so enticing?


Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Jarv settling right in...

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Our villa featured a fantastic sound system for playing music whilst getting ready in the mornings, air conditioning, fully stocked mini bar and a mobile phone to use for the duration of the stay...meaning at any time we could call the main desk and ask for a bottle of wine or any other beverages to be stocked in our fridge, all inclusive - dangerously good!

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THE MAIN PAVILION
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Here is where people hang out, use the wifi, drink kava, eat breakfast & lunch and occasionally dinner and stop by for Happy Hour drinks every evening. It's worth noting that none of the villas provide wifi so you have two options at the Remote Resort - one, pick up a dongle at the airport to use for the duration of your stay or two, take a bit of an Internet break and only use the wifi when you're in the main pavilion. We decided on option two. 


Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji, kokoda

One of the resort experiences is a cooking demonstration by the Head Chef of the island (held every Monday). On the afternoon we took part, the local dish we were learning to make was kokoda. This has since become my absolute favourite Fijian dish (we even made it for dinner back in London - it's super simple and healthy). It's essentially just ceviche - a mix of lime/lemon marinated fresh fish, coconut milk, fresh chopped chillies, onions and other herbs. It's soooo good.

I must say, one of the best things about the Remote Resort is the amazing food. The fruit and vegetables are grown right there on the island, and of course the fish is all sourced from local fishermen. The chef is brilliant and the catch of the day is something I still think about all the time - I ordered it without fail every single day for at least one meal (some days I even had fish for all three meals). His plantain chips, fresh bread rolls, cassava chips, home made ice creams - everything was fantastic. Ugh, I'm so hungry...


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CASTAWAY DAY
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Aka the day we got accosted by 'wild' pigs on our luxury castaway afternoon...

Another resort experience we absolutely had to try was the castaway day. Picture this: idyllic clear waters, beautiful blue skies, not another boat or person in sight and a private sandy island to yourself, complete with a packed lunch, picnic mat, folding chairs, fresh coconuts and a chilled bottle of wine. What more could you want? Pack your swimwear, SPF, sunnies and snorkelling gear and enjoy a good couple of hours cut off from the rest of the world.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Or so we thought. We waved goodbye to our boat, which would return to collect us in 2 1/2 hours time. It all started off well - we unpacked our coolers and tucked in to our delicious tailor-made lunch, sat on the picnic mat in the shade.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Huh, I thought to myself once or twice. I'm sure I heard some rustling in the bushes. Probably just a bird.

Then the rustling got closer.

"Jarv."

"Yeah?"

"You heard that, right?"

...

A face peeked out of the shrubbery.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Followed by about nine more. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

We leapt up to our feet, which startled the pigs, who scrambled over each other to get back to the safety of the shrubbery. "Aww", was my first reaction. However, they soon began getting bolder and bolder, creeping closer towards the food they could undoubtedly smell. We looked at each other in wild eyed bewilderment - partly amused, partly nervous. Were these wild pigs? Were they used to humans? They were a lot smaller than us, but there were a lot more of them than us, too...

Then the mother appeared. Oh. My. God.

She was HUGE. National Geographic flashbacks began running through my head and I started rattling off warnings to Jarv (haha). "Don't look her in the eye!" "Stay far away from her piglets!" "Maybe we should climb a tree?! Pigs can't climb trees, can they? They can swim though..."

I frantically grabbed the phone to try and call the Remote Resort and ask for advice - but of course, there was NO SIGNAL.

Well, that was useful.

The mother wasn't really bothered by us, she simply grunted at her children to follow her back into the bushes (not that they particularly listened, too curious and intrigued).

Instead of climbing a tree (lol), we decided to put all the food back into the coolers, hang up the rest of our stuff on tree branches, grab our snorkelling gear and make a beeline for the water. Of course I then convinced myself I'd just seen a sea snake jump out of the water (obviously not).

We'd while away the rest of the time snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, occasionally casting an anxious glance back to the island to check on the pigs (yep, still hanging around).

By the time we were picked up, we were more high strung than when we'd been dropped off. Turns out...the pigs belong to a landowner on the other side of the island.

Yep. Might have been good to know that?!

However, the owners of the Remote Resort weren't aware that the mother had just had about ten babies and weren't all too keen to hear the news.

No...we weren't particularly keen either!

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Jarv brandishing two emergency weapons (which we obviously had no use for, but that shell made for an amazing knuckle duster...just in case).

All in all, it was actually quite a funny little adventure, though not quite the relaxing paradisiacal experience we'd expected.

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THE REST OF THE RESORT
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The wonderful thing about the Remote Resort is how you truly feel like part of a little family for the duration of your stay. Resort employees will refer to you as new family members and you'll mingle with other guests in the pavilion and occasionally on group excursions (there are only six villas total and everyone stays at least a few nights, so there'll never be too many people!). However, you're also free to spend as much time alone as you want, too.

Activities available on the island include paddleboarding, snorkelling, volleyball, local village visits, kayaking, fishing, waterfall visits, hiking, diving... 

Of course, we had to scuba on 3 of our 6 days. Whilst the water was beautiful and we got to experience a few new, fun aspects of diving - such as going deeper than ever before, using hooks against strong currents and diving through caves along a stunning, massive coral wall - in terms of 'big fish', I'd been holding out a teeny bit of hope for some manta rays (such as the incredible ones we dived with in the Maldives) or a whale shark, but it just wasn't quite the season for them yet. 

The largest we saw were a couple of reef sharks (which at this point, as much as I do still enjoy seeing them, is sort of like...okay, they're everywhere. Haha). Still, the coral in Fiji is gorgeous and perhaps this diving experience was just more about the activities and the 'challenge' than seeing big fish.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | diving with Dive Academy, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | diving with Dive Academy, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

If you're thinking of diving whilst in Fiji, I wholeheartedly recommend Dive Academy Fiji. They are so friendly, professional and generally awesome and our Divemaster Jone (Johnny) was a wonderful guide.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

The correct way to use a hammock...

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

...and what getting into a hammock usually looks like (also what half of my outtakes looked like...but I thought Jarv's were funnier hehe).

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji, paddleboarding
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Dinner at the Remote Resort is always a treat to look forward to. Each night, the staff will set up a private dining area for each villa at a different location on the island. This could be on a private deck by the beach, in the main pavilion, by the firepit (see below) or at the very end of the pier, which was my absolute favourite! The deck is lined with beautiful lanterns all the way to the end where the table is set up, and on a clear night you can see the entire Milky Way as there is so little light pollution around. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

the fire pit

Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

the deck at night


The Remote Resort truly lives up to its name - I recommend taking a digital detox like we did (note there aren't TVs in the rooms, either! Honestly, we didn't miss having one) and just enjoying your time there on a tropical island. However if you really feel you need wifi I would buy a dongle at the airport (if we returned, I would definitely do that next time), as the internet in the main pavilion is very slow.

The only negative I have to speak of is the mosquitos. I was eaten alive. Three months later and my back and arms are still covered in (fading) marks left by the bites that covered me. Nightmare! Despite that, Fiji is truly a gorgeous, welcoming, relaxing and rejuvenating place for honeymooners, special occasions, family getaways or just your 'regular' holiday in paradise.


Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | The Remote Resort, Fiji

Our Fijian 'family' waving us goodbye :'(

29 Jun 2017

Fijian Island Castaway

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji
There are three things I can't do without on any sun-drenched island getaway. A bikini, some SPF 50 lotion and a giant pair of sunglasses. I mean, obviously, right?


Gotta protect this face and body. I'm trying to stay young, here.


Seriously though, lately I've been having a real love affair with oversized sunglasses. If any accessory manages to be both dramatic and classic all at once, it's the oversized sunnies. The issue with this infatuation is, strange as it may sound, my nose - I'm half Chinese and don't have the highest bridge, so certain pairs tend to slide right off the minute I get a sweat on. Not this gorgeous Tom Ford pair though; they're light as a feather and elegant to boot. 

These photos were taken about two months ago in Fiji and they're giving me seriously itchy feet - I'm yearning to get away from muggy London and dive into a refreshing ocean during these hotter months! Unfortunately, our next beach getaway isn't until August, so city exploration is the name of the game until then. There'll be plenty of island life featured here on the blog until then, though, because I have so much more to show you from our Fiji trip.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji

Bikini from Hunkemöller, Tom Ford sunglasses c/o Discounted Sunglasses.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Hunkemoller bikini, Tom Ford sunglasses, Fiji

Talk about going to the ends of the Earth to get a slice of paradise. I think Fiji is literally the furthest we could possibly have travelled from London... and it was absolutely worth it!