'I went to Fiji for the first time in 15 years. Here's why I wish I went sooner.'

I haven't been to Fiji since I was roughly nine or 10. The timing is hazy as I mostly block the trip out – not because of the destination or resort (both were beautiful), but because of my experience.

Long story short (because this is not what this article is about), I had a severe allergic reaction after eating something that contained peanuts. Yep, no fun – but I digress.

Last week, I went back for the first time in 15 years. I had no idea what to expect, mostly because I barely remembered what it was like. I knew it would be warm and tropical, but that was about it.

Here's my honest review of returning to Fiji after all these years, and my verdict on whether I'd go again.

Getting to Fiji.

This was probably one of the biggest winners for me. As someone who loves travelling anywhere warm, the fact it only took three and a half hours to get to paradise blew my mind.

The plane ride was a breeze; but unlike travelling interstate for a similar amount of time in the air, we got a hot meal, in-flight entertainment and went overseas. A movie and a snooze later, and we were in Fiji.

Bula! Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


Where I stayed in Fiji.

For this holiday, I stayed at the OUTRIGGER Fiji Beach Resort, an hour and a half from Nadi airport. 

After getting an early morning flight, we arrived in Fiji and got a transfer shuttle to the resort, arriving at 11am. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. Literally.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


The hotel is in Sigatoka, based on the Coral Coast, and is 10 minutes from the town, making it easy if you feel like leaving the resort.

It's one of those things where you can pop out and explore if you want to, or you can stay and immerse yourself in the resort – there are multiple pools, restaurants, an adventure park, spa and the beach in front of the resort.

I stayed in a Premium Ocean View Room. As the name implies, it features a view of the Coral Coast and comes with Talai Butler service, where you receive afternoon canapés and a glass of sparkling wine at 5pm.

(My kinda heaven.)

The view from my room. Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


The view + bubbles. Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


What I did in Fiji.

Because it had been so long since I had last been to Fiji, I was really keen to experience as much of it as I could. 

I'm someone who generally has a pretty relaxing tropical holiday to recharge – spending most of my time by the pool reading a book – with a few activities chucked in to explore where I am.

This trip was exactly that.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


Bebe Spa.

I'm someone who never gets a massage or a facial when I'm at home. It's a luxury that I love, but just with life and work getting in the way, it never happens.

Just across the road from the resort and on top of a hill (which you can get to via one of the buggies roaming around the hotel) is the Bebe Spa. 

The menu includes all kinds of massages and facials.

I got a traditional Fijian massage which included a scrub followed by an oil massage. And the whole thing took place with this view:

The view from Bebe Spa. Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


Sigatoka River Safari.

This was probably the highlight of not only the trip but my year. As someone who works in media and enjoys a pretty go-go-go life, this really reminds you that there is so much more out there besides the bubble you live in.

I would recommend this to anyone travelling to Fiji.

You start the day by taking a cruise down the Sigatoka River on a jet boat, where your driver and guide tells you stories about the land, villages and people along the way, before you arrive at a Fijian village, where the locals welcome you with open arms and show you their way of life.

We sipped kava in a traditional ceremony, had lunch, eating food they cook on a daily basis, and ended the day dancing while they sang live music.

I left with the fullest heart.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


Sip and Paint.

Now this is just a fun thing to do with friends or family. 

A new activity offering at the resort, 'Sip and Paint' includes a complimentary drink and canapés, while you are guided by local Fijian artists on how to paint a pretty picture.

I attempted a sunset – similar, but not nearly as good, as the one right behind where we were painting.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


My final verdict.

This might sound gushy, but I now wonder why I haven't gone to Fiji sooner. It was truly my favourite holiday – and reset that I needed – in a long time.

When summarising the trip to family or friends, I've explained that it's not just the tropical landscape I loved but the people.

The Fijians are some of the kindest, most caring people I've met on my travels, and it's thanks to them I left not wanting to say goodbye.


They make an effort to remember your name and get to know you as more than just a guest – and I think there's a good chance that's why many Australians keep going back.

Fiji really surprised me, but in the best way. And you bet I'll be going back.

Feature image: Supplied.

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