It’s not often that the end of a holiday feels like leaving home, but that’s the sense Qamea Resort & Spa Fiji elicits as you pack up on the last day. From the moment you’re greeted at Taveuni’s airport, you’re welcomed into the family. After a short boat ride across impossibly blue water, you’ll arrive at the resort and be shown the (very rarely used) pool, spa, yoga platform and thatched restaurant, before heading to your private oasis – one of 17 beachfront bures. With privacy and comfort at the forefront and a “no children under 12 years” policy, it’s ideal for honeymoon travellers.
With its 333 islands, nowhere worth getting to in Fiji is as simple as a car ride. To get to Qamea, you’ll fly north-west to Taveuni over more islands and reefs than you can count before a quick drive to the resort’s boat. If you’re lucky, the 10-minute ride will include glimpses of flying fish flitting around – otherwise, you’ll have to settle for the curious reef fish that gather around the boat.
The 17 bures balance privacy, comfort and luxury and you certainly won’t be short of space with villas ranging from 65 to 148 square meters. Aside from linen imported from Bale, the two Honeymoon Bures are made from all locally sourced materials. But their greatest features are outside – where your biggest problem will be deciding between the hammock, daybed and beach chairs for your afternoon nap. The shower and plunge spa set at the back of the bure are perfect for trying to spot an elusive orange dove as you soak.
Food and drink
The onsite restaurant is an airy, thatched building in the middle of the resort. For those after a quieter affair, food can be served in your bure, or staff will happily set up a private beachfront dinner. The beer and wine menu has carefully selected drops from around the world. The dinner menu changes daily but it’s hard to look past the catch of the day: it’s often walu (Spanish mackerel) and always brought in fresh. The signature dish, though, is kokoda, a take on ceviche “cooked” in lemon juice, mixed into coconut cream with onion, tomato and a hint of chilli. Perfection.
For the business traveller
In keeping with its honeymoon atmosphere, there are no business facilities at the resort. If you do need to fire off a quick email between snorkeling and paddleboarding sessions, each bure has a desk and there’s complimentary wi-fi throughout, though it is a little slow and can be patchy. You can upgrade to a higher-speed connection for a fee.
Qamea is all about relaxation. It’s up to you whether that means a treatment at the World Luxury Spa Award winning Jungle Spa, where this writer experienced the best massage of her life or something more active. Get your daily exercise by jumping in the water, joining a yoga class on the deck overlooking the beach, paddling out to surf breaks so quiet that some of them haven’t even been named yet or – for those willing to brave the heat – jogging a couple of laps of the 500 metre running trail. If that’s not enough to keep you occupied, organise a trip to Bouma Waterfall where, after a short hike, you’ll find yourself in your own private paradise.
The fab factor
The resort’s 47% return rate is an amazing testament to the staff. Expect personal welcomes, inside jokes with Eddie and Maraia and a big hug from Sia when it’s finally time to leave.
Number of rooms: 17
Rates from: About $775
Address: Qamea Island, Fiji
Phone number: +64 9 360 0858