Saturday, 26 November 2016

Octopus Resort, Fiji (Yasawa Islands)

Since about March this year, I had been looking forward to jetsetting off to Fiji for some long-awaited sunshine (bearing in mind that we had to endure our first Tasmanian winter this year, hence the need for an island holiday). We decided to book in a trip to Fiji, having spent some time there on our honeymoon and absolutely loving the place. However, this time, we decided to venture away from the main island and head an hour and a half north-east by boat to the Yasawa Islands, where we spent an amazing 8 nights on Octopus Resort.

The resort itself

Octopus Resort is located on Waya Island, one of the islands in the Yasawa Islands group. It is situated in an incredible location, right on a beach with crystal clear waters and white sand. The accomodation ranges from dorm-style rooms to luxury beachfront bures. We decided to go with something in between, and chose a garden bure (which was only about a minute's walk away from the beach anyway).

The resort is set up such that you can do as much or as little as you like, and socialise as much or as little as you like. There is an activities board in the main dining area, which lists a range of activities that are run each day, including yoga classes, visits to the local village, fishing tours, snorkelling tours, trivia nights and movie-under-the-stars nights. The dining area is also set up in a way that allows you to dine on a table for two if you'd prefer a more romantic meal, or you can sit on a table of six, where you can get to meet a range of different people. We met some incredible people from all over the world, including some German backpackers, some Scottish students, a lovely Dutch couple, a family from Colorado, and of course, a few Sydney-siders.

With a number of deck chairs/lounges located by the beach and the pool (along with umbrellas to give you some shade), you could easily spend your day relaxing with a book or magazine in the sun, or partake in any number of the activities on offer.


The activities

As mentioned above, Octopus Resort offers a range of activities each day. The main activity we chose to do was scuba diving, having obtained our open water licence last time we were in Fiji.  We went on 6 dives altogether, across 3 days, ranging from some dive spots not far from the resort, to a shipwreck dive about 30 minutes away by boat. We saw some incredible wildlife, including octopus, lobster, moray eels, blue spotted sting rays and baby reef sharks (we also managed to spot a couple of turtles while snorkeling off the beach from the resort).

In addition to the diving, we also went on a visit to the local village (where the kindergarten students sang us a few songs, and then we took part in a kava ceremony), did some yoga by the beach, went for quite a few snorkeling trips, watched a movie under the stars one night, and took part in the weekly trivia night (which we actually did twice, given that we spent just over a week at the resort). Despite partaking in quite a few activities, there was also plenty of time to relax with a cocktail and a book by the beach.

The food

The food at Octopus Resort was amazing - I think I ate some form of fresh fish twice a day, every day, and still wasn't sick of it by the end. We chose the meals inclusive package when booking, so that all our meals were paid for before we arrived. Each morning there was a buffet breakfast with a range of fresh fruit, cereals, pastries, pancakes, french toast, as well as an omelette station where you could get an omelette cooked to order.

Lunch was al a carte style, where you could choose from one of the standard menu items (including meals such as grilled tuna salad, grilled or fried fish and chips, a fish burger, a chicken wrap, or a beef stir fry) or you could choose one of their 5 or so specials (including items like a traditional Fijian fish curry, butter chicken, home-made pizza or sweet and sour fish stir fry). Even though we were there for 8 days, we didn't at all get sick of the options available.

For dinner, there were about 4 nights where we were offered an al a carte 3 course dinner (along with 2 additional courses comprising an amuse bouche and a palate-cleansing sorbet), and the remaining nights were a special of some sort. One night was a seafood buffet, one night was an Indian night (where each table was given a range of curries with rice, pappadums and roti) and another was a Fijian night where again, each table was provided with a range of traditional Fijian dishes. Suffice to say, we were rarely hungry!

If anyone is looking for a beautiful island location for their next holiday, that won't break the budget, I would definitely recommend looking into Octopus Resort. Given the range of accommodation options and no minimum length of stay (one lady we met was just visiting the island for the afternoon, and a few others were just spending one night there), you can really make the holiday what you want. That being said, I would definitely recommend spending a full week there if possible, as it really is a piece of paradise.


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