Starting with a stay at Sonaisali Island Resort, it hasn’t taken me long to slip into Fiji mode. There is no need for a watch, just the sun rising to waken to the day’s activities and the setting sun to mark the start of sundowners.
Having previously stayed in Denarau in Fiji, I found it refreshing to get a taxi boat to my resort (so be it a quick 4 minutes). This is the appeal of Sonaisali Beach Resort though. Just 20 minutes from Nadi International Airport and you are on Sonaisali Island. So near to Nadi town, but still separated enough that you don’t feel the close proximity.
Welcomed by warm smiles and sounds of Fijian hospitality, I was leisurely escorted to my Beachfront Spa Bure where I was most impressed. Keeping with the local Fijian theme, the bure was decked out with everything one could want to relax and unwind. The spa bath on the back deck overlooking the ocean was definitely the highlight of the bure, and well used.
While the bure was most appealing, I had noticed the most amazing lagoon style pool with swim up pool bar on my arrival, so was quick to get changed and make my way back there. It may have been raining, but the change in weather was welcoming as it cooled the humidity that hung heavy in the air.
While horse riding on the beach or the adventure jet ski tour sounded like a great way to enjoy my afternoon, I opted for the authentic experience of a Fijian Cooking School. Set up at Denarau, just 25 minutes’ drive from Sonaisali Island Resort, is Flavours of Fiji cooking school, and where I learnt that you actually can eat ferns.
Yes ferns, all green and curled up with little leafy sprouts were sat on my cooking plate as if plucked straight from the ground. A mix of wild cabbage leaves, chilli, garlic cloves and a range of spices accompanied them. I was in for a treat of culinary delights, if I actually followed the instructions and cooked it right. Luckily the warm and friendly staff from Flavours of Fiji were there to help every step of the way. By the end I had created seven highly aromatic and tasty dishes. Being presented with a certificate of completion for the three hour course, I definitely felt accomplished. Overall it was a fantastic experience I hoped to take home with me to reproduce at a later date.