In Fiji’s southeastern volcanic archipelago, in the Kadavu group, lies the fourth largest island in the country, Kadavu (pronounced [kanˈdaβu]). The group is famous for its proximity to The Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. Despite it’s size, Kadavu is pretty remote. We took a tiny puddle jumper from Suva to get to the island.
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Our isolated resort was only accessible by boat. Ocean view bures idyllically sit off the beach, amidst swaying palms and against a thick wall of lush forest. Before we even approached the shore, I knew that three days would not be a long enough stay at this little sliver of paradise.
As we were unloading our luggage and disembarking, the two women who run the resort greeted us with a surprise. “We have some space, so we upgraded you to an ocean-front bure.”
What? A smile creeping over my face, I looked apprehensively at Alan, then back at the women. “Free of charge,” she added.
We had originally booked a garden room in a shared building, the least expensive option. We were blown away by the beautiful, spacious bure and realized, if we had to do it all over again, we would definitely have splurged and booked the bure.
The house could have easily slept five or more people comfortably, with a king bed, two single beds, a sleeper sofa, and a large lounger on the screened-in porch. The bure would have also been ideal for a small family of four or five.
It just so happens that Papageno was one of my favorite resorts to ever stay in, as well as one of the most romantic. Coconuts awaited us on the porch, with little bottles of vodka to make our own tropical drinks.
The trip was actually our second honeymoon, the one that we had planned for years and waited until we were able to take six weeks to embark on the South Pacific journey. I had not really planned our stays around luxury or romantic resorts, but we were pleasantly surprised to encounter quite a few on our trip. Papageno was far and away our favorite.
Even if we were not SCUBA divers who traveled around Fiji in search of the best dive spots, we would have enjoyed just hanging out at the pristine, sustainable resort.
I had never stayed at a fully sustainable resort before. All of the meals were prepared with fresh vegetables from the resort’s garden, farm raised pork, eggs and free range chickens, and fresh seafood caught daily. The food was divine.
The staff are also employed from a nearby village. Guests are encouraged to visit the village, listen to Fijian gospel singing on Sunday, or visit local school children.
The resort is all-inclusive, meaning your meals are covered (alcohol is extra). We purchased a full-day dive package, two dives on Great Astrolabe Reef. We were able to visit some nearby villages in between dives via boat, which was neat.
The diving was fantastic, but our experience would not have been as perfect and memorable if it weren’t for the amazing facilities and staff of Papageno.
Alan loved heading to the garden early in the morning to bird watch.
It was just so peaceful and relaxing, it was hard to leave. As the staff serenaded us away, I thought to myself, “I could definitely come back here… and stay for a while.”
Maybe next time, we’d rent the grand Royal Ocean Bure:
If you ever make to Fiji, stay at Papageno Resort. You won’t regret it.
I was in no way compensated for this post. I just love the resort so much that I wanted to share with the world!