Paradise Found

Families looking for the ultimate South Seas vacation need only make a beeline for the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, a unique retreat that truly has something for every traveller, discovers Nick Walton.

Finding a resort that keeps both kids and their parents happy often proves the biggest challenge to families looking to escape together. However, the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa is not like any other resort. Located on one of Fiji’s most coveted beaches, a strip of coast on the western side of Viti Levu that’s been heralded as one of the Pacific’s best, the resort caters to travellers of all sizes to perfection.

Spread across 12 hectares of tropical, landscaped gardens, few resorts maintain the balance that the InterCon does. There are spaces for the kids and spaces for mums and dads looking for a little quite time. There are three pools – including one just for adults – and kids clubs, on-site water sports and dive clubs, and activities to keep the whole family entertained. There are also sublime guest rooms that are both luxurious and practical, spacious yet refined.

You can pick up the family-friendly vibe each night at the Kama Lounge, an elegant bar that flows out onto a broad courtyard where evening fire and drum performances are timed for Fiji’s dramatic sunsets. Parents sip tropical cocktails while their kids follow the traditional warriors as they chant and light torches in an exhilarating display that gives a fantastic sense of place.

As at every resort, the accommodation acts as a base of operations and at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa guest rooms and suites are spaces of quiet respite. Boasting some of the largest accommodations in the islands, the InterCon features 266 guest rooms, including 216 elegantly-appointed resort rooms, and 50 luxurious suites, located at the iconic Club InterContinental, a resort within the resort that also features its own swimming pool and restaurant, perched high above the main complex. All rooms feature high ceilings, flat screen televisions, day beds and signature Cleopatra baths. Many room categories offer direct access to the beach, the pool or lagoon, making them especially well suited to families, while the Club InterContinental Two Bedroom Suites offer a little extra elbow room.

No people revere children quite like the Fijians. Young and old, they have infinite patience for little guests and there’s always a game of touch rugby, a weaving class or a hunt for seashells on offer for kids looking to break up the day. In fact, much of the resort is allocated to activities for guests of all ages. There is stand-up paddle boarding, deep sea fishing expeditions and complimentary scuba introduction sessions, glass bottle boat rides, wake-boarding, waterskiing, kayaking, surf lessons and snorkelling safaris, as well as traditional games, village visits, pottery shows and much more. A new Hydro Sports centre offers activities with a little more punch, including parasailing and fly boarding, while the little ones might enjoy adding to the resort’s coral garden, an activity that teaches them the importance of vital coral ecosystems in the Pacific. An hour of non-motorised water sport activities is included each day and some families make the most of the tropical weather and warm seas to try their hands at new activities while others take pony rides along the idyllic beachfront.

Of course, sometimes mum and dad need some quiet time and that’s when the Planet Trekker’s childcare facility, which caters for tots aged 4-12, comes in handy. This dedicated kid’s centre offers a range of curated events and activities, as well as an interactive children’s educational Planet Trekker app and child-friendly menus.

Talking of dining, the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa offers a plethora of dining options that will suit even the fussiest eaters. While the Kama Lounge, with its live music, nightly fire lighting ceremonies, drum spectaculars, fire dancing, and South Seas vibe, is undoubtedly the heart of the resort, the nearby Sanasana restaurant is perfect for families. Its expansive buffet spread with nightly themes means there’s delectable bites for every palate, including traditional Fijian and Indian dishes and popular seafood spreads on Sunday evenings. For something more casual, the Toba Bar & Grill serves a wide range of wood-fired pizzas, burgers and beverages and is situated between the family and adults’ pools, and, for those special occasions, Navo offers the finesse of lagoon-side fine dining, complemented by an extensive range of new and old world wines.

A visit to the InterCon wouldn’t be complete without a round at the acclaimed Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, home to the Fiji Open, the Nomura Cup and the Natadola Bay Fiji Classic. With fairways wreathing the lagoon and criss-crossed by the small-gauge rail tracks of the sugar cane locomotives, the course is the best in the islands and offers a challenging run for players of all skill levels.

If a spot of pampering is more your thing, make for the Spa Intercontinental, one of the best in Fiji and the perfect enclave for wellness lovers. The spa offers a host of treatments that combine Asian, Eastern and Western holistic philosophies best enjoyed in a private cabana or in the spa’s unique Orchid Room, a sublime celebration suite that includes a dedicated treatment area, relaxation lounge, steam shower and plunge pool.

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