20 April 2023
Three hundred Fijian Islands are in an exquisitely enviable position of being surrounded by 50 shades of those blazing blue tints and unblemished beaches of the South Pacific Ocean.
From electric to sky, cobalt, turquoise, azure, aquamarine, Royal and sapphire, for this avid traveler, snapper & social media show-a-offerer, any hue of blue instantly fills you with a feeling of calm, ease and restfulness.
Oh, and plenty of time to read, sip on your refreshment of choice (personally, I was in a Pina Colada, Fiji Water and a rose state of mind) and to nap, eat, swim, laugh and repeat.
Ranked as one of the top hotels in the South Pacific, there is truly nothing not to love about Fiji and particularly our atoll.
Aside from the relative short travel time from Australian shores – from Sydney. It’s just over 3.5 hours via Fiji Airways, the choices of resorts and island paradises are endless, but this time the very private Tokoriki was a trip that needed to be had.
I say adults-only because it isn’t a resort with kids (who I adore!) splashing around the pool as you try to get through the first chapter of Dostoyevsky.
Adults-only too, not because it’s a crazy, run-around-naked cult, but if you are wanting your own infinity pool, a class act in all of its offerings and your own slice of beach to be a relatively quiet affair, you have definitely come to the right place.
For lovers, honeymooners, anniversary celebrators and just good old friends – like me and my travel companion Skye, who decided to come on a relaxed, calm, resort vacay with me – it was perfection.
We’d already booked ages ago to go to Tokoriki, but the pandemic tested those plans, but when we did finally coordinate it, it was worth every single moment.
Before you ask about wi-fi, yes it is absolutely available in the public areas of Tokoriki but the use is limited in your villa, so you can really breathe in and soak up the atmosphere and not spend six hours hunched over your device or watching TV.
There’s also a TV room on the island and, of course, your own global roaming. More than a few of us still like to take in days of news, emails and forward plans online, but midway through, I started to shrug my shoulders and thought Well, I’m here, and can’t do anything about it. And that felt great!
After a trip into the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney – I could quite happily live in that place – our Fiji Airlines left at the on-time and civilised hour of 2.30 pm. With just an hour’s time difference, there’s no chance of jetlag.
I settled into one very comfy business class seat – hello zig-zag configuration and a mimosa –and straightaway, turned my attention to what I should eat and watch. I went for spinach and feta frittata teamed with a delectable glass or two of Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Once we landed in Nadi around 7.30 pm the same day, we stayed on the main island for the night at the very impressive Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa, before waking early to take our motorboat ride across to Tokoriki.
Never fear, we changed our tune when we left the island, opting for a 15-minute spectacular chopper ride back to Nadi and wow, on a crystal blue day, there was nothing better to experience than viewing so many of the Fijian islands from above, and at close range.
While the last few years have been a write-off when it comes to awards and accolades, Tokoriki Island Resort has been awarded several accolades by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards, and is it any wonder?
There are starting to be very few authentic, relaxed, beautiful, luxe and accomplished resort islands left in the travel world. Well, in Fiji anyway.
From the staff – as soon as you arrive from the mainland, nothing is too much trouble – and, of course, you can’t help but well up when they sing both the welcome and farewell Fijian songs.
Husband and wife management team Patrice Belle and Robert Ring are absolute rock stars when it comes to running Tokoriki and owner Andrew Turnbull considers it his happy place.
While I don’t want to say it, you better run, don’t walk to get there – but not too fast as I’ll never be able to book it again!
Andrew, obviously along with his management and hospo staff have created a complete Fijian Oasis. We could do as much or as little as we liked. And being adults-only, it gives all guests some respite from family life – if you get my drift.
You strike up lovely conversations with fellow adults – no one is pushy – as many of them are there, either on their honeymoon or just a beautiful relax with their partner or a great friend, as I did. Could not recommend Tokoriki more.
There was the best teppanyaki dinner in an eight-seat only restaurant; a special sashimi dinner held at the end of the island’s wharf; a fun night of kava tasting; a crab-running championship at the end of one night; a cocktail tasting night and as I said, you can be as involved in as much or as little as you like.
When we landed at the resort we were greeted by at least eight staff members who sang the traditional Fijian welcome – Bula Maleya – and, of course, quickly placed a welcome cocktail in our hands.
I’d only been there a few minutes and my eyes had already started to well up with the emotion of the moment. Fijians are such a beautifully natured, graceful and humble race – and all make you feel at home as soon as they lay their eyes on you.
What really impressed me with the island is that nothing is too much trouble whether it is the way anything is cooked or even if something isn’t on the menu, the kitchen will go out of its way to accommodate your culinary whim.
Or if you just want to hang around in your villa for an entire day to swim, sleep and order in, Done, done and done. I also like the complete quiet of the island.
Sure, you can go snorkelling, paddleboarding (stand-up or fixed) and swim at the beach outside your front door and just a few steps from your infinity pool. But you won’t hear odious sounds of jetskis or anyone yelling at anyone.
Tokoriki is first-class calm and Zen all wrapped up in one island.
Yes, you can run around naked in your villa without anyone seeing you. And the quintessential outdoor shower ensures that perfect island holiday luxe vibe.
Like all goodbyes, the Fijian version is particularly poignant as again, a group of staff members sang the famous farewell song, Isa Lei, and for the second time, my eyes welled up with pure joy and gratitude.
I think when you look at the approach to life that Fijians have, one of pure joie de vivre, we don’t see as much of that around the world anymore.
It’s no wonder Fiji, and in this case, the island of Tokoriki – and the most brilliant chopper ride back to Nadi from the island – was such an absolute pure, happy and indulgent delight.
And as a PSA, you don’t need a lot of clothes. Seriously, with all the warmth, all you want to wear is your cossie (or maybe not when you’re in your private pool) and pieces that are light and breathable over the top.
Tokoriki’s store features sensational styles from leading designer Tracy Farrington: light, soft, airy and all with beautiful, original and ever-tasteful prints. So tasteful and gorgeous, my travelling buddy went home with a custom-made bag load, ready to take to Europe for a summer vacation.
So, my suggestions: leave your full face at home, splash on your fave sunscreen and La Prairie serums and lotions, pop on a little light cotton or silk creation, a hat and leave your high heels at home.
You’ll be totally and tantalisingly Tokoriki-ed.