Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort – Fiji Day 1

It’s such a pleasure to be in Fiji on assignment for I haven’t been here since my husband and I went on our honeymoon.

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort made it’s first impression at the Nadi Airport. Mini, who works for the eco-luxury hotel, greeted me at the airport. She had noticed that there was only my reservation on the non-stop flight to Savusavu, the island where the resort is located. My husband was scheduled to take a flight with a connection. Mini pulled some strings and got my husband on my flight so we could arrive together. Impressive!

The one hour flight to Savusavu was easy and we were greeted again by a representative of the resort who gathered up our bags and drove us the 20 minutes to the resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted with tropical fruit juice and live music by the staff which was finished with the traditional Fijian greeting of “Bula!”

At reception we were told “Welcome home.” This is the standard greeting here and I love this sentiment. The staff really goes out of their way for you to make you feel like Jean-Michel Cousteau is your home in Fiji. They also do a really great job of catering to families with children and providing separate areas for families and couples. They even provide a nanny per child. This ensures everyone has a good time lounging around the pool or taking part in the various activities.

Our garden view bure (thatched hut) was not ready yet, we were given a brief tour of the property and given an orientation before sitting down for breakfast. The scrambled eggs with ham and cheese were outstanding, as was the fresh fruit.

We spent most of the day in the daybed in the “serenity area” (aka “no children”) near the pool where we sipped on Mai Tais and fresh green coconuts. It was extremely relaxing, but we did have a light lunch of vegetable tempura, tomato soup and fresh local fish (walu).

Then we were shown to our garden view bure, #18, which is fairly simple, but comfortable and charming and cooled by fans. While there are no televisions in the room, the bathroom is nice and there is a minibar packed full of Fiji water and other beverages. All but the alcohol is complementary.

We changed into our swimsuits and spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool before some late afternoon rain arrived, making it the perfect time for quick nap before dinner.

The resort is big on giving back to the local community, so the evening’s entertainment began with a crab race. I was surprised how fun it was to watch. Then a group of local dancers performed a few songs before dinner.

After dinner, we enjoyed music and a kava ceremony with the Kava Boys before enjoying a good night’s sleep. Turndown service comes with mosquito coils and mosquito nets upon request. We had a good night’s sleep in this friendly Fijian paradise.

Family-friendly Glamping

Family-friendly Glamping

Summer breaks are here. The school year has led up to these few weeks of dusk-till-dawn excitement. Among the BBQs and water gun fights the kids demand some adventure. They want to play explorers out in the wilderness, and while kids might be happy pitching a tent and spending nights in a thinly-comfortable sleeping bag… well, let’s bring in the glamping to keep both adults and kids happy!

This summer you might not be able to travel international and adjust to a different time zone for a weekend, so let’s check out the glamping spots easily accessible from every state in the U-S-of-A.


First stop would have to be The Resort at Paws Up. This glamping haven has been featured by nearly every glamping enthusiast – and for good reason. Located in Greenough Montana, Paws Up is within easy distance of just about anyone in the states. Your kids will feel like Lewis and Clark did when they ventured into these regions all those years ago. It’s a luxury experience and adults will appreciate having their own camp butler and chef. The kids will be enthusiastic after they see the activities options – including go-karting, archery, river rafting and more.

Looking further south on the glamping map brings you to Yellowstone National Park. Here there’s the Under Canvas safari-like experience. Yellowstone Under Canvas is just 10 minutes from the national park entrance, so your family can spend the day exploring the riches in one the most well known national parks. Get up close and personal (guided by park rangers) to the Bears, Moose, Bald Eagles, Buffalo and other wildlife who know this area as home.

For a unique midwest experience, try the Conestoga wagons by the Rock Ranch in Georgia. Your kids may have studied about the pioneers in schools, now bring the history lesson to life by camping in pioneer styled wagons. For some extra fun you can hire a storyteller or astronomer to join in the evening and add intrigue to the history of these pioneer trails and the starry sky. Perhaps it’s not midwest… but since the pioneers were journeying west I had to include this one-of-a-kind glamping experience.

Utah has some magnificent red rock, making it a midwest destination for filmmakers and tourists alike. In Moab, Under Canvas has introduced a luxury glamping camp sure to please everyone. The site is near to both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, set against red and orange platea backdrops. You’ll feel transported back to the times of cowboys and indians. Be careful of the clothes you choose to bring – this red dirt does tend to get on everything.

If you find yourself near Chicago, try staying at the Kinnikinnick Feather Down Farm. The experience guarantees to be a fun one so you won’t grow tired of hearing the kids chanting “kinnikinnick” in the back seat. You’ll be staying in wood-floored tents and the kids will be able to put on their farmer hats while feeding animals and helping around the organic family owned farm. There’s no electricity in the tent, but you will have a flushing toilet, cold running water in the kitchen, and a wood-burning stove.

Still looking for options? Check out these Yurt locations throughout the Midwest – including Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon and other states/countries. Yurts are round, off the ground cloth huts. Every location has its own character with different amenities and they almost always include electricity.

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