Day 2 at Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Day 2 at Jean-Michel Cousteau resort started with waking up to the sounds of morning rain against the thatched roof of our bure.

The room was still cozy so I made some local Fijian coffee with the coffee maker in the room and read for a bit before heading over to the main bure for breakfast.

The staff is so personable here, they make sure you never go more than a few minutes without being asked if you need anything. I ordered a Flat White (my favorite Australian morning beverage) and the spicy omelette which was one of the featured specials.

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The rain continued intermittently throughout the morning, but that did not stop much activity. Guests were enjoying swimming in the pool and many of the other activities the resort has going on each day.

My husband and I chatted with Bart, the hotel’s operations director who told us that the rain was supposed to let up in the late morning and clear up by lunch. He suggested we take a trip to the resort’s private island during the afternoon.

After a light (and delicious) lunch of lamb and soup, Gabby from the activities center loaded us up on one of the resort’s boats for the 5 minute ride to the island.

The boat ride was beautiful and fun and few hours spent on the private island were an unforgettable highlight of the trip.

The island has a kayak for two, bathroom facilities, a beach hut with a table, and two chairs located at the exact point where high tide hits. Gabby left us with a color full of Fiji Gold Beer and water, an emergency medical kit, and a two-way radio so we could contact him if we wanted to be picked up earlier than the designated time we set a few hours later.

My only regret was forgetting to bring my snorkel gear– the island is surrounded by crystal clear water and would have been an excellent place to snorkel.

It was fun to frolic on a truly private beach, and when the sun got too strong to cool off in the beach hut with a cold Fiji Gold.

When we left the island I understood why guests like to book it for a special picnic lunch or a romantic dinner.

My afternoon on the private island is one I’ll never forget.

Once Gabby returned and got us back to the resort, it was time to drink a young green coconut. We had light snacks in the bar before heading back to our bure for the night.

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.

Top 10 Luxury Adventure Resorts In Europe, Asia, and Oceania

luxury adventure resorts

The top ten picks for luxury adventure resorts in Europe, Asia and Oceania each utilize their unique location, culture and activity to offer once-in-a-lifetime vacations:


Mountain resorts are prime spots for outdoor activity and breathtaking vistas. Arlberg slopes in Austria have become “the cradle of Alpine skiing” ever since Thurnhers Alpenhof came into the scene. Know for it’s unrivaled snow sports – 80 mountain railways/lifts, 260 km prepared slopes, 180 km virgin snow slopes – this winter destination provides service to match the splendor of panoramic alpine views. A free-of-charge instructor is on hand to give tips and the gourmet food is exactly what’s needed after a day of snow and spa.

Another winter-time resort that becomes equally impressive during warmer seasons is the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Graubhenden, Arson, Switzerland. Here guests can golf at the highest 18-hole course in Europe and take a hot air balloon tour afterwards. A complimentary Arosa card means free admission into many local spots while various land and air transportation options make getting around an ease.


Medieval towns set a unique backdrop for The Banyan Tree in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. Golf awaits between horseback, bike or foot excursions into Baoshan Stone Village. Natural sights like the Tiger Leaping Gorge and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain add fascination to the already stunning medieval setting.

Immerse yourself in the bamboo jungles of Thailand by visiting Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle. At Chiangmai Rai guests are at the intersection of three countries and many cultures. Among the things to do are all-terrain vehicle excursions, Hill tribe visits, jungle trekking, nature walks and river boat excursions. There are also opportunities to interact with some favorite local residents – the elephants.

Gayana Eco Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, has dedicated itself to preserving and re-generating marine ecosystems. This resort promotes non-motorized water sports and has a PADI certified dive center to accommodate divers of all skill levels. Guests can experience underwater marvels through snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing. Outside of the water there are mangroves to explore, jungles to trek through, and lots of sun to soak in.

In the mystic deserts of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarters a luxury gem can be found – The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. The experience is rich and picturesc, from the Anantara Spa to sun-kissed camel rides across impressive dunes. Private villas are decorated with Middle Eastern fabrics and artifacts. Wind-down time is made exquisite with four gourmet dining venues, a kids club, business center, library and more.

On the edge of India’s Rathambore Tiger Preserve is luxury resort Oberoi Vanyaviles, where guests stay in sophisticated tents featuring finely embroidered canopies, luxury bathrooms and private outdoor decks for sunbathing. When relaxing at the spa you’ll take in the scent of nearby fruit groves. In the luxury dining hall local specialties are prepared and served among the hand-painted fresco ambience.

Few locations are as magnificent as the Himalayas in Shimla, India, where the Wildflower Hall forms a tranquil sanctuary. This appropriately named fairy tale resort is the former residence of colonial era Lord Kitchener. The original artwork has been kept while the property has been renewed to accomadate private spa suites and pavilions. Trails wind through fragrant pine forests and gourmet picnics envelope guests in old world charm. Among the virgin woods of Pine Cedar guests are invited to river raft, trek, mountain bike, ice skate, play billiards or try archery.


Adventure characterizes New Zealand, and Matakauri Lodge is situated at the heart of it all in Queenstown. On the banks of Lake Wakatipu this luxury resort offers 12 mountain view suites and villas as well as the four bedroom owner’s cottage. Horse riding, trout fishing, scenic flights and tours of wineries are made available through the spa resort where knowledgeable staff consult with guests on where to river raft, bungee jump, jet boat, hike, heli-ski and more.

The Royal Pines Resort, Australia, is a world renown destination for golf enthusiasts. The 21-hole golf course with state of the art driving range has earned host privileges for the Australian PGA championship through the next 5 years. Conference and event facilities cater to groups while the day spa and soon-to-be-completed gymnasium make the resort a Gold Coast relaxation leader.

[photo credit: Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre via photopin cc]