Fiji Airways Business Class

I just returned from a Business Class trip from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia (SFO -SYD) via Nadi.   Even though this was a trip to Australia, I did go to Fiji last year to check out many of their top resorts. Those posts are here.  Here are my thoughts on Fiji Airways.

DESIGN/ To me this is always important and the plane is true to it’s country, both outside and inside.  From the simple brown and white logo to the colorful dresses the flight attendants wear, to the pillows and comforters supplied, it’s excellent.

FRIENDLINESS/ Pretty much at the top of the list for what you want, the crew was super friendly, especially southbound. Big smiles, always wanting to help. I’d almost say they never say no, but the crew on the return was a bit strict, almost like they had just read the manual and didn’t want to deviate from it.  For instance about 4 hours outside of SFO when almost everybody was sleeping they made announcements for the duty free  – and that could have waited.

SEAT COMFORT / The seats are almost lie flat – I’d say 95% so it was easy to get some rest.  I’m an average size person and the width seemed a bit snug to me.  The buttons worked pretty good (except on the SFO/NAN leg) so the seat moved where you wanted it to.  They supplied both a duvet and a blanket, so I put the moderately comfy duvet under me with the blanket on top – and it worked.  Storage wasn’t great so you needed to keep most of your stuff in the overheads.

FOOD / This was surprisingly good, including the Laucala welcome drink. Not sure it was named after the famous Red Bull owned ultra-luxury resort I went to last year, but it was excellent nonetheless and a very authentic Fijian welcome.  Sorry I didn’t save the menu, but they offered a couple of choices and I ate it all. Mimosas for breakfast were fun, too.

BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGES SFO and Nadi / are both available at no extra charge. In San Francisco we were able to use the fantastic and very chic Virgin Atlantic lounge with all their fabulous drinks and meal service. Service was super friendly, too. In Nadi, Fiji Airways is redoing their lounge, and the temporary one is, while not great, at least pleasant enough with complimentary beer, wine and snacks. And in Sydney we did not have time to enjoy any services, which I think may be at the Qantas lounge, but I’m not sure.

ON TIME & MISC / All 4 flights were on-time, baggage made it, online check-in worked and all was good.

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josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
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Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

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Luxury Hotel Reviews | Fiji

I recently spent a week in Fiji visiting the best of their luxury resorts. This is my overall report. Click on the links following each hotel for photos and a further description. Click on the name of the hotel for our exclusive perks.

Fiji is not another Hawaiian vacation. Nor one to Tahiti. Other than the resorts on the main island which are not worth the time and effort for an American to get to, it’s a getaway to a world of private islands with all inclusive resorts of typically no more than 25 bungalows. Or “bures” in their local language. 

Therefore it’s for people who want to get away from it ALL.  And divers. This report won’t focus on diving but rather on the former, which would include honeymooners, honeymoons and anybody, single or coupled or just traveling with close friends who wants to chill. It’s a perfect spot for a Big Anniversary or a Zero birthday too.

Getting away from it all doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do once you arrive, as most resorts offer a plethora of activities including

  • water sports (snorkeling, diving, kayaking, swimming, wind surfing, catamarans, paddle boarding, sufing)
  • fishing on little boats & deep sea fishing
  • picnics on tiny private island
  • hiking
  • spa

But what you won’t have are:

  • a town with restaurants and shops
  • Another 90+ honeymoon couples in a big resort as on Bora Bora.
  • A hotel next door (that would be hard as you’re on your own island!)
  • Locals who live on property to take care of everything (this is fairly unique in the business, but helps support the economy) 

To skip to all of my photos from Fiji, click here.

Royal Davui / My favorite for the ultimate adult getaway. 16 bures. No kids. Just big gorgeous villas with unbelievable views and some with absolute total privacy. Private pools. Great espresso.  Good food (it’s included). Tasty cocktails. Very nice service. 

And to top it off, a private sand bar which is Unexplainable. Really.  See photo.
Royal Davui Full Review

Vomo/  Just 32 bures including a few villas, they’re almost all directly on the beach so you walk out and there you are.  They’re not big, but they are beautiful and cozy. And the beach is RIGHT there.   The main pool is quite chic as is the new restaurant and bar.

Vomo Full Review

Dolphin Island  (Relais & Chateaux) / your own private island no matter if there are just two of you or 8 (the maximum). Your own communal pool. Your own chef. Your own bartender. Excellent pina coladas!

And like Vomo you should arrive by helicopter. Absolutely spectacular views of the reef.

Dolphin Island Full Review

Laucala / Well, this place is outrageous, in a very good way. There is absolutely nothing you can’t find or do here.  Almost I better add.  The place is owned by the Red Bull fortune and absolutely nothing is left to chance or repair.

The first thing I’d probably do is take to the 2 person $2M submarine ride and discover the reef. Then I’d go for Lobster.

Laucala Full Review

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Fiji | Dolphin Island

This post is part of a series from my recent trip to Fiji.  Click here for the introductory post.

AT DOLPHIN ISLAND, Relais & Chateaux/ This is a sister resort to New Zealand’s iconic Huka Lodge at Lake Taupo.*

This is your own private island no matter if there are just two of you or 8 (the maximum). 3 king bures and one twin. Your own communal pool. Your own chef. Your own bartender. Excellent pina coladas! And your own designer living room.  The entire resort is managed by a very delightful local woman – I’d call her either a saint or a sage. Or both. 

Until I’d been here I’d never been to a resort which you basically charter or take over.  I figured that was reserved for a celebrity.  Happily wrong and what a fabulous idea.

I was lucky enough to have gone with 3 friends and a good looking Kiwi helicopter pilot so we just hung out, ate, swam, drank, fished, read – and then repeated that. Because the central part of the resort is compact, you’re all hanging out with either other when you want to, and not when you don’t want to. And if you want to really get away just walk to the other side of the island — maybe that will take you 10 minutes.  There you’ll find a secluded beach (for walking around, not sunbathing) and even another private bure where you can take a nap, or even spend the night if you don’t mind the lack of walls.  See the pic below.

Dawn, the amazing woman who runs the place, has a bigger than life personality, is a lot of fun, can read your mind, and just makes everything happen. Hard to describe this place but I strongly recommend it for families, friends & couples traveling together.

Like Vomo  you should arrive by helicopter. Absolutely spectacular views of the reef. 

* Packages are available combing both Dolphin Island and Huka Lodge.

For all pix of my sojourn, visit my Fiji Flickr page.  And click here for our perks at Dolphin Island.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

FIJI | Royal Davui

Bula!

I’ll bet that most of the readers of this post will  be looking for a honeymoon spot on Google. Am I right?  Best honeymoon resort? Royal Duvui Fiji? Is Royal Davui better than Vomo for a honeymoon? Fiji or Tahiti honeymoon?

Anyway, what I just realized, after writing a lot of reviews (or really mini insightful posts in my case), is that one size doesn’t fit all and that the writer and reader need to be clear on how the message is communicated and understood.

I could say Royal Davui is fabulous, awesome, romantic and the food is fantastic but what does that mean to different people in different stages of their lives. Here are some examples.

Example #1 | The views from my villas were stunning. I felt like I was on my own private island in the middle of the ocean. It’s total heaven.  But if you want to walk out your door and be on the beach, that’s not going to happen here.  Then stay at Vomo or Laucala.

Example #2 | The resort’s boat dropped my husband and I off on a sand bar with champagne and treats and came back 3 hours later to get us. In the meantime the only other form of life we saw were baby sharks.  And the only color we saw was blue – about 1,000 shades of it. [A bad example.  I can’t imagine anybody not loving this, not even the most jaded New Yorker – kind of like me.]

Example #3 | The villa was so beautiful I thought I was living the life of a movie star, and the service was amazing. The staff are so friendly and accommodating we felt like royalty.   These comments could be true for a couple of any age who has saved up for this trip of a lifetime, be it a honeymoon, anniversary or another occasion. But with 1 night free usually, this place is a great value. Compare it to the Amalfi Coast for instance.

The villa was spacious, beautiful with authentic art on the walls,an Italian coffee machine, a very comfortable bed and I’d definitely come back.

Bottom line is that this place is perfect for a total solitude, whether you want to be alone and write a novel, or gaze into the eyes of your honeymoon partner.

For all pix of my sojourn, visit my Fiji Flickr page.  And click here for our perks at Royal Davui. This post is part of a series from my recent trip to Fiji.  Click here for the introductory post.

 

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

 

Fiji | Laucala

This post is part of a series from my recent trip to Fiji.  Click here for the introductory post.

AT LAUCALA  Well, this place is outrageous, in a very good way. There is absolutely nothing you can’t find or do here. And you can escape customs in Nadi as Laucala has the only 24/7 customs facility in the country outside of that international airport.

One arrives on their private jet from Nadi, enjoying a Red Bull on the way. After all, the resort is built by Mr RB himself.  You’re met with a drink and a Land Rover (kind of like Jurassic Park but better) and driven to the center of the resort. From there you get your private golf cart to get to your villa and so that you can discover the island

You’ll need a week to discover the place. Unlike the other resorts this island is big, the villas are huge, and they’re spread out.  And there are several dining establishments and bars — all for just 25 villas. The island is, if I remember, about 85% self-sustaining, and you can tour their gardens and farm.

The space of the island and the openness of the villas are really what makes it. And according to a favorite client, the lobster is to die for.  You’ll have to look at the pictures, and then imagine an amazing level of hospitality and that will give you an idea.

For all pix of my sojourn, visit my Fiji Flickr page.  And click here for our perks at Laucala.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Fiji | Vomo

This post is part of a series from my recent trip to Fiji.  Click here for the introductory post.

AT VOMO, I did a reef excursion which was out of a movie. The small boat takes you to a reef – which just pops up in the ocean. You jump off with your naturalist and swim along the edge looking at all sorts of cool fish and ‘plants’. If you turn around and face the ocean there is nothing but the deepest blue you’ve ever seen. Simple, but I’ll never forget it.

And to see the reefs from the air on your arrival via heli is unforgettable too. 

Just 32 bures including a few villas, they’re almost all directly on the beach so you walk out and there u are.  They’re not big, but they are beautiful and cozy. And the beach is RIGHT there.   The main pool is quite chic as is the new restaurant and bar.

The brand new Palms 4 bedroom villa is spectacular. Chic modern design. Fab for entertaining or hanging out with friends. Indoor/outdoor private pool. Next door’s Beach House 3 bedroom is great as well (combine them for 7 bedrooms!).  There are small individual bures which are very well done. A new sexy restaurant and bar is scheduled to be open several nights a week. And the main pool has a beautiful teak deck. 

This hotel is great for families and those wanting easy access to the water. And diving. 

For all pix of my sojourn, visit my Fiji Flickr page.  And click here for our perks at Vomo.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco