Set off the coastline of Fiji’s main island, the Mamanuca archipelago has long been a sunny playground for winter-white Australians. Its newest, most hotly anticipated opening is Six Senses Fiji, which pulled open the timber doors on its 24 thatched-roof villas on April 14. The hotel group has resorts and spas in far-flung locations such as Portugal’s Douro Valley and the Maldives.
This is its first foray into the South Pacific, sharing the main island with the six-star, adults-only Likuliku and the quality family Malolo Island resort. Six Senses hasn’t strayed from traditional Fijian architecture – you’ll find the requisite pitched thatch ceilings and palm trees, and there’s local seafood, coffee and beer on the menus, which have a strong focus on organic and raw cuisines.
The group specialises in wellness and its spa treatments are legendary. Keep an eye out for in-depth sessions focused on meditation, sleep and nutrition – or just succumb to a serious massage in the resort’s Wellness Village, which it says blends ‘science and human awareness’.
Expect the necessary accoutrements – helipad, daily yoga, dive school and a surf academy by acclaimed luxury wave chasers TropicSurf, who take surfers out to Fiji’s most famous (and Kelly Slater’s favourite) break, Cloudbreak. If you haven’t soaked enough, the entry-level hideaway villas each have their own plunge pool and outdoor bathtub. The luxury is balanced by the resort’s sustainability ethos: it is 100 per cent solar-powered, with eco-focused water, waste and chemical management, as well as coral and tree reforestation plans. Rates start at $A1277 ($F2000) for a one-bedroom Hideaway pool villa.