Dip your toe in Fijian Luxury

As a holiday destination blessed with 333 tropical islands, there is no doubt that Fiji has become one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Take Likuliku Lagoon Resort, which, amongst its many accolades, was most recently named in the Top 10 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific, in the uber prestigious USA Conde Nast Traveller list of Readers Choice Awards 2016.

Likuliku is top of the list of luxury resorts in Fiji. Here’s a couple of reviews:

“Welcome Home” This place is like heaven on earth, the staff is so friendly and treats you like family. They welcome you with “welcome home” and this is exactly how you feel!!! The food is exceptional high quality and the accommodation peaceful, quit, and very beautiful.

“Slice of Heaven” Likuliku is a little slice of heaven in the South Pacific! Amazing food, impeccable service from the friendliest staff, and of course the most beautiful lagoon setting! It cannot be faulted!

“Something special” Likuliku Lagoon Resort is something very special indeed. Location, accommodation, service and the best cuisine I’ve had anywhere in Fiji, actually by one hell of a margin! Absolutely world class! Can’t fault any element of it. We booked into an Over Water Bure. Just unbelievable!

Likuliku Lagoon is clearly well loved and much of its appeal can be attributed to Group General Manager, Steve Anstey, who found himself in Fiji when he was approached to run Malolo Island Fiji, a family friendly resort, and to develop and open a new luxury adults-only property – Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

“I came out for a site inspection and the journey began…” Steve says. Fiji is the perfect place to work for someone in hospitality.

“In Fiji, hospitality comes naturally as it is part of the Fijian culture to be friendly, humble and hospitable. Service comes from the heart and there is a genuineness there that I find missing in many parts of the world today. The Fijians who work in the resorts  and hotels here genuinely love and enjoy what they are doing and this goes a long way in defining the end product.”

Steve has been involved in luxury properties throughout his career and as well as managing properties, he has overseen refurbishment and pre-opening projects. His passion is in wilderness-style resort operations that offer unique experiences in remote areas.

He says these operations by their nature and location, are more complex and diverse to operate than city or suburban hotels. They are more challenging but in Steve’s view, more rewarding. Resorts in remote areas generally need to be self-sufficient in their ability to generate their own power, water and handle waste products and they operate in pristine, protected environments that require strict environmental initiatives and practices to be set up and closely monitored and maintained whilst ensuring minimal impact.

However, the environment is part of their charm and a good resort such as Likuliku Lagoon Resort must reflect that.

“Each country brings with it different cultural attributes that one can either embrace or disregard in developing a new product. We were building a Fijian product with Fijian architecture and design…the service needed to be of international standard but with a blend of Fijian natural friendliness and culture. A sense of comfortable, understated and friendly formality – if that makes sense.”

Anstey says he didn’t want to create a pretentious atmosphere, despite the luxury tag. It is not the Fijian way. Likuliku has a more rustic, barefoot, “toes in the sand” type of ambiance but with all the accoutrements of a luxury resort.

Ahura Resorts is a 100% Fijian owned Resort development and management company and provides unique, relaxing and genuinely warm and friendly Fijian Island holiday experiences in pristine natural environments.

Ahura uses “The Warm Heart Of Fiji” to characterise its brand, however the genesis is surprisingly not Fijian. Ahura was an ancient Persian god who believed in the key principles of equality, care of the environment, charity, loyalty and faithfulness to settlement, tribe and country. These same values also happened to perfectly align with the values of the Fijian family company who own Likuliku and its sister property on the same island, Malolo Island Resort.

“With the building of Likuliku Lagoon Resort we decided that we needed to introduce a brand to cover both resorts and any others that we may take on in the future. It forced us to examine our products and focus on what our core values were and what

we wanted them to be including fairness, honesty and integrity and a commitment to Fiji, its people and the environment.

Safety is also key to Ahura’s operations.

“We have very strict policies and procedures in place to deal with emergency situations.”

“Being located on islands, people and especially families with little ones at Malolo, get understandably anxious and nervous when a cyclone is mentioned, so we take great efforts to make sure that our communication to guests is timely and accurate.”

Our focus here is predominantly on Likuliku, so what sets it apart from other Fijian resorts? “Likuliku has the first and only authentic over-water accommodation in Fiji,” Steve says.

“We take great care to ensure the product remains in excellent condition at all times and that we maintain the high service standards which we have set for ourselves”

“Since opening in 2007 we have remained true to our food concept and our promise to deliver quality innovative food for our guests. If you’re offering an island experience make sure the food is outstanding. Our food concept was drawn up introducing dailychanging al la carte menus using as much local produce as possible and focusing on modern Pacific Rim cuisine. It was ambitious at the time but with the right Executive Chef we really lead the way in raising the food profile not only of our resorts but also in Fiji.”

Our staff, who are the heart and soul of the resort, receive regular training to ensure international levels of service are provided. Many of them have been with us since we opened and they are immensely proud about what they have achieved, the awards that have been won and the accolades that have been received over the years and how we have sustained it.

“What sets us apart is the unique blend of a stunning pristine location, outstanding accommodation and guest facilities, excellent cuisine, understated friendly Fijian service and smiles and a variety of interpretive land and sea based activities. These all work together to create an exclusive ambience that is distinctly Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

“Consistency of product is paramount to success. You cannot sit back on your laurels for one moment.. New guests arrive daily with high expectations and we work hard to meet these expectations and exceed them where we can.

Our high level of repeat guests is testament that we are doing just that, and winning the Best Overseas Resort award for five years running in the Luxury Travel Magazine Gold List Awards is indicative of the consistency and quality we strive to achieve in our product delivery.”

Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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