First Stop: The Fiji Orchid

I landed at Nadi airport on the island of Viti Levu at 6 a.m. on Sunday. I’d slept as well as one can on a 7-hour flight from Honolulu, thanking God all the way for a whole toddler-free row to stretch out on.

What’s up, Perry Mason?

Taxi driver Johnny picked me up at the airport for the 20-minute ride to The Fiji Orchid, a 5-acre property once owned by Raymond Burr, a.k.a. Perry Mason. If you’re my age and have no idea who that is, don’t worry. Apparently most in our generation don’t.

Many folks who visit Fiji stop in Nadi en route to more far flung islands – like Nukubati, where I eventually ended up. Up until two years ago, there weren’t many decent options for stopover hotels, so The Fiji Orchid was conceived as an airport hotel of sorts to serve as a transition between Nadi and points beyond. But it’s way more than an airport hotel!

My welcome lei & corsage. Due to 4 days of flying, my face is not allowed to be shown.

I felt like a VIP as soon as I arrived. The 17 staff members greeted me individually, “Oh, Angie, you made it!” before I even had a chance to introduce myself. It is true what they say about Fijians… they are a friendly bunch!

Uncle Gordon & Mela

Even though I was still a bit groggy from the multiday jaunt from the East Coast, I did my best to remember the names of the folks I met at check-in. Sweet Uncle Gordon was the first to welcome me.

Bure Sweet Bure

I squealed when I saw my bure, a freestanding bungalow with floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around. Like a very fancy tent with A/C, a mini-fridge and a big, super cozy bed. Delightful!

You can’t beat being buck-naked in the jungle, I don’t care who you are. I did, however, appreciate the buck-naked jungle feeling while still having all the comforts of being indoors. The shower was divine.

Even the birds were hot.

Like the rest of the property, the pool area felt like a secret oasis that no one knew about but me. I never once shared the space with another guest, though after getting to know some of my neighbors in the evening before dinner, I wouldn’t have minded. The first two days were hot as Hades and no sooner could I apply sunscreen than I was back in the pool cooling off once more.

How do you say moo in Fijian?

As a transitory hotel where you’d only stay a night or two, proximity to the beach isn’t terribly important, so I think the staff was surprised at my urgent need to walk down to the nearest strip of sand. Ana accompanied me as a safety precaution, as it was a holiday weekend and many Fijians were out partying hard on the public beach down the road.  Within about 10 minutes we’d reached the beach. It was then I realized that you definitely don’t stay at The Fiji Orchid for its beach.

The food at The Fiji Orchid was tasty, too. There’s not really an a la carte option – it’s all or nothing – so you can rack up a pretty big food bill before you know it. Breakfast starts at about $15 for fruit, cereal and toast to around $40 for a 4-course dinner. When you go, try the Spanish Mackerel – it was prepared several ways and was always delicious.

Coming up next… my tour around Viti Levu and all about Nukubati!

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  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011

    Squeeee, I’m so excited to finally read about all the stops on your trip! You’ve been planning this so long! My mom actually asked me today if I’d talked to you or RaeRae–she adores you two =)

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    January 06, 2011
    Lauralee

    So if someone were to walk by your Bure when you were taking a shower, they would see your lady parts?? Wild and free baby…You go girl!!! 🙂

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      Oh yes, someone would have had quite the show. But luckily no one caught me nude in the jungle, haha!

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011
    Jamie

    Sounds like so far so TERRIFIC!
    Looking forward to the next edition…
    (By the way -I know who Raymond Burr aka Perry Mason is)
    (and both Perry Mason & Ironside are on daytime TV – right now)
    Aunti J.

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      Apparently Raymond Burr had a very interesting backstory… I didn’t have time to read his biography on the table though. Adding it to the list!

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011
    Mary Cisko

    Didn’t need your plea to read this! Been waiting for it. I once threatened my family that they all had to leave the house for the day because I was going to get buck-naked and paint my toe nails! So you enjoy the heck out of those jungle showers!!!

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      Haha, Ms. Mary, you are too funny! You would have LOVED the jungle shower!

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011

    A mutual friend introduced me to your site. I just have to say that you are doing exactly what I hope to do in a couple of years. Reading your blog only makes me want to do it NOW! I hope you are having the time of your life. Being a RTW traveler myself, one thing I always say, try EVERYTHING at least once.

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011

    Angie,
    This looks AMAZING! I so can not wait to read (and especially see) more!!!! The bure looks divine….and that shower? OMG. I would be nervous for a minute (that someone might sneak up and see) but I would totally totally love it. I am seriously so excited for you and proud of you. How wonderful this experience will be and I’m so happy you’re allowing me to eaves drop on your journey via this blog. 🙂 Cheers and safe adventures to you!!!

    xoxo,
    Brittany

    PS-You’ll be happy to know all your positive encouragement finally paid off and I have started my own blog. Yes, I know…it needs a ton or work. I’m hoping it comes together with time. I’d love to mention your blog/trip on one of my daily musings in the future. Hope ya don’t mind!
    (Also, any helpful blogger tips are much appreciated.)

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      Yay! Welcome to the blogosphere! I’m happy to help =)

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011

    Looks amazing! Scope me out some potential honeymoon locations while you’re there? Preferably beaches without cattle.

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      I found a really amaaaaazing place! Nukubati… I think you and Chris would love it!

  • Avatar
    January 06, 2011
    Jen D

    Love it! So jealous

  • Avatar
    January 07, 2011
    Priscilla

    That’s so funny that your shower is all glass. I can just see someone walking around the place while you are in the shower. You better post it on your blog, if that happens. Love you, and be safe!

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2011

      No one walked through the jungle, thank goodness!

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