Suva’s New Groove
Suva’s New Groove
Grand Pacific Hotel
Originally built by the Union Steam Ship Company in 1914, the Grand Pacific was easily the smartest lodging in Fiji when it opened – Queen Elizabeth II was the most prestigious guest to check in to the handsome hotel, located on the seafront along Suva’s main drag, Victoria Parade.
Designed as an overnight bolthole for passengers on transpacific cruises, the hotel aimed to make guests feel like they had never gone ashore: rooms resembled first-class staterooms, complete with saltwater bathrooms and plumbing fixtures identical to those on an ocean liner.
It closed in 1992 and quickly fell into a state of disrepair – it took some 20 years for developers to see its potential and begin the painstaking task of restoring the historic building. Fittingly, it re-opened this year, just in time to celebrate its centenary. Today, a corner of the lobby has been transformed into a mini museum, where you can learn about the hotel’s 100 years of existence – there’s even a menu from
the year the property opened. Millions of dollars were poured into the makeover, which saw the addition of 113 rooms sit in a new, modern wing. The pièce de résistance is the Queen Elizabeth Suite, complete with Pure Fiji amenities and the exact balcony the Queen herself famously did her iconic wave in 1953.
Nanuku Resort & Spa
On Viti Levu’s Pacific Coast, a one-hour drive southwest of Suva, this new resort takes its design cues from Balinese-style villas. Sprawling along the beach, most accommodations offer private pools as well as day beds, fully equipped kitchens, jacuzzis and four-poster beds.
There’s also an infinity pool and swim-up bar at the Club House, which is where you’ll find restaurants, the spa and a fitness centre, with yoga instructors on call for sunset sessions. But you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your room – your private butler can arrange for a chef to prepare meals or serve a candlelit dinner on a secluded spot on the sand.
As lavish as the retreat is, the location is the real scene-stealer. The beach is one of the most beautiful on the island, with powder-white sand and palm trees, and Nanuku makes the most of the setting, offering a range of water sports, including snorkelling and sailing on the resort catamaran.
Governors Gourmet Coffee House and Restaurant
Fiji is not generally known for its culinary offerings, but one slick cafe is fast changing the archipelago’s food scene. The husband-and-wife team behind freshly minted Governors have transformed the heritage-listed building into Fiji’s only museum-themed restaurant.
Once the residence of Fijian High Chief and Pacific statesman Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, the restored colonial estate is adorned with historic photographs and artefacts, offering a snapshot of island life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
As attractive as the dining room is, it’s hard to look past the sun-soaked patio, ringed by manicured gardens of palms and colourful tropical flowers. Breads and cakes are baked daily in-house and seafood is sourced from local fishermen, with specials including mussel fritters, stuffed crab back and giant sea prawns.
Fiji Airways has taken on new A330 aircraft and upgraded existing Boeing 737s.
The new Masi-inspired tail design was created by Makereta Matemosi, a celebrated local artist, while onboard meals are influenced by island fare.
The new A330s operate between Nadi and New Zealand and Australia, while the 737-700 now runs between Sydney and Suva, opening up the capital to Antipodean travellers.