An exclusive adults-only precinct, world-class restaurants and accommodation makeover are signature elements of the US$50 million revitalisation of the largest private island resort in Fiji and the South Pacific, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island, Fiji.
Originally built in 1967 to unlock the Fijian Coral Coast’s Yanuca Island to the world, the resort has undergone a two-year upgrade aimed at creating new experiences and offerings and establishing the resort as a top dining destination.
Extensive accommodation and facilities makeover
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island is spread across more than 100 hectares of private island. More than a quarter of the island has been dedicated to the new Reef Wing private adults-only precinct, including an exclusive infinity pool where complimentary sunset drinks and canapes are served daily, Reef Café & Dining and the oceanfront Reef Bures (villas) offering a premium, adults-only resort-within-a-resort experience.
The Reef Wing is home to six fully renovated Reef Bures, each a beachfront retreat for couples with a private lawn stepping down onto the reef beach, an outdoor rain shower and a huge living space in a private and secluded section of the island.
Families also have a lot to be excited about at the new-look resort with the upgrade of the two-bedroom Lagoon Bures offering larger and self-contained accommodation options. The resort also offers the largest range of family facilities and activities, including the huge indoor and outdoor kids’ club segmented into age groups, and a separate entertainment zone for tweens and teens.
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island is also home to the largest inflatable water park in the South Pacific in one of the only resort lagoons in Fiji that is unaffected by the tide, a private Peter Thomson-designed nine-hole golf course and beach and lagoon activities monitored by dedicated lifeguards from dawn to dusk every day. The resort’s marine conservation team also runs programs to help guests learn more about the natural environment and get actively involved in habitat and wildlife protection around the resort.
All 443 rooms, three pool areas – including the huge family pool and entertainment precinct – and many public areas have been upgraded, as have the resort’s secluded CHI, The Spa and beachside casual dining spots, including Beach Bar & Grill and Bilo Bar. Each of the 443 Bures, rooms and suites command unhindered water views, either of the open ocean or the lagoon.
World-class dining experiences
The biggest transformation – not only for the resort but for Fiji as a holiday destination – is the quality and range of dining experiences now available. A significant portion of the US$50 million investment was committed to establishing Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island as one of the best places to eat and drink in Fiji. It will set a new benchmark for exceptional culinary experiences in the South Pacific.
Executive Chef Rudolf Kunkel has established an international and local culinary team that has created more than half-a-dozen dedicated and casual dining and bar concepts across the resort, each with its own unique experiences, flavours and themes. More than 75% of all meat and fresh produce, as well as all seafood, served at the resort is sourced locally.
Showpieces of the new dining and entertainment experience at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa include:
- Takali Asian Kitchen – an Asian fusion-concept restaurant perched above the reef incorporating Malaysian, Thai, Cantonese and mainland Chinese influences on dishes conceived by Chef Chee Hoe Wong, paired with more than 40 craft gins from around the world.
- Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian – led by Italian Sous Chef Bruno Bettinazzi, who hand-makes the soft cheeses and pasta that are the foundation of this premium dining experience, and delivers a quality of Mediterranean dining not seen before in Fiji.
- Lagoon Terrace – the resort’s main dining restaurant, with a huge variety of a la minute and smorgasbord options that change daily and make the most of seasonal local produce while offering spectacular reef and lagoon views.
The resort has also reintroduced a Fijian institution, the Black Marlin Tropical Bar, as part of this revitalisation. First established more than 50 years ago and the subject of legendary tales, it has been reimagined as an upmarket tiki bar featuring more than 100 rums sourced from around the world, kept company by Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island’s own signature label, Yanuca Rum, which is distilled locally and exclusively for Black Marlin patrons.
Guests will now also have the option of adding a meal program of half or full board to their room booking, which can be availed across all resort dining options for the duration of their stay.
“This has been a truly transformative program that will re-establish Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa as one of Fiji’s best destination resorts and set new standards for dining, living in and experiencing Fiji as a holiday destination,” said the resort’s general manager, Mr Francis Lee.
“The two years we have spent re-imagining one of the original resorts in the South Pacific for today’s visitors to Fiji has been spectacular. It’s been a collaboration involving our staff, many of whom have worked across generations of guests, to deliver an experience that is authentically Fijian at its heart.
“I’m excited to show a new generation of travellers why Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa has, for more than half a century, held a place in the hearts of visitors from around the world,” he said.
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa on the private Yanuca Island is connected by a causeway to the mainland, providing a Fijian island experience with ease of access to the Coral Coast. It is the only private-island destination resort accessible by road from the main island of Viti Levu.
At the resort, located only a 50-minute drive from Fiji’s main international airport in Nadi, guests can be settled into their rooms and swimming in the lagoon within 90 minutes of disembarking from the plane.
Lead image: Shangri-La’s Fijian Beach Resort & Spa | Reef Wing