4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/MSIE (\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="msie"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/Mozilla(?:\/|\s)(\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="navigator"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } else { $browser="other"; $version="unknown"; $PLATFORM=2; } } ?> Fiji's Maravu Plantation Resort

Maravu Plantation Resort
They call it Fiji's "Forgotten North" but once you've been there, you'll find it unforgettable

Many international travellers are familiar with the glamorous resorts of the Coral Coast of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu, where the capital and international airport are located, and the castaway getaways on the offshore Mamanuca Islands. Unfortunately, most miss the persuasive and insidious charms of the northeastern part of the archipelago.

Eco-tourism and "soft" adventure seem to be the current sweetheart notions of every third world nation-in-the-sun as the first worldís travel consultants hustle to provide increasingly offbeat answers to their affluent customers' increasingly strident cry: "Where is there that's new to go? And what shall we do when we get there?" Different locations provide different responses. In some places, eco-tourism does more harm than good. The well-meaning hordes scramble across virgin territory in pursuit of elusive rarity.

But here, in a country whose population is increasingly dividing into "urban" and "rural" Fijians, is where you'll experience what many tell you is the real Fiji. Here you will find no crowds, but pure nature & real adventures.

At 5,500 square kilometers, Vanua Levu is the second-largest island in the Fiji chain, but despite a couple of luxurious resorts it has none of the international hustle and "sophistication" of Viti Levu. Visitors are still rare enough to be welcomed as guests, and quickly become friends.

Even further off the beaten South Pacific tourist track is Taveuni, just east of Vanua Levu. About 42 km long and 15 km wide, dominated by a central spine of volcanic cones, Taveuni is a lushly verdant island rich in indigenous birdlife and exotic flora, deemed one of the most important of all the South Pacific islands in terms of biology and conservation. What draws many visitors is the scuba diving and its proximity to what many claim are some of the world's finest dive sites.

Attractions for visitors emphasize the outdoors though you shouldn't miss the stained glass windows at the old Catholic mission at the village of Wairiki and the world famous "International Dateline."

Maravu Plantation Resort is probably one of the best places in the Fiji Islands for a wedding or honeymoon. Although only a few miles from the local airport, the first thing guests will notice is the complete sense of seclusion. The resort is accessible only by a dirt road, and there are only 14 Bures (Bungalows) on the plantation, so a feeling of peace and privacy pervades.

The second thing visitors will notice is the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, remarkable even by island standards. Expect plenty of personal attention, and don't be bashful about requests like laundry and ironing--the staff will bend over backwards to accommodate your needs.

Accommodations are in cottages nestled throughout the 56-acre property (a former working copra plantation) planted with numerous coconut and banana trees. Two bures are Duplexes, perfect for families. Five Bures are "Deluxe" Bures, each fitted with a king-size bed and a single bed. And three are ultra-luxurious "Honeymoon Bures". These large cabins feature a king-size bed with a canopy, sundecks, and open-air (but completely private) showers and, starting in spring 2003, a private outdoor Jacuzzi.

All bures are extremely comfortable, with ceiling fans, CD players, refrigerators, and even hammocks.

The restaurant on the property is first-class, and attracts diners who are not hotel guests. If you are a guest, you will be asked to put in your lunch & dinner order during breakfast. You may eat any time you like, however.

Maravu attracts all types of travelers, but specialises in honeymoon and even wedding packages.

The lush setting makes an excellent backdrop for a ceremony, and the secluded resort is the perfect romantic place for a honeymoon. You'll need to notify the resort in advance, naturally, if you wish to have a wedding ceremony performed during your stay.

Maravu Plantation Resort offers the ideal locations for a wedding. The ceremony can be held on the beach, in the gardens, by the pool or at the sunset viewing area with panoramic views of the ocean and outer islands. Maravu caters for a traditional Fijian wedding with full Fijian costume and Fijian magiti (feast) or a traditional European wedding with a simple or full mass. And if you like your ceremony takes place in the jungle beside a tropical waterfall or in an exotic village.

Maravu offers some of the most exotic wedding packages in the South Pacific.

From a more simple "Maravu Package" over a "Jungle or Village Package" to a "Deluxe Package", with all included what you dream about being a "tropical and exotic wedding".

The non-plus-ultra is Maravu's "Grand Fijian Deluxe Package", probably the most luxurious, but for sure the most exotic wedding package you can imagine.

See yourself being brought on a bamboo raft across the deep blue ocean with purple corals and on a throne under palm trees and ferns to the place of your ceremony....in the gardens of Maravu or beside a tropical waterfall.

Deluxe Package
Tropical Package
  • Fijian Minister
  • Traditional Kava Ceremony
  • European style Wedding Cake
  • Bouquet (Pacific Wild Flowers)
  • Salusalus (neck garlands)
  • Lots of Tropical Floral Decorations
  • Registration & Certification Fees
  • Fijian Choir (10-15 people)
  • Traditional Fijian Meke Dances
  • Maravu Band Boys for the evening
  • Wedding Feast
  • Champagne for the wedding couple
  • Fijian Minister
  • Traditional Kava Ceremony
  • Maravu Wedding Cake
  • Bouquet (Pacific Wild Flowers)
  • Salusalus (neck garlands)
  • Tropical Floral Decorations
  • Registration & Certification Fees
  • Maravu Band Boys (string band)

A Wedding Feast Jungle Package is similar to the deluxe package but held in the rainforest beside a waterfall. And to really celebrate in style, the Grand Figan Deluxe Package includes the features of the deluxe ceremony plus a traditional Fijian Bilibili (sea raft), a traditional Fijian throne, and more.

Rates include all meals, resorts-activities (horseback riding, open ocean kayaking, mountain biking, snorkeling, weekly cultural show, several times a week Kava ceremony with the famous Maravu Band Boys, all taxes and transfers from/to Taveuni Airport.

For more information, contact Maravu Plantation Resort Taveuni Island, Fiji Ph.: +679 -888 0585 Fax: +679 - 888 0600, maravu@is.com.fj or see www.maravu.net

Photos courtesy Maravu Plantation Resort