Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort


Aug 23, 2006
Outside Magazine
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort

SOUTHERN COMFORT: A bungalow at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort    Photo: Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort

LANGUID DAYS UNDER LEMON TREES at Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort drip by with such tropical serenity that the universe could be on the verge of collapse and few surf-soaked guests would bother to stir. Can you blame them? They're on Vanua Levu, Fiji's second-largest island, snoozing on orange futons by the pool under the swish of paddle fans.

THE GOOD LIFE: Twenty-five bures with vesi-wood floors pepper the grounds under mango and palm trees. Inside each, a king bed, private bath, and writing table sit under vaulted, thatched ceilings. Leave the wood blinds open to feel the night breeze pour through the screens.

SPORTS ON-SITE: Some of the best snorkeling on the planet is right off Cousteau's pier, where myriad soft corals wave in the currents and big guys like docile eagle rays cruise off the shelf. Or work your core with a morning yoga class taught just off the beach.

BEYOND THE SAND: Head for the secret sandy beach around the point from bure number 25 with a stubby of Fiji Bitter and melt in the waves while the sun sinks. L'Aventure, the resort's 37-foot dive boat, takes guests to Namena Island, a marine reserve an hour by boat from Cousteau, where you'll find wall dives with a rush-hour volume of barracudas, sharks, and corals. Or paddle a kayak half a mile out to Naviavia, Cousteau's private island.

THE FINE PRINT: Doubles, $535–$1,950 (minimum one-week stay may be required), including all meals, most activities, and airport transfers; five-day packages of daily two-tank dives cost $512; 800-246-3454, Air Pacific flies nonstop from LAX to Nadi starting at $900 (800-227-4446, From Nadi, Sun Air offers daily one-hour flights to Savusavu, on Vanua Levu, for $123 each way (800-294-4864,

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