This story first appeared @ Traveller.com.au – Review by Tracey Spicer
We’re watching an underwater ballet, off a remote island in the Pacific.
An octopus extends a tentacle, as elegant as Margot Fonteyn. Another – Rudolph Nureyev – unfurls a limb towards its mate. It’s a mesmerising mating dance that lasts for minutes, until a passing fish attracts their attention. Then they sit – as still as stone – until the prey is within reach. Without warning, they attack: the fish is soon food.
This is our welcome performance to the tiny island of Vomo, an hour-long boat trip from Port Denarau in Fiji. Our beachfront villa, with a palm-fringed vista, is several steps from the sand; barely a metre offshore is the octopus ballet.
Nearby are glass-bottomed kayaks, paddleboards, and catamarans, which are free to hire. One our second day, I circumnavigate the island on a paddleboard, surprising a huge turtle. Here, you can do everything or nothing, with a golf course, tennis court and mountain hike available for those who are always on the go.
We prefer to be lazy, indulging in three-course meals, accompanied by a cheeky rose, at The Reef Restaurant. The cuisine, which is world-class, is included in your package. And, yes, there’s a kids’ menu, with spag bol and sausages for fussy eaters.
Families with littlies can book Baby Butlers for eight hours a day, or there’s the Kids Village for those aged up to 12. We manage to sneak away to the adults-only bar, overlooking the rocky outcrops of Little Vomo Island, which is sublime at sunset.
Does it get any better than that? Well yes, it does. There’s a free same-day laundry service.
I know it sounds odd, but it’s little touches like this that make a five-star family resort. No cooking or cleaning for an entire week is simply bliss. And having everything included in the one price – food, activities and childcare – means you can relax without stressing about the bill at the end. How often do you go somewhere ‘all-inclusive’ only to discover you’re being slugged up to $10 for a couple of cups of coffee…?
The managers of this resort really understand the meaning of ‘luxury’. There may be dozens of bures, but each adult and child feels like a treasured guest.
On our last day, we join the free group snorkelling excursion. Surrounded by butterfly, damsel and trumpet fish, the guide suddenly dives down three metres, pointing to a nebulous outcrop.
It appears to be a grey rock until it moves. Yep – it’s a stonefish, one of the most venomous creatures in the ocean. The visage is prehistoric, as if arising after a million-year slumber.
On the boat back to shore, parents discuss their relief at the children witnessing this, in the safe hands of a snorkelling guide.
Because being five star isn’t really about the amenities. When travelling with your family, safety is paramount.
It’s the little things that matter the most. And that peace of mind is priceless.
Tracey Spicer and family stayed courtesy of Vomo Island Resort.
CREDITS: Read more: http://www.traveller.com.au/what-makes-a-truly-fivestar-family-resort-gu6bpl#ixzz4YEjUiIKg