I just realised we completely forgot to post this after our trip to Fiji. We got married at Koro Sun Resort in March 2008 and had an amazing time. The below account of our trip is actually a letter we wrote to friends and family (so a bit long winded, sorry) but I thought others might find it helpful. Also, just wanted to say a big thank you to Linda Mangelsen who did such a fantastic job organising all the wedding and trip details before we departed and to all the other staff who were all so helpful and friendly.
“We have just returned from spending a wonderfully memorable week in Fiji - relaxing, exploring, catching up with family & friends and of course getting married! We stayed for 8 nights at the lovely Koro Sun Resort, a hidden gem on the Island of Vanua Levu along with 17 of our family and close friends. The resort is nestled on the shores of a small bay surrounded with swaying palm trees, the remnants of an old coconut plantation. Beautifully tended tropical gardens and water lily filled ponds rise up to a backdrop of lush, rainforest clad hills overlooking the sheltered turquoise lagoon.
The plane trip over to the island from Nadi was an experience in itself providing breathtaking views of the islands and surrounding coral reefs. We touched down on the tiny airstrip after a few nail-biting moments spent wondering whether we were going to land in the jungle or the sea. Taxiing up the runway to a little tin hut which served as the Savusavu airport terminal we were greeted by Josh, a friendly (and we were later to learn, multi-skilled) member of the Koro Sun team.
At the resort we were met with smiles and a refreshing welcome drink before being shown to our simple yet comfortable burès (i.e. rooms). Some had small screened balconies with a lovely view overlooking the treetops and all had wonderfully unique semi-outdoor stone showers. The rooms were tidy and spacious and fully equipped with all the essentials... no TV's or telephones, thank goodness!
We spent the following few days doing some organised activities interspersed with eating, lounging by the pool and chatting with the ever-friendly staff. The excursions were always led by a couple of knowledgeable guides and included a fascinating day kayaking to a salt lake tucked away in the rainforest, a walk to a beautiful natural waterfall for a swim and a visit to the local village and school. The town market was a hive of activity with stalls selling giant Taro roots and weird, twisted bundles of Kava which we later sampled in a traditional Kava ceremony. I'm not sure that anyone developed a taste for the stuff but we certainly downed a fair quantity trying!
A day out diving on the nearby reef swimming through underwater caves and tunnels with turtles and the occasional reef shark was enjoyed by everyone and even the most experienced divers amongst us were impressed. It was definitely worth the risk of bursting an eardrum for those of us unfortunate enough to be suffering from head colds at the time! But luckily there were no such incidents!
A few ventured out to play a round on the picturesque yet rustic golf course, dodging falling coconuts and trying not to step on the many frogs emerging from the lily ponds made for an interesting game. A ball lost down one of the numerous hidden mongoose holes was willingly sacrificed rather than risk the inevitable consequences of sending delicate fingers roaming into the abode of a sharp toothed critter.
It was actually surprising we were able to take part in any of these activities considering each day started with a huge breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal and muffins plus a large selection of cooked goodies. This was then followed by a 3 course lunch and dinner menu which was so delicious that we wondered whether we would still fit into our wedding clothes when the time came. We also developed an evening ritual of gathering around the bar for happy hour cocktails which seemed to start whenever we turned up and lasted for a very generous "Fijian hour".
We decided it would be fun to follow tradition and have a stereotypical Hens/Bucks day. So, early one morning the men set out for a day of "hunting" on the high seas, equipped with fishing rods, spring rolls and copious amounts of beer. Meanwhile, the ladies arose to go "gathering" which involved an educational herbal walk led by a Fijian lady with a great gift for identifying native plants and their medicinal uses. This was followed by restorative foot scrubs and general pampering around the pool whilst awaiting the return of our men-folk.. The hunters returned victorious with even the oldies amongst them flaunting their trophy fish like a group of excited schoolboys.
The ever-helpful resort staff once again exceeded expectations by offering to organise a BBQ on the beach for us that night. It sounded like a great idea and we expected to be given a hotplate and a handful of eating utensils for a rustic night out. But when we arrived on the beach that evening there were tables and chairs set out, torches, a giant BBQ with the fish all prepared in a divine tasting marinade and accompanied by a selection of salads, meats and fruit! The only thing they couldn't provide was the chef who was understandably busy in the restaurant. We couldn't have asked for anything more and we spent a magical evening watching the sun set and listening to a group of local musicians who came down to join us.
During the week we had numerous meetings with the resort wedding co-ordinator, Saras, who was incredibly helpful and patient as we changed the wedding details several times. She bore it all with a smile and exclamation of “No worries!”. We went into town the day before the wedding to organise the official documents (an interesting experience!) and discuss the ceremony with the minister who we met in the middle of the marketplace! We also had several chats with our aforementioned helper from the airport to discuss ideas for the photo location... Josh stepped up to fill the shoes of wedding photographer when our original plans fell through, a favour which we were immensely grateful for. This turned out to be one of those unexpected but lucky twists of fate as we ended up with some wonderfully candid photos that really captured the essence of the day.
The wedding day arrives... So the morning of the 26th finally dawned (yes, we're sorry to all those who were thinking of us with anticipation on the 25th but we changed our minds!) ;) The girls all congregated in a hillside burè to have their hair done by the wonderfully eccentric Mama Reggie while the men went snorkelling to try and to take their minds off the ceremony to come. Running late as usual, the girls of the bridal party eventually emerged to the sound of beating drums while the men stood sweating on the beach... waiting... but eventually we were united in a beautiful yet simple ceremony under blue skies!
After a quick trip up the hill for a photo shoot at one of the extravagantly appointed luxury villas we all gathered in the waterfront restaurant for a champagne toast and seafood buffet lunch. Speeches were made, embarrassing stories told and heartfelt messages read from those who couldn't make it. The day slowly wound down as people drifted off for afternoon siestas or reclining by the pool before re-grouping for the evening meal. All in all a wonderful day was had by everyone. The remaining days passed all too quickly and before we knew it we were saying goodbye to Koro Sun. A heartfelt farewell song sung by the staff sent us on our way and we found ourselves heading back to our respective homes and the mundane reality of our daily lives!”
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.