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Luxury Adventures are conducting a series of interviews with some of our key suppliers looking at the different aspects of their lives and how these influence the experiences they offer. Located near Savusavu in a sheltered bay on the tropical Northern island of Vanua Levu lies the very desirable Namale Resort and Spa.
What in your opinion sets Namale apart from other Fijian Resorts? Whilst all other luxury resorts offer amazing tangible features, I believe that Namale’s main point of difference lies in our commitment to excellence in the guest experience. Namale’s mission statement I believe would aptly explain the concept of the Namale experience. “To be the number one intimate resort and spa in Fiji and the entire South Pacific. To have our service be second to none in the world, defined not only by our standard of service but also by the depth of our caring. We live to light up our guests and find ways to delight them by anticipating their need and desires. We are constantly looking for ways to create memories for a lifetime, magic moments in every aspect of their stay. We are an extraordinary team all committed to this standard. We, as a resort and Fijian family, leave an imprint on all the hearts who make Namale their home. Hard work and dedication give us pride. Our work is our love and gift. This is what sets us apart from all others.
What type of client does Namale generally attract and what do you specialise in? We generally attract clients with great disposable income and those that are after a new and exciting experience. Our clients are used to the finer things in life and expect this when they are traveling. The majority of our clients are honeymooners but having said that we also attract divers (due to our amazing dive location with 2 marine parks in our oceanic backyard), mother daughter getaways and friends that are traveling together. The reason why we appeal to the out of the ordinary clientele is because of our ability to meet guests needs and expectations at different levels – whether they be romance enthusiasts, nature lovers, divers, or friends after an active itinerary.
Tell me about some of the celebrities that have stayed at Namale and any interesting associated stories? We have hosted the likes of Meg Ryan, Edward Norton, Quincy Jones, Donna Karan and many more. Guests travel to us because of their exclusivity and privacy that we offer. We do not disclose information concerning our guests and their experience.
We are aware that Namale is the winner of many tourism awards, which are you most proud of and why? That’s a good question and a difficult one to choose from. We have indeed received many awards and one that I am most proud of personally is our award for the #1 Romance Hotel in the South Pacific as per the Travellers Choice Awards. The reason behind is that Namale ousted other boutique resorts in not only the Pacific Island countries but also that of Australia and New Zealand. With so many other amazing resorts in our region, it was a humbling experience for us as this award was a testimony to the experience that we offer, our concierge approach to all our guests whether it be diving, spa, private dine outs or simple romantic escapades.
When is the best time to visit Namale? Fiji is a year around destination with only a 5 degree Celsius changes between the hot and cold seasons. With global weather patterns out of sync, it is now proving even harder to try and predict the type of weather that we can expect. With this being said, the beauty of Namale really comes through in November when our plummerias and hibiscus come into bloom adding to the exotic range of orchids, gingers and anthuriums. The resort is filled with parrots that feast on the flower umbrella tree and the occasional afternoon rains add to the lushness of the property. Different people like different times of the year for various reasons but this has been my best month throughout all the years of my working at Namale.
Which activities at Namale do you consider as “must do”? There are a few MUST DO activities at Namale. These are as follows:
Similarly what off site activities would you recommend for our clients? Well, Namale does have the most comprehensive range of combined ocean and land based activities in Fiji so there is always something to do when staying with us. My most recommended activity would be an Salt River Jump! There is a salt river lake not far from the Resort (the only one I know in Fiji) that is connected to the ocean via way of an estuary. The river and lake is favoured by swift currents with the water flowing from the ocean into the lake when the tides change from low to high. For a ride of a life time, we strap life jackets on and jump from a bride into the current that sweeps us past an active mangrove eco-system and finally into the lake. When we get to the lake, we have long boats and hot chocolate waiting for our guests.
What types of cuisine should guests at Namale expect and do you have a signature dish or must try? Namale’s cuisine is daily changing and international in flavour. We offer a concierge approach to dining so we are able to cater for our guests every whim and need. We present a daily changing menu which guests can order from OR they can request whatever their heart and palette desires. Must tries at different culinary courses are as follows:
Breakfast – Koro Sea Catch of the Day (fresh fillet of fish pan fried with a coconut salsa, egg sunny side up, fresh leaves of lettuce and slice of tomato sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Lunch – Penne Pasta and Lobster served with a creamy herbed sauce
Dinner – Namale Surf and Turf – corny as it may sound, the way Namale puts together a surf and turf is enough to make anyone salivate. The surf and turf is made from fresh caught lobster, local farmed prawns and imported New Zealand meat with a selection of divine sauces and vegetables. They all come together to create an amazing fusion of tastes.
The sun is setting and its cocktail time at Namale which one do you recommend as the perfect drink to watch the sun go down with? There are so many places to watch the sun go down with your favourite drink in hand. The resort sits at the edge of the cliff with amazing views of the ocean. My personal favourite spot to watch the sun go down with drink in had is the Toba Deck. Toba means bay and it’s a deck that is perched at the edge of a cliff and jutting out towards a Bay that is framed with lush mountains and rain forest. From the deck, one is able to see the beautiful setting of the sun.
Tell us about the spa and Namale, what product would you most recommend? The spa is the epitomy of having every sense in your body stimulated. From the moment you step into the spa, you have a feeling of utter bliss – from the especially selected piped music in all treatment rooms and concierge areas, to the delicately brewed incense and oils that waft through the air to the Egyptian cotton sheets that caress your body during a treatment. The Spa therapists are highly trained and experienced and now how to release tension muscles and nerves and surrender your body to a state of utter joy. A signature Namale treatment is the ULTIMATE FUSION MASSAGE. This is a combination of 3 distinct massage techniques that starts off with a foot wash and soak, followed by Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Treatment and then ending with a Hot Rock Massage. In totality, the treatment is 90-minutes and is a delight to the senses.
Tell us more about Savusavu and the area around Namale? Here are some fun factoids about Savusavu and Vanua Levu, the island that we are located on:
Do you offer weddings at Namale, and if so what would a typical wedding package include? Our team is known as the Dream Team because we turn wedding dreams into a reality and because of the fact that no two wedding dreams are the exact same, we do not offer wedding packages. As opposed to offering different wedding packages, we have a concierge approach this important event in a person’s life. We consult with each of our guests to find out what their wedding dream is or has been since they started thinking about “the day”. We look for details are minute as colour, flowers of choice, set ups, venues etc. and we then cost in accordance with their dream. We have had simple weddings and we have had the elaborate society weddings at Namale. Furthermore, all service providers that we use need to be highly ranked in their respective industries in Fiji and to add to the exclusivity of weddings at Namale, we only allow a maximum of 2 weddings a month on the property.
Hudson Mitchell is Director of Sales, Marketing and guest services at Namale Resort and Spa, Fiji.
Tony Townley is a luxury lifestyle specialist and owner of Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.