Namale Palms, Fiji

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:

  • Early morning snorkel at our house reef. The joy of jumping into the South Pacific Ocean and taking in the teeming marine life whist being caressed by the morning rays of the sun is an amazing experience and a great way to start the day
  • A hike through our mountains and rain forest ending at our private waterfall where lunch will be set for 2 is also a spectacular feeling of re-connecting with Mother Nature and finding time to reflect and enjoy the simple pleasures in life
  • Spa – a spa treatment at Namale is a highlight to many. The spa, its therapists and the services on offer are designed to stimulate and heighten the senses.
  • An evening in the Kava Bowl if there’s a rainy evening. This is Fiji’s only one-of-a-kind indoor entertainment area that is home to 2 bowling alleys, a 3D virtual golf simulator, foosball, table tennis, table hockey, billiard table, mini library, board games, internet room and a drop down screen for movies. The room is fully carpeted, AC ventilated, has a self-service bar and a move channel spanning over 1000 options of moves. It is the only one of its kind in Fiji and allows guests to pass the evening in comfort and fun.

Namale Pool, Fiji

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:

  • Vanua Levu was first sighted by Abel Tasman in 1643 and back then was known as Sandalwood Island because of the bountiful supply of sandalwood that was harvested from its dense sandalwood forests. Shaped like elongated crocodile, the island is the 2nd largest in Fiji and is surrounded by virginesque waters that are teeming with marine life. In fact, the seas surrounding the island are home to the Namena Marine Reserve – the diving mecca of the Fiji Islands
  • Before Namale was a resort it was a thriving coconut plantation that was first started off around 1874 by one of the many European settlers that decided to make  Savusavu their home. The resort started off in the 1960s as a working coconut plantation which closed in the late 1990s. Namale today still has the telltale straight lines of planted coconut trees from the days of active copra plantation.
  • Savusavu Town is the only town in Fiji that has active geothermal activity with healing springs. The township is framed with a curtain of steam with the ebbing of the tides from high to low. Savusavu residents also use the heat of the springs to cook their food so it is not uncommon to see pots of food resting on hot spring pools . Built around the turn of the century, the Savusavu Planters Club was built at time when the township of Savusavu and surrounding private estates was home to European settlers from around the worlds. Exclusively for members, the Club was the local watering hole for estate owners in between loading copra and sandalwood onto steamers bound for the far flung corners of the globe. Following afternoon drinks on the patios, the original members and founding fathers made their way to their respective estates by horseback. A little over 100 years later, the club still stands and so its members are the descendants of the founding forefathers of the club.
  • Since its inception, Namale has taken a very green approach to the construction of the Resort. Via way of policy, no trees are cut down unless otherwise approved by the ownership. The bures of Namale have been seen many changes since its inception and now this resort is known as been recognized twice in a row as offering the most unique accommodation in Fiji.
  • The township of Savusavu has for a long time being recognized for being the melting pot of races. As such, it is known throughout the Fiji Islands, some of the most beautiful women come from this town. This is a result of the settlers from Germany, Norway, Scotland, Wales and other places that made Savusavu their home all those many years ago. The women of Savusavu are known to have a great complexion and beautiful eyes.

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.

Namale Resort & Spa , Fiji

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