It’s often described as “blissful paradise” where everyone walks around with wide smiles and cocktails in hands. But for roomsXML’s Mark Luckey, this was not the case:

I’d booked the ultimate getaway, well at least I thought I did – me, my wife, my mum and my daughter on a week-long getaway to Fiji.

We packed our bags over Christmas and boarded the plane, but what we found wasn’t as we expected. This stunning escape practically ruined island holidays for me, in the best possible way:

 

Annoyingly perfect weather

Image: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Image: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

I know Fiji is prone to rain this time of year, but the doom and gloom of the weather forecasters at the resort was unbelievable. On the day we turned up there was a warning attached to the front of the door talking about three inches of rain, cyclones, flash flooding, nasty winds and basically, don’t expect to be getting outside any time soon.

This happened on three occasions during the stay at the Outrigger. All we had was blue skies with the occasional smattering of cloud. Sunburn to prove. The weatherman was a total fail.

 

Dreadfully delicious dishes

Image: Jay Wennington/Unsplash

Image: Jay Wennington/Unsplash

You know that feeling when you’re expecting average food but end up tasting the best meal you’ve ever tried. Yeah, well, that happened to us. The trip failed to live up to a reputation of bad food, because everything tasted delicious. Even the food on the kid’s menu were worth tasting.

We ate at a fine dining restaurant which won an award and I hate to admit it, it deserved every part of that award. See Cape Grim stake from Tasmania, rack of lamb from New Zealand. Overlooking the setting sun. Another tasty morsel? Yes please – reputation fail – the food was pretty good.

 

Ridiculously relaxing

Image: Chris Osmond/Unsplash

Image: Chris Osmond/Unsplash

I run, I walk the dogs, I go swimming, I teach karate. It sounded disastrous to sit there and do nothing. By the pool, people bringing you food, drink, walking eight metres to cool down, stumbling eight metres out of the pool two hours later to warm up again. Having to talk to random strangers and pretending to your wife and mum that you didn’t enjoy their fresh perspectives.

 

Captivatingly cheap

Image: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Image: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Coral Coast, resort, captive audience, prices skyrocket. The booze was certainly very very expensive -the government slaps on 102 percent alcohol import tax. OMG, went to the gift shop to buy some simple shoes for my daughters and they cost an astronomical… $16. Then a rash vest, which is $20.

Booze-wise they brought us a complimentary champagne and later on, a lovely something a little bit sweet to our room. Every day. Happy hour every day. Cans of mixer drinks cost $2.50 in the gift shop – what a rip-off – so I could get stuck into my $30 bottle of gin. Those double (okay sometimes triple) gins cost me in excess of two dollars each .We didn’t need mixes for the champagne. You can take 2.2 L of alcohol per person.

Thanks Fiji, thanks for setting the island holiday so high that I’ll definitely have to return in the near future!

Bula Vanaka!

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