Wayalailai resort is in a particularly stunning location and partly protected from the prevailing winds by the island’s lumps so beach going is a comfortable business.
Wayalailai is a decent place for taking it easy though active people on a budget may get bored as all activities cost extra including hiking on your own to the rocky peak. The beach is quite short and there are no roads, so jogging is limited too.
The beach is good for swimming, but lacks colourful coral or marine life.
The bures are a fair size with generally good views, ceiling fans and a fridge though electricity goes off a lot so the fridge is not much use.
The food is basic and limited but reasonable, varied and serves meat eaters as well as vegetarians, though if you’re a bit slow at getting in line the food might run out before you get any. Breakfasts are pathetic unless you’re 5 years old and really like white bread and jam.
There’s no wifi or phone on the island and the resort is run by the local village which means you get to meet real-life Fijians (yay! ) but they can be inefficient, lazy and ill-mannered if they’re having a bad day (boo! ).
Blue Lagoon Beach Resort
The Blue Lagoon’s sand is incredibly soft and palm-fringe backdrop perfect, though thick seaweed frequently takes the sheen off the tropical paradise look, even if it does provide a home and larder for local marine life. The lower part of the beach is reserved for the people using the Blue Lagoon cruise ship.
Blue Lagoon on Nacula Island in the Yasawas is a success for more reasons than just an old movie tie-in. It’s small enough to be personal but relaxed and expensive enough to know that visitors are either having a one-time blow-out or rich/celebrities, giving all parties a glossy interest-makeover. That being said the Blue Lagoon does offer a 16 bed air-conditioned dormitory so it’s not all about splashing out.
Rooms – bures and public rooms – are all impeccably clean and decorated in a Fijian-modern, the bar and restaurant are both bohemian comfortable and serve interesting foods and drinks in an exclusive environment with panoramic views over the curving white crescent of sand and blue lagoon, which becomes a black lagoon as soon as the sun sets, setting off the nightly Fijian music performances perfectly.
One outstanding feature of the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort is the cheerful, energetic and on-the-ball management and staff, sadly lacking in many of the smaller beach resorts that are run by local villagers and consequently lack professionalism.
Yasawa Island (note: not Islands plural) hosts a couple of the best beaches in Fiji and possibly in the world, with its northerly beaches coming out on top and visited by the famous and costly Blue Lagoon Cruise ships. Otherwise Yasawa Island is home to an expensive hotel, the Yasawa Island Resort that needs to be reached by plane, seaplane or via several hours on a water taxi.
Botaira Beach Resort
Botaira Beach Resort on Naviti island in the Yasawas, welcoming guests with the usual tuneful island song, but unusually afloat.
Botaira setting is spectacular with a massive crescent beach looking out to the reef and seafront ‘bures’ (cabins)that are very popular, especially with the young. The place is quiet, with no internet, no air conditioning, sea-water showers and friendly Fijian staff.
There is a panoramic hour-long ridge hike above the resort up the hill from where visitors can see a view of the whole Yasawa chain.
Sadly the coral reef that was one of Botaira’s main attractions is now mostly dying and bleached by climate change, a plague of starfish and probably run off from the island’s primitive facilities. There is still some fish action for newbie snorkelers but not for the more experienced floaters.
Recently tales of poor management and tedious dining options are becoming commonplace, but not with the young folk!