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What’s it Like to Stay in a Luxury Private Villa?

The kind of awesome, and sometimes insane, thing about press trips is that sometimes you get to do things would never otherwise get the chance to do. Like zip-lining or shark diving or, in this case, staying in really, really nice hotels.

In Fiji we stayed in some pretty spectacular places. Everything from private islands to family hotels to luxury backpacker resorts. The luxurious highlight specifically was the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort, a stunning five star resort on the island of Vanua Levu. The only way to get there is by boat or private 8 seater plane. Not only did we get to stay here, we got to stay in the private luxury villa, the most expensive, most opulent room in the entire resort.

Trying to look like we belong here

At JCM, which I mentioned last week is a pioneer of sustainable tourism, the basic rooms start at 800 Fijian dollars a night and go up significantly from there. This includes delightful 3 course meals and a free nanny for every kid under 12 (not much use to us, but still nice!). As a result their primary patrons are families and honeymooners. The villa is obviously more appealing to honeymooners, although really it was nicer than any honeymoon I’ll ever be able to afford.

Usually Mike and I feel really opulent and kind of guilty if we splurge for a hotel room at all, so to stay in the “No. 1 Suite in Fiji” as voted by the World Travel Awards was so out of character we actually kind of felt like con artists. Someone had made a mistake. This is the room they put celebrities in, not backpackers.

Still, I am nothing if not professional (the things I do for you people) so I thought I’d give you a peek into exactly what kind of luxury that entails.

sigh.

The villa was 2000 square feet, big enough to almost get lost in. Outside there was a delightful patio and day beds, there was a hammock down by the ocean where there was a terrific view of the resorts private island. And of course there was the private pool (my skinny dipping dreams were dashed by the rain).

Inside was split into two buildings separated by a thatched roof porch area. On one side was a spacious sitting room, with a fridge full of food and beverages, a gorgeous view and a kitchenette (do people who stay at these places actually cook?).

On the other side it get’s crazy. An enormous stone bathroom featuring a two person hot tub sunk into the floor. Outside is your very own private waterfall. There are also two indoor showers and two outdoor showers. Upstairs is the opulent bedroom with not one, but two walk in closets.

So how did it feel? I know you may be shocked, but staying at a five star resort feels pretty awesome. I see why celebrities like it.

Nice, but kind of stressful. There was just no way to fully take advantage of a place with 4 separate showers, six different places to lounge outside and over 35 places to sit (I counted). Not ot mention the pool, the hot tub, the ocean. And that’s just what we had before even leaving our room. How can you appreciate it all? Not in two days at least.

We did enjoy it though. We enjoyed our complimentary foot massage on arrival, and the free cocktails and snacks delivered to our room at 5pm daily. We enjoyed the entire mini-fridge full of Fiji Water and the really good chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen. We enjoyed watching the stars that crowded the unpolluted Fijian sky, and we definitely enjoyed our waterfront massages.

 In fact, I think we got spoiled. I certainly wouldn’t mind being a luxury traveler, although only once in awhile. It’s certainly not as exciting and unpredictable as hostel life. I mean, you can’t meet anyone interesting inside of your private villa, except maybe that lizard who dropped on my foot one morning. I’ve talked about the pros and cons of all-inclusive resorts in the past. They are fun for sure but you don’t get the community atmosphere or the crazy stories, it’s definitely not the same vibe. Plus, as Mike has written about, Fiji can definitely be done well on a smaller budget too.

It’s not the same, but it sure has it’s merits. Like jacuzzis.

“Maybe we should just become luxury bloggers,” I told Mike, as we sipped our complimentary pre-dinner drinks in the hot tub. I mean, where do you go after this anyways? It’s all downhill for us accommodation wise. I’ll never be able to afford to stay here again, but I suppose it is part of my travel ethos to “enjoy it while it lasts.”

After all, anything can be an adventure.

Thank you to the Fiji Tourism Board and of course Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort for hosting us. All opinions are my own. 

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20 Responses to What’s it Like to Stay in a Luxury Private Villa?

  1. Chrystal McKay June 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM #

    ohhhhhhhh Luxurious! What a FABULOUS villa! Lucky you two getting to stay here! I’ll always never afford to stay here – but hey – it certainly is in my dreams now!

  2. Lindsey @ Wandering Unstuck June 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

    Wow, just wow. That looks utterly indulgent! I’m definitely a fan of ‘enjoy it while it lasts!’ How much does it cost normally? I shudder at the thought but interesting to know.

  3. Andrea June 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

    Wow, that place sounds fabulous! Glad you got to experience it, so I could virtually experience it as well 🙂

  4. mishvo June 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM #

    Stunning place, lucky you! Wanted to make it to Fiji when I was in Sydney but flights were too expensive…

    Love your parting line. It resonates.

  5. Camels & Chocolate June 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM #

    Niiiice. We looked at this place for our honeymoon actually! And then decided on Borneo instead, which had nowhere near as luxurious accommodation.

  6. Luxury Accommodations Blog June 18, 2012 at 2:49 AM #

    Looks amazing! Very spacious and luxurious

  7. Dalene June 18, 2012 at 4:01 AM #

    Pete and I had the exact same conversation while in Jordan about becoming luxury travel bloggers… 🙂

  8. Waegook Tom June 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM #

    Steph, if you feel like leaving Mike at home and travelling with your new gay best friend the next time you stay at a luxury resort, I’m here for you! Don’t forget that 😉

  9. Lisa | LLWorldTour June 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

    Sweet! Love that floor hot tub. And I love that you counted all the places to sit. Hey…nothing wrong with throwing a little lux in every now and again. I LOVE meeting people…but romantic, couple time is pretty great too!

  10. Christina June 18, 2012 at 5:25 PM #

    That is one heck of a villa. Especially the stone bathroom, oh my. I’ve been to Fiji before, at Botaira resort on Naviti Island, which I loved as well. Not a 5 star luxury resort but definitely a version of paradise.
    Looks like you had a fab stay. Definitely a place one could get used to 🙂

  11. alexis June 18, 2012 at 6:24 PM #

    So jealous! That looks absolutely stunning =) I bet you guys didn’t wanna leave so soon! We’ve never stayed at a luxurious place like that, but in the future, it would be nice to do so. You’re probably right when you say that it’s not as adventurous as a hostel, but if you’re celebrity status, this privacy might be all you need. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Nicole June 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM #

    It’s official…I’m WAY jealous! It looks amazing! I think you’ve earned a little 5-star treatment, so I hope you lived it up!!

  13. Spencer June 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM #

    Now that is my idea of a great holiday villa! I would so love to stay somewhere like there.

  14. Arienne June 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM #

    “The things I do for you people”. It’s a tough life, but someone’s gotta do it Steph! :p What an amazing experience! It’s nice to try luxury travel every once in a while, especially if it’s a place like Fiji!

  15. Alana Morgan - Gen Y Wanderer June 20, 2012 at 2:03 AM #

    I’m not jealous at all…

  16. Matthew Hutchins June 20, 2012 at 4:04 AM #

    I’ve stayed in a few luxury hotels and private luxury accommodation and I found that it didn’t really add much to the experience as I spent so little time there.

  17. Alinda July 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM #

    Such a beautiful villa! I love that you counted all 35 places to lounge lol. Sounds like you had an amazing time, even if it was only for 2 days. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Alinda
    @travtar

  18. Ally November 19, 2012 at 1:42 AM #

    ohh the luxury. Totally jelly!

  19. Danny S June 12, 2013 at 6:02 AM #

    Beautiful post! When I’m traveling low-budget style I always try to squeeze in one night of something luxurious just to have one night to relax 100% and be carefree.

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