Taveuni Palms Resort, Fiji
Flowers and Fiji are as inseparable as tonic and gin, as intimately intertwined as history’s great lovers Antony and Cleopatra. Imbued with almost spiritual and magical significance, flowers are a part of everyday Fijian life, whether strung together in celebratory garlands or as single blooms tucked behind the ears much like city women wear earrings. The Garden Island of Taveuni in Fiji’s east is home to Fiji’s floral emblem. The rare and revered tagimoucia’s crimson and white blooms hang in chandelier-like clusters of ruby raindrops on a mountain ridge in Taveuni’s highlands.
So, it comes as little surprise that flowers dominate our stay at Taveuni Palms Resort. Peering through the window of a Fiji Airways aircraft we spot staff member Marie waving furiously, a scarlet hibiscus behind her ear catching the sunlight. Checking into the Beach Villa a few languid paces from a wisp of sandy beach, the place is awash with flowers. In the bathroom orange, yellow and red hibiscus sit atop bath towels, grace the vanity and the shower’s soap holder. There’s even a bloom atop the toilet paper roll.
Heady with the scent of tropical blooms, Taveuni Palms Resort is an intimate romantic retreat.
With just two villas, each with an acre of land and a private staff of seven, it feels as though we’ve our own private beach house. We indulge in exquisite meals in each of the five dining locations, on the deck, poolside or beachside, indoors and on a deck cantilevered over lush gardens. Each time the table is beautifully decorated with flowers and shells by Sia the Executive Housekeeper. In the evening while we’re dining on four courses Sia works her floral magic in the bedroom, painting messages of love in petals. One night she creates a carpet of petals upon the timber floor. Love is almost guaranteed to blossom in such romantic surroundings. Antony and Cleopatra’s tragic romance would surely have benefited had they checked in to Taveuni Palms Resort. taveunipalms.com
© This article was first published in June-July 2017 edition of World Travel Magazine.