In the last 5 years the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa has been the driving force behind the country’s rise as an exotic golfing destination. This year, the resort’s Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course designed by Vijay Singh, will play host to the nation’s first major tournament, the Fiji International, which will attract over 120 professional players (including Tiger Woods) and tens of thousands of spectators.
The Par 72 course is as beautiful as you could imagine with beautifully manicured greens and fairways bordered by white sand (Hole 4 is the highlight) and views of the bay – make sure you take your camera along! Depending on your ability, the course can be extremely challenging. At every opportunity to find the water or loose a ball you will. Luckily there’s some entrepreneurial locals around to sell you balls they’ve fished out of the bushes and water hazards. Holes 6-9 are set back from the beach but still offer spectacular scenery from high in the hills.
After chatting with some players from Sydney and America it was clear everyone thought the course was world-class, easily the nicest I’ve ever played on. They also have a great restaurant in the Club House and run a free golf clinic for InterContinental guests. Definitely take up the offer.
The InterCon Spa has been voted the best spa on mainland Fiji and for good reason. Before getting ready for my massage I filled out a quick form in a the ‘Relaxation’ room while drinking a delightful Vanilla tea, which I had to refill. After changing I progressed to the Wai Zone where Spa guests experience a number of hold and cold treatments, transferring from steam room, to hot tub and into an interesting ice treatment room.
Following the Wai Zone I entered the ‘Relaxation’ room again for some more tea and a health slice before being led through the tranquil pool lined hallways to a private room for my massage. I sampled the Vivali shell massage, a one hour treatment utilising hot shells that sooth sore muscles and promote blood circulation. My therapist was very accommodating to my horrific sunburn and provided an excellent massage.
Natadola Bay isn’t renowned for its surfing but there are waves if you’re happy to sit and wait for them. The InterContinental Fiji isn’t a surf hotel, it doesn’t claim to be either, but there are boards to rent ($35 FJD), and out the front is a fun little longboard wave that you can easily spend a couple of hours riding. Visible from the beach, past the reef off Navo island is another slightly sketchy break which I caught a boat out to with a nice fellow from Sydney. We spent a couple of hours catching some fun waves but I’d recommend paying for a cab (not a boat) and heading to a more well-known break. The Sigatoka river mouth is about a 20min cab away, speak to the driver and see if you can do a deal with him to wait while you surf!
For $50 FJN you can hop aboard the glass bottom boat and head out towards the same reef I surfed off and spend an hour snorkelling. I’ve only snorkelled a handful of times so I was absolutely amazed by the selection of tropical fish. The resort runs the tours and supplies the fins and snorkelling kit, and their friendly guides point out interesting coral and marine life. The water is warm, the reef is alive and snorkelling is an activity not to be missed. Diving is also offered for the experienced.