A unique boutique hotel on the beautiful island of Vanua Levu in Fiji, Koro Sun Resort offers visitors a peaceful and relaxing stay with a stunning selection of accommodations – from overwater villas with private pools to Fiji’s only floating bures.
Location and How To Get There
Koro Sun is located on the beautiful palm fringed island of Vanua Levu in Fiji. If you are flying in internationally, you will likely fly into Nadi airport on the main island of Viti Levu. To get to Koro Sun, you will need to get a short connecting flight to Savusavu (the main town on Vanua Levu) through Fiji Airways (or Fiji Link as it’s known for some domestic flights). The flight is just about an hour long offers excellent views of both islands. After landing in Savusavu, the hotel is just a short 15 minute drive along the picturesque Hibiscus Highway.
Check in process
The front desk at Koro sun had reached out to us a few weeks before our intended arrival date and requested our flight details so they could pick us up from the airport on our check in day; a very nice touch that took away the stress of having to organize transportation.
The airport at Savusavu is one of the smallest I’ve been to, so it wasn’t that hard to find our driver to take us to Koro Sun. After the short 15 minute transfer to the hotel we were greeted warmly by the front desk and handed two delicious refreshing welcome drinks. We sat in the main atrium while we signed a few papers before being shown to our villa.
There’s a wide variety of different rooms at Koro Sun, from garden view rooms to overwater pool villas and floating bures, which happen to be the only floating accommodations in the whole of Fiji!
We were fortunate enough to stay in an overwater pool bure which was just as wonderful as it sounds. It was very private, bordered by tall walls with creeping tropical plants, and a refreshing plunge pool at the front of the property with a fairytale- like bridge over it to the front entrance.
The bure itself was very spacious and has a large king sized bed in the center, a small seating area and mini fridge with sink in the corner of the room by the front door. There is also a bath in the main room which makes for a romantic addition to the room!
The bathroom was fairly basic with a shower, toilet and sink. Our shower curtain did not reach the floor and as a result we had a few mini floods from the bathroom into the main room. An easy fix for maintenance, and very likely not a problem experienced in every unit. There was also a power outlet in the shower just opposite the shower head which made me a little nervous, so just bear this in mind when you take a shower.
The outside deck is definitely the best aspect of the bure, double doors from the main room open up into the small overwater terrace outside with panoramic views over the ocean. There are also steps down into the water, should you want to take a quick dip. We were advised not to dive or jump off from the deck as the depth was deceivingly shallow, even in high tide. It’s worth noting that during low tide there is very little water surrounding the bungalow. You will see locals walking out from the shore to harvest mussels and hand like fish in the main channel.
Food and Drink
I had previously booked the half board package through Koro Sun and was not disappointed! The food we received each day really was fantastic, and given that there aren’t too many eating establishments in the area, it was a wise choice for us. The half board meal plan came with the cold buffet breakfast plus a la carte hot menu items, one tapas of appetizer from the beach bar and a three course dinner every night at the main restaurant, or $60 credit to use at the hotel’s on site seafood restaurant.
We were given the dinner menu at check in and asked to preorder our choices, a routine that is expected every morning. The menu changes every day which is always nice and they were more than accommodating for my dietary restrictions (gluten free).
On our first night, for my first course I chose Traditional Smoked Kokoda which is freshly smoked coconut (lolo) cream cured Spanish mackerel topped with local cucumber, tomato basil, onion and chili – it was absolutely delicious! For the main course I chose the New Zealand lamb shank which was braised and slow cooked in a vegetable and red wine jus and served with creamy mash, sauteed green long beans and Fijan spinach – it was just as good as it sounds! And also so nice to have lamb – I live in Oklahoma and other than at Easter, lamb is so incredibly hard to find! For dessert, the chef managed to make me a gluten free chocolate crepe!
On our second night, we chose to eat at the hotel’s seafood restaurant – it was only open on one night during our stay and we really wanted to experience it. Latitude 17 is situated right on the edge of the lagoon with panoramic views of the water. It really has a wonderful ambience and the service we received was second to none. With our $60 credit we chose to have whole red snapper – it was caught just that morning and you could tell it was so fresh! We might have over estimated our appetites though – we ordered one each and the fish was huge!
On our final night, we ate at the main restaurant, it was a themed night so there was a varied buffet followed by a traditional Fijan Meke performance – the perfect send off on our last night.
The pool bar also offered a lunch menu, and during our stay we sampled quite a few of the offerings – charred salad, chorizo tapas sticks and lemon pepper dusted calamari – all were great and just the right amount for an afternoon snack.
In addition to the onsite dive center, Koro Sun has a number of pools, one of which is an adults only infinity pool with swim up bar (however the bar was closed during our stay, likely due to staffing in low season).
There are tennis courts and a boutique shop where you can buy toiletries you might have forgotten, tshirts, flip flops, jewellery, etc and have it charged to your room (a nice feature).
There is also the option to book spa treatments during your stay. I was also pleasantly surprised that the hotel hosted some of the local women from the village to sell some of their handmade wares a couple of mornings a week just outside the front entrance. I bought some wonderful pearls from them; I always enjoy supporting the locals during my travels.
One of the big draws of Koro Sun is it’s onsite diving center, they have boats and all the equipment, so you can literally walk a few steps from your room and be on the boat and out for a days full of scuba diving. While I don’t dive, I did hear a lot of positive feedback from guests who were staying there at the same time as us. They also have diving packages to add on to your stay.
We had booked a romance package along with our reservation which included a romantic bed set up on arrival, champagne breakfast on bed one morning, an hour’s couples massage and a beach picnic with sparkling wine. When we checked in, the housekeeping had run a hot bath for us, complete with rose petals and essential oils. The bed was also set up with rose petals and decorated beautifully.
During check in we chose which days we would like to do each activity (this was mainly due to the weather forecast as the previous week we had had torrential rain for almost the entire time) and picked out our breakfast choices for the champagne breakfast in bed.
On the day we chose to have it, we made the decision to enjoy it in the comfort of our private pool, surrounded by the tropical garden. We were given a bottle of champagne, orange juice to make mimosas, our breakfast items including eggs and a selection of breads and jams (they even brought me gluten free bread!). We thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I highly recommend booking this during your stay at Koro Sun.
Unfortunately, the beach picnic did not follow suit. While the staff were prompt in picking us up for our transfer to the beach, it was not an enjoyable experience. The beach was maybe a 5-10 minute drive away and it was clear that they had made a big effort to set up a nice area for us to relax in under the shade of a Palapa; however when we arrived we were simply dropped off with a cooler and left. One of the staff members showed us where the toilets were and then ran back to the truck and took off. We had no idea what time we were getting picked up, how to contact the hotel or indeed, where we were.
At the time, we shrugged it off and went to sit down and enjoy our picnic. We had booked the beach picnic with sparkling wine and the day before had chosen our menu items and asked for some bottles of water too. Upon opening the cooler there was no water, no sparkling wine, nothing. We had nothing to drink; and with it being the hottest point of the day in Fiji I was already sweating buckets. We looked around and honestly couldn’t see anyone and no signs of civilization other than a beach shack a few hundred yards away. It was incredibly disappointing and we found it very hard to enjoy our experience. While we did get some of the menu items we had ordered, the food had a high salt content and after a couple of bites it was almost impossible to continue without a glass of water. Two hours went by and there was no sign of the hotel staff; at this point we thought they may have forgotten about us so we walked the beach to look for anyone we could find. We eventually found some snorkellers who were staying nearby and kindly gave us some water and let us use their cell phone. Just as we were typing in the number the truck arrived and we were whisked back to the hotel. Upon arrival back to the hotel we did politely raise our concerns and I have to say, the staff went above and beyond to try and make it right. They brought us our missing wine and water to our villa and even came to personally apologize. They explained they were training some new staff and there had been a terrible miscommunication on their part. After our interactions with the front staff, we felt a bit better about our experience and were even treated to some complimentary cocktails at dinner, which was an incredibly nice touch.
The staff really made a huge effort to make the remainder of our stay enjoyable and we really did appreciate that they went the extra mile. The staff working in the main restaurant, Latitude 17 and the front desk were nothing short of exceptional and went above and beyond to ensure our needs were met.
We did notice that they were working with a skeleton crew and in some areas they might have been cutting a few corners to make things easier on employees during low season. For example, on our first day we were advised to visit the happy hour at the pool bar which ran from 5-6 where there would be specials running throughout. After settling into our room we headed down to the pool bar at around 3.30 with the hope of grabbing a quick bite to eat before sampling some of the happy hour specials. There was one member of staff running the bar and while she was happy to take our food and drink order she did tell us she had decided to close the bar at 4.30pm because “it’s raining” even though we were under cover.
Despite a few hiccups, which in all honesty boils down to the lack of staff in low season, we did have an enjoyable stay at Koro Sun, and the accommodation choices, especially the overwater villas and floating bures really are such a unique experience.
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