Originally published by Travel + Leisure
From glass-bottomed villas in French Polynesia to boat-like bungalows in the Maldives, overwater accommodations grace many a bucket list. Although Fiji is known worldwide for its crystal-clear waters and laid-back island living, it hasn't jumped on the sleep-where-you-swim trend as swiftly as other destinations.
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While the floating bures — or “huts” — at Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji's Mamanuca Islands have become a go-to destination for honeymooners and divers, and guests at the Koro Sun Resort in the Savusavu region love to hop between their water-top bungalows and the rainforest spa, there's finally a new kid in town.
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The Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is the first resort with overwater accommodations on mainland Fiji: Viti Levu, the largest island of the republic. It is also Marriott's first ever property in Fiji.
“Marriott Hotels & Resorts has been looking for the right opportunity to expand its footprint in the Pacific for many years,” Silvano Dressino, general manager of the new Fiji resort, told Travel + Leisure. “Fiji felt like a natural choice.”
The 250-room resort, which opened to guests on April 2, includes 114 luxury bure villas, 22 of which sit on the water. Guests in the overwater villas can dive directly from their private decks into the surrounding waters.
The resort is an idyllic spot for destination weddings — you can rent six or more over-water villas for guests and exchange vows in a garden at the center, Dressino says — and for honeymoons, thanks to a selection of adult-only villas and an adult-only infinity pool for romantic swimming and lounging.
And it also offers the opportunity for families to unwind with an off-the-grid getaway that doesn't skimp on activities to occupy the kids. The Turtle Kids' Club will host events such as t-shirt making and baking, and of course there's a kiddie pool, too.
Whatever stage of life you're at or type of break you're looking for, get an exclusive peek at the new digs below.
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Overwater Bure Villas
Of the resort's 250 rooms, 114 are luxury bure villas—and 22 of those sit over the water. Marriott is the first to offer this on mainland Fiji.
Deck With a View
Guests staying in an overwater villa can jump off their private decks directly into the lagoon.
The resort sits on secluded Momi Bay, on Viti Levu's western coast. It's a 45-minute drive from Nadi International Airport.
What to Eat
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay has three restaurants, a lounge, and a café. Goji Kitchen & Bar offers Fijian, Asian, and Indian dishes made with local produce, while Fish Bar (pictured) serves fresh seafood with sunset views. The Lagoon House & Bar is a more casual spot for Mediterranean fare — and yes, there's a swim-up bar.
The Lagoon Lounge is the place to grab a coffee by day or a cocktail by night, and Fiji Baking Company has pastries, sandwiches, and other light bites, plus a bar looking out onto the Pacific.
Currently, overwater bure villa rates start at FJD $1,400 a night, or about $676 USD. That includes taxes and breakfasts.
Overwater villas and a picturesque garden can be rented for weddings, and an on-site beauty salon offers bridal stying, makeup, hair, and nail services.
If lagoon or ocean swimming isn't your style, there are three pools to choose from. One is an adults-only infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and one is just for kids. The third is a main pool for all guests (and couples can visit private plunge pools at the spa, as well).
Water sports available include kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, and fishing. On land, there's beach volleyball and outdoor chess.
If you can tear yourself away from the resort, nearby attractions and sights include the Hindu Temple Nadi, the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, the Sabeto hot springs, and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. There are also golfing, skydiving, and ziplining excursions.
How to Book
For availability, rates, and more information, visit fijimarriott.com.
All photos by Chris McLennan/Marriott Hotels International