16 Dec 2013

holiday lodgings reviewed: fiji beach resort + spa + the warehouse in melbourne

Untitled
Eleven days ago I boarded two flights that found me in Fiji. I booked the trip on a lark, after suffering the tremendous loss of my dear Sophie, and I’d always wanted to trek to this part of the world. A series of three hundred some odd islands, a dot on a map, a faraway place where people take things slow. During the course of my trip, I kept hearing the phrase “Fiji time,” which means that folks here operate at a slower pace; the vibe is low-key and relaxed, and I felt this energy as soon as I checked into the Fiji Beach Resort + Spa at Hilton. Located on Denarau Island, an island that was once farmland, reclaimed by the Japanese and transformed into an idyllic oasis. Admittedly, where I’m staying is probably one of the more affluent parts of Fiji with its verdant golf courses and bleached-white shores. The photos don’t do the island justice, for the waters are a true azure and the island is rife with exotic flowers: gardenia, plumeria and orchids. Although it sounds quite lofty, the value of the hotel is spot-on. I secured a room (which includes breakfast) for about $215US/night, which included a jacuzzi, beach-front terrace, a breakfast that had me weeping with its muesli and fresh fruit, and Peter Thomas Roth bath products. The rooms are perfectly appointed, impeccably and simply decorated, clean and wonderfully located to local buses and a “Bula Bus” that tours the town every half hour.

Note that while this the resort is not “authentic Fiji,” it is a perfect place to rest, unwind and treat yourself should you want to take a long holiday or celebrate your honeymoon (lots of couples here). I also took many trips that allowed me to experience Fijian customs, culture, food and local artistry. All in all, I would absolutely come back to the Fiji Beach Resort + Spa. In. A. Heartbeat. Fantastic service, lovely rooms, fabulous food and a location that feels what I’d imagine paradise feeling like.

Untitled
IMG_3850IMG123
IMG_3846IMG123

The resort is home to two fantastic restaurants, a deli, gift/surf shops, two pools and lounge areas (one for adults, and the other for adults + kids), water sports, a beach with bar service, a full-service gym, liquor and convenience shops, spa and volleyball/tennis. You're not want for anything while you're here. The staff are beyond kind and gracious, always greeting you with a Bula! (hello) when they pass you on their golf carts and in the lobby.

A few things I did notice that were key to note, however. Thankfully, I’m no longer a drinker because alcohol in Fiji is insanely expensive. We’re talking $14 for a glass of wine, expensive. It’s best to BYO (this is actually the norm in Melbourne, I found, where liquor is also pricey) or opt for the local Fijian beer. Like most resorts on the island, no one takes cash — everything is either charged to your room or requires a debit/credit card (a nice 2-3% fee is added on top of every bill, so best to charge to your room, as I quickly learned). Our exchange rate (U.S. to FJD) was pretty amazing (everything was pretty much 1/2 off), and you can get great deals in markets outside of Nadi (neighboring town) and the island. Also good to note, most of the hotels don’t have WIFI in the rooms unless you upgrade to one of the $$$ suites. I’m typing this from one of the cafes that offers WIFI passcodes, by the hour. Scary when you’re uploading 200+ snaps to Flickr.

Untitled

Taking a short journey (okay, not so short — the flight is FIVE HOURS from Fiji) to Melbourne, Australia, I was after a markedly different vibe. I wanted an East Village feel, and found the most amazing AirBNB: The Warehouse Space, located close to Richmond. About a half-hour from the airport, my rental was right off bustling Swann Street, home to bars, bakeries, local flavor and some pretty good Mexican restaurants. The area is still under development in many parts (read: slightly seedy), but completely safe and convenient to all bus/rail transport, and a 20 minute walk to downtown CBD.

While I loved the space itself — a commercial loft warehouse transformed into an insanely large apartment adjacent to a shared artist’s space — the fact that I was surrounded by various forms of art was a constant source of inspiration. Come mornings I’d sneak down and peek at the paintings-in-progress, dresses half shorn and pages of elegant calligraphy.

The space itself is pretty fantastic. The ceilings are monstrous, the kitchen is outfitted with all the accoutrements you can imagine, washer/dryer, a television with all computer adapters, a sound system with Apple adapters, and a shower with the best water pressure going. My host, Alice, was gracious and accommodated my every query, and while the streets can get rowdy on the weekends, during the week it’s amazingly quiet.

In short, I would absolutely recommend this space to anyone traveling through Melbourne. I’ve been really lucking out with my AirBNB choices + lodgings for holidays. Perhaps this is what being a meticulous Type-A researcher affords you.

IMG_4301IMG123
IMG_4298IMG123
IMG_4398IMG123
IMG_4304IMG123

IMG_4285IMG123
IMG_4288IMG123
IMG_4290IMG123
IMG_4291IMG123
IMG_4292IMG123
IMG_4293IMG123
IMG_4294IMG123
IMG_4296IMG123
IMG_4297IMG123

4 Comments

  1. kai wrote:

    In Hawaii we say, “Hawaii time.” When I lived in New Mexico it was, “Navajo time.” It meant the same thing and could be a gentle joke or an indictment of laziness depending on the tone and context. Thank you for sharing your journey. I think I found your blog via a post in another blog that mentioned it, but in any case wanted to unlurk to tell you that I enjoy what you share here.

    Posted on 12.16.13 · Reply to comment
  2. Tam317 wrote:

    Your Fiji posts and beautiful pictures were a wonderful break from what has been a grueling Chicago December. Thank you for sharing…

    Posted on 12.16.13 · Reply to comment
    • AWWW. Thanks, love. I return to the chilly NY weather tomorrow. {sigh}

      On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 5:03 PM, love.life.e

      Posted on 12.16.13 · Reply to comment
  3. Kai, I was just in Hawaii and had the same thought about “Hawaii time” lol. Love the way you describe the properties and atmosphere, I can really get a feel/sense for the property. Also, thanks for putting me onto a new site/app. Heading over to learn more about Airbnb now…

    Posted on 12.16.13 · Reply to comment

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instagram

  • So...apparently I’m writing a new book. It’s interesting (or odd, depending on your view) that new work comes in my darker moments. I started my last book after I had a breakdown from a job (and sociopathic boss) that was killing me. I was in Biarritz when I started what would become my second book, which is darker than my first book.
.
This time, I’m toying with what happens when you climb out of the dark (my first two never got to that place). The book is titled The Only Possible and it centers on the close friendship between two broken women who are climbing out of their familial and person wreckage. This might be the first long work that ends with hope. I have this marker for myself, which is totally arbitrary. If I get to 50 good pages, the book is real.
.
I’m at 52, so I suppose this thing is real. Light in the dark and like that.
.
A brief thank you to the people who’ve been there for me these past few weeks. The ones who haven’t ignored or muted my posts—you are true friends and allies. Thank you for your friendship and kindness. I don’t give my heart and trust to many people for these obvious reasons, but I’m grateful to those that have it.
.
.
.
.
#amwriting #risingtidesociety #thehustle #novelwriting #writersofig
  • Come, have a seat. Settle in with some tea and read all the incredible articles I’ve been sharing on @medium. From step-by-step tutorials on going Live and a blueprint for launching products online to personal essays, you’ve got the whole kit and caboodle. Hit up the link in profile to get the goods.
.
.
.
.
#beingboss #risingtidesociety #marketingdigital #marketingstrategy #femtrepreneur #thehustle #brandstrategist #livestream #goinglive #digitalmarketing
  • Can we talk?
.
I think it’s important to learn from the experiences we’re desperate to forget. Some of my greatest teachings come from working with terrible clients and sociopathic bosses. I wrote about this on medium (@felsull) and I’d love for to check it out, clap, and share.
.

But remember this. Don’t let anyone define your worth. Only you have the right to that math. No one deserves to be yelled at. No one deserves verbal abuse. No one deserves to hear that they’re worthless, stupid, or an idiot. You are the guardian of your worth.
.

Constructive feedback is a valuable tool, but it doesn’t define you as a person. We will fail. We’ll botch a job or make mistakes. Value comes from learning from the missteps, in creating systems and processes for yourself that reduces the likeliness of that mistake from happening again. Your worth is not the measure of your failures, but how you’ve rebounded from them. How you’ve grown professionally AND personally. It’s about you standing up in the wreckage and saying, okay, let’s keep going.
.

Your worth is not bound to your work product — it’s defined by all the things that make you, you.
.
.
.
.
#bizadvice #entrepreneur #freelancingadvice #thehustle #badclients
  • This morning, I finished all my deliverables for two of my biggest projects this year. I can’t believe I got it all done!!! Save for two client calls today, I plan to spend the day supine and watching horror movies. #yassssss #brandstrategist #marketingstrategy
  • I used to be this intense person and I assure you this is not a compliment. I went at everything so hard. I worked through pain and exhaustion. I cleaved to velocity — a body in motion stays in motion and like that. Force = mass x acceleration and like that. I placed more value on outcomes than inputs. I cared about what people thought of me and wanted to please everyone at the expense of my well-being. I placed an unhealthy level of emphasis on amassing a large collection of people in my life more than cultivating richer relationships with a handful. I pursued things at the expense of the quiet nobility of living an honest, full life.
.

My wake-up call was a phonebook packed with numbers but no one to call when I was breaking. What changed during that dark time was this: I began to live small and this is, I assure you, is a good thing.
.

Small isn’t a pejorative. It’s about getting surgical about the people and things that inhabit your life. Cut the barnacles. Eliminate that which is extraneous and unnecessary. Don’t settle for common or this is how it’s always been done. Small is about the amount of noise you allow in. It’s about making the choices that won’t please the majority of people, but you end up pleasing yourself. It’s the difference between living in a mansion and creating a house that is a home. Fewer, better are words whose meaning has shifted for you. They are words of wealth. And more suddenly feels like a burden.
.

For those who suffer from depression, meds and therapy simply level the playing field. They elevate you from negative integers to zero. It’s easier to build from zero than from mounting losses. Meds and therapy don’t create shiny, happy people. There are days that are dark and tough and what’s allowed me to function during that time is the concept of living simply and small.
.
.
.
#realtalk #depression #productivity #entrepreneurlife #thehustle #risingtidesociety #mentalhealth #selfcare
  • Yesterday, I finished up a 138-page tactical marketing plan along with a 27-slide summary deck. I felt like I climbed Everest and had some coconut ice cream to celebrate. Today, I’m hitting the ground running with a coffee and a sweet pick-me-up. Who’s ready for today?
.
.
.
.
.
#coffeegram #thehustle #clementinedaily #risingtidesociety #entrepreneur #brandstrategist #marketingconsultant #chocolatelover
  • Here’s the thing: life is messy. We are flawed by design. Being authentic and real is about appreciating all aspects of yourself and your business. It’s about weathering the tough moments with grace and setting a path and example for others who are standing alongside you in the struggle. It’s about acknowledging and learning from your shortcomings and blind spots. It’s about saying, you’re right. I fucked up. Here’s how I’m going to make amends. There’s nobility in leading an honest life and being the kind of person who is unabashed, shamelessly you.
.

Whether you’re a business of two or two hundred—using plastic tactics to market yourself and your business is a surefire way to start the clock on your expiration date. I’m in the midst of creating a seven-day challenge on real and practical tips on marketing yourself whether you’re fresh out of school and looking for a job or you want to switch careers or you’re in the nascent stages of starting your own business.
.
Why me? I’ve been in marketing for nearly two decades. Ive built business and the brands of F500 companies. I’ve had career changes and side hustles. And I actually know what I’m talking about (don’t be swayed by these IG “business coaches” who have zero marketing or work experience).
.
Why? People have developed allergies to bullshit. People can see right through duplicity, and there’s always a non-smarmy option hovering in view. In my weekly newsletter, I’m sharing  five simple ways to market yourself without being a large-scale douche. Link in profile to subscribe. .
.
.
.
.
.
#risingtidesociety #marketingtips #thehustle #brandstrategist #brandidentity #entrepreneur #beingboss
  • Phoebe & Kate just got a little refresh! Check me out at http://www.phoebeandkate.com.
.
.
.
.
.
#brandstrategist #marketingstrategy #thehustle #wednesdayvibes

Follow Me!