Staying in an overwater bungalow is a right of passage for every luxury world traveler and the experience can often be as exclusive as the destinations themselves. Waking up to a tranquil sea that invites you for a morning swim off your back porch, only to be rocked gently to sleep by the sounds of the very same waters with which you awoke is a routine that can only be enjoyed in an accommodation such as this.
While not all overwater bungalow resorts are created equal, and some are more difficult and remote to reach than others, no seaplane transfer is required here. Just a 45-minute drive from the international airport on the main Fiji Island of Viti Levu elegantly sits as if it were levitating on the jewel-toned lagoon, Fiji Marriott Momi Bay Resort. Only a handful of overwater resorts exist in the archipelago of Fiji, and the Marriott property as the newest resort rivals those of the ever-exclusive Bora Bora and Maldives.
FIji Marriott Momi Bay – Overwater Bungalow Resort on Viti Levu
With its authentically-designed architecture emulating the natural cambers of the indigenously-owned land on which it’s built, the resort offers an assortment of room types (called bures in Fiji) ranging from family-friendly beachfront, lagoon view, or poolside huts, to 22 adults-only overwater villas.
Related: Fiji Itinerary & Guide
Tranquil & Lavish Overwater Villas at One of the Few Overwater Resorts in Fiji
Each overwater bure, with their glass pocket doors that fully open for the perfect indoor-outdoor flow, is built with a generous-sized porch for sun lounging complete with steps that lead right into the calm waters sheltering the submerged reefs and brilliantly-colored schools of fish. Inside, horizontal glass panels hug the curved interior giving glimpses of the water below, as it perfectly bounces the light like freshly chiseled turquoise gems. The presidential overwater royal suite, which is similarly designed to the standard overwater bures but nearly twice the size, offer the most privacy as it sits at the tail end of the enclave and is a honeymooners’ dream.
Some of the best restaurants on Viti Levu
Dining on the resort remains predominantly devoted to the island’s local cuisine with three eateries that offer a mix of Indian and Asian flavors. However, those seeking something different are welcome to a fourth dining option, the stylish, Mediterranean-Italian restaurant, Lagoon House.
Dinner at the by-reservation-only Fish Bar, the resort’s aptly-named seafood-centric restaurant overlooking the Pacific offers the memorable sunsets we idealize and chase on every getaway. On the menu, dishes such as island curries rich with coconut cream, massive lobster tails, and fresh catch of the day blend traditional Fijian delicacies with a contemporary spin.
Alongside Fish Bar spans an inviting infinity pool sprawling over a rocky promontory where the ocean waters gently splash. Fiji Marriott is the only overwater resort to offer not only an infinity pool, but an additional pool with a swim-up bar to imbibe on tropical cocktails that embody what it means to be on a quintessential island vacation.
A Gateway to Fiji’s Best Ocean & Land Activities
From the resort, common water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, jet-skiing, and kayaking are the daily routine, but those who would like to connect and learn about island life can participate in complimentary cultural activities and workshops such as plant weaving, shell necklace making, and coconut tasting. Alternatively, if you’ve come to the island to do nothing at all, perhaps a signature Fijian massage at the Quan Spa will help you get in the mood of being on “Fiji time” and master the art of remaining sedentary all vacation long.
For the curious, adventure and exploration are just a car, boat, horseback, zip line, or helicopter ride away. To get the most out of your visit, let the staff arrange a private, customized boat tour exploring nearby islands such as the one where the movie Cast Away was filmed, followed by snorkeling off secluded sandbars that can only be accessed during low tide, and breaking for a wood-fired pizza lunch on a literal floating (cocktail) bar in the middle of the ocean.
Experience the Gifts of Island Living
After a long day’s journey, wind down with some kava, the island’s spiritual and recreational medicinal plant drink at a ceremony guided by locals among your fellow resort guests; or for a truly VIP experience, in the comfort and privacy of your own bure. Feel the sedative effects wash over you with each cup of ceremonial kava as you learn the ritual practice and hear tales about the village chief, before drifting peacefully into the deepest slumber that would give even the strongest melatonin supplement a good race.
What makes Fiji Marriott most remarkable, however, is not the tailored offerings, ideal location in an unmatched setting, or the dreamy and opulent overwater bures, but the warm and welcoming staff of local villagers who never miss an opportunity to exclaim the island salutation, “bula!” as they zip by on golf carts cheerfully driving guests from one area of the resort to the next.
At Fiji Marriott Momi Bay, the land remains belonging to the local village and thereby maintains much of the communal atmosphere’s charm. “Bula,” you’ll quickly learn, means more than just a hello or thank you. Bula is a feeling and a way of life; for the sincere welcome will make you wish you’d never leave, and at the same time, instills a gratitude to the kind people who share their land and sea for you to create memories and take a piece of the bula mentality home with you, to remain forever in your heart.