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An old Favourite Facelifted

An old Favourite Facelifted
Fish catching activities on the seas near Waitui Basecamp.
July 06
22:12 2017

The Waitui Basecamp Resort in the beautiful Yasawa Island group has gone through a facelift, both in the infrastructure and more importantly, in the management and the product offering.

Ten years ago the original resort was built as a backpacker operation on the eastern side of the island, a perfect location in a perfect place.

Normally in the Yasawa Group you would avoid an east facing position for a resort because the prevailing winds from the South East can become really irritating.

After days of continual exposure but the fact that the island further south east across the water provides a perfect windbreak takes away any concern and allows a gentle breeze to caress Waitui  Basecamp throughout the day while at night the ocean breeze, cooling but never cold, comes in over the hill in the middle of the island.

 

Resort designed as a back packer

When it was first built, the Resort was designed as a pretty basic back packer, but in the ensuing years it built up a reputation as an extremely relaxed establishment with lots of fun, lots of good times, music and laughter, driven by the Fijian family who owned and operated the place.

It was really a family affair with the parents and most of the children involved in various ways.

It became well known through word of mouth in the international backpacker community and many positive comments on the property on TripAdvisor and similar web sites.

Early this year, the land owners formed a partnership with new investors to rebrand and rejuvenate the property. A partnership was formed with long time friend, Thomas Nicolaus, a local businessman with a successful building company, Nautilus Construction, and a young Australian couple who recently relocated to Fiji.

The business is developing quickly with the fresh energy and has already become a favourite for travellers in the Yasawas.

With nothing but five star reviews, guests have thoroughly enjoyed the personalised service and picturesque setting.

The owners realised that they had an iconic property and planned to grow it further, but were careful in the planning process to make sure not to lose or change too much the very things that had made Waitui  Basecamp the icon it had become.

They believed that the new partners, experienced tourism people, would bring in knowledge of how to grow the brand and ensure that the structural work that was needed for the next step to be taken kept faith with the original buildings and maintained the relaxed ambience, so the restructured company began the renovation of the property.

 

Resort features

There are now four family bures on the hill overlooking the beach and the stunningly clear waters and four beachside units.

As well as an adequate central main bure and the services areas and the kitchen and housekeeping operations that separate the resort from those surrounding it, such as the world famous Turtle Island Resort on Turtle Island to the west.

A lot of the traditional style of the bures was maintained but modern amenities and technology was introduced in a non-intrusive manner.

As befits a property that has been made famous by the purity and beauty of its environment, the work was also extended to making the whole operation eco sensitive.

Electricity generation is now by solar panel array and the gardens, especially the important vegetable gardens are all organic, as are the insecticides used to control the mosquitoes, moths and other minor annoyances.

 

Mineral water

It was discovered that the resort sat on an aquifer, the same one that provides Fiji’s internationally famous bottled mineral water, and plumbing was undertaken to bring this magnificent water to every room.

Imagine having a shower in the endless supply of the water that made Fiji famous.

The resort already had a five star chef who reviewed the whole food experience and additional choices were added to the menu.

They were careful not to lose the freshness and taste that had helped build the brand, but they added more quality and a richer range of tastes while still maintaining the basic Fijian style.

They concentrated on sea food, and why not when there is a wondrous and expansive variety available fresh from the sea around the resort.

As well as freshly caught fish there is always octopus, oyster, lobster and crab, cooked to perfection to add to the excitement of the meal, but the food is still included in the price of the room.

There is a good but not overly expensive wine and beer service.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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