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There’s no doubt that Fiji is one of the most beautiful places in the world. A tropical haven that’s filled with coconut palm trees, sugar white beaches and turquoise blue lagoons.

If this South Pacific archipelago is high on your travel bucket list and you plan on enjoying paradise like the locals do, you’re in luck. Today we speak to International Model and Fiji Airways Ambassador Phillipa Steele (born and raised in Fiji’s Coral Coast) to find out her favourite local spots, including where to stay, play, relax, shop and eat.

Fijian Model Phillipa Steele Reveals her Favorite Spots in Fiji

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Where to Stay

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

Protected by a spanning coral reef, the InterContinental on Viti Levu is worth splashing out for. This five-star resort has everything you could want in a resort. I’m not a golfer but the 18-hole championship golf course offers great views as well as perfectly primed grounds.

There are a small handful of excellent dining options and of course, a gorgeous spa. I always chose rooms on the beachfront because there’s nothing like waking up to the sound and sight of the ocean.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa

Many of Fiji’s hotels sit side by side, but the Shangri La sits on its own private island. This is a very special resort because you can swim straight off the beach.

If you enjoy snorkelling, the hotel runs daily boat shuttles to the reef surrounding the resort, which has an abundant sea life! For a little peace and quiet, I suggest requesting the adults-only rooms which includes access to the adults only pool.

Where to Play

Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool

I love the traditional mud pools in Sabato. The mud baths contain sulphur which has a therapeutic effect on the muscles, making it a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The mud is also great for your skin, so I treat it like a more affordable day at the spa!

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park

One of my favourite things to do with my friends and family is to go to the Sigatoka sand dunes at sunset, build a bonfire and play guitar. The dunes are also fun to explore during the day time and even more enjoyable if you have a boogie board to slide down.

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park Fiji

Local Markets

My hometown in Sigatoka is located in the heart of the famed Coral Coast – we are known as the ‘Salad Bowl’ of Fiji. Visit our food markets for the freshest pineapples, mangoes, coconuts and little sweet bananas.

If you wander around some of the surrounding local shops you will find lots of tropical print fabrics and tailors who will whip up a Sulu (sarong) or Kaftan. These make great gifts for friends and family and even yourself!

Where to Relax & Pamper

The Pearl South Pacific

I love a spa where you can feel all the elements, including the surroundings. The spa at The Pearl South Pacific have waterside rooms secluded by tropical foliage. Rooms can also be fitted for couple’s massages which is a beautiful experience to share.

The InterContinental

As I mentioned earlier, this resort really does have it all. There are many spa packages to choose from which highlight various areas of your mind and body that may need healing.

They also have beachside cabanas so you can hear the waves and feel the warm sea breeze during your treatment.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

Where to Shop


For local designer shops, head to Tappoo – they have a number of retail outlets throughout Fiji.

Treehouse Boutique

This boutique has great patterned garments as well as contemporary fashion trends. Located in Suva, this is a fun place to visit if you are exploring the whole island of Viti Levu.

Local Markets

Both Suva and Nadi have local markets which feature Fijian handicrafts and traditional products. These make great gifts or souvenirs to take home.

Local fijian artisan

Where to Eat

Cafe 30

There’s nothing fancy about this café but they do serve my favourite local dish, Kokoda. This is where freshly caught fish has been marinated in lemon and sometimes coconut cream. It’s delicious and its always the perfect weather for it.

The Local

This is a café/bar near the airport which is often a convenient stop for me to grab a tasty bite before or after I fly.

Taste Fiji

This café takes classic Fijian dishes and gives them a modern twist. Their pastries and sweets are delicious and are made using local ingredients so I know it’s fresh – a great treat for those with a sweet tooth.

The Beach House

This is one of my favourite spots and is popular among the younger crowds. All the meals are served in little villas making it an intimate dining experience.

Information provided by Phillipa Steele, International Model and Fiji Airways Ambassador. Phillipa Steele is based in Fiji but for 6 months of the year, Phillipa is travelling to New York, Paris, Australia and Switzerland.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo (snorkeling in Fiji) by Markolf Zimmer. Pinterest image fire show by Romain Pontida. Pinterest image Octopus Island by Sinead Friel. Intercontinenal Fiji by Roderick Eime. Massages by InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park by Joseph Illingworth. Tul Bahadur BK furniture making business by Jim Holmes for AusAID.


  1. This is awesome! I’m thinking about heading to Fiji in a few months and will definitely bookmark this for later. Thanks for all your insight and tips!

    • Glad we could help with some inspiration and ideas for your trip Laura :) Have a great time in Fiji!

  2. It’s always great to get personal recommendations from a local. Although, Phillipa Steele seems to be more of a part-time local! What a great life to be able to live in Fiji and work around the world! I’ve stayed at the InterContinental and can highly recommend it. Will check out some of the other places next time I’m in Fiji.

    • Glad you had a fab time on your last trip to Fiji Christina! Phillipa does have quite the amazing country to return home to inbetween her international stints :)

      Definitely agree that the InterContinental should be on everybody’s list!

  3. I love Fiji but it wasn’t by far my favorite. Not to mention I totally hated the management of the place where I stayed. I wish to go back and erase those bad memories.

    • Sorry to hear you didn’t have a great time during your first trip Thuymi. Can highly recommend the InterContinental or the Shangri-La as Phillipa suggests for your next trip. Accommodation really can be a make or break in whether you enjoy your stay.

      Hope the next trip is better for you!

  4. Fiji has always been one of those hot spots I’ve heard about. I always wonder if what I’ve heard while truly match what I see. I hope to find out one day. ^^

    • Only one way to find out! Hope you have the chance to travel soon Hallie :)

  5. This is definitely a bit different to where I stayed when I went to Fiji. I stayed on beachcomber island in a bure with about 100 other backpackers. Those days are over though and if I was heading back the intercontinental would certainly be more my style

    • Will definitely be a different experience heading back for a stay at the Inter Continental :D! Hope you have the chance to experience a little Fijian luxury soon!

  6. Oh man the Intercontinental and Shangri-La know how to do hospitality right. I’d totally stay there if we get to visit Fiji one day. I can’t say no to a good spa!

    • Hope you have the chance to visit soon! I’m with you on not being able to refuse a good spa :D

  7. Hot springs and mud pools are my jam! I love relaxing in them! I actually never thought about the food scene in Fiji! However, when the words pastries are muttered, I’m always on alert. What was your favourite one?

    • Hi Carmy, sounds like you would love a trip to Fiji! I haven’t personally been to “Taste Fiji” which is where Phillipa recommends for pastries, but you can check out their site and they have some pretty mouth watering photos on the home page :):

  8. I would love to go to the Beach House. I have always wanted to visit Fiji. Just looks like paradise! And how cool that you got to interview the brand ambassador :)

    • The Beach House does sound amazing! So glad you enjoyed the post Candy :) I can’t wait to get back to Fiji myself after interviewing Phillipa on her favorite spots!

  9. The salad bowl of Fiji! So cute! I would eat those tiny sweet bananas to my heart’s content! They’re supposedly more nutritious! I really knew nothing about Fiji and super impressed that it has mud baths!

    • Nothing beats the mud baths in Fiji Izzy! We love visiting local markets when we hit up a new destination – didn’t know that tiny sweet bananas are supposedly more nutritious though … thanks for the tip!

  10. I’m not a golfer but the 18 rounds of golf on a resort definitely is a bonus! I think I’d opt for the beachside cabana. Sounds so relaxing.

    • I’m not a golfer either though I think I could definitely learn with a backdrop like Fiji :D!

  11. Would love to go back to Fiji as we only saw a small part before. Nice ideas in the post.

    • Hope you have the chance to return soon! Always fun returning to a destination where you have such fond memories of the last trip :) Happy travels Joanna!

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