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Beckoned to Vanua Levu Island by Bures and Bulas


By Margot Black

Welcome to Fiji, an archipelago splashed across the South Pacific, teeming with culture, history and a siren call to travelers yearning for adventure and serenity. Fiji's white sandy beaches and abundant natural splendor have long beckoned vacationers from around the globe. And we, a family bitten by wanderlust, eagerly anticipated our postcard-perfect over-the-water bungalow stay atop crystal-clear waters, the bucket-list desire that guided us toward the island of Vanua Levu and the Koro Sun Resort.

Less developed and less frequented by tourists than the main island, Vanua Levu offers an ideal opportunity to observe local traditions and culture. We were delighted to experience a nearby church group singing, watch locals cook a meal at a natural hot spring and taste Kava (the national and ceremonial drink of Fiji) in an intimate setting. Savusavu, a name that translates to "the hidden paradise," is the island's main tourist center and a one-street town.

Tourism is a driver on this island. Environmental warrior and educator Jean-Michael Cousteau has a resort here, as does author and coach Tony Robbins. We made our lodging choice because the Koro Sun Resort was the only one that offered over-the-water bure accommodations for families, and it had air conditioning (deemed imperative for our teen, and a choice we were glad we made). The island is rugged, and the coast is surrounded by an extensive system of coral reefs.

Our 45-minute flight from mainland Nadi on Viti Levu gave us a sneak peek of bliss from above. Riding the sky in a small Fiji Airways plane showcased a color palette only Mother Nature could dream up. Touching down felt less like landing at a typical airport and more like arriving on some wealthy friend's private runway.

If you're flying on Fiji Airways from overseas, book your flight all the way to Savusavu to get the international luggage allowance. Otherwise, the domestic luggage allowance is 33 pounds. I was startled when we were weighed with our hand luggage before boarding and immediately regretted indulging at the morning buffet. However, the Koro Sun Resort awaited us, whispering promises of bures, balconies and all the "Bulas" your heart could desire.


Cradled by the cerulean waters of Fiji, the Koro Sun Resort's Edgewater Bures aren't just accommodations -- they're gateways to heaven on earth, embodying the dreams of travelers and the pinnacle of tropical escapism. Here, adventure waltzes with tranquility on your private deck with sunrise swims right out of a Disney movie, hammocks with an ocean view and outdoor showers that would make Tarzan modernize, all as you rise to the natural rhythms of the ocean and retire to the lullabies of gently lapping waves.

Each bure is a love letter to sustainable luxury, crafted with eco-conscious materials and perched delicately above the reef-rich water, offering a sanctuary where families bond and build memories, explorers find their muse and a romantic bohemian spirit can flourish. The bure experience is way more than checking into a hotel. It is island utopia, surrounded by the soft ocean breeze, and it fully delivered on our postcard dreams.

There's a little something for everyone here, regardless of what type of vacation you had in mind. Tennis courts and waterfall hikes beckon the active. Kayaks and paddleboards are ready at a whim, with snorkel gear for all your aquatic aspirations, The Koro Sun Resort had ticked every box before we even knew we had a checklist. They cater to the kiddos, too, with a kids club, and the resort's dive shop offers adventures up to three times a day. Even your most teenager-y of teens won't be able to resist exploring the nearby enchanting lagoons.

Gourmet meals tantalize the worldly palate, and cooking classes acquaint curious visitors with the alchemy of Fijian cuisine. Fiji's smorgasbord of flavors melded into Koro Sun's culinary creativity for meals that put our taste buds in a state of perpetual gratitude.


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