Women who win the World - Tropical Tania

17 Oct 2017

To continue with our chapter of "Women who win the world” we explore the tropical paradise that is Tahiti, Hawaii and Fiji. Our SEO goddess Tania just loves to relax and get lost in the tranquility only found on a good beach with an even better cocktail! Here are her top recommendations for those sun loving seductresses!

Tahiti

Does anyone else get transported back to the time of pirates, white and black beaches litter the turquoise ocean, scallywags group together to enjoy the rum in their sexy manly pirateness (Yum!). Just me? Well even without the Jack Sparrows of the world stealing my heart, this beautiful little gem snuggled in the South Pacific has often conjured images of blissful relaxation and when you take a look, it is easy to see why. Here Tania gives her ultimate recommendations for where to stay, to eat and what you can do on this land of dreams.

Tania's tip top hotel

Fenua Mata’i’oa

For those of you, like Tania, who like the unexpected magic of a boutique location rather than a big chain hotel, then the Fenua may be the perfect fit for you. This Ali Baba’s cave of unique and eclectic furniture muddles together to tell a story that transports you through time and space. This place really helps you to understand and appreciate your current surroundings, whilst feeling as though you still have a foot in the past. Warning! If you like clean, sleek and modern this is not the place for you, they have cats, the furniture is antique and charming, plus there is a slight smell of tobacco in the air that takes you back to your grandparents living room as a child.

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.


Where does Tania go for fine dining?

The Lotus Restaurant 

Known as Le Lotus, this is the Intercontinental's very own restaurant. Now you may push your nose up at a large hotel for true fine dining but, with over 600 reviews at 4.5 stars or more on TripAdvisor, there is no doubt the cuisine produced here is truly sensational. The ambience is delectable, the views divine and the overall experience is like being in a dream. They serve traditional French cuisine complimented with fabulous French wines, they even boast a large variety of vegetarian delights! I mean seriously, how could you go wrong? 

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Super saving suppers!

If, like me, you tend to spend all your money before you even go on holiday, then the price tag for fine dining might bring you into a cold sweat! But do not fear, my flowers, here we have some big eats that are light on the purse strings.

Les Roulottes 

Les Roulottes, translates from French as “caravan" but it would be more commonly known as a food truck. Now, as Westerners, we have a tendency to sometimes associate a food truck with lower quality, unhealthy, fast food. In French Polynesia this is simply not the case! Most of these food vans have a fabulous and lively atmosphere, there is live music and all have a spectacular selection of traditional Polynesian food and culture. They are a definite must visit and the prices will certainly keep you smiling.

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Café Maeva 

This fabulous little hide away is located on the second floor of Papeete’s popular La Marche shopping centre. It’s location allows tourists to experience traditional Tahitian cuisine as well as French pastries and yummy goodness. However,  Maeva does not stop at food, there is lots to see from black pearls to clothes. You can enjoy one of the highly recommended juices before tucking into a huge portion of food!! All the while keeping to your shoestring budget!

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

The beautiful and bodacious beaches

So Tania is all for relaxing, yes she loves culture, yes she loves food but at the end of the spectacular day, she wants absolute tranquility in a setting so beautiful it could make you weep rainbows! So lets get down to the real business - beaches!

Taharuu Beach 

Not the typical white beach you usually associate with this part of the world, this black volcanic beauty is known for its surfing and gnarly waves! Even if you are not a surfer, it is always nice to admire those who are ;). Also known for being very clean, with bathroom facilities and grocers meaning a picnic perfect Instagram shot is definitely on the cards!


Tautira Bay 

Also known as Cook’s anchorage, this was a regular anchoring point for James Cook on his travels, hence the name. The bay forms part of Tautira, a Polynesian beach village, this village is full of historical value as well as being absolutely stunning! The bay, was the first place Catholic missionaries landed, thus leading to the French takeover of Tahiti but, even earlier than this, in 1772, Domingo de Bonechea landed in Tahiti, eventually dying here and he is now buried in the church located within the centre of the village.

Along with Cook and Bonechea, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the infamous “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” was familiar with this bay, staying for 2 months in Tahiti whilst he recovered from illness and naming Tautira, “The Garden of the World”.

John La Farge, Study of Afterglow from Nature (Tahiti: Entrance to Tautira Valley), 1891, Princeton University Art Museum

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Puna'auia 

One of the busiest location in Tahiti but it is easy to see why, check out this aerial shot below to see what I mean! The coastline boasts a beautiful reef that runs about 20 metres from the shoreline and is the absolute winner when it comes to snorkelling and extraordinary marine sightings. The water entrance is a gentle slope and sandy so no unattractive hobbling and arm waving! Though keep a look out for stone fish and fire coral but with a good snorkel mask that should be an easy feat!

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Must do’s in Tahiti

  • The best part of a group of islands? Island hopping! A super easy way to pop from Tahiti, to the little less well known, but infinitely beautiful Moorea is by taking the Aremiti ferry.
  • Relaxation is the name of the game and this continues by taking a pleasant stroll through Papeete’s Paofai Gardens.
  • Has surfing seized up your legs? Not a worry! Grab yourself a Segway and take a Segway tour of Papeete’s stunning waterfront.
  • Be a pirate. That means rum, rum, rum. Try out all of the delicious rum based cocktails this magical island has to offer.
  • Grab some culture and learn about this impressive island by taking a visit to The Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, loved by all who visit, this little historical hot spot is definitely worth putting on your list.

 

Hawaii

Sun, surf and sand, the triple “S" that is synonymous with this group of islands. Hawaii is the 50th state that makes up America and due to its location has had influence from the Americas and Asia throughout history, mix that with the local culture and you have a medley of intrigue and beauty.

Tired Tania…

Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head 

This hotel is absolutely perfect for those travellers who don’t like to be situated right in the middle of the hustle and bustle but, like to be close enough to the adventure so that a spontaneous trip is possible. If you are like Tania and you go on holiday to escape the busy, hectic hurricane that is every day life, then this gem nestled under the volcanic crater known as Diamond Head is where you need to be. If that was not quite enough to sell you, then here is the clincher - WINE! From 16:00 until 17:30, join other guests and staff in an elegant wine fuelled get together, a perfect way to unwind or start your evening - do you really even need an excuse?

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Tania’s tantalising and tasty thirst quenchers

So you have your serene accommodation where to rest your head, but now it is time to soak in that social life that Waikiki is known for…

Duke’s Waikiki 

If you know Hawaii and you know your surf scene then you will definitely be familiar with the name Duke Kahanamoku. Local legend Duke was big on the surfing scene in the 1920’s and in 1929 caught a wave that took him 11.8 miles along the Hawaiian coastline, possibly the longest ride in modern times (boasts the bar anyway)! This bar is an homage to the legend and allows you to surf, swim or body board in the same waters as this amazing man. A must try is their Tropical itch, a passion fruit, rum and vodka based drink served with your very own backscratcher! Perfect for the solo traveller ;).

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Arnold’s Beach Bar 

It calls itself the last tiki bar in Waikiki, we do not know if that is true but it is certainly the coolest! Set yourself up for the evening with live music playing from 17:00 to 20:00, enjoy the super laid back vibes, tropical drinks and house specials that run all evening long! Margarita, my darling? Don’t mind if I do!

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Lewers Lounge 

Fancy something a bit more upscale and secluded? Don’t think you can just stroll off the beach in your flip flops and super slouchers though, Lewers has an elegant dress code which helps to further build the ambience of this fabulous Jazz bar. Dark wooden furnishings and clean cut lines of the interior make this place stand out in the loud and colourful eccentricities that is Waikiki. Live music is playing from 20:30 till late meaning you can enjoy pre-dinner aperitifs or choose to unwind your evening with a classic cocktail or nightcap.

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Must do’s in Hawaii

  • “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, otherwise known as Waimea Canyon. The hills appear to move with the sunlight, red is dappled with green and blue skies, you can truly absorb the colours and beauty that this natural wonder has to offer.
  • You are going to Hawaii, you simply have to take advantage of being that close to the doors of our earths inner core! The best way to experience this is to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • Take a moment to smell the flowers… Hawaii Tropical Botanical gardens are very well laid out making it a fun and informative stroll through the stunning, luscious plant life.
  • Make lasting memories - early to bed and early to rise for a sunrise bike tour of the Haleakala Crater. Not only will you experience a sensational sunrise but, before the dawn breaks, be amazed by the starlit sky without the hindrance of any light pollution.
  • Be absolutely wowed by nature when visiting the Banyan Tree Park, the sheer size of this outcrop of mother nature will make you question your own significance, we could all use a bit of questioning now and then right?

 

Fiji

The reason Fiji was relatively unknown to Europeans until much later than its neighbours was down to its quite frankly horrific past. It was named the Cannibal Isles, as ferocious cannibalism between tribes was quite normal. Today Fijians regard this time as the “time of the devil” and it is easy to see why - during the 19th century, Ratu Udre Udre was said to have consumed 872 people! Men were often sacrificed for sacred buildings, invoking the gods to support the structure, when a new beam was needed a new sacrifice was made. When a new boat was being launched, forget the champagne bottle, if the boat was not rolled over men, crushing them beneath it, it was said the boat would not stay afloat long. Yes, Fiji has a scary and interesting past, but I'm sure they are not the only ones with skeletons in their closet - OK maybe the only literal ones!

Time for Tania to take a load off

Taveuni Palms 

The ultimate get away. This resort only has 3 villas, all completely in seclusion from one another. Each has a private pool, beach access to one of the most renowned diving and snorkelling spots in the world as well as private staff to host you the entire time you are there. Seriously need I say more? I will.

This villa works amazingly for a romantic couple getaway or for a family holiday, with activities such as coconut husking, crab racing, guided walks and more, there will always be something to keep you entertained. If, like Tania and I, a lot of your pleasure is derived from eating fabulous food on a wondrous back drop then Taveuni strikes again. Each villa boasts 5 different dining areas meaning that you can move around for every meal, really making the most of your “cocktail and scenery” Instagram posts.

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Time to Eat!

Rather than naming restaurants, Tania wants to introduce you to Fiji’s very special delicacies, the reason for this, is because Fiji, like Tahiti and Hawaii is either surrounded or made up of lots of smaller islands. So screw the hassle and just keep your peepers on the look out for these amazing dishes…

Traditionally the Fijians ate very healthily though their food is quite calorie laden in order for the workers in the fields to have enough energy, so that means lots of yummy carbs! Fiji has a fabulous food culture due to its run-ins with many other nationalities. The British brought steamed puddings, the British also brought over Indians to work on the sugar plantations whom brought with them curries and spices, then sweet potatoes arrived from Papua New Guinea, and that is just scratching the surface. This wonderful fusion excites and delights the senses, making you want to go back for more and more…

Staples

Taro

This is a dry and starchy root vegetable, with a taste similar to that of an artichoke as well as being a rich source of fibre, this veg is used in all sorts of dishes. They have over 70 species that can turn a multitude of colours once cooked. The leaves are also very important and are used in everyday meals.

Cassava

Imagine a yam/sweet potato type veg and you have Cassava, this is now the most cultivated crop in Fiji and is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics.

Kumala

Otherwise known as Sweet Potato, this, as mentioned above, was brought over from Papua New Guinea and has grown in popularity due to it being easy to grow and being high yielding, making it the cheapest vegetable available at the market. You will find it in soups, curries and stews.

Breadfruit

If you have been around Asia, in particular Sri Lanka, you will be familiar with this fruit that is a descendant of the Mulberry and Jackfruit. They are extremely high yielding and the fruit can grow to be ridiculous in size, up to 6kg! The flesh is used in curries and has a meaty like consistencies, however, watch out for the sap as it is very sticky and slightly corrosive.

Coconut

The coconut is hands down the most awesome nut on this planet. You can drink its fresh water, its flesh can be eaten fresh or put into curries, or dried out to make sambol (a Sri Lankan dish). You can run water through the grated flesh to make coconut cream and then again to make coconut milk. The shells can be used for bowls or carved into jewellery, the husks can be used to build fires, makings for hot pans to rest upon or making bag handles. The leaves from the tree can be used to make roofs and fences, seriously, is there another plant that is this versatile? No wonder it is a staple in the Fijian diet.

Special Dishes

Kokoda

A wonderful ceviche type dish using Spanish Mackerel (Walu) and lime juice. The fish is left to slowly be cooked by the acid in the juice until it is refreshing and light with a slight chewy texture making it irresistibly addictive. Coconut milk is added once the fish has finished marinating, finished with finely diced tomatoes, chillies and salt before being allowed to chill in the fridge.

Lovo

This is mainly for special occasions, it is a type of traditional Fijian cooking that involves the food being cooked underground. Imagine a tropical smoky BBQ, this is accomplished by placing hot stones in a hole in the ground, covered with banana leaves. Then, meat wrapped in foil, taro wrapped in foil and “Palusami" - taro leaves filled with coconut cream, onions, salt and canned meat also wrapped in foil are placed in the hole and covered for 2-3 hours.

Ask at your hotel or Villa and see if it is possible to have a Lovo evening, most will happily oblige or recommend a restaurant that serves Lovo.

Tania's Terrific Trips!

Lavena Coastal Walk 

You can get to this little gem by bus, car or boat which in itself is a gorgeous experience of Fijian culture - especially the bus! You can take a pleasant stroll along the coast, soaking up the little villages before moving on to the jungle interior. Coming to a river, you can paddle along to reach a stunning waterfall and natural pool - grab yourself a local guide for around about $10 to make the trip super informative!

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Zip Fiji 

Amazing adventure, fabulous fun, super safe and tantalising treats! This zip line is absolutely perfect for anyone and everyone, the guides take safety very seriously but do not for a moment skimp on the fun! Let the forest zip alongside you as your inner child giggles away. All of this is followed up by some super tasty local lunch!

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Castaway Island

Experience this magical island for the day and remember your snorkel! This fabulous little isle has snorkelling for all levels as well as surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking or, if you prefer, just kick it at the beach and bake yourself. The resort does a tasty lunch that you can enjoy whilststaring into the turquoise abyss that is the surrounding ocean.

- For more images, check out our Gallery at the bottom of this page.

Must do’s in Fiji

  • Visit the Fiji museum, we gave you a brief background into Fiji’s cannibalistic past, don’t tell me you are not dying to know more! (Excuse the pun!)
  • Visit the Hindu temple - Sri Siva Subramamaniya, if you have never experienced a traditional Hindu temple then this is a must see. The entire facade is carved from wood and then hand painted in bright, amazing colours to depict their many gods.
  • The Garden of the Sleeping Giant - not nearly as scary as one would assume. This is a truly spectacular array of colour as the garden is scattered with thriving orchids of vibrant rainbows, the first were planted in 1977 by Canadian actor Raymond Burr and they have since flourished.
  • Relax you’re in Fiji.
  • I’ll say it again RELAX, YOU ARE IN ****ING FIJI!

 

Have your say...

So, what did you think? They all sound absolutely amazeballs right?! Well, if there is anything you want to add that you think just HAS to be on the list of suggestions here let us know! If we get enough suggestions we may even do a special post of all your recommendations! 

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