SIT BACK AND RELAX: After dinner, relax on the poolside deck at Tadrai Resort on Mana Island in Fiji.
SIT BACK AND RELAX: After dinner, relax on the poolside deck at Tadrai Resort on Mana Island in Fiji. Chris Mclennan

Couple up and live the dream

THE first thing you'll hear on your approach by water taxi to Tadrai Resort on Mana Island in Fiji is the traditional singing welcome from the staff gathered on the beach.

The second will be from resort manager Simon Beckett saying, "Now don't forget, for the duration of your stay, this is your island."

In fact, it was already designated to be your island before you arrived.

If you make a reservation, you will be asked to nominate your preferences for just about anything: music, movies, drinks, food including cheeses - whatever you'd like (even pillow preferences).

They'll all be there waiting for you on arrival.

You'll even be given your own iPad to use during your stay. And yep, you guessed it: loaded up with your preferences.

Have you got a favourite dish? Then give Chef Chad a little notice and he'll prepare it just for you if at all possible.

Other than that, with just a maximum of 10 guests, you'll virtually have your own chef on tap.

Tadrai, pronounced Tandrai and meaning The Dream, is the most recent of Fiji's resorts, having opened in September this year.

And it is something very, very special.

The resort is intimate and is strictly for couples. Here are just five self-contained, beautifully appointed bures or units, each with its own tropical bathroom, plunge pool and absolute beachfront position and outlook.

"It's a five-star resort with six-star service," Simon said.

"But while our staff are available to attend to every need, we realise that some guests will want to be alone.

''In fact, we want to create that feeling of being on an island like Robinson Crusoe. But just say the word and we'll meet your every need."

You'll have your own butler and up to three bottles of Moet champagne for each day you're there.

All drinks in your fridge are inclusive.

All meals and service are also inclusive.

It's so peaceful here that you'll find it easy to relax, and even easier to fall asleep. Then perhaps you'll dream.

But the beauty is that when you awake, you'll still be in the dream which is Tadrai.

But don't wake up one morning and think about hitting the shops.

That's not going to happen.

You're on an island miles from nowhere. That's the whole idea.

You're isolated.

If you're feeling energetic, there are wonderful walks around and or over the island.

Or one of the staff will take you on a guided tour of the local settlement of Yarolevu (population 400).

Water activities also are included, and don't worry if you haven't been canoeing or sailing before because one of the activities staff will personally escort you.

That's the thing. It's your island and the staff are there to make sure you fulfil your every wish.

The staff will even conduct a kava ceremony. You will be appointed honorary chief and the kava drink is prepared on the spot by soaking the powdered root in water and squeezing - the traditional way - by hand through cloth.

The taste of kava is quite forgettable but it is appreciated for its relaxing effect.

One of my favourite excursions was to a little treeless sandbar that begins to appear as low tide approaches. It's a 100m-long slash of white sand in the middle of a coral lagoon, and it's just five minutes away by speedboat.

That doesn't sound like much, but don't let appearances deceive you.

Chef will prepare you a gourmet picnic basket of goodies and staff will take you out there and pitch a sunshade for you.

Take your time and snorkel or just frolic in the wonderfully warm waters.

Locals call it Mananuku ("Blessed Sand") and after a couple of hours soaking up its unique atmosphere, you will appreciate its name.

"In a sense, our mission is to make people sad ... that is sad to leave," Simon said.

"It's actually happened. One of our guests cried on her last day because she had to go home."

Tandrai was the dream of developer Aaron McGrath and in the overall plan, every effort has been made to leave a very light footprint.

The resort has its own desalination plant and at the other end is a three-stage bio-sewage system that produces recycled water for the gardens.

There is even a hi-tech glass shredder that is so efficient, it converts wine bottles to sand which is returned to the beaches.

Access to the island is by a 90-minute trip in a big catamaran, or a helicopter ride from Nadi Airport will take just 15 minutes.

Tadrai is at the top end of the resort market and will cost you around $1200 a night, all-inclusive.

You'll have your own butler and up to three bottles of Moet champagne for every day you're there.

It's your island and the staff are there to make sure you fulfil your every dream.

>> Read more travel stories.


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