Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa, Fiji: Relaxation from Dusk til Dawn with a CHI spa journey

Lauren Atkinson-Smith enjoys some relaxation from Dusk til Dawn with a CHI spa journey Thursday, 30 April 2015

By Lauren Atkinson-Smith

The name Shangri-La evokes images of a utopia — a place hidden from the rest of the world, where tranqulity and beauty amount to relaxation. Shangri-la resort, located on the exclusive island of Yauca, separated from the mainland by a fairytale lagoon — and shrouded in lush tropical vegetation — comes as close as possible to embodying this mythical place.

And for those wanting nothing more than to relax by the water, there's an adult-only pool, a pocket of peace without the excited screams of children, no matter how delightful. While more restless, adventurous souls can go nuts at volleyball, miniature golf and watersports. In fact, the resort has employed in-house ‘Ambassadors of Fun' to ensure boredom is never an option.

The resort has exclusive use of the island and, as such, offers a plethora of bars, pools, and restaurants dotted thither and yon. We spent an evening sampling the romantic meal for two, which contained at least five courses, possibly seven (I lost count after the third), and took three hours to consume. Between courses (or periods of stomach-measuring, as I liked to call them), our host imparted nuggets of knowledge about the resort, such as how his mother and aunt had worked at the Shangri-La before him, and how the resort had witnessed the destruction of the marine environment over the years and established a Marine Education Centre — a collaborative project with the community and was celebrating its fourth year during our visit.

After such a fine display of gluttony, it was time to sample the resort's CHI spa, where we were treated to the luxury Dusk Til Dawn package — evening and morning treatments separated by a night's sleep. We were escorted to our personal treatment room; a modern beach bure with a king-size bed and an outdoor bath tub, both with views of the lagoon and ocean beyond. This is where, in between treatments, we'd receive a light supper and spend the night, dining and living like kings.

Our CHI journey began that evening with a shared bath, the water coated with a layer of floating hibiscus and other tropical flowers, and complemented with juice and seasonal fruit snacks. It was very romantic, especially while watching the rain pouring down outside as we lay submerged in warm, milky water. Once the bath started to cool, a warming, aromatic herbal steam followed. Pores suitably open, it was time for the CHI Skin Polish, before a Traditional Fijian Bobo Massage. After applying a coconut oil blend to increase circulation and draw out toxins, the most thorough massage techniques I've ever experienced ensued and I found myself falling into a deep sleep.

The next morning, a breakfast of fresh and dried fruits, muesli and croissants was served on the private deck outside, before our second treatment: customised facials. Layer upon layer of coconut-based hydrating creams and purifying cleansers were applied to quench my sun-damaged skin. To prolong the beneficial effects, I cut down on alcohol, dips in the pool and late nights following the treatment, which made a real impact — my skin felt new and soft for weeks.

For an intensive overhaul, I can't recommend the Dusk til Dawn treatment enough. And with babysitting available at the resort, I highly recommend it for parents, as well as honeymooners like ourselves. I'm sure that when we do have children, I'll be searching for overnight treatments like this one and, possibly, another trip to Fiji.

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