Shangri-La’s Yanuca Island resort unveils $70m refurb

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island has unveiled the results of a US$50 million ($70m) refurbishment.

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island has undergone a two-year upgrade aimed at creating new experiences and offerings and establishing the resort as a top dining destination.

All 443 rooms, three pool areas and many public areas have been upgraded, as have the resort’s secluded CHI, The Spa and beachside casual dining spots, including Beach Bar & Grill and Bilo Bar.

A significant portion of the investment was committed to establishing Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island as one of the best places to eat and drink in Fiji.

Executive chef Rudolf Kunkel has established an international and local culinary team that has created more than half-a-dozen dedicated and casual dining and bar concepts across the resort, each with its own unique experiences, flavours and themes.  More than 75 per cent of all meat and fresh produce, as well as all seafood, served at the resort is sourced locally.

Showpieces of the new dining and entertainment experience at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa include Takali Asian Kitchen – an Asian fusion-concept restaurant perched above the reef incorporating Malaysian, Thai, Cantonese and mainland Chinese influences on dishes conceived by Chef Chee Hoe Wong, paired with more than 40 craft gins from around the world.

Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian  is led by Italian Sous Chef Bruno Bettinazzi, who hand-makes the soft cheeses and pasta that are the foundation of this premium dining experience, while the Lagoon Terrace is the resort’s main dining restaurant offering spectacular reef and lagoon views.

The resort has also reintroduced a Fijian institution, the Black Marlin Tropical Bar, as part of this revitalisation.  First established more than 50 years ago, it has been reimagined as an upmarket tiki bar featuring more than 100 rums sourced from around the world, kept company by Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island’s own signature label, Yanuca Rum, which is distilled locally and exclusively for Black Marlin patrons.

More than a quarter of the island has been dedicated to the new Reef Wing private adults-only precinct, including an exclusive infinity pool where complimentary sunset drinks and canapes are served daily, Reef Café & Dining and the oceanfront Reef Bures (villas) offering a premium, adults-only resort-within-a-resort experience.

“This has been a truly transformative programme that will re-establish Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa as one of Fiji’s best destination resorts and set new standards for dining and living in and experiencing Fiji as a holiday destination,” said the resort’s general manager, Francis Lee.

“The two years we have spent re-imagining one of the original resorts in the South Pacific for today’s visitors to Fiji has been spectacular. It’s been a collaboration involving our staff, many of whom have worked across generations of guests, to deliver an experience that is authentically Fijian at its heart.”