‘There’s something special for everyone who visits the Koro Sun Resort!’

Listen to ‘There’s something special for everyone who visits the Koro Sun Resort!’

Wayne Annan, the General Manager of the Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa, took time out and spoke to us on a freewheeling chat on post-pandemic lessons, what makes the 4-star resort so unique amongst its peers, Koro Sun’s accommodations, and plenty more – read on below!

Wayne Annan, General Manager, Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa

When did you take reins of the Koro Sun Resort?

I first met the resort owner Jack Young (albeit electronically!) not long after cyclone Winston; he invited me to visit and apprise the opportunity of managing the Koro Sun. But it wasn’t until after Covid reopening that I finally joined the Koro Team! 

COVID was a tough time for everyone in the travel industry, including wholesalers and resorts. When Fiji started reopening, we had pre- and post-COVID bookings streaming into the resort, and so much work needed to be completed. 

In eight short weeks, we had re-established the lower Gardens, Edgewater Bures renovations and began fresh construction throughout the resort. That… was only possible because of a combination of an amazing team including contractors, our crew of Koro employees and Young’s initiative to bring everything back online, refurbishing all the 168 acres of buildings and used land we have at Koro Sun Resort.

How did the Koro Sun Resort tide over the pandemic? Any takeaways from the experience?

Yes, adjusting your business to the need of travellers, and trying to grow out of hibernation, is more entrepreneurial than strategic.

For the pandemic… the thing is, everybody was closed and hibernating for two years. Some resorts attempted opening when there was a hiatus in the middle of the two-year pandemic. They thought we could all open again, and then it fell over for another year. 

That was brutal. The issue with that situation is: if you can’t operate, you can’t reinvest in your property beyond trying to maintain it. So, you continually look at your base business hard, manage your finances, maintain contacts that support sales, and project outcomes. And when the door opens you go for it!

On the upside of closure was the need for people to immediately escape and travel out of their closed COVID environments. Because of lightning-fast travel bookings and ongoing Fiji campaigns, our post-COVID operations saw good response to our sales and marketing campaigns.

The Koro Sun Resort has superb snorkelling off its beach.

True, especially now with all travel restrictions removed, travellers just want to recoup the last two years of sitting patiently and get travelling.

Oh, they do, they do! Initially, we had people booking with us on Monday and flying in by Friday! Of course, that has panned out now and gone back to the normal cycle. Now, it’s back in pattern – we’re seeing booking and travel dates separation of 90-120 days, and so on. 

How do you read today’s travellers to Fiji?

I truly believe that the post-pandemic international traveller is looking for two things with their holidays in Fiji. One, they want a full island experience. Not just a resort visit, but a cultural experience; some may travel to other places within Fiji to further their experience of the country’s culture. And secondly, they want the holy trifecta of a nice tidy room, good food and service, and want to feel the warmth and generosity of the people. 

A good Koro Sun Resort team member will be able to answer questions, help guests with resort and local knowledge, traditions and cultural experiences; and go the extra distance whenever required. In my book, these few things are absolutely immovable, and have always been the backbone to the success Fiji has with international travellers.

What would be some fun reasons to select the Koro Sun Resort for a first-time visit to Fiji?  

Honestly, we sit comfortably across a lot of demographics and their preferred activities. We are tooting our horn here, but… romantically, aesthetically, – the adventure in the Northern Islands, Savusavu and the Koro Sun Resort is absolutely brilliant and cannot be beaten throughout Fiji. 

Families, honeymooners, couples, adventure seekers and groups, the resort and the Northern Islands provide a ton of things to do. Within the resort, we have golf, pickleball, croquet, a full-size tennis court, great snorkelling and these are just a part of the all-inclusive bouquet. Then you have the great outdoors. We have terrific hikes, nature walks, waterfall tours, beach picnics, village tours. We also provide tours to see and eat from island’s chocolate factory; snorkel and experience the production of pearls from the pearl farm, hot springs, gardens and mud pools. We also have trips to Taveuni, to all its magnificent waterfalls and waterslides! 

Visitors can spend days exploring the island’s beautiful waters.

One of the great experiences is our internationally renowned Rainforest Spa. The Spa, with its three massage rooms, is situated in the middle of the rainforest with cascading water flowing through the rocks in the spa.  Our spa team is fully trained in all aspects of massage, natural therapies, rejuvenation and anti-aging treatments.  The creams and oils used are nature-based, using ingredients such as nama (sea grapes), coconut, and plant extracts.

We believe that for travellers, the mainland holds nothing on Fiji’s remote Northern Islands. The former’s probably 90% modernised. We are about 40%, at most – our biggest draw is that we’ve an abundance of natural beauty around us.

Which travel segments is the Koro Sun Resort best suited for?

That’s another thing that the resort is excellent in – suitability for many segments. In terms of accommodations, we have family-specific units, we have couples’ villas and bures, and we even have single traveller units for those who prefer solo travel. We’re very lucky that we can offer a multitude of experiences for different traveller segments. If travellers want to go for an exciting adventure experience, we got that. Some prefer to stay in-resort and sample everything on offer and we’re lucky that we can help those travellers indulge.

One of the reasons we can provide such a diverse experience is the 168 acres the resort is situated in and the ability to separate and integrate many different traveller accommodations, and experiences. 

In terms of accommodations, what sets a Fiji holiday at the Koro Sun Resort apart? 

We have always focussed on families, adventure and romance. Our Edgewater Bures are suited for romantic escapes, with king-sized double beds. Outside the couples’ bures, we have a gate with a cheeky sign, ‘kids past this point will be eaten!’

The Koro Sun Resort’s Edgewater Bures.

We also have more novel couples’ accommodations with our Edgewater Floating Bures, and Rainforest couples’ bures on the edge of our rainforest within the main resort. Our family units –Two-Bedroom Bures – some come with two bedrooms and a plunge pool; others with an outdoor shower. These bures can also be good for two couples on a Fiji holiday together. Moving up the ladder, we have the super-exotic accommodation units like the Tree House which is spread over two levels, with flawless views of the island’s rainforests. Out to the sea, the couples’ only Light House which is found away from the resort with a large swimming pool and direct access to the sea.

In terms of views, we’re split into three distinct categories. First, we have the Edgewater accommodations, which are right on the water. Edgewater is primarily for adults, with an adults-only swimming pool known as Wai. Then we have the Rainforest accommodations, which are set right in the rainforest running up the hill. Beyond, and further up we have a five-bedroom mountain top villa, and two three-bedroom hillside villas.

What’s the draw for families on a holiday to the Koro Sun Resort?

One, we have a great kids’ club. Families travelling here appreciate that we offer free kids’ club from 8:00am till 4:00pm in the afternoon, we offer a paid babysitting service post that. The kids also have their own swimming pool with a water slide. If you look at our meal plans, we also offer a free babysitting service every day, with our full-board meal plans.

There’s something special for everyone who visits the Koro Sun Resort. 

Wayne Annan, General Manager, Korea Sun Resort

How deep is the Koro Sun Resort’s F&B section?

We offer three dining experiences. We have a crowd-favourite, the Sand Bar Restaurant which is accessible to the public from the main road, open all day with pizzas, tapas, burgers, salads – all to order a la carte. It is situated near the Lagoon, on the Edgewater side of the resort.

The Koro Sun’s prime dining outlet, the Palm Grove Restaurant, is on the Rainforest side of the resort in the main club house next to reception. We offer 70 different main courses through the week on a 7-day cycle. Those on a meal plan would mainly eat here, however they can utilise the option to use the plan at Sand Bar.

Latitude 17, is our seafood and steak restaurant which is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – lobsters, crabs, whole plates of fish, filet steaks, combination dishes, and Asian Fusion – take your pick.

The Palm Grove lunches and dinners, and Latitude 17, are pre order restaurants.  All our prime meats are imported, therefore defrosted on the day to the preparation’s correct requirement. The fresh seafood is sourced daily, ergo fresh.  To ensure the quality, we ask our diners in these restaurants to order by 11am daily.  It may seem a hassle, but the variety offered throughout our guest stay at Koro Sun, the freshness of what we serve, and the attention to diners’ requirements, ensures the best in dining experiences.

We offer three bars, Palm Grove Levu Bar, Sand Bar, Wai Bar, and on the evening that Latitude 17 is opened for bar service from 5 pm.  We have Happy hour daily from all outlets from 5 pm until 6.30 pm.

Unwind, the Fijian way.

Could you tell a few things about the resort which is not commonly known and/or should be highlighted? 

There are some things that are absolutely unique to the Koro Sun Resort and the island. Travellers won’t be able to find similar experiences, even for comparison. For example, our Edgewater Pool Bures have an ensuite bath in the bure. Both the Villas and Pool Bures open directly to the sea; they also have an outdoor plunge pool. Our Edgewater bures are very secluded and have direct access to the sea.

We also have croquet, tennis, kayaking, Pickle ball, volleyball, and snorkelling provided from our activities team. Then, our nature walks which are set amongst 168 acres of rainforest; one of the walks ends at a small but swimmable waterfall.  Our nine-hole Shrek’s Golf Course is a formidable experience from Tee 6 onwards, while the first five holes also serve as the playground for Frisbee golf!

Do tell us more about Shrek’s Golf Course – this sounds interesting to all our travellers who want a golfing challenge!

The first five holes are just great, but then you hit hole six and find yourself climbing up a fair hill. You’ve to tee off just below the Tree House, and you swing your way down to and through fairway six. You walk down the hillside, across a small bridge, to get to green six if you make it to the green, you will then tee off to the seventh up a hill which you can’t see the green, the arrow points the way. You’ve got to aim your golf ball and really power it up and away. Then you tee on from the seventh to the eighth hole, and there’s a huge gully in between to swallow any errant swings. Fortunately, the fairway 9 is a straight run right to the clubhouse… and to the bar! We also have Frisbee golf out on the first five holes of the golf course, great fun for families. 

Complete relaxation at the Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa – it’s just a Tuesday.

Could you shed light on current sustainability practices and resort processes to boost sustainability? 

What we have is a pragmatic approach to recycling and conservation. Our in-room rubbish bins are lined cane baskets. We don’t use plastics in the rooms, we use shower dispensers, hand-wash and body lotion dispensers to negate plastic and soap bar waste. 

We recycle plastic bottles and aluminium cans and ask all our guests to ensure the rubbish baskets are waste and not plastic to put them aside for daily collection. We offer biodegradable cutlery on demand with takeaways from the Sand Bar Restaurant, guests are given a biodegradable cutlery set. 

All our water is naturally filtered. When we started growing all our vegetables in-house, our carbon footprint was lessened, we got a tighter control on the quality of greens our kitchens use, and we can say all our island-grown produce is 100% organic! Even the manure and compounds we use, are handmade. We have a gentleman who makes that for us; it’s a combination of different tree leaves and seaweed. It pulls double-duty as plant growth stimulant and for insect-control. It’s excellent, really. 

We don’t use any industrial chemicals in our production of food, but we do have to obviously use them in some places – like in the swimming pools, so people are protected from inadvertent skin diseases and the pools remain hygienic. That’s what we meant by ‘a pragmatic approach to recycling and environmental concern’.

The Shrek’s Golf Course at the Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa!

Finally, have you had guests in recent memory who had so much fun that even the resort staff noticed?

We just had three guys who were on a wee bit of a tour, like old-school boys’ getaway. They’re all grandfathers and they’ve all got together, just the three of them. And they had a daily round-robin competition of about every activity we had on offer. So, they played golf, then they played frisbee golf right around the course. And they went on to pickleball, and rounds of tennis and then croquette. They even had a kayaking competition in the lagoon. It was raining and they were just going for it – didn’t break their stride. They enjoyed every single activity we had on tap, and we just loved the trio!

This was our rollicking chat with Wayne. Check out our page on the Koro Sun Resort, and Fiji Hot Deals page for the latest and greatest in Fiji holidays. Also, if you want a bespoke holiday package for the Koro Sun Resort, talk to our South Pacific Specialists, the number’s 1300 991 751!

More Travel Blog Articles

Set in the beautiful Mamanuca islands in Fiji, the Plantation Island Resort is not only…

People helping mangrove nursery plantation
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has appointed two new hospitality professionals in key positions.

Get in Contact

Get in Contact

Request a call

Please select type for search