Tag Archives: Uprising Beach Resort

Uprising Beach resort, where Fiji’s Sevens Rugby Team prepared for Olympic gold

When Fiji defeated England 43 to 7 in the Olympic Rugby Sevens Competition, it marked two historic firsts. It was Fiji’s first gold medal and it was won in the first Olympic Rugby Sevens competition since 1924.

The palm-shaded beach at Fiji's Uprising resort where the Fiji Olympic Sevens Rugby Team prepared for gold
The palm-shaded beach at Fiji’s Uprising resort where the Fiji Olympic Sevens Rugby Team prepared for gold

The win set off a world-wide flurry of Fiji fervour. Within minutes Fiji’s Olympic victory went viral. Within hours the Fijian Rugby Sevens team was a social media sensation. By the end of the day, the most searched subject on Google was Fiji.

Lush tropical gardens at Uprising Beach Resort where the Fijian Rugby Sevens Team prepared for Olympic gold
Lush tropical gardens at Uprising Beach Resort where the Fijian Rugby Sevens Team prepared for Olympic gold

Googlers who clicked on Fiji images would have found page after page of pictures of calm blue sea, palm fringed sands, verdant bush and lush gardens. That’s Fiji, the South Pacific island paradise that produced the best Sevens Rugby Team in the world.

The view from a beachside villa at Uprising
The view from a beachside villa at Uprising

Read on with travelstripe.com to discover Uprising Beach Resort, the corner of that tropical paradise where the Fiji Rugby Sevens team prepared for their historic win.

A garden villa at Uprising
A garden villa at Uprising

Uprising Beach Resort is on the Coral Coast, at the southern end of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. Set on the edge of the lagoon, in a secluded garden of frangipani, hibiscus, bougainvillea and coconut palms, it is quintessential Eden. The only sounds are birdsong, the whisper of waves on sand, the rustle of the wind in the trees and the occasional thud of a falling coconut.

A villa beside the sea at Uprising
A villa beside the sea at Uprising

Uprising’s villas have all the charm of traditional and colonial Fiji, with thatched rooves, native timber interiors, cool paved floors, ticking ceiling fans and wooden shutters, as well as all the luxuries of 21st century life, like room service, air-conditioning, refrigerators stocked with Fiji water and sumptuous bathrooms, both indoor and outdoor, with generous supplies of fluffy towels and coconut-scented toiletries. French doors open onto a veranda with steps leading down to a deserted beach.

The garden pool and restaurant at Uprising
The garden pool and restaurant at Uprising

Life at Uprising, at least for holidaying guests, is bliss. Days begin with breakfasts of local fruits and patisserie (bacon and eggs if you must) Hours are filled with strolls along the sand, swims in the sea or the pool, canoeing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, volleyball or horse-riding and massages with tropical oils. Days end with cocktails (mango daiquiris) at sunset in the beachside bar and dinners of local cuisine (say kokonda or raw fish with cassava chips) on the restaurant terrace.

Uprising Beach Resort, Fiji Travelstripe
Sunset at Uprising Beach Resort, Fiji

Seclusion, scenic beauty, luxury and leisure – these are the essentials of the heavenly retreat.  Uprising has all of these and moreThe things that set Uprising apart from any other resort in the world are the Rugby field alongside the drive, the evening training sessions that bring players together there and “the big house“ for group and team accommodation at the rear of the complex.  The most interesting points of difference, though, are the story behind Uprising and the man behind Uprising’s story.

Tropical gardens at Uprising Beach Resort
Tropical gardens at Uprising Beach Resort

Uprising Beach Resort was the brainchild of René Phillippe. René enjoyed an idyllic childhood just up the road, in Pacific Harbour, hanging out and playing Rugby with the other local kids. When they finished school, the inevitable move away for work or further study meant the end of the idyll. Rene was determined to find a way to retrieve that idyll, to bring that team of kids back together as adults and to keep Pacific Harbour Rugby alive. Uprising Beach Resort was that “way”.

Uprising Beach resort's Rugby goals tower behind a roadside stall
Uprising Beach resort’s Rugby goals tower behind a roadside stall

The name Uprising comes from the Bob Marley album, a boyhood favourite. It’s a name that says it all. Uprising Beach Resort did bring that original group of neighbourhood Rugby players back together. Many now work at Uprising. For others it’s a home away from their far-flung, new-found homes.

Now,  Uprising is a centrepoint not only of  local but also of national Fijian Rugby. The careers of notable international players have been launched from the Uprising Rugby field. And, yes, now,  Uprising Beach Resort can lay claim to nourishing and sheltering the world famous Fijian Sevens Rugby team as they prepared to carry off Olympic gold.

So, for all those who’ve fallen under the spell of Fiji images and are heading off to the South Pacific paradise, don’t miss Uprising Beach Resort. Luxuriate in tropical island bliss and take in some Fijian Rugby magic too.

 

 

Fifty Shades of Paradise in Fiji

I’m at the Uprising Beach Resort, about one hour out of Suva, on the Coral Coast, at the southern end of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. It’s paradise.

Uprising Beach Resort, Fiji Travelstripe
Uprising Beach Resort, Fiji
Travelstripe

I’m sitting on a deserted beach under a palm tree looking out across the smooth blue lagoon to a bush covered island. On the horizon is the white line of the reef. The sun filters through a light cover of cloud. The air is warm. There’s not a soul in sight. There’s no sound but the soft swish of the waves on the sand, the occasional rattle of leaves, the snap of a branch, the thud of a falling coconut or a snatch of bird song. Beside me there’s a bottle of Fiji water and on my lap is a copy of a notorious best-selling novel.

When it gets too hot I can slip into the sea or walk ten paces over the sand, across the lawn and into my spacious, airy Fijian bure-style villa. I can take another ice-cold Fiji water, (or something stronger) from the refrigerator, and enjoy the view from the shady verandah, or through the wooden-shuttered doors of the bedroom or lounge. I can cool off in the indoor or in the outdoor shower where there’s generous supply of delicious coconut-scented soaps, shampoos and lotions. When the the sound of the ocean isn’t enough I can plug my ipod into the bedside dock and when the book is a bit much I can flick on the TV.

If I tire of the solitude, then just a short stroll through the gardens are the pool, the bar and restaurant. I can luxuriate in a deckchair either poolside or on the lawn, under a palm. If I absolutely must reach the outside world, I can access the internet in the bar. But I’d probably prefer to order an Uprising cocktail (the Mango Daqueiri, which looks like an ice-cream sundae and tastes like a fruit smoothie, is divine) Then, I can people-watch or strike up a conversation. There’s always someone to talk to – a fellow guest, a visiting local (always a good sign) or the Uprising staff, who are truly lovely and always up for a chat and a laugh. In the Uprising restaurant I can look out through the open walls, across the garden to the sea as, depending on the time of day, I breakfast, lunch or dine. At breakfast, I can have either cooked or continental, with tropical fruits and home-baked breads, buns and muffins. At lunch and dinner I can choose from burgers, parmas and steaks or curries, and pizzas and pastas. But I’ll probably opt for a delicious local dish, full of the flavours of the sea and the resort’s own gardens, like kokonda (raw fish) with cassava chips or fish salad.

If I feel like action, I can ride a jet-ski out across the lagoon to the island, or paddle across in a kayak. I jog up the beach or canter along it on horseback. I can snorkel, scuba-dive or take a fishing trip. I can bat a few balls over the net on the volleyball court or kick a few goals on the Ruby field at the front of the resort. And if I want to see some action, on certain evenings I can watch the Uprising Rugby team in training.

If I need rejuvenation after all this, I can enjoy an invigorating traditional Fijian massage, down beside the sea.

And then, at the end of the day, I can sit at the beachside bar, sip a long Vono beer and watch the sun sink below the little island at the western end of the lagoon.

It’s paradise – Fifty shades of paradise.

 

 

Crossing Fiji’s Viti Levu

Stepping off the plane at Nandi Airport in Fiji was like a homecoming; a ukulele band was plunking away in the distance, there were lavalavas and bright island prints, there was  ululating Pacific language and a warm breeze blew through the arrivals hall.

A roadside stall in Fiji
A roadside stall in Fiji

The two hour drive from Nandi to the Uprising Beach Resort took us from one side of Viti Levu to the other and then around the coral coast to the island’s southern side. We slowed for road works, police and military roadblocks, flooded fords, washed out bridges and lumbering trucks laden with long sticks of freshly harvested sugar cane.

The long ride was worth it for the close and slow insights into Fijian life. When we first set out in the late afternoon, the countryside was busy with workers cutting and ploughing, some with machines, but more than a few with bullocks, and the roads were blocked by trucks. We passed roadside stores with thatched rooves and groups of women with selling fruit and vegetables from baskets spread out on mats while their children played in the shade of the trees.

Then, as the sun began to sink, the roadsides were lined with workers filing home and kids running back from school. Later still, in the twilight, we passed villages where people sat in clusters under trees. We took an enforced detour through the town of Sigatoka, with street markets, crowded shops and crawling traffic.

At sunset we reached the coast and followed lines of palms, stands of dense bush, the high fences of luxury resorts and a long stretch of sea, to Pacific Harbour and the welcoming lights of the Uprising Beach Resort.