BY DONNA PARKIN — Three generations of the Swanick family from the United Kingdom descended on Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Castaway Island, Fiji in December. The family, nine-strong, was led by grand matriarch Val Swanick, who celebrated her 73rd birthday on Castaway Island.
It was Val’s third visit to Outrigger Resorts Fiji. “My late husband Peter and I first came here in 2004 and fell in love with both resorts. He was a keen cricket fan and we followed the cricket tour to New Zealand. I’d always wanted to see Fiji and so after the tour, we came here. We came back in 2008 and stayed at both resorts again and after Peter died earlier this year, I decided I wanted my entire family to see what it was that had made it so special for us both,” she said.
Val hails from Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire. A former librarian, she now helps run the local museum on a voluntary basis.
“I love the snorkelling here in Fiji, and I’m quite partial to the Sea Breeze cocktails they mix. I’ve drunk them around the world but they never taste as good as they do here. And I love the staff, who are extraordinary. When we checked in at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Luke, one of the porters, remembered me from 2008. Arieta [Bobo], who has been at Castaway Island for twelve years also remembered me from my previous visits and has made my entire family feel so welcome. It’s one of the friendliest places on earth and there’s no doubt I’ll be back,” she said.