Travel: Sunset strip

The picturesque Sunset Strip in Korotongo, Sigatoka. Picture: SUPPLIED/KHATTAB FAMILY

The mention of Sunset Strip may trigger your general knowledge of the 1.5 mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that traverses through the city of West Hollywood in California.

The strip is one of the most exquisite places around known for its collection of boutiques, bistros, night revelry spots and captivating billboards.

But in Fiji, the Sunset Strip is one of the most under-appreciated places on the Coral Coast.

This is despite the fact that more two decades ago, it was perhaps the “busiest” by-the-side stretch of highway that wore Nadroga/Navosa’s premier tourist destination tag.

That once-upon-a-time glamour coastline is now hidden from view by the new Korotogo bypass, which is a pity given the fact that it literally puts the seaside attractions on Sunset Strip somewhat “out of sight and out of mind”.

But as The Sunday Times recently discovered, Sunset Strip may be on a road less travelled, it is nevertheless a holiday haven waiting to be visited. The place remains one of the finest places to kick the sand, soak up the sun and relax your tired feet in the coolness of undulating waves.

The weather is not too dry and not too hot, perfect if you are looking for uninterrupted moments of snorkelling, frolicking in the sand and dipping in the sea.

Visiting the place will definitely bring back the best nostalgic memories of times gone and reinvigorate your senses for a well-deserved seaside getaway, even if your visit is just for a walk by the sea.

The Sunset Strip is like the jewel of the Coral Coast. It is only 75 minutes from the Nadi International Airport and 10 minutes from the rugby-mad town of Sigatoka.

Furthermore, if you want the perfect sunset, then there’s no better place than Korotogo’s Sunset Strip.

The Crow’s Nest Resort is a deluxe boutique resort on Sunset Strip that overlooks the dazzling ocean and welcomes all guests including families.

With villas outfitted for self-catering, it is definitely the perfect choice for those who want to do things at their own pace. Villas on the hillside, five-star cuisine and a wide range of activities (enquire at reception) promise to make your stay a shot from the blue.

A few hundred metres in front, you will come across the Bedarra Beach Inn, where the seaside and garden ambience meets to exude that feeling of peace and comfort.

Bedarra seems like the perfect pick for an affordable place to stay but classy as well. Somewhere between Bedarra and Crows Nest is the home of the famous Hot Glass Fiji, where you will learn about how love and adventure unfolded to unveil a trendy glass-blowing venture that has kept everyone talking since day one.

According to the story – British couple Alex and Alice, after a 15-year scuba diving adventure that included stints in Egypt, New Zealand, Fiji, the UK and the Horn of Africa, realised that Fiji was probably “the best place in the entire world to bring up young kids.”

They established and ran a successful dive centre on the Coral Coast in 2003 but it didn’t take very long when Alice decided to pursue her dream and do something about what she studied back home –glassblowing. Hot Glass Fiji is the culmination of that dream.

Just next door is the Casablanca Hotel. It is probably better known as the home to one of the most mouth-watering pizza houses on the Coral Coast but it also offers superb budget accommodation both for the solo traveller and the adventurous family.

You cannot miss this place for it is the only two-storeyed “white house” that overlooks the coastline and gets unobstructed ocean breeze at this part of Korotogo.

At Casablanca, you can get the best insights into life on this famous coastal road by spending a few minutes with the hotel owner, Mostafa Khattab who is a great host with a larger-than-life personality.

Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Khattab will captivate you with his amazing story of adventure, one that brought him from the land of the pyramids along the Nile River to Australia (as a 19-year-old) and finally to Fiji where he resides with his wife in Korotogo.

To immerse myself in the Sunset Strip experience, I stayed for two nights at Casablanca. It was a great experience, the staff members were very welcoming and the rooms were simple and cosy. It is also a base where I enjoyed easy access to the sights and sounds of the Coral Coast.

Next time the words “holiday” and “Coral Coast” pop up in your head, do not forget to give the beautiful Sunset Strip a chance to pamper you with the best in rest and relaxation.

Oops and don’t forget your camera. The place lives up to its name and you will always get the best vistas at dusk.

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