|New owner at Nanuya Island Resort, |
Ivan Parker has a hands on approach
to his multi-million dollar renovation plans.
New owners Val and Ivan Parker have moved from the Gold Coast, Australia to take on the project after a series of philanthropic projects they’ve funded throughout the Yasawa Islands over the past 13 years.
“After many successful years with logistics and materials enterprises in Australia, Val and I have come to Fiji for the wonderful people and the quietness of the Yasawas,” Mr Parker said.
“We absolutely love Nanuya Island Resort and have big plans to expand on the already beautiful setting and atmosphere that is here,” he said.
Improvement plans include the construction of a purpose built jetty for guest arrivals and freight deliveries, refurbishment of all 12 existing bures, construction of 5 new upmarket bures including a honeymoon suite with spectacular 360 degree views (already complete), increased mooring buoys for visiting yachties and construction of the ‘Blue Lagoon Yacht Club’ which will be a combined dining and activities hub (incorporating diving and marine education) for the Blue Lagoon area open to all visitors to the area.
In addition, maintenance works are already underway throughout the resort including expansion of concreted pathways, commissioning of a multi stage waste and sewage water treatment plant, converting the entire resort’s energy use to solar power, introduction of golf buggies to transport guests from reception to the bures higher up on the hill, a reinvigoration of the resort’s restaurant menu and improved tropical landscaping throughout the resort.
“60% of our guests are return guests, so we have surveyed them to provide their input into our ideas for expansion and improvements,” Mr Parker said.
“Interestingly, there was an overwhelming ‘no!’ to putting in a pool – the vast majority of guests would rather swim in the azure blue seas lapping the beach of our resort – and I can hardly blame them for that!” he said.
"Guests are also very clear that they want the resort to maintain that small, intimate feeling that it's always offered, so we are very conscious to keep that feedback guiding our plans, while still catering to demand."
"Everything we plan is in keeping with the natural environment and aimed at providing an enhanced experience for all of our guests - resort guests, visiting yachties and locals - and ensuring each have their own facilities and are well looked after."
“We are excited to be here and feel so privileged to be working in the most beautiful location in the friendliest country in the world!”
“And we welcome both returning and new guests to come and experience the relaxed, peaceful and mind-blowingly spectacular scenery of the blue lagoon region at Nanuya Island Resort.”
Prior to taking ownership of Nanuya Island Resort, the Parkers have had a long history of involvement in many villages in the Yasawa Islands.
“We fell in love with Fiji initially while participating in a Variety Children’s Charity fundraising cruise with Blue Lagoon Cruises in 2002,” Mr Parker said.
“We couldn’t believe the substandard conditions that people were living under in the villages, and we wanted to help,” he said.
“So that started with us buying a boat for the Malakati village so that their students could get to school each day without walking for over an hour, at times knee deep through water,”
“For two years we provided school shoes and daily meals for all of the students at Ratu Meli School,”
“We’ve also funded power being supplied to 25 homes in Teci village, rebuilt the school there, and established a shop for the villagers to sell fresh fish and other supplies from in order to create an income for them,”
“When the cyclone came through a couple of years ago we rebuilt the church at Kese village and we’re also mentoring a local young, aspiring builder who will be coming to work with us at Nanuya.”
“Throughout this time we haven’t sought any recognition for these contributions and that’s not why we’ve done it – we are just passionate about the people of Fiji and helping them grow a better future for themselves,”
“Now that we live here and have the resort, we are in a position to continue to help by way of employing locals across all facets of the resort, sourcing local produce and truly being a part of the Yasawan community which we are very excited to do.”
A highlight in their lives was when they were each presented with the highest honour in Fijian tradition at a special ceremony in Lautoka. Each received a Tabua in recognition of their contributions, efforts and services provided to the people of the Yasawa.
Having found retirement an unsavoury prospect upon exiting their collection of successful business enterprises in Australia, Val and Ivan took to spending almost all of their time in the Yasawa Islands further learning, listening and quietly helping where they could.
Owning Nanuya Island Resort is a dream come true for them both.
Multi award winning ‘Awesome Adventures Fiji’ is a trading brand of South Sea Cruises and provides adventure packages and experiences for backpackers and independent travellers throughout Fiji's Yasawa Islands. Island hopping passes range from 5 to 21 days and packages include island accommodation, meals, transfers and a range of activities. Nanuya Island Resort is rated by Awesome Adventures as a ‘3 coconut’ (ie. top of the range for the Yasawas) resort located in the stunning Blue Lagoon.
Awesome Adventures Fiji Chief Executive Officer Peter Duncan welcomed the Parkers to the region.
“We are excited by the fresh enthusiasm and passion that Val and Ivan bring to Fiji and to Nanuya Island Resort,” Mr Duncan said.
|Nanuya Island Resort|
“It’s hard to beat Nanuya Island Resort for location, and I am confident the expansion and improvement plan that the Parkers are undertaking will result in an even more attractive resort for our visitors to enjoy.”