This year we took Wendy’s advice and visited only one country to just relax after our multicountry international trip last year that involved plenty of Covid-related entry forms, paperwork, and testing. We targeted Fiji as a place we could easily slip into total relaxation mode and contacted Lynette Wilson to help us choose just the right island and resort on which to do just that. Boy, did Lynette deliver in spades! Once we explained what we were looking for in terms of activities, culinary delights, and relaxing, Lynette knew the exact place for us, Taveuni Palms Resort on Taveuni Island, run by Colleen and Barry O’Neill from New Zealand. This resort has only two villas and we stayed in the Beach Villa. Our 2-bedroom/ 2-bath house came with gorgeous outside showers, a full kitchen, dining room, living room, pool, and beautiful Fijian woodworking and design throughout. We had a private staff of seven that were shared with the other villa and what a wonderful and amazing group of people they were, especially Sia, Manoa and Veronika, whom we interacted with daily. The staff were so friendly and welcoming we felt like family right from the start, from their beautiful singing voices when they greeted us at their salu-salu welcome, seeing them every day, to the sad good-bye singing when we had to finally leave. With 5 different gorgeous venues at which to dine on our private grounds and beach, we couldn’t wait for mealtime! And we couldn’t be anything but breathless when we sat at exquisitely set tables with seashells, flowers and candles and ate the delicious gourmet meals, including the 4-course dinner each night. Since being home and dining out, we find that there is no comparison with the meals at Taveuni Palms created by Surnila, our day chef, and Bua and Ishi, our dinner chefs! For our 10-day stay, we had a great mix of relaxation and activities, including snorkeling with private-beach gourmet picnics on nearby islands, island hopping, and shelling. We even did a very challenging but worthwhile hike to 3 beautiful waterfalls with our very capable guide, Duncan. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect resort or island in Fiji to be surrounded by the beauty of its people and nature. On top of all this, just before we left the US, Fiji discontinued all of its Covid-related entry requirements and Fiji Airways withdrew its mask-wearing requirement. That made the entire trip extra easy and enjoyable. We can’t wait to return because after all, we’re now family!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Visiting Papua New Guinea (PNG) was a deeply satisfying experience that challenged pre-conceived notions of life! PNG is a beautiful country with entire sections of tribal villages who have had very little contact with outsiders. In many cases, tribal villages only use tools made out of wood; not metal! Lodges were dramatic, made with local woods and staffed locally with wonderful people. The presentations and visits we made to the local tribes were always engaging. PNG people are soooo nice. The different tribes made and sold great rustic “artifacts.” The local guides were really exceptional. The country was practically shut down during Covid. Extremely low Covid rate. There are still very few travelers which we preferred. We were well taken care of throughout. We also had a day going into the Japanese tunnels and bunkers from WWII. Lynette set it all up for us; and at a good price. Really glad we went. Don’t use Air Niugini for international flights to and from PNG; no ground support. Go. You won’t regret it.
We were looking for a place for a few days to stop when traveling from Kauai to New Zealand and reached out to Lynette when we started looking at FIGI. Lynette’s insight was so helpful in guiding us to a perfect paradise! In looking at several different resorts and trying to discern the difference, Lynette’s first hand knowledge of the island and the people was spot on. Truly an “Authentic FIJI” experience here, not just a resort! Lynette was also able to arrange dinner on the beach for my husband’s birthday celebration and another special dining experience as well. We hope to make a return visit!
Working with Lynette on our trip to Fiji was very easy and her recommendation — Savasi Island Resort — was fantastic. We loved Savasi Island and are already contemplating our return visit. But what catapults Lynette to the top of our list was her support and responsiveness when our trip was derailed by Tropical Cyclone Sarai. Tropical Cyclone Sarai was not on our radar at all. And then it was all over the radar! As we sat at home and obsessively followed the hour to hour meteorological reports to see if our holiday would still happen (a Christmas surprise to our kids), Lynette worked through the Christmas holiday and the cyclone to keep us informed. The airline eventually canceled our flight to Fiji at the last minute and told us they couldn’t rebook us for at least another 5 days. Lynette, however, and her fabulous team (thanks Linda!) got us on one of the first flights out once the planes were flying to Fiji again, thereby saving our vacation. And she was able to keep our group together and secured us seats on the transfer to Savusavu. This was only possible due to her relationships. If we had not used Lynette, there is no way we would have made it. Highly recommend Lynette and Im looking forward to our next trip with her.
Lynette was able to find the perfect resort on the best island in Fiji for our specific interests and desires. She is a very thorough and meticulous person, so she asked all the right questions in order to recommend the best island for us. She was always available despite the time difference and it is obvious she knows the islands and resorts of Fiji intimately, which is important because there are too many to choose from to make an informed decision. Taveuni Palms Resort is one of the best places I have ever stayed (I literally cried when I had to tell everyone goodbye) and the island was terrific for diving, snorkeling, hiking and waterfalls.
The options for resorts and other places to stay in Fiji was plentiful and we wanted a place that was just right and Lynette delivered. In our discussions with her, she gave us her recommendation based on what we were looking for and selected the right property for us. Because it was a rest and relax situation, there was no guiding involved but the place we went to was laid back, sufficiently luxurious without being stuffy or too casual, yet private so we had time to ourselves.
Fiji was absolutely amazing, everything we could have hoped for. We just spent three weeks in New Zealand during the winter and were looking to end the trip on a sunny note by going off to Fiji for a week.
Savasi Island is the most amazing resort in the most ideal location. It did not feel touristy one bit and the staff exceeded expectations. There was a bit of flight confusion for our departure but the staff and owner of Savasi Island made miracles happen, getting both us and our overweight bags (without paying a fee) on the flight. We are forever grateful for everything they did for us and can’t wait to come back again. It wasn’t just a hard goodbye to leave Fiji in general (who really would ever want to leave) but to leave such a welcoming and amazing staff that made the trip everything we wanted it to be. If we said we wanted something or to do something then they would make it happen, in anyway they could. We asked Lynette for a more authentic region of Fiji and that is just what we got but that did not come at the sacrifice of an amazing staff and all the services. It honestly was better than we could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, I doubt that all of Fiji is the untouched paradise that it used to be but this was about the closest thing you could get to it. And it really felt like that in all its entirety.
They set up a breathtaking dinner in a cave, surrounded by beautiful flowers hanging just about everywhere, with hundreds of candles and the tranquil waterfall to add the cherry on top to an unforgettable dinner. The resort almost feels private because there only a handful of secluded rooms but there plenty of activities around to make it the ideal vacation spot. We were even taken snorkeling at a location only a local would be able to find out about and saw more fish than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. We went on a waterfall hike and to visit a village to see what the real Fiji is really like, and we couldn’t appreciate that experience more. There are so many unmatchable diving locations so close that it is literally only a 10 minute boat ride away to see what makes Fiji the island paradise you dream about. I got my diving certification while I was there and I can’t think of a more ideal location other than Savusavu to do that. The KoroSun diving staff was absolutely great. They were extremely patient with all of us and made the perfect timeline for me to enjoy my trip and get my certification, while seeing some of the best diving Savusavu has to offer. They took me to see over 150 hammerhead sharks on my third dive! And that means third dive in my whole entire life, they have set the bar exceedingly high and my expectations will be very hard to meet now. The diving is what really makes Savusavu beyond amazing, I really don’t have words that could do it justice.
Everyone always says they cant wait to go back but the staff and the activities, which turned out amazing for each family member’s different levels of adventure, will most definitely be having each and everyone of us back soon. Even more family members because it was so beyond amazing that we need to bring everyone to have the experience that we were lucky enough to have and Savasi Island was able to provide.
This was a return trip to Fiji for me since the previous trip was so amazing thanks to Lynnette Wilson. This year was equally amazing and the only minor issue I had was when I chose to do a side trip on my own at the last minute. Lynnette was once again easy to work with and very thorough. Wish I could get her to help with my trip to Spain.
Lynette Wilson was lovely to work with in planning our week-long trip to Fiji. We had a lengthy first phone call in which she answered our many questions about traveling there, best places to stay given our interests and desired accommodation type. She lives in Fiji and has traveled extensively in the South Pacific so her insight was terrific when deciding where to go in the region. She was prompt in her follow up emails and getting back to us on questions. We decided to stay at Savasi Island Resort for its beautiful, small and private setting. Our 2 bedroom villa was gorgeous – waterfall and a small pond at entry, private plunge pool on the deck overlooking the gorgeous ocean view. The staff there were attentive and arranged for private excursions snorkeling and to a village for a swim in their waterfall – amazingly it was only the 2 of us and our guide there! They were very knowledgeable and taught us a bit about local plants and critters. They shuttled us back and forth to the airport and had breakfast prepared for us on arrival – pretty great after an overnight long-haul flight. As a special treat, I had a wonderful complimentary foot massage and scrub afterward – heaven. They made an amazing first impression with how they greet all guests. We plan to go back to this boutique resort. Lynette has counterparts in Los Angeles that booked our airfare. They were efficient but weren’t able to help much when we wanted to upgrade our flights to first class. To be fair, we should have noticed sooner we were booked economy, so might be worth ensuring that you specify that up front. All in all, we had on of our most memorable trips. I highly recommend Lynette.
If you are headed to Papua New Guinea, you must use Lynette Wilson. When civil unrest in one area of the country forced a significant change to my itinerary, Lynette managed everything and it was hardly disruptive at all. I mention this because other people I met on the trip did not have the same experience with their travel agents and they related to me how utterly stressful the whole process of rebooking had been.
I was also deeply impressed with the operators she used. They were absolute pros and it was the first time I’ve done culture-focused village visits where I didn’t feel for one moment that anyone was trying to sell me something. It was so refreshing to visit places where people were simply keen to teach me about their customs and answer my questions.
Everywhere I went, it felt like Lynette had told people what I was going to ask for. At the dive resort, they had already slotted me into dive times so I wouldn’t lose any precious time as things booked up. It’s things like that that make a travel agent worth every penny.
Lynette also did a great job on my time in the Solomon Islands. I was particularly appreciative about how open she was to adding activities to my itinerary as I came across them in guidebooks and changed my mind about my priorities.
Lynette and team spent a lot of time upfront listening to us; understand what we wanted to experience in Fiji. The results were spectacular! After going through a few choices that all hit the requirements, we chose Savasi Island. They had us at “bula” (“hello”) – it was an intimate resort and we had the time to get to know everyone. It felt like we were home. Already miss it!
Lynette was wonderful. First, she was very intuitive regarding the level of accommodations which would work perfectly for me, based on the questions she asked and the answers I gave. The trip I took would not have been many travelers’ idea of a dream vacation, but it was just perfect for me.
She quickly responded during the planning stage to any questions I had and checked in with me when I got to Fiji. She slightly understated the accommodations, which meant I was pleasantly surprised at how great they were. What she did not tell me was that the places where I would be snorkeling and diving are world-class sites. National Geographic was filming at one island, and the Jacques Cousteau organization was at the next. Awesome trip.
Detailed planning was very granular and thorough. The mix of travel modalities was especially admirable. When there were a couple of snafus, they were handled beautifully and successfully.
She did an awesome job and deserves great ratings in all categories. We discovered later that in addition to doing the planning, she had also been working behind the scenes during the trip to make sure everything was going smoothly, checking in with the resorts that she had booked us in to make sure we arrived well and were cared for. Her staff was friendly and professional and the experiences were what we had been hoping for. Thanks for such a great trip!!
My parents have booked a handful of trips from Wendy Perrin’s WOW List before (two of which I was a part of). They suggested I go for it – splurge for the honeymoon to get a truly amazing experience. It’s only been a week since we started working on this trip with Lynette, and even though I don’t leave for nearly two months, this planning experience has already exceeded my expectations. This must be why my parents love The WOW List so much and will talk about it every chance they get: the ease of setting up a trip with an experienced professional, the trust and confidence that the trip will be spectacular, and the utmost level of customer service with the planning phase. I can’t express how much more excited about the trip I am from all of this. Thank you so much for all the help you have been!
Lynette is amazing! There are so many different resorts in Fiji on different islands in different price ranges. I tried finding the right fit for our interests and budget, but it was really daunting. After a quick phone call with Lynette, she suggested the perfect place for us, Savasi Island just outside Savusavu. Our friends and family thought we were crazy for working with a travel agent outside the NYC area, but Lynette actually lives in Fiji and really knows her stuff. She really listened to us and then used her connections in-country to put together the exact experience we were seeking.
Lynette Wilson of Destination World planned our trip to Australia in April, 2016 and it was everything we could have wanted and more. She listened to our input about the types of places we wanted to visit and the size of the tours. The trip was phenomenal; we were met at every place exactly as the itinerary stated and every activity went off without a hitch. The accommodations were perfect, the scheduling was great. We originally wanted to add New Zealand to this trip; Lynette dissuaded us, saying that we wouldn’t get the best of either country and she was absolutely right. We would definitely use her again–she was always responsive and flexible as we worked out the itinerary. Five stars for Lynette!
Ohhhh…ahhh…WOW!!! Just a few of the verbs used to describe the undescribable experience of being in Sydney, on The Rocks, for New Year’s Eve! Our travel agent, Lynette Wilson and her staff, were wonderful to work with. I had indicated to Lynette this was going to be a belated 25th wedding anniversary for my husband and me and could she help us with the arrangements. And did she deliver! At our hotel, Sheraton on the Park, the detail and attention the hotel staff took with us, at such a busy time of year, was most appreciated after a 20-hour flight. And our evening at Wolfies on the Rocks was just wonderful. We had a corner table under the canopy but were able to see the fireworks from our table or go out to the partitioned-off sidewalk area just for customers, to view the fireworks. The food at Wolfies was a multi-course meal and had very good wine parings from the Grant Burge winery. Of course, the evening started out with champagne and some very yummy canapés. The wait staff was superb, very attentive but not intrusive. And I would work with Lynette and her staff to enjoy this event again!
We spent two days in Sydney (never enough time in that wonderful city), and on to Lord Howe Island for three nights. Now this is where having a travel agent really came in handy, and I cannot say enough good things about our hosts at Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Libby and Mark. One thing to be aware of when visiting Lord Howe Island is that it has a very short runway and the winds must not be above a certain level or the airplanes cannot land nor take-off. Yes, we were one of the ones that could not depart as scheduled, but our hosts made our extended stay very relaxing and enjoyable. And they were most helpful in getting us in contact with our travel agents and also the different vendors we needed to work with regarding the rest of our trip. Capella Lodge worked with Qantas to get us on-board the next day, assuming the weather cooperated, and it did. And the lodge also provided letters to be used for documentation for insurance and also gave us a reduced rate for the hotel. Now Lord Howe Island is quite lovely. Great for walking/hiking/fishing/swimming and riding bikes. There are cars on the island but you really don’t need them if you like to bike ride. We did take a walk in the woods called ‘Ron’s Rambles’. And Rod was very interesting and well worth the time! Be aware also when visiting this island that there is a weight restriction so just take a swim suit and a sarong, hiking/walking shorts and top, and a wrap for sitting outside and watching the sunset or sunrise in the morning. Do bring something nice for dinner—again casual, but nice. The food was exceptional, with fresh fish options at every meal, lamb, and beef if desired. I highly recommend this resort line of lodges. We have also stayed at Kangaroo Island Southern Ocean Lodge; both places were very different experiences but both top-notch! Well worth a splurge!
Since we had to stay an extra night at Lord Howe Island, our other travel arrangement got bollixed up too. But Lynette and her staff came through and were able to get us accommodations in Melbourne and also arranged drivers to get us where we needed to go to catch up with the rest of our plans.