A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to travel to the pacific island of New Caledonia for four days. A tropical haven only a few hours away, it’s as picturesque as you would imagine.
For the duration of my getaway, I stayed at the recently opened $250 million Sheraton New Caledonia Déva Spa & Golf Resort. Whilst I was there for the First Women’s Pro-Am International Golf Tournament, I spent much of my time soaking up all that the hotel had to offer. I thought I would share my experience staying at the Sheraton and tell you what I got up to.
New Caledonia is a French territory located in the South Pacific, consisting of a collective of islands. Only 2-3 hours from Sydney, Aircalin offers flights that fly directly to the international airport just outside the capital, Noumea.
After flying in on Tuesday afternoon, I made my way directly to the Sheraton, in the region of Domaine de Déva. A leisurely 2 hour transit from the airport, this part of New Caledonia is sparsely populated but the seclusion affords the authentic experience of an island holiday. The Sheraton sits directly on the coastline and this proximity to the beach is a big drawing point – my room was less than 50 metres from the ocean. All the buildings throughout the grounds are styled in wood and intricate carvings, with bungalows and suites set amongst lush greenery. My bungalow was very paradise-esque: think timber furnishings and a four post plush bed…an escape from reality no doubt. They have a range of rooms available, suitable for individuals, couples and families.
In the short four days I was there, I managed to fill my time with activities. On my first day, I drove a golf buggy to the driving range and spent a couple of hours practicing my swing. I didn’t get to play the whole 18-holes because of the pro-am tournament but it’s a must-do if you stay there. Whilst the Sheraton Deva evidently place a significant focus upon their course and golf facilities, they have much more to offer if you aren’t golf inclined.
I spent part of my second day living the high life, lounging on the secluded beach and sitting poolside with a passion mojito. The highlight of my day was having lunch at the resort’s Sand Beach Grill, barefoot and looking out at the ocean. I ordered the goat cheese salad which was divine but way too heavy to finish. Being a foodie, I have to mention the range of food the resort offers, a cuisine of both French and Melanesian influence.
The Deep Nature Spa was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and I thoroughly enjoyed my hour long massage. I wish I would have had more time to try the other treatments they offer. They also had an impressive fitness centre with cardio equipment, weights and daily exercise classes. If you want to fit in a work out whilst on holiday, you’ve got everything you need there.
One unexpected feature about the resort that I loved was that they had bikes available for guests, making it easy to explore the expanse of the resort. The only problem was trying to find one that wasn’t being used! I loved riding around the resort for some morning exercise and again under the afternoon sun on my way to the beach.
With my knowledge of the French language being limited to “bonjour” (hello), “merci” (thank you) and “au revouir”(goodbye), there was a moment or two of miscommunication during my stay as many of the hotel staff spoke only French. Fortunately, there was always someone around to interpret and I even picked up a few new phrases, like “Oui, s’il vous plait” (yes, please).
I wasn’t too sure what to expect when travelling to New Caledonia but with beautiful scenery and friendly locals, it was an extremely enjoyable experience. My stay at the Sheraton Deva Resort & Spa was ultimately luxurious and exactly like a holiday should be – an idyllic escape from reality.
You can take a look at some of the photos from my stay at the Sheraton Deva in New Caledonia below.