In Travel

Pacific Paradise: Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Golf Resort

The Bachelor may not have found love last season, but after the final few episodes a legion of Bachelor fans did. If you tuned in to the finale shows, you would be familiar with the spectacular Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa and Golf Resort, where the bachelor and two final bachelorettes spent their last few nights. Since the episodes aired, the Sheraton Deva is the Pacific island resort that has had everyone talking.

It doesn’t take much to see why so many people are now head over heels for the sprawling, secluded resort in New Caledonia’s west.

The Sheraton Deva is the sort of place you find yourself pinning to your ‘honeymoon destinations’ Pinterest board; the sort of place that – had it been around in 1998 – you would have expected to see as a desktop background option on your Windows ’98 settings.

Simply put, it is an idyllic destination resort and natural playground.

The promise of exclusivity, luxurious private bungalows (albeit not overwater bungalows) and brilliantly blue waters at the Sheraton Deva put it right up there on the travel bucket list with destinations like the Maldives, the Bahamas and Bora Bora.

The resort sits on a 13km stretch of beach in Bourail, and looks out on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed barrier reef and lagoon. There is only one way to describe the colour of the water fringing the resort and that is ‘mind-blowing’. As a self-confessed thalassophile, that is not said lightly.

Water a vivid turquoise and so clear that you can see right through to the turtles feeding on the sea grass below, the need for a glass bottom boat or even a snorkel is near negated. Having said that, you would be mad to pass up the opportunity to jump aboard one of the resort’s glass bottom boats or to grab a snorkel to get a closer look at the diverse sea life; it truly is spectacular. If you are lucky, you might even spy one of the curious striped sea snakes – the sea krate – endemic to New Caledonia.

Even lovers of land based activities can be won over quickly by what the Sheraton Deva has to offer. Although they place a huge emphasis on their sea based activities, it isn’t to say that the Sheraton Deva don’t make the most of the picturesque nature reserve on which the resort sits.

On the entrance side of the resort lies a chain of mountains, forming a stunning vista when looking back from the beach and providing another playground for resort guests to explore. Known as the Domaine de Deva, the mountains are just a 3-minute drive away. From the carpark at the base, you can take a short (but steep) walk up to the summit of Oua Koué where there are panoramic views back out over the Sheraton Deva and the lagoon. It goes without saying that being on the lagoon is exquisite, but the views from above it are quite literally on another level.

For the romantics and honeymooners, you can book an experience with Gecko Evasion to be driven to the top of a peak a little further away; where you can sit and watch the sunset while looking out over the rivers and lagoon, with a bottle of wine and a grazing board.

And for the sporting type, well, there is plenty for them to fall in love with at the Sheraton Deva too. Home to its very own 18-hole Dye designed course, the resort fully caters for the amateur golfer right up to the PGA pro. You can practice your swing on the driving range while looking out at the Domaine de Deva, or play your way around to the 17th hole and get driving and putting with views of the turquoise lagoon.

Of course, the Sheraton Deva is more than just its prime location and world-class activities. Opening its doors in 2014, the resort is a relatively new build that perfectly blurs the lines between modernity and traditional Kanak design.

The grandiose lobby makes a lasting first impression with its circular check in desks, a lofty wooden roof reminiscent of the Kanak grand chief house, and the extravagant and oversized pendant lights. Individual bungalows with the same distinctive Melanesian style are dotted around the property; each home to king sized 4-post beds, spacious bathrooms with freestanding tubs and more living space than two people require. If you can manage to reserve one, the beachside bungalows are the cream of the crop, with private decks that have uninterrupted views out to the beach and lagoon beyond.

The utmost of luxury, a prime location and all the leisure activities you could ask for – the Sheraton Deva has got everything going for it. Between the mountains, the lagoon and the striking build, the resort makes a strong and lasting first impression. It really is no wonder that it is the destination on everyone’s lips.

Published 12 December, 2018