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Summing up a trip to a resort with a tale of how good the massages were seems intrinsically dull. It should all sort of go without saying. However, being under the hands of a capable masseuse after a very long day of travel is, in the flesh, so pleasant that my immediate reaction was to want to capture it for posterity.

Hence, I started my trip to Fiji’s Royal Davui with a ritual consisting of an hour full-body massage, while the waves lapped just outside and the wind made the palm fronds sigh, a facial “with a power packed serum containing actives to restore radiance,” and a hair and scalp massage. I meandered down to the restaurant after the nearly two-hour treatment, to be greeted by a fellow traveler exclaiming “wow, you have great skin.” Slightly embarrassed, I protested that in fact, I do not have great skin; I actually have an annoying combination of sensitive, starting-to-age dry skin and lingering acne-proneness.

The claim is that the treatment minimizes the effects of jet lag, and after having traveled for 24 hours to reach the Island, and stayed awake sans caffeine for another 13, I felt remarkably functional as I tucked myself in. Whether it was the spa treatment or the peaceful setting, I slept better than I normally do in an unfamiliar place, and woke up the next morning well-rested and ready to explore. Which I did, for the next five days, pretty much non-stop; in water, over water, under water. I finished things off with another massage for good measure, which, to be honest, I would never allow myself the luxury of normally.

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