Aquarius On The Beach invests $50,000 in a boat bar


Aquarius on the Beach was a luxury home in the late 80s and early 90s. It was bought by the previous owner and turned into a hotel.

Aquarius on the Beach General Manager Dale Hermanson with staff at the launch of Wailoaloa’s new beach attraction, The Wreck-a boat bar. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

To mark the return of international tourists here, Aquarius On The Beach in Nadi has launched a new attraction on Wailoaloa Beach, The Wreck.

It is a themed boat bar based on a real boat wrecked on the beach with an investment of around $50,000 which was launched on Saturday.

The Wreck Bar is built around a 35-foot fiberglass boat with mahogany countertops, a full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and pine stumps in the sand for seating.

The boat bar is housed under a traditional bure that was built by local craftsmen and presents a new landmark on Wailoaloa Beach.

The boat itself is an old fishing boat that was abandoned until it was rescued and turned into its new purpose.

General Manager Dale Hermanson said it reflected the owners’ optimism about a gradual return to normalcy for the tourism industry.

“In terms of its importance to hotels, we have just come out of two years of very little business due to COVID. So it’s a new start for us,” he said.

“It’s the first in Fiji, so we hope it will be a very big draw not only for locals but also for overseas visitors, because it’s a great opportunity.”

Additionally, food from the hotel restaurant is also available to be consumed at the beach tables near the bar.

The bar is open to the general public as well as hotel guests.

The property

Aquarius on the Beach was a luxury home in the late 80s and early 90s. It was bought by the previous owner and turned into a hotel.

Mr. Hermanson purchased the property in 2011. It has 17 rooms across four room categories.

“Over the past 10 years, substantial investments have been made in this property. This is a family hotel run by me and my two daughters.

Basically all of our savings went to this place,” he said.

Currently there are 16 staff, but over the past two years it has dropped to around five staff members in light of COVID.

For Mr. Hermanson, Wailoaloa Beach is a growing area and there is more potential.

“I mean, my family and I were very lucky to have this place 10 years ago. It’s still growing,” he said.

“There are a lot of opportunities in the region.

“We are seeing a lot more businesses develop and grow.

“It’s really great, especially with the tourists coming back now. Looks very good for the area.

About Mr. Hermanson

Mr. Hermanson is originally from the United States, but has lived in Fiji for 36 years.

He came to Fiji in 1985 as a Peace Corps volunteer, worked with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information.

He then joined the South Pacific Commission (now Pacific Secretariat) for seven years.

He is also co-owner of Pasifica Communications, founded 27 years ago.

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