Fiji is indeed FABULOUS!! This destination is a top contender when clients are considering an island holiday in Tahiti or the Maldives. Fiji is unique in its remoteness in the South Pacific, its lush green nature and its perpetually smiling people!
Bula!! (Hello, in Fijian, a literal translation of “health and life”)
Fiji is reached by a 10 hour flight from Los Angeles, a 3 hour flight from Auckland, or a 5 hour flight from Sydney.
Fiji is a fantastic stand alone holiday for those seeking gorgeous beaches, abundant marine life, hiking, waterfalls, superb unhurried private island resorts, spectacular food and genuine caring service! My clients who adventure through New Zealand, often like to end their holiday with some R&R in tropical Fiji!
My visit included jetting off to two private island resorts, each distinctively special, but combined as a two-island holiday, the best of all worlds!
International flights arrive into the largest city of Nadi (pronounced Nan-dee) on the island of Viti Levu and from there guests are escorted to their private lounge; where they can shower, have a glass of champagne or some breakfast while awaiting the resort’s private aircraft.
Our small group of colleagues, arrived at 5 in the morning, we were effortlessly whisked to the private hanger and lounge of KOKOMO for a bit of a refresh before continuing on to our private island paradise.
It is KOKOMO TIME!
This Fijian welcome embodies all of the spirit that was showered upon us throughout our stay. This is Fiji!
I am staying! Sipping my Kokomo coco with a beautiful hand-made garland or lei –
Welcome to Kokomo, indeed! Love these guys!
First lunch in paradise, the food and service is so relaxed but simultaneously spot on!
My favorite place to dine at Kokomo was at Walker d’Plank –
Here we were treated royally by the culinary team lead by head chef, Caroline Oakley, and by sommelier extraordinaire, Louis! Each day we were enticed with the daily “Dock-to-Dish” creative cooking. Every bite was fun and simply delicious with an Asian flair.
Play time –
Even the Kiddos have options of a dedicated nanny, kids club, separate family pool or even a pizza and ice cream restaurant. The way the island is designed is such that kids can be fully entertained and have a great deal of freedom far from where couples are enjoying their time.
Morning yoga just does not get more rewarding than this –
Idyllic Beach –
Birds-Eye View of the Villas –
The view from our villa –
The villas are large, private and understated. Guests can chose from 1-bedroom villas to 6-bedroom residences, and the resort is truly as fantastic for honeymooners as it is for a multigenerational family holiday!
Breakfast is spectacular and my favorite place to enjoy this each morning was at the Beach Shack but many guests choose to be served in their villa.
Avocado toast with a side of garden fresh chutney or pesto – yum!
The Farm at Kokomo is simply mind-blowing! Kim Campbell is the resident wellness guru and helps guests devise their perfect nutritional journey by employing herbs and vegetables from the island garden.
The fresh juices and tonics created straight from the farm can be prescribed by Kim or easily enjoyed at breakfast each morning! Each concoction was delicious and truly felt like the nectar of life. Kim explained how so many everyday ailments can be easily addressed with what we consume.
The spa at Kokomo is in line with the feel at Kokomo – understated, relaxing, and pro! I think the massage may have been one of the most intuitive and rewarding that I have ever enjoyed! Fijian magic!
Villas can be on the Eastern or Western side depending on if guests prefer to be near the action and on the calmer side or the windier more private side of the island.
Sunset at Kokomo –
Wonderful outdoor living spaces –
The fleet of boats and yachts at Kokomo is a joy – today we head out to a local island to hike up to a pristine waterfall for a swim –
Nearby islands offer a chance to pass through a local village, do some hiking and swim in some gorgeous waterfalls!
Look who we encountered on the way – a litter of piglets –
My favorite day on Kokomo, however, was fishing…
Louis prepared the boat with plenty of libations –
And then we set out with the rock star team –
This was hard work, but the pros made it all feel so seamless –
Dog-Toothed Tuna –
Shark – This guy went back in!
Celebrating quite the catch – barracuda, shark (which we released) and an enormous dog-toothed tuna (yes, with canine teeth!) –
Dinner is ABOUT to be served…
What a treat – Tuna three ways, fresh from the sea!
And snorkeling on the house reef and on nearby reefs, is simply sensational!!
Dive master and biologist extraordinaire!
Parting is such sweet sorrow – this team really made us feel genuinely at home! Love the Kokomo Spirit!
After a wonderful departure from Kokomo, we arrived back at the Nadi airport and were whisked into the Laucala Private Island lounge where we enjoyed a refreshment and were summoned on to the islands private jet.
In less than 40 minutes we landed at the private air strip –
… and were greeted by smiles and more Fijian welcome songs!
Laucala’s 25 villas, all glamorous versions of traditional Fijian dwellings, each offer unparalleled exclusivity and privacy in dramatic, very different, locations around the northern coast of the island.
The Villas are enormous with vast and private indoor and outdoor space, just for you –
Eleven Plantation villas are set amid a coconut grove beside a private beach; four Plateau villas are perched atop Nawi Mountain at the heart of the island, ringed by rainforest and offer unbroken views of the sea; seven Seagrass villas line a powder-white beach; the Peninsula villa hugs a cliff and crescent-shaped beach; the Overwater villa is set above an emerald-green lagoon; and the Hilltop Estate sits at one of the island’s highest points, commanding views of the Fijian archipelago.
I have toured many of the accommodations and can help you pick the perfect location for your island escape!
The Peninsula Villa commands the best views –
Over Water Villa is a fantastic two bedroom unit for two couples or a family who want a very unique arrangement –
Life on Laucala is completely centered around its lucky guests. Nothing needs to be arranged in advance and just about everything is included. Dine when and where you want, each restaurants seems set just for you. Activities and boats galore, completely at guest disposal. Approximately 300 staff are at your disposal for anything you fancy doing.
While every villa comes with a private infinity pool, a 2,000-square-metre lagoon-style pool sits at the heart of the resort, overlooking a long beach and enveloped by tall stands of palm. Divided into three areas, the pool includes tropical manmade islands as well as a dramatic 25-metre-long glass cube, ideal for lap swimming.
Whether drifting between islets at sunset or speeding around the archipelago, there’s no better way to get a taste for Fiji than by boat.
Laucala’s fleet of 14 boats includes the Amanda, one of the first Dragon-class keelboats to be built in New Zealand, the Rere Ahi, a gorgeous double-masted sailing boat, and a traditional Fijian drau camakau (outrigger), available for diving trips and inner- and outer-reef trips such as the Taveuni Island Waterfalls Excursion: a 30-minute boat ride followed by a jungle hike to a secluded waterfall.
Fiji’s warm tropical waters are teeming with marine life – lion fish, moray eels, angelfish – making for unparalleled diving and snorkeling trips. (One of Fiji’s most legendary dive sites, the Great White Wall, is within easy reach, just 40 minutes, of Laucala and is a dazzling vertical wall blanketed in soft white coral.)
From blue marlin to yellowfin tuna to wahoo, to Pacific sailfish and giant trevally, South Pacific waters are a paradise for game fishers.
Other water pursuits range from kite surfing and windsurfing to kayaking, jet- and water-skiing.
This picture was taken just before we jumped on jet skis and completely let loose riding around the island. I have never so enjoyed a jet ski experience, with the feeling of being on the open sea surrounded with nothing but nature.
Scotsman David McLay Kidd was called in to design Laucala’s championship golf course, a stunning 18-hole layout backdropped by volcanic mountains and clinging to a sheer cliff dropping into the Pacific Ocean.
A golfing professional is on hand along with caddies, buggies and clubs.
The tennis pro is not only a legend in his own right, he is simply adorable with so much personality!
From treadmills and bikes to elliptical and rowing machines, the cardio equipment in Laucala’s Fitness Centre is state-of-the-art. A range of weight machines and free weights are complemented by a stretching area, Yoga mats and Pilates gear. A personal trainer and yoga instructor is available daily.
Horseback riding and Mountain Cycling are popular options and a great way to explore the island –
SPA – oh glorious SPAHHH!
The garden and farm provide much of the fantastic gastronomic offerings on Laucala and the food throughout is delicious –
Breakfast is simply spectacular and a must do start to the day, whether in villa or here at the Plantation house –
Meals are served where ever you would like to have them and are always fresh, healthful and delicious!
Laucala, makes you feel like a kid again, a really, really lucky kid!
Do as much as you would like…
Or as little as you can…
… but do Spoil yourself Silly in Fiji!!
Vinaka vaka levu (Thank you very much in Fijian!)