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Laucala Island, Fiji

Jennifer Hall

At Fiji’s Laucala Island resort, the rest of the world can seem, well, unnecessary. After all, you have just about everything you need to lead the good life: shelter (in the form of 25 ocean-view villas), sustenance (from one of five restaurants, which use produce grown on the island), good company (resort managers Thomas and Maja Kilgore, and their friendly Fijian staff), and entertainment (including personal watercraft, a fleet of boats, a world-class spa, a man-made lagoon of swimming pools, and an 18-hole David McLay Kidd–designed golf course). Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz has spared no expense in developing this private island, and his concept—to build a limited number of accommodations, leave ample open space, and create a self-sustaining infrastructure—has yielded a luxury resort like no other.

Located about 45 minutes by plane from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport, Laucala Island was a coconut plantation for nearly a century. The 3,000-acre atoll is now a study in tropical gardening, with hillsides thick with herbs and vegetables, as well as fruit-bearing plants that supply the shot-glass portions of fresh juices that attendants serve to guests throughout the day. Visitors stay in thatch-roofed villas (each with its own swimming pool) set along the mountainous island’s beaches and cliffs.

The resort, which opened in December, also draws from the island’s copra-plantation roots. Restaurant chefs cook with the milk and meat of coconuts, Laucala’s Fijian craftspeople weave hats and baskets from palm fronds, and, in the spa kitchen, therapists concoct healing potions from the fruit’s oils. Guests can take a coconut-milk bath at the spa, where a large stone tub overlooks the Pacific and an undeveloped corridor of the island. Looking out over the palm treetops to the dark-turquoise water, you might just forget where you came from and why you need to go back.

Laucala Island, +679.888.0077, www.laucala.com

SETTING
A 3,000-acre private island about 45 minutes by charter plane from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport.

 

SLEEPING
The 25 villas include the Hilltop Residence, which is set on the highest and most secluded spot on the island.

 

DINING
The five restaurants are open every day, no matter how many guests are on the island.

 

WELLNESS
Located at one of the most peaceful overlooks on Laucala, the spa offers treatments that employ products grown on the island. The signature Bobo Massage is typically performed on an outdoor daybed at your villa.

 

DIVERSIONS
Golfing on a David McLay Kidd course, tennis, snorkeling, scuba diving, and exploring the island and its many beaches by golf cart.

 

RATES
$4,000 to $35,000 per villa per day, all-inclusive.

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