There’s a new optimism energizing Fiji’s tropical islands, as invigorated commitments to sustainability meet five-star style. Take a look and be amazed by these Exclusive Destinations: Eco-Chic Luxury Fiji Hotels!
Paradise hunters from around the globe now fly and sail to the Mamanuca Islands in search of tropical island treasures. As the closest island chain to Nadi international airport, the Mamanucas are one of the more developed regions, and home to some of its oldest or most prized destination Fiji Hotels – Castaway, Tokoriki, Likuliku Lagoon and Vomo among them.
The latest, and most newsworthy in some time, to join them is Six Senses, which made its debut last month beside the exceptionally pretty beach in the resort of Vunabaka on Malolo Island. The pitched and thatched roofs of the resort’s 24 villas and 10 residences, reminiscent of the local bure huts, trim a horseshoe curve of creamy white sand, backed by emerald hillsides crowned in forests of she-oak.
The placid lagoon, a pale candy-blue by the shore, deepens to cobalt beyond the house reef. Seen from the water, it almost resembles a model Fijian village, except perhaps for the two private marinas and the 35 swimming pools in various comely configurations. But it is still a model community of sorts: combined luxury resorts and the residential colony with plans to eventually accommodate 60 private homes (some of which will be available to rent through the resort), it is powered entirely by solar panels and Tesla batteries. It supports a substantial farm of vegetable crops, fruits, herbs, chickens, bees and a pet pig named Sid – all managed by Mudunavere – which supply the two main restaurants. Neither resembles anything Fiji has offered before.
traditional grasscloth wallpaper and mahogany floors feature inside
The Six Senses mandate for health and well-being, coupled with executive chef Ihaka Peri’s flair for innovation, have resulted in a resort with its own gluten-free bakery (there’s a wheat-friendly one, too) and a bottling plant for drinking water and probiotic sodas. All can be found at the café and bar above the marina, just by the ice creamery and gourmet deli, while at the retro grocery, pantry items are stored in glass jars and served in paper bags.
A seaplane arrival at the private island resort of Kokomo, in the Kadavu Islands
The Vunabaka developers are a group of mostly New Zealander friends, drawn here by the beauty of the setting and a love of the ocean. Lead architect Richard Priest, also from New Zealand, is known for designing spare, elegant beach houses (baches). He drew inspiration for Vunabaka from Christian Liaigre’s design of Motu Tane, the French Polynesian private island retreat of cosmetics titan François Nars.
For Vunabaka director Andrew Griffiths, a former investment banker and co-founder of the development organization SurfAid International, the vision was to create a community sustainable enough to leave Malolo in a better state than he found it. “It’s about being a responsible citizen of the world,” he says.
Watersports of every complexion – including private speedboat excursions to Tom Hanks’s Cast Away island Modriki – will be a defining feature of the activities roster.
In the relatively untouched Kadavu Islands, south of the capital Suva, workers have just put the finishing touches to Kokomo, the private island resort of Australian property magnate Lang Walker. Its 21 beachfront villas and five residences actually opened over a year ago, but Walker has only just finished realizing his dream.
Diving destinations abound in Fiji’s reefs