What We Love
- Guided horseback tours through the island’s coconut plantations
- An 18-hole championship golf course designed by David McLay Kidd
- Complimentary vitamin shooters and scented towels by the infinity-edge glass pool
- Guests can create signature essential oils, soaps, or lotions at the spa using ingredients sourced from a neighboring garden
What To Know
- The resort is the first in the world to offer a private two-seater submarine ride as part of its all-inclusive package
- Two-Bedroom Plantation Villas offer direct beach access
- All villas come with a buggy to explore the lush grounds
- The property’s elite Hilltop Estate is a “resort within the resort,” equipped with a personal chef, nanny, and chauffeur
Only a small sliver of this South Pacific paradise (roughly 15 percent) is actually inhabited. The proud occupant is an ethereal island resort, the reverie-like vision of Red Bull cofounder Dietrich Mateschitz who purchased the island from the estate of the late Malcolm Forbes. Glamorous villas, ringed by rainforests and emerald-green lagoons, are swiftly fueling its rep as a lavish celebrity playground—model Miranda Kerr and Snapchat scion Evan Spiegel honeymooned here, making the property’s infinity-edge pool Instagram famous—though it’s also an unlikely advocate for sustainability. Accommodations, some of which are only accessible by yacht, are constructed from a host of natural materials such as local doga timber and sago palm leaves; the property grows its own orchids, which you’ll see on display; and all five restaurants, which range from a cliff-side teppanyaki joint to an open-air pool bar, are supplied with bounty from a 240-acre plot nearby. The farm, established by Laucala itself, is home to six mango varieties, a herd of Wagyu cattle, and Sulmtaler chickens flown in from Mateschitz’s native Austria.
In the Area
This exclusive but remote resort, hemmed by coral reefs, volcanic peaks, sandalwood forests, and coastal mangroves, is located in the northern portion of the Fijian archipelago on the tip of Laucala, one of three small isles to the east of Taveuni (the country’s third-largest island). Laucala boasts its own 3,800-foot airstrip and aircraft—a King Air B200 shuttles guests on the 50-minute ride to Nadi International Airport. Not to miss: a jaunt on the property’s aforementioned submarine, which often includes ray and reef shark sightings.
How to Get There
I will say this-- it was unquestionably the most expensive hotel I've ever stayed at in my life.... but worth every penny.
Facilities, amenities, grounds, staff, activities... all in a league of its own
We went back as a family for the third time and yet again we were beyond impressed with how the property has improved on what was already perfection. The GM Petra took fantastic care of us and from the concierge team to the boats team the passion of the employees is unrivalled. Thank you to one and all for another magical visit and we cannot wait for next year the 10th anniversary of the resort.
My husband and I spent May 21st through May 28th, 2017, on Laucala Island to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It is difficult to describe just how beautiful and remarkable our experience was. It all began with our first inquiries via email with reservation specialist Amelia Melania. She patiently, professionally and kindly guided us each step of the way as we planned our visit and she worked with me to engineer a secret transfer from our original Seagrass Villa to the Peninsula Villa halfway through our stay to surprise my husband for our anniversary. I will forever cherish the overwhelming emotion I watched unfold on my husband’s face that morning as we jet skied onto the Peninsula Villa’s private beach as it began to dawn on him what was occurring. Two staff members from the Water Sports Center had secreted themselves on the beach to await our arrival. They waved us onto the beach, took our life vests and rode away on our jet skis; leaving my husband and me alone and in awe as we walked up the wooden stairway from the beach to the Peninsula Villa. Flower petals had been strewn along the entirety of the stairway, over the suspended walkway and into the Peninsula Villa’s stunning lounge where champagne on ice and a beautiful cake awaited. Paula was on hand to orient us to the Peninsula Villa’s various rooms, buildings, decks and amenities before he left us to luxuriate in what has to be one of the world’s most naturally beautiful, private settings. As we explored the villa we were dumbstruck to realize that the Laucala staff had packed up and moved all of our belongings from the Seagrass Villa to the Peninsula Villa in such a thoughtful and careful manner that even our bathroom amenities had been placed in the exact positions in which we had left them in the Seagrass Villa.
We came to know so many friendly and generous people on Laucala during our week-long stay, which was filled with surprises, both small and grand, and so many touching moments: the beautiful serenade and flowers as we arrived; Ronald stopping the Land Rover and pointing out the elusive and rare Flame Dove as we were driven from Laucala’s airstrip to our Seagrass Villa shortly after arriving that first morning; Siti’s friendly greetings and kindness each morning at the Plantation House for breakfast; a special Thai dinner specially prepared for us and served in the elaborately decorated room above the Seagrass Lounge on the night of our anniversary (complete with staff members singing a touching anniversary song as we sipped cocktails and enjoyed appetizers); spotting a vibrant blue starfish while snorkeling in Seagrass Bay one morning; Fili taking such good care of us throughout our stay and sharing stories of his life with us; exploring the many surprising nooks and crannies of the resort’s main lagoon pool; M.J. giving so much of her time to make sure our stay was perfect and taking us on a personal tour of the kitchen when we expressed amazement at how the food and beverage team manages to create the vast array of meals; Imasi patiently waiting with us and keeping us calm at Nadi Airport while the airline investigated a problem with our tickets back to the United States; John creating a special cocktail for me and chatting with me at the Plantation House Bar while I waited for my husband to join me for dinner after chefs Lucas and Mochi taught me how to make kokoda; Maya’s incredibly relaxing massages at the spa; Aquila, V., Masi and Fili making sure each meal at the Seagrass Lounge was perfection; Kesa’s beautiful singing voice and patience in guiding us through each step of creating her gorgeous (and potent!) Piña coladas at the Beach Bar; Sireli entertaining us with the history of the amazing photographs that adorn the walls of the Plantation House Bar; Benji and Germaine laughing with us and sharing their histories and the history of Laucala as they took us on an eye-opening island and farm tour; swimming with the horses (well, we were on their backs and the horses were doing the swimming); Vola’s exuberant welcome at the Rock Lounge; the beautiful surprises from the housekeeping staff when we returned to our villa on the night of our anniversary (including the most beautiful tropical flower arrangement we have ever seen) and all of the quiet, peaceful, private moments my husband and I spent on this unbelievable island.
The attention to detail, craftsmanship, talent and skill of all the people involved in running Laucala Island is evident everywhere. The villas are amazingly gorgeous, luxurious and unpretentious. We were lucky to experience both a Seagrass Villa and the Peninsula Villa; each providing us with its own unique beauty and atmosphere. The resort’s grounds are well-manicured yet, somehow, natural and wild. Around every corner a new gorgeous vista appeared or a surprisingly beautiful experience unfolded. The intricate stone roads in the main part of the resort were carefully constructed by hand by artisans brought over from Italy. The food is as casual or formal as your heart desires and rivals that of any fine restaurants we’ve visited in major cities. The entire resort is managed so well and filled with such kind, friendly and genuine people that we felt like we were staying with good friends rather than guests at a resort.
Part of what made our experience so amazing was not having to worry about anything. No reservations were required anywhere on the island and the concierge staff was able to arrange activities at any time. Massages? “What time would you like?” Riding in the submarine? “Gordon and his team will meet you at the Water Sports Center.” Horseback riding? “Would you like to ride along the beach, swim with the horses, have a picnic lunch along your ride?” Breakfast in our villa? “What would you like, what time would you like breakfast and where would you like breakfast to be served?” A private teppanyaki dinner? “Absolutely. What time would you like to eat?” Our days were as relaxing or adventurous as we cared to make them and our nights were spent eating, enjoying cocktails and chatting with staff and other guests (we were two of only 8 to 13 total guests on the island that week) or enjoying our privacy under an amazing display of stars while drifting off to sleep to the sounds of gentle waves.
Leaving Laucala was a tearful experience after such an extraordinary week but knowing how lucky we are to have experienced the beauty of both the island and all of these wonderful, wonderful people is a gift that will stay with us forever. Vinaka Vakalevu to everyone at Laucala!
I experienced an extraordinary stay at Laucala last week with my girlfriend and son. I was truly blown away by the property and staff. The MD Christoph and Director of F & B Glenn could not have been more wonderful, caring and attentive and the boat and spa staff were equally amazing. We enjoyed the most incredible tours of the houses and gardens on property and I have to say everything was spectacular. The activities were also out of this world. Congratulations to the entire team on your magnificent property.
No words nor photos could adequately describe the astonishing beauty of this place, the quality of all the facilities, the food(!), the flawless service and absolutely charming staff. Well traveled, and have never seen its equal, or even a distant second. Astonishing achievement, absolutely excellent in every respect.