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
OMG - this is the most magic place on earth!!
The resort, villas and grounds are architecturally stunning. The food is wonderful, under the leadership of a wonderful Australian chef. Meat, seafood and produce from the island. An amazing "included" wine list.
The thing of note however, is the genuine warmth of the service. If you can think of it, you can have it. And right now. You'd like a pig roast in your villa on your private beach - no problem - 10 staff show up to make it happen. You'd like to be one of the 120 people a year to play the golf course - no problem - caddy and golf pro ready. You'd like to visit some of the world's legendary dive sites - jump on the boat and let's go.
Our children traveled with us - 6 and 17 years old. Both had an amazing time, including the younger one with the amazing nanny that was provided.
Since you're unlikely to be getting married there, I won't give you the details of that (we were the tenth wedding in the resort's history). Suffice to say that about 20 staff showed up at 9am to set up for a 4pm wedding. The day was seamless, magnificent and truly beautiful. Exactly what we wanted. And all at no effort from us. The flowers alone were worthy of any global venue.
I could go on and on, but realistically you just have to go.
Our heartfelt thanks to the management and staff. You are truly wonderful people who made our stay magic. We will be back for every anniversary. Vinaka!
If your looking for a special place .... Well this is it ! . In fact could be the most " Private " vacation spot on earth . the service was unbelievable , the views are better then any picture you will see . it's just magic on earth.
We went again for my sister’s birthday and and were amazed by the quality of the food and service! We can’t wait to go again next year! The highlight was a jet ski tour and then a special lunch on a remote beach! Looking forward to my next booking in May!
One of the most amazing trips my family and I have ever been on. From the incredible staff, to the top notch service, to the highest quality food....the standard of hospitality has been set high by Laucala Island.
We look forward to returning!
The Egrari Family
I traveled to Lacaula Island Resort for 7 nights with my husband, mother, and brother in July 2018. All of us had high expectations; we had been assured that Laucala was better than any of the other world class resorts we had been to previously (like Singita, The Point, Triple Creek, etc.). Admittedly, the rooms were spectacular and even more luxurious than what we had anticipated (though, wear was starting to show – through stains and tears on the pillows, couches, and rugs). Unfortunately, the rest of the experience left us scratching our heads, wondering what we had missed and why we had paid such an exorbitant price for something so mediocre.
While many issues could be overlooked, the food and service could not be.
Food: Upon arriving we were immediately told the island had run out of fish and lobster. Fish continued to be in short supply throughout the entirety of our seven-day stay. In fact, at lunch, ordering became more of an exercise in what wasn’t available. Fish? We’re working on it. Avocado? Still out. Feta? We’ll see.
While there were technically five restaurants on location, most were just outposts on the main restaurant (meaning there were really only 2, rather than 5 different restaurants). Moreover, because the menus generally remained static during our trip, we ate the virtually the same thing for seven days. Each day, lunch choices included primarily a simple salad, a minimally adorned wrap, and a grilled meat. Dinner at the main restaurant was primarily a basic piece of grilled protein with a salad similar to what was available for lunch. One day we asked the chef to cook something special for us – we received a pan-fried steak and steamed broccoli with crinkle cut carrots. While the special barbeque served at our villa was delicious, and the native foods banquet was also very good, that covered only 2 nights out of 7. On our first day back in the US, my husband and I stopped at Whole Foods and were stunned by the complexity of flavors delivered from the hot bar (which was probably a first).
What was bizarre is on the first day, the head chef came out and asked us for our preferences (big fat ribeyes, ceviche, lots of fish, etc. were all on the table)– yet not a single thing we discussed or explicitly asked for was reflected in the food we received. We never saw the chef after that initial exchange. While we eventually did get fish – it was only after we paid for a deep sea fishing excursion and caught it ourselves.
Service: The poor food was only surpassed by the terrible service. Breakfast each morning was at least a 2-hour affair (with a similarly static menu) due to the extremely slow service. We rarely actually ate together because of the strange sequence in which the food was brought to the table. For all meals, we realized that the chance for error at some point was 100%. It stopped being a question of if they would forget something, but what. One night, at the Thai restaurant, my entire entrée was forgotten. We quickly realized that deviating from the menu wasn’t really an option because these deviations would be incorrect, forgotten, or would take at least double the time. While the staff was friendly and gracious, there seemed to be a management issue that seeped into all aspects of service. In addition to meal service, dishes were often left for a little too long in our rooms, beverages were rarely replaced, or we’d be promised items that never arrived – like reef shoes. More importantly, there wasn’t the personalized service that one would expect at this price. No one caught on to our preferences – even after 7 days. Instead we had to start over every day (like dietary preferences – which we shared on the first day).
If only the service or the food had been a problem, it’s unlikely that I would even be writing this review. Instead, everything together created such a subpar experience that we wonder what happened and why we experienced something so different than what is described in the reviews below. In fact, even the pictures of food posted on Tripadvisor don’t reflect what we received. Ultimately, what we did get was an island resort with virtually no fish.