By Jessie Forbes
In a remote corner of Melanesia a fortunate few will discover a one-of-a-kind twelve square kilometre island that’s home to COMO Laucala Island—a private resort and spa where lush forests, healing plants and paddock to plate dining helps redefine wellness, respite and rejuvenation.
A mere 45 luxury residences occupy a 22 km long walking trail that threads along the island’s sparkling coastline. Each home exists in blissful isolation facing out to the sea- some on white sand beaches while others peek out from the forest canopy. Think roofs made from palm trees, private pools, floating lotus flowers and horseback riding through coconut plantations.
Five exclusive restaurants and bars prioritise not just flavour, but health, wellbeing and self-sustainability. The resort’s 97-hectare farm grows organic crops and is home to quail pens, subterranean coconut crab enclosures, and a piggery, alongside a duck pond and a cattle farm. The majority of ingredients and materials used on Laucala, from fruit and flowers to candles and moisturisers are eco-friendly and produced locally.
Come and explore
Qualified instructors work with guests who want to experience day trips that involve anything from hiking among giant banyans and rare Fijian hardwoods surrounded by pink hibiscus orchids and wild ginger, to mountain biking, fishing, sailing and wakeboarding. There are over 50 dive sites, thriving coral reefs and an abundance of seagrass forests and mangroves.
Surrounded by tropical flowers and trees, In the heart of the jungle the resort’s piece de resistance is the COMO Shambhala Retreat.
Checking into the resort after a 55 minute air charter from Nadi International Airport, a complimentary 60-minute massage already makes the trip worth while. It’s a sampler of signature treatments to come. A recommended favourite: The COMO Shambhala Bath with dry-brushing, a sea-salt, sugar, nut oil and shea butter scrub and massage.
Other blissful alternatives
Try an ensuite massage for men and women that might tickle your fancy, or a range of body and facial treatments that will help to detoxify and cleanse while providing a relaxing hands-on healing experience. To top it off, each guest residence gets its own “Tau” (Fijian for friend), who is on call to help make sure everyone gets what they need and truly enjoys their stay. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags.
On island time
When you’re not chilling in your private pool or being pampered at the spa there’s a wide range of activities to choose from:
• Take a two-hour scenic farm tour
• Get PADI-certified dive instruction
• Play 18 holes at the championship golf course
• Try deep sea game fishing
• Walk or hike on trails that range from one to four hours
• Swim while horse riding on the ‘Long Beach.’