This is the Fijian island resort of your dreams. Just 25 villas in the middle of the Coral Sea. Your own private patch of beach. And private pool. Yes, this is one of the most luxurious resorts in Fiji. And the natural beauty here? It’s just as five-star as the accommodation.
Laucala Island has been owned by Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz since 2003 and for years was a hidden, exclusive enclave accessible only to the likes of Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the end of 2021, the COMO hotel group took over the management of the resort and now the luxury idyll is open to anyone with time on their side and money to burn.
Hurtle around the former coconut plantation in a golf buggy, dividing your time between the lagoon pool (which features a glass cube pool within a pool) and the 18-hole championship course that challenged even former world number one Adam Scott. Your “tau” (Fijian for friend) can organise daily activities, whether it’s a boat trip to Long Beach for some snorkelling followed by a private Champagne lunch or horseriding along the beach.
COMO Laucala Island is all-inclusive - the only extras you’ll pay for are outer-reef activities, boat charters, game fishing, surfing and specialty wines, Champagnes and spirits. That piña colada in your hand? All part of the experience.
Where is COMO Laucala Island?
As the resort is on a private island in the north-east corner of Fiji, you’ll need to take a 55-minute charter flight from Nadi International Airport. COMO Laucala Island can organise transfers and provides a lounge while you wait. Of course, if you have your own plane, that’s no problem at all - the island’s airstrip can accommodate “mid-sized business jets'' and 20 per cent of guests choose to fly directly in on private jets.
What’s near COMO Laucala Island?
Absolutely nothing… except a tropical water wonderland featuring coral reefs and myriad fish and turtles (and the occasional reef shark). Enjoy a sunset cruise on the island’s yacht, Riviera, or take a snorkelling tour to the reef. There’s also kayaking, paddleboarding, jet-skiing and, if you’re game, kite-surfing.
You want space? The “entry level” villas have one bedroom and a minimum of 1500 square metres. That’s enough room for a bedroom and oversized bathroom, as well as an additional lounge villa. The interiors are lovely, featuring stone floors, lots of timber and Fijian handicrafts, but it’s what lies outside that really impresses. A private pool and cabana, dining bure and yoga deck, outdoor bath and shower. Day beds galore and a beach that beckons.
There are also two- and three-bedroom residences for larger groups.
Want to really splash out? The two-bedroom Wai Residence is an overwater villa with a private pool carved into rock, while the Udu Residence (Oprah’s favourite) is at the top of the island, with access to a totally private beach. You can even apply to stay at Mateschitz’s own hilltop retreat - but that will set you back $US45,000 per night.
All 25 residences come with 24-hour butler service.
Restaurants and bars
There are five restaurants and bars:
Plantation House is the island’s fine diner (and is home to a knockout wine cellar that features some of the best drops in the world). It’s a great spot for breakfast - and on your first morning, you’ll be presented with a “tau tray”, which features house-made pastries, a coconut chia pudding, COMO’s famous “real toast” (nuts and seeds, avocado crush, vine tomatoes, cucumber and basil), smoked salmon and more. Enjoy it from the verandah of the plantation-style building, looking out over a sea of palm trees.
Seagrass Lounge, at the tip of the island, is a tree-top restaurant offering Thai flavours and, if you book ahead for a small group, teppanyaki, where your private chef will cook up lobster and prawns. A magical spot.
Rock Lounge is the only place to be at sunset for your choice of cocktail and views out across Seagrass Bay.
Beach Bar is a toes-in-the-sand open-air diner for casual lunches (moreish lobster rolls and crispy fish tacos) and lovo feasts (food cooked in the earth oven), which are accompanied by sips of kava and Fijian songs.
Pool Bar offers drinks and light bites between laps (or floating).
Not only is there Wagyu and Angus cattle on site, as well as pigs and chickens, the island has substantial vegetable and herb gardens. The resort’s executive chef, Dan Boller, says he won’t grow things that locals are selling. “I want to support the local guys.” Water comes from under the island and is desalinated, while the team at COMO Laucala Island is setting up a bottling facility to eliminate all plastics. No trees on the island are cut without the owner’s permission.
Travel for work
If you must (and it’s not recommended), there is a desk in each residence. Wi-fi is fast and your “tau” can organise anything else you may need.
Although every guest over the age of 18 receives a complimentary 60-minute massage during their stay, you’ll want to book in for one of COMO’s signature treatments at the COMO Shambhala Retreat. The COMO Shambhala Bath features dry-brushing, a sea salt, sugar, nut oil and shea butter scrub, a bath and a signature massage.
What you need to know
Yes, it’s luxurious. But COMO Laucala Island also has a whole lot of heart. As with every Fijian resort, it’s the people who make it special.
Best for: Couples and families
Number of rooms: 25 residences
Rates: From $US5600 per residence per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Yes, if you have a private plane
Address: Laucala Island, Fiji
Telephone: +679 888 0077