From the capacious beachfront villas with private gardens and infinity pools to the faultless, produce-driven cuisine and attentive service, Kokomo gets it right on all counts. Whether you do nothing or the lot, this is the island resort par excellence, its relative isolation granting guests the pleasure of partaking in a wide range of sea- and land-based experiences in a pristine environment. Even the traditional welcome and farewell (including the famous Isa Lei) sung by staff are a cut above – the gentle, sweetly harmonising vocals lingering in the memory.
Also known as Yaukuve Levu, Kokomo Private Island is 45 minutes by one of Kokomo’s own seaplanes or helicopters from Nadi Airport or 25 minutes from Suva. Eighty kilometres due south of Suva, it’s close to Fiji’s fourth largest island, Kadavu, and the subaquatic wonders of the Great Astrolabe Reef.
The airy, thatched-roof, bure-style villas come with one, two or three bedrooms and are located on the island’s eastern and western beaches. Stunningly appointed and generously proportioned, they benefit from high ceilings decorated with woven matting and exposed beams lashed together with magi magi, or coconut husk fibre. One-bedroom villas feature a separate lounge and dining area, kitchenette with Nespresso machine (and utterly addictive cookies), king bed, walk-in robe, oversized bathroom with twin basins, rainfall shower and freestanding tub. Tech includes IPTV with media hub and VOD, and Yamaha Bluetooth speaker.
Food and drinks
Utilising a large kitchen farm and with some of the world’s best seafood at their disposal, executive chef Cory Campbell (ex Noma, Copenhagen) and head chef Caroline Oakley lead a team of 36 across three waterside dining venues. There’s tender char-grilled octopus and Spanish mackerel kokoda (aka Fijian ceviche) at main food hub the Beach Shack, pillowy dumplings, silky scallops and homestyle fish curries at rustic and charming Walker D’Plank, and wood-fired pizza and house-made gelato at milk-bar-style Kokocabana by the main pool (also the location of the kids and teens clubs). Carnivores, fear not, the likes of barbecue wagyu beef and lamb racks also make regular appearances. Meanwhile, Louis, the resort’s French sommelier, can pour you 13 different types of champagne – or a nice 2009 Bordeaux from Château Palmer.
For business travellers
Kokomo crafts corporate retreats on a bespoke basis. While there is no dedicated conference room, one of the resort’s five capacious residences (each with three to six bedrooms) can be tech’d up to function as a meeting space, and they all have free high-speed wi-fi, IPTV and VOD. Team-building activities include obstacle courses, a sailing regatta and group sessions with a naturopath, where participants learn to concoct their own skin cream using local and organic ingredients.
For wellness travellers
Kokomo’s resident health practitioner, Kim Campbell, can tailor a program to suit your wellbeing requirements, drawing on her knowledge of nutritional medicine, herbal medicine and iridology, or you can opt for one of two wellness packages – Activate, or Rest and Restore. There’s a full gym with a dedicated personal trainer and panoramic views of the island, a tennis court and daily yoga classes (one-on-one sessions also available). Set within an edenic tropical garden, Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary has a cathedral-like pavilion for guests to bliss out in following a face or body treatment using Sodashi products. The spa also houses Fiji’s only Moroccan hammam, the venue for a three-step treatment that includes body exfoliation using a kessa glove and black soap.
The fab factor
If Mother Nature permits, go snorkelling with a squadron of reef manta ray – the ballerinas of the marine world – under the guidance of Cliona, Kokomo’s knowledgeable and enthusiastic marine biologist.
Best for: Luxury travellers
Rooms: 21 beachfront villas and five luxury residences
From: $3625 per night
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Address: Yaukuve Levu Island, Fiji
Phone: + 679 776 4441