Desert island fantasies probably look like Castaway Island, a Fijian resort set on a private atoll of almost 200 tangled acres of rainforest. There are no rooms, just bures — traditional Fijian thatched huts — with all the mod cons and, for the beachside set, hammocks swaying near the doorway. Read on for the full review.

Being “stranded” here is a delight. The on-site dining is excellent, especially the Fijian-Asian fusion eatery Restaurant 1808, which dishes up produce from nearby farms. And lack of in-room wi-fi? You’ll barely miss it with the Pacific Ocean as your backyard.

Where is Castaway Island, Fiji?

Castaway Island, Fiji

A self-dubbed “dot in the ocean”, Castaway, or Qalito Island, is part of the Mamanuca chain of islands to the west of Viti Levu (the country’s main island, home to the international airport at Nadi). It’s reachable by helicopter, seaplane or boat, and takes about an hour and a half from Denarau marina, with South Sea Cruises.

What’s near Castaway Island, Fiji?

Not too much but that’s not counting the 30-plus dive sites less than 20 minutes boat ride away. Otherwise, it’s just the ocean surrounding the resort (and that’s the major drawcard).

Room types

Castaway Island, Fiji

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The traditional bure is where you’ll be bunking — a bungalow-style cabin that features some of the island’s more traditional features, such as a tapa-lined ceiling (made from woven Fijian cloth) and palm-frond thatched roofs. The atmosphere is rustic but luxurious, as each comes equipped with air-con, bathrobes, ceiling fans and toiletries. Some cabins, like the South Beach Bure, have spectacular locations right on the water’s edge, with hammocks hanging out the front.

Restaurants and bars

Castaway Island, Fiji

There’s a pool-side bar and grill at Castaway and three on-site restaurants that have uninterrupted outlooks over the ocean. Restaurant 1808, a Fijian-Asian fusion spot, sources its ingredients from local organic farms (on other islands, that is), with some dishes flavoured by the pristine seawater as per traditional cooking methods. The three-day confit pork belly harnesses this natural brining and the result is delicious. This one’s an adults-only affair but elsewhere, the casual Nuku Marau dishes up hearty burgers and sushi, while Water’s Edge Restaurant is the stunning site of the famous breakfast buffet, alongside an à la carte menu of kokoda (Fiji’s answer to ceviche) and Teriyaki reef fish.

Travel for work

You’ll have to make a concerted effort to get work done on Castaway Island, but it can be done. Wi-fi is only available in common areas so, apologies, but you’ll need to sip on a sundowner as you type.

What you need to know

Kids three and over can get their toes sandy at the on-site kids club, which runs at (almost) all hours for parents who really need that R&R.

Best for: Desert island feels
Design: Rustic
Ambience: Remote
Number of rooms: 65 bures
Rates: From $1440 FJD
Wi-fi: Free, in common areas only
Parking: No parking available
Address: Qalito Island, Fiji
Telephone: +679 666 1233

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Castaway Island, Fiji

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SEE ALSO: 17 of the Best Family-Friendly Resorts in Fiji

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