Seeing the Vatulele island from the island hopper for the first time, I felt like Christopher Colombus when he discovered America. I knew right away this was the place I’ve always wished to find. I took in the beauty of the rich green vegetation spreading miles along the land, the white sand beaches, and the blue lagoons surrounding it. At the end of the beach, I could see an abandoned ship buried in the sand, which added a mysterious feel to the island.
Once my group and I landed on the green rural runway, I couldn’t wait to get through the jungle to find out what this place was about.
When we arrived at the resort, we received a warm welcome from the staff. The locals who make up the staff of the resort are unspoiled by Western influences and maintain their gentleness and warmth.
We had the privilege of meeting the new owners of the island who bought this paradise around 3 years ago. They were as genuine as these Fijians. Not to waste any time, they immediately took us on a tour around the island. The first stop was the red prawn lake. It was a mystical place, which I suggest for everyone to see. Well, at least if they’re lucky enough to be shown where it is. On the cliff spreading along the island you could see the owner’s beautiful home, which was splurging over the reefs like Poseidon’s castle. Complemented with blue sky and rich white clouds, the scenery created a picture-perfect view.
All I could think about was, “Oh boy, and I came here for only 4 days to work.” Not that I don’t enjoy producing our VIVA GLAM photo shoots, but I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy and see everything.
On top of it, the resort was in the middle of a renovation and was closed to public. So we had the whole place to ourselves.
What made this place even more magical to me were the butterflies. Every time I walked from the beach to the bure I was staying at, the butterflies would group around me and kind of “walk” me all the way to the door. Since I love nature, I didn’t mind the giant frogs warming up their bellies on the porch throughout the night.
The nights were so peaceful, and I was thinking that this must be just like living in paradise. And I don’t want to go home. Oh wait! Isn’t that a song by David Lee Roth?
During my short stay I learned a lot about the natives who work hard to make everyone’s stay an amazing experience.
I learned, for example, that they grow their own vegetables and make the traditional fabric called masi, which they paint on and turn it into tapa art.
They also make their own coconut oil. Did you know that it takes 30 coconuts to make a small bottle of coconut oil?
The resort was still being renovated, so I can’t wait to come back and see it when it’s finished. The abandoned ship at the end of the beach I saw from the island hopper is going to turn into something spectacular that no other island has. Not to spoil anything, so I will just talk about it in the follow-up feature in one of our upcoming issues. But for now, I can already guarantee that this place will become the number one getaway for everyone who wants to escape the Western world and know what it’s like to live in paradise.
So stay tune and in the mean time check out www.vatulele.com.
Facts about Vatulele Island
The island is a spectacular 31 square kilometers in area and similar in shape to a footprint.
The resort is located on one of Fiji’s most stunning white sandy beaches.
Apart from the resort, the only other inhabitants live in 4 native Fijian villages with a population of around 1000 located on the Northern side of the island. These people form most of the resort’s staff.
The waters around Vatulele Island are abound with colorful reef fish, game fish and magnificent reefs making it an ideal holiday destination for diving and snorkeling.
The flight from Nadi to Vatulele Island takes approximately 25 minutes.
Did you know that it takes 30 raw coconuts to make a small bottle of coconut oil?
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