The jungle-covered slopes of Laucala Island look like a prehistoric lost world: a pristine wilderness ringed by white sand beaches flecked with black volcanic rocks and knots of mangroves hemmed in by the cerulean waters of the South Pacific. Owned by billionaire Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, Laucala has been a favourite among in-the-know jetsetters since opening in 2009, offering discretion and privacy across its 25 luxury Residences; available to rent individually or as part of a full island buy-out.
Last month marked the dawn of a new era for the island resort as it reopened as COMO Laucala Island, joining the Singapore-based hotel company that now has 14 luxurious hotels and resorts across the world. Spread out over 5.4 square miles, the 25 South Pacific-style villas are more like private estates, dotted across the northern half of island on rocky bluffs, private beaches and emerald lagoons, each with private pools, an abundance of outdoor space and the services of a private butler.
New signature COMO touches include COMO Shambhala Retreat, where natural herbs, spices, flowers and fruits are used in massages and body treatments alongside river stones, crystals and volcanic soils from the island, and a COMO Shambhala menu provides balanced nutrition for conscientious diners. A 240-acre organic farm supplies fresh produce and livestock including quail and wagyu beef, while local fishermen provide fresh fish daily.
After arriving on Laucala, either in their own private aircraft or a flight from Fiji’s international airport, guests can plot an itinerary that includes exploring the dramatic landscape on foot, mountain bike or horseback; diving and snorkelling in the cobalt-coloured waters; or chartering a vessel from the island’s fleet of yachts and catamarans.
Back on the island, there’s a David McLay Kidd championship 18-hole golf course and tennis courts for active guests, and a garage full of water sports gear and marine toys, including jet skis and underwater scooters. Residences at COMO Laucala Island start from US $5,600 per night.
WHAT: COMO Laucala Island
WHERE: Laucala Island, Fiji