Honeymoon on Turtle Island
|The untrammeled beachfront and palm fronts of Turtle Island (Corbis)|
Rare is the sentence that does not associate "Fiji" and "honeymoon." But with over 330 islands throughout the archipelago, where do you go to find secluded beaches lapped by warm South Pacific waters, the fragrant scent of bougainvillea wafting through a thatched-roof hut, and plenty of diving, biking, and hiking to round it all out? Welcome to Turtle Island, home of the honeymooning all-stars.
This private island in the Yasawa Group north of Viti Levu is the ultra-swank romantic getaway. Britney Spears was here in November 2004 for her honeymoon and even took the time to favor us mere mortals with a "Honeymoon Poem" scribbled in the guestbook:
"A honeymoon at last to get away from it all
My assistant Fe gave me the call
I remember it well as she was smilin'
She said it was called Turtle Island
I packed my bags light and quick
Then grabbed my pink dress and favorite lipstick
A meal, a shower, and some ice cream
Then I threw my man down
You know what I mean!"
Well, we know that you didn't get famous with rhymes like that. But back to the point.
With about 500 acres of palm- and banyan-blessed turf fringed by 14 castaway-worthy beaches, it's no wonder Hollywood also pounced on Turtle for filming The Blue Lagoontwice: first in the 1949 Jean Simmons original, and then the steamy 1980 Brooke Shields remake.
The resort has only 14 burestraditional Fijian hutsbut "hut" isn't what we'd call 21-foot-high hand-woven, vaulted ceilings over four-poster beds next to sunken Jacuzzis and an outdoor veranda. That means only 28 people can stay here at a time, while more than 100 staffers cater to your every whim. In fact, come to Turtle Island and a personal Bure Mama will make sure you have everything you needlike champagne to go with your hot tubwhile a personal Bure Buddy will make sure your snorkel fins fit. All activities are included here: scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing, horseback riding, hiking, biking. You can even go deep-sea fishing for wahoo and yellowfin, or hop a boat to a neighboring island to try to land a bonefish. Of course there are four-hand massages to rub away the aches as well. The staffers here can also organize lobster picnics on a secluded beach and then stuff you with fresh fish and a fine Sauvignon Blanc that evening. Fires on the beach, moonlit swims: Sure, marriages start here, but so do families.
Turtle Island (800-255-4347; www.turtlefiji.com) is a Fijian eco-heaven, but you pay to enter those palm-tree-lined gates. Rates for the standard bures are $1,975 per couple per night, all meals and activities included. Rent a more private bure on Vanu Point at the north end of the island for $2,390 per couple per night. For the ultimate in privacy, just go ahead and rent the whole island for only $275,000 a week. Floatplane transfers from Nadi to Turtle Island, a spectacular 30-minute flight low over the waves, cost an additional $790 per couple round trip.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication