Hotel Of The Week: Vatulele Island Resort

Fancy your own desert island? That's what you (almost) get at Vatulele Island Resort on Fiji. Luxury style, of course. Well, if the South Pacific's good enough for Nicole and Keith...
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The Independent Travel

Hidden among coconut palms, by a turquoise lagoon, Vatulele Island Resort is intimate and exclusive - and footwear is optional at all times. The only accommodation on this tiny island, it has just 18 bures, or villas, all well spaced out, each with a private stretch of beach. That sense of splendid isolation is confirmed by the absence of newspapers, TVs, phones and computers. Life is simple here - in a super-luxurious sort of way. If you need room service, just plant a flag in the sand and one of the 110 staff will tend to your needs.

The location

Vatulele is south of Fiji's largest island, Viti Levu. To get here, you'll have to take a 25-minute flight on the daily seaplane from the international airport.

The comfort factor

Welcome - or rather, bula - is spelt out in hibiscus petals outside your door. Inside, they're strewn across your bed. (This floral display is a clear indication that you're in luxury territory.) The open-plan villas are split level - walk down from your bedroom to a living and dining area. The interiors are richly decorated and the architecture is a stunning mix of rendered walls topped with a traditional Fijian lofty thatched roof. Each bure has a verandah with hammock and shower. A sandy walkway leads to your private beach, where you'll find two sunbeds beneath a thatched canopy. If money is no object, book the opulent Grand Honeymoon Villa, or The Point, which has two pools and dedicated personal staff.

The bathroom

The spacious, stone-floored en-suite bathrooms offer views across the lagoon. There are no baths, instead a large double shower, with extensive supply of Molton Brown toiletries.

The food and drink

Most guests dine together at a central table in the communal area, choosing meals from the gourmet menu. Lobster, snapper and octopus are recurring favourites, but the chef can also cater for vegetarians and other requirements. The portions are generous and the champagne certainly flows. You can choose to be as sociable as you like during your stay, so if you want to take a break from communal dining, you dine in private in one of the "special locations" - the beach at sunset, a secluded hideaway, the wine cellar...

The people

This is honeymoon central, whether you're tying the knot or renewing your vows. (You can get hitched here.) Most guests are American and the rest are from Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The area

With such a perfect setting in which to relax, do you really want to go far? If you insist, you can take a short walk to the nearby hidden limestone caves, trek to the lighthouse, absorb a little Fijian culture on a trip to the local village. There are some great snorkelling and diving opportunities - you can do a Padi course here. Tennis, volleyball, sea kayaking and fishing are also offered.

The access

Children aged over 12 are welcome, although this is a resort aimed at adults. Special arrangements can also be made for guests with disabilities.

The damage

This had better be a special occasion: the deluxe bures cost from $1,026 (£603) per night, including all meals, drinks and activities except for diving and fishing. The minimum stay is four nights. Bridge and Wickers (020-7483 6555; bridgeand wickers.co.uk) offers seven nights from £1,550 per person, based on two sharing, including seaplane transfers and full-board accommodation with drinks. International flights cost from £1,080 return.

The address

Vatulele Island Resort, Vatulele, Fiji (00 679 672 0300; vatulele.com).

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