OFF THE BEATEN PATH: FIJI

Written By: Jonathan Soroff

TURTLE ISLAND, FIJI

Anyone reading this likely considers Nantucket to be the pearl of the North Atlantic, but in the South Pacific, that gem is Turtle Island, Fiji. Upon arrival by seaplane (a stunning one-hour trip from Nadi, Fiji), guests are greeted on the beach by the entire front-of-house staff, flowers in their hair, singing, hugging and saying (without a trace of irony), “Welcome home.” The private island where The Blue Lagoon was filmed, Turtle Island has space for only thirty guests, housed in luxurious cottages called bures. Each couple is assigned a personal concierge, or Bure Mama, who coordinates private days on spectacular beaches, dine-outs at absurdly romantic vistas, spa treatments, afternoon snacks, bubble baths, perfectly chilled martinis and more.

The Yasawa islands boast some of the best diving, snorkeling, fishing and relaxing in the world. Insider tip: Kava, a drink made from a ground root mixed with water, is a mild hallucinogen that numbs the mouth and induces a euphoric buzz, and it’s central to Fijian daily life. You can ask for different strengths, with “high tide” meaning weak, “low tide” meaning strong and “tsunami” meaning fill ’er up. Always observe the etiquette of bowing your head, clapping once and saying “Bula!” (“Cheers!”) before drinking, and then clapping three times upon draining your cup.

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