If you read my post from last week on how I transformed a typically romantic destination into an epic girls trip, you probably already know that Turtle Island stole my heart. I’d say it was a gradual feeling that crept over me but in truth, it wasn’t; it was immediate. As soon as my toes touched the soft, white sand, I knew I was someplace special. Just like the countless turtles they save and nurture each year, I felt a little bit of that healing power, too. In short, Turtle Island was nothing I expected and everything I needed.
1) The “bures” have character.
Turtle Island has 14 “bures,” to accommodate the 14 couples (or friends) visiting the island at any given time. These authentic villas are eco-friendly and built by skilled Fijian craftsmen. While I can only speak to Bure #5, I’m told that all the bures feature the same design elements—separate sleeping, dressing, and bathing areas to name a few. That said, there are small differences among them in terms of layout and furniture arrangement. In true romantic fashion, there was a bottle of bubbly awaiting us inside, freshly plucked flowers on the bed and a gorgeous “Welcome Home” arrangement on each of our beds. There’s also a stocked refrigerator, a hot tub that you’ll never need and oddly charming side-by-side toilets in case can’t stand a moment apart.
2) The islanders are angels.
Oh, my! Where do I even begin with the islanders? Knowing that this is a 5-star resort and a popular spot for celebrity honeymooners (I’m looking at you, Britney Spears), I wasn’t quite prepared for the niceties that awaited me upon arrival. Most staff members live right on Turtle Island so they’ve really formed a bond that is like a family. Each couple has a “Bure Mama” who caters to your every whim, no matter how serious or spoiled it may be. At first, I was hesitant to ask our Mama for anything but my independent nature eventually gave way. Best of all, there are themed cultural performances slated throughout the week. My favorite? On our first day, we had the pleasure of listening to a children’s choir from the nearby village.
3) The beaches are out of a movie…literally!
Not that I have much experience with private beaches but the ones on Turtle Island did not disappoint. First off, there are 14 of them total, which means plenty of “alone time” for couples. Beaches vary in size and scope, with some located near a few of the bures and others in complete isolation. Getting is easy, thanks to little go-carts and should you run out of wine like we did, another is just a walkie-talkie call away. Turtle Island’s beaches are even more special because several of them served as the backdrop for “Blue Lagoon.” Some of the beaches are even named after the beloved characters.My friend and I opted for a few beach picnics, which is about as lovely as it sounds—fine wines, organic fare and sweet treats—the works.
4) The environment is protected.
Speaking of the food on Turtle Island, it’s top-notch. I’ve stayed at other resorts where, due to demand, the kitchens had to source food from other continents. Being so remote, I wondered if Fiji did the same. Lucky for the guests, that’s not the case. Most (but not all) of the fruits, vegetables and herbs served at meals grow in the gardens. Spanning more than 5 acres, it takes three full-time staff members to run this operation. With 152 raised concrete block beds, the chef has his pick of ingredients—from sweet corn and asparagus to pumpkins, peppers and melons. In keeping with their eco-friendly focus, there’s also a solar panel farm on the island and on the neighboring island where many staff members live (a gift from owner, Richard).
5) It feels like home.
Is it strange that I felt right at home half-way around the world from my real home? Maybe, but my good friend and wellness trainer recently repeated her mantra to me it’s everything: “I am home in me.” From the minute the seaplane doors opened and I was carried to the beach, I felt a deep sense of love despite not knowing a single face in the crowd. That feeling grew stronger throughout my stay. Even our Bure Mama adapted to our personalities, giving me the space I craved and catering to my friend’s vegetarian meal requests. Best of all were the nightly cava ceremonies where the whole staff sings for the guests. On two such occasions, I swallowed my pride and belted out a few songs of my own. To me, that was the ultimate sign I was letting go.
What far-flung corner of the world wowed you beyond belief? Tell me in the comments below!
This post is in collaboration with Turtle Island who hosted my stay and sponsored my flight. All opinions are my own.
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