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                         Top resorTs
                     of The souTh pacific
                        With miles of idyllic beaches, lush landscapes
                        and crystalline waters the natural beauty of
                        the South Pacific is unparalleled. So whether
                        you’re island-hopping in Fiji or exploring the
                        coral in the Great Barrier Reef, relax in the
                        most sumptuous suites while sampling the
                        best the region has to offer.


                                                                                                       ovERWATER BunGAloWS / likuliku

     fiji Time
                                                                                Ten minutes by helicopter (or 45 minutes by char-
     A South Pacific private island resort still reigns supreme as the          ter speed boat) from the international airport,

     most romantic escape a couple could undertake. And when it oc-             this resort, which opened last year, has 45 bures
                                                                                (bungalows) including Fiji’s first overwater bun-
     cupies one of Fiji’s 333 tiny islands, as these three resorts do, your
                                                                                galows. Choose Bure #1 with both sunrise and
     getaway will also be filled with gourmet cuisine, hidden coves, still
                                                                                sunset views ($1,365 per day with three meals in-
     turquoise seas and the happiest staff on the planet.
                                                                                cluded). Even from your spacious and airy separate
                                                       By MARGiE GoldSMiTh
                                                                                bathroom pavilion, you can gaze out at the lagoon
                                                                                from the oversized bathtub or look down into the
                                                     BuRE inTERioR / likuliku   lagoon and watch the passing parade of fish visible
                                                                                through a long glass panel next to the sink (and an-
                                                                                other one on the bedroom floor). Climb down the
                                                                                ladder from your deck and snorkel the reef to view
                                                                                some 1,200 varieties of fish, swim in the sheltered
                                                                                lagoon, windsurf, sail, kayak or join a local guide on
                                                                                a hike to an ancient Fijian village.
                                                                                  Try an otherworldly treatment at the Tatadra
                                                                                Spa on the beach, and listen to the sound of the sea
                                                                                lapping onto the sand. Two convivial bars include
                                                                                one at the tip of the jetty and the Dua Tale bar on
                                                                                the deck for perfect sunset views.
                                                                                Contact: Group General Manager Steve Antsey,
                                                                                Phone: 679-666-3344; Fax: 679-664-0014;


           vAlE o BEdRooM / ThE WAkAyA CluB & SPA                         vAlE 0 livinG RooM / ThE WAkAyA CluB & SPA

            The WAkAyA CLuB & SPA
            in the spot where keith Richards fell out of a tree            on The radar
            at The Wakaya Club & Spa (the same private beach               if long-haul travel to this Pacific island
            where Tori Spelling had her wedding), there’s now a            group is not a private jet possibility, there
            sign: “Watch For Falling Stones.” Wakaya is owned              is now a nonstop commercial option. Air
            by david Gilmour, founder of Fiji Water, and is set            Pacific flies from los Angeles to nadi
            on 2,200 acres complete with a thriving Fijian village.        international Airport in Fiji six times a
            Arrive on Air Wakaya’s private plane from the nadi             week. The Tabua Cabin, Air Pacific’s
            international Airport (35 minutes). have your own              premium class, offers ergonomically de-
            private picnic in a secluded beach spot, complete              signed seats, state-of-the-art individual
            with fine china, linens, chilled wine, a cold lobster          entertainment systems and fine wines
            lunch (or whatever you desire), and radio transmitter          and cuisine.
            for when you’d like to return to the resort.                   Contact: General Manager
              Take a private hike to the ruins of a nearby Fijian          Richard yamashita, Phone: (310) 568-8676;
            village dating to 700 BC, then return for a soothing           Fax: (310) 568-8677;
            Fijian treatment at the lagoon-facing spa, a tran-             Email:;
            quil sanctuary with a Watsu pool, giant Buddha and             Website:
            private meals served al fresco. Wakaya’s ten la-
            goon-facing bures (bungalows from 1,650 to 4,500               This season, luxury resort management
            square feet) are just steps from the ocean. Celine             company Six Senses takes over Fiji’s Va-
            dion, Pierce Brosnan and nicole kidman rent Vale               tulele island Resort. The most luxuri-
            O, Gilmour’s 12,000-square-foot, three-bedroom                 ous and private accommodations to book
            hilltop residence with a Jacuzzi and personal staff            will be The Point bures at either end of
            of six including chef and driver ($7,600 per night).           the stretch of beachfront.
            Contact: General Manager Robert Ring,                          Contact: General Manager nicholas Juett,
            Phone: 679-344-8128; Fax: 679-344-8406;                        Phone: 679-655-0300; Fax: 679-672-0062;
            Email:;                               Email:;
            Website:                                        Website:


                                          dAvui SuiTE BEdRooM / RoyAl dAvui

                       ROyAL DAVui
                       This resort, nestled on ten acres of a small but
                       lush tropical island, offers enough privacy for you
                       to skinny dip in your own plunge pool and sunbathe
                       unobserved on your deck. A 40-minute chopper
                       ride from the airport, Royal Davui has 16 vales,
                       each positioned on the edge of a cliff. Choose the
                       1,270-square-foot Davui Suite (#12) with indoor/
                       outdoor living room, two louvered ceilings, sepa-
                       rate garden, two spacious sundecks and plunge
                       pool ($1,370 per night). A fresh loaf of banana bread
                       awaits your arrival (the owner’s mother’s secret
                       recipe). Throughout your stay you can choose to
                       dine privately on your terrace, but at Royal davui,
                       life centers around the Banyan Bar and the daily
                       specialty drink.
                         Royal davui, which opened in 2004, has a swim-
                       ming pool, spa, marine center, kayaks, scuba cen-
                       ter, private picnics by boat to sand spits and snor-
                       keling trips to the outer reef... but who’d want to
                       leave when there’s a pristine living reef just a few
                       feet from the resort’s beach?
                       Contact: General Manager Anthony kramer,
                       Phone: 679-330-7090; Fax: 679-336-1253;


                                                                                                            PAvilion villA / BEdARRA iSlAnd

     BesT Barrier reef
                                                                                   BeDARRA iSLAnD
                                                                                   Beloved by honeymooners and privacy-seeking ce-

                                                                                   lebrities since 1987, this private hideaway off the
                                                                                   coast of Queensland, near Mission Beach, accom-

     Australia’s aquatic wonderland, the Great Barrier Reef, stretches 1,600       modates just 32 guests in 16 villas nestled among
                                                                                   granite boulders and thick vines, lending it a quality
     miles and encompasses 900 islands, only a few of which are inhabited.
                                                                                   of both wildness and exclusivity. By far the most ex-
     With several iconic resorts—and one impressive newcomer—the re-
                                                                                   ceptional villa options are the two elevated Pavil-
     gion deserves its blossoming reputation as a top shelf luxury escape,
                                                                                   ions. Each is housed within of a pair of glass cubes
     with amenities and services to rival the world’s best.                        (one a bedroom, the other a lounge) separated by
                                                           By AdAM MCCulloCh       a deck with private heated plunge pool overlooking
                                                                                   Wedgerock Bay (from around $2,200 per person for
                                                    livinG AREA / PAvilion villA   two-night minimum, all inclusive).
                                                                                     Grab a bottle of champagne from the restaurant
                                                                                   terrace’s open bar and take in Bedarra’s scenery:
                                                                                   a landscaped waterfall cascades to the pool deck,
                                                                                   which is surrounded by verdant rainforest. The calm
                                                                                   waters and secluded beaches beyond—frequented
                                                                                   by loggerhead turtles—are partitioned by natural
                                                                                   granite outcrops and are easily accessed by the
                                                                                   resort’s self-drive boats. From July to november
                                                                                   watch migrating humpback whales, or discreetly
                                                                                   starspot from the same place. Past guests have
                                                                                   included Cameron diaz, Salma hayek and Jennifer
                                                                                   Contact: General Manager/Signature Resorts and
                                                                                   lodges Guy heywood, Phone: 61-2-8296-8010;


                                           WindWARd PAvilion / QuAliA

               Qualia—located at the posh end of hamilton island
               in Queensland’s Whitsunday archipelago—has all           oTher Barrier BeauTies
               the hallmarks of a major player including elegant        DOuBLe iSLAnD
               design, huge private suites and a prime position on      A favorite with keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt
               the Coral Sea. The resort is big on amenities (dive      and Charlize Theron, this private island
               boats, helicopters and sailing) while the friendly-      (which must be booked in its entirety)
               yet-discreet staff are especially sensitive to the ex-   comes complete with an indoor cinema.
               pectations of international guests.                      Contact: Sales Manager Michael heaver,
                   denmark-trained local architect Chris Becking-       Phone: 61-740-57-6666;
               ham combined Scandinavian simplicity with his love       Email:
               of Papua new Guinean long houses to create a se-         au; Webite:
               ries of 60 ocean-facing pavilions set among native
                   Spa Qualia, a tranquil space anchored by four
               reflecting pools, offers signature treatments like
               indigenous hot stone massage.
                   The best accommodations are the Windward
               Pavilions (there are 27), each of which has a pri-
               vate plunge pool (Pavilions 6 and 12 are the most
               secluded). But the Beach house Suite contains a
               full size swimming pool, ten person dining room
               and easy access to the helipad (around $2,000 per
               night per suite). The resort won’t disclose celebrity
               clientele but our sources revealed Misha Barton as
               a recent guest.
               Contact: General Manager Jason M Friedman,
               Phone: 61 7 4948 9471; Fax: 61 7 4948 9532; Email:
                                                                        iSlAnd SEREniTy / douBlE iSlAnd
     ; Website: www.qualia.

                                           ThE PAvilion / lizARd iSlAnd

               LizARD iSLAnD
               As Australia’s northernmost resort—about an
               hour’s flight from Cairns—Lizard island feels like
               a luxe outpost for a discovery Channel show. The
                                                                          RESoRT luxuRy / hAyMAn
               scuba diving is exceptional—think giant potato cod,
               sharks and a riot of fish and coral. There’s an Azure
                                                                          oTher Barrier BeauTies
               Spa where divers can unwind after a long day be-
               neath the waves. dinner is served on a curved deck         hAymAn, GReAT BARRieR Reef

               that fans out across the grassy dune like a giant          The giant lagoon and swim-up rooms

               clamshell.                                                 make this resort perfect for those want-

                   The resort opened in the 1980s but was reno-           ing to set themselves among a small, af-

               vated extensively in 2003. its 40 private villas sit on    fluent scene.

               a rise overlooking the water and are connected by          Contact: General Manager Roger Wright,

               a boardwalk (the namesake lizards scurry under-            Phone: 61-7-4940-1234;

               neath). All rooms come equipped with iPod dock,            Email:;

               complimentary minibar and daybeds, but The Pa-             Webite:

               vilion is the only room with a private plunge pool
               (from around $2,350 per person for two nights).            ORPheuS iSLAnD

               Australian model Megan Gale is a fan.                      This 21-room resort claims a seven-

               Contact: General Manager/Signature Resorts                 mile national park to itself. What draws

               and lodges Guy heywood, Phone: 61 2 8296 8010;             guests, apart from the solitude, is the

               Email:                              degustation, picnic hampers and gour-

               Website:                         met weekends.
                                                                          Contact: General Managers
                                                                          Aaron and Bridget Murphy,
                                                                          Phone: 61-7-4777-7377;


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