Dramatic sunsets are the name of the game on Turtle Island. Located half an hour sea plane from Nadi in Fiji, this hidden gem is dappled in pink and purple every evening. On our fourth wedding anniversary, just as the sun sinks behind the hills of one of the neighbouring Yasawa Islands across the bay, we renew our wedding vows. The wind is in our hair, the waves lap at our ankles and the staff choir serenades us from the sand. It’s impossibly romantic – add in a bottle of Moët & Chandon, a white sun dress, a crisp linen shirt, and it’s an anniversary we’ll always remember.
After some bubbles, we’re off to cocktails with the rest of the guests. Not our guests – the island’s. Only fourteen luxury bures (beach chic open plan suites is a better description than bure), with no more than around twenty or so guests at any one time, means there’s a 3:1 staff to guest ratio. We’re all made to feel like family – in fact, we’re told this is our ‘Turtle Island family’. We have communal breakfasts and dinners at a long table on the sand, we sit under the stars and trade stories about life back home.
The big topic of choice, of course, is weddings. This spot is made for honeymooners. All inclusive, four poster beds, in-room hot tubs, ten private beaches, day beds, sunrise horse riding, champagne whenever, wherever you like – you cannot get anymore ‘honeymoon’ than this.
When we join the group to share our news, everybody celebrates. More champagne. Lobster. Red wine. The next night, when another couple celebrates their 25 year anniversary, we all celebrate. And on the third night, when a couple arrive from England to get married, we celebrate. Because, why not!
There’s certainly no shortage of places for their elopement to take place, with ten different private beaches to choose from.
Shell Beach is perfect for a rockstar speedboat arrival and snorkelling, Long Beach is for sunrise horse rides, Cliff Point has its own plunge pool and garden and of course there’s Devil’s Beach, famous for appearing in the movie Blue Lagoon. Every day couples can spend the afternoon at a different beach, dropped off with a packed gourmet picnic; one esky full of food, another with whatever you feel like drinking; be it a carafe of G&Ts, a bottle of rosé or more Moët.
It’s strictly one couple per beach, and once you’re there, no one gets in or out without you radioing them in. Turquoise water, white sand, swaying palm trees with a hammock swung between them – every single beach is picture perfect.
Beyond the beaches, we spend an afternoon in one of the beachside spa’s couple treatment rooms, we get up early to go fishing (our catch goes straight on a coal BBQ for guests to snack on before lunch), we do open air yoga, we dine alone on a floating candlelit dinner table, where courses arrive via speedboat, we join the staff for nightly Kava and singing, and most importantly we relax.
We turn off our phones (there’s no wifi except at the gift store), we pull out our books, we nap in hammocks, we snorkel off the jetty. If you’re after a honeymoon without a worry in the world, this is it.
Ms Zebra: My eyes are welling with jealousy and happiness all at once! What a romantic, relaxing and loving place to visit. Put this one on the list!
About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.