Private patch of paradise
In the far north of Fiji, a pristine island awaits the rich and reclusive
As we tuck into a delicious bowl of kokoda (Fijian-style ceviche) and tempura soft shell crab spider rolls at the nearby Beach Bar, we spot the Red Bull boss and his beautiful girlfriend sunbaking in a secluded cove beside the pool. ‘‘He likes to keep to himself,’’ a staff member tells us.
So did Oprah Winfrey, who is among the well-heeled guests who have parked their j ewel- encrusted thongs beside the plunge pool that seems to teeter on the edge of a cliff at the three-tiered Peninsula Residence. Its pavilions are linked by wooden bridges that step down the island’s rocky far northwest perimeter.
We feel a little sorry for the eversunny staff (there are about 300) who may have fewer than 10 guests on whom to lavish their attentions. Surely they must get bored?
But there is much going on behind the scenes. Laucala’s remoteness means self-sufficiency is important and a short drive to the south coast reveals a small working farm, expansive vegetable gardens and a row of hydroponic greenhouses in which herbs and salad leaves are grown.
Aromatics — jasmine flowers, roses, ylang ylang, lavender, lemongrass — plucked from beds adjacent to the spa are incorporated into homemade shampoos, scrubs and wraps.
A coconut press provides a constant supply of oil for the soaps and body lotions used in villas.
As for motoring through the depths of the South Pacific in a DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible — the state-ofthe-art submarine Mateschitz added to his hi-tech line-up in September — that will have to wait until next time.
From top, the extravagant Peninsula Residence on Laucala Island; all villas have private plunge pools; the Thai-themed Seagrass restaurant