The Wakaya Club – Wakaya, Fiji
Barefoot Luxury in a Private Shangri-La
Of Fiji’s more than 300 islands, very few are privately owned, but Canadian entrepreneur David Gilmour was so taken with the islands’ beauty that he acquired this 2,200-acre slice of paradise in the 1970s and built his dream home, which represents everything that’s special about Fiji.
The ruggedly forested, mountainous interior teems with wild horses, fallow deer, pigs, massive banyan trees, and soaring 600-foot cliffs, while thirty-two deserted shell- strewn beaches ring the perimeter. Gilmour’s good taste is obvious everywhere, especially in the nine ultra-spacious plantation-style cottages. Indigenous natural materials prevail throughout: thatched roofs, distinctive handwoven bamboo walls, and lustrous yaka wood floors.
At the open-air restaurant pavilion, whose cathedral ceiling soars more than 60 feet, muffled lali drums announce the superb meals, which are prepared by four resident chefs utilizing fresh-grilled seafood, local game, and organic vegetables planted from a backyard garden. Dinners are followed by nightly songfests performed by the warmhearted and ever-smiling Fijian staff, the very soul of this resort. You’ll feel like David Gilmour’s incredibly lucky personal guests – until you get your bill.