A South Pacific Idyll as Seen with a Filmmaker’s Eye
Vatulele is the movie-set result created when an award-winning Australian television producer teamed up with a Fiji-born hotel manager with top-drawer experience.
Other island resorts may have locations of similar natural beauty (reef-ringed azure-blue lagoons, powdery white beaches, swaying coconut palms), but where they strain to respect your privacy, here the house policy assumes you’ve come to this laid-back barefoot hideaway to relax and socialize, not necessarily in that order. Excellent dinners are enjoyed in the company of the resort’s other eighteen couples, champagne flows like lemonade, and if you haven’t met a dazzling gaggle of interesting, discerning Australian, American, and European types during your first couple of days, it’s probably because you’ve been hiding in your bure.
Attention to detail is the word of the day: Armloads of ephemeral frangipani blossoms decorate and scent the spacious, airy bungalows, while a Do Not Disturb sign (for those catnaps before cocktail hour) is fashioned out of a cowrie-shell necklace.
Fiji’s diving possibilities are legion, and Vatulele is known as a five-star hotel with five-star diving. But unlike most of the dive-oriented resorts in the Pacific, nondivers here can chose from an embarrassment of activities topside while waiting for their diving Other to come up for air.