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Six Reasons to Indulge at Kokomo Private Island Resort in Fiji

If one thinks of Fiji, one thinks of swaying palms, balmy weather, and warm, multi-hued turquoise waters full of abundant marine life. Fiji can also lay claim to having kind and friendly locals who manage to always do their utmost to make visitors feel at home while in this South Pacific paradise.

Fiji has 333 beautiful islands in the archipelago while only 111 are inhabited. On several islands there are lovely resorts paying homage to Fiji’s bounty. However, if you are truly seeking something magical, secluded, and exclusive, you’ll want to take your significant other and hightail it to the unforgettable Kokomo Private Island Resort. Here are six reasons why you’ll want to immediately call your travel advisor. You can thank me later.

1. Nonstop Service from the West Coast to Nadi International Airport      

Award-wining Fiji Airways offers daily, nonstop service from LAX to Nadi (pronounced Nandee), its hub, and thrice weekly nonstop service from SFO, all on modern A350-900 XWBs. Flights depart both cities in the evenings, cross the international date line and arrive at dawn in time for a full day of Pacific pleasures.

Fiji Air’s business class on the A350 has full Wi-Fi connectivity so work can get completed before touching down. And A350s are quiet, in part due to the Rolls-Royce Trent engine and other engineering marvels resulting in a 40-percent noise reduction. Configuration is 1-2-1, all with direct aisle access, a 60 to 62-inch seat pitch, and fully lie-flat seats.

2. Less than an Hour From Nadi

On arrival in Nadi, Kokomo guests are whisked five minutes away to Kokomo’s luxury private hangar. There is Vieuve Cliquot and snacks to enjoy or a steaming cappuccino with fresh bakery items from Kokomo’s pastry chef. It was there I had a warm almond croissant so inspiring it would have surely caused Marie Antoinette to alter her infamous statement.

Guests and luggage are weighed and moments later alight on either a 13-seat twin otter DHC-6 sea plane or an A350 five-seater helicopter. Both take about 45-minutes and aircraft selection is determined by pilots in accordance with daily weather patterns. As it happened, I took the seaplane to Kokomo and the helicopter to Nadi. Both were comfortable, offering stupendous island views in both directions and on the return, an astounding view of the mighty, meandering Sigatoka River.

3. Villas & Residences Fit for Royalty, Designed for Comfort

On arrival to Kokomo’s jetty or helipad, guests are welcomed by serenade then taken to their private villa or residence by golf cart. There’s a total of 21 oceanfront one, two, and three-bedroom villas, half on the island’s Sunrise side where I stayed, and half on the island’s Sunset side. There are also six grand hilltop residences comprising three to six-bedrooms containing 3,272 to a whopping 11,916 square feet. All grand residences are equipped with a personal golf cart, butler, and nanny, ensuring every need is seamlessly met. 

The villa’s gates provide entrée to lush greenery and is rock walled for privacy. Leading to a private garden, guests are surrounded by verdant, impeccably manicured surrounds. The outdoor deck is comfortably furnished and includes a strategically placed hammock between two perfectly positioned palm trees overlooking a slice of heaven – a pristine, white sandy beach. A large private pool and secluded, massive outdoor shower completes the outdoors.

The interior of the spacious villa, comprised of nearly 1,300 square feet, is deftly decorated. Roofs are high-pitched, utilizing local woods and rattan. The large living room had a full-size sofa, lounger, rattan chairs, and workspace while the kitchenette was fully stocked and included the all-important Nespresso machine and milk frother.

The sublime bedroom is decorated in a neutral, calming color palette with both Fijian Tapa art and modern abstract pieces by Australian artist Chris Kenyon. Sweet dreams prevailed on the fantastic king-sized bed fitted with Madison Collection linens. Another seating area and desk completed the bedroom.

His and hers walk-through closet had enough space for those with the luxury of staying a month. The bathroom had enormous dual vanities separated by a walk-in, two-person shower and possessed enveloping Madison Collection towels. The freestanding, deep-soaking bathtub is in a separate haven of tranquility and boasts a glorious ocean view. With bathrooms like this, marriages can surely last forever.

4. Situated Near the Great Astrolabe Reef

The brainchild of self-made Australian billionaire Walker Lang, Lang purchased the ground lease for the island, originally called Yaukuve, in 2011. He then spared no expense in creating his vision for a private island retreat for the most discerning guests. He also renamed the island Kokomo, a pseudonym for a composer whose music Lang played as a child. In 2017, Kokomo opened for its first guests.

Within minutes of Kokomo is the nearly 63-miles-long Great Astrolabe Reef, the world’s fourth largest, containing one of the world’s most biologically diverse marine areas providing several dozen marvelous snorkeling and diving sites. One afternoon three marine biologists, another couple and I boarded ‘Real Time,’ Kokomo’s 27-foot double-hull boat to snorkel nearby Serendipity and Wonderland sites. It was the couple’s first-time snorkeling, and it became clear they were forever altered by the extraordinary experience in these waters. There’s also fantastic snorkeling accessible by walking right out of one’s villa.

5. Meals to Write Home About

In-room dining delivered by golf cart can be enjoyed inside one’s villa or outside on the private deck. The oceanfront Beach Shack restaurant exudes casual elegance and serves delightful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Here the affable Australian Chef Andrew presides, and at dinner I devoured a lovely crudo bathed in tangy lilikoi and sautéed red snapper with blistered tomatoes. Another night at Beach Grill, the sunset barbecue was perfect following a glorious afternoon snorkeling.

At Koko Cabana, serving both lunch and dinner, Chef Enzo prepares fusion Mediterranean Fijian dishes from the freshest ingredients and lords over a pizza oven creating pies that will make you very happy.

One must ‘walk the plank’ to arrive at the picturesque oceanfront Walker D. Plank restaurant. To be very clear, I would gladly walk that plank every day of my life. Culinary powerhouse Fijian Chef Caroline is not one guests soon forget.

One dinner she perfectly prepared the freshest sashimi, tender calamari, giant lobster claws, and delectable, caramelized pork ribs proving I could never be a vegetarian. Another day, I devoured lettuce wraps with chopped prawns, chili flakes and fish sauce, washing that down with a red snapper salad wrap. It’s entirely possible I may forever dream of additional plank walks.

6. Do Nothing or Do Plenty

Kokomo may be one of the world’s most perfect places to do nothing. However, unless you’re under contract to write the next great American novel, activities on the island and surrounds should not be missed. Most of my mornings started with a game of tennis, then up the hill to the state-of-the-art fitness center. One morning, two marine biologists and I took Real Time to nearby Kadavu island, hiking to a massive waterfall, then naturally jumping in its fresh pool to cool off. En route, villagers were happy to engage. After admiring a lovely woman’s floor mats in her home, she generously showed me how she made them from pandanus.

There’s also paddle-boarding, kayaking, ocean trampolining, and deep-sea fishing. To dive deeper into Fijian culture, guests can visit villages on nearby Ono island. Or be dropped off at the uninhabited island of Namara with a picnic for isolated perfection. A private starlight dinner cruise is another option. At the restorative Yaukuve Spa talented masseuses use traditional Fijian methods to create bliss. Or grab a cocktail and dreamily stare at the distant islands to best contemplate your indisputable good fortune in having found Kokomo.

Whatever you decide to do or not do, rest assured Kokomo’s employees will take excellent care of you, making you feel not only at home from the moment you arrive, but also that you are happily ensconced in your very own island paradise. Regardless of how long you stay on Kokomo, you will depart secure in the knowledge you’ll one day return.

Julie L. Kessler is a journalist, attorney, and the author of the award-winning memoir: “Fifty-Fifty, The Clarity of Hindsight.” Her work has appeared in several major publications around the world, including The LA Times, The SF Examiner, The Asia Times, The Jerusalem Post, and The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, among many others. She can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com

Julie L. Kessler

Written by Julie L. Kessler

Julie L. Kessler is Money Inc's Senior Travel & Luxury Editor and writes for several major media outlets in the U.S. and overseas. She is also an attorney and legal columnist and the author of the award-winning book "Fifty-Fifty: The Clarity of Hindsight." She can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com

Read more posts by Julie L. Kessler

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