Monday, September 19, 2011

Dream Destination: Dolphin Island, Fiji

This week's Dream Destination is just made for a group of couples seeking out an island escape like no other! Imagine crystal clear waters, palm fringed beach, your own private island in Fiji, with 13 acres as your playground ... sounds more than a little dreamy, doesn't it? That's the kind of thing waiting for you at Dolphin Island, and there's plenty of room to bring some friends or family. The perfect place for that special, intimate destination wedding, perhaps?! 

As the sister property of iconic Huka Lodge and part of The Huka Retreats, Dolphin Island was once used solely by owner Alex van Heeren for his own family's holidays when his children were growing up (lucky them!). It's recently gone through a huge transformation to welcome international guests to come and stay. It's stylish refurbishment was overseen by Viginia Fisher (design) and Suzanne Turley (landscaping), so it now provides four bure suites allowing up to eight guests the ultimate private island experience. Dawn, a wonderful local Fijian who for years looked after Alex's family and the occasional visitor from Huka Lodge, is still there with a small and very discreet team who are on hand as much or little as required.  It remains very much a low key, yet now extremely stylish and elegant experience in only the way that the Huka Retreats knows how to do.

The main bure, with its fabulous palm-thatched roof and architecturally detailed elevation, holds court and is the heart of the social areas, surrounded as it is by the guest bures. There is an infinity pool to enjoy, a much, much bigger pool beyond with that crystal ocean beckoning you for long swims. 

With 13-acres of private island on your doorstep, there's no shortage of great activities to keep even the most active of guests enjoying the outdoors ... that is, if you can ever pull yourself away from a pool side lounge or manage to pry yourself off the hammock! The coral reefs just off shore provide aquatic adventures like snorkeling, tanking, diving, sailing and kayaking. Or you can learn more about the Fijian culture with a guided visit to nearby villages and areas of historical interest. Or just relax with some pure indulgent pampering, with massages and facials available on a whim. How much you do on Dolphin Island is completely up to you. The days here can idle by with one thing the mainstay ... total relaxation!

Meals at Dolphin Island reflect the nature of this stunning place, featuring fresh produce and many flavours and ingredients used that are unique to Fijian cuisine. And, of course, freshly caught fish features prominently on the daily menu! Guests can select their preference from the catch and it will be beautifully prepared and served. Top it off with the freshest tropical fruit in bucket loads (mmm, papaya!), devoured with the smell of fresh island flowers all around and that magical view spread out before you, and you have yourself a full sensory experience!

Getting to Dolphin Island can be as adventurous or low key as you like. Following your arrival at Nadi Intrnational Airport, guests can travel for 2.5 hours by private car (included within tariff), or choose to transfer by float plane or helicopter to Dolphin Island. The island's own private boat will then transfer guests to their own private island retreat. Our hot tip: get your favourite group of couples together, show them what's waiting at Dolphin Island, and head out for one of the most sublime Pacific island holidays you've ever had! 

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