There are Fiji honeymoons, and then there are Fiji private island honeymoons. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in New Zealand just a three hour flight from this tropical paradise, chances are you’ll have to fly halfway around the globe to experience what all the fuss is about, and the fact of the matter is, they don’t call this place paradise for nothing. It’s an extraordinary place to honeymoon, and Fiji has something for every couple—whether that’s pulse-pounding adventure, or just laying out on a pristine beach with nobody else in sight. But buyer beware, because not all Fiji resorts are created equal.
Enter Kokomo Private Island Fiji. A new standard-setter in tropical luxury, this high-end resort has been causing a stir in the tropical luxury world since opening in March 2017. Not only does it have all the bells and whistles you would expect, or perhaps demand from a resort of its caliber (beachfront villas, five-star dining, exceptional service, so forth), but its multivalent commitment to sustainability makes it a luxurious and compelling proposition for sophisticated travelers today.
The experience begins at Nadi International Airport, where a Kokomo employee escorts you to your private helicopter transfer. Swooping over volcanic mountains, the ride continues 40 nautical miles straight over the sea before you notice Kokomo, a tiny island with a couple of villas strewn about. Activities abound, such as waterfall hikes, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and an indulgent spa which can accommodate couples' treatments. But if you’re the honeymooner who just wants some alone time, you can always just soak up the sun from the comfort of your own beachfront villa.
Owned and built by Australian real estate mogul Lang Walker, Kokomo has been a passion project in sustainable development since the beginning. The design of each villa embraces local Fijian traditions, made from the finest local building materials such as timber from local plantations and stone from the island. Furnishings are clean and contemporary, and each beachfront villa has direct, private access to the water as well as a private pool and outdoor shower. Every inch of this place is so gorgeous, you hardly need to leave your room, and knowing that it was built to conserve energy and minimize carbon footprints makes this an indulgent yet guilt-free experience.
Something else to consider is that 90% of Kokomo’s staff are local Fijians. While some tropical island destinations tend to import their workers (i.e., nearly every resort in the Maldives), giving back to the local communities by way of sustainable job development creates a sense of community that is difficult to replicate. In short, the service you’ll receive is generally more enthusiastic about the destination. From the moment a Kokomo employee greets you in Nadi and escorts you to your helicopter transfer to Kokomo, to the moment the wait staff lines up to sing the tearjerking Fijian farewell song “Isa Lei,” you will feel an intense, personal connection to the staff. Whatever sort of honeymoon you are looking for, experiencing the service here adds an instantly memorable emotional dimension to your trip.
Kokomo also puts a lot of effort into sustainable food sourcing—which makes sense, once you start considering the complex supply chains required to bring things like cheese, or herbs, or meat all the way to your plate in the middle of the South Pacific. Their Dock To Dish fishing program was commended by the United Nations Foundation for being the first of its kind in Fiji. Fish used in the kitchen is almost exclusively sourced from small, local fisheries, including one all-female fishery from a nearby island that uses traditional handling methods of fishing from shore. A Coral Garden Restoration Project managed by Kokomo’s staff marine biologist creates a safe place for nascent corals to propagate before being placed back on high-risk sections of coral. It’s an exciting project and a pretty rare endeavor for island resorts, but one that is necessary—Kokomo sits almost entirely surrounded by the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the longest continuous reefs in the world. Minimizing their impact to prevent coral bleaching and death is crucial. And if all of this weren’t enough, there is also a five acre produce garden on premises, which when at full capacity, can supply close to 80% of the island’s needs for lemons, limes, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and more. So when you are enjoying a meal at Kokomo (and trust us, you will enjoy every meal here), you can identify where everything on your plate came from.
See more: The Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in Fiji
As travelers become more and more sophisticated, sustainability issues posed by island resorts become more complex and apparent. Where does the food come from? How far does it travel to get here? Who built this? And who is working here? Luckily, Kokomo has answers to all of these questions. Your honeymoon might come at a price (with villas starting at $2500 per night), but it’s worth shelling out a few bucks here, because you’ll know that every penny goes towards keeping this slice of paradise beautiful forever.