- Style Fijian meets fashionista
- Setting Pristine private isle
For a real rockstar retreat, escape to exclusive-hire Dolphin Island boutique hotel, perched on a petite isle just north of Fiji's main island Viti Levu. With tropical-modern interiors by stylist Virginia Fisher, it boasts just four elegant rooms, a gorgeous entertaining bure, a romantic sleep-out boudoir and a 13-acre playground of gardens and beaches. Offshore, aquatic adventures beckon, including top-notch diving, snorkelling and sailing.
Need to know
- Rooms Four suites, sleeping eight, for exclusive-hire only.
- Rates Double rooms from $2621.68 (NZD3,190), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include full breakfast, all meals and a standard bar, return transfers by car and private boat from Nadi, and use of all island facilities, including kayaks, Hobie catamarans and snorkelling gear.
- Facilities Main Bure with living/dining area, music system, free WiFi and library with books, DVDs and board games, gardens, Hilltop Sleep-out Bure. In rooms: iPod dock, Pure Fiji toiletries. Bathrooms feature twin basins, a shower and bath, as well as a private outdoor shower.
- Poolside Stone steps lead down from the elevated entertaining bure into the sleek, geometric infinity pool, which offers views out to the beach and sea. Compact and contemporary, it's flanked on both sides by chic outdoor lounging areas on a wooden deck, with come-hither day-beds, armchairs and tables shaded by parasols. Lanterns add a romantic touch come evening.
- Check–out Both check-out and check-in times are totally flexible, but daylight hours are recommended for safer boat transfers.
Children Welcome; free baby cots can be supplied, but not extra beds for older children. Babysitting can be arranged for a fee, given a day's notice.
- Eco‐friendly Fresh, seasonal, local produce, including fish caught daily, adds an eco-friendly touch to Dolphin's cuisine.
- Also Smoking is allowed in outdoor areas only; pets should be left at home. In-room spa and beauty treatments can be booked for an extra charge.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Perched in pairs on either side of the sociable Main Bure, the four Guest Bures are all equally seductive, stylish and serene. The high, palm-thatched bure roofs and wooden shutters are a nod to Pacific living, as are pretty hand-fans on walls and shell-encircled mirrors, but the style details are very 21st century. We love the indoor-outdoor bathrooms, with a white-shell chandelier above the sculptural, freestanding bath and courtyard shower. Huge beds, inviting armchairs and dreamy dressing rooms up the luxe factor, while the sky-blue and white palette picks up the sea views, visible through fold-back wall-to-wall glass doors.
- Packing tips No need to bring reading material, as the Main Bure comes kitted out with coffee-table books galore, covering Fijian style and culture, as well as enticing Penguin tomes. Diving fans may want to pack their own snorkel and a rash shirt, and don't forget outsize sunglasses for that rockstar-on-vacation look.
- Also Spend a romantic night à deux 'glamping' in the Hilltop Sleep-out Bure, a short stroll away on the other side of the island. Partly open-air, but with enveloping mosquito nets, this lantern-lit, thatched boudoir comes with a floaty four-poster, cushion-strewn sofa and lounge chairs, and a shower. Is there a better way to wake up to ocean views?
Food and drink at Dolphin Island
- Hotel restaurant At Dolphin Island all meals are tailored flexibly around you, so you can eat when, what and where you like. Convivial host Dawn Simpson cooks up a storm, making lipsmacking use of fresh fish, tropical veg, mangoes and pineapples to create impressive canapés, main meals and desserts. Dine formally at the eight-seater table at the back of the Main Bure or lounge on the sofas around the central coffee table if you'd rather graze. Both are top spots for admiring the glam Pacific interiors, which mix trad Fijian art, war clubs and graphic piller and roof decorations with a bold orange, white and black palette, contemporary cushions and covetable shell and fish accessories. For airy dining, aim for the terrace or the smaller tables out by the pool.
- Dress code Luxe linens, killer kaftans and sexy sunhats by day; chic islandwear by night.
- Top table Gather your party around a table at the edge of the Main Bure terrace. You're under cover here, but can command tantalising views out over the pool and sea.
- Last orders It's your own private island, so you make up the rules. The obliging staff team are on hand 24/7.
- Room service Order meals or snacks at any time, or pop to the kitchen at the back of the Main Bure to help yourself to anything. There's a small counter bar here for perching.
- Hotel bar Again, drinks come to you, with a fine selection of wines, spirits and beer from around the world. Sip them at the Main Bure counter bar, indoors or out on the terrace, as the mood takes you.