Kokomo Private Island is like a one-man band – only the music's some of the best you’ve ever heard, spanning several genres without a single wrong note. Pulling off that most difficult of balancing acts, this indulgent resort has made itself as enticing for honeymooners as it is for family escapades. From the moment you swoop in on the resort seaplane, it’s all about where the mood takes you: there’s more activities than you could shake a sea kayak at, but having your own infinity pool and the ability to dine in-villa makes it just as easy to play hermit. There’s a free nanny service and an all-the-bells-and-whistles kids' club to keep young Smiths entertained, leaving adults free to sip cocktails as the sun sets. On leaving, tears have been shed – mostly by the parents.
Get this when you book through us:
For couples, a sundowner cocktail each at Walker d'Plank; for families, a sunset cruise for two adults and two children
26 villas, including five luxury residences. Two of the three-bedroom beachside villas have been designed specifically for families, and two of the luxury residences have nanny rooms.
Check-out is 90 minutes before your transfer back to Nadi. Check-in is at any time: a room will be made available to guests when they arrive on the island. If the booked room isn't ready, guests will be given a temporary alternative until it is.
Double rooms from £1620.89 ($2,223), including tax at 14 per cent.
Almost everything is taken care of by the time you set foot on the island, butler service, all meals, non-alcoholic drinks, non-motorised watersports, on-island activities, and one 45-minute spa treatment and a one-tank scuba session a stay.
For a romantic dinner that you’ll remember for years to come, book one of Kokomo’s private dining experiences (at a supplement). You’ll get to create a bespoke menu with Kokomo's chefs, and dine in your villa or residence. You'll also have one chef-cooked barbecue a residence is included with your stay.
At the hotel
Spa with hammam and bure treatment huts; a fully-equipped gym, complete with personal training and a variety of fitness, yoga and Pilates classes; free butler and laundry services; tennis courts; a supervised kids club; and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, games console, minibar, Bluetooth speaker, a well-equipped kitchenette including a Nespresso coffee machine and tea-making facilities, and custom Pure Fiji bath products. Each villa also has its own private infinity pool. Guests staying in residences get a private in-residence barbecue experience and have an island buggy to use throughout their stay.
Our favourite rooms
At Kokomo, even the entry-level One-Bedroom Villas are impressive, with generously sized living areas, sleek indoor/outdoor bathrooms, private pools and direct beach access. For an unforgettable experience for the whole family, you could plump for one of the luxury residences. Containing between three and six bedrooms, these villas occupy elevated spots among the island's lush vegetation, and have large, open-plan living areas and impressive views.
As well as the individual pools, the resort has a large, communal pool surrounded by cabanas with sunloungers inside them. Here, you’re perfectly placed to take advantage of the aptly-named Poolside Cabana restaurant, which will keep you topped up with coffees, cocktails and comfort food like wood-fired pizzas.
The moment you set foot in the Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary, you’re in for some serious spoiling. Guests begin their pampering at a relaxation pavilion in a peaceful stretch of garden, where they can unwind before, in-between and after treatments. The spa menu is extensive, offering a head-to-toe programme with everything from hand massages to the decadent Island Revival Journey, which clocks in at three-and-a-half hours of pampering time. There are also treatments unique to the Pacific Islands, including the seashell massage, a guest favourite. All spa products are by Australian brand Sodashi, who eschew synthetic oddities in favour of nature’s own bounty.
An underwater camera. Diehard divers have been known to save their hard-earned cash for years so they could make a once-in-lifetime trip to the Great Astrolabe Reef, which is meters from Kokomo’s beach.
All of the resort's public areas are wheelchair-accessible. The guest rooms are very spacious, but not specifically adapted.
Children of all ages are very welcome. Cots are free, as are extra beds for children under 12. Over-12s cost US$812.50 a night (includes tax). From 9am to 5.30pm, nanny services are free for tots 3-and-under; babysitting is US$10 an hour.
With a wealth of baby equipment, a dedicated kids club, nanny services and babysitters-for-hire, Kokomo is just as comprehensive in its child-friendly offerings as it is for adults.
The Three-Bedroom Deluxe Family Beachside Villa, which has everything you need to keep the entire family happy. It’ll sleep up to six as it is, but has room for two extra beds if you need them. The open-plan living space is perfect for family gatherings.
There’s no crèche, but there is a free nanny service (between 9am to 5pm) for children up to the age of three.
The Kaji Club is open from 9am to 9pm, and has a daily programme packed full of activities to keep kids from the age of four to eleven occupied. There’s all sorts of arts and crafts, a dolphin safari, treasure hunts, mini beach Olympics, Fijian dancing lessons, coconut bowling, and a hermit crab hunt (and race). There’s also a tween club for children aged eight to fourteen, which has an emphasis on exploring Kokomo and getting to know Fiji and its heritage.
The main pool is always staffed during operating hours – there’s also a lifeguard stationed on the west beach.
The restaurants are very family-friendly, with dedicated children's menus and highchairs – they are also more than happy to adapt items from the regular menu. Children at the Kaji Club get all their meals there.
Babysitting is available for US$10 an hour, or for US$100 overnight; advanced booking isn’t necessary.
No need to pack
The hotel have a lot of items on hand: changing mats, baby food, child-friendly snacks, arm bands and more. That said, be sure to pack non-standard essentials, as they'll be difficult (and potentially very expensive) to get hold of once you've arrived.
Audio and video baby-monitoring equipment is available.
The tables on the Beach Shack’s deck are our pick of the bunch. From here, the views across the horizon are impressive, particularly when the sea is stained marmalade-and-rose by the sunset.
We like to think that private islands have a certain do-as-you-please element to them. There’s no need for formality – breezy linens and your best sunglasses will do just fine.
The main restaurant, the Beach Shack, is on the island’s west beach next to the arrival jetty. The look is elegantly organic, with smart rattan furniture and a decked area covered with a traditional bure roof. As the island’s fine-dining offering, the eatery showcases the best of Fiji’s flavoursome produce. Executive chef Cory Campbell – formerly of Copenhagen's Noma – is also insistent on the absolute freshness of ingredients – which is why dishes change daily. Usually, there'll be a three-course menu with two or three options for each course; expect mains like beef tataki with nori, egg yolk, miso, wild rice; and desserts like champagne jelly with passionfruit and strawberry granite. Tucked behind a small cove, Walker D’Plank is a springboard into the Asian street-food scene, serving tantalising fare alongside exotic cocktails and iced beers. Designed by artist Chris Kenyon, the restaurant is filled with ‘found objects’ like old anchors, nets, shells and driftwood. Poolside Cabana is the most casual of the three, and is ideal for families. In the morning, there’s a fruit and yoghurt bar, freshly baked bread, pastries and juices. Around lunchtime, they fire up the grill, smoker and wood-fired pizza oven.
There’s no standalone bar on the island; instead, each of three restaurants does the honours. The staff are just as happy to shake you a cocktail and bring it to your villa or the beach, however.
The Beach Shack is open from 7am until late (when the last guest leaves); Walker D’Plank is open from noon until late; Poolside Cabana is open from 8am to 10pm (pizzas available round the clock).
You need a transfer to reach this hotel. For approximate costs, see location information
Kokomo Island sits on the edge of Fiji’s Kadavu Group, a cluster of unspoiled islands encircled by the Great Astrolabe Reef.
The majority of flights to Fiji come from Australia and New Zealand, which make up the bulk of the country’s tourism market. Travellers from Europe and the US generally fly to Los Angeles first, before transferring to Nadi. To get to Kokomo, guests take either a Twin Otter seaplane or helicopter, which takes 45 minutes from Nadi and costs US$875 for an adult return and US$437.50 for a child (three-to-11 years). Children under-3 go free. Due to Fijian regulations, the last air transfer leaves at 4pm, so you’ll need to land at Nadi by 3pm to get to Kokomo the same day. Flights and transfers can be arranged with the Smith24 team; call 24 hours a day. You'll be met and greeted in the arrivals hall by a member of Kokomo Private Island's staff.
You’ll have no need for a car on the island – and you’d have a tricky time getting one there if you tried. Golf buggies are available whenever you need to be whisked anywhere.
Worth getting out of bed for
Yogis can kickstart their day by joining the free yoga class, which is usually held in a villa by the pool; those who like to pound the pavement can get their blood pumping on the far more scenic trails winding through the island’s lush vegetation. For a challenge, take one that leads up to the island’s summit – from here, you’ll be be able to see three more verdant islands, all of which belong to Kokomo owner Lang Walker. After some well-earned lounge time, head to the beach to try your hand at sea kayaking, catamaran sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding or paddleboarding – all of which are free. For an extra charge, you can go deep-sea fishing, catch your first waves with a surfing instructor or go island hopping. Come evening, set sail with your significant other on a romantic sunset cruise. One activity that’s unmissable while staying on the island, however, is a scuba diving trip to the Great Astrolabe Reef, coveted by divers the world over for its intensity of colour and teeming sealife: expect to see kaleidoscopic coral and giant manta rays. Novices needn’t miss out on the underwater safari, as you can take a beginners PADI diving course with expert instructors.
You’ll have to charter a boat if you want to have dinner elsewhere. That said, we’re confident that you won’t feel the need to do so...
It could have been a scene from Crazy Rich Asians: choppering over an immaculate ocean and sweeping into Kokomo Private Island still clad in my Cheongsam from the glitzy Chinese New Year celebrations from the night before in Singapore… But oh how quickly I could get used to this.
Clearly Kokomo understands such jetsetting very well because the first words from our butler were ‘Welcome home. Caroline is waiting for you at Walker D’Plank to cook anything you please for lunch’. Thus started our near constant consumption of scintillating dishes.
No point looking for a menu here. There isn’t one. It’s whenever and whatever our heart desired. Soft-shell-crab sushi, smoky steak, fresh-catch calamari with chili mayo, molten lava cake chased by ingenious cocktails that Leslie the barman surprised us with until our bellies were distended and livers knackered. (Appetite-spoiler alert: there are cupcakes and bite-sized pizzas casually laid out at the Beach Shack in case you happened to stroll by).
When you’re a billionaire property magnate like Lang Walker, you can drop a spare 100 million to run an island on sheer passion. That’s why the resulting paradise isle is, sigh, pure perfection. Blonde sandy beaches and lush rainforests surrounded by pure Fiji water (crystal clear and all) and the Great Astrolabe. Astro-what you say? It’s only the fourth largest coral reef in the world; on the bucket-list of every avid diver and somehow just meters from our villa.
Now add 20ish luxurious lodgings scattered on the beach and perched on the hills with restaurants, immaculately pruned shrubs, buggy drivers on standby, a candy coloured ice-cream parlor with all the trimmings (strategically located near the gym), a gigantic sea trampoline and high performance boats, a spa and hammocks by the sea with no biting insects in sight (only love bites allowed on this Smith holiday) and a host of staff handpicked by Mr Walker himself – a friendly lot who are very serious about our every whim.
From the moment we’re welcomed with Fijian songs by every staff on the island to the time we’re lavished with fireworks for Chinse New Year in the evening, it felt utterly exclusive.
These Smiths were upgraded to a massive three-bedroom villa (for two) which sat in the subtropical foliage, only a fabulous infinity pool and a few stairs separating us from the beach below. The interior is contemporary-luxe with traditional Fijian nuances cleverly integrated into the design: seashell chandeliers, tapa cloth on the ceiling, glass tables and lamps held up by repurposed tree trunks, Chris Kenyon’s expansive landscapes on the walls… With all the above, and our favourite flavours stocked in the villa (yes, Kokomo wrote to us a few weeks before our arrival to make sure we felt right at home), it took an enormous effort to leave this space.
By midnight on our first day, I was having major FOMO while surfing Kokomo’s Instagram. ‘Tomorrow I must lie on the hammock to watch the sunset. Should we have Caroline whip up some bar snacks first though?’ I thought. ‘Also, I must do yoga by the pool, trek to the waterfall, have a mango smoothie at the smoothie bar, a catamaran sail before it gets too hot maybe? Definitely snorkel…’
Mr Smith found it quite, um, amusing that I woke up at 6.30am the next day to stroll on the beach at sunrise and then proceed with my ‘rushing to relax’ itinerary for the day. I blame Kokomo. It’s way too Insta-fabulous to miss anything.
When we did get around to snorkelling my horizon was filled with a garden of corals that stretched as far as my eyes could see. We spotted turtles, sharks and electric blue fish. We snapped our fingers and watched sea anemone withdraw its tentacles. They say during the season some of the returning guests are giant manta rays and dolphins.
The neighbouring Namara island was deserted except for our snorkelling instructor, our speed boat and Mr Smith’s drone that was set to follow me while I snorkelled (eye roll). The resulting drone images, the type you see in Survivor, are enough to induce all kinds of envy. After all, Namara is the same unsullied island they filmed the series on. I asked our captain to radio in to tell the spa I’d be two hours late as I was finally learning to be on ‘Fiji time’.
At the end of our exciting day, when the orange globe dipped in the ocean and the last rays of gold were lapped up by the waves, we had no phone, drone or camera on us. Just champagne in hand, knee-deep in aquamarine water with our feet buried in the sand. It was my favourite moment on the island and it was captured only in our hearts. How’s that for the feels?