Fiji may not have a racetrack, but there’s no dearth of F1 drivers descending on the Pacific island nation to sample the decadent charms of the volcanic atoll of Laucala.
Obviously, there is a connection: the spectacular 12 sq km volcanic island, part of the Fiji islands, and located in the southern Pacific Ocean, is owned by none other than Dietrich Mateschitz – founder of Red Bull and owner of the eponymous Formula 1 team. Laucala has always had a pedigreed history of ownership: Mateschitz bought the island – for no less than £7 million – from the Forbes family.
Not satisfied with the natural beauty of the island – Laucala is dense with tropical vegetation, and surrounded by coral reefs, minute coves, virgin beaches dotted with palm trees and turquoise, and crystal-clear waters – Mateschitz has built a resort, which would hold its own against any ultra-luxurious retreat anywhere in the world. 25 exclusive residences sit on the northern part of the island, each featuring a garden area, private swimming pool and sea views. All residences are built from wood, stone and straw from the island and are fully integrated into the surrounding environment. Inside they are meticulously appointed: from the furniture and finishes to the lighting, all aimed at affording guests utter tranquillity and complete privacy.
Which is not to say that Laucala is only for those looking for quiet repose: encircled by Fiji’s famous diving waters, the island offers a sea of alternatives for those looking for something more exciting – recreational fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing, jet skis, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking are easily accessible to guests. The island also offers land activities such as tennis, an 18-hole golf course, horse riding, biking and hiking trails.
The resort is fully equipped to pamper gastronomes – enjoy a private teppanyaki, a romantic candlelight dinner on a private beach at the elegant Plantation House restaurant, genuine Asian delicacies at the Seagrass restaurant, a cocktail backdropped by a sublime sunset at Rock Lounge, avant-garde aperitifs at the pool bar, or a beachfront barbecue amid a tropical atmosphere.
Needless to say the in-house spa is absolutely top-notch – spanning four private villas each boasting a vast outdoor terrace and an immense bathtub with ocean views.
Owner of Red Bull energy drink – Dietrich Mateschitz owns Laucala island. To visit Mateschitz’s exclusive getaway, a big bank balance alone is not enough. Reservation is upon application and the only access is via the resort’s private plane.
Oprah Winfrey loves it. Other guests at Laucala include John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Britney Spears.
The most exclusive abode is the Hilltop Residence located 360 feet above sea level which reportedly costs $26,000 (approx.) per night. Accommodation starts at $3,800 per night.
Laucala is located off the northeast coast of Taveuni, a 45-minute plane ride from the Nadi Fiji International Airport. A large population of Fijians are of Indian descent. If you are going to Australia, think about visiting Fiji islands as well. It is only a 3-4 hour flight away from Sydney.