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Nukubati Private Island 4.0

Labasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Stunning adult-only private island resort with an authentic Fijian feel 
  • Seven spacious bures with relaxed, island-inspired decor  
  • Room rates include all meals, drinks, and non-motorized water sports 
  • Excellent dining and extensive selection of wines 
  • Gorgeous beach, with prime sunset views 
  • Eco-friendly property with solar powered electricity and an organic garden 
  • Hotel can arrange private excursions for guests (for an additional fee)
  • Free Wi-Fi in the pavilion 

Cons

  • Remote location is difficult to reach 
  • Rooms do not have air-conditioning 
  • No pool, spa, or fitness center 

Bottom Line

If a stunning private island retreat with an authentic Fijian feel is at the top of your wish list, there’s no better bet than Nukubati Private Island. The four-pearl, adult-only property is situated on a tiny island off the coast of Vanua Levu. It’s a challenge to reach, but the resort’s serene atmosphere and authentic Fijian hospitality are hard to beat. Plus, spacious rooms feature island-inspired decor, and the all-inclusive dining is superb. Nukubati doesn’t have a pool, or other amenities like a spa or fitness center, and rooms’ lack of air-conditioning might not appeal to all travelers. As an alternative, Namale the Fiji Island Resort & Spa is a sprawling luxury property with a laundry list of amenities, but it lacks Nukubati’s intimate atmosphere and warm hospitality. 

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Scene

A private island resort with a quiet atmosphere and authentic Fijian hospitality 

There’s no denying the fact that getting to Nukubati is a hassle. In order to reach the private island, international travelers must fly to Nadi International Airport, then hop on a connecting flight to Labassa, on Fiji’s undeveloped northern island, Vanua Levu. Hotel staff members greet guests at the airport in Labassa, then escort them on a 90-minute drive through jungle-like dirt roads. At the end of the bumpy journey, guests board a tiny fishing boat and sail across the channel to Nukubati. But as the pristine island comes into view, guests begin to hear the melodic voices of staff members singing Fijian welcome songs, and suddenly the long journey becomes a distant memory. 

From the moment guests step foot on Nukubati, the resort’s authentic Fijian atmosphere is palpable. Staff members graciously welcome new arrivals by shaking their hands, learning their names, and gifting them with handmade leis. Though incredible hospitality is a Fijian trademark, Nukubati’s staff members are the best in the business, and the resort’s intimate nature is hard to replicate. Nukubati is an adult-only resort, unless the entire property is chartered by a large group or extended family — then children of all ages are allowed. With only seven rooms, Nukubati offers plenty of privacy and a supremely quiet atmosphere, making it popular with honeymooners and vacationing couples. Nukubati is also a popular wedding destination, and hosts several throughout the year.  

It should be noted that Nukubati is pronounced “Nook-umm-ba-ti.” In the Fijian language, the letter “b” sounds like “mmmb,” instead of the English hard “b” sound. Similar Fijian phonetics turn words like Nadi into “NAN-dee,” Beqa into “BENG-a,” and Mamanuca into “Mama-noo-THA” 

Location

Let's just say good things are worth traveling for...

As we mentioned, Nukubati is rather remote. The private island is located just off the northern coast of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. Referred to as “up north” by Fijians living on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu looks like a place where time has stood still. Practically untouched, and much less developed than Viti Levu, Vanua Levu is an authentic Fijian paradise. Vanua Levu’s intensely hilly landscapes, towering waterfalls, and stunning coastlines almost seem otherworldly, and the island’s overwhelmingly friendly locals only add to its charm. But getting to Vanua Levu is no easy feat, as there are no international flights to the island, and domestic flights are often severely delayed. To ease the trip for international travelers, Nukubati’s owner built a small hotel near Nadi International Airport for guests to relax for a day or two before traveling to Nukubati. We’d strongly suggest booking a room at The Fiji Orchid before heading to Nukubati. Staff members at both hotels regularly communicate with one another, in case of flight delays or other travel mishaps. 

Rooms

Not overly luxurious or modern, but filled with Fijian charm 

Travelers looking for over-the-top luxury won’t find it at Nukubati. Instead, rooms feature charming Fijian accents and island-inspired decor. Knotty hardwood floors, wicker furniture, and woven palm rugs give rooms a relaxed, casual feel that’s reminiscent of a private home. Floor-to-ceiling plantation-style windows let in tons of natural light, and allow cross winds to cool off the rooms — a nice feature, considering rooms don’t have air-conditioning. Old black and white photographs give guests a glimpse of Fiji’s past, and can allow guests to imagine they’re taking a step back in time, since rooms intentionally lack modern amenities like TVs or Wi-Fi. However, rooms are equipped with thoughtful touches, like free fully stocked minibars, French presses, and bug spray. Plus, staff members stop by every evening to drop off Champagne and pre-dinner canapes that guests can enjoy on their private front porches. Bathrooms aren’t luxurious, but they’re equipped with double sinks, large walk-in showers, and plenty of towels and free toiletries. 

Nukubati has two room types — Suites and Honeymoon Bures. Suites are the entry-level category. They’re located close to the pavilion and share one wall with a neighbor. Honeymoon Bures are larger independent structures, and offer a bit more privacy than the suites. All rooms have private front porches that overlook the beach. 

Features

A gorgeous beach, excellent dining, and eco-friendly practices 

Nukubati isn’t the type of luxury resort that’s replete with amenities and things to do. Instead, it’s best suited for travelers who are in search of some serious R&R, and who appreciate personal attention, excellent food, and warm hospitality. Nukubati doesn’t have a pool, spa, or fitness center but it does have a gorgeous beach, and offers customizable excursions for guests. Non-motorized water sports are included in the hotel’s all-inclusive nightly rates, and hobie cats, kayaks, and paddle boards are set up along the beach for guests to use. For additional fees, the hotel can arrange private excursions like snorkeling or surfing trips, romantic picnics on a sand bar in the middle of the ocean, or local village visits. 

Food

Outstanding all-inclusive dining 

The all-inclusive dining at Nukubati is superb, as is the hotel’s extensive selection of wine and alcoholic beverages. The hotel only uses local ingredients in its meal preparations, and much of its produce comes from the on-site organic garden. Menus change daily, but Nukubati is known for its seafood. Whatever you do, don’t leave the resort without trying Kokoda, Fiji’s ceviche-like national dish. Of course, the resort is happy to cater to guests with dietary restrictions and allergies. Meals aren’t served at set times, but instead “whenever people show up” in the pavilion. The pavilion is Nukubati’s open-air living space and communal gathering area. It has books and games for guests to borrow, a large sitting area, and the dining room, which overlooks the ocean. Free, reliable Wi-Fi is available in the pavilion. 

Eco Initiatives

An eco-friendly property with solar powered energy and an organic garden 

Nukubati is an eco-friendly resort with an environmentally conscious outlook. The resort produces its own electricity with 300 solar panels and four wind generators. The hotel also harvests rain water and uses its own filtration system to provide drinking water. Gray water and sewage are recycled and used to water the hotel's organic garden, and all organic waste is composted. Nukubati intentionally does not have air conditioners, swimming pools, or hot tubs in order to reduce the hotel’s carbon foot print.  

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Address

The Great Sea Reef, P.O.Box 1928, Labasa 0, Fiji

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