Relax in barefoot luxury, picnic on deserted islands, dive shipwrecks and savor farm-to-table cuisine: a new kind of luxury is being served in the South Pacific.

While luxury travel was once defined as opulence – endless marble, gold taps, linen tablecloths and silver service – today’s luxury traveler seeks to immerse themselves in local culture, seeking life-changing moments and longs for an experience that is both authentic and unadorned.
Fiji has long been a place of reconnection and respite, and Fijians’ outlook on life instantly puts travelers in a state of calm and bliss, says Rob Thompson, Regional Director of Tourism Fiji Australia.

Following border closures, travelers are looking for an easy holiday to recharge and reconnect with family and friends and Fiji is the ideal location for luxury travelers given its proximity to Australia, safe and its suitability for multi-generational groups, Thompson said.

“Resorts such as Six Senses, Vomo and Kokomo have seen massive adoption in their villas and residences over the past nine months, and experiences such as farm-to-table dining, for example, have become an integral part of resorts. resort offers.”

There is arguably no place in the world better suited to meet the needs of advanced luxury travelers than the sunny islands of the South Pacific. Here are six of the best resorts that are redefining the luxury experience.

Six Senses Fiji

This groundbreaking resort on Malolo Island in the Mamanuca Group has some serious green credentials, being Fiji’s first 100% solar resort, but one of its impressive sustainable initiatives. Homemade tonic water, probiotics, an organic farm, treetop yoga and a multi-layered approach to wellness are on the menu at an ultra-luxurious resort surrounded by towering Baka trees and overlooking a sprawling bay flanked by rocky promontories.

There are 24 spacious and lavish pool villas and 60 residential villas designed by award-winning New Zealand architect Richard Priest, while cuisine is locally inspired and sustainably sourced (resident chickens and bees provide eggs and honey outdoors), and the sulfite-free and organic.

The Six Senses Spa offers full-body assessment programs, bespoke treatments, a state-of-the-art gym, an expansive wet area, an alchemy bar, and an elevated treetop yoga pavilion. Resort general manager Mark Kitchen says you can’t beat Six Senses Fiji for a genuinely accessible island retreat experience.

“Less time to commute means more time to focus on memories and well-being,” he said. “The most magical thing about our resort – besides its amazing location – is, of course, our people and our holistic lifestyle philosophy. Our team is endlessly happy, genuine and positive with smiles and a genuinely caring approach that ensures every guest feels like family.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

You won’t find air-conditioning (apart from the stunning Presidential Pool Villa), a thousand-thread-count linens, or a lavish spa at this eco-friendly all-inclusive vacation in Savusavu, Fiji’s hidden paradise. Instead, think barefoot luxury at its finest, underpinned by a philosophy that aims to connect guests with Fiji’s rich culture and biodiverse marine surroundings, which has been called the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’. by none other than Jean-Michel Cousteau himself.

“One of our top priorities is to find exciting new ways to engage and educate our guests in the local culture and environment,” said Bart Simpson, General Manager of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

And there are countless ways for guests young and old to do just that. Join resident biologist Johnny Singh on a nighttime snorkeling safari off the pier; dive in the Namena Marine Reserve, considered one of the top 10 dive sites in the world; or visit the village of Nukubalavu to see how the locals (many of whom work at the resort) live and play.

A changing daily menu includes fresh fish caught from local waters outside the coral reef and produce from the resort’s ‘edible landscape’. The tropical spa offers South Pacific massages in the healing hands of caring Fijian therapists to the sound of the ocean. For families, the award-winning Bula Club is arguably the best in the South Pacific, with nannies and pals on hand from breakfast to bedtime for babies and teens.

That’s luxury.

Nautilus Resort, Cook Islands

Steps from the dreamy Muri Lagoon, this boutique eco-resort is your Cook Islands choice for a luxurious family getaway.

There are 17 spacious Polynesian-inspired villas (the pool villas offer absolute beach frontage), a children’s concierge, a Thalgo spa, and an excellent on-site restaurant.

There’s also a tiered infinity pool facing the beach, however, the inviting lagoon beckons at every turn, meaning you may never use it. Nautilus sits across from scenic Ta’akoka Motu, where you can swim, kayak, or wade (at low tide) for terrific snorkeling or dive at Edna’s anchor.

Here, if you are lucky, whales can be seen or heard calling from the depths. Swimming with turtles, hiking in the mountains, visiting the market and dining nearby at the divine Tamarind House are also on offer.

Sinalei Reef Resort, Samoa

The unsung Pacific paradise of Samoa – think Fiji decades ago – offers secluded, pristine beaches dotted with coconut palms, friendly locals and warm, languid waters. For the ultimate in romantic getaways, head to the adults-only Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa, where 29 breezy fales sit in the garden, ocean, or beach, and an open-air spa offers pampering treatments at the sound of lapping waves.

Nestled in a pocket of Samoa virtually untouched by commercial tourism, this magical resort is steeped in tradition, immersed in local culture and supported by sustainable practices.

Take part in a Cooking with Culture experience, learn the ukulele with local school children, discover island art or visit a local village where the Samoan people, perhaps more than any other Polynesian culture, still observe traditional customs.

Aore Island Resort, Vanuatu

Yes, more luxurious resorts inhabit the palm-lined shores of Vanuatu. In fact, it’s a stretch to call this rustic luxury resort just off Vanuatu’s second most popular island, Espiritu Santo, five stars. There’s no air-conditioning, no room service, spotty Wi-Fi, and its tiny spa is just one room.

Still, staying at one of the world’s simpler, unplugged beachfront fare feels luxurious in a way that many other lavish resorts can’t mimic. The charming 18-bungalow resort offers easy access to the best of Sanma Province, northern Vanuatu, while maintaining the feel of a remote island paradise.

Swim in the incredible Blue Holes, with its staggeringly beautiful fresh water the color of sapphires, and have a picnic on postcard-perfect Champagne Beach. You can enjoy kava while watching the sun slip into the canal from the large open-air Nakamal.

Nearby divers can explore what is believed to be the Pacific’s first shipwreck, the SS President Coolidge, as well as Millionaire’s Point and the USS Tucker. A highlight is a traditional water dance performance, where local women use the water and their natural rhythm to create an enchanting musical experience.

Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Golf and Spa Resort, New Caledonia

The 180-room Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa faces a UNESCO-listed lagoon and reef. Located in the little known and undeveloped area of ​​Deva, it features Melanesian architecture, great food, a kids club and a championship golf course.

The 60 striking bungalows are the choice of accommodation. Each features a hand-carved tribal design, none of which are identical. The thatched-roof bungalows are circular and reflect Kanak culture, with grass wall coverings and ceiling friezes inspired by Kanak character designs. Designed by Sydney-based CHADA’s Rick Whalley, interior designer at Saffire Resort in Tasmania and Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, the bungalows feature king-size four-poster beds and en-suite bathrooms. bright flat-pebble bathrooms with walk-in showers and freestanding tubs. Through double doors, a wooden deck with an oversized lounge and lantern overlooks the lagoon.

Diving, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding and kite surfing are all offered above and below the water. Behind the resort, the hills and valleys of the Deva Estate offer scenic trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding with sweeping views of the translucent blue reef.