Vatulele Island Resort - Vatulele Island in Fiji in the South Pacific
Vatulele, which means “sound rock” in Fijian, is the small island in the Pacific on which Henry Crawford and Martin Livingston have set their sights to create a contemporary hideaway steeped in Polynesian culture as they see fit. Located a little south of the main island of Fiji, Vatulele has only one village. Its inhabitants, fishermen and farmers, barely provide for their own subsistence. However, they make the famous tapa, made from mulberry bark. And life is still the same there, as it was before the white man came.
Australian Emmy-winning producer Craldord and fifth-generation Fijian European Livingston were determined to preserve it.
The eighteen cabins - or bures - of their seaside resort were built on land leased from local owners, and designed to have minimal impact on the configuration of the island. All the materials - sand, wood, building poles, cement - were imported from the mainland, carefully unloaded and deposited by hand. Not a single crane touched the shores of the "sound rock". To clear the site, a hundred men worked for three months, armed only with knives. By taking particular care to preserve the palm trees which border the lagoon. Today, these palm trees provide shade for the bures that we have built between them.
Vatulele is truly an 'island to put your toes in the sand', ”as one journalist described it, with no phones, faxes, cars, paved roads, electric wires, noise or commotion. The architecture of the resort gives an impression of voluptuous relaxation. Crawford and Livingston's intention was to create an entity that combines all that Pacific culture has to offer. And for that - implausible as it sounds - they turned to Doug Nelson, an American architect. Based in Santa Fe, Nelson was known for brilliantly integrating the native New Mexico style with contemporary architecture and design. Given the great similarities that exist between the Polynesian and Native American Vatulele cultures, this was not such a far-fetched choice.
After all. The roofs are the most striking in Vatulele. They allow rising heat to escape through the loose texture of the thatch and keep the bures cool, without the need for air conditioning. Bound by woven ropes, tinged with pink and green according to Polynesian custom. They are wonderful works inspired by ancient methods of construction. But these superb ceilings only give a taste of this architectural success.
Le barrel main is decorated with traditional weapons, while tapa pieces, made by the villagers, are hung on the walls of all the bungalows. Borrowed from a typical model of tapa, a drawing returns as a leitmotif in the tiling of the floor and in other decorative elements. Despite the limits set initially, we do not live "roughly" at Vatulele.
Closer to the villa than to the hut, the bures offer separate living and sleeping areas. And the bathrooms are downright sumptuous. Thanks to the effort that had been made to preserve the palm trees, the bures are isolated from each other by this tropical vegetation. Visitors are invited to explore the island, its forests, waterfalls, cliffs and caves, while those who prefer to spend their time in their bure find themselves immersed in Fijian tradition. This authenticity unfortunately has its downside. To date, the ravishing roofs of the Bures have already endured hurricanes twice, and it took a tremendous amount of manpower to remake them accurately. Vatulele is a pioneer in the development of the Pacific: everything here is both exceptional and in complete harmony with the environment.
Address: Vatulele Island Resort on Vatulele Island in Fiji
Phone : +679 672-0300 - Fax: +679 672-0062.
Website : https://www.fijivacations.com/resorts/vatulele-island-resort/