Fiji's Turtle Island Has Been A Celebrity Honeymoon Hot Spot For Decades

And for good reason.

Turtle Island
Turtle Island Fiji

There’s the allure of Tulum’s turquoise beaches and ancient Mayan ruins. The breathtaking beauty of the vineyards of Florence. The majestic cliffs and world-famous sunsets of Santorini. All of these destinations are undoubtedly memorable and popular amongst couples for good reason. However, nothing beats the romantic appeal of a private island, and none are quite as legendary — or exclusive — as Turtle Island Fiji.

For 50 years, the secluded little atoll, accessible from the main island of Fiji via plane or ferry, has essentially been built and designed for connection and true escape from the static noise and distractions of real-world living. (Its secluded splendor even led to its selection as the location for the 1978 cult film Blue Lagoon, starring a teenage Brooke Shields.) Each villa, or bure, is quietly tucked away and protected by coconut trees and local foliage. Wi-Fi is only accessible in the property’s gift shop and business center. Oh, and then there’s the 12 private beaches surrounding the 500-acre resort that can be booked for up to a full day, leaving couples completely immersed in nature without a single human or technological device in sight. Truly, if romance and one-on-one time is what you’re looking for in a summer getaway, this resort delivers in spades.

In fact, with its luxury accommodations and staunch commitment to privacy, Turtle Island has become a hot spot for celebrity couples over the past few decades. The early aughts, in particular, saw an uptick in A-list lovebirds, including Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. Sure, these couples have all since split up, but we can credit Turtle Island for those golden years, no?

Turtle Island

I recently had the opportunity to pay a visit to the romance mecca as a single traveler. Solo parties are typically non-existent on Turtle Island (it’s couples only, with the exception of weeks designated to Family Time), as you can imagine, so I was interested to see how the couple-centric amenities and experiences would translate to little old me. I’m happy to report, they didn’t disappoint, even if I didn’t have a significant other to share the time with. In fact, I came back a bit more rested and well-fed, with three books read in the span of seven days, as well as a handful of new friends who I’ve continued to communicate and check in with. Ahead, read on for my seven-day stay on Turtle Island in all its sensual, romantic glory.


Each private villa is punctuated with local decor and furnishings, aiming to settle you into the island’s culture from the jump. With that said, nature is a key component to said punctuation, with potted local plants scattered throughout as well as woven baskets and artisanal vases. But don’t worry, modern luxuries are aplenty as well. Many villas include indoor spas, outdoor showers, king-sized beds, and bars that are pre-stocked (and restocked daily) with your preferred beverages and snacks. What you won’t find is a television or telephone in sight. Communication with your personal concierge and island staff is via walkie-talkie. While this may seem odd to some, I found it refreshing to be unplugged from devices.

Angela Melero


I have to say, meals were my favorite part of my island experience. Unless you’ve booked a private beach for the day or night, a pontoon dinner (more on that later), or have chosen to dine privately in your villa, all three meal times at Turtle Island are observed communally at one large table, where all the guests gather to dine. Start times for breakfast and lunch are flexible, so couples are typically coming and going at different times, but you can rest assured you’ll be joined by someone at some point as you enjoy a morning menu of fresh pastries, tropical fruits, and farm eggs with a decadent cappuccino or latte.

Lunch and dinner include set menus with various options to choose from that change daily. You can often expect traditional island cuisine offered like lovo, which is the ancient Fijian method of cooking with an underground oven (lovo) created by a shallow hole in the sand filled with stones heated by fire. Fresh fish, meats, and veggies are wrapped and cooked atop the stones — it’s truly a sight to see and experience firsthand. Specific days of the week will have themes attached, like the aforementioned lovo, which is typically done on Wednesday evenings, Mongolian barbecue, and hibachi nights, which include live grilling by the onsite chef.


As mentioned before, couples — and singles — have the option of taking their lunches and dinner solo on a beach picnic, at Cliff Point, which overlooks a lagoon, or on a floating pontoon at sunset. I was lucky enough to experience the latter, and I can report that the candlelit table, wine, and delicious meal amidst a Fijian twilight backdrop truly make for a magical and unique moment.


In addition to the eventful meals, there’s plenty to do — or not do — on Turtle Island. As I mentioned, I spent much of my time lounging on my outdoor day bed, reading fiction novels, and snacking on Diet Cokes and fresh pineapple. However, when I was able to tear myself away from my little sweet spot, I found there was lots to explore. One afternoon, I booked a private beach for a few hours. After being driven to my secluded spot, I lunched on wraps and chips while lazily swinging from a hammock. I also walked along the water and indulged in a long solo swim. While I only opted for one beach day, guests have the option of booking as many as they choose — you can do a different beach every other day, if you like.


As you can imagine, there’s a range of water activities at your fingertips, from snorkeling and diving to fishing and windsurfing. On dry land, horseback riding, hiking, and tours of the island’s extensive gardens and farming areas are available. You can also take a day trip to the village and shop from the local vendors and artisans. This was another highlight for me, as I enjoyed treating myself to handmade shell bracelets, printed sarongs, and woven baskets.

The island’s onsite spa is a must for any visit. My Polynesian massage session helped me shake some residual work stress and truly lean into the vacation vibes. If massages aren’t your thing, try a facial or body scrub to treat yourself to some good ol’ self-care.

Fijian culture is celebrated and embraced on Turtle Island, with the almost-nightly kava ceremony being a favorite among visitors. Kava is a traditional beverage made from water and the ground root of the pepper plant that is served at special gatherings like weddings, meetings with village chiefs, and social events. The drink is served in a distinctive bowl called a tanoa, which is a hand-carved turtle shell. As you can see, socializing and community are also deeply rooted in Fijian culture, so even nightly activities like karaoke night and dance parties feel authentic to the island life (and typically include kava!).


Despite stepping on the island alone and not knowing a soul, the Turtle Island staff and guests made me feel instantly at ease — like I was among family. As my comfort levels heightened, so did my willingness to participate in the activities and communal events. And while the property is certainly designed to help you connect with your partner and family, I find it also helps you connect better with everyone else around you. In addition to my much-needed alone time, I also cherished the moments in which I could interact with the island’s staff and the fellow guests. I found myself looking forward to the group happy hours and meals, and even teared up when celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the guest couples. Being the only single woman among 12 couples may seem like a strange — and even daunting — scenario to find yourself in. But, I never felt lonely or out of place on Turtle Island. Just the opposite, actually. I felt like I was home.