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Is this the South Pacific's perfect retreat?

Vomo Island in Fiji


Vomo Island, just a 15-minute helicopter ride from Fiji's Nadi Airport, is an idyllic, 91-hectare privately owned isle in the Mamanuca Islands. Majestic Mount Vomo rises at one end, offering expansive views of the Pacific in all directions. With raw beauty at every turn, I may have just found the most perfect retreat in the South Pacific.

I check into Villa 22 – a three-bedroom domestic dream with a sizable pool that rivals the main guest pool. The resort spares no expense to achieve perfection in all the little things – lighting, linens, chilled pinot gris on arrival and free laundry service.

I sign up for the spa's Wai Thalasso Moisture Boost. Arti, my therapist, begins by bathing my feet in a milk bath of wild lime and ginger. She then works in an exfoliating body scrub with brisk strokes, towelling me off at every stage. After a quick rinse, she applies a papaya hydro gel serum for a moisture boost. The therapeutic massage that follows features sea extracts and aloe vera, and it's sheer bliss.

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The benefits

Marine extracts from the deep seabed of Fiji's Mamanuca waters provide essential moisture balance, and work to restore skin suppleness. Papaya enzymes promote cell activation with natural exfoliation and offer non-aggressive anti-aging skin care.

The spa

Vomo Island is the only island in the Fijian archipelago fringed entirely with pillowy-cream sand that drifts into clear blue waters. The perfect place for a spa and a snorkel, the five-star resort is surrounded by coconut trees and coral reefs (fresh coconut water is an ideal cleansing tonic post treatment).

Noise-sensitive spa-goers rejoice: To preserve the tranquillity and environment of Vomo, non-motorized water sports such as glass-bottom kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, sailing and windsurfing are included with your stay. With 30 well-spaced luxury villas along the beachfront, this perfectly formed hotel is popular with return guests who take both comfort and seafood seriously.

Executive chef Geoffrey Crabbe's understanding of fresh clean flavours could serve as a regional manual on how to please the palate with cuisine perfectly suited to a sultry, tropical climate. Vomo even boasts its own little offshore island, Vomo Lailai, for private Champagne picnics. Think sweet buds that smell of warm maple syrup and crimson-chested birds chattering in the bush. In this lush promiscuity, you can noodle around forever with the snorkel, marvelling at the Dr. Seuss-like colours and critters below.

Only when it's time to unpack the gourmet hamper do you realize that your Canadian backside is burnt pink as our famous back bacon.

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The basics

Vomo Island Resort in Lautoka, Fiji Islands; 679-666-7955;; 150 minutes for $182.

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