Hear the words “private island resort in Fiji,” and most folks (cash flow allowing) are game. Not much backstory necessary.
And yet, there’s a heightened irresistibility to the latest of such getaways — a $100M effort by Australian billionaire Lang Walker — in part because the resort, named Kokomo, was never supposed to cost $100M.
kokomo 1 (3 images)
The original number, in fact, was $10M. But as Walker, the developer behind Sydney Harbour’s King Street Wharf, continued to check-in on Yaukuve Levu, a perfectly preserved isle southeast of Suva (Fiji’s main island), he excitedly added more and more amenities, and the checks piled up.
All that cash didn’t just go toward the residences (there are only 21 villas spread across the 140 acres), but toward unique offerings like a hydroponic nursery, seaplane with multiple barges, cinnamon wood construction and a restaurant that will cook wahoo or mahi mahi you’ve speared yourself. Walker also made sure to throw in R&R mainstays like infinity pools and a massive spa.
kokomo 2 (3 images)
And while this resort will have you feeling good at all hours, there’s also quite a bit to feel good about while there. Kokomo is committed to environmental sustainability, with several water-conservation systems, organic gardens, a beehive and even a chicken coop and duck flock for farm-to-table meals with a little island flair. The resort’s also brought an influx of jobs to a nation that needs them. While Yaukuve Levu itself is uninhabited, Fijians from neighboring islands have joined the operation, making up a majority of Kokomo’s staff.
You can find booking rates here. Unsurprisingly, it’s not cheap. But if a developer is passionate enough to spend 10 times his intended amount to build something, you can probably justify carving out a week (and a month or two's rent) to appreciate it.