Travel - September 5, 2017

A Week in Fiji on Turtle Island

beach view of fiji

[NOTE: Sorry to disappear on y’all last week. After getting back late Sunday night from Fiji and catching up on all that was going on with hurricane Harvey, I took some time away from the internet and social media to help and check on friends. Plus, it just didn’t seem right to continue business as usual with everything going on. I’m still brainstorming and figuring out ways to help (I know from living in Louisiana that this will be a long road and help will be needed for a very long time…). But in the meantime, I’ve found this article to be a great resource that lists out ways you can help. More on Hurricane Harvey relief to come.]

As I mentioned last week, I traveled to Turtle Island Fiji in collaboration with one of BTD’s newest partners, Emily of Traveluxe Official. As I’m sure the photos speak for themselves (that part of the world is so beautiful!), it was such an amazing trip and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity! I’m excited to share everything about the amazing resort with y’all in today’s post! Keep reading for all the details :)

turtle island fiji

Getting To Fiji

For starters, I’ve never worked with a travel agent before, so I was BLOWN AWAY with how big of a difference it made in my experience and trip overall. Everything was taken care of – which was SO nice. Upon arrival to the mainland in Fiji, I was greeted (literally) right when I got off the plane by two locals holding up a sign with my name on it. They then walked with me to baggage claim and made sure I had everything I needed before handing me off to a driver that would take me to my next destination.

From the main airport, I traveled to the “Turtle Airways” tiny airport in order to catch the “sea plane” that would then transport me to Turtle Island. The sea plan is tiny – like, I think it could only fit a max of 5 people including the pilot! Anyway, all that to say, I didn’t have to worry about a THING from the moment I left Texas and it was amazing!

look from above of fiji islands

The sea plane ride was absolutely beautiful and pretty short – only 40 minutes or so. In the plane you could see the islands and the beautiful waters – it was quite the sight. And then right when I landed in the sea plane, my Turtle Island adventure began. If you caught it on stories, I was carried out of the plane and to the shore by two local, Fijian men while a group of people serenaded my welcome. It was such a sweet welcome – and they also had my favorite drink waiting for me as well! Talk about a first impression!

Upon arrival, most of the staff already knew my name and had been expecting me (so nice right!?). I met the managers and got a quick rundown of the resort as well as a tour to my new Fijian home – aka my Bure. I was then introduced to my very own “Bure mama.” I mentioned it on instagram, but every Bure has a “bure mama” that’s basically like a VIP butler (for lack of a better term) to take care of every need you could imagine. Mine was Mama Tukasa and we were like two peas in a pod throughout my stay – I was obsessed with her!

brighton keller sitting on bed at turtle island

Like I mentioned, each “couple” staying there gets a private bure with a bure mama! Here’s a photo of the bed. Each bure has plenty of space with an indoor living area (in addition to the bedroom area) as well as an outdoor patio (that has an outdoor bed on it for napping or sleeping outside!)

Outfit Details: J.Crew Bell Sleeve Stripe Tee // Baublebar Rosita Earrings // Levi’s Denim Shorts.

turtle island fiji hammock and chairs on private beach

Each home also has a designated section of the beach with chairs and a hammock for relaxing on the beach.

brighton keller on the beach of fiji island wearing black lace bikini
brighton keller wearing black lace bikini in Fiji

Suit Details: PILYQ Lace Bikini Top // PILYQ Lace Bikini Bottom // Hinge Straw Hat // Ray-Ban Highstreet Sunglasses

What We Did + Things To Do

There are so many fun and exciting way you can spend your time at Turtle Island. Whether you want to be active and take part of every activity during your stay or laid back and enjoy your time sipping Mojitos. Everything here can be customized to meet your needs.

brighton keller riding horseback on the beach wearing one piece plunge neck swimsuit
red bikini and white statement earrings from the styled collective
close up of red plunge one piece swimsuit
overlooking the beach on fiji island

Outfit Details: Karla Colleto Plunge Neck One Piece // Positano Drop Earrings // Saint Laurent Lip Stain (dangerously pink)

Some activities that you can enjoy on the island include:

  • Snorkeling & Scuba Diving – The marine life at Turtle Island is not something to miss out on. As part of your stay scuba diving and snorkeling are complimentary. You can literally jump into the water and start snorkeling! From the beach you can see a vast array of marine animals, it’s quite an experience.
  • Horseback Riding – On Tuesday morning I was able to enjoy horseback riding at sunrise followed with a private breakfast on the beach. It was a dream, and I ended up loving it so much that on my last night there, my Bure Mama surprised me with another horseback ride – except this time at sunset. She took note of how much I enjoyed riding Nemo (the horse!) at sunrise and brought him right to my bure so I could enjoy one last ride before I left.
  • Weekly Booze Cruise – I was so excited to do this during my stay. However, the two times we tried to go the weather didn’t cooperate. I heard from other returning guests that it is tons of fun and a great opportunity to meet and hangout with other guests on the island.
  • Relaxing Spa – No tropical vacation is complete without a spa. On Turtle Island the spa is secluded and perfect for couples. You literally get to have your own private massage while listening to the tropical birds singing you to sleep.
  • Nightly activities and events – On Friday night we had a big dance party and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. They set up a DJ and a dance floor for all the guests to enjoy. They also had game night and a Fijian night where you can experience true Fijian culture and dancing.
  • Star-Gazing – Y’all the night sky in Fiji is no joke. I have never seen as many stars in my life. From your bure you could sit out and spend hours looking at different constellations. It was breathtaking.
  • Private Beaches – There are different private beaches located around the island. During the day you can spend your time “beach hopping” visiting every one. You can also enjoy private lunches offered on each one of the beaches
  • Private Dinner on The Ocean – On our second night there, Mama Tukasa (with a little help too) set up a private dinner for us on a floating pontoon all lit up with candles in the ocean. It was really nice! They boated us out there (it wasn’t very far from the main dock) and then brought us our courses throughout the night.
brighton keller on the boardwalk wearing embroidered dress, lace up sandals, and tassel drop earrings
boat ride to private dinner Turtle island fiji
turtle island fiji pontoon floating deck dinner

Outfit Details: Socialite Embroidered Dress // Madewell Strappy Sandals // Vanessa Mooney Tassel Earrings

brighton keller sitting on dock wearing floral bikini

Outfit Details: Seafolly Floral Print Bikini Top // Seafolly Floral Print Bikini Bottom // Ray-Ban Icon Sunglasses // Baublebar Drop Earrings

Food & Communal Eating

Before getting to Turtle Island, you fill out a form detailing your dietary preferences and restrictions. So you list out your favorite things to drink and eat so that they can get ready for your visit and make sure that your meals will be too your liking. You can obviously be as detailed and specific as you wish and just about everyone on the island will be aware of what you love and don’t love. For instance, one of the things I put on my form is that I love mojitos. And there was one afternoon where I was laying out on the beach in front of my Bure and one of the bartenders walked over from the dining area (a short walk from me) and brought me a mojito without me even asking! I didn’t even know anyone could see me laying there because our beach was somewhat private or hidden from the main area! That’s just ONE example of how amazing the service is and their attention to detail and your personal preferences in an effort to give you the best experience possible.

Communal Dining – At Turtle Island all dinners are served communal style unless you choose to eat in the privacy of your bure. I was a bit thrown off at first, being used to eating at my own table, but I ended up loving it. On the island there is a huge ‘family’ vibe that you experience when dining as well. Everyone gets to know each other and share stories during dinner. Later, you’ll see them throughout your stay and you will start to feel like a little family on a private island. I did spend a night eating in my bure and loved the service and being able to enjoy the comfort of my own room. Also, if eating with everyone isn’t your thing, it’s 100% acceptable and okay to do your own thing throughout your stay! 

brighton keller wearing t back maxi dress

Friday night was one for the books. We started the night with a Hibachi dinner where we enjoyed locally caught fish cooked to perfection right in front of us. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of hibachi dinners so I was particularly excited about this and it did not disappoint!

One of the coolest things about the food at turtle island is that just about everything (aside from the meat) is grown and harvested on the island. When we went on a tour of the island we were able to see just how fresh the produce was on the island. We saw the farms where they are grown and harvested and later ate local fruits and vegetables. Talk about a farm to table experience!

There are SEVERAL different private beaches on the island and these photos in this dress (part of this blog post) were taken on “Devil’s Beach”.

Outfit DetailsO’Neill Print Midi Dress // Serefina Lunar Tassel Earrings

brighton keller having breakfast at turtle island fiji

Service & People

Y’all. I don’t even know where to begin. PLEASE tell me you watched my instagram stories and got to meet my sweet Fijian mama? I could go on for days about how amazing she was and how well she cared for me (and all my needs while there), but she was only PART of the picture when it comes to service and people on Turtle Island. Everyone that works there is amazing, welcoming and just all around joyful. Being around them and their smile literally lifted my spirits!

And it was so cool how they let you into their culture and way of doing things. In addition to your welcome party (where they carry you from the boat and sing to you!), there are other instances throughout your stay where they sing songs native to the fijian culture. For instance, each night before dinner they’d stop by all the bures and serenade you before joining everyone for cocktails.

brighton keller wearing striped strapless jumpsuit with white sandals

Turtle Island is all about providing the best and truest Fijian culture. The kindness shown and the food and songs shared made this an experience that would be hard to duplicate elsewhere. I even got sick one night and Mama Tukasa brought me breakfast in bed the next morning – which you might have seen on instagram stories or my feed too! It was AMAZING and I felt like such a princess!

How pretty is the color of this water?! It BLEW me away! So clear and beautiful!

brighton keller overlooking the water in fiji wearing ruffled white dress and pom pom beach bag

How pretty is the color of this water?! It BLEW me away! So clear and beautiful!

Outfit Details: Red Carter Ruffle Strapless Dress // Jadetribe Pom Pom Bag // Ray-Ban Icon Sunglasses

horseback riding on the beach wearing topshop wrap dress

Topshop Wrap Dress

peasant blouse and levi's cutoff shorts

Topshop Lace Sleeve Top // Levis Cutoff Shorts // Baublebar Rosita Drop Earrings

All in all my experience at Turtle Island was beyond compare! It was like a little slice of heaven and a week I’ll never forget! One thing I do want to mention – that I think speaks volumes about the place – is that several of the people that were there at the same time I was were on their 5th, 6th, and 7th return visits to the islands. Many of the people who visit come back every year! Which I think says a lot about how amazing it is and how much people really love the place :)

Thanks so much to Turtle Island and Traveluxe Official for having me; it was a WONDERFUL experience! If you’re looking to go on a vacation and want someone to plan, book, and worry about all the details for you then I highly recommend working with Emily (tell I said Hi! She’s amazing!). If you missed last week’s post about making traveling easier, I explained how her business work and why it’s beneficial to work with her!