BRISBANE, Australia—June 1 was a day of celebration on Castaway Island, Fiji, as this private island resort reopened and welcomed guests back following a three-month island clean-up and property renovation following February’s Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Resort General Manager Steven Andrews said, “Winston may have been classified as the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Fiji in recorded history, but the reopening of our beautiful island resort just three short months after such a severe storm is proof that our Castaway Island vuvale, our family, is so much stronger and more resilient than any storm can be.”
In addition to repairing the significant damage caused by the cyclone, Outrigger Resorts, which owns and manages the property, took advantage of the down time and invested further in the resort with an upgrade and refurbishment of a number of bures and public areas.
“Our hosts, most of whom stayed on the island during the cyclone, have worked tirelessly for the past three months,” Andrews said. “They have put in back-breaking days clearing debris, cleaning swimming pools, restoring gardens and making repairs to bures and thatched roofing,” he said.
Fourteen of the island’s 65 bures have either been completely rebuilt or upgraded, but the comfort and traditional style remain, including the vaulted ceilings featuring traditional hand-painted tapa cloth.
The opportunity was also taken to upgrade the outdoor kitchen servicing the resort’s 1808 “feet in the sand” restaurant. To celebrate the reopening, Executive Chef Markus Nufer has created new menus for all of the resort’s four restaurants.
“We so look forward to welcoming our guests back to this island paradise we call home and offering the high standard of holiday experience for which Castaway Island is so well known,” Andrew said. “It’s important not only to Castaway Island, Fiji Resort but to the overall Fijian economy. Castaway Island has a 40 percent return guest rate and the highest guest satisfaction scores in the Outrigger portfolio so we are very much looking forward to being able to open the doors and continue this trend,” Andrews concluded.