The Wakaya Club & Spa News & Press

The Wakaya Club & Spa consistently ranks high among the world’s most exclusive resorts. Our island paradise has been the subject of numerous awards and is a favorite topic for some of the world’s most discerning journalists. Please see the sections below for more about this private hideaway.

Awards & Recognition

The Wakaya Club & Spa has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors since it was founded in 1990. The Wakaya Club & Spa is a four-time winner of Andrew Harper’s distinguished “Hideaway of the Year Grand Award”, is also listed as one of his favorite resorts in his 25th Anniversary edition, and is the honored recipient of Fiji’s “Excellence in Tourism Award” for Boutique Accommodation.

Additional accolades include:

  • 2013 Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, Reader’s Choice “Top International Hideaways”
  • TripAdvisor 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award
  • World Luxury Association: World’s Top 100 Most Valuable Luxury Brands – Read Article
  • Andrew Harper Hideaway Report, Reader’s Choice “Top 20 International Hideaways” –
  • Andrew Harper Hideaway Report Reader’s Choice “Top 20 International Resorts”
  • Island Destinations Travel Agent Choice Award “Most Romantic Destination of the Year”
  • Andrew Harper Hideaway Report “Best South Pacific Resort”
  • “Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award” for “Boutique Accommodation”
  • Tatler Travel Award for “Best Island Retreat”
  • Elite Traveler “Pure Decadence” Award
  • Tatler “The 101 Best Hotels”
  • “Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award” for “Boutique Accommodation”
  • Andrew Harper Hideaway Report “Best Tasting Water in the World” (FIJI Water)
  • Stern’s Guide to the Greatest Resorts in the World “Award of Excellence”
  • Star Service “Super Star Hotel”


We are continually delighted by the quality of news coverage we receive from some of the world’s most prestigious and best-read publications. The following excerpts are just a few of the comments made about Wakaya:

Spanning 2,200 acres and surrounded by a protected coral reef, azure lagoons and majestic cliffs, this exclusive private island resort brings a new level of luxury to the South Pacific. The ten freestanding waterfront villas start at 1,650 square feet, and get bigger (much bigger) from there.– Read Article

~ Ann Abel,

This celebrity favorite doesn’t bill itself as a weight loss spa, but you’d be hard-pressed not to shed a few pounds during your visit.– Read Article

~ Anne Roderique-Jones,

The all-inclusive Wakaya Club and Spa is set amidst a 2,200-acre tropical paradise in a secluded and pristine corner of the South Pacific. – Read Article


The spa may look unassuming, but the coveted local products it uses are what truly set the place apart, especially the island’s organic ginger, a passion project of the resort’s owner, David H. Gilmour (the founder of FIJI Water). – Read Article

~ Town & Country

Spurred by fond memories of his opera singer mother drinking ginger tea to open up her vocal cords, David Gilmour, owner of Wakaya Club & Spa (and founder of Fiji Water), decided to grow his own ginger and planted pink Fijian seeds in the volcanic soil. – Read Article

~ Town & Country

In an effort to boost early childhood education in Fiji, Early Lingo and The Wakaya Charitable Trust provided English language learning kits to schoolchildren on Wakaya and Toki in Levuka this month. – Read Article


David Gilmour is amongst one of the world’s most prolific businessman, commonly known here as the founder of the world-renowned FIJI Water. In Fiji, he also owns the Wakaya Island Club and Spa, a resort visited by many famous celebrities from around the world, Hollywood in particular. And his most recent venture is the Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger – a 100 per cent organic pink Fijian ginger grown on his 2200-acre Wakaya Island.

-Read Article

-View Video


THE reception towards Fiji’s home-grown organic ginger powder on the international market has been positive. And according to The Wakaya Group owner, David Gilmour, his latest investment is bound to make a lasting impact because of its uniqueness.
-Read Article


The Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger, launched only five months ago is already receiving great reviews. And why wouldn’t it when the man behind it is none other than David Gilmour. -Read Article

~ Fiji Sun

THE Wakaya Group has invested $5 million for the acquisition of a brand new top-of-the-line luxury aircraft in Fiji. The aircraft, an 11-seater Cessna Grand Caravan Ex, would be based in Nadi and available to the public for charter. -Read Article


The Wakaya Group of Companies is Delighted to Announce the Acquisition and Introduction of a Brand New Top-of-the-Line Luxury Aircraft in Fiji.
-Read Article
-View Video

~ Fiji Sun / Fiji TV

Ever at the forefront of offering tip-top luxury destinations, Abercrombie & Kent have just gained a new Fijian feather for their cap: Wakaya Island. The newest addition to Geoffrey Kent’s Private Collection, the island is only the second destination to make it onto this exclusive list of hand-picked retreats for discerning travellers. -Read Article


In our new column, we round up the best of what’s fresh out of the box in the world of travel. A-list hot spot: Vale’O, a villa on Wakaya, a private island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti archipelago. -Read Article


Geoffrey Kent has announced the addition of Wakaya Island and the owner’s sensational villa, Vale’O, to his Private Collection. Joining the Panamanian gem of Isla Simca, Wakaya Island is only the second destination to meet the exacting criteria Geoff set for his exclusive collection of personally hand-picked greats.
-Read Article

~ Elite Traveler

The Wakaya Club & Spa is a luxury private island resort in Fiji. One of their unique features is a beach picnic where guests are guaranteed privacy for a radius of three miles while they are on the beach. For this private island experience, you’ll be spending about $2,200.– ReadArticle

~ Nikki Gill, The Huffington Post Canada

The Wakaya Club & Spa is a luxury private island resort unlike any other in the world. This serene retreat in Fiji offers gracious living, sophisticated, international cuisine and unparalleled leisure opportunities – including some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in one of the most secluded and pristine corners of the South Pacific.
-Read Article

~ World Spa & Travel

Fiji Water’s David Gilmour Takes Aim At New Start Up

It’s a $20 million view overlooking Central Park from a 42nd-floor apartment in the Trump International building. But after 18 years David Gilmour is willing to give it up. Movers have crated the Ming dynasty furniture and sculpture and the Thai and Burmese Buddhas. Having logged 7 million air and sea miles to found nearly a dozen companies–a stereo maker, resorts, a gold mine, bottled water–he knows when it’s time to pack up and go.
– Read Article

~ Forbes

The Fiji TImes online reviews START UP: THE LIFE & TIMES OF A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR by David H. Gilmour – Read Article

~ The Fiji Times

Owner of the Fijian Island where the world’s most private celebrities hide away. David Gilmour shows us around his personal paradise. – Read Article

~ HELLO! Magazine

Since Fiji Water-Founder David H. Gilmour purchased Wakaya in 1972, the 2,200-acre island has changed very little-which is how Gilmour likes it…The island refuge and its devoted staff of 138 create a restorative sense of timelessness. – Read Article

~ Worth magazine

After a 45-minute flight from Nadi International Airport, I checked into The Wakaya Club & Spa, located on its own private island just northeast of Viti Levu. I’d come for the diving, but one glance showed me the topside life was equally special. – Read Article

~ Tara Bradley, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

Los Angeles, June 13, 2012: The Wakaya Club & Spa (, a private island resort in Fiji, is thrilled to announce that Craig Strong, Executive Chef of Montage Laguna Beach’s Studio Restaurant, will be coming to Wakaya as Guest Chef from Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 through Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. – Read Article

~ Press Release, The Wakaya Club & Spa

Ten suites, tropical gardens and a coral reef are the ingredients for a dream holiday at Wakaya in Fiji. – Read Article

~ Financial Times, How To Spend It

Here in Wakaya was where the Princes of Asturias took their honeymoon, and now we understand why they did. It is a place so perfect and so discreet that no one could imagine a better one. – Read Article

~ ¡Hola!

From exclusive celebrity retreats to affordable family stays, a bounty of bures awaits… – ReadArticle

~ Caroline Gladstone, The Sydney Morning Herald

One of my favorite trips ever was to Fiji’s Wakaya Club and Spa. It was easy to stay active all day — what with the kayaking, hiking and even the amazing hotel gym — and I had nutritionists’ dream meals like Nobu sashimi and steamed vegetables with organic tahini and brown basmati rice. – ReadArticle

~ Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN, of B Nutritious

Wakaya Island Club & Spa offers the luxury of privacy that is unparalleled with any other clubs and spas with its strategic location of being at the most corner of the world. – Read Article

~ Luxuria Magazine

To get to this 2,200-acre private island (owned by Fiji Water founder David Gilmour), you’ll need to board the Wakaya’s own private Cessna Grand Caravan Ex. After touchdown, guests can either choose to be the center of attention, courtesy of 12 staff members for every person, or opt to be completely alone: The resort offers a private beach picnic, during which guests are left with only a walkie-talkie to communicate and a guarantee that there is no other human being within three miles. – Read Article

~ Dan Morgridge, Gadling, A Blog from The Huffington Post

To get to this 2,200-acre private island (owned by Fiji Water founder David Gilmour), you’ll need to board the Wakaya’s own private Cessna Grand Caravan Ex. After touchdown, guests can either choose to be the center of attention, courtesy of 12 staff members for every person, or opt to be completely alone: The resort offers a private beach picnic, during which guests are left with only a walkie-talkie to communicate and a guarantee that there is no other human being within three miles. – Read Article

~ Jennifer M. Wood, Condé Nast Traveler, January 2012

Although not overly well known to New Zealand travellers, The Wakaya Club & Spa has long been recognised as one of the world’s finest tropical resorts. It’s also been the secret getaway for many a celebrity, including an injury prone Keith Richards who a few years back fell out of a tree while enjoying a private picnic on one of Wakaya’s deserted beaches. Yes, it’s very exclusive and so very private – two key attributes that attract some of the paparazzi shy guests, but it also retains that special Fijian warmth of hospitality that is given to all and I was taken in by its charm from the
moment I arrived. – Read Article

~ Phil Harrison, Luxury Magazine, Spring/Summer 2011

What do Bill Gates, Keith Richards, Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, Tom Cruise, Steve Jobs, George Lucas, Nicole Kidman, and Paris Hilton (for starters) have in common? They’ve all spent time on a sustainably conceived, maximally secluded, soul-infused single-resort island in Fiji. Taking the hint, David Michaelis and bride wing it to the South Pacific. – Read Article

~ David Michaelis, Conde Nast Traveler, December 2010

No man is an island, the saying goes, but David Gilmour is all that and so much more. The Canada-born entrepreneur has made his mark on everything from housewares (he brought Dansk to North America) to beverages (he founded Fiji Water) to the Internet (Gilmour’s latest venture is Zinio, a digital-media firm aiming to revolutionize the way magazines and newspapers are consumed). But get him started on the subject of his life’s delight and one is treated to a paean to Wakaya, the 2,200-acre private island in Fiji where he and his wife, Jill, spend four months every year. “It is the most perfect thing,” David declares of his South Seas paradise. “Most men I know want to own a saloon or an island. I chose the island.” – Read Article

~ Mitchell Owens, Elle Decor

The ne plus ultra of any diving vacation is being able to grab a captain, a divemaster and a boat and head out to the reef whenever you want—and that’s exactly how the scuba program works at Wakaya. But now add a private marine reserve, mantas, hammerheads, hawksbill and green turtles, lionfish, blue ribbon eels, leopard sharks, giant clams and pilot whales, and put them five minutes from the dock of a 2,200-acre private island.

– Read Article

~ James Sturz, Executive Travel May 2009

It is little wonder that this luxury private island resort attracts so many celebrities, every inch of the 2,200 acre hideaway is dedicated to pure, unadulterated pleasure. This couples-only retreat is home to the Breeze Spa, one of the best treatment spaces on Fiji… – Read Article

~ Kate Graham, AsiaSpa Magazine

David Gilmour is the modern day frontier man. A pioneer who has enjoyed phenomenal success throughout his entrepreneurial career, and particularly here in Fiji, from where he has for the past 40 years launched internationally acclaimed brands and products, widely regarded as among the best in the world. – Read Article

~ Stanley Simpson, Mai Life

“Sega Na leqa.” The Fijian phrase that loosely translates to “Don’t worry, be happy” seems to well define the tranquil lifestyle led by Canadian entrepreneur David Harrison Gilmour and his wife of 26 years, Jill. Spending their days surrounded by lush banyan trees, mist-laden orchids and exotic birds at their Marion Sims Wyeth-designed estate on Palm Beach—or amid virgin beaches, towering cliffs and untamed horses on Wakaya, an unspoiled Fijian island they acquired in the early ’70s—the couple is most at home in a secluded oceanside paradise. – Read Article

~ A.B. Timbrook, Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine

“Great Brands Can Afford Elitist Touch” – Read Article

~ Branding Strategy Insider Blog

“Fiji is one of those places that has become synonymous with underwater adventure…[it] is the go-to destination for divers seeking healthy reefs teeming with creatures.” – Read Article

~ Jeff Greenwald, Virtuoso Life Magazine

“The Wakaya Club [& Spa] is one of the South Pacific’s most exclusive resorts but the real drawcard is the inimitable, laidback Fijian charm. Bula to you.” – Read Article

~ Peter Thomson, Australian Gourmet Traveller

“Situated on a tiny private island surrounded by pristine coral reefs, Wakaya has all the natural ingredients of a diver’s dream destination.” – Read Article

~ Ethan Gordon, Fathoms Magazine

“Wakaya Island is the way you always imagined the South Pacific to be a tranquil, unspoiled, gorgeously picturesque tropical hideaway where time has seemingly stood still.”

~ Andrew Harper Hideaway Report

“The staff is so hospitable and gracious, it’s like they’re welcoming you into their home.”

~ Elegant Bride

“Attending to guests every whim is the hallmark of The Wakaya Club – when the time comes to depart the Fijian farewell song is certain to draw tears.”

~ Robb Report

“Special 25th Anniversary Issue: Our Favorite Destinations, Hideaways and City Hotels.”

~ Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report

“Thinking back on all of the Harper discoveries of the past 18 years, The Wakaya Club perhaps best embraces our ideal of the consummate tropical hideaway.”

~ Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report

“For anyone with a yearning for harmony and a passion for perfection, Wakaya is surely one of the best places on the planet.”

~ Departures

“Wakaya was an uninhabited 2,200-acre outer island in the Fiji Islands when Canadian entrepreneur David Gilmour spied it in 1971. Now it’s easily one of the most exclusive and pampering resorts in the world. Even Bill Gates thought enough of Wakaya’s privacy and 12-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio to honeymoon here.”

~ Travel & Leisure

“The Wakaya Club is a consummate retreat, a place of almost spiritual calm, where extreme luxury is more about a private club paradise than just a beach resort holiday.”

~ Australian Gourmet Traveler

“There are no televisions or telephones, but the nine bures don’t stint on comfort. They have every detail you would expect in your own home…This isn’t just any hotel, it’s a labor of love.”

~ Architectural Digest

“If one of the worst things about traveling is people pollution, Wakaya is as clean as a red-breasted lorikeet’s whistle.”

~ Tatler Travel Guide

“If simplicity is a virtue, this place has enough to rise into the heavens with its lava-rock outdoor showers, Tibetan rugs, Indonesian sculpture, floors made from rare, beautiful yaka wood, Nina Campbell-designed fabrics, and king-sized, 4-poster beds with posh linens.”

~ The New Yorker

“This is Fantasy Island” swear fans of the perfect hideaway overlooking the coral-ringed Pacific; perhaps the most romantic spot in the world, it wows with superb service and creative cuisine; rooms in traditional Fijian bures are elegantly appointed with every creature comfort; of course it’s extravagant, but our surveyors say, “it just doesn’t get any better.”

~ Zagat Survey Top International Hotels, Resorts & Spas

“Travel heaven: The Wakaya Club in Fiji. It’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s Fantasy Island.”

~ Town & Country Travel

“Wakaya’s guest roster reads like the Who’s Who of entertainment, politics and industry.”

~ Palm Beach Illustrated

“When you leave, you cry,” says Celine Dion, who went to Wakaya after her 1994 marriage, “because it is an experience out of the ordinary.”

~ People

“The guest register reads like a Liz Smith column…”

~ Hollywood Reporter

“Everyone is a celebrity and no one a tourist on Wakaya.”

~ Angeleno

“From the moment you hear the lilting Fijian greeting “Bula!” it’s impossible not to be charmed by the staff’s warmth and uncanny ability to turn relaxation into a perpetual state.”

~ InStyle

“There is one spot in the South Pacific…that leads us to exclaim, “Paradise found!” No place on earth captures our spirit with beauty, native hospitality, and rhythmic serenity like Wakaya…The Wakaya Club is utterly peaceful, and the casual, gracious rhythms of this secluded haven fulfill our fantasies of a South Sea paradise in every way.”

~ The Odyssey Report

“If you seek top-notch luxury and privacy and plenty of romance there’s nothing better than a week at the Fiji archipelago’s Wakaya Club. Insider tip: If you are looking for no-holds-barred decadence, book Vale’O…”

~ Gotham

“Wakaya Club exemplifies the “ask and you shall receive” mentality of a five-star haven. It is such a perfect getaway that it feels as if it fell directly from heaven…Offshore are some of the world’s undersea works of art…”

~ Sport Diver/