Fifty years ago, a small Fijian island named Qualito echoed to the sound of bush knives as workers cleared scrub and began building bures.
Today the island, one of the most beautiful in the Mamanucas region and famous for its pristine north and south facing beaches, is the internationally acclaimed Castaway Island, Fiji Resort.
One of the jewels in the crown of Outrigger Enterprises Group, Castaway will be celebrating throughout the month of November to mark a half-century of delivering an authentic Fijian holiday experience.
There will be celebratory cocktails and cultural events, plus all guests will receive a commemorative Castaway sarong or sulu and be invited to take part in the many festivities planned during the month.
This is in addition to the newly launched Outrigger Signature Experiences, providing all guests with a treasure trove of included amenities and authentic cultural programs to fully savour the island’s unique sense of place.
To further celebrate our beginnings from 1966, guests can take advantage of cut-price resort activities including a relaxing 30-minute massage, 30 minutes of water skiing, a banana-boat ride for a minimum of two people, a guided night snorkel or guided outer-reef snorkel which can be purchased for FJD$19.66 each as a booklet of five. The activity pack is normally valued at over FJD$350.
For five decades, Castaway has welcomed guests to its white sand beaches and turquoise waters, offering an intoxicating blend of South Pacific tranquillity and impeccable service and cuisine.
It has survived storms and cyclones, emerging battered but with the spirit of its hosts unbroken, by the ferocity of Cyclone Winston earlier this year. Less than four months after enduring the wrath one of the most destructive cyclones ever experienced in Fiji, the small slice of paradise that is Castaway Island was once more welcoming guests.
The resort’s history can be traced through its hosts, some of whom have been working on the island for more than 30 years.
In 1992, the resort was energised by the arrival of a new owner, Geoffrey Shaw, who had been involved in Fiji tourism since 1970.
It was his vision for Castaway Island that made it synonymous with ‘barefoot’ luxury hospitality, a vision that has realized a returnee guest rate of 40 percent.
Castaway Island Resort General Manager Steven Andrews said that he and his team were very excited about plans for the November celebrations.
“We have several staff who have lived on the island for over 30 years. Castaway Island is their home and our guests are their family. As we approach our birthday, we remain dedicated to creating lasting holiday memories for our guests and a tranquil home for our hosts for another 50 years,” he said.