Vanuatu’s multiple award-winning Ratua Island Resort and Spa has been purchased by New Zealanders Brett and Leah Fasher, who have embarked on a major rejuvenation of the 146-acre resort island.
The only resort in Vanuatu with a private air strip, the island is just four minutes south of Espiritu Santo by air, or 30 scenic minutes by transfer boat.
It offers luxury eco-tourism, spa opportunities and is a unique South Pacific venue for conferences, weddings, honeymoons and family holidays.
Accommodation includes 13 hand crafted 200-year old Indonesian villas in classic Teak Wood and 3 luxury African Marquees in private beach settings.
“Ratua Island offers an unspoilt South Pacific charm,” Brett said. “The resort spreads over three closely linked villages with lush vegetation leading to beautiful private beaches and turquoise waters.
“The theme is conservation of this unique environment, organic local food including coffee and chocolate. In fact all the produce for Ratua either comes off the island or within a 10 km radius.
“The overwater spa has just had a makeover by one of the Pacific’s leading spa consultants and is simply stunning.
“There is a host of fitness activities from walking and cycling to stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, horse riding around the island and even swimming with the horses in one of 2 lagoons.
“With traditional ceiling fans rather than air conditioning, we have horses rather than cars. Guests can swim with sea turtles and enjoy one of the best coral reefs in Vanuatu all protected with a host of fish life in the islands marine sanctuary.
“Guests are not entirely cut off from the outside world – there is wifi throughout the resort, live streaming of main sport events in the bar and a 16 seat antique Balinese movie theatre,” he said.
Peter and Jojo Third, who have more than 25 years experience in international hospitality in remote locations, will manage the resort. They bring a vast amount of 5 star experience and are the driving force in bringing Ratua to an even higher standard.
“Ratua has been described as the land that time forgot,” Jojo said. “Pete and I want to focus on making the guest experience to be a memorable and relaxing time whilst enjoying the whole island.
“Guests should be pampered and waited on in the standard that our customers expect.”
“A talented new spa manager has been appointed and majority of the 45 fantastic local staff have all been retained.
“The restaurant has also had a facelift and we have two new creative Chefs on board whom deliver an outstanding culinary experience from our fresh local produce.
“A new reservations system and reservationist has been set up in Australia and a new website is in production. Exciting times ahead for all involved in Ratua Island.”
Leah said she would continue to manage the Ratua Foundation set up 10 years ago by the original founders of the resort so that profits from the resort can be used to benefit children in Vanuatu with school literacy programmes and other projects.
Amongst the Foundations proudest achievements is the distribution of 7000 school bags since 2012 for the ‘ One Child – One Bag ‘ project with stationaries throughout Vanuatu. School construction projects and medical assistance will continue.
“We really want to ensure that every child in Vanuatu receives the necessary equipment for their education,” Leah said.