The Island Retreat where the British Royals were unidentified

By on 11/07/2014

fimage_61d495c806Kate who? William who? Sounds absurd? Who in the world wouldn’t know the royal duo? Read on to find out in which island the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William were (almost) anonymous.

Mary Raboul – Manu has never in her life ever read a gossip magazine or for that matter even watched television. This is probably the reason why when the royal duo entered the resort where she works, people had to explain to her who they were.

The royal couple visited Tavanipupu Private Island Resort in the Solomon Islands as part of their Asia Pacific tour. The Solomon Islands are only a 3-hour flight away from mainland Australia, but the country feels a world away from the everyday life we all live and know of. The island, on which the resort is located, is situated in Marau Sound in the Eastern Guadalcanal Province, which was once a coconut plantation. The resort is located amongst a collection of small islands with lush tropical foliage all around them, which is surrounded by picture perfect turquoise waters that are so crystal clear that the surface looks like the bottom of a glass base boat.

From the private jetty (a wooden canoe) that drops you only a short distance from your bungalow, guests get greetedbungalow-1 with bows, floral garlands and chilled coconuts. From here on guests can relax and enjoy the laid back island life in which measuring time by a clock does not mean anything really. No matter where you look, images of the green land and shimmering blue water look like postcard images that require capturing.

The resort can only host to about 18 guests in 7 bungalows at one time. Each of the bungalows is ornamented with kastom carvings, vibrantly colored tropical flowers, original island themed artworks and clamshells from adjacent reefs. They are furnished with four-poster king sized beds and gorgeous views out to the water. The single supreme bungalow boasts of its own private jetty and garden and also has an amazing private open shower.

The privately owned retreat provides a relaxing place to experience the country and get a glimpse of the local Melanesian culture. The royal couple’s security team told the retreat staff that the island was one of the most relaxed, tranquil and comfortable milieu the couple has ever stayed in.

This is easy to believe as the Solomon Islands is a collection of 1000 islands with a population of about 500,000 people who live in leaf huts and travel in hand carved wooden canoes. In fact, the Duchess and the Duke were served by Mary, who is a local from the surrounding islands and arrives every morning for work in a wooden canoe.

honiaraThe clean and calm waters make it almost irresistible not to go in and explore life below its surface. The island is bordered by coral reefs in an assortment of shapes and vibrantly colored fish. In fact, the couple too managed to find some time to put on their masks and do some deep-water diving to discover life underwater.

On the resort island itself, guests can opt for stand-up paddle boarding or simply laze around in the hammocks. Kayaks are available for guests who want to explore the island on their own. Alternatively, there are the relaxed jetties that are paddled by the locals who take you around. You may go fishing to catch a sailfish or opt to get a massage in the over-water massage room even.

The Sanbis Island, close by, is a round island without any trees. All you can see here is sand and water. The area in diameters is probably less than 100 meters even. After a 15-minute canoe traverse past islands rimmed by white sandy beaches, guests are dropped at the island with a ready-made gourmet lunch. After the guests are done with lunch, they can go snorkeling or swim in the untouched waters that surround the beach.

The sound of wooden drums beaten in a rhythmic pattern signals that Mary is calling for ‘kaikai’ or food which istavanipupu-private-island served in the open-air dining pavilion. The meals are created from the most premium local and imported ingredients with the chief focus on seafood that comes from the waters that surround the island. Breakfast is served on the verandah of each bungalow at whatever time it suits the guest.

The picture perfect views of the Solomon Island landscape, the mouthwatering seafood fare and the luxurious surrounds make it hard for anyone to say farewell to Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.

GETTING THERE

Solomon Airlines and Virgin Australia fly between Brisbane and Honiara (main hub of the Solomon Islands) multiple times each week. Marau Sound is a 25 minute flight journey from Honiara on a small aircraft. Alternatively, the resort can organize their jetty to pick up guests from the capital.

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