Along with “I’ve won humanitarian of the year”, Laucala becoming a COMO were words I never expected to write.
Is nothing sacred anymore? Just as travel was opening to Fiji again, this has to go and happen. I feel like someone has carefully restored a favourite childhood toy, gift wrapped it, handed it over and stamped on it. Has there been any news worse than this in the last 2 years? Nothing comes to mind. I get that it probably cost the GDP of a small country to run Laucala and with zero being their average number of guests, money wasn’t exactly flowing in. But that’s the joy of Laucala – it makes no sense. Nothing here is logical, nothing seems standardised and nothing seems impossible. Laucala is the opportunity for us peons to play billionaire. Am I allowed to be upset that a billionaire has decided they’ve had enough of me sponging off them on their private island? Definitely. It’s 2021, I’m allowed to simultaneously be overly sensitive and completely entitled. I’m amazed there’s anyone left that hasn’t been cancelled.
First they came for Aman, then they came for North Island and now they’ve come for Laucala. Each time I did speak up, because I’m a mouthy shite. It’s rare that the past days are the glory days, but now I’m 35 I’m legally allowed to start talking about them. I don’t need a psychic to figure this one out, I just need a history lesson and history would tell me that if you role around in the mud with pigs, you’ll stink of shit. It’s irrelevant how I know that, my point is: replace pigs with COMO and the same applies. What I’m trying to say is: COMO is not what comes to mind when I think of top luxury hotel collections. Neither is Marriott, but North Island went down that route.
I receive more enquiries on this blog about Laucala than anywhere else. I probably account for 50% of their business, which is approximately two guests per annum. It still baffles me why they’d want to try something new. Ok, so I get it, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Laucala has its faults, of that I’m very clear, but it is unique and one of the worlds most spectacular resorts. Even without their submarine, or their perpetually promised-and-never-delivered refurb, it still deserves its place in the Hall of Famers list. I will be cheering COMO on, hoping that the changes they bring are positive and not drastic, but apprehensively expecting them to screw it all up and be fired within twelve months. Or is that wishful thinking?
Laucala was the last trip we took as Covid descended in March 2020. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we hoped to repeat at least twice in our lifetimes. So sad that it is unlikely now. COMO? Oh, Lordy.
The sheer lunacy of having the place to ourselves on 9 of our 14 nights was indecribable. I played 18 holes of golf every afternoon in 90 minutes. The course was fabulous, if the greens were a bit slow. My fantasy come to life – a real, challenging course for my scratch handicap, and NO ONE to bother me except some 747-size fruit bats.
The one resort that lived up to the “whatever you want whenever you want it” theme. The manager offered to fly in a Porterhouse steak from Australia if I wasn’t happy with the cuts they had on hand. – it would be a while until they butchered another of their fabulous cattle.
Only the beaches were anything less than perfect, but the “main” beach by the massive saltwater lagoon was pretty damn close.
Oh, Laucala, how I pine and mourn for thee!