Ratua / Vanuatu
Ratua means “everyone’s welcome”. While the local staff are incredibly friendly, they can accommodate a maximum of 42 guests, who have the whole island to explore on foot, bicycle, or horseback. (There’s only one car.) Swimming horses will even carry you across the turquoise lagoon on their bare backs.
The sustainable ethos extends to the surrounding coral reefs, a marine sanctuary where you can snorkel or dive with turtles, dugongs, and a rainbow of tropical fish. Better yet, kayak through limpid ‘blue holes’, natural springs enclosed by lush vegetation.
Hidden among the coconut palms and frangipani are fifteen, 200-year old teak cabins, each with a private beach. Originally from remote Balinese villages, they were reassembled piece by hand-carved piece on the jungle-fringed ocean.
There’s no TV, air conditioning, or even glass in the windows. Here, luxury is simplicity, spectacular scenery, and blissful seclusion — all with a crystal-clear conscience. What more could you possibly want?
(Images courtesy of Ratua Island Resort & Spa - 2018)