December 2017 Turtle Island Fiji Newsletter



Bula Bula,

Best wishes for a sparkling Christmas, and a New Year filled with good fortune.

As the year closes, we find ourselves reflecting on our incredible blessings. My father pioneered the Turtle Island experience where we offer heart-opening connection. Your time with us is rooted in the ancient Fijian values of respect, community, and joy. Guests who have discovered us have long tried to describe the genuine, life-changing experience of Turtle Island. As our guests Malinda and Scott recently shared, “There is no where else in the world where the beauty of the environment is also reflected in the heart of the people. This resort is in a class of its own, and when you leave a piece of the island goes with you.”

To celebrate and honor the essence of Turtle Island — grounded in the expansive Fijian philosophy of “one people, one mana, one love” — in 2017 we updated our logo, launched a new website, refurbished our bures, crafted exceptional experiences delivered with world-class service, and welcomed our gracious island hosts Rob and Landi Burns to our Turtle Family. In this issue of our quarterly newsletter, it is our pleasure to highlight all the ways in which we are using artful and experiential design to intentionally reflect the essence of our rare and magical paradise.

We look forward to welcoming you to our shores soon.

Sending smiles and blessings to you and your families from Turtle Island,
Richard Evanson, Jr.


Honors History, Roots and People of Turtle Island

Our new logo takes us back to our roots. When Richard Evanson first arrived on the island, the land was bare and overgrazed by goats. He planted a million trees to reforest the land and with the nourishment of Mother Nature, the island was alive once again. This logo represents all of our island-grown hardwood. The Fijian art of woodcarving is passed down from generation to generation, with great reverence and respect, from grandfather to father to son. Very few are trained in this special craft, and traditional tools are gifted to the next artisan. The drau drau (carved patterns) are a form of heraldry representing one’s place in society. They can also tell stories of life’s treasured moments.

On Turtle Island, master carver Soro, through the drau drau patterns hand carved into the wood, tells a story that welcomes visitors home, connotes the union between heaven and earth, and ensures a safe, fulfilling journey. These patterns have been incorporated into our new logo, welcoming guests to our shores and holding them in our hearts when they journey forth again.


Turtle Island’s updated turtle logo reminds us to slow down, even if that luxurious escape is granted over a few moments on your phone or laptop. With the color palettes of deep ocean hues, the scripted fonts resembling handwritten logs of early maritime explorer Captain Cook, and the vibrant photos of Turtle Island’s nature, animals, amenities, and community, the immersive experience Turtle Island offers now starts with


Designed in harmony with nature, Turtle Island’s renovated ocean-front villas (“bures” in Fijian) consider past, present, and future. Honoring indigenous Fijian arts and sustainable development, the bures are solar-powered and embody traditional Fijian culture and hospitality through symbolic patterns and prints and the use of upcycled, nature-inspired furnishings.

Our new interiors were designed to restore the soul. We focused on up-cycling found objects from our island environment to craft tranquil spaces that feel like home. Soaring ceilings are woven from palm and coconut husk, and beds, coffee tables, and nightstands are designed from tree limbs gathered from our 500-acre paradise. Locally-crafted sofas, pillows and floor mats hand-woven by local villagers, and driftwood lighting recreate the island’s intimate nature and warmth, which is also echoed by the beach just footsteps away. It’s the spirit of our trees and the serenity found in nature that keep us grounded and connected.



Please meet our island hosts Rob and Landi Burns who joined Turtle Island this year. We may be biased, but we think they’re rather awesome, and we are so looking forward to you meeting them. Rob and Landi have many years experience in the hospitality industry, specializing in luxury, boutique properties in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Belize.

Rob and Landi have long been a formidable lodge and hospitality team, and Rob has worked all over South Africa as a conservation guide. His open and amiable personality, his deep knowledge of conservation, and his passion for fly fishing are appreciated by all. Landi’s smile is infectious, and her way of making everything run effortlessly while simultaneously chattering over a glass of bubbly is truly a rare mix. And thanks to Landi’s sweet tooth, we’ve added a few chocolate desserts to the menu.

Please join us in welcoming Rob and Landi to the Turtle Family. It is our pleasure to have them with us!


Meet Semi, our mixology master, concocting irresistible cocktails. Like his just-picked lemongrass-infused rum shaken with fresh lime juice and simple syrup. But even more irresistible is Semi’s infectious smile and his easy-going nature. Semi says, “I love Turtle Island and its guests. I love mixing creative cocktails and making our guests happy. And in the mornings, I love creating healthy Green Juice which is fresh and all from the garden.”


“What an Amazing Wedding”

We traveled from Europe to get married the way we have always dreamt of… Privately, on a tropical beach and it must be romantic. We have to say that it all exceeded our expectations….


Ok, this is the BEST Pacific beach holiday. Exceeded expectations which were high. To select a best of our stay is impossible, but the lobster and champagne picnic on a private beach comes second to Tommy’s smile and care for us.

“Fantasy Island”

Turtle is so special. Superior service, unique experience, authentic Fijian staff, farm to table dining experience, great fishing, snorkeling, biking, hiking, paddle boarding, and lounging, the private beaches offer endless romantic adventures. The nightly cava and singing parties. The people you meet and the friends you make. The emotional sad good bye.



Special guest: Brighton Keller is a fashion and lifestyle blogger from Dallas, Texas. She spent a week with us for the first time in August, in partnership with Traveluxe Official. Brighton wrote a thoughtful and detailed post on her blog, sharing her experience and highlighting special moments from her visit. You can read her recap blog post here: Come back soon, Brighton!


We’ve been getting more inquiries for island buyouts, and we’re happy to accommodate. Whether for a destination wedding, a corporate retreat, or a celebration for family and friends — 50th birthday anyone?? — luxuriating on Turtle Island surrounded by your personal tribe is a very special experience. We’re flattered that Prevue Magazine recently featured us as a preferred transformational travel destination for buyout groups. Island buyouts are for a minimum of 3 nights, though we promise you’ll want to stay longer. And we’re delighted to put together special arrangements and experiences for you and your tribe to truly personalize your time with us. Your own private island awaits!

If you’ve had a wonderful stay with us, please consider sharing a photo and a few comments on Google with other tropical travelers: