Turtle Island Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary, This Year

Four decades after American entrepreneur Richard Evanson opened this private island to pay­ing guests, it remains one of Fiji’s premier hideaways.
02 Jan 2020 14:29
Turtle Island Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary, This Year
Racheli Evanson.

With its sustainable ethos the is­land will continue to thrive and maintain its high return-guest rate.

Most are eco-aware travellers.

Four decades after American entrepreneur Richard Evanson opened this private island to pay­ing guests, it remains one of Fiji’s premier hideaways.

Located in the Yasawas, Turtle Island has an all-inclusive rate and limited guest numbers.

Meals have always been served communally at one long table and the only menu you will ever see is at breakfast, when you can choose between options.

Lunch features shared platters, while dinner is a set three-course feast.

If you are looking for a roman­tic evening for two? Staff will set you up at one of a number of pri­vate dining locations, perhaps on a beach or atop a cliff.

Travel Weekly interviewed the marketing director of Turtle Is­land, also the daughter of Mr Ev­anson, Racheli Evanson. She grew up on the island.

Below is an excerpt of the inter­view with Ms Evanson:

The challenge for the industry is…

Helping travellers understand the differences between the premium end properties in Fiji.

As one of Fiji’s only privately-owned Islands bought by my dad nearly 40 years ago, we have treat­ed all our guests as family since day one and get a huge repeat visi­tation.

With only 14 bures, we are small and get to know everyone by name.

One of our guests recently re­ferred to Turtle Island as the ulti­mate in “shipwrecked luxury” and I think he is right.

The things I like about my job are…

Sharing the story of Turtle Island, working with amazing people and having the opportunity to see how the Turtle Island experience truly touches the lives of our guests.

And the frustrations are…

Trying to meet everybody’s expec­tations can be challenging being a remote property.

If I didn’t work in travel, I would be…

A fiction writer.

My favourite airline is…

Fiji Airways.

My proudest moment was…

Helping Turtle Island win the No.1 Resort Hotel in the South Pacific in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2019.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was…

I live a naughty free life!

The last time I feared for my life was…

Earlier this year when I came down with an awful fever.

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Negative thoughts and worrying.

I really wish I had…

A dog.

I try to relax by…

Disconnecting from the digital world – spending time away from my phone and being present in na­ture.

The best advice I’ve ever received was…

Don’t compete, be unique – my father would always say this about running Turtle Island, especially as it was never intended to be a re­sort.

I don’t understand why people…

Seek the same types of food they eat at home when they’re in a dif­ferent country.

My greatest weakness is…

Food delivery services.

And my greatest strength is…

Being open-minded.

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would…

Put it back into Turtle Island by building an epic conservation cen­tre complete with a resident envi­ronmental team and also use it to run classes to educate the local community on marine and wildlife conservation.

I would also invest in innovative programs and new technologies to help continue to make Turtle Is­land a more sustainable property. We are already making a difference on a smaller scale but $1M would help to escalate the programmes!

If I was prime minister, I would…

Make climate change action our highest priority.

If I could be someone else for one day, I would be…

Oprah Winfrey.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…


My favourite holiday was…

Exploring the Whitsundays on a sailboat last year.


Fijisun Ad Space

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

Total Energies
For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition
Fiji Sun Instagram