On the unique little island of Niue, you’ll also find a rather unique man! Let me introduce you to, Avi Rubin. An Israeli national, he made Niue his home more than 20 years ago. In that time he’s had a number of successful business ventures, met and married the love of his life and started a family of his own settling well into island life. We first met Avi when we dined at his Japanese restaurant ‘Kaiika’ during our stay. A Japanese restaurant, on a small pacific island run by an infectiously happy man from Israel – this weird and wonderful combination is (somewhat surprisingly) a winning one! Kaiika is a very special place, not only serving up some of the best Japanese food I’ve personally ever had, but it is also rated in the top 20 Japanese restaurants in the world (outside of Japan). Their menu offers up incredible sushi platters, miso soup, noodle dishes and fish fresh from the ocean that sits across the road. For those who prefer it, they also have a menu of New York style pizzas that includes a local special ‘The Niuean’ featuring fresh fish, papaya and fresh hot chillies (this wacky combination is a big hit with diners). Consequently, we ate here three times during our seven day stay. Hands down my favourite dish was the tempura sushi rolls – Avi’s amazing chef was able to amend this dish a little for me (being vegetarian): filled with vegies, wrapped in seaweed and rice the rolls are then dipped in a fine tempura batter and fried. Sushi will never be the same for me!
Outside of this delicious space, Avi has recently opened up a luxury escape in the quiet village of Avatele that will absolutely steal your heart – welcome to Lau’s Getaway.
Affectionately named after his wife, Lau, Avi’s oceanfront villas are as bright and captivating as the man himself. Pebbled paths lead you past gardens full of native plants, papaya trees and pineapples (all of which are lovingly tended to by Lau) and on to your front door. We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the Supreme Villa by the man himself. Both villas sit on the edge of the rocky shore and look out onto the pristine reef below, also capturing uninterrupted views up and down the entire coastline. You can soak up these views (maybe even spotting some whales) from two generous balconies, the top one offering a free-standing bathtub and daybed for two!
Each villa consists of two levels, with a spacious kitchen and living area on the bottom and a large bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The bathrooms feature the most generous shower I’ve seen, complete with two shower heads and a bench seat by a small window that looks out over green treetops. The kitchens are open plan and come equipped with crockery, cooking equipment and even a Nespresso coffee machine! Beautiful wooden panels line the ceilings and floor, while the stairs leading to the second level are handcrafted especially for the villas – a lot of thought and love has gone into these breathtaking spaces.
From out on the water, the bright blue villas sit perched on the coastline, like two colourful beacons (we even spotted them from the plane as we flew home). They are the perfect escape to relax and unwind, giving you the chance to completely disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with a loved one in your own private paradise.