Imagining the lagoon life in Solomon Islands

Alphonsus Wale and Alan Gill co-manage Imagination Island, Giza Province

What started off as a one room base for geologists searching for gold in a nearby island is now Imagination Island Resort.

It is in the Solomon Islands province of Gizo, a few minutes by boat from Nusatupe Airport (GZO) – basically an airstrip in the middle of the ocean.

Over its eight years of existence occupancy growth has been slow but the owners and management feel they’ve turned a corner this year and in the mid year high season (June, July) have had some nights full. The other high season is November to December.

Co-owner Jason Ward says about 60% of the clientele are divers, 30% fishers and 10% are ‘just cruising’. The mid range property has rooms and a penthouse, with prices starting at S$1080 (about NZ$200) and up to S$1680 for a single room overwater bungalow and S$1980 for a double.

Imagination has Terry’s Bar and Grill – a gathering place for guests as much as a dining area – and there is a more private restaurant in the plans. It is also close to Gizo township (guests need to ask for a banana boat ride) which has a reasonable, though not extensive, choice of food and drink options.

Co-managers Alphonsus Wale and Alan Gill joined the property when it opened about eight years ago and give it much of its character. ‘I was asked by a mate to come here,’ says Gill, ‘and I said ‘where the f… is the Solomons?’’

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