The North Island library is probably the oldest building on the island. It was constructed from coral blocks in the 19th century to house the large kiln that was used to dry copra during the Island’s plantation days. The dried copra would ultimately be pressed to extract the final product, coconut oil. Having fallen into disrepair, the library was lovingly restored during the Island’s construction period.
One of our regular guests has taken to using the library as a dining venue each time he visits, saying, “This is the most beautiful room on the island – these walls have stories to tell.” Indeed they do, and there is a subtle irony that a building once involved in the pressing process is now a sanctuary for people who, in their daily lives, are too often pressed for time.
In a classic example of North Island’s ‘surprise and delight’ approach to hosting guests, the team transformed the entire room into a private dining room complete, changing the furniture and décor to create a unique and tailored experience for this guest in his favourite space.
Everyone was so delighted with the transformation that we ultimately decided to keep the new look of the library, so that it can continue to be the custodian of the North Island’s history whilst also being a space where all of our guests can enjoy a timeless meal.
Meanwhile, just metres away on East Beach, another turtle emerges from the ocean and makes her way across the sand to write her own new chapter of the story of North Island…