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To make it easier for you to choose – here’s a quick rundown on the main tourist areas so you can get a better idea of which one will be the best place to stay in Fiji for you. Or check out this article on the best Fiji family resorts.
Mainland Fiji – Viti Levu
With a population of over 40,000, Nadi (pronounced “Nan-dee”) is one of the main cities in Fiji, and the one you’ll most likely fly into. Located on the Western Coast of Viti Levu, it’s fine to wander around if you have a few hours spare, but honestly I wouldn’t recommend staying there if you’re in Fiji for a holiday.
There are a few hotels and resorts here, but most of them are geared up for transit passengers, or those heading off to the outer islands. If that’s you, check if your isalnd resort has a “sister” hotel in the city – they often have great combo deals. Have a look on the outskirts of the city if you’re after cheaper hostel accommodation.
WORTH A LOOK:
- Prouds for dutyfree shopping and to stock up on Pure Fiji skincare products – aside from the delicious moisturisers and body scrubs, my favs are their sunscreen and Dilo rescue lotion. Both are absolutely essential for a Fiji holiday!
- The Handicraft Market for your souvenir shopping. Much more fun to shop at than the offical souvenir shops which line the main street, and much more likely to be locally made rather than mass produced.
- Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Centre. The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but Nadi’s offical off-airport transit lounge is THE place to stop if you have a few hours to spare before catching your flight. While they have the standard showers, lockers and food options, you can also score yourself a relaxing massage, squeeze in a yoga session – and all while the kids are happily entertained at their inhouse kids club.
- Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Fiji’s own “fantasy” garden, this botanical delight is located a short 6.5km drive North of the airport. While the main attraction is orchids (they have over 2000 varieties here), it’s a beautiful spot to meander around for an hour or two. BOOK HERE for a combo garden + mud baths tour with pick up from any Nadi hotel.
BEST NADI HOTEL OPTIONS:
- Fiji Gateway Hotel – walking distance from the airport and sister hotel to Plantation Island & Lomani resorts.
- Novotel Nadi – 3 minutes from the airport, heaps of facilities (day spa, tennis courts, golf course) and has rooms to fit up to 6 guests – great option for families!
- Tokatoka Resort Nadi – good versatile resort with options from studio up to family villas and 1-bedroom villas with a full kitchen.
Not really an island, Denarau is a resort & marina district accessible by a short causeway approx 15-20 minutes drive from Nadi International Airport. Tourist-central, you’ll find a handful of 5-star resorts, a golf course, an inflatable water playground and the Denarau Marina complex – complete with Hard Rock Café, pizza joint and a basic supermarket.
Stay here if you’re more of a pool than a beach person, like different dining options, or want a handy base from which to explore both the mainland and the islands. There’s a great selection of short trips which operate from the Marina. Take your pick from Cloud 9, island beaches, snorkelling, surfing or diving and then return home to your cozy resort at the end of the day. To check out the options CLICK HERE.
BEST DENARAU RESORT OPTIONS:
There’s no real “best” option here – all of the resorts are of a similar standard, which is really, really good.
I love the Sheraton & Sheraton Villas for it’s expansive pool area and awesome kids club, the Sofitel for it’s adult’s only beach club (butler service anyone?) and the Radisson for it’s spacious, modern apartments.
There are heaps of options for families out here – the Hilton, Sheraton, Westin & Radisson all have multi-room apartment options, and the Sofitel has a family room complete with bunks.
The Coral Coast is the stretch of coastline which runs more or less between Nadi and Suva. The resorts are on average 90 mins- 2 hours from the airport. It’s a bit of a trek on bumpy roads to get there but the area is gaining in popularity as its range of resorts undergo refurbs one by one. It’s a good spot if you love snorkelling and has some sightseeing options, but some travellers feel it’s a bit isolated.
There are less family-size room options down here but several do cater for kids with free meal offers and kids clubs. Hire a car for a day or two and check out the local villages, get adventurous in Sigatoka, or discover some of the native inhabitants at the Kula Eco Park.
BEST CORAL COAST RESORT OPTIONS:
- Warwick Fiji Resort – 5 star resort on a nice stretch of beach with heaps of facilities. Maximum guests per room is four so if you want separate bedrooms or are travelling with more you’ll have to fork out for two rooms.
- Outrigger Resort Fiji – One of the closer resorts to the nearby adventure capital of Sigatoka, and one of the most popular. Their Plantation Bure hosts up to 8 guests so combined with the kids club and nanny service, this is an excellent option for family travellers.
- Naviti Resort – a little further along the coast than the other two, but a good value resort for those on a tighter budget. Rooms host up to 5 guests and they have all-inclusive rate options if you prefer to have everything prepaid.
This is where you’ll find the white sandy beaches and clear turquoise water you probably imagined when you first thought about holidaying in Fiji. The Mamanucas (pronounced “Mama-noo-thas”) are a group of islands 20 mins – 1.5 hours by boat from either Denarau or Vuda Point Marina near Lautoka.
There are quite a few well-known resorts out here, including Plantation Island, Treasure Island and Mana Island. Some, like Treasure, are sole-resort islands where others, like Plantation are on larger islands that also host other resorts and maybe even a local village or two.
Heading out to the islands is a great option if you’re after some real chill time and like to spend your days lounging by the pool, meandering along the beach and snorkelling. Food options are usually limited to whatever the resort has to offer, but they do offer day trips if you feel like getting out for a bit.
More remote than the Mamanuca group, and arguably more beautiful. The Yasawas take a bit more effort to get to, but if you want to get off the beaten track without sacrificing your standards, this is the place to do it.
With everything from backpackers to 6 star eco resorts whatever you choose you won’t be disappointed. Most resorts out here have compulsory meal plans due to the pure logistics of getting supplies, so take that into account when you’re comparing prices with other areas.
Anita | Burgess Travellers
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