Fiji

A Stunning and Memorable Destination

Wednesday 16 June 2010 | By Sonya Dwarte |

BULA!

After a three and a half hour flight we arrive in beautiful Fiji. Our flight arrived late at night so we stayed at the Mercure in Nadi which was only a 10 minute transfer ride. I found the mercure a great hotel for a stopover as it is close to the airport, clean, comfortable, features a delicious buffet breakfast plus the staff were also extremely welcoming.

The next day we drove to Denarau Island which is only a 15 minute trip from Nadi. Denarau Island is a beautiful island located across a little bridge from the mainland of Fiji. Boasting a stunning golf course at its centre, extravagant housing on either side and luxury resorts perched at the end. 

Denarau harbour is a great spot and has grown to include many cafes, including; The Hard Rock Café, Thai and Indian restaurants, clothing stores, souvenir shops and a local supermarket. Denarau harbour is also the main marina where the ferry boats go to the mamanuca islands.

Later that morning we boarded the island hopping ferry, 'Awesome Adventures,' giving us a chance to see many of the other islands. After a 6 hour boat ride plus a 45 minute tinny ride we finally arrive at the exclusive Yasawa Island Resort. Given my experience on the open seas I would highly recommend a plane or helicopter alternative in order to get to Yasawa Island resort. This will ensure you avoid sea sickness and save time. As a side note, the water was quite calm however the duration of the trip is the primary downside to this mode of transport.

Since we where all exhausted from our long boat ride we chose to postpone to resort inspection to the following day and instead indulged in some cocktails in the pool. Yasawa Island resort is very private and exclusive, nestled on its own little island it's an ideal destination for honeymooners!

The next day we had another long boat ride back towards them main land.  On our journey back we stopped at an array of islands and I would have to say that the highlight for me was LikuLiku Lagoon Resort situated on Malolo Island. This was yet another luxurious and amazing resort featuring over water bungalows, perched atop crystal clear, blue water.

Around the corner from LikuLiku we continued to inspect Malolo Island and the Malolo Island Resort. This island and in particular, this resort will always hold a special place in my heart. It has recently been refurbished and plays host to beautiful, private cottages sitting along the beach. 

With a few hours to spare before the boat picked us up we decided to go snorkeling… and for someone who is usually petrified at the thought, it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had!... I never knew that Nemo was actually real!!

Over the next 3 days we inspected The Sofitel, The Radisson, The Hilton, Sheraton resort and spa and the Westin. The Sheraton Resort and Spa and the Westin are conveniently located next to one another, and I would nominate these as the best resorts in the area. With the two properties owned by the same company, guests of these resorts are given access to the facilities of both. This makes for excellent value for money!

There is a local shuttle bus that picks up from all the resorts on Denarau and from Denarau marina, at the small cost of $4.00 for the entire day, passengers are free to hop on and off as many times as they wish.

During my stay on Fiji I also had the privilege of visiting the Taikim Village. It is a village supported by charities with the aim of housing women and children who have nowhere to go or who suffer from abuse. While we where there we helped build a little hut, we also sung and danced with the children and purchased community made clothing and handicraft, with all proceeds going back into the community.

All in all Fiji was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back one day. I highly recommend Fiji, boasting lovely weather, crystal clear water and friendly local communities - It is both a stunning and memorable holiday location.

Venaka! (Thankyou).

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!     

  

BULA From Fiji

Thursday 5 March 2009 | By Stephanie Harms |

Destination Denarau Island - FIJI

Upon arrival at Nadi airport we were met by Rosie Holidays. You can be sure that you are made to feel very welcome and will relax immediately. Fijians are happy, easy going and have an excellent work ethic, nothing is too much trouble. This was evident no matter if we were in a 5 star luxury hotel or just travelling through Fiji. At all times you are made very welcome and it is clear that your tourism is valued and important to the country.

Denarau island is 20 minutes outside Nadi and well worth the drive, even if you are just there for 1 or 2 nights before connecting to an island. As soon as you cross the bridge to Denarau you can immediately see the standard of the accommodation and general surroundings is much higher than Nadi. The beach here is volcanic but is mixed with manmade sand to lighten the appearance. The other islands in Fiji give you the real white sand experience.

There is a cluster of excellent 5 star properties all sharing the same beach. All of these hotels are serviced by a Bula Bus which goes from each property to the port/marina every 15 minutes and costs 6.00 Fijian Dollars. The Sheraton also offers a complimentary service between its properties. 

Radisson ResortThis has a great beach location and amazing pool area although it is built in a horse shoe shape. Strangely all the rooms face inwards away from the beach and face the pool area which has a huge waterfall/rock formation in the middle and does create quite a bit of noise. The property is good for families as it has large 2 bedded rooms.
Sheraton Fiji Resort and Sheraton VillasThis hotel has recently been refurbished and on arrival you are greeted with fresh flowers, drinks and of course a welcome song. Walking into the beautiful open lobby you know instantly that you are in a 5 star resort with high quality finishes on show everywhere. The hotel is situated right on the beach and offers a great pool area with waiter service on the beach. There are several excellent restaurants with the Flying Fish as its signature. Here you dine on top quality food and wine and have the sand under your feet (no shoe policy). The breakfast restaurant “Feast “offers a great full buffet breakfast and doubles as a more casual evening restaurant. The rooms are large, light and very contemporary. The hotel is only 2 floors high and I would say the majority have full sea view. All of the public areas are spacious contemporary and first class.

The Sheraton VillasThis area of the Sheraton Fiji resort is designed for families with high standard large 2 -3 bed apartments with good kitchen facilities and spacious lounge areas. They have their own lagoon/pool area which is both convenient and large. The children’s club is situated in the Sheraton Fiji resort which is a stroll away and of course as the amazing Fijians are organising it so the children are extremely well looked after and you hear nothing but giggles and squeals of excitement. They also offer babysitting facilities at a local charge.
Leisure facilities are excellent, 18 hole golf course, tennis, amazing spa and even lawn bowls.
The Westin ResortThis is the third hotel that is part of the Starwood property and is completely different. The ambience is predominately local flavour with thatched roofs and dark wood. The pool area is in lots of private sections with lots of greenery to give you a feel of tropical seclusion. It has a great infinity pool, swim up bar and the Heavenly Spa is situated in the Westin which services clients from all three of the Starwood hotels. In fact you can use any of the bars, restaurants, shops or leisure facilities at any of the properties and charge them back to your room. The rooms here are darker and if you want to feel you are staying in a hotel with true local flavour then a first floor room will feel lighter and the views to the beach/sea better.
Sofitel ResortThis hotel was a little disappointing, the lobby area was not impressive and the wow factor was missing. You have to go downstairs to the pool area which was lovely and had a “buzz” about it with lots of water activities; aerobics etc, but after having experienced the Sheraton it felt crowded.

SightseeingThe Bula bus will take you to Port Denarau Shopping Centre and Marina and I would recommend this above Nadi which is a little run down.

Sigatoka River SafariFor a really different experience I recommend this day trip. You travel by coach for 40 minutes and then transfer to a jet boat for a 1 hour journey along the river, passing local Fijians doing their washing in the river and the children playing and fishing. These people really live in a third world country and this is a real eye opener to the way they live. You then visit a village where you can see how they sleep, farm, worship, go to school and live their every day life. This truly is not a commercial experience as they alternate villages and each village is visited only twice a year. You then do share a local meal and drink/dance with the villages. It felt special and we felt very welcome. Then back on the speed boat with lots of twists and turns for fun on the way home. Word of warning you are expected and really cannot refuse to eat the local food and drink, so it may not suit everyone.

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!