Fiji offers something for everyone, from romantic sunsets to some of the best kid’s clubs on the planet. However, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to this destination. How do you choose a Fiji holiday that is right for you? It usually comes down to selecting the right location and hotel type. Honeymooners probably won’t enjoy a family-friendly Denarau resort. As one unsuspecting US honeymooner said on TripAdvisor, “We didn’t realise Fiji was so popular with families and chose the absolute wrong hotel for us.” So, what is the best option for your trip to Fiji? It all depends what you’re after and who you’re travelling with.
Choosing a Fiji family hotel
If you’re travelling with youngsters and would prefer to keep transit time to a minimum, the resorts at Denarau are a great option. This strip of upmarket hotels is located less than 20 minutes from the airport and has been designed with pure relaxation in mind. Children receive an especially warm welcome – even at the 5 star resorts – and on-site kids clubs provide plenty of entertainment. Family friendly hotels are readily available throughout Fiji. Denarau is a top choice for families, particularly for those with young children, as it is close to the airport and does not require another form of transport such as a boat transfer to reach your hotels. If you are thinking of staying on one of the outer islands, consider spending a night or two in Denarau first.
If you enjoy luxury and family fun in equal measure, try the upmarket Sofitel which has the largest lagoon pool in Fiji. Unlike some resorts, it’s always easy to get a sunlounger here and the grounds are beautiful to stroll around. Ground floor rooms are ideal for little ones as they can play on the lush grass while Mum and Dad keep an eye on them.There is a lovely family friendly breakfast area where the impressive buffet spread could see you through until dinner. Adults who prefer to dine without kids around will enjoy the adults-only breakfast at beachfront dining venue Salt.
I spotted a few parents enjoying a quiet breakfast after they had dropped their little ones at the kids club. Sparkling wine is included at both breakfast venues to get you in the holiday mood. Denarau’s resorts are incredibly popular with those travelling with kids so if you want to laze by the pool at this destination without children around, a resort with an adults-only pool area is your best option.
Family friendly & romantic in Fiji
If you want to have fun as a family but also have time to reconnect as a couple without kids around, look for a family friendly resort with a ‘couples only’ area. Outrigger on the Lagoon on Fiji’s Coral Coast is the perfect example of this concept as the resort offers myriad places to enjoy some adult time alone with your partner together with great family facilities. There is a huge kid’s club together with multiple family focussed and separate ‘adults only’ areas such as Kalokalo Bar which is perched high on a hilltop and serves an elegant high tea and contemporary cocktails and tapas. There is also the adults-only Vahavu swimming pool and adjoining bistro, luxurious Bebe Spa and multi-award winning Ivi Restaurant which offers fine dining in romantic surrounds.
If you feel like spending time together as a family, there are plenty of options to choose from including the Sundowner Bar which is a great place to watch the sun go down (either with or without the kids) and enjoy a relaxed dinner. The cultural performance night at buffet restaurant Vale Ni Kana is also a winner, especially if you love seafood. The fire twirling show was one of the best I’ve seen anywhere in the world. There is also a great kids pool with plenty of deck chairs and room to move. If you don’t want the hassle of getting to one of the outer islands, a hotel on Fiji’s Coral Coast offers a taste of ‘picture postcard’ Fiji without the additional travel time. There are so many palm trees you will always be able to find one of your own to lie under.
No kids Fiji hotels
Fiji is renowned as a family friendly holiday destination – and rightly so – but not everyone arrives with a bucket and spade. There are a number of adults-only resorts in Fiji which cater exclusively to grown ups. Likuliku Lagoon Resort has been named one of the most romantic resorts in the world so many times they must have run out of space in the trophy cabinet by now. It has a total of 45 bures in all, including the only overwater bungalows in Fiji. These are spectacular but my top pick for accommodation at this resort are the more affordable Deluxe Beachfront Bures which are located a few steps from the sand and have their own plunge pool.
Everything except drinks is included at this resort which is one of the few places I’ve stayed at which looks even better than the photos on the website. It offers a bespoke experience so tours tend to be for two rather than a boatload of holiday makers. Many couples become friends during their stay but if you prefer to keep to yourself that’s okay too. Not surprisingly, Likuliku isn’t cheap but if money is tight you can always stay for just one night. Unlike some resorts, there is no minimum booking requirement. Try to arrive early and leave late, whether you’re staying for one night or ten. Believe me, you won’t want to leave.
Essential tips for your Fiji holiday
It’s best to drink bottled water but tap water is fine for brushing your teeth.
Most resorts have a small shop selling essentials (although prices can be expensive).
If you want to stock up on food and drinks, head to Nadi town where the locals shop.
If your resort offers a meal package, buy it. Most ingredients have to be shipped in so resort dining tends to be expensive.
Consider overnighting in Denarau if you are travelling to an upmarket outer island resort. You’ll get better value if take the early boat the next morning.
Australian dollars are accepted in the departure area at Nadi airport.
Disclaimer: The writer stayed as a guest of the hotels mentioned above.