We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First trip to Fiji

Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
9 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
First trip to Fiji

My wife and I and her best friend are going to Fiji over Christmas, have air tickets in hand. We arrive on 12/19 and leave on 1/2. We live in Anchorage, Alaska so we'll fly 6 hours nonstop to Honolulu with Alaska Air, layover and then 6 1/2 hours nonstop to Nadi with Contl. Should be a pretty easy trip compared to some we've done - last Christmas, we flew to Mauritius which was a bit more cumbersome.

The three of us are in our middle 50s and experienced travelers. In the last 10 years, we've been to a number of locations including the islands of Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, Majorca, Canaries, St. Maarten as well as numerous trips to Hawaii and Florida.

We like decent food but not extravagant, comfortable surroundings, long walks on the beach followed by long hours in a chair reading. Not worried about being pampered, don't really like the all-inclusive, 'eat all your meals here and never leave the grounds' type of resorts.

My thinking is to spend 3-4-7 days on Nadi and then 7 days on another island .... but where? Or should we just spend the entire 2 weeks on Nadi?

As far as Nadi goes, what would be a solid 3 1/2 or 4 star resort that has beach front access and is close to the main town but not swarmed by it?


Or do we just need to get off of Nadi and get to one of the other islands?

Brisbane Qld
Level Contributor
212 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First trip to Fiji

Coming all the way from Anchorage Alaska I think you should experience the real Fiji.

In my opinion Nadi and the Danarau Harbour area is really just a stop over area before making your way out to the Island. I would recommend using this area as a transit area for when you arrive and leave Fiji.

I would suggest going out to the Yasawa Group of Islands and staying at places like Octopus Resort, Orsmans Bay Lodge or Botaira Beach Resort.

have a look at this link for more detailed information


I would also suggest you spend time on the Coral Coast which is two hours drive from Nadi. There are lost of resorts such as the

The Warwick Fiji Resort Spa, Tambua Sands Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa and Outrigger on the Lagoon - Fiji

another option is to stay in a real Fijian village located on the Coral Coast such as Danny's Village Homestay is highly recommended

see TripAdvisor reviews at this link


staying on the Coral Coast you will be easily able to access Fiji's capital Suva which is worth a Day trip to visit.

Hope this helps

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Yasawa Islands
Level Contributor
2,004 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First trip to Fiji

I would agree - get out of Nadi.

Your comment "don't really like the all-inclusive, 'eat all your meals here" - if at an island resort you will find that there is nowhere else to eat, they are isolated from one another and meal plan is compulsory. Boat travel between (in the Yasawas) is limited to the Yasawa Flyer which does one "out & back" trip round the islands each day.

I see 'craftyweasel' has recommended Octopus/Oarsmans/Botaira. I would substitute Blue Lagoon for Oarsmans - actually next door on the same beach but a new development and reviews for Oarsmans have not been so great lately. BL is a sister resort to Octopus, so accommodation & food standards are similar - very good. At both you can do village visits, hiking, small boat trips, so you are not confined to the immediate resort grounds.

Check out the websites for those 3 and if you want more info I'm happy to assist.

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
Level Contributor
5,378 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First trip to Fiji

I would head directly to the islands. You will not find the soft, white sand beaches with crystal clear blue water Fiji is know for on the mainland. We only spend time on the mainland, if we are unable to make flight connections. As for meals, most island resorts do not have a choice of restaurants.

The resorts at Denerau are large hotel chains Westins, Hiltons, etc., might as well stay at one of their resorts anywhere in the world. The beach is dark, pebbly, and the water murky. They will also be filled with lots of families with children.

Matangi is our favorite resort in Fiji, but it is pricey. In 2008 we arrived Viwa the day after Christmas and stayed through the New Year. It was very special bringing in the New Year with the staff and one we will never forget. The beach is stunning. Long with soft white sand. Great for walking, swimming, or kayaking from regardless of the tide. Other than two villages, the resort is only thing on the island.

One thing to keep in mind. December thru New Years is a very popular time to vacation in Fiji. Some resorts are booked a year or months in advance as some guests return year after year.

Recommend you read the reviews for any resorts you are interested in and private message posters with any questions you may have. It is very important you do your research before deciding on a resort. Keep in mind when reading them, it is impossible to please all the people all the time. You will find most negative reviews for a resort are by first time posters who did not do their research.

Here are the websites for Viwa and Matangi. Not sure they are for you, but can't hurt to take a look. Let me know, if you would like to see pictures of our vacations to these resorts. Will be my pleasure to share them with you and answer any questions you may have about them or Fiji in general.



Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
549 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First trip to Fiji

Decent food, long walks on the beach etc - definitely the Yasawas - Viwa or Blue Lagoon.

Hmmm I too am not a fan of Nadi, however, there are some nice day trips available e.g. rafting, village visits etc. Can't think of a great 3.5 - 4 star in that area. 5 star the Hilton at Denaru is very good.

Tuncurry, Australia
Level Contributor
735 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First trip to Fiji

Bula Jim

Nadi isn’t an island it is only a town on the main island of Viti Levu the towns in Fiji aren’t that big and are quiet a distance apart so the resorts are also a distance from each other or the towns (except for Denarau) so you are sometimes very limited on where you can eat if you don’t eat at the resort where you are staying. The beaches on Viti Levu are not all that good for your long walks and are influenced greatly by the tide having said that don’t get me wrong I Love mainland Fiji there are some wonderful resorts and hotels places like First landing a small property not too far from the airport or one of the resorts on the Coral coast Rydges Hideaway,Sonaisali,The Shangri-la, the Naviti or the or the Warwick then around at Pacific Harbor you have the Pearl or Taunovo Bay and Uprising Beach Resorts if you go the other direction north you have Wananavu resort the best beaches are on the island of the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups a good way to see the islands is on a Blue Lagoon or Capitan Cook cruise these are small ship cruises with only 40 or 50 cabins per ship and are a great way to see the villages and met the locals of the Fijian islands in a short amount of time all the while being well looked after by the crew Everyone on this forum will have a favorite place in Fiji and we will all differ so have a look at all suggestions before you make up your mind I am positive Fiji will have something for you


Level Contributor
1,181 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First trip to Fiji

I agree that you need to get to the Islands.

Botaira has already been recommended by craftyweasael which I second -- but also have a look at Nanuya Island Resort in the Yasawas --- perfect for long walks along the beach and reading in a deck chair. Meals are great, reasonably priced and the restaurant is open all day (closes 5 - 6pm only) -- breakfast is included. Rooms are pretty and airy with a safe and fridge. You are right on the blue lagoon and opposite the new Blue Lagoon Resort and Oarsmans.

However, if you are after good snorkelling --- I'd go with Botaira as NIR's was nothing to rave about and Botaira's was fantastic and the "resort" is small with a much more rustic and the real fiji feel about the place. Staff are locally trained and it was the most "Fijian" experience I have had. I will definitely be back there often.....

If it was me and I had 14 days, I would definitely visit a few resorts -- maybe Nanuya, Blue Lagoon and then stop at Botaira on the way back on the Flyer.

You will probably need to overnight in Nadi pre and post wherever you choose --- I would recommend either The Mercure (close to local restaurants) or Blue Water Lodge in the backpacker area on Newtown Beach.

Happy planning,


7. Re: First trip to Fiji

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 February 2011, 05:17