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Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Melbourne, Australia
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Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

I have a conference from 9:30am-7pm for 4 days at the Sonasali. I have seen bad reviews and friends have said not to stay at any cost. Plus im going with my partner, who would need somewhere where he can enjoy.

Options: Denarau Island or Nadi or any other suggestions.

There may be a number of us that do not stay, so would be possibily a full taxi/car or multiple cars..

Is it time efficient?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Suprised they didnt hold it in Denarau to be honest.

Okay, process of deduction:

- Rule out island resorts because it's not possible to get to/from conference.

- Rule out Coral Coast (too far to transfer from).

- Rule out Nadi, as there isn't much there (Raffles isn't too bad), but there's not much to do in / around Nadi town.

I'd say your best options lay with:

Note - times are approx and traffic dependent.

Remember that Sonaisali is on an inlet/semi island, so you need to allow a small amount of time to get the boat across to where cars drop you off.

+ Natadola (40kms / 35 minutes by car)

Natadola is home to Intercontinental, and Natadola Beach Resort.

It also happens to be home to one of the best beachs on the main island.

+ Denarau (20kms / 15 minutes by car)

Denarau is built on swampland, and as a result all resorts suffer from average beaches. It is quite commercialised and where all the major chain resorts are in Fiji. You really can't go with a Denarau resort, but they lack the beaches (and in some cases) traditional bure accommodation Fiji is known for.

+ Sapphire Bay (35kms / 35 minutes by car)

Sapphire Bay has a fair beach on it (better than Denarau resorts), but you are restricted with choices on where to stay.

First Land Beach Resort / Resort and Villas resides here, and is quite popular.

=====================================

TRANSFERS:

To get around your car/transport situation pool your funds together, stay at the same resort, and book somewhere like Tourist Transport Fiji (TTF).

http://www.touristtransportfiji.com/our-fleet

Book private resort to resort transfers. The drivers are reliable, you tell them when you need them there, and they'll be there. No safety issues or waiting around, no stop offs, no delays, and a fixed cost from point A to point B.

They have near new vehicles in their fleet, and vehicles to suit any number of people.

=====================================

I think your best bet is:

Denarau - and your partner (and other peoples partners not attending seminar) could head off and do Island Day tours from Denarau Marina.

Natadola - Either resort (pending budget).

=====================================

As a side note, since you are already over in Fiji, maybe try and stretch it out for a holiday and spend 4-8

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

days on an island in Mamanucas or Yasawas.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Natadola beach is gorgeous. I really enjoyed it. It is a fair hike from Sonaisali for you though if you are travelling back and forth for 4 days of your trip.

The Denarau Island resorts, as Mitch007 has said, are all large chain resorts that are 4-5 star. The beaches are black sand (you can still swim), but it is not your classic white sand and blue water experience. Most people's focus at Denarau resorts is relaxing around the pools drinking cocktails and partaking in a few day trips to the islands or to cultural places on the mainland. It is a good base for this. I did this on my first trip to Fiji and really enjoyed my introduction to Fiji and its culture this way.

I enjoyed staying at the Sheraton and more recently at the Radisson.

Bellingen, Australia
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for Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Navini Island
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4. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Sonaisali, they either love it or hate it. Flew over it last thursday and it like the rest of the area has lost most vegetation and looks pretty stark. This will grow back in no time. Without travel involved not a lot of choice though maybe Natadola though again it is off the road a way. Really 4 days should be Ok you can then choose to go into Nadi for dinner of an evening. Will save a lot of hassle.

nz
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5. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Yes, Natadola is a lovely beach ( a bit over-rated), but I certainly wouldn't bother commuting every day. It is not a relaxing drive!

Far better to just stay at Sonaisali and eat elsewhere. Or, alternatively, stay at Denarau which is much closer to your conference hotel.

New South Wales...
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6. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

We have stayed in the hotel rooms at Sonaisali and they are very nice - recently re-furbished in modern decor. See: www.sonaisali.com/accommodation/hotel-rooms and are MUCH better standard than the bures that seem to be one of the major sources of complaints at Sonaisali. As HOF mentioned, it is a Love/Hate sort of place and those that don't like it are pretty passionate about it for their own personal reasons. There are many, many people who stay there and love it and return year after year but people are always more vocal with complaints than praise in my experience.

There are many activities available at Sonaisali and they have a lovely spa facility. It is also very easy to access daytrips from there in addition to the special activities that the resort itself organises daily. Assuming that you will be having your evening meal at Sonaisali if your conference goes to 7pm? If so, what do partners do if they are somewhere else?

If you decide to stay at Denarau, it is more like a 30 minute drive (it may be only 20kms but you travel through town at speeds of 60-80kph at best - usually less) and would need to depart at least an hour before your conference starts in order to compensate for any "delays" (which are common with transport companies in Fiji) and would also recommend you use Naisali taxis in preference to TTF as they are much better at getting you where you want to go at the time you want to go....... If you do stay, don't use the transport organised by the resort - just go across on the boat & pick up a Naisali taxi from the dock.

Both Denarau & Intercontinental have fabulous golf courses if that helps with the decision for partner activities :)

Dunedin
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for Mana Island, Fiji
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7. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Sonaisali is fine - (had to have a stay here recently due to the negative reivews posted, to see for myself- November) which was prior to Cylone Evan. Had a Beachfront Spa Bure (No.3) and it was excellent - very spacious, serviced well, plenty of towels supplied etc. Very friendly staff who went out of their way to make everyone comfortable. Mix of guests from young family groups, honeymooners, singles, to the elderly. Beautiful gardens, and lots of day trips to partake in. You can arrange your own transport to & from but best to let resort know before hand - is much cheaper than the Resort taxis. There is no white sandy beach as such, but a wonderful large swim up bar pool. Food is more than adequate and a special night to experience is 'Indian night' (Wednesday from memory) - when most of the staff dress up in Indian wear. If you PM me with your email, I can give you the contact/s to ensure that all will be well with your Conference. Go and enjoy.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Just my opinion.....

I guess it depends on your perception of Sonaisali. This resort is on a man made island in a swamp area with no beach. For all the mainland and island resorts I have stayed at, this was the most ordinary. I would not recommend it as a holiday destination for you and your partner. If you were merely going for the conference, then for convenience I believe it would be fine. To me, it doesn't reflect the true beauty of Fiji.

Sydney
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9. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

Have stayed at Sonasali and have no complaints - just not my sort of holiday.

However, for a conference that runs from 9.30am to 7pm for four days --- it will be more than fine and saves all that travelling.

I'm sure they would be looking after you that little bit extra as well due to the Conference being held there ^^

10. Re: Conference on at Sonasali in May- Any other options?

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