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“Pleasantly surprised”

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Sheraton Fiji Resort
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Denarau Island
Seattle, WA
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
Reviewed 23 March 2008

We booked out stay at the Sheraton with a little trepidation, given some of the reviews. I have to say we were very pleasantly surprised. The hotel is very open about getting ready to close for renovations, so we didn't expect top-notch accommodations. However, it was pretty close, and for the money, a great value.

We arranged a taxi in advance with the hotel. It cost about $20 USD, and was well worth it. Check-in was smooth and relatively quick (remember Fiji time.) The lobby was attractive, and the business center offers free unlimited internet access (but only five computers.)

We were very pleased with our ocean view room. Yes, some things are in need of replacing and fresh paint, but everything was very clean and comfortable. The bed was marvelous! My only complaint is with the air conditioning - there was no setting low enough to prevent the room from getting waaay too cold.

All the restaurants and bars are about what you would expect in a resort - a little expensive for what you get, but we found the food to be good and the service friendly, if sometimes a little slow. Breakfast was included in our room rate, and it was a nice buffet. Purchased individually, it's about $30 US, which I would consider overpriced. There is a market across the street and one at the Marina, or you can go into Nadi and stock your room with some goodies and save some money.

The beach and pool area are well-maintained and staffed, with lots of activities for family members of all ages. Staying at the Sheraton gives you access to the other Westin properties and all the amenities.

There are a couple of buses - one bus takes you between the three Westin resorts, and the other one takes you all around Denarau. The marina is a nice stop, and we also enjoyed taking the free boat from the Westin to the resort's island for a nice afternoon.

Denarau Island is lovely, but it is sort of cut off from the rest of Viti Levu. You can get a taxi into Nadi for about $10, and our driver would always wait for us. It doesn't take long to walk through Nadi, but beware some aggressive vendors! We always lucked out with very friendly and informative drivers who were very interested in the U.S. political situation and explained the culture of Fiji.

I don't feel that staying on Denarau really gives you a good feeling for what Fiji is like. If you strictly want the resort experience, this is a great value, and we certainly enjoyed our stay. But if you want to experience a little more local flavor, spend at least part of your stay elsewhere in Fiji.

  • Liked — great room, great price
  • Disliked — air con too cold
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank SeattleElikapeka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Boston, MA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

Thankfully we only spent one night here. The room was damp, patio furniture was broken, food was ordinary at best and really overpriced. We spent three nights at the new Taunovo Bay Resort, which was beautiful with great staff and wonderful rooms and service. The meals were excellent. ThenWe loved Fiji, but wish we had not spent our final night here. We did learn that they are closing to renovate, so perhaps it will be in much better shape soon.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GinaLBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2008

Well we finally made it back to Fiji and after much deliberation decided to stay at the Sheraton Fiji Resort. I had read the other reviews on this website but must say I was pleasantly surprised with the resort.

We traveled with our 18 month old son and stayed in an Ocean Resort Room. This cost us F$270 per night including breakfast and the room was HUGE and very tidy. You could tell it needed renovating but in no way was it unstayable in. Everything was clean, everything worked, spa bath, air-con, ceiling fan, seaview and not a cockroach in sight!

The staff at the resort were very very happy and helpful in every way. Maybe it was because we had a little one with us but we found everyone bent over backwards to assist and were always willing to go the extra mile if we needed a hand.

The resort as a whole is obviously needing a spruce up and will be closed May to Oct (?) for renovations but even as it is it's just great. The best thing was that there was hardly anyone there so we had first pick of all the activities and food etc...

An excellent thing with the Sheraton is that you get to use the facilities at the other Sheraton Resorts on the island. We were able to get up at 6.30am for breakfast and then go walk for two hours every morning, all on covered paved pathways, between the three Sheraton properties and the Sofitel, Raddison and The Mark. All of these properties have their own shops and eateries so everything is within easy reach. We spent a lot of time at The Westin Sheraton as overall it had the nicest pool and facilities. Their restaurant is better as well and it's only a 15 minute stroll away.

Among all the excellent activities on offer, the Sheraton also owns their own island a short (free) boat trip away. It only takes 10 minutes and offers a small sample of deserted island life without having to pay big bucks or being stranded on an island with nothing to do for a week.

The other great thing with Denarau Island is the Marina shopping center complete with supermarket and Hard Rock Cafe. This made for some cheap eating and I recommend you stock up on water and chocolate either there or at the small shops across the carpark at the Sheraton as they charge $1 for a Coke Zero and $2 for a Kit Kat instead of $5.50 and $4.50 in the mini bar!!

Food continues to be mid priced at the restaurants with it costing around $60-$70 for a main meal for the three of us. Breakfast was included in the room price but otherwise would have cost $30 each which is massively expensive for the food on offer. It was a good feed but not worth 30 bucks.

I was also pleasantly surprised with the shopping available at the resorts. Touristy items were cheap as was clothing and some of the labeled gear (Billabong, Rip Curl etc). They also had a great range of jewelery and high market watches from Omega, Breitling and the like.

All in all I really recommend this resort. It was reasonably cheap, the staff were great, there was heaps to do and they were kiddie friendly with four complete playgrounds. When you add in the free bus to the Marina and the close proximity of the other resorts then you'd be hard pressed to better this on the main land.

Go book your flights now!

  • Liked — Friendly staff and vast facilities
  • Disliked — I liked everything
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Akkadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2007

My husband, 8 month old son and I stayed here for 1 night in November 07 before transferring to Mana Island Resort the following day. The main reason we chose the Sheraton is because it was considerably cheaper than other Denarau Island hotels such as the Sofitel etc, and we only needed somewhere to stay for 1 night close to Port Denarau. In all we thought the Sheraton provided good value for money (in comparison to the other choices on Denarau), and although we were only here for 1 night we had a very pleasant stay and would definitely choose to stay at the Sheraton again without any hesitation. Yes, the place could do with a renovation in places, but we felt it wasn’t nearly as bad as some people have made it out to be, and I’ve certainly seen a lot worse. Besides, if they spent a fortune renovating the place, who do you think is going to pay for it – yep, us! Then the prices would be just as high as the rest of the newer resorts on the island.

Arrival/Check In:
We arrived by private car transfer from Nadi Airport (which isn’t much more expensive than coach transfer anyway – highly recommended!) and were greeted by some very friendly young porters who were cheerful, courteous & efficient. Because we beat the larger group of people who were arriving by coach check-in was reasonably fast, efficient & hassle-free. We were taken to our Garden View room by golf buggy which, even though wasn’t far from reception, we thought a nice touch considering you don’t get this sort of service everywhere. Although I didn’t really notice it at first, after being at the resort for a few hours and interacting with other staff, I realized the receptionists at check-in were not very enthusiastic or chatty. I can see how some people interpret this to be rude, but in all honesty it didn’t really bother me.

Room:
Much has been said about the state of the rooms (and grounds in general) at the Sheraton. We honestly thought that our room was very comfortable, spacious and clean – perfect for a 1 night stay actually. Yes, it’s a bit old, but to be honest I could’ve even stayed for a few nights if we had to. It really wasn’t that bad at all and I quite enjoyed our short stopover!! We had 2 Queen Sized beds which were very comfortable, sheets & pillows were great, as was the fluffy doona on the bed. The fluffy doona was great because if I could make one complaint about the room, it would be that the air conditioning was too cold, even on the lowest setting. But it was too hot and sticky without the air conditioning, so the doona came in handy! The room had a clock radio/alarm, TV (with only had a few channels), Mini Bar & fridge, a couple of chairs and a desk.

Bathroom & amenities
Ok, the bathroom could definitely do with a good clean up and facelift/renovation, but again, it was fine for our one night stopover. The shower taps were a bit funny, and it took a while to figure out how to change the water flow from bath to shower, but otherwise everything seemed to be in working order so no complaints.

Bars/Restaurant
After we settled into our room we went for a walk and decided to sit by the pool and have a cocktail. I went up to the bar to order our drinks, and they had 1 poor guy doing all the drinks for the bar and adjoining restaurant. And by that time the restaurant was filling up with guests arriving for dinner, so he was run off his feet. Needless to say, our cocktails did take a while to be made, but I have to say it really wasn’t the bar attendants fault. I really think management should employ more staff because you could see the pressure on this poor blokes face and it simply isn’t fair to blame him for it.

Because it had been a very long day and our son needed to go to bed early, so we didn’t have the opportunity to try any of the restaurants for dinner, however we did order room service which arrived with 30 minutes, and was hot, fresh, tasty and satisfying. Probably more expensive than dining in the restaurant by the time you add your charges etc, but you get that anywhere. I can’t remember exactly how much it cost, but I think by the time we ordered 2 meals & added charges it cost around $50FJ. So quite reasonable we thought.

I should mention that while I was waiting at the bar for our cocktails, I did see some rather unhappy people sitting in the restaurant obviously waiting for their meals. I don’t know how long they had been waiting, but they did look pretty grumpy and the kids were whinging so I would imagine they have a similar situation in the kitchen as they do in the bar. Call it “Fiji time” if you like, I just call it management being tight and not employing enough staff. The staff really did appear to be trying their hardest, and if some seemed grumpy I can’t really blame them, as I too would be pretty unhappy if my employers were too tight to put more staff on to help out.

One good thing about staying at the Sheraton was our room rate included a full buffet breakfast for two. Breakfast was actually pretty good - not fantastic, but it still had more than enough to choose from, with all the usual stuff you’d expect to find at a buffet. Food was all pretty fresh, except I felt the milk & juices were not cold enough, but I find this to be the case no matter where I go. Staff at breakfast seemed a little unenthusiastic, but again I couldn’t really have cared – I was there to spend time with my husband & son, not to sit and trade smiles with staff all day.

The convenience stores and boutiques stocked all the usual things you’d find at a resort, plus you could purchase your own alcohol in their own bottle shop. I wouldn’t recommend this though, because the prices were pretty outrageous. And as for non alcoholic beverages, a 1 litre bottle of water was around $6 or $7FJ from memory, so do try to bring your own if you can.

Grounds/Outlook/Atmosphere
The grounds, gardens, beach etc were much better than I expected and I was impressed with how tidy the resort was. The lawns and gardens were meticulously kept, and the resort was actually quite attractive overall considering its age. The grounds are quite expansive so it never really felt busy or crowded unless you were in the restaurants around meal times.

The swimming pool is huge and has nice enough views of the resort, grounds and sea. It does have a bit of an older look about it, but it was large, clean and inviting so in my books that is what counts. Even the beach was better than I thought it would be. Ok, so it certainly wasn’t anything like you’d see at the Gold Coast Australia, and its definitely not what you’d picture a true tropical island beach to be (ie no turquoise blue waters, pure white sand etc) but there’s certainly some sand and sun loungers etc and its really quite pleasant. Having said that, it’s not what I’d call the “real Fiji”, so all I can say is simply don’t go to any Denarau resort expecting fantastic beaches as many others have pointed out. If you want the real island escape you will have to travel to the Mamanucas or Yasawas etc.

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the Sheraton considering it has some rather negative reviews. Thankfully, we had a pleasant, hassle-free short stay and would recommend it to anyone for a short getaway or stopover for those transferring to/from the Mamanuca islands by launch. It is in a pretty prime location too – close to both the airport (approx 20 mins drive) and minutes from Denarau Marina. However, if you want a brand new, shiny and more expensive resort, then stay at one of the new resorts on Denarau.

  • Liked — Convenient location, good value, lovely grounds & surroundings
  • Disliked — Bathroom on the older side & could do with some renovations if I wanted to get picky abou things
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank pmrb80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2007

Read some dodgy reviews about this place..actually about most of the Fiji hotels and have come to the conclusion that many people love to focus on the negatives- highlight them. Fiji is a cheap holiday so what does one want?
I wanted a comfy bed with the best pillows- check
Oceon view (upgrade it's so worth it)- check
Cocktails/lunch brought to me at the pool and beach- check
Sunny weather (4 out of 5 ain't bad) so - check
Breakfast included- check
Relaxation - check
Water Sports- check
I loved it, The Bulla Bus takes you to the 3 hotels for free so you can eat, swim, drink where you want and charge it back- it is expensive to eat (thats why you get a yummy buffet breakfast included peeps) but this is The Sheraton Hotel.
The silver service at The Port of Call was great (order a crepe suzette and save this treat for your final night..you can share a main and dessert as they are big)
Taxi to Nadi is $10 each way and our driver met us to take us back after a scoot aboutr town.
Negatives?? The activities sheet should be in the room but you can get one at the front desk..
5 computers in the business centre but hey YOU Are ON HOLIDAYS!! Plus it has an unwired hotspot anyway if you bring your own.
Clean, relaxing and the burgers round the pool were great.
Tip the locals as the wages are low and why not reward good service.
Had a great birthday and did not want to come home..So if you want to kick back, pop the kids in the creche for the day or try some watersports this is an affordable option..5 days cost me about AU$2000 with flights, room upgrade, buffet breakfast, lunch, dinners, cocktails, gifts, phone calls (expensive) , jet ski hire and tips..bargain!

  • Liked — Location Cleanliness And Big Rooms
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Libstars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 November 2007

I returned home from this resort yesterday having spent five days there celebrating my friend's birthday. We deliberately kept an open mind given some of the reviews we had read but were very pleasantly surprised. Our check-in was seamless and we were in our ocean front room with no hassle whatsoever. Fantastic view, huge clean room, downy pillows, great beds! Its true that some of the staff in the Verandah Restaurant were a bit lacklustre but the bar staff at the Villas and the Resort were fantastic and we were exceptionally well looked after whilst lounging around the pool. The meals were expensive but what you would expect of such a resort. The beach doesn't quite fit the tropical fantasy you would expect but the choice of pools at the different resorts to swim in made up for it. We were very sad to leave and would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Liked — Great view, clean room, comfy bed
  • Disliked — The daily activities sheet wasn't in the hotel room.
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NickyDicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2007

We stayed there three nights...never again!
The room was fine and the food okay.
The prices were inflated, the pool very basic and the internet business centre was small, attracting queues and delays.
Checking in and out was a nightmare with few staff rostered on to deal with queues of people. ("Fiji time" is no excuse!)
Worst of all though was the attitude of most of the staff.
Disinterested, superior and occasionally downright rude, particularly at the outside bar/restaurant area.
Asking for an ashtray was a major imposition and god forbid, don't forget to book a table or you'll get a filthy look.
Once you've been through that, you can sit in the lounge area wondering why there's little decent entertainment as your "zoned out" waitress gets your drink orders wrong.
We moved on as fast as possible to the nearby Trendwest Workmark resort and never looked back. It appears the Sheraton brand has slipped a little!

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank Gullster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Fiji Resort

Property: Sheraton Fiji Resort
Address: Denarau Island, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Region: Fiji > Viti Levu > Denarau Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Luxury Hotel in Denarau Island
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Denarau Island
#7 Family Hotel in Denarau Island
#7 Spa Hotel in Denarau Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sheraton Fiji Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 297
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sheraton Fiji Resort is stunningly situated in the tropical oasis of Denarau Island. Designed with comfort in mind, the 297 spacious guest rooms and suites are beautifully furnished in harmony with the idyllic South Pacific setting. The resort is the ideal playground for vacationers and families to experience an array of dining venues and leisure activities. With its close proximity to Denarau Marina, it has an easy and quick access to the beautiful outer islands, shopping and a vast range of dining experiences. The resort is the ideal backdrop for an unforgettable destination wedding in Fiji or a corporate style event. Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Members receive complimentary in room internet when booking direct. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Fiji Hotel Denarau Island
Sheraton Denarau Island
Denarau Island Sheraton
Sheraton Fiji Resort Denarau Island

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