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“Great place to relax, but not many activities.”

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Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Denarau Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2010

I just returned yesterday from the Sofitel Fiji and I had a blast! It was so nice to get away from it all and take some time out to relax. If you are thinking of going to the Sofitel Fiji then the following might help...

PROS. The rooms were very clean with clean linen and clean bathrooms. Complimentary bottle of 'Fiji Water' each night is a nice touch. TV in the room is ok with some good cable channels (inc Cartoon Network for the kids). Rooms are quiet with minimal external noise intrusion. The grounds are absolutely first class with landscaped and manicured gardens all around. The pool is amazing and has to be seen to be believed (although a swim up bar would have been a nice addition). The staff are friendly. The location is excellent - being only 20 mins from the airport (FJD$25 in a taxi). The grounds of Denarau Island are also immaculate, which adds to the whole atmosphere of the local area. On-Site watersport company 'Adrenalin Fiji' offer a wide range of activities (most with fee) such as parasailing and jetskiing, kayaking and sailing etc. The local 'Bula Bus' offers a shuttle around all the island resorts (Sheraton, Wyndham, Radisson, Hilton etc) and also to the main marina for FJD$6 for an all day pass. The food is great (although a little pricey) and the included-in-room-rate buffet breakfast will always leave you completely satisfied. The pool waterslide was popular.

CONS. It is a beachfront resort, but avoid the beach. It is black sand with coral and grit mixed in, and I am nursing a couple of cuts on my feet from the sand. The water is also not that clear due to the black sand. With the money they spent on the resort they should have bought in a couple of barge loads of proper beach sand - it would have made a world of difference. The food is quite pricey in the hotel restaurants and the selection becomes limited after you have eaten there for a couple of nights. There is a lack of resort activities to keep people entertained through the day. I stayed at the Naviti a couple of years ago and they had daily volleyball, football, archery, basket weaving, pool games etc... but the Sofitel seemed to only choose one activity per day, with most of them occurring only once per week. For example, they listed "Restaurant open for lunch" as an activity so the activities sheet looked a little more full. Adrenalin Fiji (see PROS) catered for most of the on-water activities, so if you are looking for a place to relax and laze by the pool, then lack of activities shouldn't be an issue.

Overall, those couple of minor downsides had very little impact on the overall impression of the Sofitel. I would recommend it to anyone, and I will be going back on my next visit.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Dain_Aust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2010

When selecting a place to stay for our return trip we didn't bother to check anywhere else. We were absolutely happy with the crisp, clean accomodation, beautiful surrrounds, great service, "Bulas" everywhere from the friendly staff and the location. Fijians wih guitars singing at breakfast and during the day.On Denerau you can walk around and check out the other resorts and we had done this previously so we could compare. If you an get a deal with breakfast included that's a plus. If the evening meal choices or prices aren't to your liking then catch one of the buses that run between all the resorts to Port Denerau (cost $6 and can be used all day). Here you have a selection of restuarants which are cheaper than your resort. (try Cardos or Chefs).There is a chemist, supermarket and various other clothes and gift stores there and massages are much cheaper than at the resort. In Fiji try the local dish Kokonda...fish marinated in coconut milk & other ingredients....yum..one of the reasons I wanted to go back. The other was to relax by the pool in the glorious warmth, have a swim every now and again and sip my cocktail. If you're there to relax you may need to put in an extra book to read.
Another tip...if you have airport transfers to the resort don't exchange cash at the Airport (major ripoff) there's an exchange at the resort (only open til 2pm and not on weekends) or use the ATM there....much better exchange rate. Try a day cruise to one of the islands or a day trip to Suva for a cultural experience. Taxi into Nadi is cheap (FJ$12) and you can stock up on things you need like mixers for your duty-free grog. Have a great time. Even though tipping isn't expected it's nice to give to others especially knowing that their rate of pay is so low. Spread the love:) We are so fortunate to just be able to travel and enjoy these people and places.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank GlorsSa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2010

Our room was booked four months in advance for 7 nights, only to be told we were only booked in for one! Then we had to wait 2hrs at night for a room that wasnt the suite we had preordered!!! They didnt care less............. We had to wait 3 nights to get our correct room.... Never again, what a disappointment..

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank reereez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2010

Just returned from 10 days staying at the Sofitel in Denarau Island. Trying to email the hotel for an enquiry was useless, was much better to ring direct. We found the staff to be very friendly and we felt very safe at the hotel to the point we were happy for the kids to go off on their own. The pool was fabulous and especially catered for the family. There were plenty of bars, cafe, restaurants, an ATM and the exchange rate was terrific. It is better to get a small amount of money at the airport as the exchange rate on the mainland was nearly 12c better!! Taxi drivers are a hoot, we were piled in sitting on top of each other and no seat belts! Do as the locals do.... (but it was fun)

The resort is one of the nicer looking resorts on the island. The accommodation was hotel style, not villas. We had a family room with bunks and an extra trundle which was fine, but for an extended holiday or more than a week I would recommend 1-2 br apartment. Rooms were serviced each day on several occasions, there was a mini bar person, a bed changing person, turn down service in the evening. There was complimentary water and a 500ml bottle of water was FJ$6, so you needed to be careful to took the correct ones!

Food at the hotel catered for everyone, it was terrific but wished there was more a variety of fresh fruit and salads/veg. Brekkies were expensive but kids were free and ended up being OK. The cafe was fab for a 'real' coffee or a smaller, better value breakfast or snack. The Bula bus took you to all the other resorts and the marina, which had more cafe's and shops. We tended to eat dinner there each day. The cafes were terrific, there was a very reasonable pizza place and the kebab take away was atrocious - I thoroughly do not recommend it and we couldn't eat much of which we had, and it was expensive (pizza was MUCH better!).

We travelled outside of the resort and was very different to the spick and span resort area. We went to a market in a large town which scared the kids, who wanted to go back to the resort. Some areas I wouldn't get out of the car. There is one tarred road around the island and the tourists are recommended to stick to it. I agree!! Not really much fun for the kids, although they did appreciate where they were and what we have at home.

Took a day trip to an island and went snorkelling, they had a glass bottom boat, bbq lunch and beach volleyball - all up a fabulous day.

I thouroughly recommend the Sofitel, especially to families. It is well set up and there are plenty of things to do. The rooms were clean although 2 mugs in a family room was bit of a stretch! We were very well looked after. Quote of the week 'Fiji time' - meaning soon, later or tomorrow...

For Fiji as a destination - I wouldn't go back again. I was relieved when I arrived home, the food is better, the beaches are MUCH better, it is worth looking at going to the barrier reef as a cost comparison and you will have your 'home' comforts around you. You really don't appreciate Australia until you go overseas and realise how lucky we are.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Parisitaly11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2010

Our initial impression of this resort is that of unfriendliness. The women at the reception desk are the most unwelcoming, they never smile and hardly chat whilst serving. On our last day as were were checking out, another child had thrown up in the lobby. Reception was alerted instantly. It took the cleaners more than 20 minutes to get there and mop it up. We were disgusted by the responsiveness of the staff. This is the first point of contact with the hotel and we thought that for guests to walk up to unfriendly and dry people at reception and be greeted with throw up does not bear well on a 5 star luxury hotel!!!

We stayed in an Ocean family room with our 7 and 5.5 year olds and out 18 mths old. The room was furnished averagely and even though there were bunks and the playstation, it was a tiny room. The thing that frustrated us the most though is the unresponsiveness of house keeping. On 2 consecutive days room service came at 4pm in the afternoon and even when I had requested servicing before 12pm as I put the baby for his nap by 1. They also have a service in the day time and apparently a turn down in the evening which we got only once during out 5 night stay!!

Other than this, we were happy with the activities and the facilities around the resort. The Lagoon buffet restaurant is great and the kids had a ball picking their food at breakfast and dinner. We got a babysitter for our 3 boys on the second last night and we went to a dinner at V Restaurant which is beyond fabulous. The food is to die for, the atmosphere is romantic and very classy and the staff are professionals. Highly recommend all guests try this amazing culinary experience.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank DalalLim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

We had 5 days of total R&R at the Sofitel Denarau just before Easter. We went to this property due to an offer we had with Accor, but had friends with children who also heartily recommended it. As we were outside the main school holidays there weren't too many children at the time we stayed, which suited a couple on a romantic break celebrating an anniversary!
I would stay here for a short relaxing break, or before/after an island break – to see the “real” Fiji you probably want to venture to some of the gorgeous islands further out and split up the holiday a bit.

Resort
Denarau Island is a man-made resort and real estate development created from mangrove swamps and adjacent to the port on the main island of Viti Levu, about 6kms from the Nadi airport. It reminded us a bit of the Gold Coast's Sanctuary Cove development and we learned that one of the developers involved in that had a hand in Denarau too. As a consequence of being in a bay near a port, the beach area is not as nice as some of the island resorts in Fiji, however the Sofitel have done their best to improve their stretch of sand with imported sand atop the grey natural sand that is in front of some of the other properties - Westin and Sheraton did not have such a nice beach.
We didn't really use the beach, other than to walk along and laze in the hammocks anyway, the pool is sensational and we took the opportunity to do a day cruise to an outer island for snorkelling.
There are a lot of Australian/NZ guests, but also quite a few North Americans as flights go to LA from Fiji. Air Pacific now flies direct to Hong Kong (instead of Japan) which services the Asian sector.

Rooms
The rooms were clean, roomy and reasonable - the property is about 5 years old but I noticed that it wasn't up to the same standard as a Sofitel "city" hotel, in a few small ways. For example, the toilet paper and tissues were only 2 ply (not 3, so thin) and the pillows were not that nice. Sometimes things weren't replaced and you had to chase them up, but overall the service was good and they supplied small bottles of complimentary "Fiji" water daily. We had no bath in our room which was a shame and no sign of complimentary sunscreen and insect repellent as mentioned by another reviewer.

Food
We ate at the hotel for almost all our meals, again due to a deal that we had. If we hadn't had this, we would have eaten offsite more, as obviously food and beverage in a resort like this is much more expensive than in local restaurants and if you supplement snacks from supermarkets. The food was excellent, fresh and tasty. There are 3 main restaurants - a buffet restaurant called "Lagoon" open for breakfast and dinner (FJ$75-85 for dinner, $35-45 for breakfast), a casual restaurant "Salt" overlooking the beach for lunch and dinner, and a lovely fine dining restaurant "V". There is also a new cafe/bakery at the front of the lobby that has just opened and offers a reasonable breakfast alternative if you don't feel like full buffet.
Food and beverage service is also offered around the pool and on the beach and there is a New Zealand Natural Ice Cream stand near the pool.

Nearby in Port Denarau there are a number of other restaurants offering cheaper meal alternatives, internet cafes and some shopping.

To Do
The main tour organiser “Rosies” has a desk in the lobby attended until 8.30pm. We did a day trip with Oohlala cruises to snorkel by a small island that was intimate and very good. We also did a half-day tour to Nadi and the foothills, visiting a traditional village and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, plus an hour for shopping in Nadi town (which was plenty!). Given that there are a lot of gifts that you may have trouble bringing back to Australia made of wood, paper and shells, we didn’t buy that much. Men’s clothing was cheap and freely available in Port Denarau – the shops were the same as the big “approved” ones in Nadi town. Women’s clothing wasn’t as appealing. The ubiquitous “Jack’s” is the main gift store and has outlets in Port and the hotel, with the prices standard everywhere. A nice gift is the “Pure Fiji” products (www.purefiji.com) – available online but much cheaper to buy there.

Kids
If you have young children, then this type of property is ideal. Kids eat free on the buffet and the kids club runs lots of activities. There is a FJ$25 charge per child per day for up to 12 hours, and baby sitting is around FJ$8 per hour. The Fijians are fantastic with children and there is a great waterslide attached to the pool that the younger guests loved. My friend booked a family room with a private alcove with bunks and an extra TV, which suited them perfectly.

Beware
Pack some Rid/Aerogard – as the area was originally a mangrove swamp there are mosquito’s at dusk that can be voracious. There are also lots of resident cane toads which don’t seems to worry the locals, but I saw visitors of other nationalities not familiar with them calling them cute frogs and allowing children to touch them. At the Port there is a booth promoting real estate investment which tries to entice you to have a 90 minute promotion in exchange for a dinner cruise or other incentive. Up to you if you want to spend time on this and can wriggle your way out of the pressure to sign up…

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Brisbanegirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

Just got back after a 10 day stay at the Sofitel Fiji resort and spa, I can't speak highly enough of the service and the resort. A few tips as we are a family of 5 and as good as the bula bus is it is $6 fijan each person all day, where a taxi into the marina is $5 fijan one way for all us - so works out cheaper if you have more to use the taxis.
Went to Mala Mala Island for a day trip had a ball and the kids snorkelled all day aged 18,15 and 8. Happy hour was well worth it at the Sofitel from 5-7pm and 9-10pm each night, beers from FJ$6 and cocktails FJ$13.50. Saffron Indian Rest at the Marina was fantastic food and service, so was Cardos and Hard Rock. Salt Rest at the Sofitel was great too. The activities boys were great at the Hotel and Temo was so good with the kids - he is an exceptional person, I wish I had know as I could have taken some clothes that my kids had grown out of as his village lost alot in the cyclone, and would welcome any extra clothing, so if you have room in your bags see him and he will really appreciate it. We will definately be returning I loved it and so did all the family and the Sofitel is by far the best resort with a huge pool and surrounds are immaculate.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Julied21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Address: Beachfront, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Denarau Island
#4 Romantic Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Family Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Luxury Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Spa Hotel in Denarau Island
Price Range: £136 - £249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is located on beautiful Denarau Island. This five star Fiji resort overlooks the beachfront, adjacent to the world class Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. Our Fiji beach resort offers 296 rooms, each with a private balcony. Other features at this Fiji luxury resort include a private beach, wedding chapel, swimming pools, three restaurants, four bars, an international health spa, and one of the largest ballroom on the island. A bustling marina and cultural temples are located nearby. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Fiji Resort And Spa
Sofitel Fiji Hotel Denarau Island
Sofitel Denarau Island
Denarau Island Sofitel
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Denarau Island

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