Top Tips for the Perfect Fiji Vacation

Double Tree Resort by Hilton Fiji

Hi Everyone,

Just back from my first trip down to the South Pacific since the pandemic. The real purpose being to visit my Mum in New Zealand. However it’s winter down there right now so we decided it was time to escape the cold together, (not that Auckland’s Winters are ever that bad).

Fiji is only a 3 hour flight from Auckland and has warm temperatures the whole year round. However be prepared during the rainy season (November – April).  This is also when temperatures are at their hottest.

Things in Fiji have certainly changed over the past few years. You now truly find some beautiful luxury resorts dotted around the mainland and outer islands. At the same time I read that 68% of Fiji’s population drink unsafe tap water. There is a lot of poverty and a survey showed 30% could not afford the medication needed when they got sick.

It was an eye opener speaking to the locals about how they had survived during the pandemic. Many had no means to earn money. Prior to COVID 90% of some villages worked in tourism. For the past 2 years there was a heavy reliance on village life, farming and land/housing passed down over generations. In addition a system of bartering was set up again. One driver told me when they need money they sell a cow.

Fiji opened for tourism only a couple of months ago and the excitement of it was surely seen in the locals that now had their jobs back. The kindness and friendliness of staff we met at the Double Tree Hilton Fiji was simply the best!

Time for more people to rejuvenate themselves on these beautiful Fijian islands, supporting the local community at the same time!

Keep reading for “Top Tips for the Perfect Fiji Vacation”.

 

Top Tips for the Perfect Fiji Vacation

  1. COVID requirements

At the time of writing this the requirements were:

  • proof of vaccination for all travellers 16 and above.
  • pre-paid in country Covid test. In general these are done at the hotel you choose to stay in. The process is super easy and kept quiet – you won’t find resorts plastered with COVID signs – book your COVID test online here.
  • it is mandatory to have a special  COVID insurance – you can book an inexpensive one here.
  • masks were only mandatory at the airport.

Check here for the latest Fiji travel requirements.

 

2. Bring Fijian cash

At a time when many of us are slowly but surely becoming cashless, Fiji is the one place where many people – including taxi drivers, will only accept cash.

You can get cash from the local ATM machines but transactions are expensive so it pays to bring some cash with you.

On a side note, whenever signing any bills make sure to double check. We had the experience that almost every one of our bills was incorrect for some reason and later heard other tourists complain about the same issue.

 

3. Shopping

Whilst being one of the main towns, Nadi is not what I would call shoppers paradise – smile. Do check out the local markets and get a vibe for the local lifestyle but we discovered the best shopping to be actually inside the larger resorts.

Anyone who likes jewellery will find a beautiful array of South Sea pearl jewellery. Be sure to buy it at a resort and don’t wait for duty free at the airport. The prices there were threefold that of the resort – perhaps though this was simply our experience.

 

4. Activities

Especially if you do choose to stay on the main island of Fiji you will find plenty of activities other than simply lying at the beach reading… something I hadn’t done for years and was super happy to do for one of the days we were there.

Ask around about peoples experiences before booking tours. We heard mixed reports of some of the snorkelling trips being incredibly over filled.

Some of the most popular tours can be found here.

First time visitors should put the following on their list:

  • one sailing trip to a nearby island
  • a village tour including Cava tasting, stop off to the magic waterfall
  • Visit the gardens of the sleeping giant and the Sri Siva Temple – the largest Hindu temple in the South Pacific.

Adventure options:

  • River tubing
  • Quad bike tours
  • Zip line adventure
  • Snorkel with the sharks

See the full range of tours here.

 

Breakfast view from our hotel Double Tree Resort by Hilton Fiji.
5. Where to stay

Where to stay in Fiji really depends on how long you are staying and who you are travelling with.

The main island is certainly the best option for anyone staying less than 5 nights as it takes additional time to get transfers from the mainland to the outer islands. Of course you certainly get that very real island feeling on the outer islands.

Travelling with a young family you want to stay somewhere like on Denarau Island – which is joined to the mainland by a bridge and has a number of 4 – 5 star hotels with fantastic kids facilities – a few recommendations follow.

If you’ve come for some crystal clear waters and easy snorkelling then the Coral Coast is where you will want to stay – a few  recommendations follow.

 

Where we stayed:

This visit we stayed at the Double Tree Resort by Hilton Fiji – approximately a 30 minute drive from Nadi airport. The hotel is on it’s own little island with a shuttle boat that is always there for you and takes you to the hotel island in 5 minutes. We found it to be a truly fun way to begin our adventure.

A lovely boutique hotel made up of a few hotel rooms and bungalow. Every room/bungalo having a full beach view. The location is fantastically tranquil and we loved the fact that the restaurant bordered on the side of the pool with additional views of the ocean.

 

Time for some hotel scouting…

Waiting for our driver to pick us up for some hotel scouting…

On the main island the Coral Coast has the most beautiful crystal clear waters. Snorkel right from the very beach.

The intercontinental Fiji

Inspired by a traditional Fijian village, the Intercontinental Fiji is said to be the ultimate best hotel on mainland Fiji with excellent food.

The structure of the main building is certainly impressive and the beach absolutely Devine crystal clear with plenty of pretty coloured coral pieces dotted around.

Approximately a 2 hour drive from Nadi airport so beware of this travel time.

 

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

The Marriott Resort Momi Bay is also located on the Coral Coast but much closer to Nadi than the Intercontinental.

An interesting structure with a series of water bungalows, beach bungalows and rooms on the main land. The one thing that struck us is that whilst the complex is beautiful there are a number of rooms, including over water bungalows, that only have lagoon views.

We ate the most delicious tuna sandwich here – in fact it was so delicious we both forgot to photograph it – smile!

 

For those of you that love to golf or are travelling with young children, Denarau Island is perfect for you:

The Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort

The Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort was incredibly busy as we got there. But the beach and pool areas are huge. People seemed to be having a fabulous time, especially the children.

A lovely newly renovated property. If you’re looking for action then this is the place to stay! There are fun eating options and a great shopping area in the main reception hall. Many of the rooms however do only have a garden view.

 

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa

The Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is also newly renovated. A pretty pool area with a great kiddies slide off to the side. Despite also being busy it had a quieter feel to it than the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort.

We had lunch here – a delicious meat skewer with ever so interesting presentation. We loved the fact that we could dine with a lovely ocean view.

 

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa has 2km of beach and 7 pools. As we arrived the reception area was jam packed so we literally made a fleeting visit.

A little more research tells me they have an award winning spa and 7 pools including special adult and children areas. There is dining right on the beach which is always an island plus if you ask me – smile!

Conclusion:

We loved our 5 day getaway in Fiji. It was the perfect place to relax and at the same time there was plenty to see and do… in fact we can’t wait to go back again one day!

 


 

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Doing our daily holiday selfie – haha! Dress: Etam
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FunkyForty

Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

1 Comment
  1. hi dear Yvonne thank you for your blog I could not have done it better it is so nice and we truely enjoyed our time together on that beautiful island

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