Have Baby Will Travel’s trip reports for Fiji are organized alphabetically by city or region within the country. Simply scroll down to read them all. Each trip report has been provided to Have Baby Will Travel in hopes of giving other parents a clearer picture of what to expect when traveling to Fiji with a baby or toddler.
DENARAU ISLAND: WESTIN DENARAU ISLAND RESORT & SPA
A.N. & Family (baby 9mos)
Just returned from a week of relaxing by the pool at the Westin on Denarau Island with my husband and nine month old baby. We all had a ball and can’t wait to go back.
We wanted a holiday where we could relax around a pool in lovely surroundings and the Westin was the perfect location. The pool area is beautifully done – they have managed to capture the feeling that yes you are indeed in Fiji with the gorgeous bures covering the spas and the overlooking restaurants and cocktail lounge. Yes the pool is cold but with temperatures like 30 degrees Celsius everyday, it didn’t matter one bit. Once you jumped in it was actually really refreshing with the weather being so hot! And yes, the sunbeds do go quickly but tell me where else in the world this doesn’t happen! The two Sheratons are next door and I imagine that some of those guests use the pool area at the Westin as it was definitely the nicest pool area on the island. On the flip side, you can use the Sheraton’s pools when you feel like a change. The Sheraton Denaru Villas pool area is quite nice as well but the Westin is my preference as it had the most authentic ambience and a feeling of understated luxury. A place where you could chill out all day and marvel at the beautiful coconut trees as a backdrop to the beautiful setting. We managed to get a sunbed every morning as we were up quite early and at the pool by 8/8.30 every morning. Many sunbeds were free around lunchtime and afternoon as I guess some people like a rest from the sun or leave for a nice long lunch.
The rooms were nice. We got a king bed as requested. They are quite big and we had a cot in there as well. The furnishings were Fijian style – nice to have a bit of culture in the room. The only downside was the bathroom layout. The sink area part of the bathroom was nicely renovated but the toilet and bath/shower areas only got the slightest makeover. One thing I would have done is have the old tiles ripped out and replaced. But we spent little time in the room and the tiles became a distant memory as I sipped cocktails in the sun.
I was surprised at how reasonable the meals and drinks were. The average price of a cocktail is F$15 (about AUD$11) which I thought was really well priced for a 5 star resort. If you had the same drink at a 5 star resort in Bali or Thailand or even North Qld you would pay a lot more! The burger and chips served around the pool were F$18.50 – again quite reasonable and they were delicious.
I’ll just run over a couple of hiccups we had, which overall did not impact on the fantastic time we had.
- Our check in wasn’t great. We were assured by the reservations manager by email that the great rate we got would be honoured. Unfortunately, on arrival some other high rate was quoted. Lucky we had a print out of the email with us. It was all resolved in the end. Not ideal, but we were determined to have a great time.
- We had reserved a cot as part of our reservation and this was confirmed by the reservations manager by email We checked in around 4 pm but did not get the cot until 9.30pm – despite being told many times that it was on its way shortly. It was only after a very stern call at 9pm that the cot was delivered shortly as promised. My theory is that they probably had to try and locate one as there were many babies at the resort over our time there. We received an apology letter the next day and a gift. Again, waiting that long was not great with a tired baby but we were prepared. We knew full well that in Fiji – Fiji time is a way of life. I generally have very high expectations but if I know what I am in for then I adjust them. You can’t expect the Fijians to completely change the way they do things just because they are in a 5 star resort. Overall they are lovely people and their service though not of a universal 5 star standard, was at least genuine and personal. I have stayed at many resorts where the service is impeccable but you feel is a little staged and robotic.
- The wait for our meals at night was long and there seemed to be lack of communication between the staff at times. On a positive, the ribs at the steakhouse restaurant were absolutely mouth watering.
We were a bit nervous after reading some reviews but our experience there was great. Yes there were some hiccups along the way but this is Fiji!!! I also knew I wasn’t getting a lagoon beach with white sand. We wanted to go somewhere nice, easy to get to with a nice pool and that is exactly what we got. Those people who go there expecting the beach to be nice obviously haven’t done their research.
We wont hesitate to come back! It’s the best hotel on the island!