After booking accommodation in November last year, it felt like this trip was so far away. But here I am typing this back at home in Auckland after the most amazing week in Fiji. I can honestly say I had the best time and that was mainly down to the group of girls I was lucky enough to travel with. Julia, Georgie, Mika, Sophie and Laura thank you for being the best company, the endless laughs, the spontaneous photo shoots and always building me up.
Aside from gushing about the great group of girls I travelled with, I thought I would give some detail on where we stayed and what we did. Hopefully someone will find it useful for a future trip to Fiji.
We flew with Air NZ and on check in a lovely member off staff called Anthony kindly arranged for us all to sit together which was so good of him and had the holiday off to a great start. On arrival in Fiji we were met by a representative from Tropical Paradise Adventures, who we had a pre booked a transfer with, we paid approx. FJD $150 total for 6 of us and this also included a 15 stop at a supermarket in Nadi to stock up on supplies for the week. A couple of suggestions, take snack and spreads with you as it is much cheaper than buying it on arrival. Also pick up a bottle of your favourite tipple before boarding as alcohol is cheaper to buy in NZ than in Fiji. From the supermarket in Nadi we picked up mainly fruit, veges, dairy products, bottled water and mixers.
We decided to stay at the Sheraton Villas in Denarau as there was a group of 6 of us, and it was more cost effective than 3 hotel rooms. We booked a 2 bedroom garden view villa which had 2 bedrooms (1 king bed & 2 double beds in the second room) 2 bathrooms. On arrival we were kindly upgraded to a lagoon view villa, which was the same layout but meant we now looked over the lagoon pool which was an unexpected bonus.
There are many great places to eat in Denarau, some highlights were the Wet Edge Bar at the Villas and Rhumba in Port Denarau. Cardos in Port Denarau is a great casual dining spot and has awesome live music.
Most of the resort bars also have amazing live music of an evening, there were a number of evenings spent listening to live music and drinking cocktails and dancing.
We had pre booked one day trip for the Thursday which was 2 days after we arrived. After reading many Trip Advisor reviews we decided on Coral Cats. They take groups of approx. 15 people of the Catamaran named Wanaka plus a small crew. We were picked up by a transfer which was included in the cost of the trip, whch was approx. FJD $220. We departed the Marina at 9.30am and headed for our first stop of the day which was a snorkel spot on a coral reef. Snorkel and flippers provided and fitted it was time to get in the water. Two of the crew did a 45 minute guided snorkel tour which was amazing, we got to see all sorts of fish and under water activity as well as getting great look at the stunning coral reef. Note you don't have to snorkel or do the guided tour, you can do your own thing and just go for a swim or stay on the boat. After 45 minutes we made our way back on board and set off to Malolo Lailai Island for a BBQ lunch. We enjoyed beautifully fresh food and ate in a stunning setting. We had about 1.5hrs on the island and after that we headed to our final stop of the day which was a sand bank, which was ever so slightly covered due to the tide. This was also another opportunity for us to snorkel, we got to see a many more fish and even a star fish which the whole group loved. We also took this opportunity to get some jumping shots from the boat, there were many an attempt to get a good shot! After this we headed back to the port, whilst on our way back the crew made bangles, crowns and other items made from coconut fronds, which was such a lovely gesture.
My honest opinion is I couldn't recommend this trip enough, from start to finish it was absolutely incredible. What really made the day was the amazing crew, they were so friendly and accommodating and also so funny! Included in the cost is catamaran sailing, BBQ lunch, soft drinks, fruit platter, bottled water, guided snorkeling with equipment and transfers from Denarau and central Nadi hotels.
The other day trip we did was out to the Malamala Beach Club Fiji, which is a must do. We booked the trip the day before (as it is a quiet time we didn't need to book to far in advanced) through the Rosie's Holidays tour desk at our hotel. We chose the full day option for FJD $179 and transfers were again included in the cost as well as all non motorised watersports. We departed the Marina at 10am and the boat to the island took 30 minutes, when we arrived we headed for beach and made ourselves at home on the day beds. There are private cabanas that can be booked (for additional costs) for couples and groups which have butler services and other added extras should you wish to add these to your booking. However there are a number of day beds and loungers around the island which are free to everyone. We enjoyed mimosas and cocktails as well as a lovely lunch in the restaurant. We were able to swim in the sea and there was also a lovely infinity pool to swim in. I would suggest taking sand shoes for the beach and swimming in the sea as it can be quite rocky underfoot. You have the full day there and then have the option to catch the 4.15pm or 5.15pm boat back. Regardless of h0w long you are in Fiji for I would say this is a must do thing, we had the best day and the staff were so lovely.
I feel I have covered most of the main items off but thought I would also mention visiting The Garden of the Sleeping Giant for walk. and also getting a massage at the Westin Heavenly Spa which was bliss, so relaxing and rejuvenating.
We were there for 5 nights and 6 days which was a perfect amount of time to do what we wanted, I will 100% be back in Fiji soon, maybe to cruise round the island to see more of Fiji.
Below are links to the things I have mentioned above, any questions do let me know :)
Air NZ - www.airnewzealand.co.nz
Airport Transfers - http://tpafiji.com/
Accommodation - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nands-sheraton-denarau-villas/
Coral Cats - http://coralcatssailing.com.fj/day-sailing
Malamala Beach Club - https://malamalabeachclub.com/