Nadi has numerous accommodation of every stripe ranging from the 5-star resort ghetto in Denarau to barebones backpacker haunts in Nadi town. My last count had nearly sixty properties in and around the greater Nadi area. Here are my top choices broken down into budget, midrange and 5-star categories. For a complete description of my favorites. see this two part blog series: Nadi's Wailoaloa Beach Hotels-- An alternative to Denarau Part I and Nadi's Wailoaloa Beach Hotels-- An alternative to Denarau Part II.
Heaven's Edge is a Spartan backpacker facility in the highlands perched on the edge of a mountain with both dorm and bures. The nearly 360 degree views are spectacular. It’s an hour and a half drive from the main road. The turnoff to get there is about three or four clicks from the Nadi airport heading north.) It’s operated by the landowners belonging to the Qoqa Mataqali (clan) and the big plus is that you’ll have a great opportunity to interact with Fijians. Local hiking and exploration are the main activities. Rates start at F$50 per person which includes 3 meals a day.
An eleven-minute drive from Nadi but still remote, Stoney Creek Resort lies on a hilltop at the foot of the Sabeto Mountains as a mecca for weary beach bums. Here, there is much more to do than soak up the sun. With endless hiking throughout the interior, you will see a different face of Fiji. It has both camping/ dorm ($27.5) and bure facilities that start at $50 for the love shack and go up to $140 for deluxe rooms. Activities include mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, horseback riding and other outdoor fun and, with an active and helpful Activities Desk, finding adventure is easy. Don’t forget to set up your complimentary taxi shuttle from the airport.
Nomads Skylodge is perhaps the closest backpackers facility to the airport with a wide range of accommodations, ranging from bare bones dorm ($22) to rooms deluxe rooms ($58) with phone, TV, tea/coffee, fridge, etc. It’s on a lush 11 acre tract of land fully loaded with a newly renovated bar and restaurant. Open a book poolside for some carefree relaxation and break a sweat playing basketball, volleyball or one of the many activities Nomads offers.
Nadi Bay Hotel has been one of my favorite Nadi budget accommodations for years. Located a 10-minute drive from the airport, they have a wide selection of accommodation ranging from dorms (starting at $F21) and rooms (ranging from $56.00 to $82.00) to air-conditioned apartments starting at $95.00. It’s a far cry from the threadbare operation it was a decade or two ago.
Of late, Nadi has sprouted a whole category of budget properties located on New Town aka Wailoaloa Beach that is located between the airport and Nadi town. They are a bit off the main road but offer better food, service and accommodation than the skimpy dorms in town. Another great plus is that they are on the beach. Unless you need to be in town, it’s much better to be near the ocean even though Wailoaloa is not Fiji greatest beach.
In this stretch of Beach, Smuggler's Cove gets good marks. The beachfront rooms offer a view just as beautiful as any five star hotel of Nadi Bay. This is definitely the hot spot for the young and restless. It can be classified as the ultimate upscale backpacker place. The demographics of most of the clientele fall into the 20-30 year old range. Check out our blog written on it.
Also, in the same area is Club Fiji Resort, where I've stayed in the past, and have had excellent experiences. Accommodations were clean and reasonably priced. They are right on the beach and far from the din of Nadi, yet close enough to town to take in the restaurants or shopping.
The Wailoloa Beach Resort is also a property worthy of consideration. It's the least expensive of the mid-range properties but has all the amenities that you need. It's near the beach but not on it.
In short, the "New Town/Wailoaloa Beach" is an excellent staging point for further adventures in Fiji and in my opinion superior than Denarau.
Most of these are generally non-descript “motel” type properties but they are safe, clean and offer a modicum of comfort.
Capricorn International Hotel has 62 air-conditioned rooms. All rooms have a double/single separate bathroom and toilet/TV/Radio/tea & coffee making facilities. $85 superior, $95 pool side, $110 Double, $135.00 Suites, Children Sharing with adults under 12 yrs FOC It’s located in the Martintar area of Nadi between the airport and Nadi Town.
The Fiji Mocambo (at right) is extremely handy because it’s only three minutes from the airport. It’s rather large (124 units) but its quiet, clean and the rooms spacious, the grounds are huge (42 acres) so if you want to take an evening stroll away from automobiles it’s great. There’s also a small golf course and a driving range on the property. Rates range from $180 to $240.
First Landing Resort is called so because according to local legend, the first Fijians arrived around 1500 BC, landing on what now is the beach at this resort. Run by former Peace Corps volunteer, Jim Dunn, the property is located just 15 minutes from Nadi Airport heading towards Lautoka. It’s a Safe and quiet retreat from the hustle of nearby Nadi and Lautoka. There are 32, well constructed bures with rates that start at $F285.00. All feature air conditioning, ceiling fans, bar fridge, Telephone, and Internet connection. The vibe is good, it’s relaxed and the environs are excellent. Marc Carignan, an executive coach from San Diego and guest at the property found the accommodations impressive. His bure was newly constructed and had two rooms, a screened in front porch with polished wooden floors, a large bedroom with table, sofa, TV, bath with Jacuzzi and ceramic tile floors. The food was excellent and he liked the eclectic menu which ranged from European dishes to dhal soup. Breakfast included great local fruits and home cooked muffins. The only downside there isn’t much of a swimming beach at First Landing. The reef prevents one from wading too far. The conclusion—if you don’t need to be close to town, this is a great choice. Yachties using the nearby Vuda Point Marina will especially appreciate this property. It’s close to the harbor and they are welcomed by the resort management.
Rosie's Serviced Apartments is ideal if you're coming to Nadi on business (or pleasure) and need kitchen facilities. It's in Martintar, half way between Nadi town and the airport.
5 Star / Upscale
Down the road in Denaru, competition to the entrenched complex (which includes three very impressive Sheraton properties) has created an upscale ghetto. In addition to the Sheraton and a multi-million dollar condo development is the Sofitel (which opened up at the end of 2005), the Hilton, and the Radison.
The Denerau complex is located a 20-minute cab ride south of the airport. All the hotels are located on a brown sand beach-which is indistinguishable from Wailoaloa Beach where the backpacker properties proliferate just a few miles up the road. If you must have the best-go to Denarau.
On the upside, the Sheraton’s new renovation of the Westin creates a new realm of fantastic architecture and enchanting comfort. The dimly lit ambience of the bar and patio is exactly how Fijian nights should be celebrated. The Heavenly Spa is a new addition where guests can disappear into a world of relaxation and absolute comfort. With golf and tennis facilities available, there is always outdoor fun to be had. And so that parents can have fun too, they also have a day care facility open during the day.
The food and atmosphere I experienced at the Sheraton Fiji's beachside was excellent and very romantic although the hotel environs are on the sterile side. (It’s also huge and sprawling.) I dined twice at the Blue Vonu Restaurant, which served me up a wonderful yellow fin tuna and a fish curry. Both were among the best meals I had on that trip. The Sheraton Fiji was on the Conde Nast Gold List in 2004 and Travel + Leisure’s 500 world’s greatest hotels in 2003. Demographics: About 90% of the visitors are Australian.
The downside-it's far town if you want to dine out or run an errand. That said, most guests at this property don’t really venture too far.
For our latest update on Nadi Restaurants be sure and check out this blog--A few Nadi Restaurants. Curry, plus a variety of other dishes. Located on Main Street, Nadi (Opposite Mobil Service Station).
The B-Y (or Bi-Yuen) Restaurant is perhaps the best Chinese Restaurant in town. The restaurant is clean, modern and specialty is seafood Mamanucaserved mostly Sezchuan style. Try the deep fried Opakapaka. Located on Nadi’s Main Street on the west side of town. F$10-20.
Another good bet for Chinese food (seafood too) is Chopsticks or Santai, which has two locations in the heart of Nadi town and in Namada, near the airport. It’s not fancy but the food is tasty.
Bounty Restaurant (above) in the Martintar district of Nadi is a large air-conditioned eatery serving a range of Indian, Chinese and Continental.