This Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Review is the third leg of a trip report that also includes Bora Bora and New Zealand. Our stay was rather last minute, since our original destination was Laucala Island (see Best Luxury Private Island Resorts in the World) but unfortunately, Laucala was hit rather hard by Cyclone Winston and was still in the process of a massive effort to restore its gorgeous landscaping. And since we already had our tickets to and from Fiji, I booked us at the Sofitel Fiji, an easy drive from Nadi. TravelSort clients can reserve it with these Sofitel STEP Program benefits:
- Upgrade from Superior to Luxury Room guaranteed at time of booking
- Upgrade from Luxury Room to Suite upon arrival, based on availability
- Complimentary High Speed Internet for all rates and room types
- Personalized welcome amenity and note
- Automatic placement at the top of waitlists
- No walk policy for guaranteed bookings
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Location and Check-In
The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa is located on Denarau Island, 12 miles and about a 20-25 minute drive from Nadi Airport. Official taxis are easy to get at Nadi Airport (assuming there's not a major weather event) and our ride cost about the equivalent of USD $15.
There was a large group that arrived about the same time as us, so most probably these welcome drinks and cool towels were for them, but we were able to enjoy them as well:
We were in an Opera Suite and were invited to a private check-in area for guests staying in rooms and suites with Waitui Beach Club access, although the check-in process was extremely slow. While we did arrive before the usual 3pm check-in time, it would have been nice to have been invited to use the spa showers to freshen up, but instead we were simply given a complimentary drink voucher and told we could have lunch and come back, or to wait in the lobby. Fortunately they did try to expedite the cleaning of our suite, so we waited about 40 minutes and were able to check in ahead of the regular 3pm check-in time.
Here's the Sofitel Fiji Lobby at night:
The resort is quite large, with nearly 300 rooms and suites, 3 restaurants, a kids' club, adults-only Waitui Beach Club and pool, the main pool, and So Spa.
Opera Suite, Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Once our Opera Suite had been cleaned and was finally ready for check-in, we made our way to it. Opera Suites are 904 square feet and include access to the Waitui Beach Club, although during our visit, due to the storm, the Beach Club was closed the entire time.
Here's the Opera Suite living room area, which is also where the resort placed the extra bed for our son.
The bedroom has wooden doors that close it to the living room, and features a King size bed. While the resort itself was built in 2005 and last renovated in 2012, the suite including the bedroom was very plain. The king bed itself, however, was very comfortable–that's something that Sofitel manages to excel at, even in more basic Sofitels such as this one.
The bathroom had double his and hers sinks, separate toilet chamber, a walk-in shower (although unfortunately the design was such that if you showered too long, the water seeped out of the shower and onto the bathroom floor) and a jacuzzi bath that we loved. In fact, during our stay during the rain and wind, it was a good thing we had this indoor jacuzzi tub rather than an outdoor jacuzzi such as in the Imperial Suite, as that wouldn't have been usable in the storm conditions.
Bath products were Sofitel's own “Pure Fiji” brand:
The kitchen area had a dining room table which we took advantage of when ordering room service, and there were plates, utensils, cups, and wine glasses in the cupboard. It was also handy to have the fridge and microwave for storing and preparing some snacks and leftovers.
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Pool and Waitui Beach Club
The Waitui Beach Club is adults only, although that became a moot point since shortly after our arrival the first day it was closed for the duration of our stay due to the storm. Normally, if you have paid for a room or suite that grants access to the Waitui Beach Club, you can take breakfast there, enjoy the loungers and the 25 meter pool with swim up bar, and savor sun downers and tapas in the evening. This photo was taken during a very brief clear spell:
As you can see, the storm was really lashing it which is why it was closed from the first day of our stay:
The main pool is free form, and there were several families and couples trying to catch a few rays during the brief clear spell:
There's also a small but fun water slide for young kids:
Sofitel Fiji Resort Restaurants and Dining
I'll cover the Sofitel Fiji Resort's restaurant and dining options in a future post.
Clearly this resort isn't what we came to Fiji for, but we ended up being very grateful that we chose it over other ones near Nadi for our stay, because the storm took out the power and apparently only the Sofitel Fiji has its own backup generator. So while we did have some WiFi outtages, we were very fortunate compared to guests at other resorts who had no power–so no hot water, air conditioning, TV, power for their devices, etc.
I'm sure if we'd been there during great weather and been able to enjoy clear skies, the Waitui Beach Club, and the offsite diving and snorkeling trip we'd originally planned we'd have had a nice experience. Not Laucala nice, of course, but these resorts don't compete with each other.
The storm made it a trying time for everyone, so in addition to having power, we appreciated how hard the staff worked during a full occupancy situation to try to keep guests happy, even though they themselves were in many cases stranded at the resort, unable to get back to their families due to the roads being flooded.
Given the time we spent indoors, I was very glad we had the space of an Opera Suite, even though it was very plain. And thanks to the very comfortable bed we slept very well.
If you've stayed at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, what was your experience?
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