Most travelers to Fiji pick a resort that fits their style, then spend their entire getaway taking advantage of the beach, activities, and amenities at their South Pacific outpost. Still, with so many enticing options for places to stay across the archipelago’s 300-plus islands, it can be hard to choose the right Fijian resort for you—or at least the accommodation best suited for the type of trip you’re planning.
In 2019, Fiji Airways debuted two new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft to serve Los Angeles from the Pacific island nation that offer fully flat beds in business class and seats with extra legroom in economy. That makes this an ideal time for U.S. travelers to visit Fiji. Here are the most luxurious accommodations in this beautiful South Pacific locale.
Best new resorts
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa
The new Reef Wing at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa offers a private experience within a larger island resort, with 74 total rooms, suites, and private bures (traditional Fijian wood-and-straw huts) that overlook Viti Levu’s stunning Coral Coast on one side and a pristine beach and lagoon on the other. A favorite for honeymooners and couples on a romantic getaway, the Reef Wing has its own dedicated check-in, lunchtime restaurant, and an adults-only infinity pool where complimentary cocktails and canapés are served. The six spacious bures are beachfront retreats complete with private lawns, outdoor showers, and a pathway that leads to the resort-owned beach on a secluded section of the island. The lagoon has sandy beaches and is not as affected by strong tides, so travelers can safely enjoy swimming and water sports year-round.
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
On the opposite side of the main resort at Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, the Waitui Beach Club offers a private sanctuary where couples can enjoy tranquility and seclusion. The adults-only Beach Club offers a variety of extras, including a daily breakfast buffet (with both Fijian and international favorites), daily laundry and ironing, plus complimentary sunset cocktails and drinks. The Waitui Plus Rooms offer the same spacious layout but with more complimentary inclusions, such as a private beach cabana for the duration of your stay, a daily 60-minute spa treatment, and a Jet Ski experience.
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
Couples at Club InterContinental, an exclusive resort within InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, have their own butlers who can arrange private tours, set up romantic dinners on the beach, and curate a perfect island itinerary with activities that include sailing, snorkeling, fishing, or visiting a part of Fiji only those in the know can recommend. With 50 luxury one- or two-bedroom suites in this part of the resort, the intimate area affords travelers a unique experience, with daily afternoon high tea and access to the hilltop Club Lounge infinity pool, open only to club guests.
Resorts for families
Families will like the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort on Vanua Levu. Its Bula Club provides dedicated nannies for children 5 years and under and offers a “buddies” program for kids 6 through 12, with 1 leader per group of 5. Children have their own dining area, swimming pools, plus activities like a jungle gym and an arts and crafts center to occupy them while parents are snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing. Castaway Island Resort offers in-house babysitters, a playroom, and plenty of water sports at its Kids Club. Mana Island Resort and Plantation Island Resort have some of the better children’s programs in the Mamanuca Islands, and all major resorts on Viti Levu are family friendly—including the upscale Sheraton Denarau Villas.
A small piece of Pacific paradise is yours at these private island resorts that are perfect for adults-only couples and honeymooners. Many resorts in Fiji provide individual villas or bures, but at Matangi Private Island Resort you can stay in your own tree house surrounded by tropical forest on the shores of Horseshoe Bay. The adults-only Likuliku Lagoon Resort on Malolo Island features 35 beachfront bures, including 18 split-level bungalows featuring private plunge pools and secluded courtyards with outdoor showers. Tokoriki Island Resort, Fiji’s most-awarded adults-only luxury resort, offers beachfront pool villas that are ideal for watching the sunset. The 25 villas spread out across Laucala Island come with spacious private pools and outdoor soaking tubs carved from granite.
At the award-winning Vatulele Island Resort, a two-level villa called the Point is in high demand, with two private pools, water views, and a personal butler. At Wakaya Club & Spa (a favorite of celebrities from Bill Gates to Nicole Kidman), the 12,000-square foot Vale O estate features a cliff-side swimming pool, lighted tennis court, and household staff with private chef. You can also opt to have an entire island to yourself (aside from the resort staff) on Dolphin Island, a 14-acre private retreat that accommodates a maximum of eight guests. The resort’s Hilltop Sleep-Out Bure wraps you in relaxation with its palm-thatched roof, open-air bedroom, and rustic four-poster bed that faces the ocean.
Resorts for snorkeling and diving
Fiji is famous for its brilliant soft coral and abundant reef life, which is home to more than 1,500 species of fish. As you might expect, Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort specializes in diving and scuba certification, offering frequent diving trips to Somosomo Strait, one of the best diving sites in Fiji. Taveuni Island Resort & Spa is situated close to the famed Rainbow Reef and legendary Great White Wall, which are also in the strait; Qamea Resort and Spa has a number of dive sites less than 10 minutes away; and luxe Matangi Private Island Resort is a favorite with snorkelers who plunge in off of Horseshoe Bay.
Resorts to catch a wave
Though Fiji is best-known for its lagoons, good surf spots do exist—mostly on coral reef breaks. The biggest surf hits Fiji from June to August, but the cleanest surf is during the wet season from January through April. Tavarua Island Resort offers world-class surfing with some of Fiji’s most legendary waves (such as the famous Cloudbreak) nearby, while SUP fans will also have plenty of reef life to explore just offshore. Matanivusi Surf Resort, a boutique eco-resort on Viti Levu’s Coral Coast, is a short ride away from four reef breaks, and Namotu Island Resort near Namotu Left offers surfing thrills off the island’s reef. When the wind kicks up, this spot is also a favorite of sailboarders and kite surfers.
Fiji’s selection of more than 300 islands offers a true opportunity to get away from it all—via a boat, helicopter, or small plane to reach your private island resort. To reach the seven hyper-secluded bures at Nukubati Private Island, you’ll take a 40-minute flight from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport to the northern capital town, Labasa. There, you’ll be met by Nukubati’s transportation for a one-hour drive to Nukubati Landing, at which point you’ll take a five-minute boat ride to reach the private island resort. Similarly, Fiji’s Wadigi Private Island Resort also requires a special adventure to reach, albeit slightly shorter: The private resort in the Mamanuca Islands is reachable by helicopter in 10 minutes from Nadi International Airport.
Because many resorts in Fiji are so remote, meals are often included in the room rate. But some spots go even further with extra-special amenities, and Laucala Island might be the king of all-inclusives. The exclusive private island resort’s base rate includes all food and drink, as well as diving, horseback riding, golf, a spa service, and more. Its 100,000-square-foot Hilltop Estate includes a private cook, chauffeur, and nanny in addition to a private pool that offers spectacular views over the entire island.
Castaway near movie locations
Fiji’s picture-perfect coral atolls and palm-lined sands aren’t just beloved by tourists; they’re also popular with Hollywood production companies. In fact, The Blue Lagoon, a 1980s drama starring Brooke Shields, was shot on Nanuya Levu Island as well as Turtle Island, where accommodations such as the all-inclusive Turtle Island Resort specialize in romantic retreats. Fiji’s Qalito Island was nicknamed “Castaway Island” after the release of the film starring Tom Hanks in 2000. The island now boasts the luxurious Castaway Island Resort but note: All scenes from the movie Cast Away were actually shot at the smaller and uninhabited Monuriki Island.
Where to tee off
On Fiji’s main island, Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa offers play-and-stay packages for the neighboring 18-hole championship course designed by Indo Fijian professional golfer Vijay Singh. The Pearl Resort, also on the main island, offers 18 holes designed by the late Robert Trent Jones, a prominent golf course architect. Further afield, Laucala Island is home to an 18-hole championship golf course, and 9-hole courses can be found at Wakaya Club & Spa, Vomo Island, Naviti Resort, and Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort.
Tie the knot in paradise
Fiji is a top destination for tying the knot or renewing vows. You can plan a simple elopement or go for a traditional Fijian wedding like the one offered at Royal Davui Island Resort, where the bride is carried to meet her groom on a ceremonial platform with a warrior escort while a Fijian choir adds to the festivities. Tokoriki Island Resort adds a pageboy and flower girl in traditional Fijian dress, Tadrai Island Resort offers a tiered cake and a candle-lit dinner for two, and Taveuni Palms Resort includes a kava ceremony and champagne toast. Laucala Island, where Elle Macpherson said her vows, can organize weddings in its lovely little white chapel or on the beach.
This article originally appeared online in August 2016; it was updated on December 23, 2019, to include current information.
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