Our first trip as a little family was during Boxing Day to New Year’s break.
Think of tropical weather, beautiful beaches and lush, green forrest.
Doesn’t that sound bliss? It is, but there are so many things to consider when traveling with an infant. We booked this trip last minute so I had to research and make a decision pretty quickly. Here are my reasons for staying in a hotel located in Denarau, Fiji.
1. Close to the airport
Denarau consists of 5 star resorts which happen to be in close proximity to the airport. If you take a car from the airport to any Denarau hotel, it will take you approximately 35 minutes. The Sydney to Fiji flight is 4.5 hours. Since we were going to be on a 4.5 hour flight with a wriggly infant, we wanted to get to the hotel as soon as possible!
5 hours door to door sounded perfect! The cost of a private transfer was $AUD52 (plus $AUD12 for a baby seat) but if you book a cab, it is much cheaper at a cost of $35 Fijian.
Baby seats are not widely used in Fiji so we had to request a baby seat and pay an extra $12 Fijian when traveling by private transfer.
2. 5 Star Resorts
We stayed at the luxurious Westin Denarau Resort for 8 nights. The Westin is also in close proximately to all the other 5 star resorts so we were never at a loss for restaurant ideas. We also felt safe leaving our belongings by the poolside and really enjoyed the daily activities offered by the resort. During the day, there were activities such as water aerobics, beach volleyball and crab races. In the evening, there were live singers and fire dancers at sunset.
We stayed in an Ocean Front room which gives you direct access to the ocean. It was perfect for us because when the little one was napping, hubby and I would sit on the porch and admire the ocean. The room also includes 2 queen sized beds so it was a saviour when the little one refused to sleep in her cot. The beds were so comfortable so I can see the allure.
When booking tours, we used Rosie’s tour desk which is usually located inside or in close proximity to most hotels. I recommend booking tours when you arrive in Fiji because it’s much cheaper than booking one from Australia and it allows you to book when there are good weather conditions.
3. Close to the major tours
Since Denarau is a major hub, a large number of island tours leave from Port Denarau. To get to Port Denarau, it is cheaper to book a taxi which cost $7 Fijian exactly. All taxis that leave and enter Denarau have a specific price structure as long as you take a taxi with the Denarau logo on it.
To book a tour, you can go to any tour desk at Port Denarau, or a Rosie’s Tour desk which is usually located in your hotel lobby. We booked two island day trips with my 8 month old and she did just fine. The tour desk will usually book the tour so that you have a pick up and drop off transfer to the hotel.
4. Close to Food Options
Denarau is made up of 5 star resorts which also means that their restaurants charge astronomical prices at times. During public holidays, you should be prepared to pay an extra 20% in government taxes and 10-15% public holiday rates. In saying that, we enjoyed meals overlooking the ocean and appreciated the convenience of being able to charge our meal to our room.
I wish I had discovered this earlier in our trip, but the resort is only a quick cab ride away from Port Denarau. Port Denarau has quite a few lovely restaurants that are easier on the budget. There is something for everyone whether you feel like eating seafood, Fijian, Indian, Italian or at Hard Rock Cafe. If you want a quick snack, the bakery is also reasonably priced. Prices were similar to back home in Australia. The hotel bakery charged $15 Fijian for a croissant sandwich so it was no wonder that the Port Denarau bakery was so popular!
5. The Bula Bus
There are two types of Bula buses that take you around Denarau.
The blue Bula Bus costs $8 Fijian per day and operates for the majority of day. It takes you to Port Denarau and other hotels in Denarau.
The brown Bula Bus takes you to the Sheraton Villas, Sheraton Resort and Golf Course. The brown Bula Bus is free. If you stay at the Westin, you can take the brown Bula Bus to the Sheraton resorts for free. It’s a great way to entertain a baby and see other parts of the island. When it rained, the hotel staff would drive us to the Sheraton in a golf buggy which was pretty fun for Baby C!
The swimming pools are amazing and although the ocean is nearby, we spent a great deal of time just relaxing by the pool. The Westin has a multi-level pool and a baby pool so we had a great time just splashing about. Even our little water baby joined us in the pool!
Do you have any more tips for traveling in Fiji? I’d definitely go back again so I’m interested in your suggestions! Comment below and let me know 🙂
In my next post, I’ll write about my favourite Island adventure. You won’t want to miss this!