If you're going to Fiji for a family vacation, you need to stay here. We stayed at Danny's for 6 nights, my husband and I and our two boys age 6 and 10. Let me tell you, Tupou and Sake took such good care of us we felt almost like family by the end of our stay.
Tupou will prepare all your meals in the "canteen" -- a separate building a few steps away from the sleeping cabin. The food is spectacular, all home-cooked and mostly from the surrounding jungle and ocean, or from the local farmer's fields. If you've never had babacau, you have to try it! We had it every morning we were there.
We stayed in Nadi on our first night in Fiji, and the hotel room was crawling with bugs/beetles/cockroaches I shudder to think what they were. I didn't see a single cockroach-like bug the whole time we stayed at Danny's. Everything was so clean!
We stayed in the family cabin, which was set up with a double bed for my husband and I, and a single bed and a bunk bed for the kids. We all had mosquito nets for sleeping, and it was so nice to listen to the sound of the ocean while drifting off to sleep.
The facilities are down the garden path, and there are two flush toilets and two showers. There was no hot water for the shower, which didn't bother us at all. It was so hot the cool shower felt so nice, and the kids were in the water so much anyway they didn't need much washing except to wash away sand. They keep a light on all night there, so you can find your way if need be.
The beach is excellent for kids, because there is no real surf. There is a reef a couple hundred yards off shore (give or take depending on the tide) that takes the brunt of the really big breakers. The beach has a very shallow decline, so that when the tide is in the water is about 10 yards from the cabin, and when it is out, it's maybe 40 or 50 yards from the cabin. As a result, the water is knee deep unless you go way out to sea. The kids loved this and so did I--I wasn't worried about them getting carried away or tossed around in the breakers. There is a fresh water river that flows just to the east of Danny's that you can also swim or rinse off in, which is nice.
Every day the village children (I counted around 40 of them) would come to the beach after school and play a Fijian version of baseball using a bamboo stick and a rubber ball. They welcomed my 10-year-old to play and he played almost every day with them. My 6-year-old became a tree climbing expert as the village kids showed him how to get coconuts and other fruits I never learned the names of! I loved to see my kids playing with children who had never heard of Disney, Pokemon, or Nintendo.
There is lots to do there. Some of the young men from the village made a bilibili--a sort of raft/boat made from bamboo--and Sake and Henry took our boys out on it a couple of times. They had so much fun jumping in and falling off. Some of the village kids waded out and played with them on it.
We did a trip to the nearby largish town, Sigatoka. We went to Eco-Park, a well-done zoo / jungle walk where we saw lots of the local wildlife. Birds and lizards and turtles. We toured the school. My husband and son attended a rugby practice. There was plenty to do! We went on a hike to a waterfall, which is about a 30 minute hike through the jungle.
One of the best things about Fiji/Danny's for families is that
a) there are no poisonous snakes on the island due to the mongoose
b) there are no poisonous spiders on the island
c) the mongoose is the largest mammal on the island
I felt very safe letting my kids trek through the jungle. I felt very safe letting the kids roam around the village.
Staying in a homestay is different. There is no room service. The accommodations are basic. You'll be staying with people who live very differently from you. It's a bit like camping. We were worried it would rain while we were there, and it did, but mostly at night, and the two days it "rained" it really just sprinkled, and it felt nice and cool in the heat (we were hiking to the waterfall)!
The best part about Danny's is the people. If you choose to go to a resort, realize that you will be socializing with other tourists. If you go to Danny's, you'll be socializing with Fijians. We wanted to meet Fijians, and we were glad we stayed at Danny's because the people we met there are some of the best we've met anywhere. It felt amazing to see and learn about these people who are living mostly off the land, communally in a village. When I first arrived there, it seemed to me these people were living in abject poverty. But they aren't poor--they just don't need much money. By the end of our stay, I had come to realize that these folks are in some ways much better off than us in America. They look out for each other, share land and resources, have little technology and lots of love and time for each other. I hope we can go back there someday, it is an amazing place.
- Also Known As:
- Danny`s Village Homestay Hotel Namatakula
- Danny`s Village Homestay Hotel
- Danny's Village Homestay Fiji/Namatakula