The hotel is nice but I reckon it is not 5 star expectation. I would put this at maybe 4. I pay significant money. Overall the hotel is a little too relaxed with the upkeep. In the rooms and around the hotel some things are run down, or dirty. Also in the rooms the level of room preparation is not the best. There is no hair dryer and we had to request one which was brought up and also no free Fiji water in the room without requesting it after checkin. The entire hotel operation isn't at 100%, it is more like 90%, they slack on the minor details which add up to be noticeable. They need to step it up to fill the gap. The AC is also gimmicky, but the worst part is it is locked for all at 22c/70f, which is still a little too hot considering the temperatures outside 35c+/+85f. For a hotel like this, if the guest wants 5c in his room he should be allowed, this isn't a prison, this is a "5 star hotel. The tv in the rooms look like a 3rd world LCD screen. They should be absolutely embarrassed to have this low quality of a product in their "luxury" five star hotel and should replace it with a quality and also brand name product like samsung, sharp, or lg. The quality of the channels available is also disappointing, limited to about 10. The other very noticeable problem is with the slow internet , you might as well be using a dialup modem from 1995. They should be equally embarrassed to be offering such slow speed at 256kb for free. If you want faster you must pay. At a 2 star hotel, sure, from a 5 star, I expect much better to be included. The other problem is that the wifi doesn't really reach into all the rooms a the time. The beds and pillows are very good, I would say one of the most comfortable I have ever been on. I slept like a King. The bathroom is also very nice and a good size. The shower was a standup and there is no tubs. You could always just ask for a room with a shower and no tub.
The Fiji people are great and the staff was attentive, overall. The key areas of opportunity are really filing the 10% gaps I mentioned. Basically, a little less fiji time and a little more "customer is paying time, let's make sure we deliver 100% of what one would expect from a 5 star hotel, and not cut small corners that add up to noticeable shortfalls".
As far as the island goes, don't waste time on paying for a trip to a smaller island for a day. Go down to the port and you will find a Wyndham timeshare booth right in the center. For 90 minutes of your time, they will give you a $350fjd voucher if you pay $30fjd. You can use that voucher to take a trip to the private islands. There are 3 options for you to choose from. If you are single , you pay $15fjd, donate 90 minutes of your time, and get $185fjd voucher. Overall a very kosher deal. We did the captain cook tivua island trip. It was amazing and worth the $30! Just don't get sucked into buying the time share... it was very relaxed and no pressure dealing with the "sales pitch". No qualms here mate, well worth the large savings you receive I reckon!
There is a lot that is done right here as well at sofitel. The lobby is nice. There are lots of shopping and eating options on the resort, albeit some pricey. They could make it a bit more affordable by reducing price by 15% overall. The v restaurant is the best restaurant on the island. Read the reviews. The lounges are great as well on the resort. The pool area is wonderful and very good setup. One complaint is they could have some minor fans around the resort or those automatic water spritzer things to cool down the humidity a bit. They should also have bars in the pool!! This is another big miss. There is lots of nice live music around the resort which is very nice.
Overall, This review isn't to detour you from saying at this hotel, if you can get a good deal as we did, it is still worth it despite what I mention, shop around between the hotels on the island to see what makes most sense. Hilton looks the most run down from what i saw. I say what I say however in hopes that somebody smart at the hotel management will read and recognize these shortfalls that likely result in the hotel loosing business or suffering from customer dissatisfaction that can be fixed relatively easily. Hopefully it will improve the stay for future visitors.
There is remodeling going on right now as of November 2013 so I expect that future visitors might have even better experiences. Hopefully the shortfalls I mentioned can be approved upon and the staff operation will become more attentive of delivering 100% and making sure nothing is missed during the experience: everything is in the room, everything is clean and kept up around the resort and the room as well at all times.
Overall seeing as I didn't pay a crazy amount $150usd PN I am content... but if I paid the regular rate of $500usd PN I would be very angry.
Tip: ask to stay in the newer part of the hotel, on a higher floor. The rooms are nice overall minus some small setbacks as mentioned above.
Taxi to and from airport about 25-30fjd each way. Best deal in town. Avoid shuttle.
Bula bus $8 a head per day. Good deal if you are hoping resorts and going to the port back an forth all day. Otherwise I reckon just walk and take a taxi for $5 fjd one way. Do the math I reckon!
The beaches on this particular island are not Fiji type beaches. Don't expect much from them. Murky water and dark sand. Disappointed there. If having this 24/7 is important to you, avoid Denarou island altogether and stay somewhere else like on one of the smaller islands or a different part of Fiji.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.