We stayed at Aquarius on the Beach for one night in May as a bit of an experiment to get out of the more upmarket resorts on Denarau Island.
We knew it wouldn’t be much after paying hardly anything for the night and have it include breakfast, so we set off expecting youth hostel quality, which is exactly what we got.
Check in was smooth, and they were so lovely and welcoming – nothing seemed too much. They let us have breakfast on our very early morning arrival free of charge and allowed us to access our room straight away, which was amazing since we had pulled an all nighter on the plane.
We booked a private ocean view king room, which is amazing if you are a backpacker and are looking for something a little more special than the typical bunk bed. The room was spacious, and had an amazing view to the ocean with an enormous shared balcony. You can’t beat the view! The bathroom was of youth hostel standard, and we ended up showering with our thongs on just in case! They provide soap and shampoo, which is of pretty average quality, but we appreciated that they were thoughtful enough to include it at all.
The toilet was always turned off at the wall and needed to be turned back on when it needed to be flushed otherwise it leaked and flooded the bathroom, and there is no shower screen so everything tends to get wet when you shower. Also, at night time with the lights on people around the pool and on the beach can see into your bathroom while you shower, so perhaps learn the masterful art of shower-bobbing.
The bed was comfortable, but pretty dirty. The sheets were stained and we found a little cockroach in one of the pillows, so we ended up covering it with some towels we brought with us. The room overall wasn’t spotless, but we knew that we were staying in budget accommodation in a less-than-wealthy country, and to be honest I was pretty happy with what we go for our money.
There was tea/coffee making facilities in the room (with powdered milk), and the TV was great, although only got two channels. The air conditioning didn’t work, but even through the really hot day and night the powerful ceiling fan was heaps to keep us cool (also note – the fan only had one setting regardless of what setting you actually put it on!).
The bar and pool area are amazing and I can imagine in the busy season it would be THE party place. The bar didn’t stock all the drinks we wanted, but who cares? It had beer, and sometimes that just has to do! The hostel is literally on the beach, so you can get some great pics and enjoy the real sand/sun/surf aspect of Fiji.
The great thing about Aquarius is that it doesn’t sell itself as anything more than what it actually is – it’s a lovely big house redeveloped into a youth hostel with private room options on the beach with everything you need. It offers super cheap internet access, good breakfasts (we had pancakes with juice each morning), a local driver (Khan) who can take you wherever you want to go for a small fee and such beautiful, helpful, kind personalities that work at reception and in the kitchen. There is also a small shop on site for postcards and little trinket shopping and is walking distance to four or five other hostels/bars/restaurants, so you can easily stay here a few nights. It’s not quite walking distance from Nadi town, but either get Khan to take you in (or any of the other several taxis who park on the road outside the hotel waiting for a ride) or ask what bus can take you there.
Don’t go here if you’re looking for quality accommodation and a bit of pampering – this is sort of ‘roughing it’, so don’t go expecting anything more than that and you won’t be disappointed. Sure, if the bedding was cleaner and the shower nicer it was be a killer place to stay, but it’s half the adventure. Keep a relaxed and open mind, and you will love it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nadi's Hidden Gem! Winner of the 2015 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award (for Budget Accommodation). Nestled right on Wailoaloa Beach, Aquarius On The Beach is a small, family-owned boutique hotel where we make every guest feel special. A 15 minute drive from Nadi International Airport, Aquarius On The Beach offers something for everyone. Internet is FREE for all guests, either through WiFi, which is available throughout the property or on one of our complimentary desktop computers in our internet kiosk. Enjoy our refreshing swimming pool or dine in our widely acclaimed restaurant where the menu offers both variety and value. Enjoy quality wine at sunset on the private balconies of our ocean view rooms or read your novel in the privacy of your deluxe or standard room balcony, or enjoy the air conditioned comfort of our two dormitory rooms. With all of our rooms, you are getting one of the best values in Nadi - Beachfront at a Budget Price! Our Tour Desk can help organise your entire stay in Fiji, giving you choices that fit your needs and your budget. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aquarius On The Beach Hotel Nadi
- Aquarius On The Beach Fiji/Nadi