We needed a place to stay overnight while transitting from Matamanaoa to the airport at Nadi. Why our agent chose this place when there was an hotel opposite the entrance to the airport I'll never know!
After a drive through what I can only describe as an oil terminal and industrial estate we arrived at dusk and so it was hard to get an impression of the layout. After a "welcome" drink with our minder waiting for us, we were taken to our beachfront bure. The minder dropped the cases and without a word of explanation left us to it. "Where's the key"? asked my wife and after a little hunt, we found it already placed in a slot on the wall which powered up the air con.
The Bure had an enclosed porch with seating and after a quick hunt in the dark we found a light switch, but the light did not come on, so unless we fancied sitting in the dark, there was no use to be had of the space.
There was another odd feature about our bure. Between the bedroom and bathroom, there was a window which could be seen in the bathroom, revealing the back of the bedhead in the bedroom. There were also two windows in another bedroom wall with venetian style blinds over them, but the windows had been blacked out. These, we worked out, had to connect to the room next door! These kinds of quirky features suggest the owners do not want to invest in improving the room quality, but are happy to more "make do and mend". Big mistake to my mind.
The resort is undergoing some renovation elsewhere at present and the new restaurant in particular looks as if it will be a massive improvement on the current arrangement, which is where we go next.
We asked at the bar and were directed to the restaurant, which to our eyes appeared to be more like an old fashioned English Scout Hut. It seemed a very temporary building with wooden floors and walls, and folding screens at the windows. Those were soon closed to keep out a tropical deluge which made the whole place feel a little more "enclosed!"
And yet, miracles can happen even in such a doubtful environment. We ordered food and drinks and were blown away by the standard of service, and the quality of the food.
Our doubts though returned as we stumbled our way back to the bure. Not due to any excess intake of alcohol you understand, but by the serious lack of decent lighting along our way. It appeared that we were alone in one of three or four beachfront bures, and this made it darker than it might have been.
After settling down to what we hoped might be a peaceful night's sleep, we heard the sound of a bird singing. So close, it must have been in the room or outside, trapped on the enclosed terrace. We weren't able to find it, even though we looked! And then, to add to our sleeplessness, the branches of trees scraped along the roof all night, blown by a strong seasonal wind. While we had just experienced a week of being spoilt at Matamanoa, I don' think our review has made 1st Landing sound worse than it was. Take care with this one. Howvere, I think it's trying to up its game and if the staff are anything to go by, they'll do it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our first guests arrived 3,500 years ago and liked the place so much, they stayed ...According to local legend, the first Fijians arrived around 1500 BC, landing on the beach at First Landing. Today, you too can discover and enjoy this intimate, authentic Fijian resort, ideally located only 25 minutes away from Nadi and 35 minutes from Denarau Island, for your Fiji holiday. The resort has easy access to the nearby Mamanuca Islands, by boat from the resort’s new jetty or adjacent Vuda Yacht Marina daily. The resort is nestled amidst magnificent tropical gardens, majestic palms and massive rain trees, just 15 minutes by road from Nadi Airport, and blessed with one of the only white sand beaches in the Nadi area. The beach faces due west, giving breathtaking sunsets across the nearby islands. We are a small, owner-operated resort, featuring a range of accommodation options from Fijian style Bures to our two bedroom, luxurious, self-catering Royal Villa or Garden Villas, each situated in their own enclosed tropical garden with a full sized pool. We also have a lively bar and popular beachside restaurant. We pride ourselves on personal attention to our guests, and the genuine hospitality of our staff will ensure your stay is a memorable one. First Landing Beach Resort is the perfect location for a destination stay in Fiji, in combination with an outer island resort or cruise or a short stop-over in Fiji due to our location. Come and learn about the fascinating history, culture and natural heritage of this very special place.First Landing Beach Resort is famous for our true Bula Pride and Spirit. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- First Landing Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Lautoka
- First Landing Beach Resort And Villas
- 1st Landing Beach Resort & Villas
- First Landing Beach Hotel
- First Landing Beach Resort & Villas Fiji/Lautoka