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“Beautiful Resort”

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Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Denarau Island
Certificate of Excellence
Tauranga
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Beautiful Resort”
Reviewed September 30, 2007

The Sofitel Resort is located on Denarau Island, so I was not expecting a great beach. However they make up for this with a huge pool which is fantastic. There are plenty of deck chairs to relax on and staff who will top up your drinks or bring over bar snacks. Towels are supplied and are big and fluffy!

We stayed in an Ocean View Room, which had a small balcony with chairs and a table. This overlooked palm trees, beach and the small chapel. It was perfect being able to wake up to this every morning!! There was also a sunset wedding, which we watched from our room.

The room itself had a very comfy king size bed, flat screen TV, monsoon shower, mini bar and all the other comforts you'd expect.

BREAKFAST. This is without a doubt, the best buffet breakfast I have ever had!! Everything you could every want for breakfast is here!!

Dinner is expensive. But that is Fiji for you. Just because you are paying top dollar for a steak, dont expect it to be fantastic. You can walk next door to the Westin, Hilton or Sheraton and try dinner there as well.

l I would go back to the Sofitel for a short stay. (Esp. for the breakfast!)

  • Liked — Breakfast
  • Disliked — The beach
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brooken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (800)
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AUCKLAND
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2007

From the booking procedures to our departure it was a dream holiday and they could not have done anything better.Their customer service is excellent and will be hard to beat around Denarau.Facilities and rooms were great and transportation was very convenient.The Bula Bus was handy.Loved the kayaks and jet ski with the help of friendly staff.Food was not cheap but made up for the convenience.Pollside facilities and the pool was fun and accomodating for all ages.Waterslide for the kids was well controlled and had a watch man for the entire opening hrs...fanatastic.Poolside bar service is relaxed and no pressure to buy drinks. Breeze bar and Salt is comfortable and great views to the ocean with lovely breeze.Breakfast was awesome and free champagne made it memorable.We will go again.

  • Liked — CUSTOMER SERVICE
  • Disliked — NOTHING
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RAINMANAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2007

Had 7 nights here with hubby and 4 yr old twins. Everything about it was fantastic. When you stay at Denerau do not expect beautiful beachs but the pools are fantastic and being so close to airport makes it easy for a short get away or travelling with children. Having said that the beach is OK and enjoyed the hammocks all along beach. We had a family room which had bunk beds for kids in alcove and it all worked really well. Rooms compact but great. Pool fantstic. Staff were all genuinely friendly and amazing with kids. The staff made this resort very special. Food in Salt fantastic. Great having the bula bus to take you other resorts. Can't wait to go back and would be happy to stay either as a couple or with kiddies. Keep up the good work Sofitel!

  • Liked — Fantastic genuine staff
  • Disliked — going home
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Ralphy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2007

Our family spent four nights here after a stay on Treasure Island.

The resort is very lush and tropical with a fantastic pool that is suitable for toddlers through to adults with different areas, depths and features. The seperate slide was great but unfortunately closed soon after we arrived for repairs.

We stayed in a family room with a queen size bed and bunk beds for the children. It was on the small side but clean and well appointed. Our room opened onto a large grass area which was good for the children to run around.

After spending a week barefoot on an island however it was like staying in a large shopping mall! Unfortunately the beaches at Denarau is not suitable for swimming and there is no snorkelling off the beach (we knew this before we went). Most guests spend their days around the pool but because of the size of this area you didn't feel like there were lots of people around.

Whilst the restaurants were expensive, it had to be some of the best hotel food I have ever eaten. It was fresh, well prepared and the theme buffet nights were very authentic. Breakfast was fantastic and there was always something different to try. We signed up for the Accor Advantage Plus card before we went which entitled us to one free nights accommodation and 50% of lunch and dinner during our stay. (There are different rules for different hotels though).

On a negative note, the shop around the pool area and inside the main building don't allow you to charge back to your room which is unusual for such a large resort and as most people don't like carrying cash around it was a pain when all you wanted was an icecream for the children.

All in all a very pleasant stay.

  • Liked — Food & service
  • Disliked — Like staying in a shopping mall
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BBsFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 5 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2007

We stayed at the Sofitel in August for a day (11am-7pm) before catching our late-night flight back to the US. We flew into Nadi airport via seaplane from Castaway Island and Sofitel was less than 30 minutes cab-ride from the airport (costs F$22 one way). We had a standard room with 2 queen bed and some ocean view. The resort was very modern but a bit generic; the room was fairly nice, beds very comfortable. The bathroom was divided into three separate areas: a sink area with a fridge/minibar (half wall open to the bedroom), toilet with a bathtub, and a walk-in closet. So quite spacious.

The beach was nice but since it faced the open ocean I didn't feel comfortable taking my kids in the water there. It did have a nice children's pools and a water slide that made up for the lack of a protected lagoon. Our 4-year old daughter had a blast on the water slide. One nice thing about Sofitel is that it is next to the Sheraton and the Hilton and all the resorts are connected through the same beach. We took a walk on the beach and it was relaxing. Food was expensive but very good (by Fijian standard). Service was prompt and good.

Kids club was a bit disappointing. I walked there with my 5-year old son and there was no kids there. I was a bit turned off by the F$10 fee but the lady there was really nice and let my son play at the structure for free. The Fijian ladies even made a bracelet for my son but since it was empty we left after 20 minutes.

I think Sofitel is a nice place to stay before heading to the outer islands or like us, a place to hang out before the late-night flight and we will definitely return. However, after staying at the Shangri-la Fijian and Castaway Island, the Sofitel feels too crowded and generic and I agree with the previous reviews that this is not the real Fijian experience.

  • Liked — Convenient location, good service and food
  • Disliked — Generic, would not stay for more than a day
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank vintage2002mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2007

I noted some people said about the smell in the rooms of mould etc but think this is an over reaction as of course people walk into their rooms with wet feet form the pool of off the beach, i did note it but not that bad at all, acceptable.
Also people had said about Mozzies, well I never had one bite and i didn't spray every night so not a worry, they spray every night and one night closed the pool early to spray as there was a swarm of wasps that went into a tree, which they closed off and all was well.
The staff were great, the food was great although the fine dining was maybe a bit off the one night we tried it.
The whole place was lovely and was chocka when we were there, but thought everything was running well, the room serviced at different times but hey who cares.
All in all a great place to go and highly reccomended.
Just remember Fiji time and relax :)

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank turtle63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2007

Why go to Fiji? For beautiful tropical scenery, snorkeling in crystal clear pale aqua to turquoise waters, white sand, bures (traditional bungalows) on the beach and happy, friendly, affectionate locals.

The Sofitel lacks all these.

To its credit, The Sofitel Denerau is an attractively modern resort with nicely landscaped grounds, a large pool, spa, kids water slide, day spa and grand marble foyer, but the multi-storey accommodation wings resemble those of Australian Motels. As do the rooms. In fact it brings home the fact that although you pay five star prices across Fiji, you don’t actually get five star fittings, service or food & beverage as compared to similarly priced accommodation in first world countries.

Our room was facing the sea on the first floor but was dark inside. The fittings were not 5star, quite generic but comfortable, so if you ticked ‘I like all the comforts of home’ on your TA profile, it will be suitable. The balcony housed a couple of chairs overlooking the grounds out to the beach. Without the aircon switched on, there was a faint smell of mildew, some of which was evident in the bathroom.

The bathroom had an odd configuration. The bath with shower ran the length of the room with the toilet beside it. The door had just enough room to swing between the toilet and the bath, and the thin (and sometimes dirty) towels were behind the door. Outside the room was the hand basin and large mirror sitting on an L-shaped wooden bench that also housed the mini bar/fridge. Against this rested the bed.

The wardrobe was the size of a small storeroom but illogically the rails were on the shortest wall. There were 5 coat hangers. Also housed here was the ironing gear, mugs, glasses, tea/coffee sachets and the safe. Other room storage included a large chest of drawers upon which the TV sat. No local channels, just regional satellite TV services.

As mentioned by others there are many touches lacking, such as turn down service, newspapers, slow housekeeping service etc. Given the culture in Fiji you need to have a high staff to guest ratio to meet expectations and we suspect that the downturn in tourism following the coup may have led to cutbacks. Over all the staff seemed stretched and unhappy in this peak (regional school holiday) season, which made for uncharacteristically surly Fijians even when directing free activities like local handicraft demonstrations. A notable exception was the aqua aerobics instructor who was very exuberant.

The beach was once a mangrove, so there is sandy mud on the shore and the water is dark and unappealing. Perhaps this is why the hotel tour desk was very busy with a demand for island tours. The hotel has spread white sand over the beach close to the resort and hung some hammocks making it easier on the eye. The water-sports seemed badly managed and there were not enough buoyancy vests to go around, leaving some equipment unusable without them.

Food and beverage prices within the resort were very high – as they are across most of Fiji, though the huge buffet breakfast selection is great value when included in the room rate. Some travellers would baulk though at the FJ$20 sandwiches, $25 burgers, $27 pizzas and $7 coffees. The evening buffet was $55ph, incl fruit drinks. The standard of cooking was fine, perhaps because Sydney Accor chef Michael Moore was also holidaying there, but less than what you would expect for the price. Notably missing were Fijian cultural touches like singing of local songs enmasse, a Lovo and Meke, which was a shame.

The experience was comfortable but certainly not uniquely Fijian. We could have been at any Accor Hotel in a warm country - though it was probably more like a Novotel than a Sofitel - and for some that is the ideal holiday residence. For those who want the beautiful natural splendour and warm hospitality the country has to offer, we would suggest considering spending time on one of the smaller islands in the Mamanucas or Yasawa group, or a few days on the Coral Coast - at least there you're paying premium prices for a thoroughly unique experience.

  • Liked — Breakfast buffet
  • Disliked — Not good value
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank CatWoman_&_BoyWonder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Property: Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Address: Beachfront, Denarau Island, Viti Levu, Fiji
Phone Number:
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Denarau Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Denarau Island
#4 Romantic Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Luxury Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Family Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Spa Hotel in Denarau Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is located on beautiful Denarau Island. This five star Fiji resort overlooks the beachfront, adjacent to the world class Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. Our Fiji beach resort offers 296 rooms, each with a private balcony. Other features at this Fiji luxury resort include a private beach, wedding chapel, swimming pools, three restaurants, four bars, an international health spa, and one of the largest ballroom on the island. A bustling marina and cultural temples are located nearby. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Fiji Resort And Spa
Sofitel Fiji Hotel Denarau Island
Sofitel Denarau Island
Denarau Island Sofitel
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Denarau Island

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