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“Noisy family resort, 3 star ambiance”

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Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Denarau Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 20, 2008

Stayed here with my boyfriend for one night before going to the Yasawas. Upon arrival we were impressed by the lobby, but disappointed by the blunt check in service - the bellboy though was nice.

Room was big, we had a standard one facing the pool. The decor in the room is nicer than in the Radisson, where rooms are very standard and cold. But note!! Major dissapointment was the bathroom - lots of space where the sink was and even a huge walk-in wardrobe but the shower room / toilet itself was small, plain, cheaply done, not even that clean. See picture. Cannot believe a hotel supposedly of high calibre would cut a corner like this.

The place was too loud for us with children running around all over the place screaming etc. Pool area quite small relative to the number of people there (even though large in absolute size). Beach was filthy, would not have swam there even if someone paid me. The motorised water sports ruined any hopes of a peaceful walk by the beach.

The bula bus provides free transportation to the port, which is handy (same goes for the other Denarau resorts). Beauty treatments are cheaper in the other resorts, though I did enjoy my pedicure and the result was quite good.

To end on a positive note, I highly recommend the buffet breakfast. Great selection - if you're hungry it's good value for money and the food is good quality. Overall, would recommend this hotel for families or for those looking for activities (e.g. daily pool aerobics) rather than a peaceful 5-star getaway.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Liz8212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 17, 2008

whilst on our travels in australia we decided to spend 5 days in fiji. The sofitel managed to accommodate my family which was large, 4 children ranging from 4 -19 yrs old, my husband and I. All I can say is that this hotel was fabulous. Now, I have stayed at some of the top hotels in the world, but when travelling with family this hotel caters for everyone. The beach to be honest was awful, black and unsuitable for swimming because of seaweed, but the pool areas were great, the staff always had something on the go entertainment wise, and the spa was to die for, better than the burj in dubai and raffles singapore spa. The food was as good as anywhere I had eaten. The trips available from the beach were fantastic especially the jetski safari (believe me I'm so bad on a jetski they nearly took me back to shore!) I snorkelled in such fabulous waters and saw at least 60 different fish within touching reach on this 3 hr trip, it made my holiday. My youngest went to kids club a few times and had a great time, it was especially welcome in the evenings, my daughter would eat at the buffett at 5.30 then go to kids club till 9.00 leaving us to have a lovely adult evening meal on some occassions. We enjoyed our stay so much we extended our stay by another 3 days.......speaks volumes!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank kentbella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2008

- The Good -
Attractive lobby, eager bell hops, big pool and plenty of shops for buying souvenirs.
Clean room (king bed) with lots of towels, they only forgot to replenish the towels / bath robes once.
We ate at Lagoon and Salt. Only worth it if you use the Advantage Plus card. But the card isn't accepted for Pool side service. Ice cream stands were a nice touch.
They did provide us with free late check out at 12pm, after explaining that they had made us wait twice for rooms. Otherwise, they charge $90 to stay until 4pm.

- The Bad -
After waiting for an hour for our room (we arrived after 5pm), we were given the wrong room - double bed with bunk beds. Reservations told us we had to stay there for the night as the resort was 100% booked and the room we had reserved was not available - but it would be ready by breakfast the next morning. This didn't happen and again we waited for our room to become ready.
The spa is overpriced - we compared prices with couples staying at a nearby resorts and found a significant difference in price.
At 5:30am on day 4 (coincidentally our anniversary), we were woken up by staff banging on our door holding two boxed breakfasts who told us that we were checking out that morning. After explaining that we did not order them, and that we were also not checking out that morning, they left the food with us at no charge. (I wasn't sure if this was Bad or Ugly)
Our Pay per view movie shut off half way through. We spoke to the Manager on Duty who promised to reverse the $19.99 charge and provide a free movie the next day (this did not show up on our final bill and we had to write a statement to get the charges reversed).

- The Ugly -
I thought my husband was losing his mind when he told me that someone was eating his chocolate. That is, until I opened my Rolo Bar and rows of chocolate started to disappear as well.
On our last day, the phone would ring once every half hour or so, starting at 9:30am...coincidence or were we being hurried along?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Overall, it's a nice place to stay for a couple of nights. The menus are limited and there isn't much to do so you will become bored quickly. There is a pottery class, but you create a rather small turtle and can then keep it for $10. Ours are still sitting at reception as nobody thought to remind us that they were there.
It is an oceanfront property, but the water is murky. Instead, everyone sits by the pool (which is nice and big) and chairs are hard to come by.
Not a 5 star or a 4 star resort. But somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank zanumber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2008

I agree with others that this is not a 5-star resort when you look at comparable hotels worldwide. The rooms are ok but nothing special. Having said that, what do you want for a beach holiday?
Nevertheless we had a great stay: the helpful, warm staff and convenience of the resort making up for what it lacked in polish.

The AdvantagePlus card made the cost of food very reasonable and you'd be mad to go there without it.
We enjoyed the buffet dinner at Lagoon a couple of times as well as dining at Salt and the fine dining restaurant: V.
We were not expecting fabulous food but were surprised at the high standard.

Buffet breakfast at Lagoon was fine during the week but on the weekend it resembled escaped animals at a zoo at feeding time. The food on offer was good but there were far too many people for the size of the facility; the staff just could not cope. They shunted the overflow, including us, to V. We fought the throngs at Lagoon to grab food from the buffet and then escaped to the serenity of V to eat our prize. This actually turned out to be much better than being stuck in the main dining area.
Coffee at Lagoon was atrocious. You will get a much better espresso at Latitude 17 for $FJ5 - worth it!

Can anyone please explain why the only news channel available was Al Jazeera? We thought cost may have been a factor until we watched CNN (not the best news service in the world but - Al Jazeera? seriously...) at the three star Raffles Gateway Hotel at the airport. This was a great alternative ($FJ155)to pass the day until our midnight departure compared to $FJ350 at the Sofitel.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank pointyendpreferred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2008

My fiance and I have just returned from a 6 night stay at the Sofitel for a friend's wedding there. We had high expectations of this hotel from the positive reviews we read. Sofitel Fiji did not disappoint....we were blown away upon arrival!

Check-in (and check-out) was fast and efficient. We were given a room with 2 queen beds (not what we requested), and although at first I felt like asking reception for another room, my mind soon changed when I visited a mate's room and saw how much smaller his room was! All rooms were quite modern with LCD tvs etc.

The walk-in wardrobe area certainly helped with storing luggage and backpacks. It was great to walk around a hotel room without having to dodge walking into your bags or luggage.

'Roger & Gallet' bathroom amenities certainly were a nice touch, so was to free water daily (believe me, you need it due to the heat). Air-con was just right and the bed & pillows weren't hard, making it easy to sleep at night.

The breakfast selection was quite good, free champagne for breakfast was something a bit different for me, but I got tired fo the selection late in the week as there wasn't anything new to try.

They don't miss you with the price of the cocktails!! $18.50 FJD upwards and the food isn't much different as far as prices go. But you soon get over it...... well I did anyway.

The 2 things I loved the most about our stay was:
1. The bula bus, which is a free shuttle that takes around the different resorts on denarau island as well as the marina.
2. You can (for example) visit the Westin next door for a swim, order food and drinks by the pool and charge it to your room back at the Sofitel, saving you carrying money or cards around!! Just take a towel and go.

All in all, a great stay, would recommend this hotel anyday! Loved the Fijian hospitality at the Sofitel, they are such friendly people.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank titangc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2008

We have just returned from a 9 day trip to Fiji where we stayed at this hotel for the whole time.

From the point of check-in I just knew we were going to have continual problems and I was right.

First problem was that we were sent to a room that was completely different to what we had booked. We booked a room with 2 double beds and instead we got sent to a room with 1 double bed and 1 bunk bed. Addtional to this, the room smelt heavily of paint fumes, so we weren't impressed. We decided immediately this room wasn't appropriate and headed back to reception to get another room. This time they got it right and we got the room we booked.

The room we stayed in was sufficient, but in no way had any wow factor about it. It just looked like your standard hotel room in every which way. Later in our stay we visited the Radisson hotel on Denerau Island and my wife was shown some standard rooms and she couldn't believe how good they were compared to what we stayed in.

The first morning we awoke and went to the buffet breakfast at the Lagoon restaurant. I don't know what was happening within the resort at the time, but breakfast was chaotic. People were all over each other and you could tell that the waitresses were not handling it well. Case in point, we got seated at a table and then 1 minute later a couple came to our table and told us that they had already been seated on our table. The chaos was the same for the next few days until things quietened down. A tip for breakfast is to not sit next to the pond area, as you will no doubt be doing battle with fly's while you eat. Make sure you get a seat well within the breakfast area. Oh yeh, before I forget we noticed a few days later after having dinner the night before that they seemed to recycle the dinner menu at breakfast. Can't fully substantiate this but it was pretty obvious.

The next thing we did was go swimming. We learnt quickly that you need to reserve your chairs before its too late. There are enough chairs, however you may not get one in the area you want. The pool is quite nice and without any signs you can tell what areas are suitable for adults, kids, and babies.

The biggest attraction for my son was the water slide. It opens at 10am everyday. It provided him with many hours of entertainment.

2 days into our trip my wife and I decided to have a massage at the Mandara spa. Both my wife and I agreed that it was one of the most relaxing massages we have ever had. It was well worth it.

We are Accor Advantage Plus members and after a couple of days we worked out where we could use our membership. We were enjoying our meals at the Lagoon, Salt and V restaurants. Breakfast and buffet dinners were at the Lagoon restaurant, all day eating at Salt and fine dining at V restaurant. We ate at the V restaurant once and were happy with the meal. We ate mostly at the Salt restaurant until we experienced an event that changed our holiday for the worst.

While eating a pizza I felt something hard and sharp in my mouth. I spat out the food and discovered an open staple. I was shocked and could not believe that at a hotel like this that I would ever encounter something such as this. After showing the staple to the waiter at the bar, he offered a fresh new pizza. I let him know immediately that we weren't interested in eating anything else. He must have notified his managers of the issue immediately as I had one manager offer me free desserts and when we rejected that he informed us that we were not going to have to pay for our meal. Shortly after I was visited by the executive chef of the Sofitel Fiji and he promised that he would get to the bottom of how a staple made it into our pizza. I expected to hear from him within a couple of hours, however even after we passed by him a few days later nothing was said more about the event.

After this event I had had enough of this place and wanted to move to a different hotel. We notified hotel management of our intentions, and after some negotiation they compensated us if we stayed with them.

Another bad thing we experienced was the room cleaning. There was 3 days during our stay that our room wasn't cleaned. We had to request fresh towels and for someone to come and clean our bins. They were very inconsistent.

This is a very negative review of this hotel but I think it deserves it. We were not impressed by the service, food or room and we definitely won't be staying here again.

  • Stayed: September 2008
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2  Thank Digga123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2008

We were escaping 22 solid days of rain in Auckland New Zealand and were looking for a bit of rest and recreation and found it in Fiji and the Sofitel. .

The Sofitel has the best beach and facilities of all the resorts on Denarau. We had hammocks under shady trees on the beach or loungers on the beach on around the pool to choose from .

The lagoon style pool was large enough for the 296 rooms and its guests and we also had lots of other hotel guests using the facilities .

The casual restaurant Salt had a reasonably large menu ranging from Sushi at around $16 , Burgers at $26 and Kokada(Raw marinated Fish in coconut cream) at $16 . There were Pizzas and Club sandwiches and Pasta dishes . Local beers were $7 and imported Heineken $9 . Water was around $9.50 for a litre of Sparkling Italian.

We only had one meal in the Lagoon restaurant and it was and Indian Buffet at $60 each which is bloody expensive . Luckily we are advantage plus members so we get 50% off all meals .

The rooms were ok for a 4 star and not what we have come to expect from a 5 star but i am seeing a pattern with the Accor group and they are tight on room size but not on service .

We found all the staff very friendly and helpful and always got a "Bula' welcome from every staff member .

We went to the Port on the Bula bus and ate at Chefs and also Cardos . The food was good value but nothing spectacular .

It pays to book at the restaurants including the hotel ones .

I would recommend the Sofitel as a relaxing place to unwind for a few days with your partner, however if you had kids they would love it here as well .

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KiwiRobert1
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

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 Top resorts Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Family Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Spa Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Denarau Island
#6 Luxury Hotel in Denarau Island
Price Range: $179 - $320 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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