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“almost paradise”

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Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Denarau Island
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“almost paradise”
Reviewed August 13, 2009

There is no denying how beautiful the rooms are (mine was a first floor beach front); it ranked amongst the best I've ever stayed in. It was stylish, luxurious and I wanted for nothing. The view straight out over the water was peaceful.

The complex itself was great; the pools and restaurant / bar areas in particular. Best suited to adults seeking peace and quiet.

The area around Denarau is NOT Fiji's finest. Nadi is a minor distraction during the day, but to be avoided at night. Therefore, once you've arrived out at the resort, you don't really move from it easily. Because of that, I think they should offer more by way of 'entertainment'. Not in a cabaret sense, but just things to do other than sitting by the pool. Although the view is nice (ie far from spectacular by Fiji's standards), it's not so compelling that can just look at it for a week and be content. Not a very impressive beach.

So it was really the rooms that I loved, which is important, but then how long do you really spend locked inside your room?

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
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Thank rs05272014j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Auckalnd
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2009

We loved the trip so much last year we are booked again for Sept (14days). The Hilton has got to be the most spacious and friendly resorts in Denarau. After hunting for a good deal for two rooms with beach front views the Hilton was by far the best value. Huge double rooms and beachfront as standard. Sure its not over 5 star but it does a great job of getting very close to 5 - especially considering it was less than 40% of the cost of the same room at the Radisson and the Coral cost.

For me the best aspect is the space and the openess. All the other resorts were so cramped - The Hilton had a great Miami, Bermuda feel about it.

Definitely: 1.Go to the butchers and have a BBQ on your balcony. 2. Go to the Markets and drink some Kava with the boys 3. get Mere or Lily as baby sitters 4. Do the Jetski safari - $300 but worth it after a hard year.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
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2 Thank tommyc23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2009

We have just had 7 nights at the Hilton, which is a great place to stay with a young family. We stayed in a 2 bedroom unit, with ocean views.
Our package did not include breakfast, so we ate in our room each morning.
We took a taxi to Nadi ($12F each way and the driver waited for us, carried our shopping bags - gave a great service) and went to the market/supermarket/butcher shop for supplies and ended up eating in our room. The bbq was excellent, it was also a little more relaxing with small children. And we did find eating our expensive, especially if you have a bottle of wine with your meal (these start from $60 per bottle).

The kids club was great. Although they say for children over 3, they were happy to take our 2 1/2 year old. They had lots of different activities available at the club like fish feeding, beach walks etc - our kids really enjoyed the mornings they spent with Doris and the other children.

The pools are the Hilton we great (only thing missing was the slide). There were shallow pools for small children and there were toys supplied poolside each day. We did take the bula bus to the Radisson two afternoons and played on their slide which out kids loved (and do did Mum and Dad).

We did use the baby sitting service which is $6F per hour. If the baby sitter is there after 9pm there is also a taxi fee of $10. The Fijian ladies are great with the children and this service is highly recommended for a relaxing meal out.

We took a half day trip to South Sea Island which was great with the kids. We got to swim, go snorkelling, sailing and kayaking. They supplied a lovely bbq lunch with drinks, then we went riding on the semi-submersible vessel and the kids had a great time spotting the fish, starfish and coral (although the adults felt a bit sea sick when it was time to get out!!)

The only thing that let this resort down was the house keeping. The first day they came to service the room at 6.20pm - not a good time when you have small children you are trying to feed and bath them. The next day house keeping came in the morning which was fine. They did removed our tea towel and face cloths and did not replenish these. There response was "there are not enough to go around, they are still at the laundry"
The following days I left notes asking for a tea towel and face cloths, also asked if the broken/faulty lights could be replace. This never happened. And our last day they came to service the room at 6.30pm. They were quite random on what they did. Some days we got the water replaced, other days we got coffee, but no tea and no milk, but 6 boxes of washing powder.

All the staff round the resort we very friendly and I would recommend the Hilton as a place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank emililly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, NZ
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2009

I'd read a few reviews before departing and was a bit dubious about what we'd get at the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa. Having just come back from 8 nights there, my feeling is that there's just no pleasing some folks!

We had a great time and some total relaxation at the place. The staff were all exceptionally friendly (it will take some time to get out of the habit of saying "Bula" to everyone you come across) from checking in to checking out. The room was kept clean and we had no complaints at all.

We took advantage of a special from New Zealand that included breakfast. This was exceptionally worthwhile and I struggle to see what people complained about around the food. The choice is expansive - everything from fresh local fruit to a full fry-up, via a continental breakfast. They even had sparkling wine available, although we managed not to indulge in too much of that early in the morning! The restaurant can be a bit busy for breakfast at around 9am, but they just give you a seat outside while waiting for a free table for you. If you have a large enough breakfast, it can probably even see you through to dinner, so it was definitely worthwhile from our perspective.

There are two restaurants in the hotel and a third "bread shop" style shop that does sandwiches, cakes etc. We thought that the best value for money was in the Asian one where you can get all sorts such as Nasi Goreng, Laksa etc. Our service in here was quick and efficient and the food was lovely. The other restaurant is the "Nuku" (where you have your breakfast). This is more of an up-market restaurant (and is more expensive). We only ate there once and the food was fine. To be honest, I preferred the Asian restaurant, but that's possibly down to the sort of food I enjoy eating while on holiday.

Room service was also good value. We had this a couple of times when we'd had long days and couldn't be bothered heading out. They had a lovely chicken curry that didn't seem to be available in either of the restaurants, but was thoroughly enjoyable.

Alcohol is fairly expensive (as you'd expect). We stocked up at Duty Free before heading up to Fiji and got through this in our stay. Cocktails on our resort were quite pricey (at around $22 per cocktail) and there was no happy hour. The Sofitel (next door) did have a happy hour, so it could be cheaper to pop in there for your holiday cocktail. This is probably one of the only changes that would be good to see at the Hilton, as I'd gladly have sat having a few Mojitos as the sun went down if they weren't quite so expensive! Our duty free certainly saved us a bit of money, as we could drink whatever we wanted in the room. Our deal did not see the fridge being stocked, although we did get a small bottle of Fiji mineral water each day put in here.

We did both have a 45 minute neck and back massage in the Spa and this was very relaxing. The rooms used were very nicely decorated and had soft music being played. It cost us FJ$105 each and was well worth it. I did read someone complaining that there were no views from the rooms. Not sure how much of a view you'd see lying on your stomach with your eyes closed having a massage, but I guess there's no pleasing some folks! There is a kiosk on the beach where you could have the massage. The views would clearly be better, but you'd still be lying on your stomach with your eyes closed. You'd also have the folks in the rooms able to see you. We did see two brave souls having a massage while we were there, but I preferred the privacy of the room, not being the world's greatest exhibitionist!

So what about some of the other aspects of our trip? There is a local shuttle that takes you around the wider Denarau island, including Port Denarau. Port Denarua is a small shopping area with a few restaurants. It includes Indian, Italian, Chinese, kebabs, pizza, and even a Hard Rock Cafe. The shuttle (referred to as the Bula Bus) is essentially a lorry with a load of seats on the back of it made to look like a Bure. For FJ$5 per day you can jump on and off of this as much as you like. We didn't use it once, as it's a pleasant 15 minute walk from the hotel down to Port Denarau. It's then a nice walk back (and is well lit with low lights once it's dark). We ate at the kebab shop, the Indian (which also does Asian meals and was my favourite), the Mama's Pizza (which was probably my least favourite of them all) and had no real complaints. You are in Fiji, so don't expect to be in and out in 45 minutes (although the Indian did have pretty quick service). The worst meal we had was the pizza, which was pretty average to be fair, but everything else was fine.

As for getting into Nadi, you can take a taxi (for around FJ$12-15). A much better alternative is to get the local bus (complete with no windows!) and head into the city the way the locals do. This takes you into some of the local villages (including the one where Joe Rokocoko, the NZ All Black, comes from) and shows you a bit more about real life Fiji rather than what you experience in the resort. We really enjoyed this and it only cost 70c each way (although it was going up to $1 the day we left). Just ask the staff at the desk and they will tell you where to pick the bus up from and what time it comes at. It's about a 5 minute walk to the bus stop from the hotel.

Getting back to the hotel - don't expect the beach at the Hilton to be your typical blue snorkelling beach. It is fine to swim here, but it's very shallow for quite a way out and is not an "island paradise" style beach. It's not beautiful white sand with great underwater visibility (I believe the area is reclaimed mangrove swamp). You need to get out to some of the islands for this, or the Coral Coast to the south of the island is probably better in this respect.

We took a couple of excursions out and would recommend both. We booked both at the hotel reservations desk and they were very helpful at making recommendations. The first trip we took was the South Sea Cruise. We were going to go to Manolo but the lady at the desk recommended Castaway Island. I don't know what Manolo would have been like, but Castaway was beautiful. You get a catamaran up there (it leaves from Port Denarau, but you will be picked up form your hotel) and spend the day doing what you want. Castaway is the penultimate drop-off point (Manolo being the last), so you get to see South Sea Island, Bounty Island, Mana Island and a couple of others on the way.

Once on Castaway (which takes around 1.5 hours), we spent the day on the beach and snorkelling. Take some break with you, as you can get the fish eating from your hands when you are snorkelling. Some folk were feeding them croissants, and they really went crazy for these! Your lunch is included in the FJ$152 cost. You can either choose off the menu or have the buffet. Choosing from the menu enables you to have more choice (we loved the spicy squid starter), but service is definitely Fijian! If you want a quick bite to eat and then get back to the snorkelling, it might be worth opting for the buffet! You will need to pay for your own drinks but that's all. You need to pay a deposit of FJ$30 for the snorkelling gear, but you get this back at the end of the day.

The other tour we took was the Namuamua Inland River Tour. We had a couple of hours on the bus to get us down to the start point and then an hour and a half on motorised "banana boats" to take us up to a traditional Fijian village (that is not accessible any other way). Lots of photo opportunities on the way and once you get there you have a kava ceremony, lunch, a look around the village etc. We took some sweets and the young kids absolutely loved these. It gives you a real feel for how some of the Fijians live and was well worth the FJ$184 that we paid each for the day out. It felt like a very long day and we were pretty tired by the time we returned to the hotel. It was a 7am pick-up and we didn't get back until around 8pm.

Overall on the hotel - I'd no complaints at all and would certainly go back. If there's one thing I'd suggest to the management of the hotel, it would be to introduce a happy hour! We both loved our stay and were sorry to be leaving after 8 nights. We'd gladly have stayed longer.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1873KB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
auckland
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2009

We returned to this resort after a lovely week last year. This year was even better. We had perfect weather, friends who joined us, and we had picked a time when there were fewer people, for a few days at least. We again had a downstairs villa with a shared pool. This really is the best option. We picked up food at the supermarket (on our way from the airport - the driver was happy to stop for us) and cooked several meals using our BBQ. The cafe also continues to sell great salads, pizza and filled rolls - so there is no need to spend a fortune - unless you want to!
If you can, request the booking option of the free soft drinks each day and full breakfast.
There are still a number of small ongoing maintenance issues - but we did see things being fixed everyday. We were visisted twice and asked if we were happy with housekeeping etc. When we checked out we passed on a several written comments about little thing sthat could be looked at and they seemed very appreciative of the notification.
There is still construction down the far end of the resort - but this time we were far enough away not to hear a thing.

The staff were very happy that the report had been busy and that they had a busy season ahead. Several of them said that it was really needed for Fiji.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nzdarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2009

We stayed here for three nights following a five day break on the coral coast. The resort was marketed to us as the newest and most luxurious on Denarau Island and very child friendly. This was certainly not the case and would rate the hotel as very average for a 5 star resort (and the price that you pay)

The ocean beachfront room was small and all of the units are located along the beachfront, which if you are at the end of the stretch of apartments is a long walk to the amenities. The pool was nice, but no shade cloth at all and the kids pool had lots of steps down into it which made it difficult to swim in for a 2 year old. Was also right next to the adult pool so no chance to escape for the adults without having screaming kids around. The lady running the kids club was lovely, but limited activities each day for young kids and the kids club was old (smelt) and not as big a range of outdoor activities as other resorts on the island.

The rooms were basic despite having great tv and dvd. Linen was not up to 5 star resort standard, room not always cleaned properly and our bar fridge was never stocked in the whole time we were there. Dining options were limited to the Nuku restaurant (expensive) the bakery which also did expensive pizza and a noodle/ asian bar. The restaurant in the morning for breakfast had limited high chairs (only 4 one morning) so you had to either wait for a chair or sit your child on your lap to eat. Kids buffet was great for the under 4s being free, but only went till 6pm meaning difficult to eat with your kids unless you wanted to eat early. We ended up buying the Bula Bus tickets each day (highly recommended) and spending most of our time at other hotels and eating at Denarau Port given there was much better choices and much cheaper.

There was still a lot of development going on with further development taking place - was not noisy but the premises lacked atmosphere with dividers up to shield from construction work. Beach was pretty average (which most on Denarau Island are) but lack of trees and landscaping on property meant was very sparce.

Spa lacked ambience (was 4 rooms with no outdoor outlook) - and was not nearly as good as the nearby Westin.

Potentially would be better as a couple or with older kids but would recommend you look around the other resorts as there are other options (eg Westin, Raddison etc). We were very disappointed given this was supposed to be the luxury retreat at the end of a nice few days on the coral coast.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MastermindTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2009

We experienced true relaxation on our second trip to Fiji - this was our first trip in tow with 2 kids (2 and 3.5yrs) so were after a safe place for kids. The staff were excellent, the kids club was great and the accommodation was superb for a family of 4 (2 bedroom beach front apartment on the ground floor). We were a bit worried prior to arrival about the building works, but hardly noticed them. You can get a pictorial overview of the hotel on [--] an accommodation website that I run. This also details how we managed to book this place at a budget price!

The kids found it relaxing as well - especially the kids club. By day 2 our 2yr old was happy to stay there without any tears and by the end of 10 days he treated his babysitter as his new mum (and he was only in there from 9-12!). His babysitter was excellent and we'd highly recommend her - "Lalai".

Within 2 weeks of returning to Australia, my wife had booked our second trip to the Hilton for September this year - What does that say about the place???!!

And neither are we strapped with cash - in actual fact I'll be redundant early 2010! Out of the workforce with a bang!

On the money front, we found the Hilton to be the best value for money. After walking around the other resorts, we were apalled to hear what people had paid for their holidays. Some were charging 2x as much as we'd paid and in terms of location, the Hilton is spacious, well laid out and has a much more relaxing feel to it than the Radisson, Sofitel, Westin etc.

You can read more of my review on my website [--] this also contains more pictures and details how we booked it cheap!!

We are happy to answer any of your questions!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NeverAgainAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Denarau Island, 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) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Denarau Island
#2 Family Hotel in Denarau Island
#2 Romantic Hotel in Denarau Island
#4 Luxury Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Denarau Island
#5 Spa Hotel in Denarau Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 271
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
What's your idea of the perfect escape? Perhaps it's spending precious time together as a family. Maybe you want to rediscover romance, in a setting that's simply breathtaking. Or perhaps you'd rather enjoy relaxing spa treatments and superb cuisine...For sheer romance, a glorious honeymoon, your best family break ever or a golfer's dream holiday, Hilton in Fiji makes the perfect setting. Welcome to your perfect escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Managed By Hilton Hotel Denarau Island
Fiji Beach Resort And Spa Managed By Hilton
Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Denarau Island
Hilton Denarau Island
Fiji Hilton
Denarau Island Hilton

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