This was our first holiday to Fiji and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We are not the type of people to go back to the same place each year for a holiday as we like to explore new places, however we totally understand why families would go back to Fiji time and time again.
We booked our airfares and accommodation online with Virgin Blue and TravelOnline.com. I found both websites very easy to use. The TravelOnline.com website was fabulous for comparing properties, room types, inclusions etc. Very happy with it. We booked a seven night stay for two adults and two children (5 and 7 years old) in an Executive Suite plus private airport transfers and all meals.
Everything went well with the pre-booked transfers. The private transfers are only a few extra dollars and well worth it. Apparently if you are on the coach transfer you stop at each hotel until you reach your property. The private car transfers were in very clean vehicles with local drivers who were happy to talk to us about their Island. The transfer between hotel and airport is a little under one hour.
The drive into the hotel is beautiful with lush landscapes surrounding the hotel. The lobby is open air and quite hot - but that's Fiji. We weren't offered cool drinks on arrival, however I did see other guests offered them on other days. Our arrival was handled efficiently but I did notice on other days that guests had to wait some time to check-in. I suppose it just depends on how many people happen to arrive at the one time.
We were allocated an Ocean View room and it was about a 6 minute walk from the Reception area. Conceierge drove us to our room in a mini van and helped us with our luggage. They advised us that we could call on them anytime if we needed a lift to somewhere around the resort. The Resort is very spread out which may concern some people. At first we were a little overwhelmed with the size of the Resort and how far it was to get to places, however once we switched to holiday mode, it was of little concern. In fact it was quite nice to take a little walk after each meal.
We booked an Executive Suite as we didn't want to share a room with two little people (sound familiar to anyone? LOL!) This was a great decision. We had so much room! It also gave us the luxury of two showers, two toilets, a full sized bath tub, two televisions, two airconditioning units, two wardrobes, a writing desk, a large balcony area and heaps of inside floor space.
The kings size bed in our room was very comfortable, however the two divans which the children slept on were not as comfortable. They both complained that they were a little hard. The divans are quite small in size as well. Perfect size for our little ones, but probably not ideal for teenagers or older.
The room was very clean with modern furnishings and linen and we were always supplied with an abundance of fresh towels and bathmats each day. The toiletries were beautiful and once again in abundant supply. There was everything you could possibly need in the room to make your stay comfortable. The room was turned down each evening. Maybe the only negative there was that only two bottles of water were left each night, rather than one each. Just a little thing.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Overall we were very pleased with the food. As we were holidaying with our children we ate mostly in the buffet restaurant. It was what I would class as fairly typical hotel buffet fare. Certainly plently of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was certainly something to please everyone. The children especially loved the icecream cart for dessert.
Breakfast consisted of a variety of cerals, muffins, crossiants etc, lots of fresh fruit, the usual 'American Breakfast' options as well as some local Fijian Indian style options such as Coconut cake. There was also a chef available to make you a fresh omlette with a choice of fillings. My favourite!
Lunch and Dinner at the Buffet Restaurant were also great with lots to choose from each time with a selection of cuisines. The Indian was great! The dessert selections were fantastic and served in great portion sizes (think layered chocolate mousse in shot glasses - that sort of thing.)
We usually had a local beer with lunch which was approx AU$8 and a bottle of wine with dinner for around AU$50.
My husband and I also booked a babysitter one evening and went to the fine dining restaurant. The food and service here were superb. Although we had to pay above our food package to dine here it was well worth it.
There were three other dining options available at the time we stayed, but it was just easiser for us to dine in the buffet restaurant when dining with the kids. The buffet restaurant was where the kids had to eat to dine for free anyway. To be honest the menus of the other three restaurants weren't all that special. In fact on one other night, my husband and I went out for dinner on our own and after looking at the other restaurants menus, decided to go back to the buffet restaurant anyway. It's all a personal choice really.
There was apparently a Fijian fire dance themed dinner night, however it was only on one night a week (on the first night we arrived) and as we weren't told about it upon checkin we missed out. We didn't find out about it until the next day. That was a bit of a disappointment.
We snorkelled, swam, paddled, sailed and snorkelled and swam again everyday! It was fabulous! The water is absolutely beautiful. You can see the fish and coral when sitting on the paddle boards.
The resort has a very safe lagoon and beach area. It took us about 8 minutes to walk there from our room. On the first day we got a lift, but after that we just walked each day. It did mean however that we had to pack a bag with our sunscreen camera etc and take it with us as we didn't want to be running back and forth to our room. On a couple of occasions we ordered inroom dining to be delivered to the lagoon area for lunch which was great. The kids could happily and safely swim in the lagoon pool or at the beach as we watched whilst relaxing on the sun lounges. There was plenly of space for everyone and the sun lounges were plentiful. The cushions on the sunlounges were a bit old and certainly need replacing. (Once again, just a little thing.)
You can borrow goggles and flippers from the water sports area for an hour at a time, however you have to buy the snorkels which is a great idea. I would recommend to take your own with you if you can as they were quite expensive to buy and that way you can make use of them when you like. There were plently of places to safely snorkel in the lagoon area and also on the ocean side of the resort, however snorkeling on this side on the island was subject to the tides and currents.
We went on the banana boat and the kids also enjoyed the kids club for two afternoons of our stay. For all the other time, they were happy just to swim and play on the beach, so unless there was a particular activity they wanted to do at the kids club, they just stayed with us. Some families, especially those with very young ones, hired nannies for the day which is a great idea. That way the nanny could look after the baby and the parents could attend to the older child/ren. You would often see babies asleep in the arms of their Fijian nannies under the shade of a umbrella.
Our daughter had her hair fully braided in those little braids. It looked gorgeous. Be prepared to sacrifice about 2 hours and AU$100 for the experience. There was a man making hats etc from coconut leaves which was fantastic to watch. We bought our son a hat and it cost about AU$10. Unfortunatley it was confiscated by customs on our way back into Australia as we had only bought it the day before we left and it was still very green. The customs officer advised us that next time to buy it ealier in the holiday and leave it in the sun to go brown and that way we could have kept it. Oh well!
There were three pools in total - the logoon pool, an adults only pool in the middle of the resort and a beautiful infinity pool at our end of the resort where the ocean view rooms are.
As mentioned previously we engaged a babysitter for two nights of our stay and we all absolutely adored her. Her name was Maria and she was also a local kindergarten teacher. (Her son also worked at the Resort as a barman.) The charge for babysitting is only FJ$7/hour, however we paid her what we would pay a babysitter in Australia as we thought it only fair.
On one day we hired a car though the tour desk at the hotel (about AU$80 for the day) and drove into the township of Sigatoka and beyond. On the way we stopped at Maria's village and visitied the Kindergarten where she worked. Maria also showed us around her village. She then joined us to 'guide' us around Sigatoka. It was fantastic to have a local with us for this day out. We drove further on from Sigatoka to as far as the Warwick Resort. We took a beautiful picnic lunch with us from the hotel and ate at a beach along the way. It was a fantastic experience for the kids and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day. We gave Maria some money as a thank you for all the expereinces and sites she showed us.
Our stay at the Shangri-La was sensational. We highly recommend it and would return again. My husband and I discussed that if we were ever to go back would we choose a Lagoon View Room closer to the recational activities or an Ocean View Room which was further away from everything but quieter? It was a tough decision, however we would probably request an Ocean View Room again. If staying for a substantial amount of time, it is probably worth buying some snacks and water in town or at the airport as the little convenience store at the resort is very very expensive - but I suppose it is to be expected. All the little extras can add up so take heaps of sunscreen hats etc. We were happy with the value for money we got from our meal package. If you were to pay-as-you-go the costs of the meals would add up very quickly. It is nice to go on holidays and not have to worry too much about the cost of each meal. The food and beverage are not cheap, but typical prices for resorts of this style.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort is exclusively located on the beautiful 109-acre private Yanuca Island with its pure white sandy beach and crystal clear, coral rich seas of the exotic Fiji Islands. Only 45 minutes from Nadi International Airport, the island is connected from the mainland by a causeway.A traditional Fijian village is the inspiration behind the layout of the 442-room resort. Every guest room, suite and bure features a private balcony with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean or the resort’s lagoon. Unlimited wired broadband Internet access is complimentary in all rooms. The Resort offers a range of activities, including water sports, scuba diving and golf, and a popular Kid's Club. A wide range of dining options are available, from Pacific Rim fine dining to informal fun dining at the poolside. Cultural shows highlight Fijian lovo, meke and firewalking rituals, South Pacific and Fijian Fire dancers.CHI, The Spa is a secluded spa village set away from the main resort, and provides the privacy and luxury of the largest Spa villas in Fiji. Four Oceanview and two Rainforest treatment villas feature relaxation areas overlooking either the Pacific Ocean or an exotic rainforest, with private garden patios, outdoor bath tubs, herbal steam room and outdoor showers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri-La`s Fijian Hotel Yanuca Island
- Fiji Shangri La Resort
- Shangri La Fijian Resort
- Shangri Las Fijian Resort
- Shangri Las Fijian Hotel
- Fiji Shangri La Hotel
- Fiji La Shangri
- Fijian La Resort Shangri
- Fiji La Resort Shangri
- Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa Fiji/Yanuca Island