When a mother and daughter trip to Fiji was on the cards we wanted to stay somewhere that was convenient but still felt authentic to a Fijian lifestyle and away from all the hustle and bustle to where tourists usually stay and we found our island paradise at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji!
This resort is about 25 minutes drive from Nadi International Airport and is located on Sonaisali Island which is just off the main land however, there is a boat that operates 24 hours everyday to and from the resort and only takes 3 minutes to reach either side. On the main side of the island is where taxis and company cars will pick you up to take you to your tours and activities. Being off the mainland gives you a real sense privacy and intimacy and it feels very safe to wander all over the island to check out what is has to offer.
For the whole week we were in Fiji we were very happy to stay at this resort. We slept in the Beachfront Guest Room which had two large double queen beds, a private balcony offering beautiful ocean views, air conditioning, tiled floor, mini bar, fridge, TV, safe, double vanity in the bathroom and a spacious shower. These rooms are also very close to the restaurant and main lobby so we found that very convenient.
The are two onsite restaurants, the main one is a large open space offering both indoor and outdoor seating. The breakfast buffet is held inside this restaurant as well as lunch and dinner options. Each night they had a special dish on and their menu caters to all sorts of tastes and diets. I found the food to be really delicious every night however I did find out that Fijian cuisine is very similar to Indian, so if you aren't a fan of spicy food it may be best to avoid the curries as some of them do pack quite a punch!
The other restaurant is down on the beach and offers seating right on the sand, it's the perfect atmosphere for date night and romantic dinners as the area is dimly lit and you can hear the soft, gentle sound of the waves kissing the shore. We had one dinner here and found the food to still be quite nice but we much preferred the menu options at the other restaurant. The resort also has themed nights during the week and they are held in different areas of the resort, they are buffet style and offer a range of very delicious cuisine!
There are two bars on site, one in the main restaurant area and one in the pool area across from the outdoor restaurant. With the outdoor bar serving drinks from 11am daily we became quite cosy with this part of the resort! Drinks can be quite expensive here with some costing more than they would in Australia, but they do have daily happy hours, a special drink daily and the frozen slushy cocktails are much cheaper and taste great! If you're lounging around in the sun, you can order your drink and they will bring it over to you when it's ready.
What's also great about this bar is that it is also a swim up! There is nothing better than being in the pool on a hot day and simply swimming up to a bar, ordering a cocktail and relaxing in the coolness of the pool water!
The resort itself has many activities that the whole family can enjoy. There is a games room with a pool table, ping pong table and that game that has the little soccer players and you turn the handles to get them to kick the ball in the goal, can't remember the name of it but you know what i'm talking about.
There are also daily activities that take place throughout the whole day that guests can join in including pool volleyball and coconut demonstrations where the activities co-ordinator climbs a palm tree, collects coconuts and shows you how to husk them and open them up and you can try the coconut which is so fresh and tasty!
There is a tour desk on site where you can book tours and activities and there is a whole wall of brochures that you can read through, there are so many amazing things to do in Fiji!
For the adults, there is a clean and modern gym on site and my must do at any resort is the massage parlour! Wherever I go I love to pamper myself with a massage session and Fiji have some of the most beautiful and natural products that leave you feeling completely relaxed, refreshed and full of happiness! The massage parlour also offers hair braiding for children and mini manicure and pedicure sessions.
The only downside is that there really isn't much of a beach at this resort, it's more of a lake with it's lack of waves and murky water colour but without a doubt the pool makes up for it! The pool is huge with different sections bordered off so you can lay around in peace. I found the water to be a beautiful temperature and very clean the whole time and the whole week we stayed there it was never overly crowded, some days we had the whole pool to ourselves!
You will often find some of the staff walking around in traditional Fijian wear and are more than happy for photo opportunities and a group of staff members would sit by the pool and play the most soothing and gorgeous tunes on their ukuleles and sing beautiful Fijian songs!
One of my most favourite activities at the resort was the horse riding, you can either choose to do the day ride or the sunset ride, it's no surprise that I opted for the sunset ride! Booking is recommended for this activity as there are only 4 spots each ride. Once you are saddled up to your horse you are then taken for a slow, gentle ride around the resort, through the palm tress and onto the beach just in time for sunset. When you reach the end of the beach you are given photo opportunities before heading back to the stables.
On the way back we made a quick stop for the horses to nibble on some grass and to my surprise there was an ice cold bucket of soft drinks and champagne waiting for us (this wasn't mentioned we when booked so it was a great treat!) We had more photo opportunities with our horses and of the sun setting over the horizon, it was a really beautiful afternoon and the most perfect way to end our stay at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji!
Mum and I were so happy we made the decision to stay at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji, it had everything we needed to make our stay comfortable and we would highly recommend this place to everyone! The staff also deserve a mention as they are so professional in what they do, incredibly friendly and polite, always have a smile on their face and they remember each and every guest's name that stays on the resort so you really feel like part of their family!