I boarded the Bula Bus shuttle and made my way to my appointment at the Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island, a five-star property on Denarau Island that had only been open for ten months. When I entered the Radisson’s lobby, I was immediately bowled over. The bi-level open-air lobby looks out over the Orchid Lounge to a manmade waterfall cascading over boulders. When I met Matthew Hill, the resort’s director sales & marketing/executive assistant manager, he explained that the actual checking-in process is done in the Orchid Lounge, where the guests can relax with a Fijian iced tea during the process and get into a holiday spirit from the get go.
As we strolled through the grounds, I saw the resort’s kids club, which has a creative design. Radisson employed a local artist to paint undersea murals on the walls, creating an underwater reef effect that I imagine kids really dig.
Matthew explained that because of the Radisson branding they receive a greater share of guests from the U.S. than other resorts on Denarau, around 10 percent. Many of these choose the resort as a pre or post excursion to one or more of Fiji’s outlying islands.
A guest room at the Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island.
The Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island has 135 rooms and 135 suites. These are arranged with a room next to a suite so they can easily be combined for guests in search of additional space. Rooms in the three-story resort are evenly grouped into Garden, Lagoon and Ocean View, with the front three blocks being ocean view. Since all rooms face west, they have excellent views of the sunset. A nice touch in the suites is the extra-large mahogany tables. The Radisson is also the only property on Denarau Island offering free Internet, which can run over $20 a day at other resorts.
The resort’s spa makes all of its products on site utilizing Fijian materials. I was really impressed by the treatment rooms, open bures that exuded an authentic Zen tranquility.
Couples massage tables at the spa.
The Radisson is easily the most-family friendly of the Denarau resorts that I visited. Kids will love some of the features in the pools, such as the water slide and lazy river. The pools also utilize white sand to create a beach effect.
Matthew says his philosophy is to “under promise and over deliver.” Matthew Hill is also the travel agent liaison. He can be contacted 679-675-6691, [email protected].
Port Denarau Retail Center
The aforementioned Bula Bus makes it free and easy to drop in at other resorts, as well as visit the Port Denarau Retail Center. Here you’ll find a selection of shops and restaurants surrounding a marina offering cruises and sailings to Fiji’s outlying islands. Restaurants include a Hard Rock Café, but I was heading to an intriguing restaurant named Indigo, which splits its menu in half, offering both Thai and Indian selections. The restaurant has 18 tables inside and 17 tables al fresco. These are right on the waterfront, so you can dine and watch yachts motor by, heading for open water. The last Bula Bus back to the resorts leaves at 10:30 p.m. which is plenty late for quiet Fiji.