Waterfront resort with a small beach and affordable rates
Outdoor pool with a swim-up bar
Airy, spacious rooms with balconies, some with ocean views
Restaurant with evening entertainment and meal plans available
Free use of canoes, kayaks, and snorkel gear
Free continental breakfast included in the rate
Easy access to Mamanuca Islands
Free evening babysitting services and a kids' playground
Walking distance to a marina with two restaurants
A shop and indoor room for couples' massages
Free Wi-Fi in the restaurant
The beach is protected by rocks and not popular for swimming
Mountain View rooms feel dated and may have maintenance issues
Neighboring room noise is possible
Fee for in-room Wi-Fi
Grounds could use improvements
Noise from sugar cane train can be heard some nights
This mid-range 64-room resort is on Fiji's largest island, within a 30-minute drive of the airport. Simple, airy rooms have private terraces, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs; the highest category being the spacious Beachside Spa Villas with outdoor whirlpool tubs. Grounds look disheveled (expect brown patches of grass) and the raised beach is small, but there are two swimming pools, spa treatments, and free snorkel gear and kayaks. A continental breakfast is included, and at night, the main restaurant turns atmospheric thanks to live music. Budget sister properties Funky Fish and Beachcomber Island are both on smaller islands and must be accessed by boat; the Beachcomber, offering a nicer beach and shared dorms, draws a mostly backpacking crowd.
A basic mid-range resort suitable for a few days, but not an entire vacation
The hotel's partly crumbling, pockmarked driveway is marked by unsightly power lines and passes a security guard before eventually reaching a reasonably attractive A-frame building. The wide, open entrance is framed by hand-carved wood resembling a bamboo tree. The front desk is open 24 hours and guests can purchase simple necessities such as sundries and non-alcoholic beverages, use a desktop computer, or help themselves to a shelf of books. Guests should also receive a welcome drink at check-in. From here, the resort splits off in different sections: there are self-service apartments that have an events space on top and a small pool; a middle section with rooms that face the Sleeping Giant mountain range; and at the bottom of a steep hill is the main hub, where the Beachside Spa Villas, Oceanfront Rooms, main pool, restaurant, and bar are located. Staff will arrange transportation anytime for those who have difficulty walking. Along the shore is a jetty where the company's boats are docked for day trips and transfers to sister properties, Beachcomber and Funky Fish.
The grounds aren't particularly lush, especially due to patchy grass, and some areas are in need of a coat of paint or good scrubbing. Newer features, on the other hand, including the Beachside Spa Villas and cheerful daybeds and hammocks near the pool, help spruce up the property. The resort also seems to get more attractive as the sun lowers in the horizon. This is when a torch lighting ceremony takes place, and the dining room transitions to dinner service with tablecloths, lanterns, and live music.
On the northern side of Nadi Bay near Lautoka, the sugar capital of Fiji
Anchorage is located halfway between two towns: the sugar capital of Fiji called Lautoka, and Nadi (pronounced Nandi) -- both on the western side of Viti Levu, the largest of 330 islands in Fiji. Since the biggest airport in the country is based in Nadi, it has become the transit point for nearly all destinations in Fiji. The resort is close to an oil refinery and water views from the resort may include freighters coming and going, taking away from the tropical appeal. On the plus side, guests can expect fewer crowds than in Nadi.
Those with a vehicle will have free parking near the entrance, as well as at the bottom of the hill. Those who do not have a car can arrange airport transfers via minibus or taxi through reception -- the trip takes no more than 30 minutes. Vuda Marina is walkable along a sugar cane railway (keep watch for regular trains that run through the resort), where guests can access a few additional restaurants and a general store for stocking the fridges. The resort provides free daily bus trips to Lautoka, the second biggest city in Fiji, for visiting cultural sites and shopping.
Simple, airy rooms with private decks, though it's worth upgrading for an outdoor whirlpool tub
This mid-sized resort has 64 rooms that come with tile floors and a couple simple tropical touches, such as Fijian textiles, an occasional bright pop of color from frangipani flower wall hangings, and in some rooms, vaulted wood ceilings. Each room, either with two double beds or a king-size bed, is equipped with air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, mini-fridge, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and flat-screen TV with Sky TV. All have furnished private decks with wooden patio furniture, and guests arrive to find their room decorated with fresh flowers.
The 12 Beachside Spa Villas are the top room category and are located near the bottom of the hill. These have great cathedral-style ceilings and a series of screened-in windows with shutters. Big wooden decks have built-in whirlpool tubs, but they face the main road, making for less privacy and not much of a view. Keep in mind that neighboring room noise might also be an issue. Meanwhile, the Oceanfront Spa Rooms are the next highest category, and are located across the road in one two-story building facing the pool. These rooms have large bathrooms that have mirrored screens that open to the bedroom, as well as separate jetted tubs and walk-in showers.
Mountain View Rooms feel the oldest, but have pretty views of the Sleeping Giant mountains from private balconies. These rooms are also farther away from the property's hub. Apartments with full kitchens are located closer to reception on top of the hill. These units are often rented on a long-term basis, so they may be harder to snag. In front of them is an area with a small pool and barbecue facilities.
Two swimming pools, spa services, and kids' activities, but not much of a beach
Though it's protected by a rocky barrier, this specific part of Fiji's coastline is said to be point of entry for the country's first ancestors more than a thousand years ago. Not many swim on the beach, but during high tide it's possible. Sun loungers, daybeds, and hammocks are placed in the narrow strip of sand, which is a popular spot for sunset views. Behind here is the main mosaic-tiled lagoon pool, featuring a toddler’s area, swim-up bar, and cushioned lounge chairs. There's a private jetty with boats for fishing and snorkeling trips, and island hopping options. Guests also have free use of canoes, kayaks, and snorkeling gear.
There isn't a kids' club, but there's a small playground next to the beach. Babysitting service is offered two hours every evening at no charge. An indoor spa hut is available for couples' treatments. Directly next door is a boutique selling beachwear, Fijian souvenirs, toiletries, books, magazines, sunglasses, and snacks. Additionally, an open-air terrace with a thatched roof, appropriately named Cupid's Point, is available for weddings.
Main restaurant and bar that has live music at night
The main restaurant and bar is next to the beach and has both indoor and outdoor seating. There's a free continental breakfast served each morning, which turns into a la carte fare for lunch and dinner; check out the board for daily specials. There are daily happy hour specials and room service is available during limited hours. Families who want to purchase meal plans need to do so before arriving. At night, the scene becomes a little dressier when lanterns are lit and staff play acoustic music on guitars and ukuleles. For more dining options, guests can walk along the sugar cane railway (bring a flashlight) to Vuda Point Marina, where there is a cafe and restaurant. First Landing Resort is also a 20-minute walk away for a few more restaurant options.
There's also a swim-up bar in the main pool, but it's often unstaffed so it can be easier to go straight to the bar at the restaurant.
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