Walking distance to more restaurants and a golf club
Free Wi-Fi in the lobby and restaurants
The beach can be a letdown -- not many actually swim here
Showers and other interiors are starting to show age
Fitness center is small
Restaurants are mediocre and prices add up quickly
Fee for in-room Wi-Fi
Not much in the way of bars and nightlife
This upscale beachfront resort is part of an attractive man-made island called Denarau, a 20-minute drive from Fiji's main airport. The Hilton opened in 2009 and has 271 rooms equipped with large bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, and outdoor space. It's situated on a long stretch of beach, but guests tend to stick to the pool area, which is separated into two sections: one for adults, and one for families. A spa, free kids' club, and on-site dining add to the value, but guests will have to pay for in-room Wi-Fi. To help offset food and beverage costs, consider upgrading to bigger units that come with kitchenettes and grills. The beach here is larger than at competing properties such as The Westin Denarau, though in general the beaches on Denarau Island are underwhelming.
A slightly upscale vibe that attracts families and wedding parties; there are specific areas only for adults
Denarau doesn't really feel like an island as it's accessible via car from downtown Nadi, so those looking for an authentic sense of Fiji may want to look elsewhere. Hilton is lucky, geographically speaking, because it is on the island's corner with only one neighbor: The Sofitel. At the covered entrance (which is not well-marked), guests are welcomed by uniformed staff members who assist with luggage and offer bottled water. The lobby's hardwood floors and cushioned wicker lounge sets add charm to the hotel's streamlined design, and guests typically connect to the free Wi-Fi here.
The grounds consist of white, two-story buildings that run parallel to the ocean and are separated by palm trees and patches of grass. One side of the resort includes the kids' club, general store, and spa, while the other half has the cafe, pool areas, and restaurants. The long layout could mean a lot of walking back and forth, but it also means that all rooms have easy access to the beach; guests who don't want to walk can always call for golf cart rides.
Thanks to designated adult-only and family areas, the resort sees about equal numbers of families and couples, as well as many wedding parties. The evening scene stays pretty tame, so those looking for more restaurants and nightlife will want to head to the marina about a five-minute drive away.
A safe and pedestrian-friendly island with easy access to more restaurants, a golf course, and tennis courts
Hilton is located a 20-minute drive from Nadi, which has the biggest airport in the country. Many travelers to Fiji choose to stay their entire vacation on the man-made island of Denarau for its Western-style resorts that provide chain-hotel comfort and an easy commute to the airport.
Another convenience of choosing Denarau is having access to the golf and tennis club, as well as Port Denarau Marina, which offers a supermarket, restaurants, bars, and cafes; this is located a quick five-minute drive from the hotel. This is also where ferries from companies like South Seas Cruises depart to outer islands. Though guests can walk there about 20 minutes, there's an open-air Bula Bus (for a fee) that runs regularly around the island, and the marina is the first stop from Hilton.
Contemporary rooms with mini-fridges and spacious bathrooms; apartment-style units also have kitchens and outdoor grills
Hilton's 271 rooms are located in two-story, stand-alone buildings along a long stretch of beach. The hotel opened in 2009, so the neutral-tone design is sleek and modern, with gray tile floors, white walls and bedding, and wood furnishings. Blue or sea-green accent walls in the bathrooms add a necessary pop of color. Housekeepers also spruce things up on arrival with fresh flowers and towel art, and they offer nightly turndown service. Rooms include flat-screen TVs, DVD players, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and either two twins or king-size beds.
Spacious bathrooms have separate walk-in showers and bathtubs, bathrobes, slippers, and generous Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. Shower tiling may show some age and there are basic removable nozzles instead of rainfall showerheads. Rooms also have furnished balconies or patios with cushioned daybeds and/or wooden tables and chairs, but it's worth upgrading to one with an ocean view. All rooms aside from the Studios have kitchenettes or full kitchens, living rooms, and outdoor grills. Some have a private or shared plunge pool. Note that there's a fee for in-room Wi-Fi.
Two adjoining pool areas next to the beach, and a renowned spa
The hub of the resort is the series of rectangular pools, split in half by the main buffet restaurant. One side is family-friendly, while the other is for adults only; both are surrounded by cushioned loungers, umbrellas, and daybeds -- some that are on the grass facing the sea. It should be noted that the adult pool is visible from the family pool, so the separation is minimal. Both pools have easy access to the man-made beach, lined by a series of sun loungers grouped into twos for a bit more privacy. The sea tends to be calm on Denarau Island, making it ideal for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing -- all available at the water sports center. Not many choose to swim in the sea, even though it's perfectly safe, because the sand is darker than at other Fiji beaches, which creates a cloudy water color at shore.
The free kids' clubs is well-outfitted with spacious indoor and outdoor play areas, and hosts nightly movies. Babysitting services are also available for a fee. A standout feature is the spa, which has seven treatment rooms, including a poolside spa pavilion. Treatments feature Pevonia skin care products and are available for individuals, couples, and kids. There's a fitness center with cardio and weight machines, and free weights, but it's small for the size of the property.
Tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course are available at Denarau Golf and Racquet Club, accessible by foot or shuttle.
Three dining establishments include two all-day restaurants facing the beach and a sophisticated French cafe.
The main restaurant, Nuku, is a large open-air space between the two pool areas; it serves international cuisine buffet-style for breakfast, and a la carte options for lunch and dinner. Families tend to use this space due to its casual vibe. Maravu, on the far end of the adult-only pool, also faces the ocean. The Southeast Asian restaurant serves an adult-only breakfast and is far less crowded than Nuku. It serves an upscale continental breakfast buffet, and a la carte options for lunch and dinner that focus on Thai and Chinese cuisine. Kids eat free with paying adults during select lunch and dinner times at both restaurants and during breakfast at Nuku.
L'Epicier Café is the espresso bar, bakery, and deli close to the lobby serving a range of coffee drinks, smoothies, house-made pastries and gelato. Guests can purchase sandwiches or gourmet food items for their kitchenettes like Italian pasta and wine. There is a nice shaded outdoor terrace or hi-top communal tables for using Wi-Fi or reading the newspaper.
On the other side of the lobby is a small grocery store for basics and a liquor store with plenty of choices for beer, wine, and liquor. Port Denarau Marina also has a supermarket and more dining options.
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