Private island resort with multiple accommodation types
Authentic Fijian decor throughout, including thatched roofs and a restaurant with sand floors
Small pool surrounded by cushioned daybeds and lounge chairs
Large, beautiful beach with calm water and excellent snorkeling
Weekly schedule of free and paid activities
Excellent all-inclusive dining
Small spa and outdoor yoga studio
Free, fast Wi-Fi in common area
Alcoholic drinks and espresso products are not included in all-inclusive rate
No arrival dock, which may be an issue for children or people with limited mobility
Some travelers may find island life a bit isolating
Outdoor bathrooms can be unpleasant to use when it rains
Bure interiors are dark and not all rooms have air-conditioning
No in-room internet
Octopus Resort is a three-pearl, 30-room property that appeals to many types of travelers. This private island resort is located on a tiny island in FIji’s Yasawas chain, and offers a paradisiacal location, nice amenities, and excellent all-inclusive dining for fairly reasonable rates. Octopus has private bures with authentic Fijian decor, as well as dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms. Because of this, guests run the gamut, from honeymooners to backpackers to families with children. Features include a beachfront bar, a small pool and outdoor communal space, a full-service spa, and an outdoor yoga studio. Though staff members create comprehensive schedules of weekly activities, some travelers may find island life a bit isolating. Families and honeymooners looking for something a bit more upscale should check out Octopus’ sister property, Paradise Cove Resort, which is pricier but has nicer rooms and more amenities.
A three-pearl private island resort with broad appeal
Guests arrive at Octopus Resort by jumping off a tender boat onto the beach — an act that sets the tone for what’s in store at this casual, authentically Fijian resort. Staff members gather around new arrivals, cheerfully singing Fijian welcome songs, and escort guests to the restaurant, where fruity drinks are served to commence an informal check-in. From the restaurant, guests are shown to their rooms, which range from shared dormitories to private multi-bedroom villas. This wide range of room types gives Octopus a broad appeal, and creates a unique atmosphere around the hotel. All different types of guests mingle with one another, and somehow harmoniously coexist despite their wildly different backgrounds. During our visit we met young backpackers from Berlin, honeymooners from Seattle, a retired couple from Sydney, and a multi-generational family from Christchurch. There’s a strong communal atmosphere at Octopus, between guests, staff members, and management — and it seems like there’s always something fun going on, whether it’s a staff versus guest volleyball match or guided hike around the island. But there’s no better example of the hotel’s community-oriented vibe than at dinnertime, when guests sit at long communal tables and staff members reflect on the day’s events.
In Fiji's Yasawa island chain, northwest of the Fijian mainland
Octopus Resort is located on Waya Island, in Fiji’s Yasawa chain. The Yasawas are known for their pristine beaches, crystal clear water, and excellent snorkeling and diving. The Yasawas and neighboring Mamanucas are ideal for travelers seeking paradisiacal landscapes and an “island life” atmosphere. We’d strongly recommend the Yasawas over Nadi and Denarau Island, which are commercialized hubs that may not “look like Fiji” to many first-time visitors.
There are three transfer choices for guests to reach Octopus Resort. The first is the hotel’s private speedboat, which collects arriving guests at Vuda Marina (about a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport), and transfers them to the hotel. The trip takes about an hour and half, and doesn’t make any stops along the way. Alternatively guests can book a ferry transfer from Deanrau Island with a local company known as Awesome Adventures. The ferry makes multiple stops, which makes the journey a bit longer than the hotel’s private transfer, but costs about the same amount per person. Travelers really looking to splurge can book a sea plane transfer with Pacific Island Air.
It should be noted that Octopus Resort does not have an arrival dock (though this is common in the Yasawas). Instead, guests board a small tender boat from the ferry or sea plane and are dropped off directly on the beach. Usually, due to the tide, getting off the tender boat isn’t exactly graceful and getting wet is almost guaranteed. Some guests jump onto the sand, while others step directly into the water. Either way, this may pose a challenge for people with limited mobility or those traveling with young children. However, thanks to Fijians’ innate sense of hospitality, we watched plenty of staff members carry babies — and elderly grandmothers — ashore.
An array of room types, including backpacker dormitories and multi-bedroom beachfront villas
As we previously mentioned, Octopus Resort has a wide array of room types, which appeal to everyone from backpackers, to honeymooners, to families with children. No matter the type, rooms have an authentic Fijian feel, with real thatched roofs and gorgeous hardwood accents. We didn’t get to visit all the rooms, but the Garden Bure we stayed in was particularly charming. The bure’s main bed is centered in the middle of the room, with a billowy white canopy hanging above it. The bed is dressed in white sheets and a navy fleece comforter. There’s also a twin-size bed pushed up against the far wall, but the space is a bit small for more than two people. Families traveling with children should definitely consider one of Octopus’s multi-bedroom villas. The Garden Bure’s outdoor bathroom is a real treat — except when it’s raining, like it was during our visit. Only the bathroom’s toilet and sink are covered by a roof; the shower is completely exposed to the elements, which is blissful when the sun shines, but renders the shower unusable when it rains.
Other room types include a seven-bed dormitory with a shared bathroom, a four-bed dormitory with an en-suite bathroom, Beachfront Bures, adults-only beachfront suites, and multi-bedroom family villas. It should be noted that not all room types have air-conditioning, so if AC is a must, be sure to enquire when booking.
A beautiful pool and beach, a small spa, and tons of weekly activities
Octopus Resort doesn’t have a ton of amenities, but its pool, beach, small spa, and incredible food are worth mentioning. The pool is centrally located in the middle of the property, and acts as a central hub where guests gather throughout the day. The rectangular pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and a large cushioned daybed. There are also several tables, where some guests like to eat their meals. Beyond the pool area is the resort’s stunning beach, which sprawls along the entire length of the property. Because the beach is so large, guests can spread out on the sand and find privacy along the shore. The beach’s calm water is great for swimming, and ideal for little ones to play in. The hotel has a volleyball net set up close to the bar, where guest versus staff beach volleyball games frequently break out.
Each week, hotel staff members create a schedule of daily activities that guests can take part in. Some activities are free — like morning yoga and visits to local craft markets. Others — like handline fishing, snorkel trips, Fijian cooking classes, and kayaking — incur extra charges. While this is definitely not the place for travelers seeking good nightlife, the hotel hosts after-dinner activities like traditional Fijian "mekes" and kava ceremonies. There’s also a small kids' club that has its own activities schedule for the little ones.
Octopus has a small spa and a gorgeous waterfront yoga platform, where daily classes are held. The spa has two small treatment rooms, along with a private, outdoor massage terrace. When the yoga studio isn’t being used for yoga, it also functions as an outdoor nail salon.
Excellent all-inclusive dining, though alcohol is not included
The all-inclusive dining at Octopus Resort is exceptional — especially for a three-pearl property. Daily menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are varied and filled with tons of options for all kinds of palettes and diets. Breakfast is served buffet style, and includes options like cereal and yogurt, fresh fruit, pancakes, toast, and an eggs and omelet station. Coffee and tea are included in the hotel’s dining-plan but espresso-based drinks cost a few extra dollars. Lunch is served a la carte. The hotel’s lunch menu consists of options like seared Ahi salads, chicken wraps, veggie stir-fries, and different types of burgers. There’s also a specials menu that changes daily, and always includes a fresh catch, a pizza, a curry, and a Fijian dish of the day. Dinner is served a la carte four times per week — and the menu changes every night. Guests can choose between multiple options for four different courses — soup or salad, an appetizer, a main course, and dessert. On the remaining three nights of the week, dinner is served family style, and typically revolves around a theme, like “Barbecue Night.”
Octopus’ open-air sand-floor restaurant is the epitome of island-casual. Its large communal tables foster friendliness among guests, and encourage travelers to get to know one another. While the restaurant has its own bar where guests can order drinks during meal times, the hotel’s signature spot is the beachfront Coconut Bar. Guests gather around the Coconut Bar during happy hour, or to catch the sunset in the evenings. It should be noted that alcohol is not included in the hotel’s all-inclusive rates. The restaurant and bar area is the only spot on the property that has Wi-Fi. Internet access is free for all guests, and it works well in the designated area.