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Tropic of Capricorn Resort 2.5

Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beachfront hotel with affordable rates
  • Private rooms have mini-fridges and AC; some have balconies
  • Outdoor bean-shaped pool
  • Hammocks and sun loungers
  • Pretty sunset views 
  • Fun restaurant and bar next door (and more down the beach)
  • 15-minute drive to the airport
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby

Cons

  • No on-site restaurant or bar
  • No coffee/tea in rooms or in the lobby
  • No free breakfast, unlike neighboring hotels
  • Beach has darker sand than others in Fiji
  • Bathrooms are basic and show some age

Bottom Line

This budget-friendly hotel sits at the end of Wailoaloa Beach, a growing area of Nadi that attracts young backpackers from all over the world. The Tropic of Capricorn has 16 simple private rooms with mini-fridges and walk-in showers, as well as a handful of dorms. As the hotel is a 15-minute drive from the airport, guests typically stay for a night or two en route to other destinations around Fiji. The vibe is laid-back and friendly, there's a pool in the rear, and pretty sunsets can be viewed along the beach. Rates are slightly higher than at neighboring hostels and the property lacks a restaurant and bar, but the scene is a bit more adult-oriented. If free breakfast and an on-site restaurant are important, consider the nearby Aquarius On The Beach.

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Scene

Less of a backpacker vibe than nearby hotels

A narrow driveway leads to the entrance of this compact property that's practically hidden from sight due to its bigger and louder neighbor, Smugglers Cove. The outdoor pool separates a section of dorms from the airy white lobby with worn, oversized furnishings. A single staff member is usually at the front desk. Outside, past the lobby, are a terrace with seating, and a lawn and beach with tables, sun loungers, and hammocks. On one side of the hotel is an open landscape with green grass. Sunsets are particularly noteworthy and many guests crack open a beer to enjoy the show. 

There are several budget-friendly hotels with a backpacker vibe along this stretch of beach. Guests usually end up at one of the neighboring restaurants for dinner and nightlife and then return to find a more peaceful setting. Which is not to say that there isn't a touch of partying here, too. One might find a late-night kava ceremony happening between the staff and a few guests, or a bonfire that has trickled over on the beach. In any case, grownups who require sleep can wake up early to discover a quiet setting at dawn, when sporty locals are walking and jogging with their dogs on the sand.

Location

Located in a laid-back and fun beach area in Nadi that's close to the airport

The hotel sits on Wailaoloa Beach in Nadi (pronounced Nandi), on the western side of the island of Viti Levu, the largest of 330 islands in Fiji. Those with a vehicle will have free street parking, but it's not necessary to have wheels. Guests can walk a few blocks to a large convenience store for stocking the mini-fridges with snacks, drinking water, and beer. There is a modern Asian restaurant next to the store, or a few options along the beach (mainly  at Smugglers Cove, Aquarius, or Bamboo, which have occasional live entertainment). The front desk at Tropic will call for taxi transportation to anywhere in Nadi. The property is about 15 minutes from the airport, and the hotel provides free pickup. It's about a 20-minute drive to get to Port Denarau. 

Rooms

Simple private rooms with mini-fridges and showers, as well as dorms with lockers

On the two floors above reception are the 16 private rooms. These rooms have basic furnishings consisting of wood or tile floors, white sheets with patterned pillows (there are blankets in the closet), AC units, and mini-fridges, though no coffeemakers or glassware. Bathrooms can feel cramped with limited counter space and walk-in shower stalls. Note that they do not have hairdryers and only bar soap is provided. Oceanfront rooms have furnished balconies with sea views. Deluxe Rooms have a separate living room with a leather sofa and two beds, one of which is a twin. 

In the rear of the property is another building that contains a handful of shared dorm rooms, including an eight-bed and 12-bed option. These have cheap multi-colored bunkbeds, individual lockers, closets, and shared showers and toilets.  

Features

A swimming pool, beach, and lounge areas, but no on-site restaurant

The hotel's direct beach access is probably the main reason why guests choose to stay here. The water is calm and safe for swimming, though the somewhat murky color from the sand might turn off those wanting the crystal blue waters of the outer islands. Tropic has a terrace and grassy lawn with several tables, loungers, and hammocks, as well as views of the South Pacific dotted with sailboats and seaplanes. Active types can play volleyball, borrow the stand-up paddleboard, or seek out beach vendors selling horseback riding or excursions to nearby islands. Guests can also cool off in the small bean-shaped outdoor pool, but it has just a handful of white plastic loungers.

The hotel's lobby is equipped with a little kitchen that used to serve food, but as of now there's no food or drink served on the premises. The neighboring Smuggler's Cove, however, has a restaurant serving all three meals, along with drinks, live entertainment (like fire shows), and reliable free Wi-Fi. It attracts a lively crowd, making it a popular spot to meet fellow travelers. It also offers a simple and fast continental breakfast.

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Address

11 Wasawasa Rd, Newtown Beach, Nadi, Nadi 7200, Fiji

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