Denarau Island, Fiji

Denarau Island is the home to many of Fiji's 5 star resorts as well as being the gateway to most of the Mamanuca Island resorts.

It is located 10km west of Nadi town and less than 15km from Nadi Airport. Travel time from the airport is around 25 minutes. The islands resorts offer first class accommodation with a variety of different accommodation types to choose from.

On the western shore is the Wyndham Resort, then the Radisson Blu and the Sheraton. Along the Northern coast is the Sheraton Villas, the Westin then the Sofitel Resort and finally the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort. The Terrace Apartments are a cheaper option and are located next to the marina.

We stayed at the Radisson Blu and it is a great resort for kids with fantastic pools, one especially for kids with a great water slide. The kids club was fantastic - so much for the kids to do. The one bedroom rooms are a good size for small families and are good value compared to other Denarau resorts. Breakfast was great and there were plenty of good restaurants for dinner as well as the option to dine at one of the other resorts on the island, as well as the marina.

Bula Bus

Bula Bus, Denarau. image © Kids Holidays

Just about all the resorts on the island offer kids facilities with family friendly meals, babysitting and kids clubs standard.

Getting around the island is easy. The island is serviced by the Bula Bus which provides a regular service between the resorts and the marina, but unlike our last visit a number of years ago, it is no longer free. The cheap option is the local bus. For just $1 per person you can ride all the way into Nadi. The only problem was that it doesn't stop at the marina on the way out - so a 10 minute walk is required - oh and there's no air cond. There are also taxis available at all resorts and are reasonably priced.

Radisson Blu kids pool

Radisson Blu kids pool. image © Kids Holidays

Dining options are plentiful with all resorts having many different restaurants to choose from. The resorts welcome visitors from other resorts to their restaurants so you will never be short of something new to try. All resorts also offer family friendly choices with special kids menus and meal times.

If you're heading off to one of the nearby island resorts you will leave from the marina. The marina area has a number of quality restaurants and shops and is a good alternative to shopping in Nadi for souvenirs - much more relaxing. If you're looking for somewhere to eat away from the main resorts then there are plenty of good restaurants to choose from including the hard Rock Cafe and Cardos Seafood and Steakhouse, all overlooking the water.

There are also a few shops outside the Sheraton resort where you can grab a bite to eat or stock up on supplies for your holidays. Water, chips, beer etc. are a little less expensive than you'll pay in the resorts.

Denarau features plenty of activities, highlighted by the 18 hole golf course, tennis, putt putt golf and a water park. The championship golf course is available to visitors and also features a club house with meals and a bar.

Denarau is not your typical Fiji island. It is built on reclaimed swamp land - the water is murky and the sand is black. It is not a great place for swimming, beach activities and certainly not snorkelling. On the western horizon you can see Malolo Island and this is where you need to head if you want the golden sand and the clear water.

On the western shore at high tide the beach is inaccessible but at low tide there is enough sand for a walk along the beach. Water based activities include canoeing and jet skis and are available to hire at most resorts.


Nadi. image © Kids Holidays

Denarau is a great place to stay - close to the airport and with plenty of quality accommodation to choose from. The choice of restaurants is the best you're going to get in Fiji and the family facilities are second to none. What's not good is the cost - these resorts are at the high end of the market and you can stay at a lot cheaper quality resorts. Although Denarau is marketed as an island resort it is really part of the mainland which means the beach is far from perfect, but that is the case with many mainland resorts in Fiji. If you want the blue water and golden sand then you need to head off to one of the nearby island resorts.

Combining an island stay with one of the five star resorts on Denarau is the way to go.

For more information on Fiji check our Fiji accommodation guide.


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