Sofitel Fiji Resort And Spa
What We Love
- Each guest room offers ocean views
- Lavish Sofitel So Spa
- Kids Club keeps little ones busy
- The onsite Adrenalin Watersports Centre and the Pacific’s largest lagoon-style pool
- The Big Bula waterpark and an 18-hole golf course are within five minutes of the resort
What To Know
- The resort is located on the exclusive Denarau Island
- Request the resort’s newly refurbished rooms Family Rooms replete with bunk beds
- Indulge in Salt Restaurant’s adults-only champagne breakfast
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
When the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa first opened in 2006, it was the country’s first new international resort in three decades. Built on Denarau Island on Viti Levu (the big island), the Sofitel is a destination in itself but also ideal for those traveling to or from the outer islands and within Fiji’s main island. The rooms amble over 26 acres of landscaped grounds, fragrant with the heady smell of frangipani flowers. There are 296 guestrooms and suites, including 25 family rooms (16 luxury family rooms on the ground floor and nine family rooms above) and they all feature clean-lined minimalist furniture and Fijian art.
Bed and Bath
Superior rooms err on the small side but are well appointed with a king or two queen beds, flatscreen TVs and seating areas. Luxury rooms have a contemporary island feel with stitched leather headboards, polished Fijian shell desks and white shutters. Meanwhile, suites offer Jacuzzis on their balconies and walk-in closets. All guestrooms offer private balconies or terraces, crisp white linens and ocean views.
The tranquil So Spa, modeled after a typical Fijian village, offers nine private bures, whirlpools, a steam room, outdoor Jacuzzis and treatments incorporating the island’s coconut, tiare and frangipani. Headed by a French executive chef, food is a big part of the resort experience here, with the buffet-style Lagoon restaurant (its seafood nights are legendary), the alfresco poolside eatery Salt and V Restaurant’s haute cuisine. Experience traditional Fijian dancing in the evenings and indulge in a delicious feast. Instead of napping by the giant freeform lagoon pool, try a raft of activities such as tennis, pottery and fire dancing.
In the Area
The Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is one of seven international resorts located on Denarau Island – a swanky manmade tourist enclave that also includes a marina and port, private villas, a champion golf course, racquet club and shopping area. Port Denarau Marina is where you can take an island-hopping day trip, a longer cruise or transfer out to the Mamanuca Islands. While the beaches on Denarau aren’t as beautiful as the stunning stretches of sand found in the outer islands, you’ll still find swaying palm trees, balmy weather, fun kids clubs and languid lagoon pools to laze by. As the sun slips into the ocean, many of Denarau’s resorts (including the Sofitel) hold ceremonies where a Fijian ‘warrior’ ignites traditional torches to the beat of drums. Order a Midori Illusion from the Latitude 17 Cocktail Bar at the Sofitel and revel in the tropical vibe.
How to Get There
We have stayed at the Sofitel a number of times over the years, but this was the first time we had stayed at the Waitui Beach Club, the adults only area. In a word it was “fabulous”.
We had been a little concerned as there is construction going on at the Sofitel but as it turned out the Waitui Beach Club was not affected.
From the moment we arrived at the (separate) check in to when we checked out, the service was fantastic and staff were wonderful.
It was no doubt the most relaxing holiday we have ever had. The daily routines soon became a pattern. Breakfast (included and extensive a la carte options as well as self-serve cereal and fruit) at the poolside restaurant, followed by a few steps to the sun loungers where the day unfolded. Complimentary water and a very attentive ‘personal butler service’ meant we wanted for nothing during the long, lazy, warm, sunny days. A note here about the coffee. We were pleasantly surprised to find they do a very acceptable flat white which was a huge relief to us 3 a day coffee drinkers.
Lunch was taken at the sun lounger or by retreating to the restaurant area. The lunch menu has excellent variety and includes light snack options. A highlight of the day is the not to be missed cocktail hour from 5pm-6pm with complimentary champagne, wine, beer and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. A word here about the “nibbles”. They were sensational.
We were there for 6 nights and we had 5 dinners there. For the other night we fancied a curry so went to Salt restaurant (at the Sofitel) where we had an excellent butter chicken.
Now onto the dinners and let me say from the outset the steak selection is terrific and we had some of the nicest and tenderest cuts we’ve ever had. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Over the 5 nights we tried 5 of the entrees. The standout was the Kokoda Waitui but the Garlic Seafood Pot, Chicken Liver Pate, Pork Belly and Salt & Pepper Squid were all very nice and would go into the ‘would have again’ category.
There are 10 steak options ranging from T-bone and Ribeye on the bone through to sirloin and the standout eye fillet. I tried the eye filet, Ribeye on the bone, sirloin and the eye filet again! The eye filet was as tender as I’ve ever had before. Sauces to accompany were yummy. I did have the pork fillet one night and it was very good. There was a nice selection of Sides and the broccoli, bean, roasted almond and feta was the star dish.
Regretfully we only managed dessert once – too full from the first 2 courses lol - and that was the super yummy Valrhona Chocolate Marquise.
We had our wedding anniversary while we were there and were delighted to have a red rose petal decorated table on the night with a special anniversary dessert. A lovely touch that was much appreciated.
We did manage a couple of walks over the 6 days we were there. A walk along the promenade down to the Sheraton and a stroll through the Hilton next door easily convinced us we were staying at the best place. We walked to the Marina – an easy 15 minutes – which we found a bit underwhelming.
By the way, with respect to the construction work and the various Sofitel restaurants, do not be concerned. If you know the Sofitel the poolside Salt has moved into the hotel and occupies the area that was V Restaurant, and has a poolside tables area. Lagoon is still operating with slightly reduced space.
We had a fabulous 6 days thanks in no small part to the wonderful staff so a massive thank you and shout out to Ali, Silviner and all those terrific staff: Annie, Salome, Salote, Taitusi, Paulini, Rigi, Eveni, Lusiana, Maggie, Vili, Mili, Mary, Jerry, George, Solo, Pau, Esther, Oswald, Maria, Aca, Seru, Sharika and Teresia.
It is a very special place. We will most definitely be back.
Vinaka vaka levu
I booked three rooms for family for a week in July - 1 grandchild, 4 adults.
This resort is not 5 star in its current form! It would only just scrape a four star rating in my opinion.
Firstly, the positives:
1. The staff are, on the whole, very amenable - extremely friendly and great with kids. The exception is the reception staff who appear to go out of their way to actively seek not to help in any way.
2. The Kids Club was excellent and my three year old granddaughter absolutely loved it. Especially good as they were not charging for use during our stay due to the ongoing construction work - more on that later!
3. On the whole the food was pretty good but the prices are very high (consistent right across Denarau). Whilst the food was pretty good, the service was extremely “hit and miss”. Rarely was there a time when we did not have to ask two or three times where the food or our drinks had got to.
4. The pool area and surrounding facilities were generally pretty good. The gym was adequate but small by resort standards. The need for towel tokens to receive a fresh towel seemed like a process that should have been left in the 1990’s!
5. The report from wife, daughter and son were that the Spa treatments were very good.
Now, the negatives:
1. The rooms are not up to the standard of a five star resort. They are extremely dated and with inadequate power outlets for today’s requirements - no outlets at or near the bed for phones, etc.
2. The bathrooms are extremely small - just room for a toilet and a bath - with shower in the bath. Barely room for one person in the room at a time. The bath areas are showing a lot of wear and tear - chipped enamel in the bath, terrible grouting, taps separating from the wall grout and sealant. Not what one would expect from a five star rated hotel!
3. The resort is under a re-construction which everyone made clear anytime I wanted to make a point. I understand the need for re-construction but that does not excuse poor service or unwillingness to assist. I was also surprised that the resort would continue to charge the equivalent of the other nearby resorts when there is such a lot of construction going on.
4. The room make up service left a lot to be desired - invariably either no towels, no replacement of shampoo, leaving empty bottles of shampoo, etc. There did not appear to be any consistency in how the rooms were made up each day.
5. The WiFi internet is absolutely woeful! This was fanfared as a free service at reception - NB - All hotels now provide free WiFi in my experience. When we signed on it advised that it was free for up to 512KBps but costs for higher speed with maximum speed of 700KBPs for FJD40!!! That’s free for less than 1 megabyte per second! Not enough speed to even update facebook! When we went to the Sheraton for dinner the download speed was 225MBps - 500 times the speed of Sofitel. Ridiculous! We had to buy Vodafone SIM cards to ensure we could stay connected. This is unacceptable for a supposedly five star hotel. The hotel advised us that they are rolling out a fiber network and all will be fixed in due course. This was, of course, completely unhelpful to us!
All in all the Resort was quite disappointing and not up to the standard I would have expected of something bearing the Sofitel name - Sofitel use the banner “Luxury Hotels” to describe their brand of hotel - this did not fit that description.
Lastly, I will be very interested to see if this review is responded to. The track record of management at this hotel appear to only respond to really positive reviews and provide no response to others. I will await the response.
Stayed for 3 nights with my husband and 2 teenage kids. I actually spent my birthday here. The hotel was being renovated but yet they kept disturbance at a minimum. One of the many five star hotels in Denarau island. Accessible by Bula bus just like all Denarau Resort hotels.
1. Check in was quick. A tiny welcome drink of tropical fruit juice was served. Staff are very friendly. Gave us the Bula spirit which is amazing.
2. The hotel is ageing which is why they are renovating.
3. Quite small bathroom and the bath tub was very old and looked like it was coated with paint to hide its age.
4. Very slow internet connection.
5. Service is okay even on busy times.
6. It has beach access which connects you to other Denarau Island hotels.
Overall still a good stay because service was okay.