Fiji is synonymous with pearly white sandy beaches with aqua-coloured warm water, palm trees swaying in the wind and, of course, coconuts, but not all places in Fiji are picture-perfect. When it comes to staying in Fiji, you need to do your research to ensure that what you think you’re getting from looking at glossy photos on a hotel’s website is the real deal. Rest assured, The InterContinental Fiji is the real deal.
The resort, which is located on the main island of Viti Levu, offers something for everyone, from its garden, poolside, lagoon and beachfront rooms – ideal for families – to its club lounge access accommodation, complete with its private pool where you can relax in a pod poolside all day long reading a book and drinking fresh coconuts.
Fiji is renowned for its hospitality, and its Planet Trekkers club is interactive and engaging for children of all ages. For those who have kids, the kids club is exceptional. From crab racing and fishing to cupcake making and dressing up for the nightly fire show to the kids’ disco in the evening – one thing I can assure you is your children won’t be bored.
Pools are important to me when travelling, and this InterContinental property boasts three unique places to cool off from the tropical heat. The all-ages pool has excellent shade protection in some areas and varies in-depth, so even the littlest of kids can splash around in the water all day.
The Adults Only pool is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of swimming in. The infinity pool is perfectly designed to align with the horizon of Natadola Bay, so you can look out to the ocean for miles and miles while sipping on a mojito.
The Club InterContinental rooms have access to their own pool to enjoy too.
Speaking of Natadola Bay, this beach has been voted by CNN as one of the whitest beaches in the world – so you can be sure to live out your Fiji fantasies here and not be disappointed. Many other big hotel chains, such as Sofitel, Sheraton, Hilton and Raddisson, are all based on the main island, like InterContinental but on a man-made island called Denarau. While these resorts are kid-friendly, the beach in Denarau is unswimmable. It has black sand, and the water is muddy all day long – not the Fiji you may have hoped for.
Food and drink
When it comes to food, there’s something for all appetites and all ages. The breakfast buffet at Sanasana restaurant, the main restaurant, offers a great place to enjoy the breath-taking scenery overlooking the Meke Lawn and Natadola Bay for all those who dine there. There is a different evening-themed buffet each night, from Italian to my favourite, Fijian night, where your taste buds can travel the world during your stay. Kokoda, a Fijian traditional dish made of raw Mahi Mahi fish cured in lime juice, spices and coconut milk is a must to try.
For something more fine dining, Navo restaurant hits the spot. The breakfast here is a great way to start the day. Navo offers an all-inclusive breakfast gourmet buffet combined with hot dishes that you can select from a menu. My favourite is the Navo breakfast; two eggs poached, tomato, cucumber, grilled line fish, green leaves and vinaigrette.
Dinner service is adults-only, offering kids the ability to dine from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and for the whole Navo dining experience, you can’t go past its degustation, offering fresh tuna to start, local lobster for mains and finished with a Fijian pineapple coconut and lime panna cotta.
The Tomba Lounge is ideal when you’re after something more casual during the day. Situated between the adults and family pool, it’s the perfect spot to dine while soaking in the famous Fijian sunsets and sipping on a cocktail, and it has a great kids’ menu too that ranges from carrot sticks with hummus to fish and chips. Think wood-fired pizza, pasta, burgers or even a fresh Greek salad with Fiji’s Mahi Mahi fish on the side.
I have had many spa treatments during my travels, and this resort’s spa is one of my favourites. From the tranquil cabana escapes allowing you to get a massage under open-air cabanas dotted along with the resort’s lawn lining the beach to the spa’s Orchid Room, there’s something to relax your mind and soul during your stay here.
Before and after your treatment, experience the spa’s signature Wai-Zone, Fijian for water, the essence of life. You commence with a relaxing rain shower, followed by an ice shower, the warm hydrotherapy hot plunge pool, another rain shower, and then the steam room with a third rain shower to finish.
Once inside, the spa treatments perfectly blend Eastern and Western cultures, bringing balance and mindfulness to your whole experience here. Afterwards, you are treated to an oat cookie and herbal tea to soothe your spa journey.
The great thing about this resort is that you can do as little or as much as you like. A visit to the local school is such a rewarding experience, especially if you have kids. Each time I have visited I have donated a laptop computer for the teachers and students to use, who all appreciated it.
Local village visits to see the Fijian way of life can also be arranged through the resort’s friendly concierge, along with a trip to the local shopping markets.
For those who are a little more active, the hotel is renowned for its world-class golf course that has a breath-taking backdrop of coral reefs and the Pacific Ocean. After 18 holes, you can enjoy a few drinks in the authentic Fijian design clubhouse to finish your day.
If you love snorkelling, you can dive right in. Natadola Bay boasts some of the best snorkelling just off the beach, or for those enthusiasts who want to see more – you can book for a snorkelling trip that takes you on a boat further into the bay.
The resort also offers a host of non-motorised and motorised sports for everyone’s enjoyment at an additional cost.
After a stay here, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Fiji and this resort and will already be planning your return trip. And if it’s love you’re after – you can even get married at the resort’s chapel with a beach reception, where you and your guests can dance the night away as the sun sets.
Fiji Airways flies to Fiji’s Nadi International Airport direct from Los Angeles, Wellington and Auckland and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. From London Heathrow, fly British Airways direct to LAX and then Fiji Airways to Nadi.
InterContinental Golf Resort and Spa is a 45-minute drive from Nadi International airport. This is important because many Fijian hotels may have fantastic beaches, but they may be located on an island off the mainland. This means you still need to catch a two-three hour boat ride, take a helicopter or even another domestic flight with Fiji Airways to get to your final destination. After a long-haul flight, this is sometimes the last thing you would want to do.
Rooms can be booked from £280 per night.