Where to Stay in Fiji – A Guide to Choosing the BEST Area and Hotels
For such a small island, there are a lot of different areas to choose from when planning your holiday in Fiji. This blog is a guide to help you decide where to stay in Fiji based on what the area offers. It also includes my personal recommended Fiji hotels for every budget type!
When planning a holiday in Fiji it can be hard to know where to stay in Fiji exactly. The main island (Viti Levu) is huge and then there are another 300+ other islands around to choose from!
Do you stay on a small island? Should you explore the capital city? Are the hotels on tiny islands too expensive? How hard is it to get there? Is Nadi really that bad?
These are all questions I had before I booked my own hotels in Fiji on my recent trip. Chances are, you might have some of the same questions!
So, I am writing this blog to help you decide where to stay in Fiji. I’ve included a list of the best hotels as well as the best areas based on what you want to get out of your trip! You’ll also find the advantages and disadvantages of each area and hotel recommendations to suit any budget!
*For the purpose of this post, $1 FJD = $0.47 USD
Choosing Where to Stay in Fiji – The Different Areas & Islands
Deciding where to stay in Fiji is so much more than just picking a nice hotel.
This tiny island nation isn’t all that tiny when it comes to getting around on a short vacation. Between traffic on the main island and limited ferries to get out to the smaller islands, it is vital that you book a hotel in the area in which you plan to spend the most time.
For this reason, I have selected the best areas to stay in Fiji (shown on the map above and described in more detail below!)
My best advice for deciding where to stay in Fiji would be to decide on an area to stay first, and then choose a hotel in that location. Once you’ve decided where in Fiji exactly you want to base yourself, then it is time to pick a hotel!
Below, I have included the best hotels (for every budget) in each area along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
You will likely fly into the Nadi airport which makes Nadi the easiest place to stay. Nadi is a city of about 42,000 people on Fiji’s largest main island of Viti Levu. It sits on the coast and many hotels are located here.
Nadi offers a city vibe mixed with a beach vibe making it a good combination for a place to stay. Nadi is also the most budget-friendly area in Fiji in terms of accommodation.
Benefits of staying in Nadi:
- Very close to the airport
- Lots of affordable and nice hotels to choose from
- Many excursions or day trips available
- Accessible and cheap shopping
- Affordable restaurants and bars
- Lots of fun and interesting things to do in Nadi
Disadvantages of staying in Nadi:
- The beach isn’t as nice as on the islands
- Lack of “island vibe”
- There can be some traffic for getting around
Where to stay in Nadi: My recommended Nadi hotels
The Wailoaloa Beach area in Nadi is very nice with a good beach and several hotels in a row offering a good selection of restaurants all within walking distance. In this area, there are a few hotels but my recommended ones are:
Budget: Bamboo Backpackers
Dorms go for as little as $16 FJD and private rooms are $55 FJD for one person. The onsite bar and restaurant are always busy and offer a social vibe for solo travelers.
Mid-range Price: Smugglers Cove
Beautiful hotel with a nice pool and an amazing restaurant with cheap drinks! Expect to pay about $125 FJD per night for a standard double room with a mini-refrigerator, kettle, private bathroom, and balcony.
Exclusive pool and restaurant for guest use only. It is the tallest building in the area offering incredible views of the coastline and sunsets! A King Studio Room with a sea view goes for around $300 FJD.
Denarau is only a few minutes drive from the Nadi airport and is centered around the main port. Port Denarau is where all of the ferries to the outer islands depart as well as many day excursions.
If you want to catch a ferry to one of the islands, you may need to stay a night or two in Denarau before or after your island stay due to limited ferry timetables. Many vacationers often stay in Denarau for a couple of nights before heading out to the islands. Here, they can do some shopping and prepare for their island getaway.
Benefits of staying in Denarau:
- lots of hotels to choose from
- close proximity to the Nadi airport and Port Denarau
- good value hotels with luxury pools and services
- ideal location for day trips and excursions
- lots of shopping and restaurants nearby
Disadvantages of staying in Denarau:
- No island vibe
- very touristic with little to no locals around
- limited beach access
- no “budget” accommodation options (for budget options, stay in Nadi which is nearby)
Where to stay in Denarau: My recommended hotels in Denarau
Denarau is a very touristy area composed of resorts, restaurants, and shops all aimed at tourists. Therefore, out of all of the areas to stay in Fiji, there is the biggest selection of very nice hotels and resorts in Denarau. Here are my personal top picks:
Mid-range Price: Radisson Blu Resort Fiji
This resort is just huge offering tons of activities for both families as well as couples. There is an adults-only pool as well as an area specifically for kids. It is beachfront and offers spa services as well. The Port is only just around the corner. A two-person king suite will cost around $400 FJD per night.
Luxury: Sheraton Denarau Villas
This is a 5-star resort perfect for big groups or families wanting a bit of luxury. The villas sleep up for 7 people and cost about $1,000 FJD per night. Close access to shops, as well as tons of activities right on the resort meaning you could stay here comfortably for your entire trip.
The Coral Coast is an area located just over an hour away from Nadi. Here, you will find nice beaches and various resorts offering an island vibe without actually having to get on a boat or drive too far!
Benefits of staying on the Coral Coast:
- Good snorkeling
- Not far from Nadi and no boat transfer required
- Relaxing and away from the city
- Better value for money hotels
Disadvantages of staying on the Coral Coast:
- Far from lots of shops and restaurants
- Can be difficult to organize certain day trips or excursions
- Beaches are often filled with coral (not the white sandy beaches you’d expect to see in Fiji)
Where to stay on the coral Coast: My recommended hotels on the Coral Coast
On the Coral Coast many of the hotels are larger, more spread out, and oceanfront making them the perfect beach getaway. Expect pools, onsite bars and restaurants, palm trees everywhere, and sunsets on the ocean! Staying in a “bure” (a Fijian-style bungalow) is a great way to experience Fijian living! These are my specific hotel recommendations on the Coral Coast:
Budget: Tambua Sands Beach Resort
Located right on the beach with a pool, this is about as budget as it gets on the Coral Coast without compromising comfort too much. A two-person “bure” costs just over $100 FJD per night for two people.
Mid-range Price: Maui Palms
Located only 15 minutes from Sigatoka, this hotel offers everything that a resort would without the price point. You can get a taxi into town for local meals, or eat at the reasonably priced onsite restaurant. Expect to pay about $250 FJD for a two-person Bure’ with an ocean view.
Luxury: Outrigger Beach Resort
Mixing beach life and luxury, this hotel is for those wanting a bit of pampering on their holiday. There are lots of on-site activities and the snorkeling right in front of the resort is great. Expect a couple of pools, amazing kids club, tons of delicious restaurants to choose from, and sunset bars!
A bit further from Nadi than the Coral Coast is the Pacific Coast. The heart of the Pacific Coast is a town called Pacific Harbour where there are some restaurants and shops as well as accommodation options.
It takes about 2-2.5 hours to get to the Pacific Coast from Nadi airport by taxi. Expect a local bus to take 3.5-4 hours.
Benefits of staying on the Pacific Coast:
- Amazing beaches
- Lots of adventure excursions nearby
- Perfect location for the famous shark scuba diving
- Only 45 minutes from Fiji’s capital city Suva, which makes a good day trip
- Super relaxing and quiet
Disadvantages of staying on the Pacific Coast:
- More expensive than the cities
- Less restaurant and shopping options (only one over-priced grocery store)
- Select accommodation available
- Can feel very isolated
Where to stay on the Pacific Coast: My recommended hotels on the Pacific Coast
The Pacific Coast is more expensive than the cities or even the Coral Coast, but the beaches are incredible and there are lots of different things to do in the area making it well worth it!
Budget and Mid-range Price: Uprising Beach Resort
The dorm beds are good budget-friendly options in the area, a dorm goes for $50 FJD a night. If you want your own room, a bure with a fan and garden view costs $170 FJD per night for two people. The resort is located on the beach and there is a pool. Uprising has a restaurant on-site and is only a 15-minute walk from the town center (or $3 FJD taxi ride) where there is a grocery store and reasonably priced restaurants.
Luxury: Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji
If you want luxury then Nanuku is the place for you! For $1400 FJD a night for a villa for two people with an ocean view, you will have access to 5-star facilities including a pool, bar, restaurant, spa, and a fitness center. The resort is only a three-minute drive from Pacific Harbour Village making it easy to go into town whenever you choose.
Suva is the capital city of Fiji. It often gets a bad reputation with tourists as it is big, a bit dirty, and has limited things to do. While I wouldn’t recommend spending your entire time in Suva, it is worth a night or two in order to experience a big city in Fiji! There is an airport in Suva or you can drive from Nadi which takes about 3.5-4 hours.
Benefits of staying in Suva:
- Cheap shopping and markets
- Can visit the museum, president’s house, and Grand Pacific hotel (there are actually lots of interesting things to do in Suva!)
- Lots of restaurants and bars
- City experience to see how most Fijians live
Disadvantages of Staying in Suva:
- Less safe than other areas of Fiji
- Dirty and busy with traffic
- Good beaches are a little ways away
Where to stay in Suva: My recommended hotels in Suva
Budget: City Apartment
This hotel is right in the city. You can get a double room with a pool view for two people with a private bathroom, wifi, and air conditioning for around $130 FJD per night.
Mid-range Price: Novotel Suva
This hotel is 6km from the city center making it a bit of an escape from the city while being only a short taxi ride away. They have an ocean-view swimming pool, onsite gym, and offer tons of excursions. A double room with air conditioning and a balcony costs about $200 FJD per night.
Luxury: Grand Pacific Hotel
This hotel is where the Queen stayed when she hosted Fiji! It is pure luxury with an ocean view. It does come with a price tag of about $370 FJD per night for a standard room. IF you want the royal suite, then it will cost you $1,900 FJD per night!
Outer Tiny Islands
For the best beaches and the most relaxing holidays, you must head off from the main Fiji Island and visit a smaller, more isolated island. If island life is what you’re looking for, then this is where to stay in Fiji for you!
There are literally hundreds of islands to choose from and they’re all beautiful!
One main thing to consider when booking is how long the ferry ride is to get there, how much it costs, and how frequent the ferry is.
Benefits of staying on an Island:
- The BEST beaches
- Relaxing holiday
- Island vibe and culture
- Good snorkeling close by
Disadvantages of staying on an Island:
- More expensive for accommodation and food than on the main island
- Must take a long ferry to get there
- Can be limited things to do
- Must eat at the hotel restaurants
Where to stay on the islands of Fiji: My recommended hotels on the Outer Islands
Budget: Mantaray Island Resort (Yasawa Islands)
Budget options are hard to find on the outer islands, but luckily Mantaray exists! For $49 FJD a night you get a dorm bed. This is perfect for those wanting a real island getaway experience without paying huge amounts of money.
Mid-range Price: Paradise Cove Resort (Lautoka)
This island is a little more high-tech than some of the others offering wifi and airconditioned room! At the same time, you get the island lifestyle and a beachfront resort. A one-bedroom bungalow that sleeps up to three people costs $280 FJD.
Luxury: Navutu Stars Resort (Yasawa Islands)
This resort is located on an isolated island. All bungalows are beachfront and there are tons of free activities to keep you busy! The resort is small keeping the experience personal and relaxing. A two-person bungalow will cost about $600 FJD with breakfast included and a patio with an ocean view.
*Note: When booking accommodation on the outer islands be sure to check if they have a compulsory food plan or not. This price is usually in the fine print and not included in the room rate.
Where to Stay in Fiji: My Personal Opinion
I think the perfect holiday to Fiji is a mix of city and beach. So for me, the best way to visit Fiji is to spend a couple of days in Nadi as well as a couple of days in a relaxing location such as the Pacific Coast or on an island. By doing this, you’ll get to experience the best parts of Fiji- the people and the beaches!
Not staying on an island? Book one of these amazing day trips instead:
Have you stayed in a particularly great hotel in Fiji ? Tell me about it in the comments and I might just add it to this blog!
Don’t forget to check out all of my other blogs about Fiji! Also, some of my favorite articles such as:
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars many times. World Nomads is a great company to use if you are an adventure traveler like us!
May 20, 2020