Fiji family holidays are fabulous. Think stunning beaches, fantastic kids’ clubs, snorkelling surfing and sunshine. With dozens of package deals available Fiji is one of the top family-friendly destinations for Australians.
But how do you decided which resort is right for you?
Sydney illustrator Alexandra Nea Graham loves staying in Fiji with her husband James and two children, Samuel 4 and Eleanor 1. She says it’s the beautiful surrounds, friendly people and great value for money that sees them come back year after year.
Alexandra has been to three of the top resorts for families in Fiji: Malolo, Castaway and the Raddison. So we asked her to tell us, which one she throught was the best for families.
Here’s her run down of the best Fiji family hotels.
Like many of Fiji’s resorts, Malolo is all-inclusive. However, you can choose other options. Alex says families should budget about $400 per night.
To get to Malolo Alex’s family chose a sea plane. But you can also catch a water taxi, a ferry or charter a helicopter.
“The location takes a bit of getting to, but once you are there you can relax and unwind and feel completely at home, a very safe environment for the children,” Alex says.
The rooms at Malolo all have a tropical island breezy feeling with high ceilings, overhead fans and air conditioning. Alex’s accommodation had two rooms – the first family room had couches that convert to beds, and another partitioned room that held the main bed with an ensuite off to the side.
Of course the kids largely care about the pool. Alex says Malolo has two “smallish” pools, one of which is adults only with a swim up cocktail bar.
For the adults a large factor in choosing a Fiji resort is the kids’ club. Alex says it looked fabulous, but her son, who was only two at the time, refused to go. Instead, Alex booked a nanny (something Fiji is renowned for).
“The nanny was great,” Alex says. “We could pop him to bed in the evening and the nanny would sit outside the bure and mind him whilst he slept and we could go and enjoy an adult only dinner together.”
The verdict: 4.5 stars: “The food was excellent and the people were incredibly friendly plus we loved the beautiful Plantation-style house.”
Another of Fiji’s top family-friendly all-inclusive resorts, families should budget about $550 per night for a stay at Castaway.
Alex says families keen on Castaway should look out for specials where you can upgrade to beachfront bures or save 60 per cent on the rack rate.
Just like Malolo this resort is a fair way away from Nadi. Options include ferries, water taxis, sea planes or helicopters.
Alex says Castaway’s rooms are similar to Malolo in terms of layout – but they have a larger ensuite bathroom at the rear.
The pool at Castaway is excellent and larger than Malolo, Alex says. Castaway also has a large adults-only tropical oasis pool (for when the kids are at kids’ club).
Alex says the kids club did look fabulous, however her children both refused to go. Instead the couple waited until the kids were asleep and then had a nanny sit outside the room and mind them “whilst we went and had beautiful dinners each night.”
The verdict: 4.8 stars: “The beach was excellent and the pools were fabulous. The layout of the bures around the island works really well and the beachfront options are just heavenly.”
Unlike Castaway and Malolo the Raddison is not all-inclusive. Alex says families should budget around $170 per night to stay at this mainland resort located just 20 minutes from Nadi airport by taxi.
Alex says families looking for a real Fiji experience would be better to take the time to travel out to the island resorts. While the rooms at The Radisson had plenty of space for families, Alex says they “felt too clinical”
“After a week at Castaway we felt spoilt and coming to Radisson we felt a little deflated. In future we would skip the mainland and just stick to the luxury and friendliness of the islands. They felt like a home away from home, whereas these mainland resorts were just way too big and sprawling for us.”
The kids did, however, love the pool at the Raddison. Alex says it was a huge hit with the kids.
The pool runs through the middle of the resort in a sprawling gold coast theme park style layout of twists and turns, kids areas, adults areas. The kids loved the pool, it was a great fun for them to explore.
The verdict: 3.5 stars: “For what it is its great value. But for our family it wasn’t the type of Fiji experience we wanted. We loved and much preferred the white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, friendly staff and amazing food on the islands.”