Housekeeping sometimes inconsistent, particularly with linens and towels
Narrow beach might be a disappointment
Guest Room balconies are small
This 278-room upscale hotel -- on the man-made island of Denarau -- opened in 2008 and was refurbished in 2015. It boasts great bars and restaurants (some of the best on the island), including a gourmet Thai and adult-only restaurant. Simple but contemporary rooms come with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, minibars, and furnished balconies. The one- and two-bedroom suites also have living rooms, kitchenettes, and washer/dryers. Pretty grounds offer five lagoon–style pools, a swim-up bar, a waterslide for kids, and romantic daybeds. Other amenities include a kids' club, a day spa, free Wi-Fi, and nightly entertainment. Part of the beach has a rocky barrier, but that's typical for the island. The apartment-style rooms at the neighboring Wyndham Resort are a bit more stylish, so it's worth comparing rates.
Resort has a compact layout, but with areas for both families and adults
The Radisson Blu delivers a good first impression with its A-frame entrance surrounded by gorgeous manicured gardens and tall palms. Guests are greeted with a boisterous welcome ceremony of staff delivering a roaring Bula and traditional drum beat (there's also a goodbye ceremony). Luggage is whisked away by attendants and guests walk toward reception where they receive fresh juice and a cold towel. The palatial lobby has a soothing design incorporating pale gray, white, and hints of Fijian flair -- which transitions to the lobby bar decorated with bright pops of color. Outside, lush grounds feature a series of lagoon-style pools and peaceful shaded daybeds surrounded by foliage.
Many travelers choose Denarau Island for the sake of convenience, though most agree the "real" Fiji can be found on the outer islands. Thanks to kid-friendly amenities and adult-only areas, the resort sees both families and couples.
On the western side of Denarau Island -- a pedestrian-friendly area close to restaurants, golf, and tennis with great sunset views
Radisson Blu is located on the man-made Denarau Island, a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport. Situated on the island of Viti Levu, the largest of 330 islands in Fiji, Denarau is home to recognizable Western-style resorts that provide safety, comfort, and an easy commute to the airport.
Another convenience of choosing Denarau is having access to the Golf and Tennis Club, as well as Port Denarau Marina, which offers a supermarket, restaurants, and bars. This is also where ferries from companies like South Seas Cruises depart to outer islands. Though guests can walk there in about 30 to 40 minutes, it's easy to catch the open-air Bula Bus (for a fee) that makes regular rounds around the island. There are also frequent buses to Nadi town on the Westbus (yellow bus) for an even cheaper rate. Guests with kitchens can go shopping at the Wyndham next door, where there is a basic grocery store in the lobby.
Contemporary rooms have small flat-screen TVs, minibars, and robes, but few have direct ocean views.
Radisson's nearly 300 rooms and suites experienced a makeover in 2015, but they're still not as modern or stylish as those as the Wyndham next door. Most overlook the pools and lush gardens, but some face the rear toward the driveway and island golf course. They're clean and contemporary with simple decor that includes black-and-white photography and deep red accents across the beds. All rooms are equipped with either a king-size bed or two twins, a sofa, flat-screen TV, DVD player, minibar (filled with soda, wine, beer, water, and chocolate), and coffee- and tea-making facilities. Spacious bathrooms have jetted shower/tub combos and This Works bath products; bathrobes and slippers are provided. Balconies or terraces have two chairs and a table, but they may feel cramped.
Larger apartment-style rooms come with one or two bedrooms and have larger balconies. They also include a washer/dryer, pullout sofa, and modern kitchen with large refrigerator, dishwasher, coffeemaker, microwave, and dining area.
Honeymooners receive fruit and sparkling wine upon arrival.
A large swimming pool complex, spa, fitness center, and narrow beach
Denarau Island's ocean is not as aqua-blue as at other islands in Fiji, and the sand has a slightly brownish tint. There's also a rocky barrier to prevent erosion, creating a narrow beach. Still, the water is perfectly safe to swim in and consistently calm. The adjacent walkway has several seating areas and partially shaded daybeds facing the ocean. A water sports area is located here, with Hobie Cat sailboats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and motorized rentals and tours, like jet skis and banana boat rides.
The resort has a complex of five lagoon pools surrounded by non-cushioned loungers and bright blue umbrellas, and separated by walking bridges. The family area includes the main pool and a swim-up bar. In addition, there's a kid-friendly pool with a waterslide, a toddler pool, and an adult-only pool that stays fairly quiet. Parents can also use the free kids' club, which has indoor and outdoor play areas, and sits conveniently next to the small fitness center.
The resort's Harmony Retreat spa offers open-air treatment rooms made from local wood. Couples or singles treatments are available, including nail services, massages, wraps, and facials using Pure Fiji products. Golfers and tennis players will have access to an 18-hole golf course and several tennis courts on Denarau island (for a fee) as well. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, and there's also a ballroom and meeting room available.
A major focus for this property is the food and beverage program, and it shows. There are four restaurants (five if you include the one that magically appears in the pool in the evenings), a handful of bars, and nightly entertainment, such as fire dancers or live music.
The most popular restaurant is BLU Brasserie -- a huge, cheerful space located next to the waterfront and main pool; it serves a buffet breakfast, a la carte fare at lunch and dinner, and has nightly themed buffets.
Chantara Thai ("moon water") is the all-day lobby restaurant and one of the only Thai restaurants in Fiji (the chef is Thai). The chic and colorful open-air space looks over the resort’s waterfall and gardens. This is entirely a la carte, serving traditional breakfast dishes, Pan Asian cuisine at lunch, and gourmet dinners over candlelight.
Neptune's is a counter-service restaurant open for lunch and dinner that gets sunset views. It has a cool and casual vibe -- it wouldn't feel out of place in Cape Cod -- and a simple menu featuring fresh fish dishes, pizza, beer and cocktails.
Lomani Wai is an unusual dining option that offers guests the chance to dine in a shallow part of the pool and be served by Fijian warriors. The meal starts with a traditional Kava Ceremony, followed by a three-course menu.
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