A December 2005 trip
to Nadi by Cheryl Waugh
Quote: A wonderful holiday with a swimming pool and a wonderful Resort. You can use all three of the Sheraton hotels, which makes it an extremely attractive holiday. Close enough to the outer Islands to experience both worlds.
The Sheraton Denaru Villas are situated on Denarau Island Fiji. This island is joined to the mainland by a very short causeway, and is now the center of Resorts being built, along with a Marina. In a year, or so, Denarau Island will be a luxury hotel haven. The Sheraton Denarau Villas stands in between the other two Sheratons (one of which was called the Sheraton Royal Denarau, formerly The Regent of Fiji) which is now being totally made over, it will be refurbished to a grand scale and will be called a Westin, although still affiliated with the Sheratons. This should be completed by June 2006. We will stay here for our next visit. It will be stunning.
Our Sheraton Denarau Seafront Villa was approximately 73sq.m. It was superb in every sense of the word. You walk through the main door and look upon a fully, self contained kitchen ,and lounge room with separate dining room and a big 68cm TV, with a CD player. Air-conditioning, electronic safe, aqua spa amenities, room service, daily cleaning and turn-down at night, and being in the Villas we had the use of a butler, which we did not use, we also received an invitation to a cocktail party, not forgetting the bottle of champagne waiting for us on our arrival.
Plus we overlooked the beautiful infinity pool which can be accessed through our back door and small porch. (this is the life). The main bedroom ( was huge, it would have been about 12m long including the bathroom) with terrific king size bed, lounge, another big TV and beautiful marble bathroom, with a washing machine and dryer in a cupboard for your convenience, and a porch leading once again to the outside pool area.
The Sheraton Denarau Villas do not have a Restaurant but they do have room service (let me mention that when you order room service that there is a $10 surcharge before you even take a bite of your Meal) Having said that, you have the free run of the other two Sheraton establishments as far as pools, restaurants etc. Actually, it is fantastic because you have free run of everything, it is like one huge Resort.
When the Refurbishment is completed with the Westin it will be an outstanding Holiday destination, with an abundance of every facility and convenience at your fingertips. There is also a Deli, Internet Cafe, and shops just out the front of the Sheraton Fiji.
If you are a Golfer, well you will be in heaven, the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club is picture perfect. The Golf Course is world standard, and so picturesque they also have a restaurant and a barbecue at night, where you choose what you want to be cooked—it also includes a seafood selection. For those of you that have a Sheraton Dining Card this gives you a 50% discount on all meals (food only) when two of you are dining, if you are dining by yourself a 20% discount. These can be used everywhere except the Golf and Racquet Club, and Homachi Japanese Restaurant (which is not owned by the Sheraton, just leased). Even the poolside snack bars at all the Sheratons allow you to use the card. Once again, not for drinks though. One classic example of that wonderful card was a the Sheraton’s Signature Restaurant "Ports O’ Call" (Sheraton Fiji Resort) this is silver service and 5 star standard, presentation and the food was to die for, we actually dined here 4 out of our 5 nights, and the Sheraton Card made this possible. This is the most expensive of all the restaurants. There are approx. two waiters looking after your table. They also make crepe suzette and Caesar salads at your table, and offer a serving of sorbet between each meal.
To give you an idea a meal would cost us $240FD which you divide by 50% which equals $120FD and because there was two of us, you can say $60FD each, less for $AUD do not leave home without this card. This card allows you to fine dine all the time. Also included with the Sheraton Card is their Accommodation Vouchers, we also received 50% off our Accommodation. (we saved about $1800 in accommodation alone not to mention what we saved on meals). These days though, it is 10% off the Rack Room Rate for accommodation apparently still very good. But the food saving of 50% is fantastic. Buffet breakfasts at the Verandah Restaurant (which is in the Sheraton Fiji Resort) which for us was included in our price (as it should have been) were superb, the buffet selection went for miles also with their own omelet station for those omelet lovers. There was a Grand Piano player for breakfast as well.
The food was beautiful, everything you could imagine and more. What an outstanding breakfast selection, everything you could possibly think of was there, even those beautiful pastries. They are also open for á la carte and buffet dinners. Along with the Sheratons, there are many other eating venues.
The Sheraton Fiji has a most magnificent lobby, which also has an abundance of beautiful shops, one of these being a Prouds outlet. They even have a Bottle shop here but be aware these prices are too high a can of Pepsi cost $2.50FD so you can imagine how expensive alcohol may have been here. Go into Nadi, which is 15 minutes away, and buy all the alcohol from there, we did and we saved a fortune. Also, we stocked up our fridge with nibbles, which stopped us from getting room service if we felt peckish.
The Sheraton has a Private Island that they utilize just across the bay called "Akulia", and it takes 5 minutes by boat. They cater for picnics there and we had a lovely time. You order your picnic hamper selection from room service, and pick up your picnic hamper from one of the Cafes and they take you across to the Island in a little speed boat. There is a boat going back and forth all day . The water is quite lovely and you will have a lot of fun. Please remember to take plenty of Mozzie repellent, this is almost as important as your Traveler’s Cheques, they are prevalent here so cover yourself before venturing out in the evenings, and you wont have a problem.
The water was quite OK to drink. Remember, when you come to the Sheraton/Denarau Island you will not have that crystal clear water, or that white sand, quite the opposite in fact. This is classified as a swimming pool holiday and perhaps on a perfect day a bit of a frolic in the ocean. If you want crystal clear water, go to one of the Islands for a day trip, or stay for a couple of nights, we went to Castaway Island and it was just glorious—the water was so clear I couldn’t see it. An absolutely wonderful day. The Coral Coast has a better type of water like our beaches (clarity), but go to the islands for that Maldives look.
To sum it up, the Sheraton has everything you will need for a holiday, get that Sheraton Card and make it more attractive. Wait until June, of next year, before you stay there, that way you can utilize all three resorts and you will be in heaven. Plus, all of the Restaurant will be open. It is more expensive than normal resorts, but Sheratons always are and if you plan for this, all will be OK. I found that the atmosphere was lacking in happiness, probably because it was a Sheraton, our stay at the Shangri-La Fijian Coral Coast was a happier experience, not as extravagant but a happier atmosphere. I don’t think the staff at the Sheraton are treated as nicely by the tourists as they are by the other resorts, just my opinion. Having said all that, we had a lovely holiday in both Resorts and we were both quite content to come home. Isn’t that what a good holiday is all about. 5 nights Sheraton Denarau Villas, 7 nights Shangri-La Fijian Coral Coast(see review), I have plenty of pics to show if you want to see certain aspects of the resort contact - firstname.lastname@example.org