Review: Sheraton Fiji Resort

Introduction: A Very Short Trip To Fiji
Review: Los Angeles International Lounge LAX Airport
Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A330 Los Angeles To Nadi
Review: Sheraton Fiji Resort
Review: Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport
Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A330 Nadi To Los Angeles


This is only going to be a limited review, given that I didn’t actually spend a night at the hotel. I landed in Fiji a bit before 6AM, and was supposed to spend a night at the Sheraton before switching to the Westin next door for two nights, though unfortunately I was on a 9PM flight back to the US due to a personal emergency.

The Sheraton Fiji Resort is a Category 4 Starwood property, and a free night redemption cost 10,000 Starpoints, while the paid rate was almost $300. As a result, I decided to pay for my stay with points, since I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each.

I took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which cost 30FJD (~$15). The drive took about 15 minutes, and the driver was incredible. I would have booked a hotel car, though as it turns out they don’t have hotel cars, but rather just hotel taxis that you have to pay on the spot (and can’t charge to your room), which are more expensive “standard” taxis. I was so happy I got a normal taxi, since the driver was a delight. Fijians are among the friendliest and most hospitable people I’ve encountered, and he was no exception.

The Sheraton is located on Denarau Island, which is basically a mega-resort area. Next to one another you have the Sheraton, Westin, Hilton, Radisson Blu, Sofitel, Wyndham, etc.

I stayed here because I was traveling alone, and it was during the week, and I had a lot of work to do. From everyone I’ve heard from who visited Fiji, the most beautiful areas of Fiji are actually the smaller islands, so that’s where you’d want to stay if you visited, and not in Denarau Island. That being said, for a quick overnight or if you want to be on the main island, this is a good area to be.

All the properties on Denarau Island are a bit past their prime from the looks of it, and that includes the Sheraton. That being said, I’d say the Sheraton is charmingly past its prime, and very well maintained.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort exterior

The Sheraton has a beautiful, massive, open air lobby, which is probably the focal point of the hotel, along with the pool.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby

Reception was located inside the lobby and to the right. The associate who greeted me was extremely friendly. I was able to confirm Your24 early check-in for this stay, and she said she just needed to check to be sure the room was ready, and invited me to have a seat.

That was fine by me, as I powered up my laptop and got caught up on some work (Fiji isn’t covered in T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan, so I didn’t have data). Time flew by as I caught up on email, and about 20 minutes later I followed up with the associate, who said she’d check shortly. I had heard that Fijians are really on island time, and it didn’t take long for me to experience that firsthand.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby

A few minutes later a friendly bellmen drove me to my room in a golf cart, and told me a bit about the resort. The resort has very well maintained grounds. It consists of several buildings, each of which has maybe a few dozen rooms. We could have easily walked to my room in just a few minutes, though the golf cart ride was nice as well.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort walkway to room

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Sheraton Fiji Resort walkway to room

I was assigned room 1465, located on the second floor of one of the buildings. We took the stairs up a level, and then my room was at the far end of the open air hallway and to the left.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort walkway to room

It’s always a good sign when you get a room with double doors!

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio exterior

I had been upgraded to an ocean studio room, which was advertised as being a bit over 500 square feet. The studio is one big room, as you’d expect. Upon entering the room you have the back of the bed immediately in front of you, so can turn left to walk into the rest of the room.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio entryway

The room featured a comfortable king size bed, large couch, and a table/desk with two chairs.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio

In the far corner of the room was a TV facing the bed, so I imagine it couldn’t really be watched practically from the couch.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio living area

I know I’m strange as heck and sometimes paranoid, but in general I like to have the back of my bed against a wall, rather than exposed with the back towards the door, as was the case here.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio

The desk was a good size, and practically designed, since it could just as easily be used as a dining table as a desk.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio desk

Next to the desk was a console with the fridge.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio fridge console

There were two bottles of complimentary Fiji water on top of the console. You’ve gotta love that in Fiji that’s just the standard water they offer.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bottled Fiji water

The in-room fridge wasn’t a minibar, which some people will love and others won’t. In my case I was very grateful that I had a bunch of extra bottles of water, including a sparkling water, as well as some sweets. I love my Starwood Ambassador!

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio fridge with welcome gift

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio fridge with welcome gift

The bathroom was behind the bed and to the left, and a good size. It featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a toilet, and a large walk-in shower with two shower heads.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathroom

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathtub

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio shower

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathroom

I’m not sure if the toiletries were actually different than the brand standard Sheraton ones, but at least they were packaged nicer.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio toiletries

The room also featured a nice balcony with two padded chairs and a small table.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio balcony

The views of the beach, ocean, and rest of the resort were lovely.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathroom balcony view

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathroom balcony view

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Sheraton Fiji Resort ocean studio bathroom balcony view

The room faced west, and I left the hotel just as the sun began to set, so I really wish I had the chance to see the sunset, as I’m sure it was gorgeous.

My one major complaint about the room (or perhaps the hotel as a whole) is that the wifi was horrible. It wasn’t completely unusable, but was very slow, which is typically a deal killer for me. It was the slowest wifi I’ve had to deal with in a very long time.

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there was a coffeeshop in the lobby that I visited. They made excellent cappuccinos, and also had some tasty looking sweets.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort coffee shop

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Sheraton Fiji Resort lobby area

The resort has several outdoor restaurants, though I didn’t actually have the chance to eat at any of them.

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Sheraton Fiji Resort Chime Restaurant

While I didn’t use the hotel’s pool area, they did a really nice job with it, as it consists of several pools, some of which are connected.

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Sheraton Fiji pool

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Sheraton Fiji pool

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Sheraton Fiji pool

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Sheraton Fiji pool

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Sheraton Fiji pool

While the hotel has its own beach, it wasn’t as beautiful as I think some people imagine Fiji to be. The sand looked okay though certainly not especially powdery or white. Furthermore, the ocean was more of a dark color, and not turquoise.

Denarau Island isn’t exactly known for its beaches, so if you want a nicer beach I recommend going out to one of the smaller islands, or otherwise I’ve heard that the InterContinental Fiji has a much nicer beach.

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Sheraton Fiji beach

The Sheraton doesn’t have its own spa or gym, but rather shares it with the Westin next door. I was excited about staying at the Westin as well since I wanted to compare the two, though unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to go over there due to the emergency back in the US.

I ended up checking out of the Sheraton around 6PM the same day to head back to the airport.

Sheraton Fiji Resort bottom line

While my time in Fiji was short, I still enjoyed it immensely. The Sheraton exceeded my expectations, though I also think I had very reasonable expectations going in. I knew that Denarau Island wasn’t the picturesque Fiji that people dream of. I had also heard the hotel was pretty run down, so was pleasantly surprised. While the property was on the old side, it was well maintained.

What did I take away from my short visit to Fiji?

  • Fijians are among the friendliest people in the world, on the same level as Balinese people, in my opinion (who are otherwise the friendliest people I’ve encountered)
  • Fijians are also on island time, so be ready for everything to happen slowly; that’s just how it is over there
  • If you’re planning a vacation to Fiji, Denarau Island isn’t where you want to stay, unless it’s a quick overnight or very short stay; instead you want to get out to one of the smaller islands, or otherwise at least the InterContinental, which I’ve heard is in a nicer area
  • A lot of smaller islands were hit badly by a storm earlier in the year, and are still closed, so as they reopen there will be a lot more options again; there’s even another Sheraton on Tokoriki Island that looks beautiful, and is scheduled to reopen on February 1, 2017

Personally I’d love to return to Fiji at some point and stay on a smaller island in a great resort, though when I do, I’d like to travel with Ford. Going to a beautiful, secluded resort can only be so fun if you’re alone!

If you’ve been to Fiji, any tips on where to stay in the future?

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Comments

  1. Intercontinental was nice with a nice beach and some snorkeling right off the beach with a glass bottom boat. An overall very nice property with amazing rooms but still had that manufactured feel that I find in a lot of Intercontinental properties.

  2. Any really nice resorts (similar tot the ones you find in Bali) you recommend in the smaller islands? It feels a really far place to go and stay in an outdated hotel.

  3. I stayed at Matamanoa for a portion of my honeymoon last December (About 1hr ferry from Denarau). We used the Westin Hotel as our buffer. I’d say the Matamanoa island would be one of the islands that doesn’t break the bank but delivers a solid experience.

  4. “Going to a beautiful, secluded resort can only be so fun if you’re alone!”

    Gotta’ agree on this point.

    I went to the same place (Fiji/Sheraton) over the 2003 Christmas/2004 New Year holidays by myself. OMG it was sad. I mean, I was sad. Not “It made me sad,” but “I was a sad specimen.” There were all these families (not a fan of screaming children at beaches) and couples…and then…me. I was going to stay four nights but then cut it down to two and left for Melbourne for two extra days there before flying home.

    Oh! Fun fact: I was able to fly the Air Pacific (pre-Fiji Airways) 747-400 from SYD-NAN in Tabua class – it was close to the old UA 747-400 first class layout they used to fly on their Pacific routes. http://bit.ly/2c2uxeZ

  5. If you thought the WiFi was bad at your hotel then you would have a terrible time on one of the small islands. Fiji is NOT a place you go to work; it’s a place you go to relax. The small islands are great if you want to do absolutely nothing but few people (especially those who can’t live disconnected to WiFi or their phone) can stand the pace.
    Yes, a lot of the hotels on Denarau Island are past their prime but how many people go to Fiji to spend time indoors? It’s all about the beaches and the pools (Wyndham just down from the Sheraton has the longest pool on the island). And if you think these hotels are passed their prime, you should see the rest of what the island has to offer. You have to remember the weather is very harsh – it rains more than you imagine and w/the warm temps that means a lot of mold. The upkeep of these resorts is a full time job.
    Denarau is a “family” resort community. Tons of people from Australia and New Zealand come to vacation there w/kids because the people of Fiji are so fabulous with kids. You always feel safe at the resorts there.
    You also forgot to mention that although the ride to Denarau was a cheap taxi from the airport, the taxis are NOT allowed to come onto Denarau to pick up passengers and take them back to the airport. You have to arrange a ride through your hotel and this can be very expensive (especially for families as sometimes you have to take 2 vehicles or one large vehicle which they charge you extra for).
    The part you got absolutely correct is that the Fijian people are wonderful. They are the most warm and friendly people anywhere. If you are going to Fiji, please remember to tip everyone and anyone at the resorts because what we consider only a few $ means a lot to them. They work long hours and do NOT get paid what they should for the work they do.
    We go to Fiji every year (as a multi-generational family) and we love the relaxed feeling. We take day trips to the small islands but more and more we are finding that staying at the resort and taking local transport to the town is just as relaxing.
    My philosophy in traveling is – “be one with where you are.” In that way you will be a traveler and not a tourist. You will find you will enjoy yourself a lot more – and isn’t that why you go on vacations anyway?

  6. Jo Anne: Thanks for the lecture… the comment section isn’t there to write five pages..

  7. Stayed there about 10 years ago for a golf tournament. Really enjoyed my stay. At the time the rooms did not have TVs. I agree, the people from Fiji are great. Bula Bula!

  8. @Grant G Anderson, go back to reading Hustler magazine online, not this blog. Hustler will relax you and help you.

    Also start spending less time on the internet.

  9. I stayed at the Hilton in Denarau and enjoyed my stay. They did a good job trying to cater to both families and couples, and the location worked quite well for me. Assuming you have a car I think it’s perfect. It’s close to the airport and Nadi, for meals, it’s a pretty easy drive to better beaches like the InterContinental’s and the amazing Sigatoka Sand Dunes, and you can take a day trip to the amazing Mamanucas. Plus the Hilton looks a bit nicer than the Sheraton from your pics

  10. @ Jo Anne

    Ni Sa Bula Jo Anne. Fiji is very deserving of your complements. Grant G Anderson obviously has internet by the minute and is a slow reader. He may enjoy pictures more as to avoid having to read and using his limited imagination.

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