‘Good things come to those who wait’
That’s what we have been telling Miss for 5 years about going to Fiji. Her obsession started when Jase and I went to Fiji without her those 5 years ago.
We did take the girls to Australia in 2014 so it wasn’t her first ‘big’ trip but bless her patience and her Fiji dreams, she finally got there.
We stayed 7 nights at The Warwick Resort on the Coral Coast. I googled the crap out of it and took on people’s advice and recommendations before booking it after previously staying at The Sofitel on Denarau. I needed something slightly more affordable than our previous stay due to doubling our numbers and taking the girls with us. I also wanted somewhere with easy access to a fab beach as well as the resort facilities, which the Denarau resorts do lack.
We had a fantastic holiday! Weather wasn’t a complete 8 days of tropical paradise but the rain didn’t really put us off. Kids were busy getting wet swimming anyway. I do have a wee bit of feedback on our resort pick that others may want to take into consideration as follows.
The Warwick is a beautiful well presented resort. The rooms while cozy are sufficiently comfortable. Our room had a queen bed and two singles. We were an ocean view room that conveniently opened out to the family pool. The bathrooms have been well used and while clean are a little run down but that didn’t bother us at all. The restaurant options (there’s 3 plus the buffet and room service in the evening. Also a grill restaurant by the pool is available during the day) are well catered for and the standard of food was great. The breakfast buffet was amazing! The kids eat free deal includes a kids buffet lunch and while the combinations were sometimes interesting the girls always ate and did not really complain at all. Being able to feed them from the buffet at night was fantastic as the options were vast and we would usually have dinner later after dropping them at the evening kids club session. Kids Club was fantastic! Our girls did not spend every day there but liked to read the days session in the morning and chose what they’d like to attend, the kids kitchen session being a highlight. Trilly also won the disco dance off which had her floating on air for a couple of days.
Fiji is known for the friendliness of the people and unfortunately we didn’t always feel that at The Warwick. The staff were very quiet and didn’t really engage in anything extra. No offers for drinks by the pool or extra conversation while waiting for your orders. Miss cut her foot and needed it cleaned up and the lady did an amazing job but never actually spoke a word to us. I did miss the friendliness of previous trips.
Alcohol prices were taking the piss! Our friend ordered a double Baileys on the rocks and was stung $48FJD, while his wife’s single shot Barcardi was $23FJD. Even a can of coke was $8FJD! It was the talk of the pool how ludicrous the prices were but you either sucked it up or didn’t drink. Jase and I grabbed some duty free on our way in so I hit up the mocktail list at a more affordable $12FJD and went back to our room to add my poison. (Lucky our room was right by the pool! hah!).
If you walk down the beach just passed the resort you will find some local ladies running ‘shops’. They sold big bottles of coke for $7FJD so Jase headed there for his bourbon mixer. Wander another 100m or so further down and Maggie’s Grocery Shop will hook you up cans or stubbies of beer for half the resort prices. Worth the walk. The local ladies also braided the kids hair for a more affordable price. Just be aware they’ll try to sell you anything and everything.
The travel time to The Warwick is another 2hrs from the airport. The transfer bus is pretty comfortable but it does make for a long trip for younger kids. The trip did allow the kids to experience a bit of culture shock as they saw how locals live and how different it is to home. We also unfortunately never saw any of the cultural shows they offered due to the rainy weather.
The water equipment available was perfect. It was nice to be able to take the kids kayaking or have them give paddle boarding a go. The snorkel equipment was sufficient and easily available. Life jackets are well loved but there are enough to go round and do the job fine. The family pool (there’s also an adults only pool) has the addition of the swim up bar and the kids spent the days going from beach to pool and back again. I honestly wish people wouldn’t put their towels on a lounger at the ass crack of dawn and then not come back to it for hours though. We just placed their towels to the side if they hadn’t been there for more than an hour and took their seats. Sharing is caring and all that!
We did take the kids on a village culture tour and snorkelling trip to Robinson Crusoe Island (we went on the Village and Crab Catching Tour) and recommend the day out. The guides were amazing and Trilly won the crab race which was a bit of a laugh. It was a great way to spend a day and while Jase and Miss went out snorkelling near the reef Trilly and I went swimming. The fish you can see straight off the beach are amazing and Trilly loved being able to swim with them.
We flew Fiji Airways for the first time and have no complaints. We would definitely fly with them again, especially for affordability.
We had a great holiday! The girls want to go back already, of course, but if I’m being completely honest I’m not sure if I’d stay at The Warwick again. Not because it was awful (it’s definitely not) but because there are so many similar resorts that it’s nice to try new ones. We also think we would spend a bit more and venture to one of the other islands, or even back to Denerau.
Huge Thanks to Lisa from Mondo Travel Waikato for being amazing! I’ve never used a travel broker before but now I don’t think I’ll travel without Lisa’s help.
PS. We actually think we may do Bali next! Or plan a mega trip instead.
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. Your experiences may be different to mine and that’s fine. Just an honest reflection on our trip.