By Natalie Kessell20 Jun 2018Just after testing Fiji Airways’ inflight service & before trying Nadi International Airport’s new facilities, freelance writer, Natalie Kessell, experienced 5-star relaxation at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa. The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa provided the haven I needed to achieve the ultimate in relaxation in a short period of time. A two-night sojourn to Fiji might not sound like sufficient time to truly unwind and recharge, however my short but sweet stay at this gem of a resort certainly achieved this and more. Set on 26-acres on the popular holiday hotspot of Denarau Island, the 5-star resort offers prime beachfront access a mere 20 minutes from the recently renovated Nadi International Airport. Check-in Greeted with a resounding “bula” from the concierge team upon arrival, I was escorted swiftly to the check-in counter. They were aware I had dinner reservations a mere half-an-hour after arriving, so were mindful of my wanting to freshen up after my flight. They clearly know the way to a girl’s heart! Whisked away on a golf buggy with my luggage to a Luxury Beach Club Access Room, I was impressed by the tropical yet elegant styling. There were no kitsch island designs here, it was pure class. Room type & amenities My ground-floor room (101) was located directly across from the exclusive Waitui Beach Club, an adults-only oasis that had my name on it…as soon as the sun rose the next morning at least! It turns out I was destined to spend most of my time at the beachfront club that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, a lagoon-style pool that weaves its way through day beds, sun lounges and a pool bar and complimentary Pure Fiji mineral sunscreen and bottled water to keep the rays at bay and hydration up. My spacious home-away-from home for two nights offered a king-size version of the famed Signature Sofitel MyBed, or as I like to call it, heaven in a mattress. Anyone who relishes sleeping on a cloud will not be disappointed and I knew a restful sleep was ahead of me. My only disappointment was that there wasn’t a pillow menu on offer, now that would have really cemented a perfect night’s sleep! The separate bathroom and basin area is always rated highly in my books, especially when travelling with a companion, however the bathroom itself could do with a facelift and a more substantial shower screen to negate the excess water flow from the shower. The walk-in-robe was well-sized but featured a shelf beneath the hanging area that didn’t allow for the maxi dresses I had packed. There were Nespresso and tea facilities, complimentary mineral water, a large LED TV complete with satellite channels and a home theatre system at my disposal, but the stand-out highlight for me was the deluxe Pure Fiji amenities. A fan of the brand since its inception, it was such a luxury to have the signature scent of Fiji on offer for my stay. Food & beverage Given my proximity to the Waitui Beach Club, I chose to do most of my dining there during my brief stay. A selection of family-style tapas highlights the menu for both dinner and lunch, along with a small, but mouth-watering selection of generously sized mains for dinner that celebrate the fresh food of Fiji with a twist of the resort’s French heritage. For my first evening’s dinner, we shared in a veritable feast of delicacies including beef tartare, a garlic seafood pot and crispy squid before all deciding on the same main, a Yasawa lobster paella that didn’t disappoint. I shared breakfast evenly between the expansive buffet at the Lagoon Restaurant in the resort’s main building and Waitui Beach Club. The Lagoon Restaurant’s offering varied from traditional breakfast fare to Fijian inspired delicacies including roti and curry, for those who really wanted to immerse themselves into the food culture early in the morning. Interactive chef’s stations ensured eggs were prepared “as you like it” and at the bargain rate of FJD$30 per person for all you can eat and drink, it offers phenomenal value. For those wanting a more subdued and relaxing breakfast vibe, then I can’t recommend Waitui Beach Club enough. Bring your appetite though, as the included breakfast for those staying in a Luxury Beach Club Access room features a juice, a smoothie, coffee or tea, one main meal, a pastry basket and a fruit platter! The added bonus, a table right on the beach so that you can gaze at the sparkling water as you take your sweet Fiji time working your way through the extensive breakfast offering. A selection of woodfired pizzas and salad accompany the tapas menu for lunch at Waitui Beach Club with everything served to your sun lounge if you prefer. The swim up bar may not be manned at all times, but there are enough roving staff on offer to nab a sweet cocktail poolside regardless. Whilst I didn’t have time to savour the many other food and beverage outlets at the resort, there are many…six in total. From seafood aplenty to Fijian, Indian and French cuisine, there really is no reason to ever leave the resort! Tip Given that I had minimal time to achieve my quest to unwind, I have two tips for those visiting Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa. Even if you’re not staying in a Luxury Beach Club Access room, I highly recommend investing in a Day Experience Pass to Waitui Beach Club during your stay for FJD$99 per person. It is the ideal place to lounge the day away in pure relaxation without the hustle and bustle of the main lagoon pool and, the rate also includes one hour of free sunset cocktails from 5-6pm. It should be noted that Day Experience Passes are limited to shoulder and low season to ensure that all guests staying in a Luxury Beach Club Access room have access to a sunbed. Indulge in a treatment at SO Spa. Each treatment room is positioned inside its own bure complete with an open-air outdoor shower and Fijian styling. Exclusively using Pure Fiji products not only means that the treatments themselves are divine, but the overall aroma of the Spa itself whisks you away to paradise. Guests also have access to a relaxation area overlooking the beach with a private pool to cool off in and jacuzzi to soothe those muscles. Deals The following special industry rates are on offer for travel agents subject to availability and mainly in low and shoulder season: FJD$300 per room per night – Superior Oceanside King or Twin Rooms (including taxes and full breakfast for up to 2 adults and 2 children daily) FJD$450 per room per night – Luxury Waitui Beach Club Rooms (including taxes, full breakfast and all Club inclusions) Click here for more information on Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa. READ: Flight Review of Fiji Airways A330-200 Economy Class NAN-SYD READ: Flight Review of Fiji Airways A330-200 Economy Class SYD-NAN READ: Fiji’s Nadi Airport reopens after a multi-million dollar makeover Have you stayed at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa? 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