Taking the kids to Fiji

I’ve been fortunate to have had some memorable adventures – kayaking in Greenland, tramping for 3 weeks across Ladakh in the Indian Himalaya and experiencing Zero-Gravity in a Russian cargo plane chief among them; but nothing can prepare you for the much more complicated and daunting adventure of taking 2 small children on holiday to Fiji. This was my third trip to Fiji, but the first with kids, so my wife and I approached it with some trepidation.

We were blessed with tremendous weather – 31C every day and only a brief rain shower which helped of course, but the Radisson Resort at Denarau exceeded my expectations in every way and created an environment for the most relaxing and successful family holiday I can imagine.

We opted for a Classic One Bedroom Suite, which is very roomy and well designed – ideal for families. The staff made up the double sofa bed in the living area and put a rollaway in as well so everyone happy with sleeping arrangements. The kitchenette has a large fridge, microwave etc, and has a full complement of crockery and cooking utensils etc, so would be easy to self cater (not that we did!). Bathroom was lovely with a good bath and shower. The bed was huge and comfy. The two main rooms can be divided with a sliding door.

The Kids Club was superb, our kids (aged 5 & 4yrs) loved it, and they seemed to have a wide range of activities scheduled every 30 minutes or 1 hour to keep them engaged. As a result, mum and dad got a proper relaxing holiday as well!! I’d highly recommend the ‘torch lighting’ ceremony at 6pm every day – the kids get dressed up as Fijian Warriors and run around the resort with staff lighting the torches – very cute!

We were pleasantly surprised with dining options – we ate breakfast and had tasty lunch wraps at Nautilus, some snacks Neptunes (good pizza), Cross (fine dining – a tad pricey, but very good) and also bought snacks and drinks from the brand new bottle shop – which we thought was very reasonably priced. We also ate at the new Indian restaurant at Port Denarau – which has really come on since my last visit 4 years ago, and now has 3 or 4 good restaurant options, including a Seafood and Italian restaurant. There’s not much in the way of shopping though – I’d recommend the mini-mart at the Sheraton next door for beach essentials.

The staff were extremely friendly and helpful throughout the resort. You never get tired of the friendly ‘Bula’ greeting, and our kids soon learned to respond in kind. Top marks to management for efficiency. There are several good pool areas, most cater to families (but need to bear in mind we were there during Oz/NZ school holidays so very busy), but there’s a nice adults-only pool as well.

We walked the length of Denarau and had a look at all the resorts during our stay at the Radisson, there’s similarities with all, and they all have merits, but the Radisson seemed to have the best vibe – I’d call it a happy buzz. Yes, it’s busy and can feel a bit crowded when full compared to the much larger area the Sheraton occupies next door, but you can’t criticise it for being popular. The beach is fine – not the lovely white sand of the Islands, but you don’t go to Denarau for the beaches. Actually, there’s a huge expanse of deserted beach just 100m or so past the Wyndham next door if you want a ‘Castaway’ fix!