When my sister announced she was heading to Fiji I couldn’t help but gatecrash the trip. Firstly, because since moving to the other side of the world I’ll take any chance I can get to hang out with family, and secondly, because I needed to go back and rectify one of my biggest travel mistakes.
(You can read the whole story here but in short myself and 3 friends backpacked around Fiji way back in 2007 but having not done our research well (read: at all) panic booked beach huts on what turned out to be the most unkempt and uncomfortable resort I’ve ever been to.)
Not taking any chances with this trip I researched like mad to make sure we had the kind of grown-up, sophisticated girls’ getaway we’d always dreamed of. That’s when I discovered Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa and what particularly caught my eye was their exclusive, adults-only oasis – Waitui Beach Club.
Waitui Beach Club
As soon as I walked into Waitui Beach Club I knew we were onto a winner. I was met at the entrance by staff sporting bright tennis whites and swiftly escorted me to my cocoon of choice. (Once I’d made my mind up that is. With pool front or ocean view beds to choose from it was a tough decision!) After I’d finally decided on my perfect position, fresh towels were spread, water left on the table and a tube of sunscreen was handed over with the instructions to ‘use it wisely as we don’t want sunburn to ruin your trip.’
Situated at the far end of Sofitel Fiji, Waitui Beach Club feels as exclusive as it is stylish. Only guests who have booked Beach Club access with their luxury rooms can get in, unless you’re a guest of a suite in which case it’s complimentary.
Beach Club access comes with quite a few perks. In addition to taking care of your sunscreen needs, the Waitui Beach Club runs a daily cocktail hour with free drinks and snacks served at sunset. (A spectacular event to witness – and also free!). You needn’t lift so much as a finger as the staff whiz around with a tray of complimentary drinks, including a daily changing cocktail, beer and champagne.
To soak up the happy hour drinks they also put on a canapé spread and deliver little treat-size trays to wherever you’re sitting. There’s gentle music, nothing majorly clubby but enough to get you in the spirit, and there’s a friendly atmosphere as guests make conversation with each other as they float around the pool on an inflatable bar seat.
Waitui Beach Club also offers an all-day menu, a nice mix of health-conscious meals and indulgent drinks, and has its own spotless bathroom amenities and state-of-the-art gym (which I must admit I never saw anyone using). In short, you never have to leave this adults-only cocoon and as two sisters on a girlie getaway we certainly didn’t intend to.
The So Spa
There was one thing that convinced us to rise from our sun beds though and that was the chance to flop on a massage table.
The So Spa is a sublime collection of thatched roofed bures, water features and sea views. My sister and I opted for a 1 hour massage and I can’t even tell you what happened because I drifted off to the land of bliss. Our treatment came with a complimentary glass of bubbles so we soaked up the atmosphere and champers at the spa before returning to what we were (weren’t) doing afterwards.
We stayed in a Luxury Room with ocean views, found halfway between the main pool and Waitui Beach Club. I requested a twin room and was delighted to discover we each had an ample Queen size bed with the signature snuggly Sofitel bedding.
Being two ladies who love their tea and fashion we had to request extra hangers and tea bags, which the staff delivered speedily. Apart from that the room was a great size for two girls who like to – shall we say – disperse their belongings.
The French Brekkie
Breakfast at the resort comes with all the best French treats including cabinets full of pastries, proper coffee and complimentary bubbly. Staff were kept super busy brewing cup after cup of barista coffee but that didn’t stop them tempting us with an extra cup to go each morning.
Guests of Waitui Beach Club can also have their breakfast down on the beach. Unlike the buffet in the Lagoon Restaurant, breakfast is made to order at Waitui and includes lighter options such as smoothies, fruit bowls and avocado toast. Of course, we went for the not-so-light choice of pancakes and ice cream – we were on holiday!
Situated on Denarau Island, the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is perfect for people who want to fly and flop on a super cosy sun bed. Transfers take just 20 minutes from Nadi Airport (you can book them online for approx $17 each way) and there are no boats involved in getting you to the island as it’s connected to the mainland by a small bridge.
Denarau Marina has a handful of restaurants and cafes serving international cuisine, which are great for when you fancy a night away from the resort. It’s also the main hub for boat trips/onward transfers to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands and it’s max 5 minutes in a taxi to get you from the hotel to the pier.
I think adults-only beach clubs within 5-star resorts might be my new favourite thing. Waitui Beach Club far exceeded our expectations with its yummy free drinks, cool vibe and attentive staff but it was great to be a part of a wider resort where we could also use the first-class spa facilities. The beaches are better at some of the nearby islands but you’re just a short hop from the marina if you ever pull yourself away from the pool cabana!
For more information and to book visit accorhotels.com.
My trip to Fiji was self-funded but the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa kindly offered us a media rate on our accommodation.
You might also like this guide I wrote for Skyscanner on Destination Weddings in Fiji.