This post is part of a bigger series of posts about my time in Fiji. For more, see the parent post here.
We stayed on the Coral Coast in a 5-star resort called The Warwick. It was about an hour and a half away from the Nadi International Airport. The drive there was beautifully scenic but filled with smoke – our driver told us that this was due to sugar cane farmers burning the crop to help with the harvest. One main highway seems to lap its way around Viti Levu so it was very easy driving.
The Coral Coast is much wetter and rainier than the northern part of the island – but I still loved it.
Before I go on, here are all of my my not-so-professional photos of the place. They’re not in any particular order because I’m not good at these things. But y’know. Photos 😀
The Warwick was just the epitome of luxury. I would wake up at 6am every morning and head straight to the beach, taking in the soothing sea air. A team of gardeners would already be up and about, picking dying flowers and leavs off trees, sweeping up the sticks and leaves that washed up on the shore. By 6.30am, the resort was spotless and beautiful and looked nothing short of perfect.
The three of us stayed in a ‘beach front’ room in the Suva wing of the resort – or the less child-filled side. We later found out that a maximum of three adults (read: people over the age of 12) could stay in a room at a time and people with two kids over the age of 12 needed two rooms. The rooms were beautifully kept and room service ladies were adorably sweet, leaving us pretty flowers on our beds every day.
The staff were the sweetest, loveliest people I had ever met. So kind and accommodating and took pleasure in learning people’s names and what they enjoyed. The Manager of the resort would come to find us every morning and ask us what we were up to and how we were doing.
You could not get around the resort without being greeted with a chirpy ‘Bula!’ or ‘hello!’ from all of the staff. It became so common that even the guests would say bula to one another and giggle. The staff were so focused on making the trip wonderful and they absolutely achieved that.
Things happened pretty quickly – my laundry was picked up and delivered within hours; room service came quickly. I cannot fault a single person at the resort. Everyone had time to chat and share stories yet somehow knew when you just wanted to lounge around doing your own thing. I learned so much from the landscapers, activity staff, waiters and general staff and felt privileged to meet them.
Tips seemed to be frowned upon and I didn’t see anyone tipping. It seems all tips would be handed to management, so it wasn’t something that we did (not overtly anyway).
Dining & Restaurants
The resort is pretty far away from most things, including restaurants where could find yourself cheap eats. As a result, most of our eating (when not on day trips) happened in the resort.
Buffet breakfast at the Bula Brasserie Restaurant was included as part of our holiday package but lunch and dinner were… pricey. I’m talking about $100 for lunch for the three of us and maybe $150-$200 for dinner. That wasn’t something that I had planned for at all and over 8 days it really put a dent in our pockets.
For lunch you had to choose from either the Lagoon Bar and Grill or Pappagallo (Italian – pizza, mostly).
For dinner, you could choose from the full Pappagallo menu, the Bula Brasserie Restaurant for a themed buffet, Sazanami (Japanese) or the Wicked Walu. Unfortunately the Walu was flooded for most of our time there and we didn’t get to try it. I really, really enjoyed Sazanami. It was the best sushi I have ever had in my life. The waiters were great and the chef was hilariously entertaining – especially when we sat around for teppanyaki. He was all over Australian politics and sports!
You could also have room service at any time which was much cheaper than eating at one of the restaurants and pretty good as well!
Relaxing at the Warwick
For those looking for a completely relaxing holiday, The Warwick is the place to go. This beach-front slice of heaven offers plenty of choice when it comes to relaxing. You can either lounge on day bed on the beach or by the pool, swing in a hammock in the garden, or go for a stroll and take in the beautiful scenery. I liked the fact that there was an adult only pool in the Suva wing. It was a very tranquil place and my brothers seemed to love spending most of their time there.
There are three main cafe/bars around the resort; one by each of the pools and another just off the main lobby. This one, the Hibiscus lounge, became my favourite place to escape to during the day. I would hide out on the comfy lounge chairs overlooking the shore, curling up with a good book. I would sip away on delicious coffees, iced drinks, milkshakes and mocktails all day long. These cost about $4-12 Fijian Dollars each. We would be entertained in the afternoons by these amazing singers who would sing a mix of Fijian and English music – listen to a snippet below!
The weather in Fiji is incredible, but the calming sea air and gorgeous grounds of The Warwick made it the perfect place to relax. I could’ve honestly lounged on the beach all day without a worry – and I did!
Each night, we would receive an itinerary of activities for kids and adults for the following day. There was always so much to do.
For the kids, there were things like candy hunts, painting, cultural talks, fish feeding, basket weaving lessons and games. For the adults, there were pool games, sports, village tours, shopping trips, tie-dying and glass-bottom boat rides. Each evening, we were entertained with culture talks, fire dancers, and torch-lighting ceremonies that included flying machetes and dancing.
Of course, we didn’t have to participate in any of these, but we often found ourselves wandering along to do things during quiet mornings or evenings. For some things like the day tours to the villages, a fee of 20 Fijian Dollars (approximately 12 AUD) was required per person to cover travel expenses.
You could also ask for a bus timetable and hop on a bus like a local to get to any one of the cities or villages. A bus fare costs 3 Fijian Dollars and is totally easy and comfortable.
Here is a snippet of some of the dancing we saw at the resort. Due to the wet weather, we were moved into the hall. We were all entertained by the staff who were dancing at the door.
We were also entertained by fire dancers. When it wasn’t wet, these guys would perform on the beach and it was pretty majestic to watch (but I have to say, I think I enjoyed the fire-dancing at Robinson Crusoe Island).
The Warwick was perfect for enjoying the water. Water activities that were included as part of the package including snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding. Since we were there in a quieter time, we didn’t have to adhere to too many rules. Generally, you can borrow the equipment for an hour or two before bringing it back. I was lucky enough to learn how to snorkel and use flippers at the resort (my brothers will tell you I did a horrendous job but I totally got good at it!).
In going out snorkelling, I was amazed by the coral and sea life at the resort. There were so many beautiful fish, sea snakes and gross sea-slug things. It wasn’t until a few days in that the staff told us to be mindful of the snakes. Worth it! My brother would take bread out with him to feed the fish that would circle him and play tag.
My crazy brother also waited for the low tide and walked out to the breakers surrounding the resort. Thanks to some local advice, he was able to come back in time to not be completely drowned by the rising tide.
The place was beautiful. I absolutely fell in love with the location and the staff. I was teary the morning that I packed because somehow, I felt like I was home. I definitely left a chunk of my heart at the Warwick and can’t wait to get back.
If you’re looking for a fancy, relaxing resort where you don’t have to worry about a thing, then the Warwick is for you. You will be treated with nothing short of kindness by the staff. It’s great for families, honeymooners, groups – pretty much anyone.
Keep in mind that it will not be a cheap exercise to eat there, and it’s too far away from anything for it to be reasonable to pop out for lunch.
The Warwick is also a little bit out of the way of most major touristy attractions. Suva (the capital) was about 2 hours away, the airport was about two hours away and most touristy activities were at least an hour away. I didn’t mind this so much, because the drive to these places was beautifully scenic and the drivers were all lovely.
More on Fiji
Future posts on Fiji:
TerraTrek Quad Bikes and Waterfall Tour
Village Tours – Lawai Village
Sand Dune Trek
Love to you and yours xx