In September 2016 we were lucky to call the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa our home for four nights. We had a memorable time there, with lots of sunshine and a beautiful lagoon and pool to relax by. The fact that we only paid for four nights what most people would pay for one or two nights made it even better. More info on how to do that later 🙂
– Getting there –
The InterContinental Fiji is located on Fijis main island, Viti Levu. Since Nadi International Airport is also on this island, you don’t need to go on one of the expensive ferries to a different island. We jumped into a taxi at the airport and paid around US$50 for the oneway ride, which takes about an hour depending on traffic. Definitely cheaper than the resort transfer, and not much more than the shuttle bus, if you go with at least two people.
Flying into Nadi is not only possible from many cities in Australia and New Zealand. There are flights from Singapore, Hong Kong or Seoul as well as from lots of other South Pacific islands.
– The Resort –
We were welcomed by a lot of friendly and enthusiastic staff members and lots of “Bulas”. Once you set foot on Fiji, you’ll instantly know what that means 😉
The layout of the whole resort is actually very nice. It’s spread out along the beachfront, but not too far. It goes a bit inland as well, and as a result, you never really have to walk too far. If you really don’t feel like walking, they have free mini buses taking you around every 10 or 15 minutes.
Uphill from the main area there’s the Club area, which is only for Club InterContinental guests. This area has its own pool and guests enjoy free snacks and drinks in the evening or even throughout the day.
Worth noting, the former sugar cane rail went right through the middle of the resort. You can still see the tracks right there, but since it was damaged by a huge storm a couple of years ago, it’s currently not in use.
The centrally located reception area is designed really well, with breathtaking views out to sea and over the resort. Check-in was lovely and because we are Gold IHG Members the resort manager came to greet us, which shows how professional their service is. After that, we were picked up by a golf cart and driven down to our unit.
– The Rooms –
This was probably our favourite asset of the hotel. There is not actually a main building, but instead there are lots of little houses dotted all around the resort. Each of these houses has two floors with three to four very spacious rooms on each of them. Even the most basic rooms feature a super large outdoor patio / balcony with a lounger and a jacuzzi! They are designed in an open plan concept, and you can also make the balcony or patio become part of the room by closing the curtains put in place for this purpose.
– Beach & Pool –
Since the InterContinental Fiji is set on Natadola Bay, there are some beautiful landscapes with turquoise waters, shallow lagoons and lots of colourful coral right on your doorstep. Nice sandy beaches are not very common on Viti Levu due to the huge reef, but the InterContinental has got one!
Of course, even though you wouldn’t really need it, there is a selection of pools as well. The adult infinity pool offers a relaxed atmosphere with cool music and really attentive service. It’s built right along the beachfront. There are lots of lounge chairs and even some comfy day beds all around the pool. For sure not place where you have to be up early to secure your spot!
Behind the adult pool is a bar as well as the casual lunch and snack restaurant, and on the other side of that is a large family pool. This way, children don’t have to be restricted and adults still get their relaxation time.
There is a third pool for Club InterContinental guests in the hillside Club part of the resort.
– Activities –
You can join all sorts of activities. While they are expensive as you would expect from this type of resort, they’re not toooo over the top. There are all sorts of motorised and unmotorised water sports, excursions around the island and much more. Also, local people will be offering you their services, if you leave the resort beach towards the northern end. That can come in handy if you just want a quick lift to a supermarket or if you want to see the local village.
As I had never scuba dived before and Emma really wanted to show me how cool it is, we took a free test dive in their diving pool and afterwards I decided it would be nice to try it out in the the ocean. Since Natadola Bay is famous for having some great and colourful marine life, I was willing to spend the US$80 for an introductory dive.
…And it was worth it! We spent an entire hour under water and saw some really cool coral and fish! I had been snorkelling in the Philippines before, but that didn’t really compare. Even Seychelles snorkelling wasn’t quite as good.
– How to survive on the cheap end –
Booking your stay
To lower the costs on your stay, the most important thing is booking your stay in the first place. The InterContinental Fiji usually runs at US$350 to US$500 a night for a standard room. We paid US$690 for our four night stay. A considerable difference! And doing that is not actually as hard as you might think. The simple trick:
- IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) sells the hotel for 30,000 IHG points pretty much any day apart from peak season
- You can buy IHG points at any time for US$11.5 per 1,000 points
- Every few months, bonus promotions with 80 to 100% bonus come around, meaning the cost per 1,000 points drops to only US$5.75
- Thus 30,000 points cost you only US$172.5
- We bought 60,000 points and received 60,000 in bonuses, paying US$690 in total for 120,000 points – good for four nights at this property!
Eating and drinking
Once there though, don’t expect too many money-saving options. We had no meals or drinks included. If that’s the case, we generally opt for a late breakfast / brunch and that’ll keep us going until dinner. Also, we quite often share a larger meal instead of getting two smaller ones. This usually ends up being cheaper. Do expect to pay US$20 to US$30 for cheaper meals and US$30 to US$60 for the better options though…
And if you really want to save big time, live of their large garlic bread pizzas at Toba restaurant, which is only about US$8!
Also: If you buy a bottle of water and finish it, you don’t have to spend ridiculous money on new water. It’s something like six dollars a bottle. The bartenders by the pool will happily refill your purchased bottle with cold water for free!
Here’s a short overview of their restaurants and bars:
- Toba Restaurant & Bar – The casual restaurant and pool bar. This is the most affordable place inside the resort and we spent most of our time eating here. This is also where you get free water on request throughout the day.
- Sanasana – If you have your breakfast or dinner included, this is where you’ll be eating. If not, you can still enjoy it for about US$50 per person and buffet.
- Navo – The fine dining restaurant of the resort. Set at the end of the beach and looking over to Navo island, you can find heaps of good stuff on the menu, including lots of seafood. Before you go, make sure you’re fine with paying for appetisers starting at US$15 and mains usually around US$45.
- Kama Lounge – Very nice setting in the evening (shown in the picture below). They usually have a DJ around, you n relax on comfy sofas under the stars, sipping away on a fairly affordable beer or mocktail, or some more expensive cocktails.
- Vatu Lo – This restaurant is actually the cheapest one. It’s located by the golf course however, so it’ll be a few minutes along the road from the resort. Once there, you’ll be treated with awesome views, low prices for food and drinks alike, and possibly venture off on a round of golf.
– Bottom Line –
…we can say it is definitely one of our favourite resorts we’ve been to so far. The design is very modern and everything you look at throughout the resort just has this kind of wow factor. The whole setup and layout is just fantastic. They’ve also got some good music at Kama Lounge and the pool, which makes the resort seem a bit “younger”. It’s one of the few resorts on the main island that have a truly enjoyable white sand beach.
If you can manage to use the points strategy to book a room here, definitely consider doing it. You can’t get much better value for your money in Fiji. Unfortunately, the prices once you get there are really high and it’s not possible to go to local restaurants because of the secluded location. Thus, you better save up if you’re planning to indulge in their food and drink offerings 😉
Oh and be sure to look out the window when landing or taking off in Fiji!!
– Book Your Stay At The Intercontinental Fiji –
Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their reviews on TripAdvisor
READ NEXT: FIJI TRAVEL GUIDE
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