Anywho, this isn’t our first overseas trip with Winnie, so we felt like we knew what we needed from our accommodation and after a few nights of trawling tripadvisor, wotif and expedia we finally decided on The Warwick. Mostly excellent reviews, apart from a few who seemed to just be from the standard complainers saying things like “the chair in the corner of the room was too hard” or “it rained” (like that’s the hotels fault) Lots of people commenting on the excellent facilities for kids, great food options, swim up bar, plus images like these = SOLD!
The Warwick Hotel – Fiji
My lil family of 3 have just returned from a day 5 holiday dash to Fiji. I have been to Fiji before, but that was many moons ago, before kids, you know, when you just went on holidays and did WHATEVER you liked, WHENEVER you liked. No….can’t remember that far back? Me either.
(photo courtesy of www.warwickhotels.com)
From the minute you arrive in Fiji you’ll straight away notice two things. 1. Fijian people are in one word, lovely. Super smiley, super friendly, super happy. 2. They have their own time, Fiji time, yes it’s really a thing. So if you like your holidays scheduled down to the minute, this might not be the place for you. My suggestion, just roll with it, you’re on holidays on a tropical island, don’t sweat the small stuff, take your watch off and just enjoy it!
Apart from one tour, we spent every day in the resort enjoying the onsite facilities and activities, but there are plenty of tour/sightseeing to do so if you’re up for some adventure make sure you speak to the tour desk or do some google-ing before you go.
If you go at this time of the year (June/July) maybe pack a long sleeve shirt and a pair of thin pants. The weather certainly wasn’t cold (especially compared to an Adelaide winter) but it did get a bit cool in the evening, cool enough for a thin long sleeve anyway.
Below is a quick pros/cons list from our few days at The Warwick. We loved it, and everyone we met there was loving it too. It really is a great choice if you have a family, especially if your kids are over 3.
1. The FREE kids club was great. It’s open from 9am – 9pm every day and available for kids between the ages of 3 and 12. There is an indoor kids room, mainly for the younger ones with toys and games, they also do arts and crafts, and a daily “kids cooking” activity that Winnie loved. The older kids have a really fantastic program that changes each day (they drop a flyer under your door each night with the next days activities) and for us included things like boat making, beach games and face painting. The kids club staff are sensational, actually ALL of the staff are sensational, especially with kids. They made Winnie feel really special greeting her by name every day.
2. The babysitters. The Warwick offer an onsite baby sitting service for $15AUD per hour that we used twice and would definitely recommend. It was great to be able to order room service dinner for Winnie and then leave her with the baby sitter for a few hours to go and enjoy dinner (and mainly enjoy some cocktails) on our own. In case you haven’t got the idea already, the staff at The Warwick are fantastic with kids, so we had absolutely no dramas or hesitation leaving Winnie with a babysitter.
3. The FREE onsite activities. Last time we stayed in Fiji we had to pay to hire equipment, but at The Warwick all of the water sports are included, so you can feel free to grab a kayak, stand up paddle board or snorkelling gear and go your hardest. And the water straight out the front of the hotel is magic. Super clear, warm and great for “nemo spotting”
You can also feel free to play tennis or squash, use the gym or beat your husband in a few games of ping pong.
4. The Teppanyaki restaurant. We had a really great family dinner at the onsite Teppanyaki restaurant “Sazanami” We were a bit worried about taking Winnie with us in case she had one of “those” nights, but she absolutely LOVED it, and once again mainly due to the staff making it super special for her. Watching Dad have egg flung at his bowl (and face) was hilarious, and she has been talking about this dinner NON STOP since we got back. A definite highlight and make sure you order the fried rice.
5. The nightly activities were great. Winnie really enjoyed the traditional dancing, and we had planned to take her to the fire twirling, but an 8pm “I’ve had a big day and I’m really tired and I’m going to have a complete melt down in the foyer” put an end to those plans. Apparently it’s very cool though so plan to see that. The kids club also put on a movie each night so there’s another chance for a “grown ups” dinner opportunity.
6. If you’re desperate for some retail therapy, there are a little group of local shops at the end of the property selling a few touristy bits and pieces. You can also grab a massage or get your toes painted, or get your washing done before you leave for about $30AUD a bag.3
7. Hot tip – If you’re after a tour, make sure you check out Zip Fiji. We took off for a few hours while Winnie was at kids club to do the Zip at Pacific Harbour (about an hours drive from the hotel) it was SO MUCH FUN! The website says 6 years and over, but would probably say it’s more suited to over 10’s at least. We both loved it! You can book from their website, or from the tour desk at The Warwick.
8. The hotel is very clean and well maintained. Nothing to complain about in that department.
The Con’s (and how to avoid them)
1. The hotel is around 2.5 hours drive from the airport in the airport transfer bus, this time can be affected by the time of the day you arrive, and can sometimes be quicker, but apparently sometimes also take longer.
If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend a private airport transfer. The hotel can arrange it for you and it’s around $95ish AUD. Still takes around 1.5 hours which can be quite painful with a tired and hungry 3 year old (TRUST ME) but I think the private car is the way to go, if you can
2. The internet is REALLY annoying. Yes yes I know before you start rolling your eyes and thinking “why does she need internet on holidays” well the answer is, I have a small business so checking and replying to some emails is important for me, and yes I’ll admit a 15 minute Mother Goose or that wacky Kinder Surprise lady on youtube is sometimes all I need for a little quiet time for Winnie. Errrr and hello, how can you make all your mates jelly without posting many many many images to Facebook and Insty without internet!
The hotel gives you one free hour of internet per day, but it’s done by room, not device, so we kept having the problem of one device using it and then not being able to connect on any others. I ended up paying for 3 days premium internet for (yikes) $40, which still wasn’t amazing. But you know, truth be told, yes, we were in Fiji, so who cares!?
BUT if you do HAVE to have internet, be prepared for it to not be great. Not super bad, just not great.
3. Food/Snacks – The hotel has 5 restaurants to choose from, with two of those providing kids FREE meals. We struggled a bit in the snack department though. There just wasn’t really anywhere to go and grab a quick toasty cheese sambo or a muffin, or even just a piece of fruit. If you’ve got kids that like to pick and nibble all day, might be a good idea to ask your driver to stop at one of the local supermarkets on the way to the hotel and pick up some nibbles. The rooms have fridges (small ones but ok for a few things)
There are gift shops onsite that have a few snacky type things, but mainly chips and chocolate and of course at hotel prices.
Hot Tip – stop at the shops on the way and grab some chips, crackers, some fruit, muesli bars etc so the kids can snack on those when they need to.
The restaurants – As I mentioned there are FIVE restaurants to choose from at The Warwick. A buffet that changes theme each night, we arrived on Mexican night, and for those of you who know my husband, that went down VERY well! As well an Italian restaurant, Japanese restaurant, Seafood Restaurant and Lagoon Bar and Grill.
Problem is, you need to book a table every night, and while we were there, tables booked up quick. Takes a bit of the spontaneity out of it when you need to pre book each dinner. Plus as I’m sure most of you know, sometimes when you SAY you’re going to have dinner at 6:30pm that doesn’t necessarily mean that your kids are going to run with that plan. There is a great room service menu though, so we actually found it easier to order room service for dinner, and then venture outside after for some dessert or to watch one of the nightly shows.
As I mentioned before, make sureyou make use of the fantastic babysitters at The Warwick. Grab some room service dinner with the kids, get them bathed and pj-ed, organise a babysitter and then go out for dinner CHILD-LESS! Yes, go on do it!