This is the third post in a series of travel posts on my trip to Fiji back in August and includes my resort review of the Marriott Resort Momi Bay. Check out the posts that lead up to this one and include how I landed on Fiji as a destination and how I decided where to stay when in Fiji.
Okay, let’s talk about our experience at the Marriott on the main island of Viti Levu. When you go halfway around the world for a vacation you want everything to be perfect. So I am one of those people who is diligent and careful with my planning, but once I arrive on my trip I let it all go. Who really cares – you’re in a dream location so it is going to be pretty hard to screw that up. At least that is my mentality. Don’t let the perfect ruin the good, ya know?
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay: Private, stunning views, where are the people?
Our Room: When we arrived at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay I was on cloud nine. Being that this was a newer resort – there were some mixed reviews on the hotel and their level of service. However being that we got a great rate and I am a Platinum Member (thanks to the ole day job) we were upgraded to one of the nicest rooms in the place! We paid for a lagoon bure and ended up in an ocean front bure. One word…P R I V A C Y. The lagoon facing bures may seem really cool (and they are) but they face the overwater bures so there is virtually no privacy on the lagoon. Our ocean facing bure was incredible, seriously amazing. It was basically a little apartment with what felt like a back yard, massive deck, comfortable outdoor furniture and uninterrupted views of the bay, Mamanuca islands and a perfect place to watch the sunset. We were in heaven for four nights.
Here is how we spent our days at the Marriott…
Day 1 (August 11th)
We took a red eye flight from the US (see my previous post on how I search for flights) which means we arrived at the resort around 7am so we requested an early check-in. Our room was not available for a couple of hours so they gave us one of those old Nokia phones so we could wander around and they would call us when our room was ready! Super convenient. We stored our luggage, ate breakfast at their amazing Goji Kitchen & Bar where they have an international buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had the breakfast every single morning if that tells you how delicious it was. The views were also amazing of the lagoon and over water bures. I will say though coffee was really, really hot. Too hot. Oh and don’t ask for an iced coffee. They will put the coffee in a blender with ice and ice cream and only partially mix it up and there will be massive ice chunks in it. Kind of bizarre so just stick with the really hot coffee.
Our room was finally ready so we settled in, dipped in the ocean (which was a rocky climb down the rocks from our room) and then posted up at the infinity pool for the rest of the day. We had learned that the Fish Bar had great food and filled up quickly so we made reservations for our first night. After a long day at the pool we went back to the hotel, showered up, walked around the resort and then headed to the Fish Bar for dinner.
What’s to love about the Fish Bar? Incredible views, sandy bottom under some of the tables, ambient fire pits, delicious food.
Insider Tips? Make earlier reservations to enjoy the sunset and to have your pick of tables, order the sashimi platter and share the entrée where you pick your meat and two sides (we we’re stuffed).
Day 2 (August 12th)
Woke up early due to jet lag and enjoyed a gluttonous breakfast buffet at the Goji Kitchen. We decided we needed to leave the resort on this day for three reasons 1) to site see and explore Viti Levu Island 2) find Natadola Beach 3) get some alcohol for our hotel room (not listed in order of importance) We accomplished all of these things! The highlight of this was obviously Natadola Beach. WOW. Absolutely stunning. After the beach we drove down to Sigatoka to just look around. It was a fine drive, but nothing too exciting. You can’t see much of the water from the drive as the road is inland a bit so the drive is less scenic then I thought it would be.
What’s to love about Natadola Beach? This beach is absolutely beautiful. Turquoise water, warm sands and very few people. We loved it so much we came back the next day during high tide so we could rent a surf board and catch some waves!
Insider Tips! Park at the InterContinental Fiji Hotel. This is first of all a stunning hotel with great clean bathrooms to use. When you come through the security guard booth, tell them you are there to take surf lessons or renting a paddle board from the Reef Safari hut that is part of the hotel.
Not cool, Fiji: For me, it was not cool, but for some it may be fine…there are some locals on the beach that are kind of pushy and trying to see you either massages, or day trips. If you’re looking for these things great. If not, super annoying.
Dinner: Lagoon House & Bar back at the hotel it was basic, but really yummy and super cute!
Day 3 (August 13th)
Like I said earlier – we loved Natadola beach SO MUCH we went back the next day. We got there earlier this time and for high tide so we could enjoy some surfing. We rented a board from Reef Safari (the dive hut on the beach that is operated by the InterContinental Fiji Hotel) and enjoyed a couple of hours of surf for only $15 USD for the board. Woo hoo!
Dinner: We went to our fav breaky spot for dinner which is the Goji Kitchen at the Marriot (if you have not figured it out yet). We had a dinner buffet. While it was really good and the variety was nice, it was probably my least favorite meal. I was not starving so maybe that was why, but I preferred the Fish Bar and Lagoon House at the hotel much more.
Day 4 (August 14th)
After two days in a row of driving around the island, Day #4 was made for relaxing so that is exactly what we did. We woke up early, had the breakfast buffet at the Goji Kitchen…yes, again (#worthit) then went for a walk around the beautiful property. We discovered the gym (it looked really nice from the window) and found a cute shop and I bought a new hat (pictured below). Finally. The pool. We made some ‘roadies’ (aka vod sods) and headed to the pool. Front row seats at the beautiful infinity pool made for a perfect day of sunbathing, I mean sun burning. Once we caught a strong buzz, we fell asleep at the pool then decided it was time to call it a day. Well, at least at that pool.
We hopped over to the Lagoon Pool just to check it out, crashed a game of catch that involved some children and some locals, ordered some beverages there then made our way over to the lagoon activities booth for some paddle boarding. While the paddle boarding was super fun and the water felt great, they forced you into wearing life jackets (we even got in trouble for taking them off) and they would not let you go outside of the lagoon out to the bay. Something about keeping us safe? Kind of lame, but still beautiful and fun. The lagoon water is the prettiest color!!
Dinner: We spend our last night at the Fish Bar watching the sunset, eating sashimi and splitting another beautiful and delicious entrée while watching the locals conduct a fire show. Amazing on so many levels. It was the perfect last night at this phenomenal resort.
So I told you what we did and where we ate at this resort. All of that was wonderful. Some things I didn’t mention about this resort was around the privacy, the immaculate grounds and the super friendly staff. Starting with the privacy…where in the world were all the people? Now, we know they were there as we would see them at dinner and walking around sometimes, but overall we felt like we had this place to ourselves. I think it was because the property is so spread out? Some people may think how long of a walk everything is kind of annoying, but I LOVED it! The grounds were well kept, trimmed and cleaned too. That always makes me feel like if it is clean on the outside, it is clean on the inside (you know, the sheets and towels). Finally, the employees were great! I learned that they speak quietly which at first kind of annoyed me as I could not always hear them, then I learned that this is cultural piece and that raising your voice is considered to be disrespectful. Thank you to the Fiji Marriott Momi Bay Resort for having us. It was the trip of a lifetime and the perfect way to unwind, relax and spend the first four days of our vacation. Bula!