Family Fijian Resort Getaway

June 2013, by Tom

Back in March an email went round to see who was keen on an island getaway. We decided to put house renovations on hold for a bit and take the plunge into family resort style extravagance!

Fiji was agreed upon, and the Thompson's, Harris's and us were booked! Six nights at the 5 star Radisson Blu on Denarau Island.  This was our first time staying at a resort - and it certainly won't be our last!

We arrived late on the Tuesday night after a day of travel. Short flight to Auckland followed by a three hour flight to Fiji. Luckily for us, there was a spare seat between us where Olive could stretch her legs and pinball between us for the majority of the journey. She was surprisingly well behaved, with only a few grumbles when she had to be put back on mums lap and seat belted in for takeoff and landing. She also loved looking out the window and pointing out all the other "play"'s before we took off.  

We arrived at Nadi airport and had a short mini van ride to the resort. The whole time was spent trying to keep Olive awake as by this point it was about 9pm and she was very droopy. We finally made it, checked in, had our welcome song sung, and were taken to our rooms only to find that there was no portacot for our sleepy one. It didn't take long to get one sorted and after very little fuss, Olive was sound asleep. Once the other couples had settled their little ones (two each - suckers!) we adjourned to our balcony for a few night caps and to soak in the warmth.

Our mornings consisted of a buffet breakfast feast with everything you could imagine for buffet breakfast - including deep fried donuts, pizza and salted fish. We made a habit of pinching a few snacks for Olives lunch (old backpacking tricks die hard).

Then - it was off to relax by the incredible pool. The main pool where we hung out had a slope leading into the water, which was great for the kids as they could paddle about while the adults kicked back on the loungers. The resort as a whole was definitely very kid friendly and the number of parents with a wide range of kids made that apparent.

Each day, by lunchtime Olive was ready to crash, and crash she did! She had two hour naps everyday! Which is remarkable considering she rarely napped for two hours at home.

The afternoons usually consisted of more of the same. Resort relaxation with a few drinks thrown in for good measure.

Four of the nights away we took advantage of the babysitting service. We would put Olive to sleep, then the babysitter would arrive to enjoy a few hours of TV while we got to enjoy some adult time with the others, dining at one of the four restaurants and finishing off with a few night caps back in one of the rooms. We felt a little indulgent, but that's what resorts are all about!

The one night we decided to take the kids out to dinner with us was a little chaotic to say the least. The kids were all going a little crazy waiting for their meals to arrive and all Olive wanted to eat was chips once they finally did.

There were two outings out of the comfort of our resort - the first, Josh and I took a walk along the waterfront through the neighbouring resorts to the Port at the entrance to the Island to find the elusive "supermarket". After an hour of walking (with a few wrong turns) we finally made it. A "supermarket" it was not, but it did have a few supplies the resort did not provide, so not a wasted trip, plus, some exercise in the heat and a ride on the bulla bus back to the resort.

The second outing, on our last day in Fiji, was a half-day cruise "finding memo" where a 30 minute boat ride took us to a close island where we had two hours to do some snorkelling, ride in a "submarine" (which the Harris's did) and to drink unlimited Fiji Gold (which we certainly took advantage of). It was a fun half day out and Olive seemed to enjoy the boat ride and the coral that littered the beach on the island. The snorkelling in the beautiful clear, warm water was fun too, but it was mostly just dead coral with the odd tang or bright blue fish. Not much more can be expected from a half-day trip aimed at keeping little ones happy.

The weather was amazing - we had perhaps a 15 minute shower one lunchtime, and the occasional warm breeze while the rest of the time it was sunny and warm, and not too hot. We were actually pretty lucky to leave Wellington when we did as shortly after leaving, a storm hit and the airport had to cancel all remaining flights.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, made all the more amazing by Olive's sleeping and her thoroughly enjoying herself. The first holiday with Olive we have not felt battered and disheartened by lack of sleep and a grumpy baby.

Loving the window seat

Loving the window seat

Dinner out at the local Asian

Dinner out at the local Asian