Our family review: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

There’s so much to love about Fiji; the tropical weather, the palm trees, the people (oh, the people!), the food, and that magical turquoise water, and when you can find that all in one place, like Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, you’ve definitely hit the jackpot. We recently spent 8 nights relaxing and unwinding in the caring hands of the team at Outrigger Fiji, and unwind we did. Here’s our review…

Back in 2005, the day after emerging from our wedding bubble, Shane and I took a trip to Fiji for our honeymoon. I’d organised 99% of the wedding myself, so I handed the honeymoon planning to him. He went out one morning and came back with a plan for us to visit Fiji. We ended up on Matamonoa Island, a small adults-only island, where we lulled about and made some of my favourite memories. I felt that any trip to Fiji after that experience was going to be hard to top, or even compare.

The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is a five-star resort located on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu, on the Coral Coast. From the moment we arrived and heard our first ‘Bula!’ (it’s impossible to get sick of hearing that – the gentle, joyous nature of the Fijians is my favourite thing), and were greeted with ‘Welcome home’, we felt right at home. A home of palm trees, cocktails, coral reef, locals singing, and those gorgeous Fijian smiles. It didn’t take long to settle right in…

Getting to the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

We arrived in Fiji, delighted with the easy three hour flight from Brisbane (having flown to Los Angeles a few weeks back), Fiji feels like a total breeze. One inflight movie and we were in paradise. The last time we visited was 18 years ago for our honeymoon, when the kids were just a twinkle in our eye, so we were excited to share the special place with them.

After collecting our bags we headed straight to Tewaka Transfers (the airport is small, so it’s easy to find) to begin our 1.5 hour journey to our accommodation at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort. We opted for a private transfer, because if I know what I like after being crammed in a plane for a few hours, it’s being in a car with just my family, although for a more budget-friendly option it’s possible to travel with other guests.

First impressions

We arrived at night, so we couldn’t see how big the resort was, or even what the resort had to offer, so we were excited to settle in, get a good night’s sleep behind us, and then wake up to explore. We popped down to one of the restaurant options for the night, a buffet of local cuisines (curries, rice, roasts porks and other delicious offerings), and were treated to locals performing as we ate.

The next morning, we woke in our Ocean View Room, parted the curtains and took in the endless greenery of palm trees and bures all the way to the coastline, then blue ocean for days. We took a slow stroll around the resort, to figure out the lay of the land, and eventually ended up at the buffet for breakfast, which was a-buzz with families indulging in waffles, tropical juices, and made-to-order omelettes.

Kids Eat Free at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort…

If there are words that are magic to any parents ears, it’s this: Kids Eat Free. And at Outrigger Fiji they do. Lulu was given a green armband upon check-in which gave her access to all meals at most of the restaurants for free. There’s a kid’s menu at each of the restaurants, with meals that most kids would be thrilled with, and each lunch and dinner they can pick a main meal and a dessert.

Some of our favourite meals from around the resort

…Adults eat well

Oh boy did we eat well. We love seafood, so seeing it feature on all the menus was a delicious delight for all of us. From simple Fiji Beer-battered fish and chips, to more traditionally Fijian meals like Kokoda (ko-konda) which is a dish made with fish pieces cooked in lime juice, finished with coconut milk, herbs and vegetables. With eight restaurants and bars to choose from, we were never stuck for places to eat. Our favourite was Sundowner which was located on the beach, perfect for six o’clock sunsets. We made our way through the menu, with highlights being the corn risotto with garlic prawns, and the prawn pasta.

There are meal package options to have breakfast only, full board (all meals) or even half board (just breakfast and dinner). For the days we were hosted our meals were covered but for the last four days we had to work out the best option for us. After a little back and forth we decided to not opt for any package at all. My kids eat like sparrows, Shane doesn’t eat breakfast, and we didn’t want to over eat with two courses every meal to get our money’s worth. We paid as we went, which worked out as great value for us and gave us flexibility. You can tailor your package to suit you – one day full board (great if you want to do a buffet dinner), no packages one day and half board another. It’s completely up to you.

Activating relaxation mode

After strolling the island, the rain started to fall (tropical weather, right?) so we made appointments at the Bebe Spa, and headed up the hill (via a buggy chauffeur) for a couple’s massage. We both sipped tea and took in the view, and decided to go for the Fijian massage (although we heard other’s rave about the Balinese Massage, but when in Fiji… right?). The proceeding hour of our lives was absolute bliss, and I quickly decided that it was up there as one of my top three spa experiences.

The main pool, the ocean lagoon and the adult pool.

Take a dip

When it come to deciding where to cool off, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort has options. There’s an adults-only pool, and then the main pool that curves around the pool restaurant and bar, and then of course, the huge beach lagoon where you can swim and/or snorkel. We bounced between the main pool and the lagoon, depending on the tides. The snorkeling was stunning. There’s also complimentary access to kayaks and stand-up paddle boards for those into water sports.

Bula-tiful bures, suites and rooms

We settled into our typical resort routine; Morning walks, swim and snorkel, exploring, lunch and then a little time out in the room. We were located in a newly refurbished Ocean View Room (so new that no one had stayed in it before, and they didn’t even get a chance to fit it out with a bar fridge – which was quickly sorted and stocked), with views of the resort and the ocean.

Our room was roomy with two double beds, and a large bathroom with a generous shower. The showers were a talking point, we met new friends on the beach and both ended up raving about the joy of a good shower and how they really delivered at the Outrigger. To complete the luxe bathroom experience, each room is provided with either Pure Fiji or Bebe Spa products, which I, along with my product-loving girls, totally approved of.

Rooms start at around $311 per night for a family of four.

Our room also came with the complimentary Talai Butler Service, a complete novelty for us, which is offered to guests staying in a Deluxe Ocean View Room, Bure or Suite. Each night, around 5pm, we’d be delivered champagnes and soft drink for the girls, as well as a canape for each of us. The can also iron, dry clean or polish any shoes you need. We were just happy to have our butler Pojie visit us with a treat each night, that we couldn’t wait for 5pm to roll around, when he’d knock on the door and great us with his smiley face.

Beautification improvements underway

We were told at check-in that the resort was undergoing gradual renovations, and that it wouldn’t hinder our stay. From our room (right on top of works) we couldn’t hear a single thing, and the only way we noticed that things were happening is because some restaurants were in different/make-shift temporary locations (breakfast was located at the adults-only pool area, instead of in its normal location).

In the coming months the resort will reach completion and will have some exciting additions; a huge slide in the main pool, and even Virtual Reality entertainment for gamers on holiday.

Kids Club, Teen Programs and a Meimei Nanny Service

While our kids didn’t opt for them, there’s a great Kids Club, Teen Program and even a Meimei nanny service. It was fun to see the parents so relaxed while the kids were off having the time of their lives. When the girls were younger I would have opted for the Meimei nanny service, which is great for babies or kids with additional needs and more attention.

While there are countless options outside of the resort to take advantage of including day visits to islands, zip lining, Sigatoka shopping visit, we opted to spend our time in the resort and completely relax. There are loads of activities available each day, from water aerobics, archery, paintball, and coconut bowling. There’s also cultural activities and entertainment happening every day, including kava ceremonies, fire walking, Polynesian Fire Show, and weaving.

The Verdict

I guess the test of any great resort is answering the question; Would you go back? The answer from myself, and the rest of my family is a resounding yes.

I got teary as we left the resort, because Fiji will do that to you – I cried on the last night of our honeymoon too as the team sang goodbye to us. During our stay at Outrigger we met an Australian man who loves the Outrigger so much that he was on his 49th visit, and he already has his 50th visit planned for later this year. I said to Shane as we made the drive to the airport, “If we only visited here every year for the rest of our lives, I’d be one happy person.” A big call from someone who wants to eventually visit every country around the world, it’s just that kind of location.

There’s so much to love, from the lush greenery throughout the resort, which makes it feel like a true tropical getaway, to the delicious meals we devoured each day, but most of all, it’s the people that make it so magical, everything else is just cream. The team at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort were beautiful, passionate, joyful and so caring. Each morning I’d take a little solo stroll to the beach while my family slept, and as I quietly walked around taking in the view, I’d hear my name being called by the Fijian team, wishing me a personal good morning.

Outrigger Fiji will forever hold a special place in our hearts, the place where we had a restorative 8 nights (after a personally stressful few months for our family), where we walked in feeling clenched and worn out, and floated out with our tanks full, our faith in people renewed (Fijians will do that to you!), and completely relaxed, ready to take on the world again, better than we were before.

Did it live up to the honeymoon experience of 18 years ago? It completely surpassed it. We loved sharing Fiji with the girls, watching them fall in love with it, the way we did almost two decades ago. There’s something about Fiji, and I’m glad we all got to experience it together.

We were kindly hosted by Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort for most of our stay (we added a few extra days on to extend our stay). As always all opinions are my own and are completely based on our personal experiences.

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