For most visitors to Fiji, Nadi is the happy gateway into this veritable tropical paradise. Nadi is found on the west coast of Vitu Levi (the main island of Fiji) and is home to its main international airport. But with Fiji's resorts strung all along its lengthy coastline—or on one of its scattered, coral-bedecked islands—many new arrivals choose to spend at least one night at a hotel in this picturesque resort.
But Nadi has a lot more going for it than being merely a pretty transit point. There are some fabulously varied hotels and resorts scattered among its beaches, hills and mangrove forests. There's a lively nightlife scene in Nadi town, and from its port, you can launch yourself into all manner of water-based fun. This is all back-dropped by the lush, jungle-clad mountains of Sabeto, and the azure allure of the Pacific Ocean. Let's run through the top hotel options found in and around Nadi.
For those whose main mission here is to rest and recuperate after a long flight before heading off elsewhere in Fiji, the airport has a number of conveniently close hotels. Most are standard-class affairs, with excellent service and a welcoming berth—all for a reasonable price. Some have access to the beach at Nadi Bay, while others just lay on the refreshing pleasures of the hotel pool.
One or two provide a more deluxe service, however, which is great if you'd prefer to start your holiday in the sumptuous fashion you intend to keep to. But if you're looking for real luxury, and aren't planning on shooting off, Nadi has a few aces up its sleeve.
A short drive south of the airport is the exclusive resort of Denarau Island. Here, they know how to holiday with a touch of class. The island is reached over a causeway and consists of a handful of top-ranked hotels around an 18-hole championship golf course. As well having as some of the better beaches in Nadi, the hotels here really lay on the facilities. There are tennis courts, first-class restaurants and an exclusive night-club serving this gated community. And for a bit of local culture and colour, you can head into Port Denarau, which is literally around the corner.
The Port also serves as the launching point for the wonderful resorts of the Mamanuca Islands, which stretch a few miles off the coast. Nadi, however, offers something almost as special, with a somewhat shorter trek. A ten-minute drive south of Nadi, and a short hop across a lagoon, brings you to Sonaisali Island. The resort here offers game fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving, all from an exclusive complex of apartments and bures (traditional thatched bungalows). Exclusive, but expensive.
If you're looking for something at the other end of the scale, Nadi again doesn't disappoint. Nearby Wailoaloa Beach has its fair share of simple lodgings and backpacker favourites, as does Nadi Town. With the treks and trails of Koroyanitu National Heritage Park (famed for its verdant jungles and waterfalls) close by, there's plenty of backpacking to be had too. That's the beauty of Nadi. Within a short time of arriving in paradise, you can be up and running, making the most of your Fiji holiday adventure, whatever it may be.