Monday, 14 October 2013

Top 4 Fiji Islands Budget & Backpacker Getaways

Five star island resorts, private beaches, cocktails, and fancy meals are what many people envision when they think of the Fiji Islands.  It is hard to believe that the Fiji Islands can be affordable when you look at all the stunning photographs. The truth is though that Fiji can be affordable and you can find hotels and hostels that will suit a backpackers getaway.

Fijian tourism recognises backpackers and budget travellers and their need for affordable options. There are several activities and accommodation choices available, widespread throughout the islands. My tip would be to book in advance a travel package that is suitable for you with your flight to get the best value for your money. Fiji Airways does have specials throughout the year so keep an eye out on their website.

The following four are great options to kick start your search:

Bamboo Beach Hostel, Wailoaloa Bay, Nadi

Bamboo Beach Hostel, Wailoaloa Bay, Nadi, Fiji

If you're looking for accommodation away from the usual urban scene in Nadi itself, Bamboo Beach Hostel presents a great value option. A 10 minute drive from either Nadi town or the airport itself, it features free 24 hour airport pick-up, free Wi-Fi, Breakfast included and enough free kava parties to make your tongue go numb leaving you speechless...quite literally!

With great friendly staff to look after you, Bamboo Beach strives to offer a genuine Fijian experience and incorporate:
  • Weekly fire dancing shows, 
  • Live Fijian acoustic music every night,
  • Affordable Fijian cuisine and; 
  • Choice of traditional accommodation in Bures (traditional, thatched Fijian huts). 
Facilities & Services offered and not limited to are:
  • Laundry
  • Swimming Pool
  • Safe Deposit Boxes
  • Airport Transfers
  • A great bar (your holiday just isn't complete without one!)
CafĂ© Bamboo features daily specials and good local cuisine to take care of your meal requirements and as mentioned, the "kava hut" is a must visit for any first time traveller to try the national drink.

There are also local bus services that stop outside the hostel throughout the day if you wish to use them. An Adventure Travel desk on site is also a handy option to book your trips to the many available tourist attractions in Nadi

Note: There are no current curfews or lockout restrictions imposed however please ensure that you visit Bamboo Beach Hostel's website and contact the hostel to confirm details, pricing and availability prior to booking.

Raintree Lodge, Colo-i-Suva

Raintree Lodge, Fiji
The Raintree Lodge is the first fully designed Eco tourism lodge in the Fiji Islands. Located on Princes Road, Colo-i-Suva (pronounced Tholo-ee-Suva), the lodge remains of the best backpacker accommodations in the Capital City (Laucala Beach Estate), set in a gorgeous rain forest environment offering you an altogether unique experience. It has also in the past taken out Fiji's Environmental Tourism Award in 2005 and Best Budget Hotel in 2001.

Backpackers are offered quality bunk dorms starting from FJD$25 per night per person, equipped with toilets and hot water showers. Also on offer is accommodation ranging from  private double and twin bedrooms to family bures which are approximately FJD$220 per night and can accommodate up to 7 guests.

The lodge offers great hotel standard facilities such as:
  • Laundry
  • Hot Water Service
  • Room Service
  • Gym
  • Swimming pool (there is also the option to take a dip in their large lake with the swimming pool or take out their hand carved twin hulled canoe, free of charge, if you don't want to get your feet wet!)
  • Bar and pool table
The Raintree Restaurant and Bar has a traditionally inspired theme with very good chefs offering a wide variety of local and international cuisine. The bar is also well stocked with a good range of wines, spirits and beers to help you unwind after a long day of exploring.

Being an Eco friendly resort, which is its primary attraction  Raintree Lodge is especially well situated for and offers activities such as Bush walking and excursions into Colo-i-Suva National Park and internationally-acclaimed bird watching.

If you feel like venturing out, Suva being the capital city offers a large variety of interesting places to visit and activities ranging from visiting the Fiji Museum (featuring historic national artefacts), famous shopping precincts such as Cumming Street and a vibrant night life including many clubs and a variety of local restaurants. It's always comforting to know that the lodge isn't far off to come back to after a hard day (or night) out.

Be sure to visit Raintree Lodge's website for more information and specials.

Smugglers Cove, Nadi

Smugglers Cove, Fiji
Located approximately 15 minutes from Nadi International Airport, Smugglers Cove offer a variety of accommodation types and most notably their value for money budget accommodation ranging from FJD$32 to FJD$42 per night (prices subject to change).

Smugglers Cove offers great value for group bookings. Some great inclusions offered as part of the accommodation are and not limited to:
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Use of resort kayaks
  • 24 hour Airport transfers
  • Scuba Diving Pool lessons
There are also a variety of beach activities during the day and enough nightly entertainment to keep you and your crew partying through the night!

Smugglers Cove also offers great facilities which make it a better backpacking option for many travellers. These include and are not limited to:
  • A massage parlour to unwind after a hard night out
  • Great food and drinks at the Ghost Ship  Bar and Grill Restaurant 
  • Retail & souvenir shops to take care of your shopping needs
  • A taxi service located nearby
  • On site ATM
  • Wi-Fi Access (Note: Charges do apply, but then again when you're in Fiji you're there to be offline!)
For more information and upcoming specials and events, be sure to visit Smugglers Cove's website.

Mana Lagoon Backpackers, Mana Island

Mana Lagoon Backpackers, Mana Island, Fiji
If a Simple Relaxing Getaway to unwind from the routine of everyday is what you're after, it's hard to look further than Mana Lagoon Backpackers. About a 40 minute boat transfer from Nadi, the resort is perfectly set out on the beach front on Mana Island.

Renowned for being one of the most friendliest in Fiji, which takes some doing in Fiji itself!, the resort offers accommodation from dorms to double rooms at great rates when compared with many other hostels. Prices range from FJD$40 to FJD$99 per night and include 3 meals and airport transfers. The resort also accepts all major credit cards

You can also hire tent pitchers for FJD$28 if minimalistic is what you are after! Note that prices are subject to change and more information can be found at Mana Lagoon Backpacker's website.

If you have read my earlier posts, I have raved about how beautiful Mana Island is. If you love snorkelling (or haven't tried this yet) and discovering unspoiled, breathtaking marine life in particular, the resort offers a wide range of diving options to whet your appetite. Prices range from FJD$55 to FJD$300 (excluding gear hire), and as always they are subject to change so please ensure you contact the resort prior to booking.

If snorkelling is really not your thing then you can't go past lazing your (slow Fiji) time away on the gorgeous white sandy beach and calm, crystal clear water. Serenity!

Note: A ferry transfer is required to the resort at additional cost, please visit Mana Lagoon Backpacker's website for more information on ferry options.

If you have stayed in any of the above accommodation or planning to, please feel free to leave your comments and experiences below.