Shangri-La Resort & Spa is a beautiful island resort located on Fiji's Coral Coast, just under 60km from Nadi International Airport. It's a large resort with fantastic, friendly staff, and has everything you need for an enjoyable, relaxing, and fun-filled holiday.
For the kids, they'll be kept busy with poolside dancing, face painting, fish feeding, crab racing, games on the lawn, movies, a kids disco, coconut boat racing, craft, basket-making, fijiian dress-up and more.
For the adults, there's everything from relaxing by the pool with a book or visiting the spa, to filling the days with activities such as bike riding, scuba diving, parasailing, golf, and a village tour, before ending the day with a kava ceremony or fire dancing show.
The lagoon precinct is where a lot of the activities take place, and it has a fun and lively vibe. Here you'll find guests and staff dancing to the Macarena and Fireball during the poolside dancing sessions, kids cheering on crabs during the crab races, lots of laughing at the pool games, and fun on the lawn with soccer, cricket and other games.
This is also the place to find the massage hut, hair braiding, locally-made jewellery for sale, clay pot-making sessions, water sports equipment hire, the Marine Education Centre, and the kids club.
Left: Looking out across the water at the lagoon beach area; Right: The Marine Education Centre
Pools and beaches There are several places to swim at the resort, and beach towels are provided. If you need goggles, a spare swimsuit or pool toys, the shopping arcade has these items available for purchase.
The lagoon pool is the largest - and busiest - pool at the resort and includes a separate toddler pool. There are lots of sun lounges and a toilet block (which even has a child-sized toilet and baby change table). There's a bar nearby, and food and drink can be ordered from the Beach Bar & Grill if you'd like to enjoy lunch by the pool.
In addition to the lagoon pool, there are two other pools at the resort - the adults-only infinity pool in the reef wing, and a family pool near the Takali restaurant (this one is good if you'd prefer a quieter area to swim, however, it's smaller and doesn't have the shallow areas for younger children).
The lagoon pool and family pool at the Shangri-La Resort in Fiji
If you're keen to try the inflatable water park, it's available to guests aged 7 and above, and is accessible by swimming out through the marked channel. Sessions are free but are limited to 2 hours, and you'll need to sign in and grab a life vest.
The inflatable water park is challenging, but lots of fun
There are a variety of rooms and bures to suit everyone from individuals and couples to families and larger groups. As someone who has previously found it hard to find accommodation for two adults and three children in one room, I loved that this option was available at the Shangri-La (we had a double bed, two beds on the sofa, plus a rollaway bed). There are rooms that can accommodate a family of 5 or 6, plus there's also the option of interconnecting rooms for larger families.
For adults seeking a quieter holiday, the Reef Wing is an exclusive adults-only section, complete with an adults-only pool and bar.
Internet access is available throughout the resort, and each room contains:
An air conditioner
Tea and coffee making facilities (a kettle, and a selection of tea, coffee, sugar, sweetener, and creamer)
A bar fridge
Iron and ironing board
Toiletries, including shampoo, condition, body gel and body lotion
The rooms contain tea and coffee-making facilities, as well as a range of toiletries.
The beds are very comfortable, and the housekeeping staff left some towel animals on the beds, which the kids loved!
Towel animals created by the wonderful housekeeping staff at the Shangri-La, Fiji
The resort features an undercover shopping arcade, which has a couple of shops, a beauty and hairdressing salon, post box, resort information centre, tour and travel centre, plus an area where local men and women have items for sale such as bracelets and necklaces.
Some of the shops in the arcade include:
Beer Wine Spirits Bottle shop
Jack's of Fiji, which has a selection of jewellery, souvenirs, clothing, pool accessories, luggage and more.
Tappoo, where you can buy clothing, a wide range of souvenirs, beauty products, packets of kava powder, pool accessories and goggles, groceries (chocolate, crackers, biscuits, icy poles, fruit juice, bottled water, etc), as well as items such as paracetamol, tissues, nappies, and sunscreen.
In the shopping arcade, you can find books, souvenirs, clothing, accessories, chocolate, juice, biscuits, bottled water, paracetamol, nappies, and more.
There is a Westpac ATM located in the shopping arcade. While the resort is considered cashless, it's handy to have some Fijiian dollars to purchase items at the shops and avoid the 3.5% card surcharge, or to buy items from the locals in the arcade.
At the time of publication, there is a $15FJD fee when withdrawing money from the ATM, however, there are a number of cards available these days that refund this amount back to your account.
There is a Westpac ATM located in the shopping arcade at the Shangri-La
The Shangri-La has six restaurants, two bars, plus 24-hour in-room dining, which is handy for guests arriving late in the evening.
The restaurants include the Lagoon Terrace Restaurant (buffet-style breakfast and dinner), Takali Asian Restaurant (breakfast and dinner), Beach Bar & Grill (lunch and dinner), and the popular Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian Restaurant (breakfast and dinner).
The view from the Lagoon Terrace Restaurant. The inflatable water park can be seen in the distance.
For vegetarians, there are a number of options available at all of the restaurants and on the in-room dining menu, including salads, pasta, vegetarian pizza and vegetable spring rolls.
If you have children who prefer plain food, don't worry - there are plenty of options:
The in-room dining menu includes a kids menu, with items such as french fries, pizza, spaghetti bolognese, pasta and fish fingers.
The Beach Bar and Grill has a special kids menu, which includes 'Chicken Schnitzel and Fries', 'Chicken Nuggets and Fries', 'Hot Dog and Fries'...and even Vegemite Sandwiches (plain or toasted).
The breakfast buffet at the Lagoon Terrace Restaurant offers toast, cereal, pancakes, waffles, fruit, porridge, bacon and eggs, croissants, pastries, fruit juice, and ice-cream.
The Shangri-La has a weekly program of activities for adults, and for children. If you're trying to stick to a budget, there are lots of free, on-site activities (eg. pool games, water aerobics, torch lighting and kava ceremony), a games room, gymnasium, along with free use of the water park, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks.
Activities that are available for a fee include golf, parasailing, jet skiing, tennis, deep sea fishing, banana boat rides, bike tours, cultural tours and shows (see below), guided nature walks, and tie-dye activities.
There are tennis courts, a basketball court, and golf course at the Shangri-La
The resort has a great selection of Fijiian cultural experiences, tours and shows available for guests to enjoy. Some are free, and others are available at various prices, with adult and children pricing.
Free Activities and Events:
Torch Lighting and Kava Ceremony
The torch-lighting and kava ceremony is held at sunset on the lagoon lawn at the resort. The session begins with some Fijiian history, and then the adults can try some kava while the children participate in the torch lighting. This is a free activity.
During the day, kids can enjoy Fijiian dance lessons, Fijiian singing lessons, grass skirt-making, and Fijiian words lessons.
Community Sunday School Choir Performance
One of my favourite experiences was watching the Sunday School Choir perform. The choir are from the local community and come in once a week to sing on the lagoon lawn. This is a free event, however there is a donation box and all of the money donated goes back to the village.
The Sunday School choir performing at the Shangri-La
Events and activities available at a charge:
Fire Dancing, Knife Dancing, Fire Walking Demonstration, and the Polynesian banquet
These shows take place at Marau Village, which is on-site. Booking are required, and can be made through the resort information centre (current prices are available at the resort)
Tribal Drumming at the Golden Cowrie Italian Restaurant
Guests dining at the Golden Cowrie Restaurant can enjoy tribal drumming during dinner. Check the activities list for days and times.
Ace's Village Tour
Ace's Village Tour takes place a couple of times a week. The tour leaves from the resort, and guests visit a local village and school, before returning to the resort.
Natadola Magical Half-Day Tour
Guests travel to a local village, bamboo furniture factory and more, before enjoying a barbecue on the beach.
Marau Village, where the fire dancing and knife dancing shows take place.
A couple of tips:
The tap water at the resort is treated and considered safe to drink and I drank it without any problems, however if you wish to bring your own, you can purchase bulk packs of bottled water at the duty-free shop near the luggage carousel at Nadi Airport, or at the shopping arcade at the resort.
Due to taxes, alcohol is fairly expensive to purchase at the resort's restaurants, bars and in-room dining, however you're welcome to bring your own to enjoy in your room. Again, it's cheapest to buy alcohol at the airport duty-free store, but there is also a bottle shop at the shopping arcade at the resort which has a variety of spirits and wine from Australia and New Zealand.
This was my first time in Fiji, and I'd highly recommend the Shangri-La to anyone visiting Fiji for the first time.
While I noticed guests from a range of different age groups, I'd particularly recommend it for the following groups:
Families: With a kids club, babysitting service, pools (including a toddler pool), kids activities, and food to cater for children, this is great place for families. The resort feels safe, and the staff are great with the children.
Couples and adults travelling without kids: The adults-only section, complete with an adults-only pool is great for couples, honeymooners, and those who'd prefer to stay in a more secluded and private area. In addition, the Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian Restaurant offers an adults-only breakfast, and dinner is restricted to adults and children aged over 7.
Wedding Parties: The Shangri-La is a popular destination for weddings, and has a beautiful seaside chapel, plus reception facilities.
Please also note that the prices and activities are accurate at the time of publication, however they may change. I'd recommend contacting the friendly staff at the hotel if you have any questions, or wish to confirm prices and/or available activities.
Where:Yanuca Island, Coral Coast, Fiji Islands, Fiji
Cost:Accomodation prices vary depending on a number of factors (eg. room type, date of travel, etc). For more information, contact the Shangri-La directly, or your Travel Agent or third-party booking service.