There are over 300 islands in Fiji and after some debate we chose to have our island experience on Tokoriki, which is part of the Mamanuca Islands. It takes approximately one hour by boat to get there from Denarau.
There are only two places to stay on this island – Tokoriki Island Resort (An adults only resort) & Sheraton Tokoriki Resort & Spa (which has an adults only section). We went with the Sheraton as I liked the look of the rooms at this resort better and it was slightly cheaper. We ended up booking through the hotel directly as they had the most competitive rates.
The Sheraton recommends booking your transfer from Denarau through them rather than a third party transfer company, we were told this was so they knew exactly when we’d be arriving and they could ensure our room was ready. You can also make use of their sister properties in Denarau (Sheraton Fiji Resort and Sheraton Denarau Villas) while you wait for the bus to take you to the marina. You have the option of getting to the island by either catamaran or helicopter – We went with the catamaran which was about $500 cheaper than the helicopter.
The ride out to Tokoriki was smooth and hassle free, once we got close to the resort we had to get off the catamaran and onto a smaller boat operated by staff at the resort, they drove us almost right onto the beach, we stepped out of the boat into beautiful clear water before sinking our toes into the soft white sand that leads up to the resort entrance. As we stepped out of the boat there were staff there to assist us up the beach, while others greeted us with a song, shell garlands and drinks, it really was an amazing way to be welcomed! (The staff get your bags off the boat and take them directly to your room).
We booked a Tokoriki Ocean View Retreat room, this room type is on the adults only side of the resort. Our room was gorgeous, facing the ocean and the interior opened up onto a private deck area with a plunge pool. (The plunge pool is tiny though, it’s almost not worth the extra you pay for it). We literally only had to walk 30 seconds from our room and we were on the beach! The room was spacious, the bed was super comfy, we had all the amenities we needed and were supplied with bottled drinking water each day when our room was cleaned. The bathroom was huge with his and her vanities, the shower had a glass wall where you could partially see outside into the garden – without exposing yourself!
While exploring through the resort we noticed the adults only side of the resort was clean, tidy and nice to walk through however the family side needed a bit of work, the garden wasn’t well maintained and the area in general didn’t have that “resort feel” . We found out that the resort had recently been rebranded to the Sheraton and that they were still completing refurbishments. We stayed there in June 2015, about six months ago, so things may have been fixed up since then.
The staff are lovely and all extremely friendly, you get to know them on a first name basis and you’ll usually have the same waiter each night. Speaking of food… The island is remote with pretty much nowhere to go, there are no supermarkets. There is a convenience store at the Sheraton which sells the basics but it’s all very overpriced. I’d recommend stocking up on supplies on the mainland and taking them over to the island with you, that’s what we ended up doing and saved ourselves quite a lot of money.
Our food stash! 😀
The main restaurant is the Flying Fish, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, both a la carte and buffet on selected days. Our accommodation package included breakfast, we snacked on food we’d brought over from the mainland for lunch and would dine at the Flying Fish for dinner each night. Ensure sure you make a reservation each morning for dinner at your preferred time (we did this right after breakfast each day) otherwise you may have to wait a little while before being seated.
We ordered from the a la carte menu each night as the buffet didn’t meet our dietary requirements. The food is good but there isn’t a lot of variety and after a few nights there the menu starts to get a little boring, albeit tasty! My favourite dish was the green pea and feta risotto, Sanjay’s was the chicken Tikka. There’s also an informal dining area at the bar, where you can get burgers and chips etc. On Wednesdays they have a Fijian buffet dinner available, it’s at this time they also invite guests to try Kava.
The island itself is quite pretty, with its white sand beaches and clear water. The only downsides we found were parts of the beach were quite rocky, making getting into the water a little unpleasant. A very large amount of seaweed also washes up on the beach each day and it can smell quite bad at times, the staff do their very best to clear it up as soon as possible though.
The island is great for relaxing on the beach or by the pool, going snorkelling and doing various other water activities. I went snorkelling for the first time ever and loved it, (I’m not a strong swimmer so I was wearing a life jacket!) There is a coral reef just off the coast which the staff will tow you to on the back of a jet ski. I saw beautiful coral and hundreds, if not thousands of beautiful fish and even a couple of neon purple starfish too!
While chilling on the beach is great for a while it’s nice to mix things up a little. To help with that the Sheraton has a weekly programme with various free activities arranged each day to entertain guests who don’t want to be in the water.
A few examples from when we were there are, fish feeding, coconut ice cream making, crab races, watermelon smashing (which we missed out on because they had no watermelons left on the island!) and daily movies. They also have a spa facility.
Note – The coconut ice cream making is not what it sounds like, you’re not making ice cream but rather shredding coconut and rolling ice cream in it, so that it’s covered in coconut! Tasted good though!
We had an awesome time at the Sheraton Tokoriki Island Resort and Spa, the staff made us feel incredibly welcome. Once we’d checked out and were waiting for our boat, they all came out and sung us a good bye song and waived to us as we headed off, they kept waiving as we sailed off and disappeared out of site.
Happy Travels, Priti X