This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The DoubleTree Resort Fiji is the perfect place for a relaxed island vacation. Pros: all rooms have an ocean view, low cash prices are often available and the vibe is low-key and relaxed. Cons: it’s an older resort and the beach is on the small side.

“Welcome home” are two words that I’m used to hearing in only two situations: when passing through customs in the US and when visiting my parents’ house.

I’m not, however, accustomed to hearing these words from multiple resort staff within 20 minutes of arriving — which is exactly what happened at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji. At some resorts, this would sound cheesy or forced, but at this resort it felt sincere.

The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji opened in May 2016, but it’s not a new resort. Instead, the resort previously operated as the Sonaisali Island Resort for more than 20 years before closing in 2014 for renovations. You probably have preconceived notions of the DoubleTree by Hilton brand. But don’t judge this DoubleTree Resort by its name.

In This Post

Booking

When my husband, JT, and I booked round-trip flights to Fiji this spring, I started looking into where to spend our six-night stay. We decided to review three different hotels for two nights each: the Marriott Resort Momi Bay for 35,000 Marriott points per night, the InterContinental Fiji using JT’s Ambassador free-night certificate, and the DoubleTree Fiji to finish off the annual resort credit on JT’s Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express.

The DoubleTree was available for a budget-friendly cost of FJ$668.60 (about $300), including taxes and fees for our two-night stay.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

We booked the base-level room type: a double-queen beachfront guest room with balcony.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The double queen guest rooms all have ocean views and are close to the pool and restaurants.

But we noticed before arrival that we’d been upgraded to a premium ocean-view bure, the best room type the property offers.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
A premium ocean view bure.

We put the stay on JT’s Hilton Aspire Card to earn 14x points through the credit card spend on top of 20x points through Hilton Honors with Diamond elite status, a 20.4% total return, based on TPG’s valuations.

Location

The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji is a 25-minute drive from Nadi International Airport (NAN), which costs from FJ$35 to 55 ($15 to 25) by taxi. The resort is on a peninsula that’s not connected to Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, by road. So you need to take a boat shuttle from the main island to the resort.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The boat shuttle is on-demand and free-of-charge for resort guests and takes less than three minutes. But this short boat ride adds to the secluded and private feel of the resort.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Check-in

We arrived at the DoubleTree Fiji after a 40-minute taxi (FJ$80, or about $35) from the InterContinental. After going through a manned entrance gate, we pulled up to a covered driveway next to a dock.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

A DoubleTree employee welcomed us home, put our baggage on a cart and guided us to the dock as the boat shuttle was arriving. The boat carried a few employees, who helped with loading and unloading guests and their luggage.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Once on the peninsula, we were greeted by another employee, who walked with us to reception while pushing a small cart with our luggage. Once at reception, an agent behind the counter greeted us and explained all of JT’s benefits as a Diamond elite.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

These elite benefits included daily breakfast for two, an upgrade to a premium, ocean-view bure, two drink vouchers for the pool bar, and late checkout based on availability. He asked what time our flight was scheduled to depart and noted we’d likely be able to get 6pm or 7pm late checkout — but that we’d need to check back on the day of departure to confirm.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Drink coupons for being a Diamond elite.

Of course, we were also provided with DoubleTree’s signature warm cookies at check-in.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The employee who’d walked us from the dock was waiting with our luggage when we left reception. He moved our luggage to a golf cart and then drove us along a sand pathway by the water to our bure.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

When we checked back on the morning of departure about late checkout, the front-desk agent said we could only get until noon — just one extra hour after the normal check-out time — and that we’d need to pay a half-day rate for any later departure. When we noted what the check-in agent originally said, another agent stepped in. She saw JT’s Diamond elite status and immediately offered a 4pm checkout (which we happily accepted).

Room

This property has 32 hotel-style rooms with two queen beds; 42 ocean-view bures set back from the beach with partial ocean views with one or two king beds; and 46 premium, ocean-view bures that look directly out toward the ocean with one or two king beds.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Map courtesy of the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji.

Though a bure usually means a traditional Fijian hutlike structure, the bures at the DoubleTree are better described as duplex villas. All of the bure rooms are in buildings that contain two units each, with individual entrances up a few stairs.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Premium bures have full ocean views and are closer to the ocean, while the other bures have partial ocean views and are set back farther from the beach.

When we opened the door, we saw the entire room ahead of us. To one side of the room was a king bed that was firm but comfortable. Four pillows were provided, as well as a comforter and a flat sheet.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

On each side of the bed was a nightstand, which had two drawers and an open shelf. There were also reading lights on both sides of the bed.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Across from the bed by the entrance door was a luggage shelf with two open compartments underneath.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Next to the luggage shelf was a long desk with a relatively comfortable desk chair.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Above the desk was a 47-inch flat-screen television. We couldn’t find the remote, so we simply unplugged it when we wanted to go to sleep, since we rarely use hotel TVs.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

In a recessed area on the desk, there were two power outlets, two Ethernet outlets, an HDMI port, a USB charging port, a USB entertainment port and an audio port. I didn’t have the correct plugs to test all of these outlets, but the ones I tried were functional.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Next to the desk was a cabinet with a minifridge. The minifridge was cold and contained fresh milk (which was offered free of charge) when we arrived.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

On top of the cabinet was a kettle, two coffee cups, two wineglasses and two drinking glasses, as well as a selection of teas and coffee.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Next to the cabinet was a chaise lounge with a side table.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Strangely, on the other side of the room was an identical chaise lounge with another table. Seemingly, based on the placement of headboard lights and outlets, this room was designed to hold two king beds, but the second king bed was replaced by a second chaise lounge.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
This second lounger didn’t seem to be the best use of space in our room.

Next to the second chaise lounge was a door that connected to Bure 32. We initially thought this door might be problematic due to noise. But, although we saw guests on the patio for Bure 32, we barely heard anything from the adjoining room during our stay.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The adjoining door wasn’t an issue.

Next to the chaise lounge were large floor-to-ceiling windows. A sliding door that was also equipped with a screen door opened onto a private patio.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The patio was spacious and included two wicker chairs with seat cushions and a tall table. It was a very pleasant place to kick back and relax.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Near the entrance door was a closet with two doors. One side of the closet contained two robes, two sets of slippers and ample hangers.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The other side of the closet had two drawers, a shelf, an iron, an ironing board and a safe.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Across from the closet were two sinks with a shared vanity. There was lots of space on the vanity and towel racks on the front of the counter.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

A room next to the sinks and closet housed the toilet and a shower cabin.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The window in this room could be opened for ventilation, and there was a large towel rack on the wall.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The shower had a handheld wand as well as a tall — but not ceiling-mounted — rainfall shower.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Crabtree & Evelyn soaps and toiletries were provided in the shower and on the vanity. These products were practical and, thankfully, mildly scented.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The bures were spacious and in the quieter parts of the property away from the main buildings. We enjoyed our bure but found two design aspects frustrating. First, the light switches were unlabeled and unintuitive. Second, the window in the bathroom and the panels by the entrance door were constructed from frosted glass. Although this provided natural lighting during the day, these panels also let in light each morning, and there was no curtain to block the light if you wanted to sleep past sunrise.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Light comes in through the frosted panels.

Food and Beverage

There are two restaurants, a poolside bar and a grab-and-go cafe on site. The main restaurant, Vulani, served breakfast from 6:30am to 10am, lunch from noon to 2pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The main restaurant is right by the pool.

We ate dinner at Vulani our first night. JT ordered a beef wrap with coleslaw and fries (one of the daily specials) for FJ$26 ($12), I ordered kokoda (Fijian ceviche) for FJ$20 ($10), and we split a side of garlic bread for FJ$12 ($6). The kokoda didn’t contain the cleanest cuts of fish, but overall was well-presented and tasty. Service was friendly and relatively efficient.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

We ate the breakfast buffet both mornings at Vulani as well. The breakfast buffet included a wide selection of breakfast options that ranged from American favorites like bacon, made-to-order omelets and hash browns to Asian options like congee to European options like sliced meats and cheeses.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

About half of the hot buffet was dedicated to a themed selection. Our first morning featured Mexican options, and our second morning featured Fijian options. Restaurant workers were happy to explain the different items on the Fijian buffet.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Fijian foods on the breakfast buffet.

Although our breakfast was included as a benefit of JT’s Hilton Diamond status, normally it would cost FJ$45 ($20) per person, including all children over 12 (children 12 and under ate free).

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The restaurant by the pool and ocean, Tavu, served lunch from noon to 3pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Although the restaurant was well-situated for sunset, it doesn’t open for dinner until after sunset.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

We ate dinner at Tavu our second night. I ordered the market fish of the day, mahi-mahi, with fries, and JT ordered the yellowfin tuna with chips, which cost FJ$40 and FJ$42 respectively (about $20 each). We found the dishes to be well-presented, properly cooked and filling. The service started out well but slowly declined throughout the meal and concluded with us struggling for 15 minutes to flag down our server to obtain the check.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Next to Tavu was the poolside bar, which also had a swim-up option. Drink menus were standardized across the two restaurants and the pool bar, with all the same prices regardless of where you ordered your drink. We found that the frozen drinks (mostly $15 FJD, about $7) provided good value for the cost, while the beers were served in 8-ounce glasses and hence weren’t a good value.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The swim up bar is on the left, under the thatched roof.

There was also the grab-and-go Village Deli, which had reasonably priced coffee (FJ$6.50 or $3, for a large), ice cream (FJ$3, or $1.50, for one scoop) and other quick snacks from 6:30am to 9pm.

Twenty-four-hour room service was also available, but we didn’t try it during our stay.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Amenities

A large, lagoon-style pool is in the middle of the property near the lobby and restaurants. There’s a rocky islet in the middle that guests enjoyed jumping from, as well as a shallow area that’s more suitable for children.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

There is a whirlpool by the pool bar, but it wasn’t warm when we tried it, and it’s unclear whether it was supposed to be warm or whether it was designed to be a cold whirlpool.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

There were lounge chairs surrounding the pool. Servers were readily available if you wanted to order food or drinks poolside.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

In addition to the chairs around the pool, there were well-spaced lounge chairs facing the ocean throughout the property, perfect for relaxing.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

At the far end of the property past Bure 58 lies Sunset Point, which was — not surprisingly — a good place to watch the sunset, which was absolutely stunning our first night.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Walking past the bures to Sunset Point.

There you’ll also find platforms for watching the sunset or looking out over the water.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

A natural beach with darker sand runs from Bure 35 to Bure 58.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

On the end of the beach near Bure 35 were a few stand-up paddleboards and a kayak that you could sign out free of charge. But this area was only manned on sunny days, and the paddles for these watercraft weren’t available when the attendant wasn’t present.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The large swings hanging throughout the property were some of the best places to relax while gazing at the ocean.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

In the main building near reception, there’s a game room with two pool tables and a table tennis table.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Various activities for adults and children were held daily. A schedule wasn’t printed but instead written on a chalkboard each morning near the pool.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

On Tuesday, we watched a wood-carving demonstration. Although there were items for sale, there was no pressure at all to buy.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

On Wednesday evenings, there was a Polynesian dance and fire dance at 6:30pm near Tavu. We were playing table tennis in the game room nearby before the show began and were urged by multiple dancers to come watch the show.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The fire dancers were talented and entertaining.

Unlike many resorts where you need to pay a large sum of money to eat buffet food and watch the show, the DoubleTree instead offered the show as a free activity. The dancers were talented and genuinely seemed to have fun putting on the show.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The dancers — and guests called up to participate — seemed to truly be having fun.

A children’s activity on some days was mangrove planting.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Areas like this are where the children plant mangroves.

There was a band that played at the pool most evenings before sunset. After sunset, this band usually moved to play at Tavu for the remainder of the evening. The band played Fijian songs, which were pleasant to listen to and created an authentic vibe.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Most nights, there was also a simple torch-lighting and drum ceremony around sunset at the pool — and the workers that put on this ceremony seemed to enjoy doing so.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Near the main restaurant of Vulani is a basic gym with two treadmills, two exercise bikes, one elliptical, free weights with two weight benches and a pulley-based weight machine.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Also near Vulani was a self-serve, honor-based library.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Near the dock is a grass tennis court and a large children’s play area.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

And there’s a sand volleyball court on the beach near Tavu. We saw groups playing on this court a few times during our stay.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

In the main building, there are a few sundry and souvenir shops, a tour agency and a spa. The spa looked small and simple, but offered haircuts, massages and facials throughout the day.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Various shops are located along this hallway just off the reception area.

Just after sunset, frogs gathered on the sidewalks. So be on the lookout for frogs when walking around after dark — some of them were surprisingly large.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The Wi-Fi at this property covered rooms, bures and most areas in the main building near the pool but did not cover some areas like the children’s play area. Wi-Fi quality varied throughout out stay, and the entire property lost connectivity (including the on-site ATM and front-desk computers) around 5pm our second night. Connectivity wasn’t restored until the middle of the night, but we still had H+ to LTE coverage through Google Fi.

Here’s a speed test, taken from inside Bure 31, while the Wi-Fi was functional.

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Overall Impression

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

The DoubleTree Resort Fiji Sonaisali Island is perfect for a low-key vacation in Fiji, thanks to a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that felt truly Fijian. The property is beautiful in a natural way, and we were sincerely sad to leave. The DoubleTree also happens to be the most reasonably priced of the properties we reviewed — especially if you’re able to snag a low rate like we did and use the Hilton Aspire card‘s annual $250 resort credit.

The resort treated us well as Diamond elite members — obtained through simply having the Hilton Aspire card — with liberally applied benefits including a multicategory room upgrade, full breakfast buffet for two daily and 4pm late checkout. But even the base level rooms with two queen beds looked comfortable and had ocean views.

The relatively small DoubleTree Resort serves mostly Australian and New Zealand guests, from what we gathered. There was a comfortable mix of couples and families at this resort, as well as a good mix of active guests playing in the pool and more relaxed guests chilling on their balconies or on the lounge chairs scattered throughout the property.

Despite the older age of the property, we’d happily return to the DoubleTree Resort Fiji and highly recommend it to travelers looking for a relaxed stay in Fiji.

All photos by the author.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.