Gia Garrick checks into a Luxury Room with Beach Club access

Check-in experience:

My bags are whisked away and I'm handed a fresh juice — which probably would have been better appreciated had I arrived in daylight and had it still been warm. I can hear cheers from the ground-floor bar and I remember the Maori All Blacks are taking on the Lions back home.

Check-in is swift and I'm escorted past the bar by a chatty concierge wearing a sulu — he doesn't mind that I stop to watch the pre-match haka. In fact, he's more than happy to oblige.

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Room: Luxury Room with Beach Club access. Priced from $410 per night.

What's in the neighbourhood? Port Denarau is just down the road — bars, restaurants and shops on hand. Also access to charters out to Fiji's smaller islands. Oolala cruises have a small catamaran you can book, and they'll change the plan to fit you during the day.

Fancy jumping off the boat? They'll anchor. Want to see dolphins? They'll go searching. Like the look of that island beach? It's yours.

Going out: Fresh fruit on the water's edge for breakfast or wine and beer at night at Lulu's Bar and Restaurant at Port Denarau. Or for more of a sit-down experience, there are a range of authentic Fijian and Indian options near the port — my favourite was Nadina. The pina coladas are as superb as the fish!

Staying in: There are several places to eat, drink and relax within the hotel grounds too. The Waitui Beach Club on site is adults-only (16 and over) and does tapas-style food and drinks on bar-leaners or bean bags by the pool.

The bed: Two very comfortable queen beds — more than enough room and comfort for my small self, three times over.

The view: Out over the well-manicured lawns, palm tree gardens and paved pathways that lead to the beach club.

Bathroom: Small, a bathtub shower and porcelain utilities — the room also included a small kitchen.

CHECKLIST

The Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is beachfront on Denarau Island, Fiji. Phone: +679 675 1111.

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