Eli Orzessek stays at Uprising Beach Resort, Pacific Harbour, Fiji.

Getting there:

The hotel is right on the Queens Road, so it's easy to find — Pacific Harbour is around an hour's drive from Suva.

Check-in experience: Friendly and welcoming, as you'd expect in Fiji. Vinaka!


Room: I stayed in one of Uprising's Commodore Villas — easily my favourite of the places I stayed in during my road trip around Viti Levu. My villa was in the garden, though there are beachfront villas available. The balcony was great to relax on in the evenings, with fragrant flowers, and little geckos darting around.

Price: Around $245 for two; $50 for additional guests.

What's so good about this place? For a start, it's where the Olympic gold medal-winning Fiji Sevens team come to train — I was lucky enough to catch a session and get a picture with some of the boys, who stay in the resort's cool Tree House dorm. If you're after a bit of a team-building holiday, this is the place to be. The resort is rated three star, but it's much nicer than most three star places I've stayed in.

And the bad? That I didn't get to stay for longer.

What's in the neighbourhood? There's a small group of shops nearby, including a supermarket where you can stock up on Fiji Gold and spicy taro chips. Pacific Harbour is the action capital of Fiji, so you'll find plenty to keep you entertained. I had a great day of rafting with Rivers Fiji and spent evenings splashing around at the beach.

Food and drink: I had the best feed of my trip at Lovo Night at Uprising's restaurant — think hāngi, Fiji style. However, traditional dancing accompanies the feed and I ended up dancing shirtless with a bunch of British guys. It was a small price to pay for a great meal and I was rewarded with a cherry coconut old-fashioned for my efforts. I recommend the local favourite dish — fish in lolo. Sometimes it can be hard to find traditional food in Fiji, but this is absolutely delicious —it's drenched in coconut milk and served with ota, a type of peppery fern.

The bed: King-sized and comfortable enough.

Bathroom: The indoor bathroom was nice, but I didn't make much use of it — why would you, when there's a private outdoor shower on offer? I made good use of this nicely stone-paved area.


Exercise facilities: There's the aforementioned training grounds, as well as a decent sized pool that was mostly taken up by the huge Fiji sevens players and their foreign female admirers. It's enough to give a guy a complex, so I did most of my swimming at the beach.

Perfect for: Sports teams, action lovers and bargain hunters.