The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is located on the Coral Coast Fiji, around a 90-minute drive from Nadi International Airport.
From the moment you are greeted by the bellowing “Bula!” at the gate and the smiles of the reception staff, you quickly understand why this has earned the reputation as one of the best resorts in Fiji.
In fact, just a few weeks before we arrived the hotel was named Family Travel’s ‘Best Family Hotel or Resort in Fiji’ award.
With so many Fiji luxury resorts to choose from, what makes this one of the best Fiji resorts for kids? I was curious to find out.
Although I was traveling without my kids on this occasion, as always I had my family travel hat on and was checking it out from a Fiji family holiday perspective.
During my 3-night stay at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort I checked out all the facilities, so as to write the most comprehensive review possible. I drank pina coladas at the swim-up bar, tried out local cuisine in their award-winning restaurant and indulged in a couple of treatments in the spa. Sounds tough I know!
But I also took some time to check out the kids club, meet the nannies and check out their comprehensive activities programme, as well as having a good look around all the different kind of accommodation on offer for families at this Fiji beach hotel.
Read everything below, where our Outrigger Fiji Review highlights just why this is amongst the top Fiji resorts for families.
NB: the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort was formerly known as Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji.
Bedtime at Outrigger Resort Fiji
There are 254 rooms at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, including 47 spacious bures (ie. standalone villas). Rooms range from Superior Resort View rooms, Deluxe Ocean View rooms and Ocean Breeze Suites, which are all located in the main building.
The good news for families is that all Outrigger Fiji rooms are designed to accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, with either a King bed and double sofa bed, or with two Queen beds.
Suites can accommodate three children in the living area, with a separate King bedroom for the parents.
These one-bedroom suites can also be interconnected with a separate bedroom with two queen beds to house an additional four children or 3 adults – perfect for larger families who need more space, or for two smaller families traveling together.
The assortment of thatched plantation bures are linked by meandering pathways, designed to resemble a local Fijian village and wandering around this Fiji resort accommodation leaves you in no doubt you are in a tropical paradise.
The Fiji bure accommodation ranges from Plantation bures, to Ocean Breeze and Beachfront bures. If you have some extra cash to splash, consider upgrading to one of these spectacular Fiji bures on the beach, where you have uninterrupted views out to sea and you can watch the sunset from the comfort of your own hammock.
There are also Family Plantation bures, where two bedrooms are linked together by a living area (these are very popular and book up quickly).
My room for my stay was a plantation bure, which was gorgeous with its traditional grass thatched roof and tapa cloth ceiling.
Although I was traveling alone on this occasion, there would have been plenty of space for the family with a sofa bed in the living area. I particularly loved my little hammock chair on my outdoor patio area.
All rooms and bures come with mini bar, hair dryer, ironing board, safe, cable TV, phone and tea/coffee making facilities.
Note that some rooms and bures have shower only, while others have a shower over the bath. If it is important for you to have a bath for the kids, be sure to check ahead.
Something that really stands out at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is the Talai butler service, which is provided to every room category except for Superior Rooms.
The Talai butlers are there to help make your stay more comfortable and it really is a special little touch of luxury.
Every afternoon at 5pm my butler would show up at my bure door with a glass of champagne and some canapés, and evidence of her having been there later on was seen in the little nightcap and sweet treats left on my bedside table.
Butlers are also on hand to help make restaurant reservations, unpack your suitcase and even press your clothes for the evening. How fabulous!
Playtime at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Of course what everybody wants to know for Fiji family holidays is what the kids club is like. I wasn’t traveling with my kids on this occasion, but of course I went and checked it out, and I’m happy to report that the Outrigger Fiji Kids Club looks great!
There is plenty of outdoor space here, including a playground and sandpit.
On check-in each child is presented with a Kids Club Passport, which includes the daily activity schedule for the week, together with interactive games and quizzes and educational and cultural information.
The Outrigger Fiji kids club is divided into two groups: Little Riggers for kids aged 3-7 years and Beach riggers for older kids aged 8-12 years. Activities for both groups are as varied as fish feeding, crab races, face painting, sand castle building and Fijian language lessons.
The main difference between the two groups, is that the older kids activities include water-based fun such as snorkeling and water polo.
What I really love is that both age group schedules also include evening fun and entertainment from 6pm – 9pm, so that the kids can enjoy limbo dancing, bingo games, frog races and more, while mum and dad indulge in an adults-only peaceful meal. Ideal.
If you are traveling with very young children, you will love the fantastic value Mai Mai service (ie. nanny service). For just $350 FJD (around $240 AUD) you can book a 4-day package of 8 hours nanny care per day.
This can be divided up how you like, with most people opting to have childcare for a few hours in the morning, collect their children for lunch and a swim and then drop them off again for some more fun in the afternoon.
From what I saw and what I have heard from other people, the nannies are excellent with the children and all the kids seemed to be having a great time when we called in.
Nannies are also available to accompany you on excursions outside the resort as part of this package. Additional babysitting can be provided for the evenings also.
While your kids are safely ensconced in the kids club, you are free to make use of several adults-only areas around the resort, where you can fully relax while the kids are being entertained.
The adults-only swimming pool is a peaceful haven that includes a swim-up bar and a poolside restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch.
Having a separate adults-only swimming pool has the added bonus that when you are having fun with the kids in the family pool, you don’t need to worry about keeping the noise down and upsetting any honeymooning couples. (And with 200 couples per year opting for an Outrigger Fiji wedding, there is always going to be a fair few of these around).
The family pool is large, with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, lots of shallow area and lots of sunloungers around.
Other facilities include an air-conditioned fully equipped gym, tennis courts and even a golf training centre, which includes a driving range and pitch and putt practice green.
Outside of the kids club activities, there is also a whole host of family friendly activities taking place around the resort at all times. There is always something happening here!
These include everything from guided reef walks and sarong painting to tennis tournaments, teenagers spear throwing, cocktail making, golf competitions, basketball shoot outs and more.
Outrigger resorts also put a great emphasis on bringing the local culture into the resort and allowing guests to experience the unique aspects of their host country. At Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, this is seen in the evening torch lighting and kava ceremonies and also in the weekly fire walking show.
Unfortunately the beach at the Outrigger can’t really compete with those on the islands, and at high tide beach space is limited.
It is also very rocky in the water and so you do need to wear beach shoes. The water sports center does have a selection of these free to use in all different sizes if you do want to go out and explore the reef though.
I didn’t have time to check out the house reef during my stay, but guests are encouraged to take part in the Outrigger reef conservation program OZONE by helping to plant some coral during their visit. We did this during our stay at Castaway Island, and I would recommend it as a great learning activity for the kids.
For the ultimate in indulgence don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the award-winning Bebe Spa Fiji. Located up the hill from the main resort with fabulous views out to sea and over the surrounding countryside, they have a range of fabulous pampering treatments drawing inspiration from nature.
I was luckily enough to try out two of these luxurious treatments. The Bobo massage, a traditional Fijian massage using firm massage strokes with tropical coconut oil, left me feeling utterly relaxed, while the Myoxi caviar facial ensured my skin was glowing for the rest of the week!
Dinnertime at the Outrigger Hotel Fiji
One of the absolute highlights of the resort was the food and it totally surpassed my expectations, and I wasn’t surprised to hear during my stay that the resort had scooped the awards for Best Chef and Best Pastry Chef at this year’s Fiji Excellence In Tourism Awards.
The most memorable meal of our visit was at the multi award winning Ivi restaurant, which was named ‘Best Visitor Dining Experience’ at the 2017 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards and also boasts having the ‘Best Chef in Fiji’ at the helm.
Here we tucked into fabulous local and international dishes, where the preparation was as special as the food itself. Traditional Fijian Kokoda (raw fish salad) was prepared at the table, as were the hand rolled roti that accompanied the clay pot prawn curry, and the heavenly flambéed crepes suzette.
If you love a good sunset, then don’t miss sunset cocktails and dinner at the Sundowner Bar & Grill, where I indulged in a passionfruit and lime mojito as the sun sunk into the ocean, before tucking into seared scallops and grilled tuna to the sound of the ocean waves and live Fiji guitar music.
Other Outrigger Fiji restaurants include the poolside Baravi, where you can take your pick from a selection of Asian and western dishes and Vale Ni Kana, which hosts a range of buffet dinners with live entertainment. A separate kids buffet is also available.
If the kids are off being entertained at the kids club or watching the nightly kids movie on the poolside lawn, be sure to head up the hill to Kalokalo bar, which has been named in the top 10 bars in the South Pacific and boasts incredible views out to sea and over the surrounding countryside.
For happy hour or late night entertainment with drinks and a live band, then the Vakavanua Lounge is where to head for a rum cocktail nightcap.
In the ‘Hood
There is so much to do in and around the resort to keep you entertained, but one thing I loved about staying at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort was the ease of exploring the local countryside and being able to get a glimpse of the ‘real’ Fiji beyond the Fiji holiday resorts.
You can choose to get involved with the local community projects that Outrigger runs in the local area (see more below), join a local village tour or join the local church service on a Sunday. All of these activities can be arranged through the resort.
One of the most fun activities we joined during our trip to Fiji was Ecotrax Fiji. Here you cycle along a disused sugar plantation railway on redesigned electric bikes. You get to take in the beautiful Fijian scenery at leisure, traveling past local villages, high fiving the little kids who run along and shout “Bula” to you, and even get to hang out on a deserted beach for an hour.
Another Fiji attraction sure to be a hit with all kids is the Kula Wild Adventure Park, which is located right next door to the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, so super handy for a family excursion. In addition to lots of cool animals and birds to admire, there’s also a fun water slide that cascades through the rainforest and even a ziprail line to whizz down.
Another popular day trip for families staying at the Outrigger is the Sigatoka River Safari. This adventure combines the thrill of a jet boat ride up the river, with a visit to a local Fijian village. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try out this adventure, but it is on my Fiji bucket list for next time.
Community Outreach by Outrigger
I wanted to give a special mention to the Outrigger community outreach program as I was really struck by how much Outrigger do to help the local Fijian community.
Each month one department within the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort takes on a project to help the local community.
Examples of this include the refurbishment of the local police headquarters by the engineering department, a blood drive and community health checks run by the team at the spa, and a sponsored walk run by Human Resources to raise funds for the local special needs school.
Beyond this, there is an overall ongoing community project run by the resort to help improve one of the local schools, Conua District School. While we were visiting we were lucky enough to witness the opening of the new teachers quarters here.
Outrigger has been working with the school since 2014 to improve the facilities, and the teachers’ quarters were the final piece of the puzzle – the icing on the cake if you like.
When Outrigger first visited the school in 2009 there were 55 pupils in the school, and their grade 8 pass rate for that year was 35%. This year, 2018, saw an intake of 170 pupils, and a pass rate of 100%. Quite a remarkable story.
The school now attracts pupils from 10 different communities who travel to be educated here thanks to its fabulous facilities they have built with the help of Outrigger Resorts and their guests.
These new facilities include a new bus shelter, covered walkways, classrooms, meeting rooms, a kindergarten, playground, library, computer lab and now teachers’ quarters.
Some of this building work has been done as part of the Outrigger Fiji community tourism project – where guests pay to visit the school for the day and help to build the new facilities.
Although the building for this particular school is now complete, a similar project will be starting soon and it is a fantastic activity to take part in if you are visiting the resort.
Not only do you get to meet the wonderful local Fijian people, it is also an important way in which you and your family can give back to the local community. I would highly recommend signing yourself and your kids up to help out for a day.
Conclusion of our Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort review
This was my first time staying at an Outrigger resort and I was pleasantly surprised by how much it won me over.
The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is a very special place. There is so much to love here – from the fabulous food to the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens that make you feel relaxed just by walking through the resort.
But what really makes this Fiji resort special are the staff here, who make it feel like a tropical island home, with their willing smiles and friendly welcome wherever you go.
If you are a family looking for luxury Fiji resort accommodation filled with activities and fun things to do, this is a winner. Particularly when you compare the cost of the Outrigger to some of the other more exclusive Fiji island resorts, it offers fabulous value for money.
Before I left for Fiji, several people told me “you want to go to the islands rather than the mainland”.
Without a doubt, the islands are home to many of the best beach resorts in Fiji that give you the idyllic Fijian beach holiday you have probably dreamed about. But I say don’t be too quick to dismiss the mainland.
I really felt I got to see more of the ‘real’ Fiji by spending a few days in the mainland, and am so pleased that we did this.
Taking the tour with EcoTrax and visiting the local school were both amazing ways to interact with the local community and see a side of Fiji that you wouldn’t get to witness if you just headed straight to a beach resort on the islands.
If you’re looking for beach and watersports, sure you would be better heading straight out to one of the island resorts such as Castaway Island (you can read our full review of Castaway Island Fiji here).
But if you want to see some of the Fiji countryside and interact with the local community, then I definitely recommend at least a few nights at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.
For the perfect Fiji family holiday, particularly if it is your first time in Fiji, I would recommend combining both the mainland and the islands, which is exactly what I did on this trip: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Castaway Island.
To learn more about the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort you can visit their website here.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Outrigger Resorts for the purpose of writing this review. This in no way affected my review, and all opinions as always are honest and my own.
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