It’s not often that we’re left surprised and delighted by a resort stay. But a visit to Fiji’s Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa with kids leaves us feeling all this and more.
What starts as a one-night stopover has become a longer stay thanks to a rather rude cyclone that decided to scupper our planned adventures. But there’s always a silver lining and having more time to enjoy the many delights of this brand spanking new coastal resort certainly counts as one.
With its prime position on a secluded stretch of the date-palm-lined Wailoaloa Beach, just ten minutes from Nadi International Airport, the five-star Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa is not only the ideal resort for those stopping over on their way to Fiji’s outer islands, but it’s also pretty darned perfect for a longer family break.
The resort’s towering cathedral meets traditional bure reception area ensures our arrival is a jaw dropper. While it is unapologetically modern, clever design elements, including seats shaped like upturned canoes, give it a distinctly villagey vibe.
But it is the resort’s stunning central hub, complete with three enormous palm-dotted pools –including an adults-only pool and separate kids’ pool – and strategically placed day beds and sun lounges that is the star attraction for my crew.
The rooms at Pullman Resort and Spa
Our hibiscus-filled interconnecting deluxe pool view rooms also boast a distinctly Fijian vibe, with warm wooden tones, tapa (bark cloth) inserts in the headboard and coconut fibre trimmings. But it is the balcony leading directly to the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort’s pool area that has the kids giddy with glee. If I could keep them indoors, there’s plenty of space to comfortably sprawl out. Two double beds in the kids’ room provide comfortable sleeping as well as a launch pad for bed belly flops. And there’s a cloud like king-size bed in our room, which we manage to keep our leaping loons well clear of. Both offer large bathrooms with Pure Fiji toiletries, separate rain shower and oversized bathtubs with a glass wall looking over the room (and a blind for privacy).
Both rooms have large flat screen TVs with a huge selection of latest release movies that are fabulously FOC, so after dinner we all snuggle up together in our mighty king-size bed for a bit of family movie fun.
The activities at Pullman Resort and Spa with kids
A favourite with Nadi’s locals for its tranquil ocean outlook and exceptional sunsets, Wailoaloa Beach may not boast the white sand and turquoise waters of the islands, but its ocean waters are as inviting for swimmers as they are for water sports enthusiasts.
The beachfront water-sports centre offers the hire of jet skis, catamarans, kayaks, stand up paddle boarding and a couple of giant water bikes that the kids are obsessed with.
But it is the aforementioned pool, with its 180-degree, uninterrupted ocean views, that has them sunk. They soak the day away until their fingers turn all pruney and drag themselves from the pool for a quick game of giant chess, which quickly escalates into a viscous full scale battle.
There’s also the occasional sneaky visit to the kid’s club and cool crafts for Sugarpuff, and to the teens retreat for Raff to satiate his desire for a little PS4 action. T
hen it is straight back in the pool to re-prune and repeat.
Of course, mama isn’t left wanting either with the on-site Veikau spa offering a host of muscle-melting massage therapies and a plant-based menu of holistic treatments.
Plus there is a stunning adults only pool overlooking the beach, complete with curtained cabanas, which an underage Sugarpuff is modelling here while no one is looking.
Come sundown we’re hugely entertained by the fiery performance from a crew of Fijian dancers, who fling, toss, swallow and magically move fire to a funky meets traditional beat, right outside our balcony door.
In fact so happy are we that, other than a day trip to Tivua Island, we barely leave the resort. An unusual turn of events for my adventure seeking crew.
Pullman Nadi Bay Restaurants
Whatever your dining style, The Pullman Nadi Bay Resort knocks it out of the park with four sublime signature restaurants and two bars.
Magiti, the resort’s buffet breakfast spot, proves a real winner with Raff who dances with unbridled joy when he sees the curry selection, piling his plate high with slabs of roti, a fragrant chicken curry and a particularly delicious veggie curry packed with oozy eggplant. There’s also the usual toast, fluffy, crispy pastries, cereal, yoghurt, tropical fruit and a selection of hot western dishes, including eggs made to order. Fresh squeezed juices include killer ginger and turmeric shots, which Raff and I slam down like we’re in a drinking competition. Sugarpuff sticks with a freshly blended papaya smoothie, the fiery burn of the pink ginger in the shots too fierce for her delicate palate.
The Barefoot Bar, with its casual island ambiance, is the furthest we can convince the kids away from the pool when it’s time for lunch. But they’re soon inhaling big bowls of kokoda, a delicious Fijian ceviche-style dish drowned in coconut milk, which they beg for me to add to our at-home meal rotation. I concur, but only if we can also add Barefoot Bar’s ginger and lychee cocktails.
Evening sees us discovering the delightfully hearty dishes at Dan Dan Noodle Bar, a cool noodle house offering Asian specialties for lunch and dinner.
But it is our dinner the following night at sexy signature restaurant, Kah, that leaves out tastebuds slayed. The refined menu takes us on a culinary journey through Thailand via a series traditional dishes executed with a modern twist.
The restaurant is adults only, but families are welcome to dine on the beachfront deck, accompanied by a light breeze and fiery Fijian sunset, or they can order from the Kah menu and dine by the pool at Barefoot Bar.
Raff was so impressed he’s written a raving review of Kah Restaurant at Pullman Nadi Bay Resort for y’all here.
Pullman Nadi Bay service
Sure, it has a convenient location, comfy rooms, excellent amenities for guests and some seriously fantastic cuisine, and these alone would normally be enough for me to give a hotel the Eats World thumbs up. But it is actually the service that leaves us rhapsodising.
Now, I am completely aware that Fijian people are some of the friendliest and nicest people on the planet. And I know that the staff at the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort are paid to be nice to their guests. But there’s something special happening here. A certain camaraderie. A warmer welcome. And from maintenance to management there’s always, always time for a chat.
It’s these little something extras that ensure a happy stay for every guest.
Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa Fiji
Nadi Bay Road
Wailoaloa Beach, Fiji
T: +679 672 1510