Set in the South Pacific, packed with tropical fish and colourful coral – not to mention the odd manta ray or whale shark – Fiji is diving heaven. Which means there are plenty of diver-friendly hotel options. From five-star resorts with on-site Padi centres to budget-friendly lodgings, here’s our pick of the best resort and beach hotels on Fiji – bookable on Culture Trip.
Located on the northern coast of the main island is the family-run Volivoli Beach Resort. An experienced and dedicated SSI and Padi dive resort, Volivoli provides easy access to Bligh Water, home to some of the best diving in Fiji. The 32 rooms and beach huts on Fiji are simple but handsome, strategically spread along the peninsula to maximise the views.
Matava Eco, on the remote south shore of Kadavu, is the fourth largest island in the Fiji archipelago. With no road links, there’s an emphasis on sustainability here, with the bure (Fijian-style bungalows) powered by the sun. It’s also home to a five-star Padi dive centre, with access to the Great Astrolabe, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world and home to manta rays and reef sharks.
Out of sight on the remote, road-free Ono Island, the family-run Oneta Resort offers an intimate stay with only eight bungalows and villas, done up in traditional style and set on a wide, white-sand bay. There’s a strong focus on sustainability at this beach hotel in Fiji, and the Oneta can organise diving excursions to the Great Astrolabe, the largest barrier reef in Fiji.
Garden Island Resort unfolds along an attractive rocky strip of Taveuni Island. The 32 rooms and bungalows are modern, with great sea views, but the real emphasis is on activities. Golf, nature walks and cultural tours can be arranged, as well as Padi classes and access to more than 20 world-class dive sites.
One of only a few resorts on the secluded Beqa Island, this resort offers a private, luxurious activity-based escape. Accommodation takes the form of 25 deluxe, air-conditioned Fijian-style villas, spread over lush tropical gardens and picturesque beaches. The on-site Padi operation provides access to more than 100 dive sites, including walls and wrecks. Or you can try no-lessons-needed hookah snorkelling, in which air is pumped to your regulator from the surface.
Comprising just 17 Fijian-style bungalows and villas fronting a stunning white sand peninsula on Qamea Island is the intimate Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji. When you’ve spent enough time above ground, an in-house, fully Padi-accredited five-star dive operation can take you to world-class dive sites such as the Purple Wall, Qamea Freeway, Playground Reef and many more.
The highlight at the Mantaray Island Resort is, unsurprisingly, its namesake manta rays; these impressive filter feeders are frequent visitors to the area from May to October. And the dive centre here, which runs two- and three-day courses, is the only accredited free-diving operator in Fiji. Accommodation runs the gamut from beds in an attractive dorm to beachfront villas.
Tokoriki Island Resort, located at the northern extent of the Mamanuca Islands, is an adults-only, boutique beach hotel in Fiji. An on-site five-star Padi outpost, the Gold Palm Dive Centre, is an environmentally conscious operation with a strict no-touch policy on all marine life, and the resort is an ideal jumping off point to explore a variety of dive sites with hundreds of fish species and soft and hard corals. To get there, you can organise a taxi and boat ride from Nadi airport through the hotel (or a chopper if you’re feeling flush).
Carrying the revered Cousteau name, the luxurious Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu is the only resort in Fiji with a marine biologist as part of the full-time team. Quiz Johnny Singh on the local waters, or join one of his evening presentations for a more in-depth look at the local marine life. A variety of dive sites to suit different levels of experience, including the rich Namena Marine Reserve, are just a short boat journey away. Accommodation takes the form of attractive faux-rustic villas and bungalows.
Taveuni, Fiji’s third island, is a great option if you’re hankering after some of the best scuba diving in the country. Taveuni Dive Resort has been designed for divers, by divers. It has a strong focus on sustainability while retaining the authenticity of the local Taveuni culture, using solar power and rooftop rain harvesting. The handsome rooms and bungalows are spacious and topped off with attractive local touches.
Namale Resort in Savusavu offers a holistic, luxury scuba-diving experience, with top service and facilities, in an idyllic setting, so it’s no wonder it has hosted many celebrities over the years. Nearby dive sites include the Namena Marine Reserve, Purple Gardens, the Rainbow Reef and the Somosomo Straits. And because they’re only a short boat ride away, you can head back to shore for your surface interval. There’s also a heap of other watersports available, including stand-up paddleboarding and sea kayaking.
Looking for more Fiji hotel inspiration? Our guides to the best hotels have you covered. Whether you want an action-packed resort, somewhere to stay that’s family friendly or a romantic vacation at a luxury hotel or waterfront cottage, you can book your stay right here on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Juliette Sivertsen contributed additional reporting to this article.
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