In the past, hotel stays near Fiji's gateway city, Nadi, have largely meant dossing in the resort island of Denerau or choosing basic digs around Nadi. However, the opening of the new Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa puts the town's Wailoaloa Beach in the upmarket spotlight.
Located just behind the international airport, with the Sleeping Giant mountain range at its back, the new build, 236-room hotel is only 10 minutes from both Port Denarau and the airport.
As befits a Fijian property, the contemporary reception is a vast bure, with upturned outrigger canoes and totem poles by Pullman's Singapore-based interior designer Isabelle Miaja, completed by specially commissioned artworks on the themes of sea, fire and earth by prominent Fijian artist Maria Rova. The bedrooms steer back to tradition, featuring the geometric designs of Fiji's brown and white tapa cloth.
Of course, Fiji's cache is that of a family friendly destination, and the hotel delivers, with interconnecting rooms and three of the four pools catering to families and children, with a kids' club and separate teen retreat.
On the other side of the ledger, the new Pullman works hard to give grown-ups their own breathing space, with an adults-only pool and beachfront bar and restaurant seating just 40 guests, where coconut martinis and the locally produced rum are already the top requests. Staying on the adult theme, and with an eye on the destination wedding market, there are also 12 beachfront suites that open straight on to Wailoaloa Beach, a six-bure spa and a chapel onsite.
The Pullman has lured chef Jeremy Allen from The Star on the Gold Coast. With his French Polynesian-Fijian-Australian background and contemporary Australian style, he weaves in the various ethnicities into the hotel's seven restaurants and bars.
All rooms in the property have balconies or patios and Pure Fiji toiletries, for a stylish stay without the hefty price tag of recent Fiji openings.
Its opening special sees rooms from $FJ390 a night. See pullmanhotels.com