The Marriott in Momi Bay, Fiji, near Nadi, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. This article provides facts and information about the resort that may help you decide if it's a good fit for your next exotic vacation.
What makes a resort "tops" to me? Here's my standard list:
The accommodation: clean, spacious, has a view, quiet
The property: clean, cared for, at least two options for food on-premise
The people: genuine, helpful, quick to smile
Having spent a week at the Marriott property in Momi Bay, I can tell you that they meet all these criteria.
The Fijian People
Every person I encountered displayed such a genuine caring for all humans, a gentle humour, and everyone was quick to smile. It felt like each person, no matter their role, from the hotel manager to the waitstaff to the cleaning crew, truly cared whether we had what we needed and were happy on our vacation. That is not the case at all places I've been, sometimes feeling like an ugly tourist, even an undercurrent of resentment. Even the on-site watersports company, which operates separately from the hotel, had delightful staff.
The property boast not only oceanfront, but also a small cove or lagoon. You can enjoy horizon-views in hues of blue and green for miles, or, you can enjoy a peaceful walk on private beaches. There are adult-only areas (the Fish Bar pool and restaurant) and family-friendly spots (e.g. Goji, Lagoon Lounge and the main pool). It's easy to get around, you can call a 'buggy' (which is a golf cart) anytime you want one, or, you can take the Bula Bus which traverses the main onsite thoroughfares. It was quite hot in December, getting a lift was handy. Breakfast is held in the Goji bar every day, a buffet that is absolutely enormous, filled with standard breakfast items like eggs and toast and yoghurt and juice, as well as heftier fare like dumplings and soups. A person could easily eat enough to skip lunch at this breakfast buffet. Lunch and dinner open up more options, including all of the restaurants and bars, the best view is at the Fish Bar, how easy it was to sip champagne and watch the torquoise waters for the afternoon. Don't fancy being around many people while you're there? Room Service is available all day and night.
Overwater Bure (aka Bungalow)
The overwater bure is one of the reasons many are drawn to this property. The ability to enjoy a private deck and simply walk down the steps into the ocean, it's magical. Every day I was in the water swimming. We did bring our own snorkel gear, but you can rent some at the on-premise watersports station if you don't have your own. We wanted the utmost privacy and landed in one of the even-numbered bures, which face north, or out/away from the main resort. The odd-numbered bures face in towards the main restaurant and pool, still quite far away from them, just not quite as private. We ordered room service more than once in order to watch the sunset and the stars appear. Check out the video below that shows you the room. The only suggestion for improvement is to add another USB outlet for power, as there was only one in the unit. NOTE the power supply is 240v and having an adaptor is not enough, a voltage convertor is also required...except for the USB outlet, which is why more than one would have been handy!
Our departing flight was quite late and luckily, as a Marriott Bonvoy member, my status provided us a hospitality room to use for the day. The bures are booked solid during peak time and we needed to check out of our room. This gave us the rare opportunity to see a standard room as well, back near the lagoon area. See the video below, the Marriott did a phenomenal job making it special and I was suprised to see so many USB power outlets!
Overall: the Marriott Momi Bay in Fiji gets top marks from this traveler, one of the few places I absolutely plan on making return.
Once the reservation was booked, the Marriott Resort at Momi Bay staff helped us book our airport transfers. They selected Nahau Transfer & Tours company, which was a wonderful experience. They were waiting at the airport, as promised, when we landed, with our name on a sign, it was easy to see our driver and keep moving. After such a long drive, you just want to get there, you know? It turned into a mini-tour, as our driver chatted with us, told stories about the island, answered our questions easily and amicably. It was very pleasant and we were delighted to learn it was the same team taking us back to the airport at the end of our visit. Once we'd unpacked and saw that there was a small fridge, with a goal of privacy and independence for our vacation, we turned to the Nahau team to drive us to a nearby store for provisions. We negotiated the rate up front and picked up the things we needed, it was handy to know they were ready and available anytime we might want to leave the Marriott property. At publishing time, there is no website for Nahau, simply contact the team at the Marriott and they'll get things sorted out for you: email@example.com
**the drivers only take cash, be sure to grab some Fiji dollars at the airport after you've cleared customs, there's a bank and an ATM right after the exit doors.
Water Activities and Excursions
KaiWai Watersports is the company on-site at the Marriott Resort that runs all the water-related activities: from renting snorkeling gear to booking an open water dive or deep sea fishing. [NOTE - they were going through a company name change at time of this article]. As with every experience on the island, the service was exceptional, the team members knowledgeable and friendly. I went diving, which turned out to be an almost-private adventure as few people were booked with me on the trip. The dive location was just a couple of miles off the mainland, near the Cloudbreak surfing spot. We went down to a depth of about 80 feet, scaling the reef cliff, and stayed down for almost an hour. The boat ride was less than 30 minutes to the dive site, not a ton of travel time compared to some other destinations. The gorgeous fish cannot all be listed or described.
We also took a reef fishing tour, we booked the boat for ourselves along for a half day, our captain trolled as we went out to the reef area, then we did some line fishing, which was new and exciting. I caught two! The big one got away, of course. :) The captain finished off our time with a swim on a sandy shoal well off the mainland coast. At low tide, it did not reach my waist and felt like we were in the middle of the ocean. Magical!
Highly recommend the team at KaiWai sports for any water-related excursions you may have in mind.