Nights stayed: 4
Time of year: Mid-December
Guests: 2 Adults, 1 Teenager, 1 Tween
Room Type: Frangipani Bure
Stay Type: Family
Theme of this Review:
"Bula Bula in the Burning West"
We stayed at the Tokatoka Resort in Nadi in mid-December. It was our first stop in Fiji which we deliberately chose for it's affordability and proximity to the Airport, and as a way to 'ease' into a Fijian holiday after a really huge and busy year. I had been unwell for the majority of the year as well, so we didn't want to risk any further travel after the plane trip, not knowing how I would go on the aeroplane.
On both criteria - affordability and proximity to the Airport - Tokatoka delivered. It is located across the road from the Nadi International Airport, in what locals call the "burning west" due to the heat of that side of the island. Nadi is a tourist town, and locals in the town were all busy and I guess preoccupied, all the Tokatoka staff were super friendly. Bula Bula with big smiles, all the time!
We stayed in a Family Villa. The villas or bures are spaced out across a huge piece of land. You share one common wall with one other bure. All of them have pretty garden views. The gardens are meticulously maintained and because of it, you feel 'at home'. Our bure was towards the back of the resort, so it was very quiet - we only heard our neighbour a couple of times, and once we closed our louvres and utelised the air-conditioning, we didn't hear a sound. There are other hotel style rooms which overlook the pool area but I think they are for single/couple travellers, more executive style, which counts us out, and because of that I can't make comment on those.
Image from booking.com - Vinaka
The bure itself was spacious, especially given there were four of us. We had a queen bed ensemble and two single ensembles. There was a desk, a kitchen sink and a small fridge (no cooking facilities), two chairs inside, and a patio table with two chairs outside. There was a television which was great, as we watched the local news each night, as well as our favourite soapie to watch when in Fiji - Shortland Street. Please don't judge us LOL. The large bathroom was modernised, nothing fancy, but it did the job. The water was hot but the pressure was terrible, and I hate having showers when the water is dribbling out. The room was modernised, and functioned well, but it was dark and not that inviting. The air-conditioning was cold - which was a welcome relief in the Fiji heat. In fact it was so cold, I ended up wearing a singlet around my head at night to stop my head getting cold. There was a small cupboard, including an in-room safe. To be fair, the room had everything we needed.
Image from booking.com - Vinaka
We chose to have breakfast included in our reservation. I had read reviews online where breakfast was continental (and we like our eggs!) so I called up in advance to confirm. Sadly, the reviews were correct, and our included brekky was simply continental. Upon arriving for our first breakfast (on our second day! as we slept through breakfast on the first morning!), we discovered that you could order hot breakfast for $10fjd extra per person. (We didn't do that as I was on a strict budget.) The continental buffet was good, and included pastries/cakes, toast, freshly juiced fruit, cereals and tea/coffee (not espresso).
The restaurant overlooks the pool area, so it has a nice, light, friendly atmosphere in the morning, and the staff were always friendly and happy.
We ate lunch once, and I'll be honest, it was not great. We thought it was expensive for what was served, even though we know to expect higher pricing in a resort. Better quality of the same dishes we found at Bulaccino Café in Namaka at cheaper prices. If you have to catch a taxi there though you will need to factor the taxi cost in (around $10fjd each way).
We did not eat dinner at Tokatoka for two reasons: One- we were on a strict budget and preferred to eat either something light we bought from the supermarket like bread and butter, and one night we had a roadside BBQ (much cheaper); and Two - we didn't have confidence to eat the dinner after being disappointed in the lunch
We don't drink much, but I did have two cocktails and Hubby a couple of beers. They were standard pricing of a resort (about $20fjd for the cocktail and $9fjd for the beer). They weren't even that enjoyable as it was so hot, and the flies were plentiful (not really the fault of the resort though).
Coffee: (yes this needs a category of it's own!)
Sorry to be blunt but we did not like the coffee here. We had bought our Nespresso machine in our luggage, so made a few coffees for ourselves in our room, but also went to outside cafes for our daily fix. We were lucky enough to try some new Bula Coffee pods - yum!
It was my daughter's 10th birthday whilst we were at Tokatoka Resort - double digits, a very exciting milestone!! The staff in the restaurant were lovely as I asked them to prepare an ice-cream sundae as a surprise for her whilst she was swimming in the pool. About an hour later (remember Fiji Time!) the chef came out singing Happy Birthday, with a cupcake and candle, and a bowl of icecream. (Not quite an icecream sundae but very cool indeed). She was so happy, and I had tears. It was a lovely moment and I was happy she got to experience it in our favourite country, Fiji. Bonus points Tokatoka - vinaka!
DAY SPA / GYM
There was a Day Spa, and the therapists who were friendly, had some good deals for treatments being offered. I didn't take advantage of this though, so can't comment. The Gym was amazing, and probably one of the best we've seen in a Fiji resort. It was fully equipped, air-conditioned, and as they say in Fiji 'Fully Loaded'. Hubby used it daily.
The pool was the star of this resort. It was large enough for lots of people to swim in, but not too big to lose sight of your kids. It had a huge undercover area, which was great for being sun safe in the heat of the Fiji sun. There is a fun waterslide which all the kids loved, even the big ones. A towel bure was available, so you don't need to bring your own pool towels - again save the luggage space unlike us!
There is an on-site Laundry which was $30fjd per wash/dry load which is self-service. You buy the tokens for the machines from reception. I thought it was a bit expensive, as we had a lot of washing (we always do!) but I was blessed to get chatting to a man from Brisbane, who had bought too many on a work trip, so handed a couple of tokens to me - thanks Mystery Man!
Housekeeping was good and consistent, and the staff were super friendly. Even the maintenance staff who we would see walking around, were always friendly and happy. It's great to be somewhere where everyone is welcoming and happy. BULAAA! I think that must be an indication of Management there - well done!
Smoking was an issue for me. Smokers were prevalent around the pool. They didn't seem to care that many people were choking on their smoke, and plenty of kids were breathing it in too. I don't know what the Resort can do, I think it is more an issue of consideration of the Smokers.
Airport Transfers were appreciated, and if you didn't want to wait for the van, you could easily walk across the road from the Airport straight into Tokatoka (depending on your amount of luggage, and of course, in our case, there was no way we could walk with our bags). We called reception when we landed, and only had to wait 10 minutes - I think that's a great service they are offering.
The majority of guests whilst we were staying were travellers who were in transit to/from another resort destination in Fiji. There was a wide variety of guest types, and lots of local guests which was great, as we could chat to them about life in Fiji.
The resort accommodation was affordable. However, I think the food was expensive.
Would we go to Tokatoka again? Short answer - yes.
It is a really great stay for a transit, but I wouldn't stay there for a dedicated holiday, unless you were planning lots of day trips - then it would be perfect. Our four nights was probably the limit for us. It is close to the airport and surprisingly the flights taking off and landing do not cause any drama in the noise department. It is located about 10 minutes in a taxi to Nadi Town, and 20 minutes to Denerau (traffic is dreadful in Nadi).
You can walk down the end of the main road and get to a Supermarket (or pay $5fjd in a taxi if it is too hot!). I would suggest buying your bottled water from town, instead of paying for it at the Resort. The staff are friendly and happy, thus making the atmosphere inviting and welcoming.
It is a very welcoming and happy Resort where you will feel at home in the Burning West. Thank you Tokatoka Resort - one day we will be back!
Other Hotel Opinions we've written are about Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa
SJ here - did you enjoy reading this post? Or find it helpful? If so, I would appreciate it so much if you could share it on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by clicking one of the buttons just below this... And even better - please leave me a comment below - I love love love reading your comments and knowing your thoughts about this topic. Or you could Email Me if you prefer. Vinaka Vakalevu - Thank you! And thanks for stopping by my Blog xx