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READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP
Introduction: BULA! Flying Economy To The Happiest Place On Earth
• Review: The Westin Los Angeles Airport
• Review: Fiji Airway A330-200 (Economy); Los Angeles – Nadi
• Review: Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
• Review: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
• Review: Sheraton Fiji Resort
• Review: The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji
• Review: Fiji Airways Premier Lounge
Other Articles About My Fiji Trip
• Reflecting On My Experience Traveling From the Fiji Airport to the Marriott Resort Momi Bay. Dangerous or Genius?
• How To Travel Between Nadi Town and Denarau Island For Cheap
Words can’t describe how I feel about visiting Fiji. I was game to explore every inch of the island so I set out to review three Marriott properties and one IHG property. First up was the Marriott Resort at Momi Bay.
If you’re a fan of Marriott points (and/or have an anniversary night from holding the Marriott credit card), you’ll appreciate the Marriott Resort Momi Bay as it is a Category 5 hotel with plenty of availability.
Looking through the calendar, cash prices fluctuated between FJD 381-1000+ (~$172USD – $450USD)
It’s worth noting that if you have status you may be upgraded to some pretty sweet digs (i.e. the overwater bungalows).
SPOILER ALERT: This may be one of my favorite hotels, not only on this island, but in the world!
Originally, I had planned to stay at this hotel one night and it would be the last hotel that I stayed at but at the last minute I decided to switch my plans and make it the first hotel and stay for two nights.
The retail value for the two nights were $214USD (not including tax) and $244USD (not including tax). I decided to redeem 30,000 points for the first night and use my anniversary free night certificate for the second night.
Given that I value Marriott points at .8 cents, I think it was a good exchange.
For those with either the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is a great use of the free night certificate that comes with those cards.
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is on the westernmost point of the main island and about 45 minutes (depending on traffic) south from Nadi Airport (NAN).
I did not rent a car but if you do decide to rent a car, there is clear signage to help you navigate and make the necessary turns to get to the resort which can’t be said about most islands.
After experiencing one of the most exhilarating adventures of my life in traveling to my hotel, I was greeted at both the gate to the property and lobby drop-off, with a heartwarming “Bula!” – the common Fijian greeting.
Upon arriving at the lobby, a bellhop quickly opened my door and requested to retrieve my bags. Unfortunately, I travel light so I carried my own bags. I was escorted through the open-air lobby and asked to take a seat on one of the lobby couches to wait for a check-in desk to become available.
It was roughly 7AM so I assumed I would be sitting in the lobby for a while.
A few moments later, I was approached by an agent and welcomed to the property. As we walked to her check-in desk, a gentleman approached me and offered a cold towel and “refreshing tea lemonade.” It was delicious!
The check-in process, however, took forever. I did not time the entire interaction because I’ve never had this happen but the agent asked for my passport, typed a few things into the computer, took my passport into the back to make a photocopy but was gone for about 10 minutes, returned, typed a few more things on the computer, etc. and this went on for approximately 30 minutes. I’m not sure if this was normal but I had read that everyone operates on “Fiji time.” In other words, no one is in a rush to do anything so I attributed the “delay” to Fiji time.
I expected that I may have to wait for my room, given that I was approximately seven hours ahead of the resort’s check-in time, however, I was pleasantly surprised to be handed a keys and told a room was ready.
The agent then explained that a Deluxe Lagoon View room – the standard room that I booked – is available (Room 3001). However, she wanted to upgrade me to a Royal Ocean Front Bure (Room 2015).
To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what a bure was but she did use the word “upgrade” so I felt comfortable that my situation was about to be elevated.
I had not obtained a SIM card so my phone was not functional (for phone calls) in Fiji. Surprisingly, the agent says “no worries,” disappeared into the back again, returned with a mobile phone and said “we will call you when your upgrade is ready.”
As part of the check-in process, I was given a choice of one of three arrival gifts as a Marriott Platinum elite: daily buffet breakfast, 1,000 bonus points or local cassava chips and cookies.
It’s hard to imagine anyone choosing anything but the free breakfast, as the points are worth a few dollars and the chips and cookies likely don’t fit my dietary restrictions so, I opted for the breakfast.
MARRIOTT MOMI BAY PROPERTY MAP
I included the map (below) to assist in understanding the sheer size of this property and locations of various features.
The main locations I will cover are:
- The lobby =#7 on the map
- Goji Kitchen = #26 on the map for breakfast and dinner
- Room #1 (Deluxe Lagoon View) = The building to the right of #23 on the map
- Room #2 (Royal Ocean Front Bure) = The individual house just north of #11 on the map
- Sunset (infinity) Pool = #9 on the map
FOOD AND BEVERAGE (BREAKFAST)
I walked across the footbridge (between #7 and #26) to the main restaurant, Goji Kitchen where the breakfast buffet was served.
PRO-TIP: Whenever you visit Goji, try to grab a table overlooking the lagoon. You won’t regret it!
It turns out these are bures (below). I’ll talk more about this later on in the review.
The breakfast spread was impressive in size and selection. There were more than a dozen stations that easily offered more than 100 options. I won’t overwhelm you with food pictures but food options ranged from classic US breakfast hot and cold foods to Asian and even a selection of local Fijian foods.
Tomato Juice, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Fresh Carrot Juice
After inquiring about vegan options, I was approached by one of the chefs and a few minutes later, and was informed that a few more options had been added to the buffet. 😍
As you might expect from a buffet that large, some of the foods weren’t as fresh. But there was a made-to-order omelet station, noodle station, made-to-order French toast station and plenty of fresh fruit throughout.
It’s worth noting that there was a sign on every food item in the restaurant that scores big points with me. I appreciate attention to detail and that means someone is overseeing operations and ensuring the food is in the correct location.
And the staff always seemed ready to clear my table when I went back for seconds…and thirds….and possibly fourths…and..well, you get the point.
As far as breakfast is concerned, the prices are a bit steep but fairly standard hotel prices:
- Buffet breakfast, fee from 58.00 FJD (~$27USD)
- Continental breakfast, fee from 48.00 FJD (~$22USD)
- Full American breakfast, fee from 58.00 FJD (~$28USD)
After finishing breakfast, I visited the Fiji Baking Company. It is a deli-style café to pick up grab-and-go foods. It offers freshly prepared snacks, savory baked goods, sandwiches and deli items for your picnics on the beach or tours around the island.
After breakfast I returned to the lobby where an eager bellhop, called out to me by last name, and helped me collect my bags from the baggage storage area. I stepped onto one of the many golf carts zipping around the property and took a ride to my room.
On the way to the my building (#23 on the map), he made small talk, and pointed out the resort’s buildings and amenities. He parked outside my building and made sure that we didn’t have any questions or concerns before excusing himself.
ROOM #1 – Deluxe Lagoon View
Located just above the main pool, was my initial room.
As I entered, I found the bathroom to the left, with a large glass window between the bathroom and the bedroom, but a shade could be lowered to block the view. Just inside this window was a large bathtub.
The sink was next to the tub, so you could use the counter space behind the tub for your toiletries.
There was a tray of assorted provided toiletries in this space as well, including body lotion, mouthwash, shower cap, sanitary bag, shave kit, dental kit, “essential vanity kit” and a bar of soap. There were also two washcloths and topped with a flower.
The toilet and shower were in two adjacent rooms across from the bathtub. These two rooms shared one sliding door, meaning that you couldn’t close both at the same time. The shower contained both an overhead rainfall shower head and a handheld shower head, as well as a useful bench.
There were small bottles of bath soap, shampoo and conditioner in the shower, as well as a bar of soap.
Inside the rather standard-looking hotel room was a king-sized bed that was fairly comfortable.
Across the room, there was a comfortable and soft chair with a footstool.
I was kinda bummed to see that the room had an adjoining door, as I prefer to have a room that doesn’t have this door but across from the bed was a large luggage shelf underneath the flat-screen TV.
Under this shelf were two drawers that weren’t obvious at first. In one of the drawers were mugs, glasses (two wine, two champagne, two water glasses), spoons, a bottle opener and a broad selection of coffees and teas.
Next to the luggage shelf was a large compartment that held a minifridge.
There were two sliding doors that could be opened individually to grant access to the porch. If you wanted to enjoy the fresh air without worrying about bugs — which weren’t an issue during my visit — there was an accordion screen door that could be extended from either side.
Outside on the deck were two wicker chairs, a small table, a large round chaise lounge and a wooden drying rack.
Despite looking like a rather standard hotel room, the room was adequate.
I took a little nap and was awoken by a call on the mobile phone. The agent was calling to inform me that my upgrade was available and she was sending someone in a golf cart to pick me up.
Literally, within a few minutes, I heard a soft knock at my door and headed to my upgraded room that I would have for the remainder of my stay.
ROOM #2 – Royal Ocean Front Bure
My bure was a stand-alone building where my room was the entire bure. I will let the photos speak largely for themselves…
As I entered, the closet was located to the left…
It was the only clothing storage space in the room, with five usable shelves. The closet contained a safe, two robes, two pairs of slippers, a full-sized umbrella, a “shoe-polishing mitt,” two laundry bags, an extra pillow, an iron and an ironing board.
Come on, now!…
On the backside of the bure was a small deck. It’s worth highlighting the area where you can rinse your feet should you spend any time on the beach which was only 20m (60 feet away).
One disappointment was the rocky beach located just outside my room. It would’ve been nice to walk straight into the water but I spent several days scuba diving in the ocean so it was ok.
One aspect that I really loved was the attention to detail. Located above the TV was a shelf that had several hand-made wooden pieces and even the lamp was an intricate wooden design.
Even at night, the bure was heaven on earth! Tell me that’s not amazing!!
The Marriott Fiji has three pools and a bay for swimming. The property encircles a natural bay called Momi Bay. This bay is protected enough from waves that the property built the over-water villas over this bay. A beach surrounds this bay, with the beachside bungalows having claim to much of this beach.
However, other parts had chairs set up for any guests to enjoy.
Looking over the ocean was the property’s adults-only infinity pool (#9 on the map), which provided stunning views.
It was easy to understand why it was called the Sunset Pool when you visited in the evening.
An open-air sunset bar was next to the pool. And it was hopping with visitors enjoying the sunset and then enjoying a few more drinks. The bar had a chic lounge feel, complete with a mellow beats soundtrack.
There were a few games scattered through the resort, including a pool table and a foosball table between the Lagoon Lounge and the lobby.
There were several comfortable couches located throughout the property.
The gym was located near my first room and contained three elliptical machines, five treadmills, two exercise bikes, one rowing machine, two benches for free weights, two leg machines and one upper body machine.
Next to the gym is the Turtles Kids’ Club which offered “supervised indoor and outdoor activities” for parents craving alone time.
The resort hosted a variety of activities each day, with enough variety from day to day that there were few repeats for those staying longer. Almost all of these were included in the room rate, but a few had a very reasonable extra cost: henna tattoo (about $5USD), war club sculpting ($7USD), tie-dye painting ($12USD) and cocktail masterclass ($21USD).
There was a Padi-certified dive center located on the property for those interested in water activities such as jet skis, diving, or snorkeling.
…and if you wanted to just rest, pick one of a 1000 hammocks lining the property.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE (DINNER)
Although there are 5 or 6 restaurants on property, I found myself returning to the Goji Kitchen as it offered a “themed buffet dinner” every night.
Again, pick a seat next to the water so you can great views and watch the fish.
I found the Fijian culture to be extraordinarily welcoming, and I certainly felt this during my stay. Every member of the staff that we interacted with was friendly, welcoming, sporting a broad smile and referred to me by name which was impressive. This was a great introduction to the culture.
This was my favorite server from the Goji Kitchen. He greeted me every morning with a big smile. I returned to the property a few days later and he still remembered my name. That’s genuine service!!
As I said at the beginning of this blog, I ABSOLUTELY loved this resort. It may be one of my favorite resorts I’ve ever stayed in. The combination of the friendly culture and paradise can’t be beat.
First, it was incredibly generous of the hotel to let me check in at 8am, a whopping seven hours before my scheduled check-in.
Second, lending me the mobile phone above and beyond.
Additionally, the base-category room was ok so I wouldn’t have been disappointed with that room. And although it’s not guaranteed, the upgrade to the bure, just put it over the top for me.
At just 35,000 Marriott points per night — especially with free breakfast as a Platinum elite — I wouldn’t hesitate to return to the property for another stay. The combination of the friendly service, reasonably priced food, seclusion and beauty makes this resort one I can highly recommend!!
Have you ever stayed at the Marriott Resort Momi Bay? What was your experience?